Right? I KNOW.
totally absolutely gorgeous.
First of all, the location, Turner Hall Ballroom is a historic ballroom in downtown milwaukee that is in the process of being restored. the walls and ceiling of this venue are incredible with all the plaster peeling, the old fresco paintings faded, and evidence of fire damage from decades ago. When Amy posted these images to her facebook someone commented that it looked like her wedding was on the Titanic, and i couldnt agree more. it truly transported guests back in time.
Amy envisioned her wedding to have French undertones- without the cliche Eiffle tower stuff. it seemed to me to be a mix of Marie Antoinette, French provincial, and whimsical vintage all rolled into one. For cocktail hour, guests were invited into the balcony area of Turner hall to dine on a huge array of cheeses, honey, and berries. An accordian player serenaded everyone while they mingled and found their place cards.
In the main hall of the ballroom, the tablescapes were to die for. nile blue silk linens lined tables (with accent tables of plum) gathered up to reveal the tulle skirts underneath. Even the cake table had it’s own tulle skirt- and the cake… oh my! 5 tiers replicating parts of Amy’s Lazaro wedding dress. the table was accented by a photograph of Amy’s grandparents cutting their own wedding cake so many years ago. in honor of them, Amy found a vintage cake topper that is (quite literally) an exact replica of her grandparents. We’ll never know if it was really the same one, but her grandparents DID live in chicago, and Amy just happened to find it in a Chicago antique store.
Additionally, Amy wanted to honor her late grandparents by displaying her Grandmother’s wedding dress (amazing!) on a beautiful (!!) vintage dress form next to their wedding picture. Someday i’m going to have to borrow this dress form from Amy to do a photoshoot with so you all can see how seriously amazing it is. next to the dress was a large photograph of her grandparents on their wedding day.
As a side note: it really does make me feel so honored to capture people’s wedding day. when i see brides displaying their grandparents photographs at their wedding it astonishes me to realize that right then, at that exact moment, i’m creating photographs that their grandkids may very well display at their own weddings decades from now. their wedding day will live on in photographs. wow.
During dinner guests were serenaded by an electric violinist who flew in from L.A. and performed on a platform in front of a giant larger-than-life picture frame showcasing her performance. it was beyond incredible.
after dinner and the first dances, the white curtains on the stage were drawn back to reveal an entirely new magical area for guests to explore. it featured a lounge with vintage furniture and chandaliers that Amy had collected, a photobooth where guests could take photos and paste them into a keepsake book for the couple, and (hello! my favorite!) a creperia with chefs making custom chocolate crepes surrounded by tiny finger desserts. above the Creperia sat an oversized vintage clock, and it stirred thoughts of Cinderella at the ball. Amy said that she wanted to have crepes not only because it fit the wedding motif but because her grandparents used to make crepes all the time. Amy and her siblings called them ‘rolled up pancakes’. desserts were had, photos were taken, dances commenced and i wish it could have lasted all night long.
my favorite details were the tiny things that brides dont normally think of. Amy commissioned the calligrapher to make signs for both the men and women’s bathrooms, lighted drink menus above the bar so guests could clearly see even late into the evening, custom curtains to soften the light (yes, she is clearly in the photography/videography industry!), the delay of curtain opening until after dinner for more suspense and surprise, and the showcasing of the electric violinist in an oversized picture frame. In this venue, with its enormous size, Amy and her wedding planner David Caruso, knew that whatever decor they designed the room with would have to fit the scale. the giant custom curtains, large lounge area, larger-than-life picture frame and platform, and oversized clock made the space feel inviting yet otherworldly.
other favorite details were the silver glittered tablenumbers, LOVE sign, and merci sign. you can find them at Anthropolgie’s wedding store BHLDN . The mercury glass tea light holders were amazing! i love love love mercury glass and it’s old-world feel. the vintage french post cards displayed by the candleabras at the creperia were adorable, and so was the photobooth backdrop that amy custom made out of tulle, strings of pearls, and ribbon. crafty girl she is!
i mean… she did design all of her wedding invitations herself. could they be any more amazing? possibly? i hear a resounding ‘no’. im glad we’re all agreed.
And, if 5 posts on this wedding weren’t enough, dont worry. we wont just leave you like this. Dustin and I did super 8mm film of her whole day and cant wait to finish it and share it with you all! AND, if that wasn’t enough, the ridiculously talented (and fun, and adorable, and hillarious) Joe Switzer (and Garon and Mark!) from Switzerfilm are currently making a masterpiece film of Amy’s wedding. And i know i’ve talked forever (God bless you if you’re still reading!) but i have to give a shout out to these guys. They are truly the best in the industry- anywhere- and are some of the most awesome people to work with. it’s a long standing joke that photographers dont get along with videographers and vice versa, but these guys aren’t really videographers. they’re cinematographers. they’re ridiculous. you hire them to shoot a hollywood movie of your wedding, not a wedding video. i mean, one of their pieces of equipment looks like a skeleton replication of a brontosaurus and is called a Boom. as in, BA DA BOOM! or maybe it’s just called a Jib, which is less fun, but still kind of cool. intrigued? http://www.switzerfilm.com/ oh… and here we are, the switzer boys and my team of photographers (minus lindsay! and minus the Boom/Jib):
oh… you want another?
Amy is trying very hard to be a bridezilla here. unfortunately, she lacks the discipline and arrogance to be a true zilla. I feel honored that we were chosen amongst all the other amazing wedding photographers she undoubtedly knows on a personal level and respects to be the one to photograph her wedding. It’s always an honor to be selected as someone’s wedding photographer, but it is indeed amazing when a fellow wedding professional selects you. I looked forward to this wedding all year, and couldnt wait to work with my favorite people (switzer!) photographing such a close friend and colleague.
Amy, your day was beyond incredible- i knew it would be fabulous but had no idea the extent. David Caruso, everything i’ve heard about you doesnt even compare to the fabulousness you really were. Lindsay and Dustin- i could not have shot this wedding without you, thank you for running my crazy errands, getting amazing shots from different perspectives, and doing all the dirty work of second shooters. Switzer- i’m thinking we should just join forces. Frankzer films? switzerfrank productions? could it happen? i’ll have my girl call your girl and we’ll do lunch. in paris.
David Caruso of Dynamic Events
The Pfister Hotel
Turner Hall Ballroom
Lazaro from Gigi’s of Mequon
Erinn at Glow Salon & Spa
Vera’s House of Bridals
Flower Girl Dress
Sugar Leaf Photography
Beyond the Booth
Debi Zeinert of The Blooming Quill
Esther Fleming of Impressions Floral
The Cake Lady
Late Night Dessert
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier
Bartenders on the Go
DJ & Lighting
Sound by Design