Mandy and Matt were married at The Hamilton Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis. on October 18. The bride wore a strapless a-line wedding gown, accessorized with a birdcage veil, faux fur coat, and jeweled sash, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a pinstriped button-up shirt and pink bow tie. Bridesmaids wore short silk taffeta navy blue dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, and eucalyptus. Even though the rain threatened to challenge the couple’s first look plans, they still managed to surprise each other downtown overlooking the city skyline. The venue served double-duty for the ceremony and reception. Imagine an old cream-colored brick building featuring vaulted ceilings and crystal chandeliers! Fun fact: It used to be a “hotel” for cars. Notice the ribbon backdrop? Totally handmade. Tables were decorated with lace runners, vintage vases and vessels centerpieces, glitter numbers, and family heirloom plates and tea cups at each place setting too. Guests were given favor bags filled with personalized M & M’S and tied with a handwritten thank-you note. For dessert, a mini two-tiered cake and cupcakes. Yum!
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
The overall aesthetic just felt right. It was the first of 10 venues we visited. I remember we were walking out to the car, looking at each other and both said, “Yeah, that’s it.” We just knew. At our wedding, our friends and family kept telling us, “This place is so you guys.” The exposed brick, the timber beams and the natural light. It was like love at first sight.
2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
1. The votives surrounding our venue: we purchased 500 votives and holders which took up a lot of space in our apartment for the months leading up to the wedding, but it was worth it. They gave the space a beautiful, warm glow.
2. The Jack Straw Band: we like to see them play at bars and festivals in Chicago, and they also played at our parents’ 25th anniversary party. One of the most memorable moments was when they started playing my favorite song, Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers Band as Ben and I walked into the cocktail hour.
3. The Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton: it’s a children’s story about two dinosaurs, who come to love each other despite their differences. I was a preschool teacher when I first came to Chicago (our flower girl was actually one of my students!) so the children’s story had even more meaning.
3. Give us the one moment from your wedding that you cannot stop thinking about.
The most memorable for me will always be when I watched Ben read his vows. All of my bridesmaids were crying because Ben was crying, and I was just so filled with love. It was beautiful. The most hilarious moment though had to be the end of the night. We had just found out that we needed $500 cash if we wanted the DJ to play for an extra half hour. It was about three minutes before she was scheduled to stop playing when our family and friends started chipping in money. That extra half hour on the dance floor was totally worth it.