We hope you enjoy scrolling through Stephanie’s Gallery (click the arrows to keep scrolling)! Enjoy a few blog posts below!
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Meghan + Gabe’s Sunny September Wedding
At this risk of sounding repetitive, this wedding was perfect. I can’t believe this is my job – how have I gotten so lucky to be able to share in so many awesome couples big day?! Meghan + Gabe are yet another couple that were so much fun to work with, and truly made me feel as I was sharing in their day as much as I was documenting it.
Eight years ago, Meghan + Gabe met their sophomore year of college through mutual friends. While they connected right away, their relationship didn’t get serious until senior year of college. In fact, the night of their graduation from The University of Iowa, Meghan was chatting with her parents expressing how she was single and ready for the next adventure, when Gabe walked in. He met Meghan’s parents and they had the sneaking suspicion it wouldn’t be the last time they would see him. Her grandparents had a similar experience a couple weeks later, when she brought Gabe to her brother’s graduation party and introduced him as a friend to them. Her grandma commented to both of them that they would get married — which made for an awkward moment at the time, but has left such a sweet memory in their hearts as she passed away that same summer. Meghan moved to Chicago that summer for grad school and Gabe followed, finding an apartment nearby and the rest is history! They love sharing in adventure together, they’ve traveled to Iceland, moved in together, adopted Scout, moved on to Denver, and adopted another rescue pup, Hank! One adventure after another – their relationship is anything but dull.
Fast forward to this sunny September day in Rockton, IL. We started our day meeting Gabe, who was nothing but smiles and overflowing with excitement. Meghan had written him a letter to read before the ceremony, and although he maintained a calm demeanor, it was easy to see that Meghan’s words took him back for a moment and added to the excitement of seeing her walk down the aisle a couple hours later. We then headed to Meghan’s parent’s home, where the ceremony & reception were to take place. If I could use one word to describe Meghan, it would be “free.” Meghan freely and continually showed love, gratitude, and emotion throughout the day. She shed many happy tears, and I couldn’t help but admire her ability to be unabashadly vulnerable and wear her feelings on her sleeve as much as she did. She complemented her happy tears with her gorgeous smile – as you scroll through these images, you’ll see she has one of the best smiles around.
The whole day was a celebration, and the couple surrounded themselves with the people – and puppers (Scout & Hank even joined in the fun)- that mean the most to them. The day flew by so quick – as they say, time flies when you’re having fun. I wish Meghan, Gabe, Scout & Hank nothing but the best; now and as they transition from Denver to Madison and continue on their journey together. Cheers!
Special thanks to my second shooter, Jessica Ehlen. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Ceremony & Reception – The Welsh Home
Bride’s Gown – Evita by Luv Bridal
Bridesmaid Attire – BHLDN & Lulu’s
Hair & Makeup – Stephanie Bernardi & Elana Darrus
Groom & Groomsmen Attire – Jos A. Bank & The Tie Bar
Florals – Flowers for Dreams
Invitation Suite – Cricket Printing
Wedding Bands – Sarah O. Jewelry in Denver, CO
Officiant – Cate Dolan, Gabe’s Aunt
Anna Jankowski + Neel Patel
This destination wedding was so. much. fun. Although it wasn’t quite a destination wedding for me, as it was still in Wisconsin, it was for the bride, groom, and many of the guests. Anna grew up in Green Lake, WI and choosing the Heidel House Hotel in the quaint town was an easy choice. It is so beautiful, and it truly lived up to the “green” adjective. The property has lush grass, gorgeous fir and evergreen trees, and lovely vines growing on some of the buildings. The grounds at the Heidel House feel both rustic and welcoming.
Anna and Neel met each other while attending Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Though they had casually known each other for about four years, they didn’t begin dating until their senior year where they connected during a camping trip in the Utah desert. They hit it off, and Neel convinced Anna to change her schedule for her last term at school, and as they say, the rest is history. They began spending most of their free time together, and six months after graduation, Anna moved to Salt Lake City to join Neel as he had just started medical school.
From Salt Lake City, the duo continued on together to Portland, OR. Shortly after the move, they adventured to Eastern Oregon for a camping trip and to catch the once in a lifetime solar eclipse. They sat atop a hill to be able to have an unobstructed view of the eclipse, and the moment it happened, they stood in silence and awe. After totality had passed, Neel found the words to pop the question!
Fast forward to August 11, 2018 – Green Lake, WI. The day was beautiful, relaxed, and had such an easy-going vibe. Anna + Neel opted to do a first look (my favorite!) before their lakefront ceremony, and it was such a special and quiet moment for the two of them to have before the rest of the day kicked off. They then exchanged vows on the lawn of the Grey Rock Restaurant. Guests from all over the country attended and enjoyed lawn games, lots of WI cheese, homemade pies, and an amazing soundtrack from the band: JC and the Sunshine Boys. Their guests all had their dancing shoes on – the dance floor was packed!
Anna and Neel both have extremely warm and welcoming personalities and you can’t help but gravitate toward them. I very much felt as if I was celebrating along their side as much as I was photographing their day. These two have the real thing, their dynamic with each other can be described as in sync, supportive, adventurous and gentle. They were nothing but patient, kind, and full of joy throughout every moment of the day. Those traits are strengths that will carry them though life together and I wish them nothing but the best as they take on life’s adventures as husband and wife! Cheers, Anna + Neel! #wisconsimplyinlove
Special thanks to my second shooter, Jessica Ehlen
Venue – Ceremony: Grey Rock Restaurant / Reception: Carriage Tent at Heidel House Resort & Spa
Bride’s Gown – BHLDN (Skirt: Hampton Skirt by Jenny Yoo / Top: Havana Corset Top by Catherine Deane)
Hairstylist – Headliners Ltd., Ripon WI
Makeup – Anna did it herself!
Bridesmaid’s Attire – Bill Levkoff
Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire – Suits: Indochino / Ties & Pocket Squares: The Tie Bar / Men’s WI Socks: Etsy
Wisconsin Bags – Custom made on Zazzle.com
Invitation Suite – Minted
Florals – Endurance Florals of Bloch’s Farm, Green Lake WI
Catering – Heidel House Resort & Spa
Pies & Cookies – Homemade by Wendy Bogdanske of Green Lake, WI
Band – JC and the Sunshine Boys of Oshkosh, WI
Ana + Bill Dittman
So excited to share a few highlights from this Ana and Bill’s big day. Technically, this was a destination wedding for the Bride and Groom. Ana and Bill live in Scottsdale, AZ but are originally from WI. In fact, would you believe that they actually didn’t meet until they were living in Arizona?! It seems their meeting was literally meant to be.
I met with Ana last fall but didn’t meet Bill until we met for their engagement session this past March – in Arizona – at the Grand Canyon. I had a trip already planned to visit Arizona so we were able to time out our session while I was there. I was so excited to meet Ana’s other half – and when I did, it was obvious as to why these two are together. They both have easy going attitudes, adventurous spirits, and a warmth that eminates from them that makes you feel as if you’ve known them forever. I immediately was so excited for their upcoming wedding because I had a feeling it was going to be a day that matched their warm, happy personalities.
Ana and Bill were married on Saturday August 4, 2018 in Brookfield, WI. Their wedding took place in the morning at Saint Dominic Church, and the ceremony was followed by a lovely luncheon reception at The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. The air was full of joy and smiles and guests got to mingle and visit with each other before lunch was served. They also had an amazing guitarist, Jim Perona, playing during cocktail hour. The speeches were wonderful, I loved hearing the touching stories everyone shared. Bill’s sister, Emily, gave a heartfelt toast where she compared marriage to marathon running. Bill is a runner – and he doesn’t run your average 5k races. He competes in Ultra Marathons (WOW, right?!) and Ana is an important part of his crew. The support and encouragement that is needed to run a race like that is similar to the support and encouragement needed during marriage. We all had tears in our eyes as we listened to her beautiful words.
The love of their families was extremely apparent during their day. The Dittmans & The Caballeros worked together on the decorations, the paper banner had their names and wedding date cut into it, Ana wore Spanish pearls given to her from her abuelito. It was a day full of laughter, happy tears, special moments and plenty of new memories made. They’re already back in Arizona and are officially starting their new life together! Cheers to you, Mr. & Mrs. Dittman!
Special thanks to my second shooter, Jessica Ehlen
Ceremony – Saint Dominic’s Catholic Church
Luncheon Reception – Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts
Bride’s Gown – Savvy Bride
Bridesmaid Attire – Personal Dresses
Hair + Makeup – Team Bride MKE
Bride’s Lashes – Hush Lash Scottsdale
Groom + Groomsmen Attire – BlackTux
Florals – Wood Violet
Catering – Antigua
Luncheon Decor – Caballero & Dittman Family
Guitarist – Jim Perona
Karli + Chris Rainy Session at the Beach
Oh, Wisconsin. We can never count on the weather here, can we?! Every time we tried to schedule Karli + Chris’s engagement session, the weather forecast was awful. And when we finalized our shoot date, the weather was no different. But we decided to say “oh well” and shoot anyways. And I’m so glad we did!
The couple brought their pups (Toby, Aspen, and Oliver) and the whole group did great, even when it started to rain ten minutes into shooting. We then grabbed an umbrella and went down to the beach. Karli + Chris made the most of the day – they skipped rocks, danced in the rain, even hung out with a bunch of ducks that decided visit during the session. I love when a couple is cool with rolling with it, if it was going to rain – may as well dance in it, right?!
Karli and Chris will be married on Friday August 31, 2018 at the Cupola Barn in Oconomowoc, WI. And if their engagement session is a preview of the wedding day, it is sure to be a great time!
Hailey + Joe Milwaukee Engagement Session
Hailey, Joe and I have been talking about their engagement session for months. The weather over the winter and spring never cooperated, and even when we did set a date, the forecast had us on pins and needles. They drove to Milwaukee all the way from Wausau, and throughout the session we we worried about the raindrops starting at any moment. Fortunately for us, the weather cooperated and it never rained at all! We explored around Lake Park, and at the end of the session as the light was dimming, Hailey suggested why not head down to the lake and see if we can sneak in a few shots. And I am SO glad we did! I won’t say any more – when you see the images you will know why! Keep scrolling to see their impromtu swim session in Lake Michigan.
Liz + Scott Thompson
Liz + Scott were married on June 2nd, 2018. The day was years in the making; Liz and Scott met at a wedding in 2015, and hit it off that evening. Their love persevered through the challenges of having a long distance relationship – when they met, Liz was living in Green Bay and Scott was living in Madison. Liz kept a calendar of all the trips she made to visit him, and it totaled 108 visits to Madison throughout that time! And that didn’t even count the times they met half way, or the times Scott had come to surprise her or take her to lunch. Patience, understanding, and a deep love for each other led them to this day.
Liz + Scott were married at Saint Bernard’s Catholic Church in Madison, WI. They were surrounded with the love and support of their closest friends and family. We then stopped at The Overture Center which provided a beautiful backdrop for some portraits of the couple, and it also gifted them with a moment with just the two of them before we got to their reception.
Their reception was held at The Barn at Harvest Moon Pond, where no detail was left forgotten. Liz’s mom decorated the adorable floral bicycle, Ebb and Flow did a wonderful job with the blooms and decor, and the floral arch that was stunning focal point overlooking the lawn at The Barn. Even the weather was on its best behavior, a few raindrops fell but it timed out perfectly between photos! It was a wonderful day full of joy and Madison was a perfect place to host their wedding, as they are putting long distance behind them and starting a new life together in the city! Congratulations, you two!
Special thanks to my second shooter, Courtney Blundon
Couple’s Preparations: The Goodman Community Center, Madison WI
Ceremony: Saint Bernard’s Catholic Church, Madison WI
Portraits: The Overture Center for the Arts, Madison WI
Reception: The Barn at Harvest Moon Pond, Poynette WI
Invitation Suite: Minted
Gown: Galia Lahav from Bella Bianca Bridal Couture in Chicago, IL
Veil: Custom made by Maria Arteaga, Milwaukee WI
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Rings: (Bride) Jared (Groom & Bride Wedding Band) Roger’s & Holland’s
Hair & Makeup: Stacey Oettinger and Lauren Prost
Groom’s Attire: Custom made at Men’s Wearhouse
Groomsmen Attire: Nedrebo’s
Bridesmaid Attire: ASOS
DJ: Spotlight Events
Catering & Cake: Hy-Vee
Best of 2017
This year did not disappoint! It brought me the opportunity to share in so many couple’s love stories! I adventured to California, Montana, Illinois, and all over my home state of Wisconsin. I’m excited to share a some highlights from such a great year, and even more excited to see where 2018 takes me. Cheers!
Riley & Cassandra: Green Lake Wedding
Riley & Cassandra were married this past May in Green lake Wisconsin! Although we had a day of nonstop rain (literally rained from the second we stepped outside for the first look until their exit!) we wouldn’t change a thing! Riley and Cassandra choose to forgo the traditional reception of dancing and head directly into a sparkler exit! So excited to share Stephanie’s work here!