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Classic Milwaukee Wedding at Villa Terrace

If you can get past the stunning Bride, or the gorgeous Bridesmaid dresses, or the layers of amber colored vases tucked inside this affair, you’ll see all of those sums coming together to create a truly elegant whole. It’s a wedding with an old world feel all captured by Aliza Rae Photography and you can see so much more right here in the full gallery.


From the Bride… We didn’t exactly have a theme for our wedding – the venues that we chose had so much personality that I wanted them to shine. The ceremony site, Villa Terrace, has a beautiful garden and courtyard which inspired me to incorporate that idea into the floral arrangements and bouquets. Throughout our engagement I had collected all of the amber vases, mostly from different antique stores and flea markets in the Milwaukee area. My Mom and Aunt, both who live in Michigan, also contributed to the collection of vases as they found them. I had an amazing florist who worked with the vases and my vision of organic seasonal arrangements – she made everything better and more beautiful than I could have imagined!
I tried to do as much DIY as I could, from the table numbers and escort cards, to the advice hearts and the invitations- we tried to pinch pennies in as many places as possible, so I taught myself calligraphy to address the invitations that we used Photoshop to make and then printed at home- I learned a lot in the process!
From the get-go I knew that I wanted my girls to wear different dresses. To make sure that they still went together, I decided on gold and then found a handful of dresses online from which they could choose, it was actually a very simple process! They looked so beautiful together and I was happy that each of their personalities and style could come through. For the boys we decided to forgo traditional boutonnières in favor of unique pocket squares. I made them myself and pre-folded them a few days ahead of time so that they didn’t have to struggle with them the day of; I think they looked really great!
Nick and I decided to write our own vows, we wanted the ceremony to be very personal and heartfelt and I think we achieved that. I think each of our vows complimented the other so well and the ceremony was my favorite part of the wedding- which says a lot because our reception was a blast! We danced all night and had such a good time with all of our family and friends- most of who came from our home state of Michigan. We had a fairly small wedding- 85 people, but it was the perfect amount to be able to talk to and enjoy everyone. It was the best wedding I could have ever imagined, especially now that I am married to the man of my dreams!

Photography: Aliza Rae Photography | Floral Design: Stems Cut Flowers | Reception: The Pfister Hotel | Shoes: Diane Von Furstenberg | Make-up: Wells Spa | Officiant: Kevin Oelke | Bridal Gown: Mori Lee | Wedding Ceremony: Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

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Snowy Old World Wedding Inspiration

I have to admit – I have been seriously craving summer.  But this gorgeous shoot from the lovely state of Wisconsin?  It has me remembering just why winter is so very, very awesome.  A sweet combination of snowy weather, crazy gorgeous colors and a team of talented vendors (think Kate WeinsteinSugar River Stationers and Laura Timmer), it’s the prettiest way ever to spend your Thursday.  See it all here.

Al Fresco

From Kate Weinstein Photo… I am excited to share our Snowy Old World Wedding inspiration shoot with you!

Here in Wisconsin, one thing is almost always certain: if it’s winter, we will have snow on the ground. Towards the end of winter, Wisconsinites tend to tire of snow, but all that white really can be a beautiful complement to a bride’s dress and a winter wedding. I wanted the colors of this shoot to play off the white snow and the blue of Milwaukee’s frozen Lake Michigan, and this muted dusty blue, white, and mauve color palette would be perfect for a snowy and romantic winter wedding.

When I think Old World, I think timeless, European-style elegance, and that feeling was the inspiration for this shoot. BHLDN provided their elegant Cypress gown, luxuriously paired with their Effie fur topper. Lizzibeth contributed the jewels to accent the dress worn by our model Katelyn Kosinski, with hair and makeup by Laura Timmer. The Home Market in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward provided the table, table settings, and many of the props seen in the shoot. Sugar River Stationers created the invitation suite, and the flowers were a mix of hellebores (one of the few flowers that bloom in snow!), ranunculus, spray roses, garden roses, tulips, and privet berry.

Thank you so much for considering this submission, and please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information! Stay warm! xo

Photography: Kate Weinstein Photo | Flowers: Kate Weinstein | Dress: BHLDN | Stationery: Sugar River Stationers | Jewelry: Lizzibeth | Hair And Makeup: Laura Timmer | Model: Katelyn Kosinski | Table, Table Settings, Couch, Interior: The Home Market

BHLDN is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
Classic Military Wedding at Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel

So girls. I think you’re going to kind of love this wedding. Because the “there is just something sexy about a man in uniform” theory definitely applies. Add to that a girl fit to be a princess, a stunning ballroom backdrop and oh, maybe some of the prettiest pics – shot by The McCartneys – I’ve ever seen and bam. Love gone wild.


From the bride, Jess…When we were planning our wedding, we tried to always keep in the forefront of our minds that we wanted the day to be true to us as a couple. We wanted our wedding to be beautiful, formal but not stuffy, fun, and joyful. It was also important to us to throw a great party for our guests!

We also wanted to showcase the military aspect of the wedding — having our sword detail participate as much as possible was very important!

Without really explicitly talking about it, I think Dom and I had the same vision for our wedding. We wanted the day to be traditional and classic, but wanted to throw in some personality. It ended up being exactly what we wanted…I felt like an absolute princess, straight out of a fairy tale. I think in the end all that really mattered was that we were finally marrying each other, and finally had the opportunity to start living our lives together. The fact that everything and everyone came together in such a beautiful way made the day that much more special and magical.

We did a little bit of DIY, and had a lot of fun with it! I ordered the Save the Dates on Etsy, but had a couple friends over one night and we hand-sewed a thread from Milwaukee to wherever the guest was living to personalize them a bit. I designed the invitations (and had them printed by an incredible family owned letterpress in northern WI) as well as the menu cards. My parents and uncle made the card box for us, and my parents also made our table numbers. We made a customized calendar for our guest book (now we have everyone’s birthdays!). We also framed a bunch of old family photos to put on display – a touch that was very important to us as we wanted to honor the people in our lives that help to bring us to that day!

The parts that stick out in my mind the most, were walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Dom for the first time, the entire ceremony (we had so much more fun that we thought we would and were so, incredibly impressed with our priest), the hours of time that we had alone together between the ceremony and reception to just reflect on the day and the night ahead, standing on our little balcony watching guests enter the room (and feeling like a princess, once again!), and our first dance. I guess that is the whole day, but those are the moments that play in my mind as the ‘highlight reel’!

If I were to share advice with future brides, I would say.

1. Have fun with it, and don’t take it too seriously! Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice, but stay true to your choices and opinions and don’t second guess yourself once you make a decision. There are so many options out there, you could drive yourself insane!

2. Make sure that you keep in perspective what the wedding is all about – the love that you have for the person you are going to marry – the wedding is just the gateway to your new life together, which ultimately is WAY more important!

3. Do things together — even though Dom was deployed for 6 months of our engagement, we still make decisions together, which was really important.

4. If you’re going on a honeymoon right after the wedding — don’t leave the honeymoon planning to the last minute (it gets a little stressful!!)

We had the most incredible day of our lives, in every way. We still can’t stop talking about it!!

Photography: The McCartneys Photography | Videographer: Turning Point Productions | Event Planning: Evenement Planning | Floral Design: Impressions By Esther Flemming | Wedding Dress: The Plumed Serpent | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza | Cake: Rick's Bakery | Invitations: Superior Letterpress Company | Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Of St. John The Evangelist | Reception Venue: The Pfister Hotel | Bride's Shoes: Ferragamo Pumps | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Makeup Artist: Jean Carney | Hair Stylist: Maria At The Pfister Well Spa+Salon | Calligraphy: InkyDinkyDo | Band: David Rothstein | Mens Attire: Men's Wearhouse - Vera Wang | Bride's Bracelet: Nicole Miller | Bride's Earrings: Henri Bendel | Linens: BBJ Linen | Up-Lighting: ACA Entertainment | Wedding Rings: Rhapsody In Gold In Nashville, TN

Nicole Miller is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. BBJ and The McCartneys Photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
The McCartneys Photography