Archive of ‘Weddings’ category

Three Reasons to Love Small Wedding Parties

Wedding_Green_Bay_Wisconsin_Small_Wedding_Party_Intimate_ReasonsMany of us can think back to what wedding parties were like when we were kids – 9 hot pink dresses with puffy sleeves and lace hats alongside 9 black tuxes with shiny matching cumberbunds – anyone? If your face is twisted in revulsion at the thought of this, then you are right there with most modern brides.  Beyond dismissing the fashion of it in favor of a simpler more tasteful style, I am also loving the trend of smaller bridal parties.  Your wedding is about you and your husband, and each choice you make should be a reflection of who you are and what you like. Time to toss out those “wedding obligations” (send them away with the puffy-sleeved dresses!)

In case you’re on the fence about how to choose your bridal party, or unsure where “really amazing best friends” turn into “kind of good friends” turn into “I probably should”, here’s a few reasons to keep it small.

1. Less is More

If you’re a person who loves the chaos of it all, you might enjoy the buzz of a 12 person wedding party around you at all times.  But for those who like simplicity, a smaller wedding party means less stress and less obligations.  The fewer bridesmaids and groomsmen you have, the fewer schedules you have to coordinate for wedding events and the less people you have to keep track of on your wedding day.  When it comes to picture time and bridesmaid 1 is refreshing her drink, bridesmaid 2 has wandered off in search of a bathroom, bridesmaid 3 is checking on her children, bridesmaid 4 thinks she left her purse in the dressing room… well you get the idea.  Smaller wedding parties will save you time, money, stress, and valuable bits of your sanity when “I-do” rolls around.

2. Your Wedding is Your Wedding

I cannot stress this enough: your wedding is about you and your future husband deciding to make a commitment.  It is not about a friend you were close with in high school who you rarely see nowadays and it is not about a cousin who asked you to stand up in her wedding three years ago.  Each choice you make as you plan your wedding is a reflection of who you are as a couple.  Wedding parties no longer need to follow the old Southern tradition of having your future sisters-in-law stand up (frankly, if you weren’t friends before the engagement, they can rest easy in the second row).  The same goes for having kiddos stand up in the wedding.  It is incredibly valuable to have your own children involved in your wedding, or little ones you are very close to, but all to often couples are tracing out their family tree to find children simply because they think they should.  Each time you decide on someone for your wedding party, ask yourself if it is really what you want.  The people who care most for you will honor your choices and be glad for you, and anyone who would cause drama over your decisions, well… be glad they aren’t in the wedding party.

3. The Best of the Best

The absolute best thing about small wedding parties, is that the people you choose are going to be the friends-forever-and-no-matter-what type.  And that means when your wedding day arrives and you are stressed and nervous, they will be there to calm you down and fix problems before they even happen (instead of that ex-roomate who is just admiring herself in the mirror, and worrying about how she looks in her dress).  Extra people doesn’t always mean extra help; the right people means extra help.  These special bridesmaids who made the cut will be the ones crying through the ceremony right alongside you and pulling bobbypins from their own hair to make sure that yours look perfect.  That’s who you want standing up with you.


Worried about offending those who don’t stand up?  There are still many ways to honor people you care for who might not be the right fit for your bridal party.  You could ask them to be ushers or personal attendants, or to perform a reading during the ceremony. Are they family you aren’t sure you want in the party? Consider giving them a corsage or boutonniere to honor your relationship.  Many times they will be glad to skip the expense and enjoy the view from the crowd.

Choosing your wedding party is a decision you and your fiancé will need to make together, and going with a small party may not be the best fit for your personalities or wedding theme.  No matter what you plan or what route you go, think about what you want as a couple, and toss those “miss manners obligations” on the pile with lace parasols and permed hair.  Do your wedding your way and enjoy every minute!

Weddings: leah and cody’s vintage autumn wedding, green bay

Vintage_1950_Postwar_Retro_Green_Bay_Wedding_Fall_Autumn1 Vintage_1950_Postwar_Retro_Green_Bay_Wedding_Fall_Autumn2I love when I hear from couples and in their very first email, I am already completely head over heels for their wedding vision!  This is how it was when Leah and Cody first got in touch with us.  She said victory rolls, glass bottles of coke, vintage luggage and suspenders, and I said yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!  A quick tour through our own house would reveal my love of all things mid-century from antique cameras, to my Samsonite train case that goes wherever I go.

From that first email I was hooked.  Then I got to meet Leah and Cody and it only got better.  They are an incredibly down-to-earth couple; they are the kind of people who find what they want and work to make it happen.  This kind of strength and perseverance is what makes marriages work, and I am certain Leah and Cody will put this tenacious part of their personalities into supporting and caring for one another no matter what the future brings.

We felt very honored to be a part of their wedding day, and to have the opportunity to build on their vintage-inspired wedding theme.  Congratulations, Leah and Cody, and best wishes!

Weddings: clarissa and adam’s fall wedding, green bay

Fall_Autumn_Wedding_Green_Bay_De_Pere_Tattoo_Bride_1 Fall_Autumn_Wedding_Green_Bay_De_Pere_Tattoo_Bride_2Clarissa and Adam’s wedding day had the most incredible weather – it was the day all fall brides dream of: sunny and warm with bright leaves still clinging to the trees.  Everything about the day felt relaxed and playful just like the couple.  With a flexible timeline, they allowed plenty of time for photos, drinks, and family chit-chat.  This gave us room for creativity, lots of fun lighting situations (checkout the last few before sunset!), and made the day very enjoyable for everyone involved.

Clarissa and Adam are such a sweet couple; they are fun to be around and down-to-earth.  They are so immediately likable, that we have really enjoyed spending time getting to know them during their engagement session and wedding day.  It was nothing but a pleasure to photograph this beautiful bride, spend time with the couple, and meet all the family.  Congratulations, Clarissa and Adam, you deserve all the happiness a future together will bring you!

Weddings: lori and brian’s fall wedding, denmark and de pere

Wisconsin_Wedding_Denmark_Fall_Autumn_Voyeger_Park_Photos_1 Wisconsin_Wedding_Denmark_Fall_Autumn_Voyeger_Park_Photos_2I’m a sucker for a fall wedding, everyone knows this; that’s why Ben and I got married in October.  Fall is unpredictable, but to me and all the other autumn brides out there, the risk of wind, rain, and chilly temperatures is worth the bright colors and new, crisp smell in the air.

Lori and Brian planned a stunning day.  From the classic white bridesmaids bouquets and sleek gray tuxes to the simple baby’s breath end-caps and strings of pearls, everything about it had a feeling of classic romance.  Even with the wind and cold Lori and Brian were in the best of spirits the entire day – laughing with the bridal party and smiling through shivers.  We had a blast spending time with them and making some special memories to look back on.  Cheers, Lori and Brian, and congratulations on your marriage!

Weddings: jamie and nick at stone harbor, door county

Door_County_Stone_Harbor_Sunset_Park_Wedding_1 Door_County_Stone_Harbor_Sunset_Park_Wedding_2Being a Door County native myself, it is always a pleasure to return to the area to photograph beautiful weddings like this one.  Jamie and Nick planned their fall wedding at Stone Harbor Resort which sits along the water in Sturgeon Bay.  From the windows of the reception hall you could look out and see the historic steel bridge that crosses over the canal, the nearby shipyard, and many docks filled with sailboats.

If rain really is good luck on a wedding day, Jamie and Nick can expect a lot of it.  The morning of their ceremony brought chilly temps, strong winds, and plenty of rain, but none of it dampened the spirits of the couple or the guests.  With a trolly on hand to shuttle the party to their photo destinations, they hopped aboard and we were able to find a few minutes of time without rain for some lovely fall wedding photos.  Jamie and Nick are incredibly respectful people – they are detail oriented, gentle with each other, and always concerned about others.  It was the love and care they put into their wedding and their relationship that made this day so special.  Congratulations, Jamie and Nick!

Weddings: nikki and tom at heritage hill

Heritage_Hill_Chapel_Wedding_Photography_Green_Bay_Beautiful1 Heritage_Hill_Chapel_Wedding_Photography_Green_Bay_Beautiful2I’m not sure how, but amidst the rainy, windy, foggy days that led into this fall, Nikki and Tom found the perfect day with perfect weather: 60’s, sunny, not a drop of rain in sight.  We had stunning, golden light all afternoon and enjoyed our little trip around the park to photograph the bridal party and couple.  Heritage Hill is one of our favorite venues as it offers such a variety of looks all in one location (a rustic log cabin, dreamy farmhouse, and wild fields all tucked into the heart of a city).  As photographers we couldn’t  ask for much more.

It fits Nikki’s personality to have a warm day showered in sunlight – she is bright, bubbly and has a way of making everything seem just a little more joyful.  Together Nikki and Tom are playful and relaxed as though their love is the most natural thing in the world.  To see them interact is to see the kind of love all marriages work hard to build, one with patience and understanding.  I want to say a big congratulations to the newlyweds; we are so happy to have been a part of your day!

Weddings: courtney and cody in brussels wisconsin

Door_County_Wedding_Farm_Field_Brussels_Catholic1 Door_County_Wedding_Farm_Field_Brussels_Catholic2When I arrived for Courtney and Cody’s day, I was expecting the usual chaotic buzz that comes with last minute wedding preparations.  Instead, I walked into a room filled with family and friends laughing, teasing, and smiling without any worries or concern.  I think it comes from being women and families who have known each other long and been through a lot together: weddings and babies, victories and losses.  There was a familiarity between them, a sense of knowing what needed to be done without having to ask.

Throughout the afternoon I noticed how attentive everyone in the bridal party was, and how humbled Courtney and Cody were to have such a loving circle with whom to share their day.  Even with a large guest list, everything about the day felt personal – the ceremony, the speeches, and the interactions between everyone in attendance.  When the church is filled to standing room only, there is no question of if there is love there.  There is so much love that the building is bursting at the seams to contain it.  It was a blessing to document your day, Courtney and Cody; cheers to many happy adventures ahead!

Weddings: stephanie and dalton’s vintage barn wedding, waukesha

Waukesha_Outdoor_Barn_Wedding_Wisconsin_Vintage_Bed_and_Breakfast_1 Waukesha_Outdoor_Barn_Wedding_Wisconsin_Vintage_Bed_and_Breakfast_2Stephanie and Dalton planned the most beautiful September wedding.  The ceremony took place at Apple Tree Lane Bed and Breakfast in Waukesha, Wisconsin in a small clearing beneath arches of trees with a river that ran along the side.  The guests sat on bails of hay covered in vintage linens and the couple said their vows under an archway of greens with patches of sun breaking through.  Both the bride and groom were completely relaxed and anticipating this moment for which they had waited seven years.

Their romance is classic and beautiful: two young kids meeting in school with lockers side by side.  This simplicity was shown in every decision they made as they planned their wedding, including choosing Dalton’s family barn for the reception location.  Food was catered in, strings of lights hung floor to ceiling, and fresh ivory linens covered all the tables.  The room was filled with the love of family and friends.  Congratulations to Stephanie and Dalton, and cheers to many years ahead!


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