Anyone who has been around Brittany and Mike, know that these two were made for each other. The way they light each other up is refreshing to be around and they bring such a positive energy to everyone around them. I got to witness this firsthand at their engagement session and on their wedding day.
Brittany and Mike were married this past February at the Covenant at Murray Mansion located in Racine, Wisconsin. They had a small and intimate wedding that was absolutely gorgeous! The winter scene paired with the brightness of Murray Mansion made for a perfect setting on their wedding day. Their wedding was filled with lots of personal touches – from the special charms Brittany picked out for each of her bridesmaids’ bouquets to the individualized shot glasses for the guys, these two put their own personal spin on a lot of the details in their wedding.
Brittany and Mike, thank you both so much for choosing me to photograph your wedding day. I’m so honored that I was able to spend the first day of forever with you two!
VENDORS WHO HELPED MAKE THIS DAY POSSIBLE:
Wedding Venue: The Covenant at Murray Mansion // Florist: Flowers at the Inn (Julie Moyer) // Bride’s hair and makeup: The Vine Hair Salon // DJ: Silverspoon Entertainment // Cake: Country Rose Bakery // Wedding Dress: Eva’s Bridal (Kenneth Winston) // Groom’s Tux: Men’s Wearhouse
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
A few months ago, Shannon from Simply Weddings, LLC reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in collaborating with her for an idea she had for a winter wedding shoot. I immediately said, “Yes!” and she got to work creating her vision. She worked with Lisa from Sunborn Flower Farm & Florist to create a beautiful tablescape, a gorgeous bouquet, and a flower crown that I would’ve worn all day, given the chance. Shannon and her husband were also models for the shoot. They got married 6 years ago at the courthouse and had a very small wedding right before Shannon deployed overseas, so they never had the opportunity to get dolled up and take “wedding” photos. I was happy that I was able to provide them with that experience.
Being a newer business owner herself, I took the opportunity to ask Shannon some questions about her company, what she likes about working for herself and what her ideal bride is like. Here’s what she had to say!
Tell me about Simply Weddings, LLC…What made you decide to go into wedding planning? Jonathan (husband) and I officially founded Simply Weddings, LLC two years ago. We have actually been doing weddings prior to that, but not under a business yet. I got into wedding planning kind of on a whim. Jonathan had a wedding that he was officiating at and I was there to support him and to attend the wedding as a guest, as it was for a family member of a close friend of ours. Since it was one of Jon’s first weddings, he had a general idea on how to run the rehearsal, but what he (we!) found out was that it is really not up to the officiant to coordinate the entire processional with the wedding party. He is there to marry the couple and to perform the ceremony, not space out bridesmaids and coax the flower girl down the aisle with candy. I ended up taking over the coordinating for the processional and recessional during this event and was there on the day of (at the bride’s request) to herd everyone up and get them down the aisle. It was a little chaotic, but thanks to Google and having been at a few weddings, I struggled my way through it! When the bride thanked me and told me “I don’t know what I would have done with out you!” that sealed the deal. I even happy cried when the bride walked down the aisle after, of course, the flower girl had dumbed her flower basket out at the end of the aisle and walked off. After I realized that I loved helping brides on their wedding day, I found a wedding planning certification program, became certified through the Association of Bridal Consultants and Jonathan and I officially opened Simply Weddings.
What has the process been like in starting your own business? Owning a business is definitely not something I ever thought I would be doing. I really didn’t like business classes in college, because I tried a lot of them, so that part was and still is a little daunting. I had to quickly realize that the things I’m not good at, like building a website, I had to pass off to the experts. That is definitely one piece of advice I would give anyone starting out-let the experts do what they do and you do what you’re good at. Graphic designers, web designers, photographers, videographers, etc. are there for a reason. Use them!
Describe your ideal bride. Since each bride is so different in their likes, dislikes and how they envision their big day, I would have to say that I truly appreciate the bride that knows what she wants, but is also open to suggestions that I may have to make her vision even better. I also very much appreciate the brides (and grooms) that understand if and when changes may need to be made to accommodate budget, seasonal items or even weather! Sometimes things happen that are out of my control (such as rain during an outdoor ceremony) that we will need to adapt to and find a different alternative that they are just as happy with.
What is your favorite thing about working for yourself? I love the freedom of building our own business from the ground up. Jonathan and I get to set the tone and vision for our company. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t, but at the end of the day I usually win and he agrees with me…KIDDING! At the end of the day, it’s about our clients and how we can make one of the most important days in their lives even better. I think because we didn’t have a large wedding, we get to live vicariously through the couples we marry and I’m completely fine with that!
I loved having the opportunity to work with Shannon and her business! She has an awesome personality and great eye for detail. If you’re planning a wedding, definitely head on over to Simply Weddings and take a look.
Details, details details…
Location: Bridle Barn & Gardens
Flowers: Sunborn Flower Farm and Florist
Hair: Mariah at Shear Style Salon