Well, it's official. While it's not what we planned originally, I (Shan) am married! If you read my previous post about planning a wedding during COVID times (click here), you'd know I was pretty nervous about having anything at all. Distraught that we had to cut our guest list and "un-invite" people that we truly wanted at our big day, we still got married because we didn't think that waiting would do us any good.
With that being said, it was an incredible day with our immediate family and bridal party. If it weren't for them or our team of amazing vendors, I probably would've lost my mind. I don't typically get stressed regarding this type of stuff just because I was never one to dream of the perfect wedding, but when health and safety came into play, that's when I started getting apprehensive. Our guest list was about 50 people, so even if we would have to downsize again due to the pandemic, we were already at that number. The odds were in our favor. Despite having the mandatory mask put into place the day of our wedding, we were able to hold the entire event outdoors in a comfortable environment.
When I say the entire wedding, I mean it. We were able to dance outside on the grass, and I didn't even have to wear shoes. Talk about a dream land for your farmer-hippie child. I was sweating bullets by the end of the night (ok, earlier than that) from all of the dancing. That's all I wanted - a huge dance party, and I got it.
We're still doing something next year with our original guest list if it's possible. Thankfully, it'll be more casual which is something we both enjoy. But, like I said, our vendors for our original date were straight up magic. Here's what we had:
Golden Mast Inn - We had no idea where to get married. We were originally looking at venues in Milwaukee because Adam's friends and family were coming from Chicago, and my family was coming from Jackson, Slinger, Milwaukee, etc... Nothing was large enough. Nothing was perfect enough. Nothing was in the price range that we needed in order to host our originally intended 300 guests. That's when we decided to branch out into Waukesha County. I wanted to have something at a beer garden and outdoors. A lake would be perfect. My parents kept asking us to consider Seven Seas. Well, somehow we ended up visiting Golden Mast Inn because I used to go there for dinner as a kid (it was one of my mom's favorite restaurants). Adam was a little nervous about how far out it was, but we kind of disregarded that factor once we realized that everyone would be staying at a hotel anyways. The venue was completely beautiful. Sitting on Okauchee lake with a rich German heritage, we were sold. Working with Monica (coordinator) was super easy. She responded to all of our questions and odd requests in a timely manner. The food was great, and the service was incredible. George did a fantastic job handling everything the day of, and his team was nothing short of hospitable.
A Personal Touch DJ - We didn't look at many DJ's because this was a referral from one of my co-workers (S/O to Dave). Dave's a cool guy, and I get along with him so well, so we decided to set up the meeting with A Personal Touch DJ, and from there - it was a no-brainer. We met with Joe, an avid hockey fan which was perfect for Adam, and he seemed to have his priorities straight when it came to entertaining our guests. We ended up having him for our DJ, too - and he was awesome! He would take care of timeline issues (somehow, the grand march was about to start without us fifteen minutes ahead of schedule due to some miscommunication with the venue, so Joe took care of it while we were out taking pictures). He had a great mix of music that we could tell everyone was digging pretty much the entire night!
Eva's Bridal - I got my dress from Eva's which was an incredible experience. I made one appointment for dress shopping, and I knew walking in that I'd find my dress based on the hospitality from Eva's. My stylist, Carrie, was pulling every dress based off of what I was telling her. The facility is beautiful - nice and spacious with plenty of room in the dressing areas which is KEY for me because I hate feeling like I'm on top of another appointment. I've actually had quite a few podcasts with Erin, the owner (she also owns Evermore Bridal in Brookfield), regarding dress shopping. Check out this one if you're looking now!!
DuBois Formalwear - I didn't deal with the suits a lot because, well, I was wearing a dress. But, I'm happy to say that I didn't have to put out any fires - so they were amazing! Adam and I actually chose to work with DuBois based off of Eva's Bridal (they'er literally a one-stop shop: bridesmaids, suits, tuxes, etc...). We went to Eva's with his best man, Jake, and groomsman, Andrew. It was so much fun to look through all of the options, and I'm impressed with how decisive Adam was. Eva's sent our measurements over to DuBois - and they took it from there! They were so accommodating with all of our groomsmen coming from other cities. Not to mention, they were all really, really nice.
Avant Garden Florist - Let me start off by saying: I'm not much of a flower person. I like succulents, sunflowers and that's about it. So, trying to find a florist and figure out what I wanted in this realm was something that I kind of dreaded. I had no idea where to start. I was talking to lots of random places I'd find on Google, but when we narrowed our venue down, I looked to them for a suggestion. Monica said a lot of brides worked with Avant Garden, so I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad we were able to find them!! Adam was out of town for work at the time, so I went to a consultation without him. I took Sarah (the owner) a picture of these weird flowers I saw on Pinterest, and she told me that they were from New Zealand. They're called Proteas and are super heavy, so most of the bridesmaids would only be able to carry one. She knew so much about flowers and how to arrange all of them - I ended up just signing the contract without Adam and giving her the check. When I saw her walk in with the flowers on our wedding day, my jaw dropped. They were GORGEOUS. Once again - not a flower person - so my reaction was huge. I also had a chance to talk with Sarah about flowers on my podcast, if you want to check it out here!!
Hair Fiddlers - My girl, Denise, has been doing my hair for the past...oh, I don't know...four or five years. It wasn't really a question when I got engaged as to who was working on my locks. Her and her mom swung by the hotel in the morning and got us all dolled up. She'd respond to my last minute questions and requests - even making last minute appointments when my flower girl and my husband decided they wanted to do something with their hair last minute. She's the only person I trust with my hair, and you can hear why that is here. She's willing to make anything and everything work, but she's also not afraid to give her two cents if she feels like there might be a better way to do your hair - and I appreciate that immensely.
Simma's - This was a deadly combo for me. Did we go to Simma's because we actually needed a cake or because I wanted an excuse to go there, so I'd come out with cheesecake after every appointment? In reality, Simma's was who we went with because it was always the name that stuck in my head. The shop is convenient, and they took the Pinterest picture I had in my head, and made this perfect cake that tasted delicious. Our consultation was incredible because I didn't realize all of the things you actually had to consider when buying a wedding cake! We ended up going with a vanilla cake with raspberry cream and fresh raspberries. We wanted a watercolor effect that looked like the invitations - and they delivered. It was so tasty, so beautiful. I would go back to Simma's a hundred times over.
Hilton Garden Pabst Farms - We blocked off rooms at Hilton Garden Pabst Farms which was honestly the perfect location to have our guests stay. There are so many food options right there, including a grocery store which was a life saver. Oh, and a Starbucks. Everything was super clean, and Sarah (Assistant GM) made everything come together effortlessly. Not to mention - she walked out to chat with us and make sure everything went well!
LauraJane Photography - We found Laura through another referral. She met us at Bel Air for our consultation, so you can imagine why we were excited to work with her from the beginning. We got so many compliments about her from our bridal party. She's fun to work with, spunky and caters to the couple's needs. For example, Adam is a really "romantic" kind of person, so he likes all of the mushy, gushy photos. I'm more of the, "Let me see how many ridiculous faces I can make and how many times I can jump in the air." Laura made sure to take plenty photos of both options. She was SO easy to work with. She had everything under control - pulling us away to get the shots we wanted (ie - when the bride and groom walk through the venue, and everyone is pulling you into a conversation, but you really want those sunset photos...Laura to the rescue!). I'm so excited to see the work that she comes up with, but for now - check out a few of these sneak peeks!!
I'm pretty sure that's everyone, and I'd feel awful if I forgot something - so there may be more additions!