Stephanie & Jay | Best Place + Pritzlaff Wedding Photographer

Stephanie & Jay are my kindof people. They love coffee dates and lakeside walks, European beer gardens and travel, family traditions and did I mention beer? They live in Minnesota but traveled to her home state of Wisconsin for an October wedding that reflected a fair amount of those loves and its an understatement to write that Carolina was thrilled to get to photograph it. People in the midwest take their heritage seriously and this wedding proves it – both were born and raised in the midwest, but Stephanie ‘s family is solidly German while Jay’s is all Scottish and they designed a wedding to celebrate both sides – blending cultural traditions with midwestern classics to create a wedding weekend that managed to be both glamorous and cozy, upscale and down-home, all about the drinks, the flowers and the love. The original inspiration for most of their design ideas was to host the weekend in a beer garden – think floating lights and florals dripping from the ceiling and you have the right idea. To that end, the weekend started with a groom’s dinner at Best Place, a rathskeller type space that used to be the boardroom for executives at the Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee. Stephanie wore a dried flower crown for the evening in keeping with an old German tradition and their beer was served in glass boots from Mader’s, a local 100+ year old German restaurant. The next day they revisited Pabst Brewery for stunning portraits on the campus before hosting guests at the Historic Pritzlaff where an area that used to be loading docks was transformed with dripping candles and florals to be their European style beer garden. On this day the flower girls wore the flower crowns and Stephanie a bold Lazaro dress with gorgeous ruffles and a glam topknot. At the reception they offered guests a Milwaukee favorite – brandy old fashioneds – and the Scottish side changed into kilts (and the mother of the groom donned a tartan sash!) Stephanie even changed out of her sparkly Jimmy Choos and slipped into a tartan clad pair of shoes that I adored. Overall, the color palette was a surprise – teal and rust colors with pops of purple and lots of green – but I love how those deep fall colors suggested the change to kilts that was to come. With gold details, lots of candle light and garlands galore on wooden tables the effect was perfect and beautiful and very Stephanie & Jay.

The Details ~

Groom’s Dinner Venue: Best Place
Groom’s Dinner Catering: Mader’s
Reception: Venue: Historic Pritzlaff
Bride’s Dress: Lazaro – found at GiGi of Mequon
Mother of Bride’s Dress: GiGi
Bride’s Shoes/heels: Jimmy Choo
Bride’s earrings: BHLDN

Caterer: Chef Jack’s

Hair & Make-up: BLUSH in Third Ward
Flowers & Centerpieces: Belle Fiori
Linens: BBJ Linens
Harvest Tables & Beer Barrels: A La Crate
Invitation & Misc Printing: Coqui Design/Coqui Praperie & Gifts Boutique
Save the Date Coaster: Dick and Jane Letterpress
Rigging of statement piece: Barking Pony 
DJ: VibeHouse Sounds DJ
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amelishan’s Bridal
Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
Rings: Graham Jewelers (Wayzata, MN)
Videography: One Fine Day

Laura & Matt | Milwaukee Fall Wedding | Cuvee and Charles Allis Museum Wedding Photographer

Laura & Matt are crazy cool and totally unaware of it. They have a style that is a little edgy and hipster, but super tasteful and always playful. For their November 1st wedding they played up all those qualities combining vintagy touches with aromatic florals (think rosemary and thyme boutonierres!), a romantic lace dress with a Trick or Treat dessert table, deep plum colors here and there and enough gold and sparkle to keep it all so very celebratory.  In fact, Laura’s bouquet deserves a blog post all in itself and Emily & Sara could have photographed them all day at Pabst and Kilbourn Park overlooking the city – two locations they chose because they feel so Milwaukee, the city where Matt & Laura first met and fell in love.  In addition, I loved all of their venue choices that had them hanging out with friends (most of whom shared their names – no really, all the groomsmen are named Matt and at least 1 bridesmaid is  a Laura, too) in the old world atmosphere of the Milwaukee Hilton Garden Inn, sharing a first look and saying I Do at the Charles Allis Museum and then dancing the night away at a brick and timber champagne lounge. Nearly everyone in attendance that night was from out of town, a point that Laura’s dad made during his welcome toast, and it meant the world to both Matt and Laura and all their families to get to have this night together – a night to celebrate their wedding but also to have a family reunion of sorts. And really, that’s the best kind of wedding – the kind where a big extended family reunites to wish well the new little family made that day.

The Details ~

Stylist and Planner: Tailored Engagements

Ceremony Venue: Charles Allis Museum

Reception Venue: Cuvee Champagne Bar

Hair & Makeup: Roots Salon

Invitations: Paper Source

Florals: Fresh Design

Catering: Chef Jack’s

Dj & Lighting: Midwest Sound

Dessert Bar: The National

Bride’s earrings: BHLDN

Save the Dates: Birch and River Press

Hairclip: BHLDN

Shoes: Seychelles for BHLDN

Hangers: HangingMoments, Etsy

A note: The wedding was official by Laura’s uncle and the reader was her cousin and I love when family is able to do all of the “uniting” so to speak. A very peculiar and amazing reading was spoken by cousin Lizzie and I encourage you to go read it for your self. By Neil Gaiman, The Day the Saucers Came is striking and haunting but for Matt & Laura its so very much about waiting and hoping wondering what will happen when you’ve met the love of your life.

Benjamin Robert | Wisconsin Newborn Photographer

Baby Benjamin came into the world on his own timetable. Born almost 2 weeks early, but super healthy and super happy, this should’ve-been-Christmas-baby was welcomed home by mom and dad and a giant red lab with the waggiest tail I’ve ever seen. Erika & Dave’s first baby, the furry one, is adjusting well; he alternates between guard dog and giant puppy but I get the distinct feeling that in the very near future he will turn out to be baby Benjamin’s best friend. Getting to meet Alki the dog, named after a beach in Seattle where Erika & Dave spent the last several years,  was an unexpected bonus to getting to snuggle on Benjamin, whose soft skin and hair like cashmere made me want stick around post-shoot and babysit. But in all honestly I’m not sure Erika would have let me – or anyone, at this point – hold Benjamin for too long; she’s in New Mom Heaven, totally and completely in love with the new little man in her life. Dave has his own daddy magic too – sometimes Benjamin gets a bit fussy and hard to calm, but Dave’s arms and voice seem to work in that moment every time. All in all, this newly complete little family is just that – complete.