LeRoy & Meghan's November Wedding at The Atrium

LeRoy and I grew up going to, and working at, summer camp together. If you were a summer camp kid, then you get it. The bonds you form living and working with other people every summer for years, are exceptionally strong. They see you at your best, at your worst, and everywhere in between. When Leezy (oh yes, we definitely had nicknames, mine was Cheese, but when I was with LeRoy we were Leezy & Cheezy), met Meghan, it was clear she was something special and his perfect match. They’re both extremely kind and caring; the kind of people you want in your corner.

Their first look was just so frickin sweet. I asked Meghan to walk up behind LeRoy and give him a little hug to let him know she was there. I was walking to my spot while she did that, and when I turned around she was giving him the BIGGEST bear hug I’ve ever seen. Pretty sure I let out a little squeal of delight!

After their gorgeous ceremony and sunset-drenched cocktail hour on the roof, we settled in for dinner, speeches, and dances….LeRoy and his mom surprised us all with a choreographed medley!

Oh, and because I love you…..I threw in some goodies of Brian and I getting down!

Sunday Morning Family Session at Mitchell Park Domes

I am so grateful for this family. Luise and her sister Sandra are friends that I met via Facebook, but we quickly bonded over the loss of our mothers’ last year, and mental health issues. Luise and Spencer are engaged, and have booked us for their 2020 wedding, so when they wanted to do a full family session I was so excited! Weddings are so much more fun when everyone is already comfortable with their photographers.

And how lucky are we to have this tropical escape in the middle of a dreary Wisconsin winter?!?

Sam and Scott's Nature Preserve Engagement Session

These two booked us for their January 6th wedding on December 14th. Yes, you read that correctly!

They weren’t interested in an engagement session (fair, when you’re less than a month till your wedding!), but I really wanted to get to know them a little more, and get them warmed up in front of the camera. So, I agreed to meet them at Lion’s Den Gorge in Grafton two days after our meeting when they’d be foraging for pine cones and rocks for their centerpieces and ceremony.

We like to include engagement sessions in most of our packages, because we really think they’re important for both us, and our couples. Most people haven’t had a camera in their faces since senior year! Even a quick session like this helps all of us feel more comfortable. Sam and Scott got used to my dumb jokes and how I go about posing/prompting, and I got to know all about them and their story. My favorite part of their story: Scott saw Sam in church when they were in high school, and wrote a note to her……..then had his dad give it to her!! What a great wingman!

I can’t wait to blog their beautiful, intimate wedding!

Schlitz Audubon Engagement Session

Madelyn and Matt braved the cold and gave us the all the cuteness at their engagement session last week! We can’t wait to shoot their wedding at Schlitz Audubon in May, and love that they chose the same location in a different season for photos. We are huge fans of the Audubon, and all they contribute to the north shore community. We’ve shot their fundraising gala two years in a row now! If you’ve never been - check it out!

Milwaukee Winter Elopement - Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

OOPS I haven’t blogged since August and that wedding was from April - eeeek!!!

Let’s start at the end, shall we? This past weekend we finished out our FIRST ever wedding season with an incredible elopement at Villa Terrace. I’m not sure if it fits the literal definition of elopement….but what I do know is that it was short and sweet and PERFECTION.

We first met Alejandro back in July. He inquired about us photographing his surprise proposal on the roof of Hotel Metro, and I was like YUP. Alejandro is an international student here from Mexico, studying medicine at MCW, where he met the love of his life, Janna. His proposal was elaborately planned - think rose petals, family secretly watching, and a frickin MARIACHI BAND! You guys!! As Janna was walking down he serenaded her as they played. HEART MELT.

So, needless to say, she said yes, and we have been peeing our pants excited about their big day ever since.

While Alejandro got ready with his parents downstairs, Janna and her friends were upstairs making sure everything was in place. With a wedding planned for next year in Cancun, they didn’t have an ‘official’ bridal party at this ceremony, but Janna took the opportunity to ask her closest friends and sisters if they’d be her bridesmaids in Mexico next year. Of course they said yes!

What I especially loved about their day, was the importance they put on photos. Of course, everyone wants great photos, but often it’s a struggle to have ample time for magic makin’ on such a busy day. Before the ceremony, Janna and I ran around the museum like kids in a candy shop, finding light and ideas everywhere we looked. FInally, these sweet peas had a first touch, peppered with so many ‘I love you’s and ‘I can’t wait to marry you’s. SWOON!

Their short and sweet ceremony was followed by a champagne toast on the deck and desserts, while we ran away and snuck in some more photos.

Ruby & Colin

Man oh man, where do I begin with these two? Have you ever met two people and just kinda fallen in love with them? I met Ruby and Colin for the first time a few weeks before their wedding. We met at Anodyne, and were just going to chat about wedding day details over a glass of wine. One glass turned into 3, and suddenly we knew each others' life stories, and were plans to hang out post-wedding. 

I mean really, just look at these two. The sweetest goofballs you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting. 

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They both work at an ad agency, where Ruby is a designer. She and Colin crafted most of the details of their wedding, from the groomsmen's boxes to the signs to the centerpieces. Check out the details on that dress too....how gorgeous is the light pink?!

Oh and then this happened.....the guys realized none of them knew how to tie a bow tie! We ran around the country club asking every old man if they knew how to tie one. And of course no one did! *note to self, learn how to tie bow tie* We pulled up youtube and they got to work. After a super cute first look (and apple whiskey shots, courtesy of dad), we were ready for their gorgeous outdoor ceremony. 

For formal photos we made all of Brian's dreams come true, by shooting on an old shipwreck. The grungy textures were so perfect to contrast their palette of pale pink and floral. Designers, man, they think of everything! PS Ruby and Colin are the best and most chill for not getting mad at me when I lost their sunglasses. It still keeps me up at night, but whatcha gonna do. 

At their reception, Ruby and Colin solved one of a newlywed's biggest reception problems.....you know how people clink on their glasses constantly to get the bride and groom to kiss? Turn the opposite way, and smooch your maid of honor and best man! I'm guessing you can probably see why I fell in love with them. Can we redo this wedding every year pls?

Michele & ConnoR

When you plan your wedding for April in Wisconsin......you take a few risks. Will it be 90 degrees? Will there be a monsoon? Will there be a record-breaking winter storm that closes down the city for the entire weekend? 

Michele and Connor played April Wedding Roulette and lucked out with the worst winter storm Green Bay has seen in over 30 years. 

BUT, despite the challenges that brought, they kept their focus on each other, and had one incredible wedding. 

Michele began the day learning that her hair and make up artist wasn't able to make it through the snow, leaving her wondering how to find someone to fill in in the middle of a blizzard. The amazing spa team at Lodge Kohler fit her in without hesitation, saving the day and getting Michele picture-perfect (and still on time!). What's a wedding without a few snags, right?

The ceremony and reception were both at Gather on Broadway, a beautiful industrial venue in downtown Green Bay. After a super adorable first look with dad, Michele and Connor finally got to see each other for the first time. 

From balloons, to Michele's shoes and necklace, and their guestbook, these two dropped in little details here and there from the movie Up! Connor even had a grape soda pin for a boutonnière!

 

The wind and snow kept us inside for all of the photos, but Gather's big windows led us to a few little nooks for some warm and cozy portraits.

Their ceremony was filled with wisdom from Grandpa, a signature hair flip from Connor, and the most beautifully written vows from Michele. I had no idea what a gifted writer she was....tears were distorting my vision the whole time! I think I'm going to hire her to write Brian's for our vow renewal in October :)

 

The rest of the night was filled with incredible food (deep fried mac and cheese bites, ya'll), tear-jerking toasts, and more tear-jerking dances. Is there anything more lovely than tearful father/daughter dances? NOPE. 

Oh, did I mention that Michele closed out the night by grabbing the mic and dropping "Baby Got Back" for us? 

Julia & Jeff

Julia and Jeff kicked off our wedding season on April 7th, and it was an incredible way to start the year! We had home field advantage, with their ceremony at the beautiful Old St Mary's just blocks from our apartment, and reception at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. 

 

We started the day poppin' bottles on the roof (one of many bottle pops of the day!), then Julia's bridesmaids looked on while she had an emotional first look with her father. First looks with dads are so special; if you've been thinking about doing one, DO IT! 

 

Guys.....can we talk about Julia's dress for a minute?! That train! That lace! Julia kept the rest of the details simple (check out those flowers from Milwaukee Flower Co!) and kept her dramatic Kitty Chen dress as the focal point. 

Julia and Jeff had a traditional ceremony in the gorgeous Old St Mary's, where they made promises to each other, and their future family. And of course, they sealed the deal with their classic dip! These two came with more dips than a Super Bowl Party, ya'll. Yeah I said it, I went there! 

We braved the cold (well, Julia did, the rest of us could take breaks in coats) and headed to the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Lake Shore State Park for photos.

While everyone was finishing up cocktail hour, I snuck Julia and Jeff up to the roof for some time with just the two of them.

When Brian and I got married I was in such a tizzy trying to get everything ready, that when we arrived at our venue I even said to Brian "I don't even think I'm going to cry!" because of how crazy the day was. Yeah, if you know me, you know how ridiculous that statement is. Our photographer made everyone else go away, got us all quiet and close and snuggly, and then it hit me, and I cried for like an hour straight. MY POINT is that it is essential to spend some time with just your lover on your day. Not just time taking photos while your family watches, but some intimate, quiet time to reflect on everything. And just to stare at that beautiful face that loves you back. And maybe pop some more bottles, like Julia and Jeff. 

While we waited for dinner and dancing, we all filled out a card for the Hatkes to read on a future anniversary. How cute is that!? 

The night ended with twirls, more dips, and so many well wishes to Julia and Jeff as they begin their lives together, and make their big move to Australia. What a night!