Wisconsin Wedding from Melissa Hayes Photography
November 8, 2012
Black and white will never, ever go out of style. It's fresh and dramatic yet classic all at once and makes for some pretty fabulous images in our humble opinions. Case in point: this beyond lovely Madison, WI wedding from Melissa Hayes Photography. We're sort of dying over the gorgeous bride and her amazing dress! Oh, and we'll take her shoes too, thank you very much. Take notes people, this is how you do sophisticated and chic. Click here for even more. 

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride... Our love story began 11 years ago at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois. While home from our freshman year at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Tom and I took a macroeconomics course to get ahead in our studies. According to Tom's memory, I turned down his offer in the school parking lot to take me on a date that summer, but I swear he never worked up the courage to ask. Six years later, Tom and I found ourselves in the same bar in Chicago, and the rest was history. We spent one glorious year dating in Chicago before Tom started law school and moved to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Three years and many miles later, Tom got down on one knee in that same Rock Valley College parking lot where we first met, swearing that he truly believes we would not have ended up together in the end had I not "shot him down" back then.

We looked into various Chicago venues, but soon realized that having our wedding in Madison would allow us to reconcile my "champagne taste" with our "beer budget." Plus, we wanted to share Madison with our friends and family, and our wedding was the perfect opportunity. As an interior designer, I wanted the aesthetic of our wedding to enhance the architecture and atmosphere of both our ceremony and reception. My concept for the wedding evolved into "the juxtaposition of light and shadow." However, I enlisted a team of artistic collaborators to bring my vision to life! Our invitations, designed by Sarah Drake, were inspired by a ballet performance and reflected our event in print perfectly! Sarah worked with our budget and helped customize a dramatic black and white design from her collection. Sarah incorporated a map I designed on the back of our reception card, and my mom and I added custom envelope liners and stamps featuring Madison's capitol. However, my proudest DIY project of the entire wedding was the black envelopes with white calligraphy. I simply printed our guests' addresses in black ink and traced them with a white gel pen. I can't tell you how many compliments we got on those envelopes!

For the reception, I wanted to create two distinct experiences for the guests that played on our light and shadow concept. The cocktail hour was held on a balcony overlooking the venue's light-filled lobby. The flowers and linens were all white and modern, which were complimented by the diffused light in the space. Our florist, Erin from Daffodil Parker, created two dramatic arrangements of various white flowers for maximum impact. Black envelopes with white writing (just like our invitations!) served as escort cards, and we used acrylic frames to add dimension to our signage. During our first dance, I cried because I felt so lucky to have been able to marry my best friend AND have the wedding of my dreams. As the party kicked up, Margot (aka Disco Kitty) read the crowd perfectly and kept the dance floor packed all night with an unexpected mix of mash-ups and forgotten favorites. Thankfully, I booked an amazing photographer to capture all the memories of our day. Melissa Hayes is more than just a wedding photographer. She is an artist that has the ability to photograph details on many scales including the setting, food, and small emotional moments. I could not be more thrilled with how the photos turned out. Finally, hiring a wedding coordinator was one of the smartest wedding expenditures I made. Karolina was amazing to work with and an insurance policy that guaranteed I would have the wedding of my dreams. As a result, Tom and  I were able to be guests at our own wedding and celebrate carefree with the friends and family that our so close to us.

Wedding Photography: Melissa Hayes Photography / Wedding Venue: The Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin / Wedding Planning: Weddings by Karolina / Floral Design: daffodil*parker / Wedding Cinematography: Creative Look Imagery / Catering: Catering a Fresco / Wedding Cake: Craig's Cake Shop / Wedding Invitations: Sarah Drake Design / Ceremony Music: DJ Margot (aka Disco Kitty) of Style Matters / Cake Stand: Vintage / Reflective Mirror Candle Holders: Jamali Garden / Candles: Quick Candles / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang / Hair + Makeup: Anna + Genevieve of Alan Koa Salon