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Flowers: Jane Kelly Floral
Hair & Makeup: Halo Salon
Linen & Napkin Rentals: Windy City Linen
Men's Formalwear: Wingman Formalwear
Models: Brittney, and Pablo with Ohlsson Model & Talent
Photography: Front Room Photography
Venue Location: Chandelier Ballroom
Wedding Gown: Stone Manor Bridal

Vintage Chic

Dreaming of the perfect Gatsby-inspired wedding? Somewhere between “antique” and “modern”, you can find the perfect vintage vibe for your big day. Intricate florals and feminine color palettes will bring your guests back in time for a good old-fashioned love story feel. Some elements, like classic greenery and detailed gowns, will never go out of style. Unique architecture and warm ambiance will bring an old-fashioned feel to your wedding celebration.

When you’re imagining your perfect Wisconsin wedding, what comes to mind? This romantic venue overlooking the stunning Milwaukee skyline brings a beautiful wow factor to a wedding reception. Some of Milwaukee’s top wedding designers came together to bring the space to life, and the romantic, soft look will leave you longing for happily ever after.


If you’re low on inspiration when it comes to table decor, consider pulling from your wedding dress! Windy City Linen provided all of the linens, and the soft white, silver and pink will remind guests of how beautiful your gown is. Lace is a major trend in gowns, and bringing some of that delicate beauty to your linens ties everything together. The sheer white overlay in organza and the silver ornamental lace chair cap in particular bring to mind the simple prettiness of a wedding gown.


Canopies Events with Distinction provided the Saturn silver chargers and silver chiavari ballroom chairs. Kicking your table settings up a notch is a simple way to elevate a feeling of elegance for your reception. No matter how delicious the food is, eating off of an appealing tablescape will make the meal feel even more special.  


Another must to add elegance to your big day? Lovely florals. Every fairytale deserves a magical garden, and creating one for your wedding reception is a breeze. Melissa at Bank of Flowers suggests tulips and roses with textural greens like bay leaves, seeded eucalyptus, or gunni eucalyptus. The flowers in these snapshots are all from Holland, and the glass stamped candles and strong patterns in the hurricane lanterns are softened by the delicate greenery. Melissa described it as an elegant French garden feel, and the gorgeous arrangements add a burst of nature to the understated color scheme. You can also consider adding florals to your cake! Simma’s Bakery provided this stunning cake, with its marbled fondant and edible rice paper flowers.


But of course, all of the stunning details need the perfect venue. At the Hyatt Hotel Milwaukee, the team will have your tables, flatware, china and glassware completely ready to go for your guests. Your friends and family can enjoy elegant meals like asiago chicken filled with bread crumbs, fresh herbs with tomato-basil cream sauce, truffle mashed potatoes and asparagus with balsamic butter. The VUE is the Hyatt’s circle rooftop ballroom—the only one of its kind in Milwaukee—offering panoramic views of downtown Brew City. The VUE towers twenty-one stories above Milwaukee and can host anything from receptions to rehearsal dinners to bridal showers to engagement parties. The 4,000 square foot room is sure to leave your guests in awe. 


Looking for the Advertisers mentioned in this article? Click here to find our Local Veil Vendors. 

by Claire Swinarski

Romantic VUE


Entrées, Lighting & Venue Location: Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Floral Décor & Candle Holder Rentals: Bank of Flowers
Invitation & Stationery: Terri Blahnik, Veil Magazine
Linen & Napkin rentals: Windy City Linen
Photography: Heather Cook Elliott Photography
Chiavari Chairs & Charger Rentals: Canopies Events with Distinction
Wedding Cake: Simma's Bakery

Your vendors are here to help make your wedding day incredible. As you plan and prepare, it’s important to keep some email etiquette tips in mind so that your important notes don’t get lost in sea of inbox emails! Although your big day is your primary focus, most vendors are juggling multiple events each season. We spoke with some renowned Wisconsin wedding vendors to get their input on best practices for digital communication. By following these tips and making their lives easier, you’ll guarantee happy vendors and quick responses!


 Get specific in your subject line. Put your need there right away, whether it’s “Wedding Inquiry – Date” or “Quick Question About Seasonal Flowers.” Giving a proper subject line will make it easy for the vendor to find the email later on and estimate how long it will take them to respond to it.
Don’t: Make the subject something generic like “hi” or “question” that will leave vendors confused as to what your email is about and how long it will take them to answer.


Provide as many details as possible. Even if you haven’t gotten knee-deep into planning, give the vendor what information you have.
Don’t: Send an email asking for a quote and then leave out necessary details like the date. If you’re inquiring about linens, for example, you need to provide how many tables you have, as well as their sizes. Asking a photographer for their pricing without providing the venue could make them wonder if it’s a local reception or a destination wedding. When a vendor has to email you back to request this information it will delay the process.


If you’re in the inquiry stage, make sure to research vendors before emailing. It will save both of you time if you know you’re seriously interested in their services. Then, personalize each email with what you like about their business.
Don’t: Send out a huge email blast just looking for prices. Of course it’s important information, but price shopping can be frustrating to vendors, and it may leave them not emailing you back. If you send vague questions, like “How much do you charge for weddings?” to a DJ with no information about location or hours, it’s hard for them to respond accurately.


If you’re in the inquiry stage, make sure to research vendors before emailing. It will save both of you time if you know you’re seriously interested in their services. Then, personalize each email with what you like about their business.
Don’t: Send out a huge email blast just looking for prices. Of course it’s important information, but price shopping can be frustrating to vendors, and it may leave them not emailing you back. If you send vague questions, like “How much do you charge for weddings?” to a DJ with no information about location or hours, it’s hard for them to respond accurately.


Use proper formatting, no matter how informal you and your wedding are. Leave spaces between paragraphs so that emails are easy to scan. Consider using bullet points if you have multiple questions. And, don’t forget the spell check!
Don’t: Send huge chunks of unformatted text. When the vendor sees it, they may click away to deal with it later because it looks like it will take them awhile. You want to make things as clear as possible.


Remind them of your wedding date and location in the very first paragraph. It will put them in the right mindset to answer your question if they can visualize your event.
Don’t: Send a thousand emails with each small question. Try to package them into one comprehensive email every so often so that your vendor isn’t swimming in notes from you.


Give your contact information — preferably a cell phone number. Vendors like to be able to get back to you as quickly as possible, and if they need further information, calling might do the trick better than emailing.
Don’t: Leave off your last name, particularly if you have a common first name. Chances are you aren’t the only “Katie” or “Sarah” the vendor is working with this year.


Be considerate of business hours. It’s fine to send a weekend email, but don’t get upset if it isn’t responded to until Monday.
Don’t: Forget that vendors have lives, too. If it’s a non-urgent matter, wait about a week before emailing to follow-up if you haven’t received a response. Remember that although you may be anxious about your florals, knowing exactly the breed of rose that will be in your bouquet probably isn’t an emergency that needs to be handled in the middle of the night. Although most wedding vendors are prompt and organized, inboxes can easily slide out of control, particularly during the height of wedding season.


Overall, vendors are looking to serve you and give you the day of your dreams. By tweaking your emails just a little, you can make it much easier for them to do so.

by Claire Swinarski


PHOTOGRAPHY  The Paper Elephant, & Studio 29 Photography + Design

Acing Email

by Claire Swinarski


PHOTOGRAPHY  The Paper Elephant, & Studio 29 Photography + Design

Acing Email

What to do
Before "I Do"


You’ve tasted the cake, picked the music, selected your bridal party and scheduled your dress fittings. It’s been a whirlwind of romance, gorgeous flowers and happy dreaming.  But before you can walk down that aisle, and before you lift off in a jet plane for that divine honeymoon, there’s the bite of reality and paperwork that you need to tackle first.


The transition from single to married affects both the bride and the groom and it can be a bit of a daunting task even for those who have already been married before. Each state and county has it’s own little idiosyncrasies, so research in your state and counties of residence will be vital to making sure you have all your documents in order before applying for any legal papers.


These pieces of wedding preparation can be confusing and overwhelming, so Veil Magazine has corralled all of the information, leaving you a clear path to understanding what needs to be done, where, when and by whom.




For those who wish to have a premarital agreement in place before marriage, the good news is that the state of Wisconsin does not have any mandates for filing procedures.  State law considers the agreement to be legally binding in the case of divorce if both the bride and groom enter into the wording and creation of the document without being forced into the signing.  The state also does not require a lawyer to make the agreement, but the document must be signed by two witnesses.  Keep in mind that a self-authored prenup will hold less weight in a court of law if one side decides to dispute it during divorce.


Happily, there is no waiting period between the time the prenup is signed and the wedding date. It could be signed the minutes before you walk down the aisle!  It is possible to include a myriad of details in a prenuptial agreement, including both monetary and non-financial requirements, and Wisconsin does not dictate any particulars about what is allowed.  For instance, number of children, pet custody and division of household chores are all elements that couples can choose to include in the agreement, beyond just the division of property, inheritances and joint savings accounts. The non-financial portion of the agreements are not usually legally binding but do give courts and judges a view into the initial intent of the couple’s frame of mind.




Anyone wishing to marry in the state of Wisconsin must apply for a marriage license at a county clerk’s office.  Your wedding date must be set before you apply for the license, and the application must be completed at least seven days, but not more than thirty days before the actual wedding date.  Once you receive the license in the mail, it’s valid for thirty days after the issue date.  Most county clerk offices are open Monday through Friday, but each office has specific hours, so call to check with your specific county.  Applications are taken on a first come, first serve basis.  


You’ll apply for a license in whichever county the bride or the groom is a resident; that license is then valid in any county in Wisconsin.  For example, if one or both of you is a resident of Ozaukee County, you’d go to the county clerk’s office in Port Washington.  However, the license you receive in Port Washington can be used to get married anywhere, such as halfway across the state in La Crosse.  


However, if both of you are not residents of Wisconsin, you must apply for the license in the county where you will be married.  That particular license is only valid in that county then.  So if you both live in New York, but are marrying in Milwaukee, you’d apply for a license in Milwaukee county, and can only use that license in Milwaukee county.


Wisconsin does not require any blood tests to get a marriage license, but both people must be at least eighteen years old.  On an interesting note, you may marry your first cousin in Wisconsin if the woman is older than 55 years of age, or one of you has documented proof of sterilization!


Both of you will be required to provide specific paperwork at the time of the application, and below is a quick check list.  You must apply for the license together in person, and you must both bring these items along:


1.Valid photo ID, such as a valid driver’s license or passport

2. Certified copy of a birth certificate

3. Social Security card with your legal name

4. Proof of residency with a current address in the county: this is not applicable to out-of-state residents

5. A filed copy of final judgement of divorce, legal annulment or certified death certificate if one of you was previously married; Wisconsin requires six months to pass after the granting of a divorce before another marriage license can be issued, regardless of where the divorce was given

6. Name, address, and telephone number of the officiant performing your wedding ceremonyThe cost of a marriage license varies in each county, so again, contact the county clerk’s office ahead of time, as cash is usually the only way the fee is accepted.




Now that you’ve signed a prenup, gotten married and signed the marriage license, your officiant would have submitted that signed license to the state.  It is then your responsibility to get that vital record for your own safe keeping, and in order to start the process to change your name, should you wish.  Copies of the license are available three weeks after the wedding date.  


To receive copies of the marriage license, you must filled out a marriage certificate application form, available at, and mail it with a photocopy.

    It’s official—you’re engaged! No amount of chick flicks or fantasies could prepare you for that moment your beloved got down on one knee. Your new bling has hundreds of “likes” on Facebook, and you can’t help but stare at it whenever the light catches it just right. As you scroll through Pinterest and bombard your wedding board with dozens of ideas, you think you have this planning game in the bag…until you realize you have no idea where to start. Don’t hit the panic button! We’ve got you covered.




    It’s easy to get swept up into the excitement of planning a wedding. Before you dive in, lay out your budget. Family may be helping pay for portions of the day, and if that is the case you’ll want to have a candid conversation at the onset about what they have budgeted for you and what that budget is intended for. For example, traditionally the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner, but that doesn’t mean you should expect that of them. Communicating your needs with their expectations will alleviate tension early on and keep you and your fiancé within your means so you can enjoy this day instead of having it financially cripple you.  Once you have a budget determined, you’ll want to set aside a “safety net” for any unexpected costs that may come up, as well as a small reserve for tips for your vendors.



    Let’s face it, you’ve probably been envisioning your wedding day far longer than your fiancé. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have ideas for what he would like your celebration to look like. Sit down with your budget and discuss what areas are most important to each of you. From there, consult one another before any final decisions are made. His input may be “it doesn’t matter to me” for some details, but giving him the chance to be included sends a strong message to him about how much you value him.




    Now that you’ve communicated expectations, you can begin digging into planning. Your guest list will be important in knowing what venues you can consider based on capacity size of the space. You don’t need an exact number, but know what your maximum head count will be so each location you visit can help decide if they can accommodate your needs. Many venues book up well in advance, so you’ll want to find your location as soon as possible. You may have a specific date in mind you’d like for your big day, but be willing to be flexible if you dream location is already booked on that date. Likewise, you may need to veto a venue if the date is a deal breaker. Know which is more important to you—the date or the place—and proceed accordingly.




    When it comes to making memories, the caterer and entertainment set the mood for the evening and will be talked about for years to come, and the photographer/videographer will be the ones capturing it all through their lens. Visit with at least three vendors in each of these areas so you can not only do a cost comparison, you also feel confident that whomever you hire doesn’t just fit your tastes but is someone you trust.



    You likely already have a theme in mind for your wedding, but now is the time to plan out the finer details of how it will all come together through things like flowers, décor, centerpieces, color palettes, etc. Finding a florist who can help you create a lot of these elements through their knack for design and talented vision will bring a sense of cohesion to everything else you incorporate. We have great tips for finding vendors that will match your style in the pages of Veil Magazine, as well as our online resources.




    The gowns and tuxes should be planned out about 9 months in advance to allow enough time for ordering and alterations. While you will likely take the lead on a lot of the planning initiation, having your groom take ownership of menswear will eliminate a lot of undue stress to you. Plan a day that you can go with him to come to an agreement on colors and styles, and then let him coordinate the men from there.




    Once you have your guest list and date set, you can send out Save the Dates so your loved ones can plan ahead to celebrate with you. Actual invitations don’t need to go out until about 45-60 days prior to your date. It’s inevitable that you’ll have a handful of guests that will forget to send back their RSVP by the due date. Plan in an extra week for you and your fiancé to be able to follow up on any unknown RSVPs before your final guest count numbers are due to vendors.


    When it comes to the registry, starting early on isn’t a bad idea as some people will want to buy you a gift as early as your engagement party, but don’t feel pressured to create a more complete registry until the bridal shower invites are ready to go out. You’ll want to revisit your registry after your bridal shower to make sure wedding guests have enough of a selection of items at various price points to browse through. For ideas about what to register for, visit the Veil Magazine website.




    Plan as you may, there will be the inevitable surprise or two that comes up during the wedding day. However, you can help alleviate a lot of that unnecessary stress by creating a list of things to remember to bring with you on your wedding day, having an agenda printed for your bridal party, and noting any final payments or other vendor-related items that may require your attention. Having a bridal attendant in charge of keeping track of this list and your wedding day needs is a great way to incorporate an important member of your family or friend who couldn’t be a part of the bridal party while allowing you to relax more knowing someone there to help you through the day.


    If you feel lost or in need of some guidance, we offer page after page of valuable information and quality vendors within the pages of Veil Magazine. You can also find us online at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for hundreds of articles, advice and daily inspiration to carry you through from “Yes” to “I Do.” We would love to hear about your wedding day and all the wonderful details that went into it. Learn how to enter our UnVeiled Love Story contest online, and you could be featured in a future issue of Veil Magazine!


by Carolyn Hartnett & Michelle Drewek


Floral Décor & custom Décor pieces: Jane Kelly Floral
Invitation & stationery: Terri Blahnik, Veil Magazine
Lighting: Sound By Design
linen & napkin rentals: Windy City Linen
Lounge furniture rental: événement  lounge event rentals
Photography: Front Room Photography
Table, Chairs & Stemware rentals:
Canopies Events with Distinction
venue location: The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel
videography: Sound By Design Films
wedding cake & Desserts: Miss Molly's Cafe & Pastry Shop
Wedding planning & design: événement planning

Bringing Your
Space to Life

Are you looking for a knockout gift for your fiancé, but just don’t know what to get him? Are you stressed out from planning and looking for a moment of respite? Are you feeling less than fabulous right before the day in which you are supposed to be feeling your absolute best? If these ring all too true, then boudoir may be the answer you never thought you were looking for! Before you crawl into a hole and cover yourself with the blanket sitting next to you, hear us out. Boudoir doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating, in fact it is quite the opposite! It is an opportunity to let an artisan take what comes naturally to you and highlight it in a sensational way. Best of all, it gives your husband-to-be a keepsake he will never want to take his eyes off of.


Boudoir photography is more than just scantily clad pictures; it is an experience. From the staging and lighting to the outfits and atmosphere, every session is uniquely tailored to the desires, comfort level and persona of the bride. Tegan Jae, owner of The Paper Elephant, believes in the boudoir experience so much that she includes it in her wedding photography packages. “I love that boudoir photography combines fashion and editorial with empowerment and dressing up. It allows me to play around with fun lighting techniques and poses for all different body types, and to connect with my clients on a deeper level. They leave a session looking and feeling amazing, radiating confidence that many didn’t even know they had in them before we started. I have grooms pull me aside on the wedding day and thank me not only for the gorgeous gift I helped create, but for the confidence boost it gave their bride. That, to me, is priceless!”


The photo shoot itself isn’t limited in scope. It can take place at the photographer’s studio, in the client’s home, or somewhere completely unexpected. “I have had brides book a night at a hotel before the wedding to surprise their fiancé,” Tegan details. “The bride and I arrive early, take the photos, and then she surprises him later on with the photos we took before he arrived. Wedding planning can be stressful and time consuming, so this gives them a chance to spend more quality time together.”


If doing boudoir is already well outside of your comfort zone, doing the session in the comfort of your home may be a more ideal setting. In your home, you have the benefit of having certain places that you can turn from ordinary to extraordinary for your man — his favorite chair, your bathtub and, of course, the bedroom! And of course, the photographer’s studio is ready to accommodate you and your vision: soft, romantic and playful or sexy, daring and dramatic.


One of the benefits of doing a boudoir photo shoot is the shameless excuse to go shopping. It’s the perfect reason to treat yourself — and your man — to some eye-catching new wardrobe items. Before you go shopping she can help provide recommendations of what works best for body types and comfort levels, all with your needs in mind. You can also incorporate items like his favorite dress shirt or part of his work uniform to really catch him by surprise. Whatever ensembles you decide on, Tegan’s number one tip is high heels. “Even if your feet aren’t showing in a standing photo, high heels will give you better posture.” While it helps to have your own options along for your shoot, like a good friend Tegan always has extra outfits and shoes in her studio for a bride in need.


In order to help you look and feel your best, there are several accommodations Tegan says are available to her clients. First and foremost, she strongly suggests using the hair and makeup team she has on set. It is an extra fee, but so worth it! “Trust me, your eyes will sparkle. I work with an amazingly talented team that will make you look and feel amazing.” Additionally, Tegan includes retouching on all ordered images. Skin requests, scuffs on the bottoms of heels, and distracting labels are all within her editing powers. She does not reshape the body in any way during the editing process and for good reason. “I use nothing but the best in terms of flattering lighting and posing that will highlight your best features and diminish your insecurities.”


Boudoir doesn’t automatically mean nude or almost nude. You can do something more playful in a tank top and pajama shorts if that is where you feel most at ease. Tegan encourages you to try to break out of that comfort zone to see just how amazing you can look and feel in your own skin but will never discourage a bride from how she feels sexiest. “I will work with all comfort levels to help you feel amazing and create imagery that we are both proud of.” And, if it helps, Tegan says to bring along a great friend to keep the mood light and bring an added level of familiarity.


The biggest concern most brides have when planning for a boudoir session is the concept of privacy. Will anyone see my images? Tegan said this is always a question and she is completely adamant about not breaking that trust with her clients. “Nothing is shared online or in print without written consent, and always after any gifts are delivered. If my brides want the images kept private, then the only person who will see them is me during the editing process. And I NEVER post any nudity anywhere online. I believe those should be strictly private … always.”


As can be seen, there truly is no one way to embrace the boudoir experience. Let your imagination run wild, and leave the rest to your photography artisan to help your vision take life. And, be prepared to pick your fiancé’s jaw off the floor when he sees your sexy, fabulous, fearless self encapsulated in a gift just for him. Be empowered … be daring … be you!



by Michelle Drewek


PHOTOGRAPHY  The Paper Elephant

As your wedding plans begin to come together and the larger details of the day fall into place, your mind will begin to swirl with ideas for other items to incorporate. If you have a dog, there has no doubt been consideration of involving them in your wedding. Your loved ones will all be included, and your pup is very much a big piece of your heart. There are a number of ways to include your dog in this monumental day. Here are some ideas that are sure to wow your paws off!


One of the most significant ways to include your fur baby is to have them there for the “I Do’s.” Ren Davis of Studio 29 Photography adores working with couples and their pups, and says there are a number of ways to have them physically be a part of your special day.“


Some couples choose to have their dogs present in part or in whole on their wedding day. Depending on your venue and the limitations that may (or may not) be in place, you can have your dog as a member of your bridal party — like a groomsman or ring bearer — or be watching on as one of your loved ones in attendance. You may even have him/her walk you down the aisle!”


Your wedding day will be captured in numerous ways through many different sets of eyes. From the photographer and videographer to your friends and family, all eyes will be on you. If your dog will be at your ceremony and/or reception, perhaps you should consider an option for capturing the day through their unique perspective.“


Our dog, Kenzo, will be wearing a GoPro all day for our July wedding,” Ren details. “We are staying in a cabin in the woods and are getting ready in the morning together. He will be videotaping all of it! He will also be joining us for a mountain hike after our first look for our bride and groom portraits, as well as be involved in the wedding party photos following the ceremony. During the ceremony, I can’t wait to see him in his handsome garland collar!”


Having your beloved canine with you on your wedding day may require some additional planning assuming they are only going to be with you for part of the day, or at the very least will not be going home with you that night. You’ll need to organize how your dog can be transported to and from where necessary and to have a handler that can make sure they are well taken care of. Most of the people you would readily trust with this responsibility will be a guest, and you don’t want to impose on their enjoyment of the festivities.


If a family member or friend isn’t an option, having a professional dog care specialist that can meet you at your venue to pick up your dog and take them to their care facility will ease the stress of not only making sure your pet is well taken care of, but that you can still enjoy your wedding day without the added hoops to jump through. Whatever route you choose, be sure to establish a set plan so when the wedding day comes around there is no question or confusion about your fur baby’s needs being met.


Sadly, as much as you may want to have your pup by your side on your big day, it may not be feasible for one reason or another, and not every venue will be OK with 4-legged attendees. But that doesn’t mean you can’t include them “in spirit.” Throughout the years, Ren has seen many unique ways people have incorporated their dog into their wedding day.“


Feature them in the décor, like your cake topper or on the table numbers, if they can’t be in attendance,” Ren suggests. “A few of my couples have set up a donation bucket, and if their guests want them to kiss, they had to donate money. The couple then donated all the money to an animal shelter.”    


Additionally, you can take time during your engagement photo session or wedding day photos to bring them in for a few Kodak moments. Ren says that couples can also plan a post-wedding day session where you can get dressed in your wedding attire and snap some photos with your pup at a better time. There are many picture-perfect moments to be had. Check out the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Veil Magazine for more photo ideas to consider!


This day is monumentally special and being able to share it with everyone you love, be they 2-legged or 4-legged, is beyond compare. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your venue and photographer to see what options you have for involving your cherished canine. As excited as you will be to have them be a part of this day, they will be even more excited to share in your happiness. Besides, they are just too doggone cute!


Planning Tips:

Does your venue allow for dogs?
Will you have your dog dressed in any attire?
Do you have a plan should your dog become overly anxious or excited by the events of the day?
Do you have a handler on-site for the day?
Do you have a plan in place for escorting your dog to and from the location(s) they will be in attendance?
Do you have overnight arrangements set up
for your dog?

by Michelle Drewek

PHOTOGRAPHY  Studio 29 Photography + Design

For the

Love of Dogs

Picture this; you are getting ready to enter your wedding ceremony. Family and friends are gathered together, and your handsome groom is anxiously awaiting your entrance. As the doors open you look down to meet his gaze, only you can’t quite meet his eyes with the flashes of cameras flickering left and right, all while guests peek in and out of the aisle to take that Instagram-worthy shot of you on their phone.


You may have seen the viral photograph on social media an Australian wedding photographer shared. It’s a picture of a groom as he sees his bride for the first time, only he is leaning to look around several guests with their phones up taking pictures of her. What was supposed to be an unforgettable moment between the groom and his bride on their wedding day became a tainted portrait.


Bride-to-be Crystal Halliday cringes at the thought of her groom finding himself in this same scenario after experiencing technology overload first-hand.“


I was sitting at a friend’s wedding and couldn't even see the couple because of all the phones raised up taking photos,” Crystal says. “The only sounds I could hear were the constant shutter snaps of the cell phones and cameras instead of the amazing, hand-written vows my friends were saying to each other. In that moment I knew, without a doubt, I wanted an unplugged ceremony.”


An unplugged ceremony is when a couple asks their guests to leave all phones and cameras tucked away during the ceremony, giving them the opportunity to be present in the moment and allow for your photographer to do their job to the best of their ability. From a practical standpoint, an unplugged ceremony helps to ensure that the pretty penny you put towards finding and hiring the best photographer to capture this special day is well spent. The last thing any bride or groom wants in their wedding photographs are cell phones and camera lenses distracting from what could have been a beautifully capture moment.


While the concept itself is an understandable request to make, you may wonder how to politely execute the unplugged ceremony in a tactful, tasteful manner. Thanks to apps like Pinterest, plenty of ideas already exist online for classy ways to publicize your unplugged ceremony to guests. Create a cute sign that can be posted at the entrance of your ceremony asking guests to please turn off their devices and enjoy this special moment with you. You can also add it to your wedding website and include a note on the wedding invitations as a way to make sure guests have advanced notice of your expectations. Finally, the officiant can make an announcement prior to the ceremony starting as a final reminder before you make your entrance.


A photograph is worth a thousand words, and creating a plan to ensure that quality shines through with every snap of your photographer’s camera is well worth your attention. It’s an often overlooked detail that could save you and your photographer a lot of headaches while bringing the focus back to what is most important—the intimate union of you and your love.


In the words of Crystal, “When I look out to my friends and family, I want to see their smiles, not their phones.”



Planning a Wedding,
Building a Marriage

by Robyn & Jim Vining #TeamVining

PHOTOGRAPHY  Robyn Vining Photography

being ENGAGED is a DREAMY, EMOTIONAL, sometimes panicky and stressfull ROLLER COASTER


For better or for worse, you are not only marrying your fiancé on your wedding day. When the two of you join together in matrimony, you are also combining two families. Wedding planning is exciting yet challenging in many ways. Everyone has an opinion about what you should and shouldn’t do, and you are bound to receive advice and input from many sources. If your parents or future in-laws are contributing to the budget, you will need to bridge the gap between what you desire as a couple versus your family’s wants. This can be a sensitive issue. How do you strike a balance between your family’s expectations and your own wishes for your wedding?  Here are a few tips for curbing any potential drama:


First, talk with your fiancé about your desires for the wedding. Create a list of the most important things that you can’t live without on your big day. Next, discuss which parts are not as crucial that you are willing to compromise on if necessary. Also, decide together how you will handle disagreements that may arise when your families become involved. Once you two are on the same page, broach the wedding planning topic with your family on a united front. Serve as each other’s support system during any times of stress and conflict that may arise throughout the process.


Be Respectful
Listen to and acknowledge the opinions of your family, and think carefully about their requests before you react. Whenever you disagree, take a deep breath and craft your response with a level head. Remain calm, acknowledge the other person’s opinion, but be assertive and stand your ground on the things that are important to you. Thank them for their feedback and explain as gently as possible that you only get to do this once, and you want your wedding to reflect your personalities as a couple. Maintain a level of respect and consideration for your future in-laws at all times. Remember, these are the people who raised the man you love. They will be sitting across the table from you at family dinners in the future. Choose your battles wisely.


Your wedding is not only a celebration of your love for each other; it is about the joining of families. Weddings are a time of major transition for both families. It can be difficult for parents to accept that you are starting a new life. Mothers may feel especially vulnerable and often just want to be needed by you. Therefore, try to keep your mom and future mother-in-law involved and informed. Consider handing off some decisions and tasks to alleviate your own stress. Give in to their wishes occasionally to keep the peace.


Keep Things in Perspective
It can be easy to lose sight of the big picture when dedicating all of your time, energy and effort to wedding planning. Enjoy the process, but never forget what really matters. Maintaining a positive relationship with both each other and your families is the key to a happy life together.



Balancing Family Demands with your Dream Wedding Plans

Finding the perfect wedding venue can seem like a daunting task. You’ve been dreaming of this day for ages, and the location will set the stage for the best day of your life. But when you’re on the hunt for that perfect space, remember that with the right team of experts, any space can become the setting for your fairytale.


Take The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel in Milwaukee’s Third Ward, for instance. The hotel offers an array of options for everything from the bridal shower to the morning-after gift opening, all with the Midwestern charm of Milwaukee built right in! Above you can see the breathtaking views offered to guests in this ideal pre- or post-wedding event space, and inside are exciting opportunities waiting to be unlocked. Brides and grooms are afforded flexibility to make it exactly what they’ve envisioned by incorporating an orchestra of florals, a delicious menu, and decorations to die for. By utilizing a team of professionals that can work together to showcase the colors, textures, shapes and unique features of your space, you are able to elevate your expectations to those that exceed your wildest dreams. Put simply, the pros have the picture-perfect recipe for design success!


The following spread demonstrates just how transformative a vision can be with the right eyes working on it. Some of the best vendors in Wisconsin—including événement planning, Jane Kelly Floral, Windy City Linen, Sound By Design, Front Room Photography, Canopies Events With Distinction, and Miss Molly’s Pastries—came together to transform The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel into a fabulous, gorgeously designed space. To see more about how this all-star artisan team worked together, visit our website and Facebook to check out our behind the scenes video shot by Sound By Design Films.


The Lounge:
Janelle Meyer-Brown from événement planning was inspired by the eccentricity of the Third Ward and wanted to incorporate the elements found outside to the indoors of this beautiful 2nd floor ballroom space. The colors of the light posts on the streets were utilized, along with accents of brass like those you see throughout the hotel. Janelle was inspired by how simple the room can be, and yet how dynamic you can make it with all the right details. Golden florals worked well atop a tabletop set with items paying homage to Wisconsin favorites—brews, cheese boards and Miss Molly’s Pastries’ delectable apple pie, all of which pairs perfectly with the bustling Third Ward and Hoan Bridge just outside the windows. The copper accents add another level of depth to the sophisticated color palette, going perfectly with pops of color in the downtown-inspired pillows and room décor. The lounge transforms from a modest hotel lounge to the ideal place for guests to mingle in merriment.


The Ballroom Foyer:
In the foyer of the ballroom, the design team used tans, ivories and vibrant arrangements to give the room an elegant ambiance that complemented the bright red carpet. There’s no window in the room, so votive candles were used to brighten up the space and add a touch of formality. The copper and glass details provide a wonderful juxtapose for the bright accents that were brought into the space, along with those already in place. The neutral tones provided the opportunity to feature a lot of lively colors to fit the palette tastes of the wedded couple. Within the design, Kathy Carlson of Windy City Linen selected the Sanibel and Regency cloths, ideal for this space, as they are neutral colors that emanate elegance with dimension, texture and geometric details. She purposefully gathered and pinned the cloths in a random fashion to show the undercloths in a more whimsical approach then the typical uniform swaging method.


The Ballroom:
The design team was bubbling with excitement at the possibilities this raw space held. Kelly of Jane Kelly Floral said the goal with the flower arrangements was to go bright. The color palette is quite neutral in nature, so bringing in a punch of pigment is exactly what this space was calling for. Different hues of pinks and oranges were incorporated into the florals, and Kelly used a variety of blossoms—such as peonies, snap dragons, larkspur and roses—along with intertwined vines and green hanging amaranthus to encapsulate an enchanted aura. Keeping with the copper elements of the hotel, accents were added in the candleholders and custom-made geometric copper florals stands inspired by the geometric chandeliers in the ballroom. The Sound By Design lighting team created a dazzling ambiance, which inspired Kelly to suspend round orbs from the chandelier to sprinkle candlelight down to the table. Kathy once again added her imaginative approach to draping the linens in a playful swag, but this time reversed the fabric setup from the Ballroom Foyer to beautifully transition between the two spaces.


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by Laura Vietmeyer



LIGHTING Sound By Design


LOUNGE FURNITURE RENTAL  événement  lounge event rentals

PHOTOGRAPHY  Front Room Photography



WEDDING CAKE Simma's Bakery

WEDDING PLANNING & DESIGN événement planning

Bringing Your
Space to Life


    Things can get a little crazy as you plan your wedding. This is a special time, a good time and an exciting time! But even special, good and exciting times can bring with them stress. Being engaged is a dreamy, emotional, sometimes panicky and stressful roller coaster. It isn’t long after you make your first calls to loved ones to tell them the great news that people will begin to ask if you have a date set, if you found a dress, where will it be, etc. In a split second, you go from the proposal to planning a wedding and, if you're not careful, preparing for the actual marriage can very quickly get left behind.


    It’s important to take a step back and remember the engagement is not forever. It has a beginning and an end, both of which include those moments you depict on top of fancy cakes. And there is a lot of planning in the middle that can bring about a lot of busyness, and sometimes a lot of stress. The closer that you are to the end, the sooner you want it to be over. And then it is.


    On the other hand, it is important to keep sight on what the engagement helps you work toward. Your relationships, including your relationship with your partner, continue long after your engagement is complete. In your engagement, you and your fiancé are, by the very nature of relationships, building your marriage.


    You are getting to know one another and are defining your priorities.You are also setting your communication patterns and establishing how you navigate conflict. Planning a wedding brings to light how you are (wonderfully) different. You are learning to work as a team. And your engagement officially ends the moment you walk down that aisle and out in to the world together as a brand new team.


So, we've put together a guide on how to help you plan your new life together.


1. Walk together down the aisle and into the world.

    There is this moment that I, as a photographer, see often. I see the faces of our couples right after that "You may kiss the bride" moment. I see your eyes shift toward all of your family members and friends. I see your shoulders turn toward the aisle. I see you standing there, hand in hand, with all the excitement in the world on your faces. And then I watch you take your first steps as a husband and wife, down the aisle and into the world.You are a team, a freshly minted team ready to face the world…together.No marriage is like your marriage, no dynamic like yours. Each of you is a distinct individual, and together you will create a unique team. You will walk down the aisle and into the world together, with a marriage the world has never seen before. And it's going to be fantastic! But first, you will need to figure out who you are and how you’ll work together on this team.


2. Create the centerpiece of your home.

    As you plan your wedding, you'll likely think about centerpieces. And to think about centerpieces, you'll likely think about who you are as people. Centerpiece design if often a reflection of the couple; what you love and what you love to do. This type of reflection is similar in marriage. As you merge your lives together you will create a home, and you get to decide what will be central to it. Comfort? Peace? Fun? Adventure? Will your newly minted life together be built on traditions? Spontaneity? Both? Will your home be open to hospitality or kept intimate? Your home will be built on certain foundational blocks that will support these centerpieces of who you are as individuals and who are you are as a team. Talk through the kind of home you want to create together. Ask questions, design together and figure out how to mix together what you each love, as well as what you hope for in your future.


3. Find the sacrednessof marriage.

    Whether or not marriage is religious to you and your fiancé, marriage is sacred. Your marriage is just the two of you. People will have advice for you—good advice, healthy advice, helpful advice. And people will also get too close, infringe on your space or climb into your world. No one else is a part of your marriage. Not in-laws, not friends, not pets. Your marriage is set apart from the rest of your lives. Of course you have other people in your lives, but now there are parts of your lives that are just for the two of you.


    On your wedding day, you are choosing to give yourselves to each other. There is no a greater gift that you can give and there is no a greater gift that you can receive. On your wedding day, you make the choice to give and receive that greatest gift with one person. You choose them above all others, trusting them with all that you have and accepting all that they are. In marriage you give and receive, and continue to give and receive with your spouse in ways that are unique and sacred.


    This changes life. All of a sudden best friends take a different role. Parents take a different role. Your marriage rises up above all your other relationships, and at least initially that can be challenging. Give yourselves room for the adjustment. Expect to fail as you settle in. Extend grace to each other as you shift into this new world as a married couple.


4. Communicate.

    Planning a wedding can squeeze out a lot of chatter about your relationship and your future marriage by the mere fact that there are so many details involved in planning and only so many words that can be spoken in a day. Don't let this happen. Carve out time to work on communication now, and work on how you want communication to evolve as you get married.


    One of the best things you can do for communication in your relationship is to talk. Sounds elementary, doesn’t it? Yet so many times we forget to keep talking with one another and take for granted that our loved one knows a lot about us. We tend to assume that means we can talk less over time, but in reality we need to continue the conversation. And one of the best ways to talk through life each day is to ask questions. Sometimes you ask questions of your spouse, sometimes of yourself.


Here are some questions we have found helpful:

• Am I clearly and accurately expressing myself?

• Am I listening to understand my fiancé (spouse)?

• Is it worth an argument?

• Am I acting in love?

• Is it just about winning?

• Am I giving my fiancé (spouse) the benefit of the doubt?


Engagement can be stressful, but it is a special time set aside for nurturing your relationship before you make your marriage vows. Don't let all of the wedding planning prevent you from building a marriage that starts right with that first kiss.


OUR BOUTIQUE is managed by an elite team with a flow that allows you and your guests to fully engage in the experience and live in that moment- that serene, pure, serendipitous moment- that moment when you discover ​you are standing in your dream dress!


At White Dress Bridal Boutique, we strive to provide an exceptional, exclusive, individualized wedding dress shopping experience for each and every bride as she embraces her journey from MISS TO MRS…


5 STYLES Seen In This Year's Most Coveted Collections


  • TEXTURE gown by Angel Sanchez

  • SLEEK SOPHISTICATION gown by Antonio Gual

  • SKINNY STRAPS gown by Theia

  • ILLUSION gowns by Liancario, Pronovias and Catherine Deane

  • GRAND BALLGOWN gown by Paloma Blanca


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Wedding Gowns

TRENDY meets


in 2016


WEDDING GOWNS White Dress Bridal Boutique

Create Wedding Fabulousness...

Without Emptying Your Pocketbook

by Sara Dahmen


PHOTOGRAPHY  Front Room Photography

        Today, and throughout the rest of this decade, everyone will be talking about the falling and failed economy.  Stocks are crumbling, employment expectations are changing, and the whole while, you’re the bride in the middle screaming silently, ‘But I’m still getting married, and I still want it to be fabulous!’  Regardless of the economy itself, every bride still has the limits of her pocketbook, even when the jobs are great and the stocks are soaring happily in a booming world market.

        Morning television shows and self-help articles will consistently suggest tackling wedding expenses by bartering with vendors, asking for discounts from services, and shopping around so you can price compare or match costs.  While this may seem like a great way to help stave off that sticker shock, by opting to score deals and lower prices, you risk losing the chance to work with the best and brightest wedding artisans in Milwaukee.  Vendors who have high quality products and services will not make it a practice to “cut deals” because of the economy, nor because the media urges you to negotiate. 

        Instead, determine the special details that will create an individualistic, charismatic wedding that is entirely your own style; by doing this, you will focus not on your pocketbook, but on the items of your wedding day that really matter to you.  Go from there and you’ll find complete satisfaction in discovering vendors who will accommodate these ideas, while you continue feel secure about spending the money you have allotted for each part of your day.

        For starters, if food brings the two of you together, consider doing the splurging on specialized hors d’oeuvres or working with the reception chef to put together unique taster entrées, which are usually differently prepared meats, seafood or poultry paired with herbed side dishes.  If you’re foodies who have a penchant for distinctive cultures, instead of spending the extra cash on chintzy favors that your guests will soon forget, make your “favor” something edible later in the evening, such as a sushi bar half-way through the dancing, or a cheese and cognac pairing.   If sweets are where your taste buds start to water, you can still have top notch cake for your guests, but without spending a huge amount to give your guests the decadent end to the meal.  Simma’s Bakery recommends choosing a buttercream frosting since it is sweeter than fondant, plus, decorations and scrollwork is included in the price per slice when ordering a buttercream cake.

        Cutting the strain on your checkbook can be done by taking out the unnecessary details of your own wedding day ensemble.  As a bride, you won’t have a need for a pricy little purse; you’ll probably end up losing it with all the hugging and constant tugs on your attention, so have your personal attendant keep watch over lipstick and powder.  The groom doesn’t need to enlist expensive cuff links; opt instead for regular instead of French cuffed shirts or use the suit rental’s cuffs. 

        Realize that your guests will notice the details that reflect you as a couple, and a spotlight your hobbies and favorite activities is usually an inexpensive but expressive way to make your wedding fabulous.  If you’ve got a love of travel, use a map of your favorite country as the seating chart, or the names of cities you’ve visited together as table numbers.  If you go to every Brewers baseball game together, print baseball trivia on your ceremony program for guests to ponder while they wait for the bride to walk down the aisle.  Create edible wedding favors that can be eaten that night, such as caramel apples or boxes of chocolates.  If you’ve got a tradition of making preserves with your family, offer jars filled with home-made jam for guests to take away.  As a couple, the two of you may consider yourselves amateur sommeliers; bottles of wine you’ve hand-picked are also a great way to express thanks to your guests.  Food and drink is personal and fun, while being resourceful.

        Create your escort cards at home, and use motifs that you’d like to see reflected in all your paper products.  By going to a craft store for many of the paper products, you’ll save on service charges and have the satisfaction of personalizing certain pieces of the big day.  You will also find that putting in the extra time yourself can give you time together as a couple during the wedding planning to hang out and chat about your coming marriage while mindlessly cutting squares. 

        Utilizing your resources at your reception surroundings can give guests and your wallet a break from the usual wedding day norm.  Serving three types of champagne while holding cocktails outdoors before heading in to the reception will not only give your guests an enjoyable change of view and lovely distraction while they wait for the meal, but giving a limited and unique bar service with only champagne will save on your bar bill.  Plus, everyone associates champagne – or even one or two select cocktails – with fabulousness; they won’t miss the usual drinks when confronted with a gorgeous view and a unique champagne presentation.

        Brides and grooms recognize that the ceremony is all about them, but the reception is usually about the guests.  Keeping everyone comfortable is part of your hall’s service; make sure the air conditioning is on strong in the summer and the heat is balanced to your guest count in the winter.  These small changes, which actually cost you nothing, will make all the difference to your guests. 

        Know that finding equilibrium between wedding detail bliss and your wedding budget does not mean you’ve got to negotiate deals or sacrifice dreams.  All it takes is a smidge of creativity to personalize your day through simple, clean choices of details.   Your guests will remember, and be touched, by the personal elements instead of the expected grandiose gestures that may not reflect the two of you as a couple.  Be yourselves in your selections, and your fabulousness and overall satisfaction will shine through.


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Extraordinary Table Décor

by Laura Vietmeyer


PHOTOGRAPHY  The Paper Elephant

        Imagine the moment that your guests enter your reception space with their place cards in hand.  What will they see when they take their seats?  What is the overall feel of your space and how does your wedding décor speak to that atmosphere?  Your choice in wedding décor can bring unexpected touches to make your reception memorable for you and your guests by exhibiting your personal style or by tying together a theme or feel for your entire day. This comes from a collaboration of wedding planning and design along with the bride and groom and their families.

        We’ve pulled together four looks from four wedding planners from real-life weddings that were inspired by the unique requests of the brides, grooms and their families.  The décor speaks to each venue, creating a look and experience to fit the theme and space.  From opulent, over the top designs to a rustic, antique feel, or from a romantic, elegant feel to a vintage meets modern look, each design is unique and befitting the couple.  There is no limit to how detailed elements such as flowers, candles, menus, and linens can be implemented and tailored to create a seamless look and feel.

        A professional can help you reach your ultimate design goals.  Wedding planners and event designers can work directly with you and your family using their skills to create a design to meet, and often exceed, your expectations. They have a repertoire of style ideas to tailor the look of your venue.  Almost any space can be transformed, so never let your venue limit your design ideas for the look of your reception.  With the right amount of creativity and teamwork, your venue can be transformed into something truly magical.

        If you don’t already have ideas for what you want your venue to look like, choose a starting point to get the creative juices flowing.  Oftentimes, a color or two, or a pattern, can be a good place to begin.  A planner can take the color or pattern and come up with detail ideas to infuse into the tables, the chairs, the lighting, the flowers, and even the cake.  If you have an item or heirloom that you want incorporated into the design, a wedding planner can make that happen.  If you wanted to incorporate your grandmother’s napkins from her wedding into your design, for example, but you only have eight, you can use them at the head table and your wedding planner can work with the linen company to procure a design that is comparable.  Wedding planners are excellent problem solvers and can easily come up with solutions that you may never have imagined were possible. 

        Aside from being expert problem solvers, wedding planners also have a wealth of knowledge on who to hire in order to get the job done.  In order to pull the entire look together, it’s necessary to work with multiple vendors. Wedding  planners have the experience and expertise to know which Wisconsin vendors are reliable. Wedding planners also will know which vendors work best with your style, making it much easier to achieve the look you desire for your reception.         

        The four very different but equally fabulous looks on the following pages can be used to help inspire your own ideas to pull unique details into your design.  Take your time to notice the little details that make up the overall atmosphere of the space as you peruse the designs on the following wedding décor pages from Dynamic Events by David Caruso, Golden Chic Events & Consulting, Let’s Have An Affair, and Cherry Blossom Events.  Which elements really speak to you?  Use those elements as a starting point to begin brainstorming your own ideas to make your wedding decor speak to your overall vision.


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     There are many venues throughout Wisconsin that serve as a beautiful backdrop for a wedding reception. However, some brides and their families can have a hard time envisioning their personal styles fitting into a ready-made space. With the talented skills of the many vendors featured in Veil Magazine, brides can only be limited by their imaginations. These wedding artisans can bring a bride and groom’s vision to life by orchestrating the appropriate resources to transform a space.
      By choosing the right vendors to not only but capture the spirit of your personal vision, the bride and groom can expect that the best possible options will be offered to them without breaking the bank. The following pages show just how a space can be transformed by highlighting its character, creating a distinct ambiance, and utilizing vendors who can collaborate to make your wedding day dreams come true.
     Pictured here is The Seeboth, a dramatic urban special events venue located in the Historic Walker’s Point neighborhood of Milwaukee. On the surface it is both rustic and metropolitan, but what our expert artisans demonstrate is how the bones of a venue can take on new life. The design was executed by several skilled professionals, including Janelle Meyer-Brown, owner of événement planning, Emily Neubauer from Belle Fiori, Ltd., Kathy Carlson of sales development for Windy City Linen, LLC, Peggy Carollo, owner of Simma’s Bakery, and David Hackbarth, director and founder of Sound By Design’s specialty lighting and sound division. Their imaginative work with the features of this space played off of each other to create a truly unique and seamless look.




     Planning a design that works best with a chosen venue makes for a solid foundation in bringing a vision to life. Carlson says that she will ask the client what their vision is and select something that will show of the uniqueness of the venue as a baseline for the amazing additions to come.
     Beyond the building’s framework, it is important to keep your frame of mind centered on the cornerstone of this entire day. Every wedding and every venue undergoes a unique transformation based on the personalities of the couple being wed. Make this your focal point and “Always showcase you!” emphasizes Meyer-Brown.



     Lighting, florals, and fabrics can all come together to create a sense of ambience throughout a space. “It’s a statement to illuminate the most important aspects of a wedding and its design,” says Hackbarth. The remainder of your décor and design will work to accent those main features and harmonize the various elements of your space together into masterful symmetry.
     Neubauer adds, “We will create custom designs based on the bride's inspirations and the best features of the venue, such as the exposed beams that flowers can hang from.”




     Combining the talents of your various wedding artisans is what really brings the entire vision together. It only takes a spark of imagination to ignite the creativity within each facet of the design. Trust in your vendors to guide your unique style from a concept into a reality. It’s what they do! They all work together, hand-in-hand, to make the space become yours.
     From the lighting and the linens to the delicacies you serve, every element comes together to transform a venue from a structure to striking. “The possibilities are endless,” says Carollo.


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