My 2019 was one of my busiest seasons so far. I had the opportunity to photograph a destination wedding, work with some talented, local vendors, and check out quite a few of Southeastern Wisconsin’s best wedding venues. I also had the honor of working with some of the sweetest couples. From small and intimate to large and lively, I covered just about every type of wedding. Except a brunch wedding, I definitely want to photograph a brunch wedding! Here’s a run down of some of my favorite moments of the 2019 wedding season.
3. The Sanger House Gardens. As a little girl, I was a big fan of the movie & book, ‘The Secret Garden.’ This is kind of what this place reminds me of. John and Millie had a very small and intimate wedding reception here, hosting mostly family and a few very close friends. I can honestly say this was the only wedding that I’ve photographed where I actually cried. I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions in check! Millie’s touching speech about John and her daughters really hit home for me. If you’re looking for a mansion style wedding, definitely check out The Sanger House.
4. The ‘Til Death sign at The Ivy House. This place offers so many “Instagramable” photo ops but this one is by far my favorite. I’m so excited to be back at the Ivy House this May!
5. Dog-friendly venue spaces. When Kyle and Ali told me that they wanted to include their pup, Jax, in their wedding at Birch, I was all for it. I love dogs and I really do love when couples incorporate them into their wedding. I photographed two weddings this year where the couples incorporated their pups and I love that Birch is a dog-friendly venue!
6. Villa Filomena. Another Milwaukee mansion that doesn’t disappoint. I loved everything about Dave and Alexis’s wedding. The day was absolutely perfect and personal in every way. From the handmade hair piece to the game themed reception decor, this couple put their personal touch on every aspect of their wedding and they did it in a very tasteful way.
7. Carving out time for sunset photos. There are a few reasons I love when your wedding timeline allows for sunset photos. First, it’s my chance to pull you away for just a few minutes to really soak up your time as husband and wife. It gives couples a chance to check in with one another and make sure everything is going well, and many couples appreciate the “breath of fresh air” after visiting with lots of loved ones during the day.
8. Brides with a sense of humor. Cassaundra contacted me a few days before her wedding and explained to me how she wanted to play a practical joke on Craig, her husband to be. They were planning on doing a first look, but instead of seeing his bride when he turned around, Cassaundra worked with Craig’s best man to give him a good laugh and relieve any nerves he might have about seeing Cassaundra for their first look. The two enjoyed a “real” first look afterward and it was perfect.
9. Dessert Bars. Not everyone loves cake (I get it, but I don’t…). When you’re not big on wedding cake, hosting a dessert bar is another great option and Miss Molly’s does not disappoint. These brownies were the best I’ve ever had. I’ve worked with Molly for a styled shoot and now for a real wedding and I hear nothing but great things from anyone who eats these delicious baked goods.
10. Vingettes and champagne parades. When your mom owns a rustic and chic decor and home furnishing store in the Third Ward, you better be ready for an amazing wedding day set up! Terry set up vignettes around their property for Alex and Garrett’s gorgeous backyard wedding. When I was photographing the details, I kept thinking about how I wanted to put some of the decor into my new home! This wedding was so wonderfully done in many ways, I can’t wait to share more from their day. Alex and Garrett also did something I’ve never seen any couple do before. They led a champagne parade from their ceremony site to where the guests were to enjoy cocktail hour! That’s definitely a parade I want to be part of.
It was a beautiful September day. Unseasonable warm for this time of year in Wisconsin. One of the hottest days we’ve had all summer. When I drove down the wooded driveway and approached the house, there was a sense of calm. None of the hustle and bustle you’d expect on a wedding day. When I walked into Mauria’s mom’s house, the girls were sitting around the table, finishing up breakfast, drinking mimosas, laughing and listening to chill music. They had under eye patches on-the same ones I had been wearing earlier that morning. I knew right then and there that I was in great company. Mauria introduced me to everyone, but because they were all so close, I had a hard time keep track of who her real sisters were when I first got there.
I met Mauria for coffee a few months back. She told me about her wedding, her bridesmaids and what they were wearing. She went on to describe her wedding as a simple backyard wedding with about 100 of their closest family and friends. When I arrived on site, it was much more than what I had envisioned. The property was lined with tall trees and fields. Mauria and Sarandi were married under a willow tree in her parents backyard and it was perfect. On our coffee date, Mauria had mentioned how artistic Sarandi was. It was one of the things she loved about him. Sarandi was responsible for painting all of the table numbers at the reception. They were beautifully done.
Mauria’s sisters went on to talk about the many phases of Mauria. There was lots of laughter in the audience. Some of these phases I could even relate to. And then they talked about the Sarandi phase, which is her forever phase. Sarandi and Mauria lit each other up the whole day. If there was a brief moment of stress that arose, Sarandi instantly brought a calm to Mauria. It was as if the two just kept front of mind what the day was about: the two of them starting their lives together and nothing else mattered.
I asked them toward the end of the night if there was any last minute pictures they wanted before I headed out. They said no, so I went inside and packed up my gear. When I came back to find them to say goodbye, they were dancing off in the distance by themselves. I always advise my couples to take a few moments by themselves to just take in the day. It goes by so quickly. I’m glad they listened and had their own moment separate from me taking them out for pictures.
Sarandi and Mauria, thank you so much for choosing me to document your wedding day. Congratulations to you two! Cheers to a lifetime of love and happiness!
Special thanks to these vendors for making these photos possible:
Photography: Maria Campbell Photography
Hair: Betsy Arsnow
Dress Designer: Cristiano Lucci
Bridal Boutique: Amelishan Bridal
Groom Attire: Calvin Klein at Men’s Wearhouse
Flowers (Bouquets,boutonnieres, corsages): Parkway Floral
Flowers (Centerpieces, Table arrangements): Shoua Vang’s Bouquet
Jeweler: Custom designed at A Trio
Bakery: The Cake Lady
Planners: Cara Turkowski and Dianne Hofmann
Amanda and Jim had the most perfect day for a wedding at Boerner Botanical Gardens. Their ceremony was small and intimate and very much about them, as they both wrote their own vows to one another. There was barely a dry eye in the audience. After their ceremony, the two hosted a fun, casual and laid back reception at one of my favorite places, Camp Bar in the Third Ward. Congratulations Jim and Amanda! I wish you nothing but the best for your life together!
Special thanks to these amazing vendors who helped make Jim and Amanda’s day extra special:
Ceremony: Boerner Botanical Gardens
Ceremony Music: Sound By Design
Reception: Camp Bar
Florist: Bloom Floral