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Preppy Wisconsin Garden Wedding

What do you get when you combine a dash of southern charm and a boatload of pretty Fresh Design blooms? I’ll tell you, pure preppy perfection. Case in point? This lovely garden inspired affair overflowing with pretty. From their watercolored crest to the postcard guest book, every detail is darling and Heather Cook Elliott Photography captured it to share, right here!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Country Club

From Heather Cook Elliott PhotographySarah & Hans’ engagement session found them wandering about a delightful city park in Chicago close to where they live. Among the trails and the flowers and the gardens they told Emily about how they met and how Hans asked Sarah to be his wife. Fast forward a few months and that garden feel was with them again on their wedding day a bit further north in Wisconsin close to Sarah’s family.

At the Milwaukee Country Club they skillfully designed a wedding day made incredibly intimate, sweetly playful and totally them by their delightful inclusion of critters, critters everywhere. They are kind of a signature of Sarah, who leaves them behind to say I love you to family and friends after visits long and short. A likely partial list of animals I spy throughout this submission are puppies, a mouse, otters, bees, and oodles of alligators – a sweet gesture in honor of the time she and Hans have spent at her grandfather’s (alligator friendly) South Carolina property outside of Charleston.

There is a bit of Southern charm to this thoroughly Mid-Western wedding and I can’t be complimentary enough about the dress Sarah chose, their willingness to mix and match here and there, and to incorporate so much of themselves in their details (Sarah watercolored their crest and drew their post card “guest book” as well as the maps included with guest welcome gifts), not to mention the gorgeous setting of the Club paired with its well-heeled china and silver place settings.

Their wedding wasn’t small or in a garden but that’s how it felt – like an intimate garden party among friends, and it was exactly what Sarah and Hans hoped it would be.

Photography: Heather Cook Elliott Photography | Floral Design: Fresh Design | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Sweet Mandy B's | Invitations: Fabrick Design | Shoes: Kate Spade | Rings: Ellie Thompson Co. | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Makeup: Blush | Hair: Erik Of Norway | Calligraphy: The Blooming Quill | Band: The Dan Hayes Orchestra | Groom's Attire: Nordstrom | Groomsmen's Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen's Attire: Proper Cloth | Bridesmaid's Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Cigar Box: The Smilin Bride | Country Club: Milwaukee Country Club | Flower Girls' Dress: Nordstrom | Tent: Canopies

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Glamorous Beer Garden Inspired Wedding

Now this is a wedding weekend I can really get on board with. Think a fun-filled rehearsal dinner followed by a glamorous, candlelit wedding, all with a fabulous beer garden theme. It’s luxe red, blue and gold hues meets gorgeous florals (gorgeous) from Belle Fiori meets an entire gallery of beautiful images from Heather Cook Elliott Photography.  Click here for all of the pretty.

From Heather Cook Elliott PhotographyStephanie and Jay are my kind of people. They love coffee dates and lakeside walks, European beer gardens and travel, family traditions and did I mention beer? They live in Minnesota but traveled to her home state of Wisconsin for an October wedding that reflected a fair amount of those loves and its an understatement to write that we were thrilled to get to photograph it.

People in the midwest take their heritage seriously and this wedding proves it – both were born and raised in the midwest, but Stephanie’s family is solidly German, while Jay’s is all Scottish and they designed a wedding to celebrate both sides – blending cultural traditions with midwestern classics to create a wedding weekend that managed to be both glamorous and cozy, upscale and down-home; all about the drinks, the flowers and the love.

The original inspiration for most of their design ideas was to host the weekend in a beer garden – think floating lights and florals dripping from the ceiling and you have the right idea. To that end, the weekend started with a groom’s dinner at Best Place, a rathskeller type space that used to be the boardroom for executives at the Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee. Stephanie wore a dried flower crown for the evening in keeping with an old German tradition and their beer was served in glass boots from Mader’s, a local 100+ year old German restaurant.

The next day they revisited Pabst Brewery for stunning portraits on the campus before hosting guests at the Historic Pritzlaff where an area that used to be loading docks was transformed with dripping candles and florals to be their European style beer garden. On this day the flower girls wore the flower crown and Stephanie a bold Lazaro dress with gorgeous ruffles and a glam topknot. At the reception they offered guests a Milwaukee favorite – brandy old fashioneds – and the Scottish side changed into kilts (and the mother of the groom donned a tartan sash!). Stephanie even changed out of her sparkly Jimmy Choos and slipped into a tartan clad pair of shoes that I adored. Overall, the color palette was a surprise – teal and rust colors with pops of purple and lots of green – but I love how those deep fall colors suggested the change to kilts that was to come.

With gold details, lots of candle light and garlands galore on wooden tables the effect was perfect and beautiful and very Stephanie and Jay.

Photography: Heather Cook Elliott Photography | Floral Design: Belle Fiori | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Cake: Cake And Bake | Invitations: Coqui Design/Coqui Praperie & Gifts Boutique | Reception Venue: Historic Pritzlaff | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Chef Jack's | Hair & Makeup: BLUSH Beauty | Lighting: Majic Productions | Bride's Jewelry: BHLDN | Kilts: MacGregor And MacDuff | Linens: BBJ | Photography - Assistance: Caca' Santoro | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Best Place At Pabst Brewery | Rentals: A La Crate | Rigging: Barking Pony | Save The Date Coaster: Dick And Jane Letterpress | Tuxedos: Men's Wearhouse | Wedding Dress Shop: GiGi Of Mequon

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
WASIO photography + A Special Offer + A Giveaway!

Ask anyone I know and they’ll tell you I am rarely at a loss for words; I like to talk… a lot.  But every once in awhile, I come across something sooo incredibly breathtaking and beautiful, words escape me. And that something is the brilliant work of WASIO photography, a talented team of photographers that know a thing or two about capturing your wedding day in images you’ll treasure for always. Made up of two husband and wife teams (Sasha & Yaneck + Magda & Marcin), WASIO photography is known for building personal relationships with each and every one of their clients; meeting them several times pre-wedding, bonding with them at their amazing engagement shoots and even inviting family members to the viewing sessions post-wedding.  Which means that on your big day, you’ll have friends documenting all of those special moments, making their perspective that much more unique. And WASIO photography isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get the jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind image, whether it’s on the day of your nuptials, at night with their custom lighting or at one of their breathtaking sunrise engagement sessions. 

Visit WASIO photography today to talk to the team of photogs that will take your wedding photography to the next level. And don’t forget, if you book WASIO photography by June, 2015, you’ll receive a 16×24 beautifully matted fine art print printed on hand-made German 100% cotton museum paper ($450 value)!the-giveawayWhat: WASIO photography is giving away a sunset or sunrise 1-hour engagement session!* (Value $499)

How: To enter, go here!

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Elegant Boysenberry Wedding at The Villa Terrace

At first glance, you might mistake this slice of elegance from Lexia Frank Photography and Tailored Engagements for an affair set at an authentic Italian villa. That’s just how gorgeous The Villa Terrace in Milwaukee is—and a successful win-win for the beautiful Bride and Groom who craved a destination wedding packed with family. Drenched in the prettiest shade of boysenberry, it’s a beauty all-around.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Villa
Styles
Elegant

From Lexia Frank PhotographyKelly and Alessandro found the perfect place to marry. It was close to home for ailing relatives, but it felt like we were all transported to Italy, where all of the groom’s family resides. The villa terrace is an exact replica of a villa in Italy, so Kelly and Alessandro got the destination wedding they wanted, while also being able to celebrate with the entire family.

The ceremony took place on the terrace overlooking the water, and guests enjoyed a pre-ceremony cocktail hour in the courtyard. After the ceremony guests were welcomed down in the villa’s gardens where Italian style antipasti were served, children played soccer, and an incredible balloon artist created whimsical creations for the wedding’s youngest guests (and some of the bride and groom as well!). Later in the evening, children were ushered into their own private wedding ‘party’ while the adults were happy to dine together and listen to the live italian opera singer serenade the evening. It was a perfect day, and could not have been more lovely!

Photography: Lexia Frank Photography | Videography: One Fine Day Productions | Event Planning: Amanda Felsmen Of Tailored Engagements | Florist: Marius Bell | Cake: The Cake Lady | Caterer: Lee John's | Bartending: Zilli Hospitality Group | Beauty: Neroli | Rentals: BBJ Linen | Rentals: Canopies | Villa: The Villa Terrace

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Traditionally Elegant Grove Wedding

Now this is what wedded bliss looks like. Bliss in the form of greenery chandeliers (hand-made by the bridal party!), hand-stamped favors, and romance all the way. It’s exactly what you’ll find in this elegant Quivey’s Grove affair from m three studio, and the full gallery is something truly special, right here!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Al Fresco
Styles
Romantic

From m three studio… Where to start with this gorgeous day? I think with the ribbons. It was the breeze and the ribbons that first captivated me. (Every bouquet should have trailing ribbons!) This wedding is like a barely cool breeze on a warm summer day – the kind you tilt your head to take in, close your eyes to enjoy the sunshine on your face and take a deep breath of the sweet air. That is this day. Quivey’s Grove was a perfect host to this beautiful and laid-back wedding. Ashley & Mike’s easy style translated so well into tables draped in greenery and speckled with candles, flowing grey bridesmaid dresses, gorgeous all white florals, the greenery chandeliers (hand-made by the bridal party!), vintage chalkboards, nods to their Wisconsin heritage (craft beers!) and little sprigs of lavender to gently scent the day.

From the beautiful Bride… Mike and I live in Boston, but we both grew up in Wisconsin and wanted to incorporate some of our Midwest favorites throughout the day. We served cheese curds, brandy old fashioneds (Mike’s favorite), WI beer, and requested that the DJ play a few polka songs during the reception. Our east coast friends still bring up the cheese curds. If only we could get those out in Boston. :)

I’m really lucky to have so many creative friends and family. Creative and generous. I flew into Wisconsin only a couple days before the wedding and my florist, bridesmaids, and family helped me bring all of my ideas to life. My brother, Ross, created a stamp in the shape of WI for our welcome bags and helped me stamp and stuff the bags for hours one night. My dear friend and bridesmaid, Katie, created all of the gorgeous design elements for my day. Whenever I had a new idea, she would just quickly whip something up and viola!

My other ‘DIY” favorite was the wreath we made for our dinner tent, and by we, I mean I had a vision of what I wanted, but I really have to thank my florist, cousins, and friends for making it all come together. After my bridesmaids and I were done getting ready, we took a walk around the property to help with the last minute details, and found a couple of my bridesmaids husbands in the dinner tent (already dressed in their suits for the party) hard at work hoisting the wreath up above the tables. I remember stopping at that moment and feeling so blessed.

My friend’s mom, Mary, was our amazing florist. I did most of my planning over the internet and had to sort of hope for the best, but Mary made me 100% confident right from the beginning. I told her I wanted everything to look earthy and imperfect, and sent her some pictures of flowers that I liked, but she really brought my vision to life. She made games for our cocktail hour, lent us furniture, decor and even grew her own herbs that she tucked into the greenery and our bouquets. It really surpassed my expectations, and it smelled amazing. :)

Again, without all of the help Mike and I received, we wouldn’t have been able to make everything come together.

If I could offer any advise to engaged couples: Don’t take on more than you can handle and ask for help! I’m a bit of a perfectionist and wanted to be involved in every detail. However, planning a wedding from across the country didn’t make that very easy. It was difficult for me to delegate, mainly because I felt like I was burdening my friends and family, but without them, I would have never been able to make everything possible.

Walking down the aisle with my dad was a moment I’ll never forget. He told me that he was so proud of me, but I started to get emotional and didn’t want to cry, so as we turned the corner, I asked him to talk about the least emotional topic he could think of. He chose the new vegetables he added to his garden that season. “Well Ashley, I added sweet corn, sweet potatoes…” Haha.

But, my favorite moment of the day was when Mike caught me off guard and made a speech during our dinner. He started by thanking my parents for hosting our beautiful day, and then he turned and put all of the attention on me (eek!) and thanked me for being his rock and for always supporting him throughout our relationship. Mike was in school in WI when I met him, and we eventually moved across the country together, started new jobs, and really depended on each other to get through all of the changes in our lives. It’s one thing to have your partner say sweet things to just you, but to have them spoken to all of your friends and family, that really takes it to another level. The entire bridal party was in tears, myself included!

Photography: m three studio | Floral Design: Mary Bilgo | Cake: Chris' Confections | Stationery: Little Ivy Design | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Wtoo | Makeup: Michelle Mraz | Bride's Gown: Christos | Ceremony & Reception: Quivey's Grove | Chalkboards: A La Crate

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Farm to Table Inspiration

Farm to table style inspiration is always a good thing, but add a team of Milwaukee’s finest vendors to the mix and it’s an entirely new level of amazing.  But I guess that’s what happens when Britt Taylor, Events To A TMiranda K Levy and Rachel R Lee (just to name a few) combine their creative talents to craft a shoot that is all at once rustic, modern and fabulous.  See it all right here. 

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Urban Space
Styles
Rustic

From Britt Taylor… Britt Taylor Photography and Tiara with Events to a T came together with Milwaukee’s most creative vendors to achieve this modern day feast. The goal was to create a relaxed sense of togetherness with a heavy emphasis on beautiful organic textures and simple elegance. One of the main focal pieces is the farm to table style dining which is showcased beautifully by the craft style cascading banner menu designed by PaperWhites.

The decor lends itself perfectly to creating a relaxed atmosphere; the paint chipped farm house chairs add a fantastic texture while joining the grand wooden feast style table all provided by Relics Vintage Rentals. This style of dinning allows for guest to feel incredibly relaxed and engaged with the intimacy of the celebration. With the visual focus remaining on the feast we wanted to incorporate natural elements that would be an alternative to traditional florals. The use of moss and hand picked Wisconsin grown foliage enhance the visual splendor.

We loved the modern design of Project Runway alum Miranda K. Levy’s Bridal gown. The high neckline and cropped waist create a really chic fashion forward look while the beautiful choice of satin retain a timeless elegance. Rachel Lee developed a romantic natural hair and makeup look by emphasizing our brides lashes with individual lash extensions and keeping her palette to all neutrals with a pinky nude lip. She finished this polished look with the perfect amount of cheek luminizer to create a etherial glow. Our bride’s look was perfected by the custom jeweled caplet by Elan Couture. We love the idea the bride jewelry can be incredibly unexpected and completely exciting. Her cathedral veil from Miss Ruby’s Boutique was adorned with an Wisconsin grown sprig.

Our Groom keep his fashions simple, comfortable and sophisticated by mixing patterns and adding an extra detail of texture with his leather adorned suspenders. we enjoyed creating an event that both Bride and Groom can feel very inspired by and can easily achieve by mixing different textures, patterns and keeping the color palette to a muted minimum.

Photography: Britt Taylor | Event Planning: Events To A T | Wedding Dress: Miranda K Levy | Jewelry: Elan Couture | Venue: Lindsay Building | Bridal Accessories: Miss Ruby Boutique | Invitations/ Paper Goods: Paperwhites LLC | Stylist- Hair & Makeup: Rachel R Lee | Vintage Rentals: Relics Vintage Rentals