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Even Rain Couldn’t Ruin This Pretty Pink Wedding

No Bride dreams of rain on her wedding day, so when rain almost put a damper on this Bride’s dream of an outdoor springtime ceremony, her team of bridesmaids and mother stepped in to keep her positive! Then — a split second after she saw her Groom for their first look, her concerns melted away! See how the whole beautiful day came together, thanks to Maison Meredith Photography, in The Vault!

Rustic Venue

From The Bride…Before we even started planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted two things for our day: a relaxed and fun family affair! It was very important for us that the wedding all take place at the same location so that our guests could transition seamlessly from the ceremony to the cocktail hour and then to the reception. Bryan and I both grew up in Wisconsin and have a deep love for the Midwest. Although neither of us were raised on farms, we both came from small towns and felt like a barn venue would best represent our Dairy State roots.

We wanted the style vision of our day to be countryside elegance, the perfect marriage of a rustic venue filled to the brim with elegant details and touches. Our color palette reflected the season of spring, highlighted with various hues of blush, rose, and pink. Peonies, a sure sign of spring and my favorite flower, adorned the bouquets, along with garden roses, ranunculus, and double tulips. Amanda from Alluring Blooms truly brought our floral vision to life with very loose and natural centerpieces, a floral runner for the head table, and beautiful chandelier accents.

To add to the theme of elegance, I wanted small gold touches everywhere, from my jewelry and shoes, to the gold pillars in the centerpieces, to the gold chandeliers, to the gold chalkboard signs. When it came time to choosing my dress, I knew that I wanted something different. I ended choosing the dramatic Blakely from Maggie Sottero, a fit and flare gown with lavish embroidery, sparkling gold beading, and a scalloped illusion neckline. It was the perfect dress, better than I could have ever dreamed of and fit the theme of the day completely. After finding the dress, I searched endlessly for the perfect pair of earrings to compliment my dress. After spending hours and hours, I finally stumbled upon the MEG jewelry line, sold exclusively at Marah’s Elegant Bridal. The candlelight earrings, created with Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls, were the perfect combination of vintage flair and elegance.

We wanted to include our families as much as possible and did so with little touches. My “something old” was Bryan’s baptism bonnet, passed to me by his mother, and wrapped the stems of my bridal bouquet as I walked down the aisle. My “something borrowed” was a vintage hand mirror, an heirloom lent to me from Bryan’s grandmother. Our ceremony included letters written from our parents, as well as a tree planting ceremony that represented the growth and history of two families becoming one. Lastly, members from both of our families provided some of our favorite treats and goodies for our a dessert bar.

My favorite moment from the day was, hands down, our First Look. Since early that morning, it had literally rained all day long. I had always dreamed of having an outdoor ceremony, so when we had to move the ceremony indoors at the last minute, I was trying my best to stay positive. My amazing bridesmaids and mother did all they could to distract me from the rain, but deep down, I knew I was disappointed. The second I saw Bryan for our First Look, all of my concerns faded away as I realized that nothing else mattered because that was the day I was going to marry my best friend. It was pure bliss, and I will always remember that moment.

I can honestly say that our wedding day was the most magical and amazing day I could ever imagine. Surrounded by our closest family and friends, it truly was the best day ever. My biggest piece of advice to future brides would be to hire vendors that you truly trust. Create a dream team that knows and understands your vision and trust them. I never wanted to consider the fact that it could rain on our wedding day, but it did. Instead of letting it ruin our day, I put my trust in my amazing team of vendors and they came through for us 110%. Our wedding coordinator, photographers, florist, even our DJ, put in so much effort to make our day special and I will never be able to thank them enough!

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Photography: Maison Meredith Photography | Floral Design: Alluring Blooms | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Cupcakes: Madison Sweets | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Kennedy Blue From Wedding Shoppe Inc | Catering: Old Feed Mill | Hair + Makeup: Julia Grace Salon | DJ: Your Mix Entertainment | Groom's Attire: Nedrebo's | Officiant: Sky's the Limit Weddings | Venue: Sugarland | Bridal Boutique: Vera's House Of Bridal | Bride's Earrings: MEG Jewelry | Chalkboard Design + Signage: A La Crate Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Event Essentials

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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A Simple Summer Wedding Full of Love and Sunshine

Shannon and Dan’s Wisconsin wedding will give you the same warm feeling as sunshine on your skin, and not just because it’s filled with bright, cheery sunflowers and lots of golden summer sunshine. Their big day is also full of love. Experience it all, and get a little mood boost, thanks to beautiful images from m three studio, in The Vault!

Al Fresco

From m three studioShannon and Danny’s story was written decades ago it seems. It was outlined in the poems of Shannon’s grandfather. Strengthened in the houses he built on a tiny island in Lake Michigan. Fleshed out with the dozens of grandchildren that sprang forth from her grandparent’s love, with countless days and nights she herself spent on that island learning what love looked like, from him, from her, from her own parents. Grandpa and Grandma were everywhere on this wedding day, though they have long passed. They were there. In every breeze, in every tear, and most assuredly in every smile. Their love gave inspiration to Shannon and Danny’s, and it was absolute captivation to watch them walk in those footsteps and forge their own story.

Echoes of Shannon’s grandparents were everywhere – and intricately woven into the details of their wedding day. The ceremony location was her family’s vacation home – built by her grandfather to accommodate his growing brood of grandchildren. Situated right on the lakefront, it was a scenic setting for their vows. Self-written vows were only surpassed in emotions by Shannon’s brother reciting a poem written by their grandfather to his wife on their fortieth anniversary. They exited the homestead to cheers and lavender blossoms (an island export) and jumped into Grandpa’s vintage Studebaker, which he used to court Grandma. The wedding party hopped on ‘The Cherry Train’ – an island touring vehicle much beloved by locals. They met up at Grandpa’s farm for pictures. Then it was off to the Historic Island Dairy – an event space that was once a dairy for the island and now hosts parties, an art gallery and lavender fields. Birch trees from their property were cut into placecard holders. Wedding pictures of past generations greeted guests. A signature cocktail accented with more of the island’s lavender was well-circulated. The whole weekend was dubbed “A Sigmund Ferrytale” as a nod to the ferry everyone must take to get to the Island. While all of these details and niceties are wonderful – it is the deep emotions of the day that really leave their impression. It’s evident in the free-flowing tears and laughter of their families, the tight embraces of the dances and the looks exchanged during speeches.

From The Bride…I didn’t have too much of a vision, actually. Since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to get married at my family’s cabin and not too much besides that. I wanted everything to be very natural and have a woodsy theme. My now husband, Dan, and I knew we wanted to keep things simple and elegant. Our wedding planners at mb designs+events really helped me put what I was imagining together while keeping my style. I don’t think many people realize the task of putting on your dream wedding and keeping a budget until you’re actually doing it, it was great to have extra help everywhere I could. The coordination between Molly at m three studio photography and the mb designs+events team helped me have a stress-free wedding that I could only have dreamed of. The whole day was completely my style captured with the island elements in the ambiance and pictures.

My color palette changed a number of times. I kept envisioning one thing and then deciding something else once I saw it. With so many moving pieces it’s hard to have it exactly right the first time – which can make wedding planning stressful. Jean and Michelle, at mb design+events, did a great job in our preliminary meeting getting an understanding of what my priorities were and helping me decide what pieces would go best together. There was sometimes a disconnect I felt, as the bride, with making so many decisions – I thought I had such a specific idea of what I wanted until it came to decision time! Not everything was what I initially thought, but ended up being so much better…And much more ‘like me’ and not as traditional.

I was actually put in a really good situation because I loved the idea of being able to add my own DIY pieces to my wedding, but of course, didn’t want it to look like a “DIY wedding”! DIY definitely comes in handy as you start to reach your budget limit. That’s where we played around with the idea the most. Jean and Michelle, the planners, were really great at following my budget and if I went over one place, they worked to help me find a way to save that money somewhere else. Dan, my now husband, and I burned all the table numbers into the perfect birch pieces Jean and Michelle forged in the forest on the island (crazy right?!). This was such a great example of still getting what we wanted, while helping with the cost and also being able to contribute a project Dan and I did to our special day.

I am such a sap – hence the “ferry tale” wedding – so reading my vows and hearing Dan’s vows will forever be my favorite moment. I pondered those words from the moment I met him and was able to fully express it in a way that was very ‘me’… I’m getting teary eyed now! I’ll never forget that wonderful overwhelming feeling. It set the pace for the whole day. My favorite crafted detail would have to be my veil. My mom actually made it for me and it was perfect, just stunning. It gave me a natural, elegant beauty and was better than I could have imagined. I was really lucky to work with such great people for everyone who contributed to the day.

My flowers were from “Flora” in Sister Bay. Helene, owner of Flora, was amazing to work with and was so on top of what I was looking for. She gave great suggestions and advice too, when I wasn’t sure what direction to go. Helene was brilliant to work with when sticking to the budget. My gown I bought downtown Chicago at Ultimate Bride. It was a Monique Lhuillier and, unlike most brides, I didn’t feel that moment of “this is the one!” I saw it on the model and thought that it fit my personality very well. I am a maxi dress kind of girl, and so many of the dresses I tried on were gorgeous but too formal and over the top for who I am. This dress I knew was going to reflect my personality and once it was altered (and I wasn’t trying on the sample) I knew I made a great decision – but it was a little bit of a leap of faith and trusting my gut. My cake was made by a local, Jennifer Mineo, on Washington Island and I still have guests raving about it. The entire thing was made from scratch and gluten free! I knew I made my parents nervous when I said I wanted a gluten free cake – because usually gluten free has a reputation for not being as good as the real thing. That was definitely not the case there! My wedding planners, Michelle and Jean, had so many great ideas with little pieces of island elements to incorporate for the day but, if I had to choose my favorite, it would be the personalized napkins. It was a small detail but they had a quote on there from me that I always say to Dan, my husband, “How lucky am I to have someone like you who loves me?”. It was a heartwarming touch that was a great reminder throughout the night the beauty of why we were there celebrating.

What is one piece of advice that you could give brides-to-be? Breathe. Remember what the day is for. You only get one, so slow down, enjoy it. Say “I love you” to everyone who you’re sharing that day with and let go of any negative thoughts. Have people there who are on top of things. Having someone keep you and the wedding party on schedule and on time lifted a giant weight off my shoulders. I was able to enjoy the day and simply let it happen because of all the great people who we hired. Also, Molly, my photographer, gave me some timeless advice that I reminded myself all day – “it’s only ugly crying if you try to stop it, just let your emotions flow!” And I did – which resulted in a beautiful day, beautiful memories and beautiful pictures!

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Photography: m three studio | Event Planning: MB Designs & Events | Floral Design: Flora | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Jennifer Mineo | Stationery: Ashley's Custom Stationary | Ceremony: At Home | Reception Venue: Historic Island Dairy | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy Collection By Vivian Diamond | Makeup: Paulina Esthetics Boutique | Hair: Scottfree Salon | DJ: Action DJ's | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Rentals: Elegant Presentations

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
The Prettiest Raspberry Bourbon Cocktail to Welcome Spring

I am fully, wholeheartedly ready for Spring even if the weather and calendar haven’t quite caught up. I’m cleaning, organizing, adding colorful accessories and dreaming of springtime sips like the Campagna di Padova from Mint & Lovely along with imagery by Laurelyn Savannah. You’ll find the ingredients below and in 5 minutes you can be on your way to the yummiest Spring cocktailing.

The Campagna di Padova is a nod to all things spring. Our friends at Onesto mixed up this gorgeous cocktail that combines warming bourbon, bitter aperol and sweet simple syrup. Poured into a charming coupe, this pop of pink is a sure sign that warmer weather is on it’s way!

Campagna di Padova
prep time
5 Minute/s
cook time
total time
5 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • Bulleit Bourbon 1.25oz
  • Aperol .75oz
  • Raspberries 3ea
  • Lemon juice .75oz
  • Simple syrup .75oz
  1. Place all ingredients except one raspberry in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Cover and shake for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain mix into a coupe glass through a handheld strainer to remove seeds.
  4. Add remaining berry on the top of the drink for a garnish.

Photography: Laurelyn Savannah Photography | Styling: Mint & Lovely Studios | Restaurant: Onesto