Brad & Brooke held their wedding at Brooke's parents property near Eagle, Wisconsin, a stone's throw from where I grew up. Brooke is a librarian; Brad is a historian, now pursuing a law degree They meet at UW-Madison, but have since moved to Boston to pursue their career/education stuff. My favorite thing about them is they never try to be cool. Which makes them awesome. Brad told the most awkward engagement story, knowing it was awkward, and he pulled it off with aplomb. I love it when people bravely, confidently, zealously do their own thing. Nothing is more beautiful than that.
These two did their wedding their own way. There were no bridesmaids or groomsmen. No cell service. No stuffiness of any kind. Just lots of love and joy. The bride made her own gorgeous dress, which the groom helped her put on (with duct tape) before the ceremony. I'm not sure, but I think the location was chosen primarily for its proximity to good mountain biking. Pretty awesome.
Thanks Lakewoods Resort (hosting skiers, bikers, and general outdoor lovers for over a century), Emily Balsley (see the hand-illustrated wedding invitations) and TechNoir (Madison's raddest 80's cover band) for raising the bar for this party.
My first wedding make-up shoot. After their Utah wedding day was completely and mercilessly rained out, these two moved to Madison to start the new chapter in their lives. But they hung onto their celebratory duds and soon enough, they were ready to to reclaim their basic American right to gorgeous wedding portraits. We chose Olbrich Gardens because it was the best place to find some flowers still hanging on in late May AND it is the perfect place to get married after work on a Tuesday. I am always impressed by structure, color and tranquility at Olbrich and feel really lucky to have it just down the street from our house.
An intimate, nearby locale seemed appropriate for this small wedding party. After a ceremony at the Federal Courthouse off the square, these folks stopped for a drink, then sauntered over to tiny Period Garden Park, a favorite Madison treasure of mine. The Period Garden is hardly a secret (how can anything along E Gorham be a secret?), but it's so easy to drive or walk by it daily and not notice it.
This wedding involved so many things I love, including:
1. Charismatic megafauna (horses, in this case)
2. Lots and lots of party lights
3. Food carts (yes, plural)
4. A beautiful, well-loved, well-lit old barn
5. Really nice people
6. Charcuterie (with pickles and some sort of amazing cherry preserves)
7. A good breeze
Mollie and Steve were absolutely wonderful to work with during their engagement shoot, game for shooting in the rain, in a lumber yard, in places you just should not be when dressed well. They are have a balance of style and grit that I love. Mollie was epitome of cool and relaxed when I met her, but super nervous as the wedding approached and it was endearing to see. These two actually grew up together, so it was great fun to meet the people they are closest to, the folks they come from and the community they have made for themselves, many of which have seen them grow up together.
Maya took me on a birthday adventure to southwestern Wisconsin a few years ago, where we biked miles of rural roads chasing Amish buggies, woke up in foggy hollows, and found an novel mix of progressive politics and Norwegian heritage in the small towns we dropped into. I hadn't returned to Westby, WI since then, but Kate & Tyler brought me back with a down-home wedding at their family farm. When I arrived, the pig was on the spit, the groom was sweating out last-minute details, and there was a fine air of tranquility and excitement about the place. I don't shoot wedding often, but this one made me wonder, "Why is that?" Because this one was a lot of fun and I'm so gl
The newlyweds are traipsing around Europe currently, and I can't say I'm not envious. Here's a peek for them and you of what went down last Saturday. Please do enjoy.
Our wedding was pretty small (I think we had 40 guests?), but Chris and Blain's was even smaller. A close-friends-and-family affair, low on frills but high on class. Chris got her hair done downtown, met up with her girls and me at the Concourse Hotel off the Square, then we beat feet over to her mom's house on Lake Monona for a beautiful lakeside ceremony. Dinner at the Great Dane's wonderful patio, then cake inside when a surprise shower called for a shift in plans. The newlyweds both looked incredible... lucky them and lucky me.
This is my idea of the ideal wedding: Rent a house in a beautiful place and have a party that lasts a few days. It just works. A big house can keep all your closest loved ones together and takes away so many logistics hassles. You eat together, snack together, read the paper and hang out together... and that leaves room for spontaneity, which so many planned events don't have much room for.
"Should we wait to get married until it is legal in Wisconsin? Or get married immediately because we just want to be married, damn it?" It is ridiculous that gay couples here have to have this conversation. But at least for now, they do. Heather and Becci had been discussing this for a while, and ultimately decided to make the trip to Decorah, Iowa (the closest county seat to Madison where two gals can get a marriage certificate) to seal the deal legally. They decided to make the ceremony an intimate affair... I was the only invitee... and follow up with a party at Memorial Union in Madison.
We had a great time shooting in Decorah; it is a LOVELY town I will sure to revisit. The girls brought their dog to the ceremony, Becci wore her Chucks, and we hit up the local ice cream parlor for post-nuptial treats. The reception bash happened a couple weeks later, with perfect weather. The Main Lounge at Memorial Union is a great reception venue... it offers impressive privacy, while adjacent to the exciting energy of the crowded Terrace hum. Guests can hang out on the balcony and take in some fresh air and music, then come inside to a the private party. Couldn't be better.