jenna & ramsey
a gatsby winter
Veil Magazine vendors
LIGHTING & DJ Milwaukee Airwaves
PHOTOGRAPHY Studio 29 Photography & Design
CEREMONY & RECEPTION LOCATION Milwaukee Athletic Club • FLORAL DECOR Ester • HAIR & MAKEUP KWOF Salon • INVITATIONS Clark Creative • LINEN RENTALS BBJ - Table Fashions • MEN'S FORMALWEAR Bachrach • RECEPTION BAND The Right Now • WEDDING CAKE C. Adams • WEDDING GOWN Zita’s Bridal
Gatsby Opulence Meets Wisconsin Winter
by Jenna Kashou
Music has played such a big part of our love story. So, music was the most important detail of our wedding, and then, creating a memorable ambience. I remember the song that was playing the first time Ramsey came over to hang out at my apartment. He walked the six blocks from his place to mine and put on the playlist he had been listening to. “The Start of Something” by Vox Trot came on – it was certainly the start of something, but I was none the wiser.
We met through a mutual friend at Balzac Wine Bar on the East Side. Ramsey had a robust mustache and wore an Alpine ski sweater. Aside from his cartoonish, adorable appearance, I was intrigued by his name. I flooded him with questions to find out if he grew up with Middle Eastern traditions like me, and like his name suggested. As coincidence would have it, both of our dads were born in Palestine. But more than ethnic ties, our mutual interests brought us together.
Our first date was at Turner Hall’s rock climbing gym, which turned into hot toddies at Von Triers. We were both getting over colds as the remnants of winter clung tight to March. Within a few months, and without even realizing it, we became an indelible part of each other’s lives.
Three years into our relationship, we decided to take a vacation on the West Coast and drove from Portland to the Redwood Forest. Halfway into our first hike, we stopped at a bench to take a break. I was so in awe of the misty, mossy, gargantuan forest I hardly realized that Ramsey was getting down on one knee and proposing to me. My awe turned into shock and then excitement. I floated the rest of the way down the trail, my smile hooking from my right ear to my left. When we hopped back in to the car, Ramsey had an engagement playlist all cued up with favorites like “Love and Some Verses,” by Iron and Wine.
As the wedding planning process began to take its twists and turns, and our original vision of a small rustic wedding fell by the wayside, we reminded ourselves that it was just a party and the most important thing was that we were starting a new life together.
Once I found my dress and we chose the venue, it became clear that our wedding would have a Great Gatsby air to it, showcasing the Art Deco elements of the Milwaukee Athletic Club. Also, because it was in December, we wanted to work with the natural elements of the season.
Fast forward to December 20 at 3 p.m. I was riding to the Brew House Inn and Suites to meet Ramsey before our ceremony. Our photographer Ren Davis led me up a set of metal stairs and then brought Ramsey out with his back facing me. As I glided down the stairs and approached Ramsey, I was giddy with anticipation. “Three Rounds and a Sound” by Blind Pilot was playing on his phone, in his suit coat pocket when he greeted me. It’s one of our songs; of course we can’t just pick one song!
It was really special for us to bring in a few traditional elements from our heritage for the reception. There was traditional Arab music to kick off the party, complete with Ramsey and I hoisted up in chairs. We also used an ornate sword that is family heirloom to cut our cake.
With Ramsey in the industry and me being an event planner, we had many options and opinions about our vendors and details. We had two live performers – who are also dear friends – add acoustic music to the ceremony, a live, seven-piece soul band and of course, an Airwaves DJ to keep the dace floor packed while the band was on break. We also had a piano player and whiskey tasting in the Elephant Room for guests who were looking to relax and take a break from the action.
Ramsey and I also love coffee so we had our favorite – a Valentine brew bar to pair with the international sweets table complete with Middle Eastern Bakalva, French Macaroons, Italian biscotti and Argentinean Alfajores.
The best part of the wedding was letting the pieces fall into place and watching our guests enjoy the evening as it unfolded.