Wedding Snapshot Series: Mara and Geddy at Black Swan MKE

The Milwaukee Meeting

Mara and Geddy met in the Summer of 2011 at Bradford Beach through a mutual friend, and they had their first date at Cafe Hollander on Milwaukee’s East Side. “I still vividly remember that day, what we were thinking, what we ate! We hit it off right away and the rest is history. We were pretty much inseparable after that,” says Mara.

The Proposal

One of their yearly traditions is to go to the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI, so Geddy planned to propose on their annual trip in the summer of 2016. He surprised Mara with a visit to Wollersheim Winery, where they walked the grounds and tried some of the different wines.

Mara said she should have known something was up when Geddy suggested a photo opportunity by a winding path that led to a beautiful archway covered in vines. When they reached the archway, Geddy got down on one knee, and Mara was so taken aback that she doesn’t remember most of what he said. “I was crying and he had a huge grin on his face. To this day he still says he doesn’t think I even said yes!’ Mara remembers.

The Dress

Mara found her dress at the popular Milwaukee boutique, Miss Ruby’s. “Overall,” she says, “I just wanted something timeless that I would look back on and still love.” Ultimately, she chose a dress by Wtoo, a company from Dallas that makes stunning gowns. “As soon as I tried it on,” she says, “I had a smile on my face.”

The First Look

Mara and Geddy chose to have their first look at the Hilton Garden Inn because of the gorgeous marble staircase. Looking at the pictures, it’s clear how excited they both were. “It was sort of a relief to both of us that the day was finally here, we had this sense of peace and comfort sharing our ‘I love yous’ and some ‘us’ time before the rest of the craziness started,” the couple says.

The Ceremony

Their ceremony was held at Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee. The ceremony, Mara says, was one of their favorite parts of the day. “My oldest brother married us and my Dad delivered our wedding day sermon so the ceremony was very special to both of us.”

The Venue, Decor, and Flowers

Black Swan MKE, a new venue in the Renaissance Building in the Third Ward, set the elegant backdrop for the ceremony. As soon as they saw the venue, Mara and Geddy were completely blown away. They even cancelled the other venue appointments they had scheduled for the day to go out for a celebratory brunch. “Peter was so easy going but direct,” the couple says. “We liked him right away and knew we could trust him with our day.”

The color scheme, which was blush, icory, burgundy, and navy, fit in perfectly with the setting of urban elegance at Black Swan MKE. “We wanted a very romantic and elegant feel since it was a winter wedding,” says the bride and groom. Feisty Flowers provided a beautiful  combination of cranberry and burgundy flowers paired with lots of greenery, blush tones, and mixed metals. “I cried when she brought all our flowers in the morning of the wedding!” Mara recalls.

The favors, which we absolutely love, were small jars of popcorn with a tag saying, “Thanks for popping by!”

The Menu

Since the wedding was in Winter, Mara and Geddy chose a comfort food-inspired menu, with items like Carved Smoked Steer Tenderloin, Smoked duck with Cider-Mustard Sauce (their favorite!), Skillet Green Beans, and Four Cheese Mac. They also set up a whimsical dessert station, complete with balloons and a doughnut and hot chocolate bar.

The father of the groom had one requirement for the food – pizza as a late-night snack. Mara and Geddy chose to go with Ian’s Pizza, a Milwaukee staple, and it was a huge hit. With unique flavors (like mac and cheese!), it was the perfect way to end the evening.

The Rooster

Mara comes from a large family, and one of her uncle’s brothers is nicknamed “Rooster.” At a wedding “back in the day,” her family thought it would be funny to set a live rooster loose during the Chicken Dance – a tradition they carried on to Mara and Geddy’s wedding. And don’t worry – the rooster is safe and sound at Mara’s parents’ house now. “He’s among other chicken friends. We just saw him again this past weekend actually!”

The Honeymoon

Mara and Geddy honeymooned at the El Dorado Maroma in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, for a week. “We had such a blast and loved every second of it!” they tell us.

Mara and Geddy – we wish you all the happiness in the world! Thank you for letting us be a part of your wonderful wedding!

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Delightful Desserts for Spring

Spring is right around the corner – we can feel it! To help you get in the mood for the season of rebirth and new beginnings, we’ve put together a list of desserts that are light, colorful, and fun – just like Spring!

Above: Orange Poppy Seed Cupcakes via Martha Stewart

We love the buttercream poppy that goes on top of these cupcakes. They’re perfect for a bridal show, an Easter get-together, or just because!

This Coconut Banana Pudding from My Recipes puts a delicious and healthy twist on the classic banana pudding. You can either serve it family-style or in individual dishes!

Not only are these Pink Lemonade Cheesecake Parfaits from Cravings of a Lunatic super easy to make, they’re also really cute! We love the addition of sprinkles on the top.

Naked cakes are a huge trend right now! We’re loving this Eaton Mess Cake from The Cake Blog, which features fresh berries and homemade whipped cream (because homemade whipped cream is obviously the best).

Cherries are one of our favorite fruits, and it seems like they’re under-represented in desserts! That’s why we’re excited about making these Rustic Cherry Tarts from Chocolate with Grace. The flaky crust perfectly contrasts with the juicy cherries.
We’ve never tried this before, but we can’t wait to try these Carrot Cake Cookies from Delish. The frosting drizzle is actually a cream cheese glaze!
How pretty are these Blackberry Cheesecake Bars from I Heart Naptime? They even have a sugar cookie crust!
Although the traditional topping for pound cake is usually strawberries and whipped cream, we love the idea of putting a rhubarb compote on top! Try this recipe for Sour Cream Vanilla Pound Cake with Rhubarb Compote from Country Living.
This oh-so-cute Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake from My Recipes uses shortening, making it the perfect decadent treat!
What says spring more than daisies? Make this Daisy Cake from Woman’s Day, which uses cream cheese frosting and almond extract!
Happy baking, and happy Spring!

2017 Catering Trend: Street-Food Inspired Dishes

Image via Wedding Wire

One of our favorite new trends in catering is offering menus inspired by the easy-to-eat dishes of STREET FOOD! Artisan street food is a great way to bring variety and ethnic fusion to a meal, and to make your menus stand out among your competitors. Offering street food-style menus can also help your clients – instead of contracting with several food trucks for the evening, they can get all the dishes they need through you.

A street food-style menu is perfect for almost any type of event – corporate, wedding, fundraiser, you name it! We’ve put together some station menu ideas inspired by recipes from all around the world.

Asian Station

Pork Satay with Chili Dipping Sauce (SBS)

Banh Mi Chicken Tacos (A Spicy Perspective)
Sticky Rice Dumplings (SBS)
Thai Corn Cakes with Pickled Cucumbers (Olive)

American Station

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog (Everyday Southwest)
Burger Sliders (My Recipes)
Skewered Corn on the Cob with Assorted Toppings (Betty Crocker)
Mac and Cheese Bites (Damn Delicious)

Mexican Station

Lamb Barbacoa with Avocado Tacos (Muy Bueno)
Shrimp and Black Bean Quesadillas (Jamie Oliver)
Mango, Jicama, and Cucumber Salad (Muy Bueno)
Churros (All Recipes)

French Station

Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups (Delish)
Mini Spinach and Mushroom Quiche (Food Network)
Steak, Spinach, and Mushroom Crepes (Half Baked Harvest)
Bacon and Onion Tart (Saveur)

Mediterranean Station

Turkey Meatballs with Herbed Yogurt Sauce (Kitchn)
Garlc-Rosemary Lamb Pita (My Recipes)
Cheese, Herb, and Sun-Dried Tomato Phyllo Rolls (Epicurious)
Spicy Cheese Sticks with Hummus and Olive Tapenade (Kitchn)

The main thing with street-food inspired catering is to make it easy and FUN! Let us know some of your street food recipes!