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The Sweetest Summer Wedding in Door County

It’s no secret The McCartneys are one of our favorite creative husband-wife duos, so when they sent us this Door County celebration photographed to perfection we knew it was meant for the pages of SMP. They captured the very essence of Ann-Marie and Kyle’s sweet love and you can watch their big day unfold in the gallery.

From The McCartneysIf we could, we would scream from the mountain tops how much we adored every part of Ann-Marie Woods & Kyle Strickland’s wedding celebration in beautiful Door County!

Ann-Marie’s parents have a property in Door County, WI, and while Ann-Marie & Kyle live in Chicago they planned a weekend wedding celebration that brought all of their loved ones to the beautiful peninsula of Wisconsin. Just one example of the thoughtfulness they infused into their wedding day, while Ann-Marie and her ladies were getting ready she took them all outside where she thanked them all for being such an irreplaceable part of her life & presented them with handwritten letters expressing her gratitude. The heartfelt tears & hugs started early, and it was such a beautiful moment shared by Ann-Marie, her Mom, Mother-in-Law, sisters, and friends!

Ann-Marie had also decided she wanted to surprise Kyle with a getaway car for the two of them to ride in after their ceremony. She lined up a classic Bentley, which made for a very happy new Mrs & Mrs as the driver whisked them away to Horseshoe Bay Farms for portraits, then down the road to the stunning Horseshoe Bay Beach Club to celebrate with their guests. Ann-Marie & Kyle worked with Carrie of Door County Event Planners to dream up a gorgeous tented celebration right on the bay, and no detail was left untouched! Helen of Flora Flowershop created joyful floral centerpieces with bright yet classic pops of color atop long wooden tables mixed with classic rounds.

As the evening went on, in between cheers & sweet toasts, guests enjoyed music by the Matt Stedman Band & Orchestra and the dance floor was packed with energy! Since their tented dinner & the reception was situated right along the shore, it was a wonderful treat for everyone when the most beautiful sunset capped off a gorgeous day! But that wasn’t all Ann-Marie & Kyle had planned for their guests –– next, everyone enjoyed individual sized ice cream cakes followed by a grand firework show right over the water and a late-night cheese curd bar (a Wisconsin classic!).

When we first connected with Ann-Marie & Kyle, they said their wedding hopes included being surrounded by wonderful families and friends with great food and great music, and having all the out-of-towners (which was just about everyone) see why they love Door County. If you ask us, they achieved that and even more!

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Photography: The McCartneys Photography | Videography: Wedding Films | Event Planning: Door County Event Planners | Floral Design: Flora | Invitations: Paper Source | Ceremony Venue: Stella Maris Baileys Harbor | Reception Venue: Horseshoe Bay Beach Club | Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew | Hair + Makeup: Kari Pudlo | Band: Matt Stedman Band & Ring Of Music Orchestra | Groom's Attire: Black Tie Formalwear | Tent Rental: Tide Water Tents | Film Lab: Fast Foto & Digital | Fireworks: Spielbauer Fireworks | Ice Cream Cakes: Kelley Country Creamery | Wedding Dress Boutique: Ultimate Bride Boutique | Wedding Dress Designer: Liancarlo

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Rustic Glam Wisconsin Summer Wedding

This may be a barn wedding but this is one glam dress (of course it’s Vera!). It’s one pleasant and pretty surprise among many within this Wisconsin wedding, captured by The McCartneys Photography. Their pics and the sunshine at this summer celebration are giving me hope as winter surrounds on all sides; join me in the Vault and let’s get over these hump day blues together.

From The McCartneys Photography… Erin and John were married on Door County’s bayside during a ceremony held at Sunset Beach Park. They were blessed with abundant sunshine and the support of all of their loved ones, along with beautiful music from local musicians Ben and Lily Larsen. After promising each other forever, Erin and John dashed down the street in Door County’s iconic trolley. John worked at the Fish Creek Marina growing up, and it was the perfect location to give him and his gorgeous new wife a moment to themselves while we photographed them in a classic Door County setting. Erin’s Vera Wang gown was an absolute show-stopper, and her bridesmaids looked lovely in Adrianna Papell dresses. We could have photographed them along the sparkling water all day long!

At About Thyme Farm, guests enjoyed cocktail hour and passed hors d’oeuvres on the lawn with more musical treats by Lily and Ben Larsen! While Erin and John made their way from hugs to laughs and smile-filled conversations, their amazing wedding planner, Chandra from Door County Event Planners, put the finishing touches on a timeless, beautiful barn celebration awaiting them just footsteps away. Erin and John put their stamp on their celebration with handmade planter boxes and a marquee “W” representing the new Mr & Mrs Woerfel. Heartfelt toasts, joyfully tear-filled eyes and sweet little moments between Erin and John as well as delicious food from Alexander’s led right into one of the most perfect Door County sunsets we have ever captured. In true Door County fashion, Erin and John treated their guests to locally made pies from Koepsel’s Farm Market and, from then on, their dance floor went from 0 to 100 in record time when the Bluewater Kings Band struck their first chords!

From the Bride… John and I just wanted people to have fun! One big party! We are both people that don’t like to be the center of attention and we didn’t want it to be all about us because so many people made the long trip! We wanted people to enjoy being with family and friends with the caveat being us getting married!

We always new Door County is where we would get married. We also new Sunset Beach was going to play a special role in some way or another. John’s dad grew up right down the street from Sunset Beach and John had so many memories playing there by the water. It just had so much meaning to John and his family! I honestly couldn’t think of any other place that would have been just as perfect! We actually didn’t want to have a “barn” wedding. I just thought it had been done one to many times. Because we only had eight months to plan a wedding we had to decide on a venue fast! Chandra showed us About Thyme and we just fell in love with it! I just wanted it to be elegant and simple and I think we accomplished that! The way the lighting hit the barn around the time of our cocktail hour and reception was just breathtaking and exactly what I had envisioned!

I knew I wanted dark greens and ivory with touches of gold. I didn’t want anything that was overbearing in color. We also knew we wanted a marquee “W” and John did a fantastic job building that piece, it will be showcased in our basement (our next project)!! Looking back, I really put John to work building things! We saved a lot of money by building our planter boxes, seating frames and welcome sign (painted a mirror with chalkboard painting for a total of $10!!) If we had more time I would have personalized more but between selling our house, working, and building our new home time was hard to come by!

Riding the trolley to the beach for our ceremony and exchanging our vows were my favorite parts and what I remember most. To see the emotion in John’s eyes was just overwhelming! The day was such a blur! We talk about it all the time that we would like to go back in time and be there as a guest to see from that perspective. We absolutely loved having live music for our ceremony and cocktail hour!

I would 100% recommend a wedding planner!! Although at the beginning it’s hard to see past the cost it’s at the very end and next day of your wedding where we looked back and said we were so thankful for Chandra at Door County Event Planners! She handled everything with such ease! Floral – Helene got our vision spot on! The flowers were exactly what I wanted it! Alexander’s hit it out of the park with the food! We still have people compliment us ALL the time on how great our wedding was and how fabulous our pictures are! We absolutely love our pictures and have special places in our new home to showcase them!!

Advice for future brides and grooms… ENJOY EVERY MOMENT! Even the planning part, it goes by way to fast! And the after wedding blues do exist after being on such a high from the planning to the day of! Also, do not sweat the small stuff! No one will even notice if something is out of place or forgotten!

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Peruse more Midwest weddings here!

Photography: The McCartneys Photography | Event Planning: Door County Event Planners | Floral Design: Flora | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: Sunset Beach | Reception Venue: About Thyme Farm | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Catering: Alexander's | Hair: B Rose Salon | Band: Bluewater Kings Band | Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Transportation: Door County Trolley | Bride's Ring: Steve Quick Jeweler | Groom's Ring: Zales | Pies: Koepsel's

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Miss Wisconsin Says “I Do” in a Breathtaking Rustic Chic Wedding

I have been staring at this feature for what seems like forever, but no matter how long I soak in its beauty, I still can’t find the words to describe just how amazing it is.  Maybe that’s because the bride happens to be one of the coolest ladies ever (think Miss Wisconsin, medical school graduate at the age of 22 cool) and her Reem Acra gown may be the most stunning ensemble I’ve seen yet.  Head to The Vault for every breathtaking image from Erin Jean Photography.  It’s primed for your favorites list.

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From Erin Jean Photography… Tina and Kyle are quite an amazing couple. Tina is pretty much a superstar in her own right.

From YOU magazine…“To date, she’s the youngest alumna of both the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine (graduating at 18 and 22 respectively). She was crowned Miss Wisconsin in 2003, the first medical doctor to compete in the scholarship pageant. In 2011, she was on the team of surgeons who performed the nation’s first full face transplant of a burn victim at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.”

She also happens to be one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever met. She beams with inner beauty that is contagious to all around her.

It took this wonderful man named Kyle to bring her back to the beautiful state of Wisconsin. He stole her heart and the rest is history.

They planned this wedding FAST! 4 months to be exact. They even ordered their attire all online. I think most brides would have a panic attack over that statement 

It was a beautiful day, the rain held off in the tiny, organic farm of ABOUT THYME in Baileys Harbor, the perfect venue. The flowers were jaw dropping and that dress had every guest in AWWW!!!

From the Bride… Kyle and I were both born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We independently developed a love for the big city while living on the West and East coasts, respectively, before our paths crossed on a fateful summer night back in our hometown.

For our wedding, we wanted to celebrate our Wisconsin roots, but with an urban chic twist by bringing the big city to our home state. The barn at About Thyme Farm was the perfect setting to create a rustic, hometown vibe contrasted to the elegant, white-on-white, chandelier-clad tent where dinner, featuring an all-local menu, was served.

Thanks to the internet, living in a small city did not keep us from our love of big city fashion. With only three months to plan our wedding, every head-to-toe detail of the wedding party was purchased online. www.shopbop.com, based out of Madison, Wisconsin, was the go-to website for myself and the bridal party. I was especially thankful for the local gem when I ordered the lace top I wore for the wedding, one week before the big day!

My advice to future brides is to choose one or two things that are most important to you, and leave the other details in the hands of your wedding planners and family. Also, the internet is your friend-especially when you are in a time crunch!

Photography: erin jean photography | Cinematography: Mann Frau | Event Planning: Door County Event Planners | Floral Design: Flora | Cake: Bill Fairchild | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Jewelry: Shopbop | Catering: Mission Grille | Groom's Attire: Topman | Venue: About Thyme Farm | Bridal Boutique: Houghton Bride | Cookies: Not By Bread Alone | Macaroons: Colleens Heritage Bakery | Wedding Dress (skirt): Houghton Bride | Wedding Dress (top): Reem Acra

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Rustic Lakeside Lodge Wedding

This is one of those weddings that I just know I would have had a really great time at. I probably would have slipped off my high heels and played some bocce, then fawned over the pretty florals at the tables complete with the most subtle perfect little polka dots. Erin Jean and Sweet Pea Cinema captured all of these details so even though I couldn’t bask in the love then, we can still soak it all up right here.

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From Erin Jean PhotographyDoor County. A seriously good looking couple. Sunshine. Water. Details GALORE. A PERFECT DAY!

These two have souls that reach you. They are so sweet, and soooo in love. They are talented in life and how they love those around them. It was so obvious throughout their big day.

Door County has that laidback easy feeling. The water and sand, the north woods, amazing food and a happy people. Betsy and Doug embraced all that and more. A ceremony over the bay, cocktail hour to follow on the lawn with vintage games. Thousands of antique vases filled with local blooms… I could go on and on.

I’ll let the photos do the talking for this one. WORDS can not describe!

Photography: erin jean photography | Videography: Sweet Pea Cinema | Event Planning: sash&bow | Floral Design: Buds 'n Bloom | Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Angelo | Catering: Gordon Lodge | Groom's Attire: Egara | Wedding Venue: Gordon Lodge | Rentals: sash&bow | Rentals: Buds 'n Bloom

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Rustic Wisconsin Door County Barn Wedding

This Bride & Groom are killing me with their cuteness. First off, and totally unrelated but a must-mention is that their pup (who celebrated from afar) is named David Bowie! I can’t handle. And he sure did miss a great party, because this barn wedding? It’s as sweet as they come. With Carly McCray Photography in attendance to document it all, you can find every bit over here in the full gallery.

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From Carly McCray Photography..Sarah & Nick reside in Chicago with their adorable dog David Bowie, but chose to marry in their sentimental vacation desination for years–Door County, Wisconsin, also known as a little slice of Cape Cod snuggled next to Lake Michigan!

Sarah and Nick first met in August of 1988. The meeting took place just to the left of the building blocks and right in front of the finger-painting easel in Mrs. Moorehead’s preschool class at St. Marys School. Despite their shared affinity for popsicles and nap time, the two didn’t become close friends until they were reunited ten years later during their freshman year at Lake Forest High School.

However, fate wouldn’t bring them together as a couple until 2012, when Nick ran into a mutual friend, discovered Sarah was single, and began pursuing her in earnest. After missed calls and embarrassing Facebook messages, Sarah and Nick finally went on their first date on February 26. The rest, as they say, is history.”

Working with the ever-awesome Door County Event Planners to keep their wedding day charming and elegant yet rustic, Sarah and Nick selected a new Door County venue for their reception, About Thyme Farm. Live chickens included, About Thyme Farm set the tone for a perfect DC getaway for their guests! Door County cherry pie in lieu of cake, chicken-wire escort card holders, chalkboard & wooden signs throughout the farm, abundant florals, farm tables accented with wooden signs and sprigs of rosemary…the setting was the perfect environment for guests to get lost in and enjoy the celebration!

Photography: Carly McCray Photography | Floral Design: Flora | Ceremony: Stella Maris | Reception: About Thyme Farm | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Caterer: Alexander's | Hair & Makeup: Kari Pudlo | Bride's Dress: Jenny Yoo | Bride's Veil: BHLDN | Cocktail Hour Music: Eric Lewis & Rory Hoffman | Door County Cherry Pies: Koepsel's | Linen Rental: BBJ Linen | Reception Band: North Coast Orchestra | Tables/Chairs/Hay Bale Rentals: Celebrations | Wedding Planners: Door County Event Planners

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Autumn Wedding in Door County

I’ve seen my fair share of fall weddings, but none have captivated my heart quite like this. It’s a fresh, textured take on the rustic affair, with pops of golden yellow everywhere you look. Sash and Bow designed the beauty, Ebb & Flow whipped up the florals, and Emily Steffen made certain not a moment went missed. Get comfy-cozy and join me in the gallery right here.

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From Emily Steffen… A wedding full of fall-colors, great textures and the BEAUTIFUL scenery of the Horseshoe Bay beach club in Door County, WI! :) All inspired by old black-and-white Carry Grant movies…..tall candelabras, a lush wedding dress and a dapper groom in a black bow-tie! The vision that Ashley dreamt up was amazing! The guests were greeted by the crashing waves of Lake Michigan and were wined and dined with amazing food, delicious macaroons and heart-felt toasts to the bride and groom! :) It was quite great that everyone around the over-sized square table-arrangement got a chance to toast the newlyweds! Ashley and John ended the night with a BIG hand and surprised guests with a Trolly-ride through scenic parts of door county and ended with a stop at the famous WILSONS for a late-night ice cream snack – John’s fave family ice cream parlor!

Photography: Emily Steffen Photography | Flowers: Ebb Flow Flowers | Ceremony And Reception: Horseshoe Bay Beach Club | Ceremony And Reception: Horseshoe Bay Beach Club | Design And Coordination: sash&bow

Door County Brunch Wedding from Erin Jean Photography

Brunch might just be my favorite time of the day. The food is the best, especially when enjoyed after an early morning walk (or even better, a late morning wake up call). So naturally, brunch weddings are my favorite. They’ve got that air of relaxation without anything to stress about. Erin Jean Photography captured a brunch wedding on Lake Michigan (which is a whole other story when it comes to why I love it so much) and, oh my goodness, it’s fantastic.


From the stunning bride… Chris and I knew from the start that we wanted an intimate wedding. We’re both very close with our families, so being able to share and enjoy the memorable day with those closest to us was truly special. Just our parents, siblings, closest friends (one of whom married us!) and of course, our dog Dexter.

When selecting the location, Door County, WI was top on our list. Chris’ great grandparents built a beach cottage on Lake Michigan in 1929 and his family has been spending summers out there ever since. It’s a special spot that we visit every year and we both loved the idea of one day being able to show our children where their parents got married!

Since it was a beach wedding, we wanted the dress to be casual. Chris wore a white shirt, khakis and a custom pink dot tie. Phillip, Chris’ closest friend who married us, wore a bowtie in the same pattern and our dog matched with his own pink dot tie as well. And since Door County is known for cherries, I thought it would be fun to wear shoes with cherry detail, and was thrilled when I found the Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon Cherry Heels. They were part of a limited edition collection so was fortunate to find a pair in my size from a woman in London who was selling them on eBay!

Ceremony – the morning ceremony took place on the back terrace of the cottage, providing guests with stunning views of the Lake. For décor, my goal was to incorporate simple accents that showcased us as a couple while allowing the natural beauty of our surroundings to shine. Distressed white stakes with a mix of sheer and satin ribbons created the aisle, French buckets filled with flowers formed the altar and guests sat on benches lined with burlap/lace runners. At each seat, we placed a bubble jar with an antique key (to be used as a bubble wand) and a personal note attached. For the first year of our relationship, Chris would send me an email every morning, each with a new thought about his feelings for me and of our relationship, so on the back of each note was a different “Nice Thought of the Day.” We thought it would be special to incorporate these into various elements of the wedding.

To make the ceremony more intimate, Phillip compiled special thoughts about us from all the wedding guests and worked them into the ceremony. We also had a bit of fun by incorporating me and my sister’s FAVORITE movie, Sixteen Candles, into the day. At the end of the ceremony, we played If You Were Here by The Thompson Twins. We timed it so that the words of the song started right when we kissed. The surprise on my sisters face was priceless, I heard her gasp in excitement!

Brunch – after the ceremony, a trolley took us to Horseshoe Bay Golf Club for brunch. We sat outside, our table overlooking the water and wooded cliffs. We placed a burlap/lace runner and bud vases filled with ranunculus down the center of the table, and pre-set personalized menus so that they also acted as seating cards. Similar to the bubble jars, each menu had a different “Nice Thought of the Day” on the backside.

The Club allowed us to create our own menu (they were so wonderful to work with!), so we incorporated specialties from both families. We placed jars of Chris’ Mom’s infamous cherry preserves on the table; each branded with “Susie’s Homemade Cherry Preserves” labels, and my Moms famous “Beach Granola,” served with milk and fresh fruit, was a choice on the menu. We toasted with cherry mimosas and in lieu of cutting a wedding cake, we bit into a tower of cake donuts.

If I had to give any advice, it would be to make sure that the day reflects you as a couple. Pick songs, choose desserts, set a location, etc. that feels right to you. Because at the end of the day, that’s what the celebration is all about, the TWO OF YOU.

Photographer: erin jean photography | Florist: Flora | Transportation: Door County Trolley | Bride Dress: Saja | Bride Hair/Makeup: Spa Verde | Brunch Location: Horseshoe Bay Beach Club | Groom Tie/Friend Bowtie: Barry Beaux | Paper: Chelsey Emery