Sam & J | Villa Terrace Wedding Photographer

Sam & J’s wedding lives in my memory the way a good meal in a perfect setting with the right people stays on the mental palette for years to come. It was intimate, romantic, playful, delicious – the kind of day that never feels hurried; the kind of day that slowly simmers every experience to perfection. These days Sam & J live and work together in Virginia where he’s from but they decided to marry back in her home state at the incomparable Villa Terrace, a little garden oasis in Milwaukee that reminded them rather a lot of a beloved travel destination of theirs – Sea Island, Georgia. Travel is something they’ve done quite a bit and in talking to them one gets little hints of lovely trips and awesome adventures in their past: the engagement ring was found in a little shop near Italy’s Lago Como and she had just returned from a Tanzanian safari when we did their engagement session earlier this year. And really, seen through their eyes, Wisconsin even becomes a bit of a destination, one who’s traditions and local fare they mixed with southern-inspired charm to create a simply gorgeous day. I adored the woven grass fans and moss covered gates paired with New Glarus beer (only available in Wisconsin!) and assorted Wisco artisan cheeses and playful bites like mini-grilled cheese & tomato shooters. Off and on the sun shone brightly, a perfect match for the gardenia in Sam’s hair and J’s summer suit, all of which combined with gorgeous lake views to trick the senses - maybe we are staring out at the Georgia coast after all…but then the mist rolled in and the edison lights overhead began to glow and it all felt very lakeside, very cozy, very Wisconsin again. And I have to say a little something about the most adorable and well-behaved bridal party a photographer could ask for. Fur siblings Lily “The Pill” and Max walked down the aisle and practically posed for pics all day, two constant companions for both Sam & J. I loved how they helped Sam & J feel truly at home on their wedding day, and how they made the Villa their own. From treat to treat and guest to guest Lily & Max made the day for everyone. And here are the photos to prove it ~

The Details ~

Styling and Planning: Tailored Engagements

Florals: Marius Bell

Dj And Edison Lighting: Milwaukee Airwaves

Catering: Gracious Catering

Rentals: BBJ & Arena

Guitarist: Ryan McIntyre

Makeup: Tayla LaMacchia

Hair: Neroli Third Ward

Hotel: The Iron Horse

Venue: Villa Terrace 

Officiant: Hal Dessel

Cake: Sweet Perfections

Fans: Hanson Ellis

Paper: Paper Envy

Shoes and Bracelet: JCrew

Groom’s tie: Pomp And Ceremony

Matching leash accessories: Re Stowe

State Shaped Chalk Board: Chalk Style

Favor Recipe Card: Pickle Dog Design

Moss Initials: CellarWindow

Favor / Dark Chili Powder: Eden’s Meat Market

Groom;s Suiting: R Coffee LTD of Lynchburg, VA

Alana & Jeremy | California + Wisconsin Engagement Photography

In many ways, Alana & Jeremy are lucky to have met. She’s from out east and he’s from California, but grew up spending summers in Wisconsin. They met a couple of years ago on the west coast and count each day a blessing that they have one another in their lives. They’ll tie the knot in Wisconsin next summer at an amazing property in the center of the state called Wade House but they wanted to make sure they captured a bit of their life now for their engagement session. So the idea for a two part session unfolded – a little California and a little Wisconsin to equal the fuller story of who they are and where they want to be. Happily enough my associate Carolina was able to meet them (and their adorable pups) on the beach in Santa Monica where he proposed to make that happen and, a few weeks later, Sara hiked up to Elkhart Lake to preview a bit of what Wade House has to offer. No matter the location and no matter the shooter these two are fun and flirty and totally happy just to cuddle and be together – and the results are predictably magical.

Part I. California

Part II. Wisconsin

Katie & Tom | Villa Terrace Wedding Photographer

Katie & Tom are officially on the top of my most fascinating of 2014 list. Despite their youth and unassuming niceness –  I mean, they are really, really nice - I am guessing that if I asked any of their friends who would you call if you were in the Cash Cab or playing trivia, the immediate and obvious answer would be Katie & Tom. Their combined resume would include references to law school and molecular biology but also to being an international latin ballroom dancer (Katie) and a pilot (Tom.) At their intimate dinner party wedding at Villa Terrace there was very little talk of any of that but what was definitely on display was how Katie & Tom make amazing friendships and cherish the most important people in their lives. Starting with one another, but extending to each and every guest, they flooded their day with love and laughter, friendship and fun, and some seriously good taste. Emily captured this wedding for them and couldn’t wait to tell me about the style details – from Katie’s gorgeous custom statement earrings to her divinely simple art-deco inspired dress, from Tom’s custom suit to the bold red details throughout the day, and then there was the food. Oh, The Food. With Katie & Tom’s expert palate as guides the guests were treated to course after course of delicious, savory, complex wonderfulness, all lovingly plated and presented. With perfectly full bellies and a beautiful night dawning outside, Katie & Tim treated the guests to one last surprise. Katie had originally told us that there wouldn’t be a first dance – it felt like work – but something softened her stance on that and I think it was, very simply, the fact that nothing with Tom is work. So after twice a week dance lessons leading up to the wedding Tom led Katie in the rumba for their first dance. And she tells us, if a rumba comes on the radio and its just the two of them you might find them dancing again. How sweet is that?

The Details ~

Florist: Marius Bell
Paper: Paper Envy
Catering: Gracious Events
Bride’ Dress and Shoes: JCrew
Bride’s Earrings: Custom by
Bride’s Rings: Treiber & Straub
Groom’s Suit: Custom by Mark Berman & Son
Bride’s Hair: Danielle at Lovely Salon
Bride’s Makeup: Tayla LaMacchia