Category Archives: Inspiration

Real Wedding Recap: Derrick & Adrienne, II

So last we left off, you had seen the beautiful ceremony and some of the cocktail hour set up.  Now let’s venture into their AMAZING reception!

First, more cocktail hour deets:

Adrienne & Derrick's Wedding 043  Adrienne & Derrick's Wedding 040

This is a close-up of the cocktail hour tables, as well as a shot of one of the birch candle holders I told you about.  I LOVED the birch accents…so elegant, yet organic at the same time.

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Moss-Covered Escort Card Table.

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Their family wedding picture display.  I was so excited to see this LIVE at another wedding besides ours, just to see how it would work logistically!  Loved it and it was so interesting for guests to look at.

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Guest Book—a framed photo of them.  I really like this idea, too.

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And they had a whole area for the kids!  Complete with chalkboard and chalk, games, and kid kits.  Loved seeing this come to life, as we are having kid kits at our reception as well.

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Their paper elements.  Each guest also got a lovely fan and a container of bubbles for the ceremony (it was HOT out!).

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This is me and my lovely friend Liz hanging out in one of the lounge areas during the cocktail hour.  She reads the blog, so HEY LIZ!

And now for some shots of their off-the-hook reception.  Chiavari chairs?  Check.  Luxury Portable Bathrooms?  You wouldn’t believe it, but check!  Specialty linens?  They were here!  It was GORGEOUS.  Check it out:

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Can you believe the bride’s mom made this amazing chandelier that hung over the dance floor?  SO COOL. 

The food was delicious.  Instead of having us select an entree course with our RSVPs, they offered each guest a choice of entree right there onsite.  It was very restaurant-esque, ordering from the waitresses when we sat down. 

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CAKE!!  It was delish.

After all the delicious food, and everyone oohing and ahhing over the gorgeous set-up, it was time to PARTY.  And party we did!  Dr. Groomy and I eventually left around 12:30, but I’m told the DJ didn’t stop rockin’ (on orders from the father of the bride) until well after 1:00am.  Here’s a few pics of the party people:

Adrienne & Derrick's Wedding 077  Why, look who it is!! 
Mr. Milwaukee Brunch Reviews himself, Chris,
and his partner Andrew.

Adrienne & Derrick's Wedding 075   Me with some of my book club girls.  Say hello, Sara, Liz & Neha!

I was too busy rocking out to Thriller and the like after that to take many more pictures, but I did get a chance to snap one of the gorgeous tent all lit up:

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And with that, the night was over.  It was a beautiful wedding, so full of love and joy.  Congratulations Derrick & Adrienne!  We are so happy for you and count ourselves lucky to be in your lives!

See all the real wedding recaps here:
Nikki & JT
Charity & AJ
Noah and Jill, Part I
Noah and Jill, Part II
Noah and Jill, Part III
Derrick & Adrienne, Part I



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Real Wedding Recap: Derrick & Adrienne, I

Dr. Groomy and I attended the most AMAZING wedding this weekend.  Seriously, it was awesome—so detailed, so gorgeous, so right out of the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings…and it was so full of love and joy and friendship and FUN to boot!  I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking for these recaps, so let’s begin, shall we?

This was the wedding of our dear friends Derrick & Adrienne.  Dr. Groomy and Adrienne are friends from high school, and over the course of our relationship, I’ve become good friends with her (and her fiancé husband!) too.  The wedding was held on her family’s summer estate in northern Wisconsin, and it was gorgeous!

Adrienne & Derrick's Wedding 001  They used a canoe to hold gifts and cards.  Cute idea for a wedding at a lakeside estate, no?

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A sampling of some of the florals.  They used birch tree stumps as candle holders with rose petals laid out in various designs.  They also used those moss-covered balls, hydrangeas, and roses all over the place too. 

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The birch theme was continued throughout the event–these are some of the cocktail tables.  In the background, you can see one of the lounge areas they had set up.  This was one of two areas—the second area was home to a large coffee table and some beautiful couches and chairs to encourage relaxing during the cocktail hour!

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The groomsmen.  The ceremony was held overlooking the lake, and the groomsmen and the groom arrived to the ceremony by boat!

Adrienne & Derrick's Wedding 020  The bridesmaids & flower girl (in blue).  Don’t you love those dresses?  They are the convertible wrap dresses from Victoria’s Secret…I loved that each girl wore hers a different way.

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The lovely bride!

Adrienne & Derrick's Wedding 016And the handsome groom!

Adrienne & Derrick's Wedding 027  Exchanging rings.

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Lighting the unity candle.

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You may kiss the bride!

Stay tuned for Part II:  details of their off-the-hook cocktail hour and reception!

See previous real wedding recaps here:
Nikki & JT
Charity & AJ
Noah and Jill, Part I
Noah and Jill, Part II
Noah and Jill, Part III


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Real Wedding Recap: Noah & Jill, III

Last we left off, we had just finished watching the beautiful ceremony uniting Noah and Jill.  Now, it was time to party!

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The cocktail party was held in the same area as the ceremony and had a beautiful set-up.

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Isn’t the Chicago History Museum a gorgeous building?

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After the cocktail hour, it was off to dinner.  But first, let’s take a look at some detail shots.

Remember the guest book I created for these two?  Here it is, all set up:

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Noah & Jill's Wedding 037 Our wish for the couple…

Noah & Jill's Wedding 041 And the guest book in action!

The room the reception was held in was just gorgeous…

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Noah & Jill's Wedding 044 Tablescape close-up…

Noah & Jill's Wedding 045 And place setting close-up!  Their favors were delicious cookies frosted with a green E, for their new last name.

Noah & Jill's Wedding 047 Close-up of their centerpieces

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And their lovely paper products.

Dinner was delicious!  We had…

Noah & Jill's Wedding 064  A delicious salad

Noah & Jill's Wedding 065  An amazing chicken dish with haricots verts

Noah & Jill's Wedding 057  And wedding cake!

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After dinner, it was time to party down.  

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Here I am with the Bride and Groom…this must have been later in the night because I am looking pretty ragged.  Oi.

Noah & Jill's Wedding 086  And here’s a big crew of us who all went to school at UW-Madison doing…God knows what!

All in all, it was a beautiful wedding and one of the most special I’ve ever attended.  Noah and Jill, we are so thrilled and happy for you and wish you all the best in the years to come.  We can’t wait to celebrate with you for our wedding!

Missed something?  Catch up here:
Noah and Jill, Part I
Noah and Jill, Part II

Past Real Wedding Recaps:
Charity & AJ
Nikki & JT

*All photos by me.  Please do not use without my express written consent and permission.


Filed under Inspiration

Real Wedding Recap: Noah & Jill, II

The Wedding Day, Sunday, dawned bright and…rainy!  Oh no!  Jill & Noah had planned to have their ceremony outside, and the skies were just NOT having it Sunday morning.  Luckily, the rain moved through all day and around 3:00pm, the sky opened up, the sun came out, and it turned into a really beautiful afternoon.  Outdoor ceremony, saved!

Here’s Dr. Groomy and I in the hotel lobby before leaving for the ceremony:

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We took the wedding trolley over to the ceremony/reception venue, The Chicago History Museum.  WHAT A SPACE!  It was a beautiful building with a beautiful courtyard, perfect for a wedding.

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Here comes the bride!

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The lovely bridesmaids…

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And the handsome groomsmen.

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You could just tell how happy they were…the bride kept flashing her beautiful smile at all of us!

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The ceremony was beautiful…short and sweet, but incorporating elements of both of their faiths (the groom is Jewish and the bride is Catholic).  Their rabbi was a real treat.  He was from Russia and spoke with thickly accented English…and at one point in the ceremony, he was relating a story about being in Jamaica, so he spoke with a thickly accented Russian-English-Jamaican accent.  He said to the guests, “This is a once in a lifetime thing you are hearing!”  We all cracked up!

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Right before the stomping of the glass!  The groom had a bit of trouble the first time, actually…it was quite amusing.  The glass shot out from the bag and the bride had to put it back in for him to be able to try to stomp it again!

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Mazel Tov!

It was a beautiful ceremony and was such a wonderful thing to witness. Stay tuned for Part III coming up tomorrow:  reception details and fun! 

Get caught up here:
Noah & Jill, Part I

Past Real Wedding Recaps:
Charity & AJ
Nikki & JT

*All photos by me.  Please do not use without my express written consent and permission.


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Real Wedding Recap: Noah & Jill, I

This past Sunday, our dear friends Noah and Jill tied the knot.  These two are so special to Dr. Groomy and I, and we were so excited to be invited to celebrate with them.  [Back story:  Noah, Dr. Groomy and I all attended college together at UW-Madison.  Dr. Groomy and Noah were very good friends, but as can sometimes happen, they drifted apart a little after college.  Last year, at the wedding of another set of wonderful friends, Andy and Amanda, in the Dominican Republic, we were able to reconnect with Noah and his lovely girlfriend, Jill.]  Over the last year, we have become incredibly close with them, and I cannot tell you how much we value their friendship.  It has been wonderful getting to know and celebrate them as a couple, and it all culminated in their big wedding weekend in Chicago!

I took over 90 photos this weekend, so this recap is going to be in three parts.  Let’s get started with Saturday evening and the rehearsal dinner!

We arrived in Chicago via train around 4:30pm and immediately headed over to the wedding hotel, The Ambassador East.  It was a lovely hotel, with beautifully appointed rooms.  Many of our friends were there already and it was wonderful to see everyone.  Once we checked in and headed up to our room, we were delighted to find we had received an Out-of-Town Gift Bag!

Noah & Jill's Wedding 001
The bag contained the following treats:

Noah & Jill's Wedding 002 Left to right:  Two water bottles, some BBQ & Original Jay’s Potato Chips, Garrett’s Popcorn (holy yum, that stuff is one of my favorite Chicago staples), and two boxes of Fannie May chocolates.

Jill also included a welcome note for all of the guests, as well as a second page with plenty of information on how to get around the city.

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Getting an OOT bag was such a nice gesture and it definitely confirmed my plans to do some for our wedding!

After freshening up and changing, it was time to head over to the rehearsal dinner, hosted by the groom’s parents.  The rehearsal dinner was held at Sapori Trattoria, a lovely little Italian restaurant near the hotel.  The party was held in the back room, and all of the out-of-town guests were invited.

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Noah & Jill's Wedding 007(Our Table)

The food was DELICIOUS and you could just feel the excitement in the air.  Behold, the happy couple:

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After the rehearsal dinner, we went out with the bride and groom to a bar down the street.  Needless to say, it was a late night, but a great way to start out the celebrations!

Once we got back to our hotel room, I stepped out of the bathroom to see this:

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Um, that would be Dr. Groomy’s version of closing the curtains after a night of drinking.  He didn’t realize there were blackout curtains behind the white panels!  Hilarious.

Stay tuned for part II of the celebrations tomorrow!

Past Real Wedding Recaps:
Charity & AJ
Nikki & JT

*All photos by me.  Please do not use without my express written consent and permission.


Filed under Inspiration, Rehearsal, Relationships

Real Wedding Recap: Charity & AJ

This past weekend Dr. Groomy and I attended the first of four weddings we will attend this summer (we were actually invited to FIVE weddings this summer, but two of the weddings were on the same date and we had to choose one!), aside from our own.  Dr. Groomy’s cousin Charity got married to her long-time love AJ, and it was a wonderful time!

Charity & AJ Wedding 007Here comes the bride! (Sorry so blurry, our camera SUCKS).

Charity & AJ Wedding 008Like they do in the movies, I too like to watch the groom’s face as he sees his bride come down the aisle.  He was very happy and slightly emotional—always a good thing!

Charity & AJ Wedding 013Saying their vows, almost husband and wife!

My camera sucks (as mentioned above) and I was running low on batteries, so I stopped taking pictures at church and saved the batteries for reception details.

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The lovely reception hall.  I LOVE the Christmas lights—they add such a nice touch!

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Tall centerpieces (no shots of the low ones, sorry)!

Charity & AJ Wedding 019   Charity & AJ Wedding 020 Place settings.  They did two favors—on the left, a CD of songs that are meaningful to their relationship, and on the right, a box of mint chocolates…yum! Um, also, I might have futzed around with the silverware already when I took these shots…but everything was nice and lined up when we sat down, trust me!

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And a shot of the details.  Yes, I am a dork and packed their invitation in my purse just for this reason.  Invitation, program, and bubbles to blow after the ceremony.  The tag read “Blow Some Kisses to the New Mr. & Mrs!”

And after that I stopped taking pictures because I was too busy devouring delicious food, amazing cake (remember how I judge a wedding by its cake?  Charity & AJ for the win—their cake was SO good!), and dancing my arse off on the dance floor (yeah, there might have been an inflatable guitar used at one point.  Just sayin’.)  All in all, we had a wonderful time and it was a great way for me to meet a lot of Dr. Groomy’s HUGE family before our own wedding!

Congratulations Charity & AJ!  We are so happy for you and can’t wait to celebrate with you again at our wedding in October!

Previous Real Wedding Recaps:
Nikki & JT

*All photos by me.  Please do not use without my express permission!


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Real Wedding Recap: Nikki & JT

This past weekend, my college friend Nikki and her wonderful fiance JT finally got hitched!  It was great to spend a few days celebrating their love with them.  From the rehearsal dinner at a local bar (where the couple first met!) to their elegant hotel ballroom reception, it was a blast to celebrate their love and support them as they embark on their new life as husband and wife.  Here’s a few pics to recap the wonderful event:

The Bride’s Beautiful Dress

010  The ceremony
The couple had a really beautiful ceremony, with many interesting components.  Among my favorite was the wine box ceremony, in which the couple placed a bottle of wine, two glasses, and love letters to each other in a box, which was then sealed.  The point is not to open the box until their marriage is in crisis—if it is, then they are to open the box, share the wine, and read the love letters they wrote to each other on their wedding day.  Hopefully, they will never have to open the box—except in celebration, which they are to do when they reach their 10 year wedding anniversary.  If they haven’t opened the box by then, they are to open it at that time to celebrate!

011   012 Exchanging vows


The beautiful bride


Wedding Cake

Groom’s Cake
The bride and groom are both huge music lovers, and this was meant to be a celebration of all of the concerts they have attended together over the years.  The smiley face on the left side of the cake is the symbol for Summerfest, a local music festival here in Milwaukee, and the exit sign is for Exit 33, which is the highway exit for Alpine Valley Music Theater.  Pretty neat, no?


043  Centerpieces
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap a great pic of them, but at least you get the idea.  They were cylindrical vases filled with gold, silver, and white Christmas ornaments.  Placed  atop a mirror and adorned with pine, they were perfect for a winter wedding! 

Since I was running around playing coordinator, I wasn’t able to get too many great wedding detail shots…but at least you get the idea!  It was a really fun wedding and I couldn’t be happier for the couple.

Congratulations Nikki & JT—thank you for allowing us to be part of your day!


Filed under Inspiration