From the moment I woke up amongst the BREATHTAKING Colorado mountains to photograph Christy and Luke’s wedding, I was smiling from ear to ear! :) And let me tell you that it didn’t stop until I was driving back down those mountains after saying good-bye! :) WOW! I mean, WOW! :)

One of the first conversations I had of the weekend was with Christy’s Mom, Pat, as she tearfully remembered her very own wedding day, exactly 40 years ago! :) I find it quite awesome that Christy and Luke chose the same weekend to share their anniversary with her parents….I mean, what an honor AND amazing set of steps to follow in, eh?! :) AND they even surprised Pat and Dr. Ricker with a “replica first dance” from their very own wedding as everyone kicked off the festivities with “sweet caroline” as everyone flooded the dance floor! :)

The ceremony was held in one of the most ADORABLE chapels in the mountains I have EVER seen…..stone walls, HUGE antler chandeliers and a GIANT set of floor-to-ceiling windows for the couple to share their vows in front of…..SO GREAT! :) After the ceremony, the couple was “celebrated” with ribbons and cheering and LOADS of love on the front steps, followed by apps and drinks and more love on the patio of the Avon Westin nestled right next to a rushing river! :) The whole day TRULY allowed the love of family shine while highlighting the mountains, sky and river! :) It was casual and fun and full of the beauty of Colorado while filling Christy and Luke’s hearts to overflowing with support and love! :)

Yay for you two and your beautiful day, Christy and Luke! I am SO coming to visit you guys every year in the fall!!! :)

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Ceremony venue : The Chapel at Beaver Creek
Reception venue : The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa
Dress : Karen Willis Holmes purchased at Emma & Grace, Denver CO
Earrings : Swarovski
Veil : Borrowed from sister-in-law
Hair/Makeup : Beauty by Belviso
Bridesmaids dresses : Jim Hjelm Ocassions
Coordinator : Sparrow Event Planning
Florist : Ivy Lane Floral
Cake : Mulberries, Denver CO
DJ : A Music Plus
Invitations : Minted
Videographer : Sun Prairie Films

Because it was a PERFECT sunny day in Chicago and because it’s where they met and lived where they were falling in love! :) I mean, aren’t Krystal and Greg just gorgeous and SO SO SO SO adorable together?! :)

I can only imagine how perfect their June wedding will be next year up in Northern Wisconsin! :) #YAY

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This wedding! :) Joanna is a girl after my own heart…she feels ALL THE FEELS and boy do I love it! Her and Dan were SET on throwing a wedding that truly embodied every bit of celebration possible, and of course, they had to throw in nods to the state of WI (the state where they met and fell in love)! :) The day began as Joanna shared happy tears with her Dad on the back porch of her child-hood home in Milwaukee, following closely by sheer ELATION of putting on her wedding dress and getting to the chapel where they would become MR and MRS! :)

One of my FAVORITE parts of the day was when 2 of their close friends read excerpts of emails exchanged back and forth between Jo and Dan from when they first met and began falling in love. It was love in it’s purest form as they expressed their desires and deep feelings for one another as they saw their life changing for the better before their eyes while their relationship progressed….I think the whole congregation had tears in their eyes at this point! :) It was beautiful! :)

Jewel tones, geometric shapes, endless laughing, custom beer glasses, and loads of glow sticks met everyone at Pier Wisconsin for a party that will be talked about for ages! :) And it was all capped off with a “first scoop” as Joanna and Dan dug into their favorite custard and toppings late into the night! :)

HOLY MOLY! YAY for gorgeous and emotional and fantastic weddings like this, it truly DOES embody everything a marriage should begin with! :)
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Ceremony location : United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay
Reception location : Pier Wisconsin, Milwaukee WI
Wedding dress : Lele Rose purchased at Belle Vie Bridal Couture
Rings : Luo M. Jewlers
Shoes : Badgley Mischka
Hair and Makeup : Tina Lenz and Lacy
Bridesmaids dresses : Alfred Sung

Planner and day-of coordinator : The AMAZING Midwestern Bride
Florist : Bloom Lovely
Custard : Northpoint Custard
DJ : Sound by Design
Caterer : Bartolottas
Invitations and paper goods : Minted

The grill is going, the friends are showing up and then corn on the cob is being shucked! :) SUMMMMMMMMER time! :)  I have *the best* dessert idea for you for your next summer cook out : WATERMELON DESSERT PIZZAS! :)

Simply cut a watermelon in 1/2 and then cut 1-2 inch thick “rounds”. You can either decorate a whole “pizza” or cut them into triangles (like you see here) with the rhine as the “crust”. Homemade whipped cream as the “sauce” (with almond extract and powdered sugar for the perfect flavor), then decorate to your hearts content. Zeke has a BLAST decorating his with shaved coconut, blueberries, hot fudge, strawberries, mini chocolate chips, and white chocolate. YUM YUM YUM! :)

So good + so easy + so summery + so perfect for the kiddos! :) And perfect for those gluten free friends that need some sweets after dinner too! :)

YAY cupcake toppers from my online shop! :) Check them out here : www.emilysteffenshop.com

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I stood there with my camera nearly holding back tears as Ashley got ready…watching her girlfriends and aunties and new mother-in-law surround her with love and support and hugs and tears. They laughed together and they talked about Ashley’s Mom and remembered her and tried their hardest to fill in the spots where her Mom would have been…and I saw it. It was beautiful….with the photo of her Mom in the background of every piece of the day, they stepped in and gave Ashley EXACTLY what she needed to make the morning of her wedding so extra special and full! :)

The rest of Nick and Ashley’s celebration was perfect! A hot, summer day at the gorgeous Settlement Hill Farm in Hudson….with an outdoor ceremony “in the round”, custom WI and MN wine glasses, lawn games, beautiful, tearful toasts, happy dancing and a glowing “LOVE” sign that you could see as you drove away down the road and listened to the celebration inside the barn! :)

Cheers to the beautiful newlyweds!!!! :)

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Settlement Hill Farm, Hudson WI
Wedding dress : Mori Lee purchased at The Wedding Shoppe
Hair and Makeup : Root Salon and Viva Voce Salon
Flowers : Minneapolis Farmers Market :)
Dessert : Homemade cookies from Aunties
DJ : Rob Wilson
Catering : the bride and grooms faves – Bayport BBQ, Pier 500 restaurant, Uncle Paul, and Sue Hayden Portable Parties
Invitations : Wedding Paper Divas
Table rentals : Rudys Rustic Rentals

  • July 20, 2016 - 3:14 pm

    Ashley & Nick - LOVE LOVE LOVE!