From the Bride:
We knew from the start we didn’t want to have a typical wedding. We approached the planning process with a clean slate and focused on what we wanted to do rather that what we were expected to do. Traditional aspects such as the bouquet toss, dollar dance, and wedding cake were skipped. We had our mom’s bake some of our favorite treats for a dessert bar instead which turned out to be a hit. A gender specific wedding party was also opted to be adapted. My brother stood in support as my man of honor next to my sister as the matron of honor. The ceremony and dinner were kept intimate and we expanded the guest list for the reception that evening.
Mike and I aimed to share our love for travel and adventure with our guests. We encouraged them to create their own itinerary while traveling to Chippewa Falls for our wedding by providing information for local attractions such as the Leinie Lodge, wineries, and music events within the invitations. We carried this over into the wedding décor as well. Tables were namesake of places we had traveled together and centerpieces were accompanied by photos illustrating those experiences. Escort cards were displayed below a set of wooden initials we had covered with maps of the towns we grew up in and the place we met. Banners of photos were displayed with some of the places we had gone with each other as well as friends. The venue (located two miles from our home) and ambiance were very “us”.
In reality, wedding planning was a community project. The death of a very close friend and a cancer diagnosis for my dad three months prior to the wedding left us focusing on more important aspects. My dad’s coworkers volunteered their time and cut down a birch tree for our centerpieces, something my dad had hoped he could do for us. Friends and family scouted garage sales for unique glassware to complete our vision. Mike’s dad assisted him in building the Lionshead bar and other items from scratch. A generous neighbor gave us materials to use from her dilapidated barn – a door that was turned into a table for the glassware, a window used as a display for our grandparents’ wedding photos, and barn boards for the arbor and other pieces. Our wedding became a celebration of much more than our future together. It also became a celebration of the wonderful people we are so blessed to be surrounded by. I’m happy to share my dad is cancer free and Mike and I continue to love each other more with every adventurous day.
Venue: White’s Wildwood Retreat, Lafayette/Chippewa Falls, WI
Catering: Sweet Clarisse Catering, Augusta, WI
Videographer: Beau Hestekin, Lasting Images Videography
Tent: A1 Rentals, Eau Claire, WI
Dress: The Wedding Shoppe, St. Paul, MN
Mike’s Suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Flowers: Eau Claire Farmer’s Market
General Beer Distributing (beer taps)
Bartender – our favorite bartender from our favorite bar, so also worth a mention: Charlie’s (“Charlie’s at Lawler’s”) in Lafayette/Chippewa Falls, WI