One look at this gorgeous wedding, and you’d never guess it took place during the Golden Age of Hollywood, not present-day in Madison, Wisconsin. With art deco flair, a classic black-and-white color palette with touches of blush gold for some extra glitz and glamour, and stunning botanicals from daffodil*parker, this fête is picture perfect thanks to m three studio photography. Take a trip back in time and admire all the luxurious details here.
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From M Three Studio… For Ashley & Tim’s wedding, they brought it all home to Ashley’s native Madison (the couple currently resides in Phoenix with their boxer puppy Rudy). They also brought several hand-painted chalkboards by the bride herself. Art Deco and Vintage served as inspiration for a black and white wedding softened by milk glass, antique gold, pastel and filly florals and a splash of bling. The day was peppered with fun surprises too, like mini cream puffs (a Wisconsin tradition) for dessert, a vintage car for transport, a wedding crest featuring their Boxer pup (drawn by the bride!) and Ashley’s bright red nails.
From the Bride… Tim and I are both have kind of a classic style and wanted our wedding to reflect that. I am really inspired by old Hollywood glamour and knew that I wanted to incorporate elements that subtly represented that era. Our wedding was in Madison, Wisconsin but we live in Phoenix. When we went to look at venues, The Madison Club had a perfect vibe and really represented what we were looking for with beautiful chandeliers and sweeping staircases – even an art deco bar that had great patio space. Some of the elements seemed to really fall in place after we determined our venue. I was convinced I wanted a fit and flare or mermaid gown but when we went dress shopping, I found a dress that just really caught my eye and after trying on a few other dresses, I knew it was the right one. Between the venue and the dress a real style was coming together. I can’t tell you the number of people who asked what my wedding colors were and the confusion the was apparent when I said “neutral colors – like black, blush tones and gold”. Apparently black isn’t a wedding color. But that palette worked really well with everything and really supported the classic feel of our day.
I grew up just outside Madison and Tim and I both love downtown Madison. Many of our guests were coming from out of town so we knew that the Capital Square was a fantastic backdrop surrounded by a lot of hotels, restaurants and things to see and do. After we booked our reception venue, we found Grace Episcopal Church within walking distance and knew that provided the perfect look and feel that we wanted as well as convenience for our guests. it would also allow us to take photos at the capital before the reception. After those details were nailed down, my top priority was hiring a photographer. The first several that I called were booked and I started to panic and booked the first photographer that was available. His shots were beautiful but as I looked more and more at his work it didn’t really match our aesthetic and what I was hoping for for our wedding. Thankfully, I found Molly at m three studios shortly thereafter and after a quick phone call and looking through past weddings that she had done, I knew that she was the right fit. This was such an important element for me – I had bought a sample dress and put together many of the details of the wedding myself but I knew that photography was something I wasn’t willing to compromise. For us, Molly was really a partner and helped us through the process of planning so much. It was one thing I knew I never had to worry about and our pictures turned out beautifully. Luckily, Molly had worked with our videographer, One Fine Day Productions before, which also helped everything run smoothly day of. Having a vendor or a couple of vendors you really trust is so important because they were able to help recommend things we hadn’t thought of and even other vendors, like our florist, Daffodil Parker.
I did a lot of DIY and planning on my own. I work in marketing and like to think I’m somewhat creative so for me this was something that I really enjoyed and I thought it really elevated our wedding and was something I was really proud of. I designed our programs, menus and place cards as well as a “family crest” that included boxer dogs (as a nod to our beloved boxer Rudy who was not able to be part of our day). I also designed and hand lettered chalkboards for the place card table and photo booth. My family and I had scoured flea markets and antique stores to find the hobnail milk glass, mercury glass and mirrored trays that were used as centerpieces and throughout the reception. Our florist put together the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres but the flowers for our centerpieces came from my mother’s garden. She cut them the morning of the wedding and we put them in the vases a few hours before the wedding started. This allowed us to splurge more on the flowers that were going to be front and center. I had taken on several DIY projects for our Mexican Fiesta themed rehearsal dinner the night before as well (including chalkboards and making 30 mini-piñatas that my family was gracious enough to help with as I realized that I had maybe taken on too much). I think the important part of DIY is to make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself. I had originally intended to make two more chalkboards for the reception but since we were traveling and everything needed to be done in Madison, I had a lot to do the week leading up to the wedding and decided to reduce some of the chalkboards and other small elements to give myself a break. Luckily they were small details that no one noticed and everything came together perfectly.
I’m sure there were things that weren’t perfect but as far as I’m concerned it was the best day. I had put a lot into planning everything and hadn’t hired a planner or day of coordinator because I had so much trust in our vendors and I think everything came together exactly how I had hoped. It was a day that was truly ours – from our unconventional first dance song to our shared secrets during dinner. Wisconsin weather in July can be fickle. It can be incredibly humid or stormy and in the week leading up to the wedding and the week after, it was both. But somehow, on our wedding day the weather was absolutely perfect. A lot of things seemed to fall into place like that – when we were taking photos at the capital, there was almost no one around and even later in the evening, when we stepped outside to take some night photos, the streets were so quiet that our videographer encouraged us to dance in the middle of the road with the capital in the background. With so many things going on, we had forgotten about it until we got our wedding video back but it’s one of my favorite moments from the day. Everything just really seemed to fall into place.
For me, I think finding vendors that are experienced goes a long way. Both our photographer and videographer were experienced in just about anything that came up. At one point my bustle wouldn’t hold and Molly and her assistant climbed under my dress to pin it up. The morning of the wedding, our florist texted me a picture of the bouquets and one of the flowers that was supposed to be a blush pink was much brighter and based on a brief conversation she told me she would take care of it and the bouquets were perfect! I think there are a lot of things that can stress a bride out if she lets them but finding people that you trust to work with that you know will do whatever they can to help, really helped me to not worry about some of these smaller things that were going wrong. And everything turned out great! I would also suggest that brides think of alternatives to some of the things that they want that might be out of their budget. We discovered that there was an advantage with our venue for having our rehearsal there as well in a different space that ended up allowing us to have a totally custom menu and ambiance because we saved money on the room rental. I had wanted to rent a classic car but it ended up being so expensive for just a couple of hours that I couldn’t justify it. A friend of my brothers happened to have a car that he was willing to let us use at no charge. It ended up being a great part of some of our photos and I’m so happy that it came together. Our wedding really felt like a labor of love and we incorporated personal details whenever we could – like the boxer family crest on the fan programs at the ceremony, my grandmother’s veil was used to create a gorgeous pattern on the bottom of my bouquet, my aunt played some of my favorite classical songs as I walked down the aisle, my uncle, who is a pastor, married us. It felt very personal and very connected to who we are and I think that’s why the day felt so magical. We still get compliments on what a great wedding it was!
Molly and Ashley from m three studios and Amy and her team from One Fine Day Productions were fantastic. They really captured the joy and happiness of our day. I had a friend who saw our wedding video comment that she didn’t even realize we had videographers – which is quite an accomplishment as there were 3 of them floating around. We also really appreciated working with Emily at The Madison Club. She was really thorough on everything and created a great peace of mind that everything was going to go according to plan. I really couldn’t be happier with how that all came together. We loved all of our wedding vendors!
There are so many things that stick out from our day. Getting to and walking into the church is probably the most vivid. I had so much going on in the morning and was hanging out with the girls and my mom and setting a few last things up at the reception venue which was too conveniently located next to the hotel. My dad and I headed to the church in the classic car we had borrowed and it was the first time I started to get nervous. The processional had started when we get there so that Tim wouldn’t see me and after a poorly timed bathroom trip (thanks Dad!) the anticipation had really built. I was so nervous and excited and when I heard my aunt start to play Pachabel’s Cannon the whole thing became very real in the best way. All of the hard work and the stress was worth it and I was going to marry my best friend. The whole day was very true to who we are and I couldn’t imagine it going any better!
Photography: m three studio | Videography: One Fine Day Productions | Floral Design: daffodil*parker | Cake: The Madison Club | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung | Makeup: Bella Makeup Artistry | Groomsmen's Attire: Vera Wang | Venue: The Madison Club | Bride's Earrings: Ben-Amun | Bride's Gown: Victor Harper