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lindsay & josh

civil ceremony 8-23-2015

destination 1-29-2016


USA + Mexico


Veil Magazine vendors

PHOTOGRAPHY Front Room Photography (Civil and Mexico)
VIDEOGRAPHY Sound By Design Films (Mexico)
WEDDING MUSIC & LIGHTING Sound By Design (Civil and Mexico)


other vendors

Bridal Belt and Hair Accessories: Jaxie Bridal (Civil & Mexico) • Caterer: Chef Jacks (Civil)  • Ceremony & Reception Location: Excellence Playa Mujeres (Mexico) • Cupcakes: Classy Girl Cupcakes (Civil) • Flowers & Wedding Planning & Design:
Events to a T (Civil and Mexico) • Invitations & Stationery: Paperwhites (Civil and Mexico) • Officiant: Torie Games (Civil), Ben Grob (Mexico) • Travel Agency: Travel by Design • Wedding Party Gifts: Men: Ray-Ban Sunglasses.  Women: Torie Burch wristlet and Chanel lip gloss

Destination Amor

by Michelle Drewek


Lindsay and Josh met on the job in 2007, but not long after found new career opportunities 2 hours apart. For 3 years they continued to fall in love with hours between them, and as their relationship grew Josh decided he couldn’t live apart from his beloved Lindsay anymore. The pair moved in together in Milwaukee. 5 years and a home purchase later, Josh proposed during an incredibly thoughtful, orchestrated night out.


The Proposal

I was at a bachelorette party, and needed to collect a phone number from a Josh called me in the early afternoon of April 17th and asked when I could be home, as he had an evening planned for us. When I got home from work, he told me to go put on something that made me feel beautiful and pack a bag. I knew something was going on, but wasn’t sure if “this was the day” or just Josh being sweet for our anniversary, which we usually celebrate early April. Once ready, he told me in the car that we were staying at the Pfister Hotel and going to dinner at Lake Park Bistro. At dinner, he received a text stating that Torie, his business partner, and Cory Coffman, the curator of the Pritzlaff, needed his assistance with lighting on the roof. He apologized that we had to leave dinner early, but said he had another surprise after we made our quick stop at the Pritzlaff. When we got to the venue, Cory explained how sorry she was that she needed Josh’s insight on the lighting, and as we made our way up to the roof of the Pritzlaff she opened the main doors and all I could see was the glow of candle light and hear the clicking of cameras. Josh took my hand and brought me to a gorgeous set up, which I later found out was put together by our dear friend, Tiara, from Events to a T. Josh got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. After saying “Yes,” a few of our closest friends appeared from their hiding places, including Neil and Carl from Front Room Photography who captured every moment of the proposal.

Length of Engagement

Our engagement was very short compared to most couple. From our civil ceremony, we were only engaged for 4 months, but from our destination wedding, we were engaged for 9 months.


Where to Wed

As you can see in these beautiful photos, we had both a civil ceremony and a destination wedding. The civil ceremony was only supposed to be a small gathering, but quickly grew when we made plans to use the new patio space at our best friends’, Paul and Natalia Hackbarth, bar, Camp Bar in Wauwatosa. We wanted the ceremony to be simple, but have a similar feel to a typical wedding day. The 20-minute ceremony in front of the large, outdoor fireplace was followed by a celebration of music and an appearance by a local Mariachi band, heavy appetizers and small plates by Chef Jack’s, mini cupcakes by Classy Girl Cupcakes, and an open bar!

The Destination wedding was — in our eyes — the real wedding day and had every aspect of a typical wedding itinerary. Josh and I love to travel and also wanted something different than a wedding in Milwaukee, Wis. We love to vacation in Mexico and knew that would be the perfect place to have our closest friends and family join us for our wedding. The resort, Excellence Playa Mujeres, was a recommendation from friends and after learning more about the resort, amenities, and the wedding packages, we knew this would be the place to get married. The ceremony took place on the beach and our reception was at their CECO Terrace, which was surrounded by water. It was absolutely breathtaking!

Especially Us

Lindsay: I knew Josh was the one because of qualities I had never found in anyone else I had ever dated. He is very patient, easy going and truly wants to make me happy. He has a lot of similar interests as I do, which made it easy to go on dates, travel and plan for our future. Josh is my best friend, and I could not imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.
Josh: I am not sure that there was one given moment that I knew I wanted to marry her, but more so all things she is and does made me want to be with Linds for the rest of my life! The way she is always there for me and has always been there for me. She is the most caring and thoughtful person I know, and always wants to make sure that the people in her life feel loved. Also, just knowing that without the support and encouragement of Linds I may not be where I am in my life and knowing how much she has motivated me in my life — I never want to be without that!

Wedding Styling

Because the civil ceremony was set at Camp Bar in Wauwatosa, the theme revolved around rustic woodland. The colors were gold, sage, cream and woodland greens with succulents, gold metal tapers and moss table runners as the largest inspiration.
The destination wedding was elegant and romantic with a whimsical twist. The colors were champagne, blush, sage and sugar, and the gold tapers were once again an inspiration in for our styling. After finding my wedding dress at Bella Bianca in Chicago, it motivated other destination wedding details and the overall bridal party’s look.

Key Resource

Tiara Gamez, owner of Events to a T and personal friend, was a tremendous help with questions I had about proper etiquette, décor and fine details. Her day-of service for both my civil ceremony and destination wedding really made both days perfect and gorgeous. She also kept me focused on getting married rather than organizing details of the day.


The major aspects were my table settings. I found all the items between Goodwill, Etsy, JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels, Target, Pier1 and Home Depot. It sounds like a crazy combination, but the overall themes for each wedding were exactly what I envisioned. I also put together all of the welcome bags for the destination wedding. A majority of the items came from Amazon, and I found the beach bags at Hobby Lobby.

Bridal Ensemble

Civil Ceremony: My wedding dress was a ChiChi London high-low dress that I found on ASOS. I accented the dress with a Gorgeous Jaxie belt and headpiece. The earrings were a custom piece from Elan Couture Jewelry.

Destination Wedding: My destination wedding dress, which I found at Bella Bianca in Chicago, Ill., was a Midgley and Sottero (Lola) sheath, which we had altered to a fit/flare. Even though my dress had quite a bit of beading, a Jaxie belt completed the overall look. My Swarovski Crystal headpiece was made custom by Gadegaard Design out of Dublin, Ireland, and my earrings and Swarovski barefoot beach sandals were also custom pieces made by Elan Couture Jewelry.

My favorite accessory was my Christian Louboutin Crystal-Embellished Follies Strass Pumps. I had always wanted a pair, and thought getting married was a justifiable reason to purchase them. I wore them at the civil ceremony, bridal shower, destination rehearsal and wedding.

Biggest Planning Surprise

How difficult it was planning a destination wedding.  Finding out what was really included in your package, and what you would need to rent if we wanted more than an ‘out of the box’ wedding was surprising.  About 85% of our wedding; tables, chairs, floral, additional headcount for dinner, etc. was an additional cost above the highest wedding package.  In the beginning of my planning process, the communication between the resorts on-site coordinator was a little frustrating.  I wanted to start planning early for details, and what I didn’t know is most resorts will not look into specifics for your wedding until a few months before the actual date.  However, regardless of the challenges, I would do it all again in a heartbeat; It was an absolutely perfect day.

Funny Moment

At our civil ceremony, when our officiant asked us to repeat our vows, which stated that we would take one another as husband and wife in front of God, a huge gust of wind blew through. Everyone then smiled and cheered, as we all felt it was God’s way of letting him know he was there and truly blessed our commitment to one another.

Important Details

Lindsay: For the civil ceremony, succulents and moss table runners. For the destination wedding, floral centerpieces and the head table garland runner.
Josh: This is easy for me — the entertainment, DJ and lighting! But on a serious note, getting all of our closest friends and our families to come together and get to know each other. To have that special time with each other in beautiful paradise of Mexico!

Bridal Party

We had three men and four women stand up in our wedding, four of which were the best men and matrons of honor (two best men and two matrons of honor).

Guest List

Our civil ceremony had close to 70 attendees, and the destination wedding was 35 including Josh and myself.

Personal Touches

At both of our civil ceremony and destination wedding, we had friends (who were ordained via the Internet) marry us; Torie Gamez, best man and close friend, at the civil ceremony, and Ben Grob, Lindsay’s co-worker and friend, at the destination wedding.

Advice for Couples

Lindsay: Try as much as you can to enjoy the planning process and ask for help when you truly need it. Create a budget and learn to compromise on what is important to have on your day and what isn’t. Hire a wedding planner, whether to assist in all stages of planning or just the week-/day-of. It was so wonderful knowing Events to a T was getting everything set up for each ceremony and that everything would be perfect.
Josh: Your soon-to-be wife will never stick to “the budget.” Also, try not to sweat the small things. Planning a wedding is a difficult task and it really does require you to come together on things. It can be hard at times, but in the end it is all worth it.

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