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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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!”
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!
- Bridal Show(s): The Original Bridal Decor Resale & Wedding Show
- Invitations: Etsy
- Rehearsal Dinner: Camp Bar Wauwatosa
- Ceremony: Grace Lutheran Church
- Reception: Black Swan MKE
- Rentals: All Star Rentals
- Dessert: Canfora Bakery
- Floral: Feisty Flowers
- Music: Fireman Jim Productions
- Photography/Videography: Kaleigh Ray Photography , Sean Sweeney Photography
- Food: All Occasions Catering/Bubb’s BBQ
- Late-Night Snack: Ian’s Pizza
- Dress: Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique
- Rings: Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers , Blue Nile