Wedding Photography

Annika & Mike | Elegant and Relaxed Door County Wedding

Annika and Mike worked through long distance, medical school, and moves to get to their beautiful wedding day. Over the course of seven (right, Annika?) years, Annika and Mike chose each other no matter the circumstance. For them, it's always been about love. Not a wedding (even though, of COURSE that's cool! It just wasn't the point. Love was.) It was about a marriage. Not about an event, about a life. 

And because of that awesome perspective, Annika and Mike's elegant and relaxed Door County wedding at Gordon Lodge was filled with so much joy! (How could it not be? these are some of the most beautiful people inside and out!)

An elegant and relaxed wedding at Gordon Lodge

Annika grew up spending her summers in Door county, so she chose Gordon Lodge for its beautiful grounds and relaxed feel. She envisioned a lakeside ceremony, cocktail hour on the lawn in the sun, and dinner watching the sun set over the waters she spent so much time on. 

Create a relaxed schedule for a stress-free wedding

Not only was Annika and Mike's day nostalgic, but they prioritized an amazing schedule. If there's something you can take away from this wedding, let it be this: there's a TON of moving parts on your wedding day. Creating a relaxed schedule doesn't happen by accident.

It takes intention to make a day that allows you to feel celebrated and loved. That allows you to walk barefoot on the lawn during cocktail hour, that allows you to BE there to hug people for your cocktail hour. 

But, I think Annika and Mike would agree that the effort was SO worth it. 

Many thanks to the following talents:

Venue: Gordon Lodge | Florals: Flora | Dress: via White Dress, Milwaukee  

Mimi & John | Elegant Private Estate Wedding in Historic Galena

Mimi and John referred to their wedding as a "backyard wedding at the farmhouse." No big deal, right? I had no idea that the "backyard" she referenced was actually the rolling hills of a gorgeous family estate, filled with meticulously reconstructed historic farmhouse, horses, guest cottages, and a view that went on for days. 

A private estate wedding on a historic horse farm

When we arrived at Mimi's family estate, I was so excited! It was a gorgeous sunny summer day and she had a team that knew how to bring to life the laidback, relational day she wanted with all the class she inherently had. Bliss Weddings and Events designed and produced a flawless day for Mimi and John to spend on the farmhouse veranda, sipping lemonade cocktails with the ones they loved most. 

I personally loved Mimi's custom watercolor invitation suites by EJD Designs, featuring favorite spots on her family estate. Her custom peplum gown was intended to mimic the horse competing jackets she wore during her years competing her beloved horses. 

And her wish for a family harvest dinner with greenery and farm fresh florals came to life perfectly under a Sperry tent overlooking the setting sun. Touches like vintage china place settings, gathered florals, and hanging garlands gave the perfect touch of heritage and elegance. 

Mimi's tips for a no-stress wedding day

Mimi and John are busy professionals living in the buzz of the city. When they have time off, they want to spend it on the family estate, riding horses and spending time with their beloved dogs.

To protect that margin in their lives, Mimi hired a full service planner and event design team. If the idea of making wedding decision during your time off makes you feel frazzled, take Mimi's advice and invest into a full-service team to manage this on your behalf and streamline your communications. 

Many thanks to the amazing creative team:

Wedding design and planning: Bliss Weddings and Events 

Floral & Decor: Bliss Weddings & Events | Frost Lighting | Garden Party Florist

Furniture & Rentals: Bowery & Bash | Halls Rental | Tailored Elements | A La Crate Vintage Rentals

Paper Goods: EJD Designs

Are Wedding Albums Really Worth the Investment?

I love wedding albums. It's how we finally chose to preserve our photos after thinking we lost them all! But not everyone shares my love. One of the most common objections people have to investing in a wedding album is kind of obvious: cost.

Albums are expensive! Have you ever wondered why? In learning about what we wanted to provide for our clients, I learned some awesome things about why a professional wedding album is really worth it. Here are some of the key factors that make a quality album worth every penny.

Wedding Albums: Cover quality

Beautiful textiles like luxe leathers and linens in heirloom finishes and colors are meant to get better with age. They’re meant to be touched and handled. And they’re meant to be devastatingly handsome on a coffee table or a built in bookshelf.

We look for albums that source their cover textiles from around the world, where each textile quality has the strongest reputation. Linens from France, leathers from Italy, silks from Japan. The cover textiles are usually sourced with long-lasting quality in mind and I personally love that!

Wedding Albums: Construction quality

We look for a flush mount album design. Flush mount albums have hard covers with thick, layflat pages. They consist of photographic prints that are dry-mounted on substrate to give you those unbending pages that we love so much. The covers, as I mentioned above are often made of leather or other fine materials and the photos lay completely flat and extend across the whole page.

Wedding Albums: Printing quality

There is suuuuuuch a big difference between printing styles and what they're best at. And this is where we could cheap out and choose a less expensive printing method-it's where a lot of the cost of production lays. But here's why we don't:

We are pretty specific about choosing albums using photographic printing. You're probably familiar with press printing (even though you may not know the term)-the type of printing that involves spraying ink onto a paper in various ways-tiny dots or spray are the two most common. This easily accessible and enjoyable printing option leaves us with two concerns for albums:

  1. it's a more immediate printing solution, so it's prone to yellowing, fading, and curling over time. In other words, this printing method isn't intended to last a long time. It has other strengths, but longevity isn't one of them.
  2. because it's only a translation of color, it doesn't have the same amazing spectrum of color available with our printing method. 

Why Photographic Printing?

Photographic paper prints are light sensitive—In the printing process, the paper is exposed to light inside the printer to produce the image. After that, chemicals are used to eliminate the light-sensitivity and set the image, which is now “in” the paper. This printing process means that, though it increases the cost, you have printing specifically made to last over time. No yellowing, curling, or fading. And due to the nature of the printing method, the color spectrum is true and rich, allowing for a variety of paper options not available for press printing.

Customer service

You’re investing into an heirloom! Because of your investment, we’re looking for a company that guarantees their work and will be there for you when you need them. This has been one of the biggest stress relievers for our clients-knowing that their albums have a guarantee. 

What's in it for you?

Our gorgeous albums will be a part of our black friday sale on Friday, November 24! Sign up below to get access to an exclusive print sale only available via email

Kelly and Cody| Milwaukee Art Museum Wedding Photography

As featured on

 
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Inspired by one of their favorite memories – sipping wine under the starry night sky in Napa Valley – Kelly and Cody decided to recreate the experience for guests at their Milwaukee wedding. They transformed the Milwaukee Art Museum into California Wine Country, with help from planning experts, Événement, and floral design by Impressions. The result is a modern, rustic blend we can't get enough of, and it's all featured this morning on Style Me Pretty! 

Designing a modern and organic wedding at Milwaukee Art Museum

Kelly and Cody shared some amazing memories during a visit to Napa Valley and wanted to recreate that for their guests. They chose a show-stopper of a venue in the famous Milwaukee Art Museum that gave the sense of staring up at the starry night sky sipping wine – their favorite experience together. They chose a venue that gave them that feeling of looking up at the stars at night, strung cafe lights to create some romance, and put a great glass of wine in everyone's hands. Add in top notch catering for that quintessential Napa culinary experience, and they had created something truly distinct for their favorite people.

Kelly and Cody wanted their florist, Esther Fleming, to have free reign to soften their modernist space. They shared how they loved the way the vines grew in Napa Valley and showed her some samples. She took things from there, building them a long pergola for their head table and wrapping it in greenery and vines. Kelly and Cody recreated one of their favorite experiences together for their guests, and the result is pretty incredible!

Creating a personal experience for your guests

Whatever you do, tell your story in your wedding design! Not in a literal way, using words, signs, or photos plastered around, but in an experiential way by creating an atmosphere, beloved memory, or favorite experience together to share again with your guests. 

Many thanks to the following talents:

Event planning and design: Evenenment Planning | Florist: Impressions by Esther Fleming | Venues: Villa Terrace Museum of Decorative Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum | Bride's Gown: Nouvelle Amsale | Wedding invitations: Paper Envy | Catering: Calatrava MAM

Relaxed Farm at Dover Wedding | Julia and Will

Julia has always reminded me of one of my dearest friends. She looks like her, smiles like her, and laughs easily like her. She emanates goodness and love so strongly that being in her presence continually feels like you're getting a hug. Obviously I love her. 

And so does Will. She's the perfect compliment to Will's personality, a directional, task-oriented man who knows how to get things done. He is a classic leading man, easily taking charge of tasks, working industriously, and accomplishing much in life. Together, Will leads them forward and Julia keeps them warm and loving along the way. They're the most beautiful couple and we were thrilled to be a part of their Farm at Dover wedding day!

They wanted their day to be effortless and unscripted. They wanted to live through their day with intention and heartfelt connection and I love how that came through! They chose the perfect florist for the job. Jamie of Sweven Floral created installations and arrangements filled with texture, the perfect peachy late summer palette, and lots of natural movement. It was the ideal way to showcase Julia's vision for their day!

Many thanks to the following talents for bringing Will and Julia's vision to life:

Venue: The Farm at Dover | Florals: Sweven Floral styling and photography: Booth Photographics

Want to get your wedding featured on your favorite blog? Here are seven details you can’t overlook

You’re hosting the biggest, prettiest party you’ve ever planned. You’re spending money and getting compliments already. Why NOT try to get your wedding featured on your favorite blog? If you’re already putting in the work, it’s a nice added benefit!

The biggest mistake brides make who want to get featured

Too often, brides go through the wedding planning process trying to keep focused on the important aspects of their day, dismissing the reality that they’d genuinely enjoy seeing their day inspiring other brides on their favorite blog. All of a sudden, they determine AFTER all the decisions are made that they can’t ignore that feeling and they really do want to shoot for the stars and submit their wedding for publication. The problem is, they’re already too late. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a wedding and finding out the bride would love to see her day published in her favorite blog.

If there’s a chance you’re interested in publication, be honest about that early in the process and know this: It’s okay to want that! I give you permission! You’re not a diva, you’re planning a beautiful, intentional, and personal day and think it could inspire others. Let’s work together to give it our best effort!

7 details you can't overlook if you want to get your wedding published

Want to know what blogs and magazines really look for in wedding submissions? Here are the details you can’t overlook if you’d like to get your wedding featured.

1. Choose the right players for your creative team.

(As seen in The Knot Chicago Magazine, pp 70-74 with planning by Shannon Gail Weddings, Florals by Stems Chicago, Venue, Artifact Events)

It’s important that the creative team you hire (photographer, planner, stylist, floral designer, venue) are familiar with wedding publication-they should know how to style for it, shoot for it, and still be focused on giving you the dream day you’ve hoped for. Look for people who’ve been published recently and regularly.

2. Choose a wedding dress that enhances your overall design.

(Left: Lian Carlo as seen in The Knot Chicago Magazine; Right: Nouvelle Amsale, coming soon to Style Me Pretty)

Dresses can make or break a wedding submission. it has to align with your overall design and has to be fashion forward. Check out the trends at New York Bridal Fashion Week (bell sleeves are comin’ in hot this year as is minimal and modern elements) and look on blogs and in magazine for the brands who pay for advertising with them. Chances are, they’ll want to give those brands publicity and will increase your chances of getting picked up.

3. Develop a cohesive event design.

(As seen on Ruffled Blog with planning by Italia Celebrations at Villa la Vedetta)

You can have the prettiest florals at your tables, but all is lost if there isn’t some kind of design statement or point of view you’re making that carries throughout your whole day. Blogs don’t care as much about the one pretty centerpiece, or that cutie pie sweetheart table, or your wowzah dress. You can have all the pretty individual elements in the world, but they need to tell a story and share a point of view. The best way to accomplish this is by hiring a skilled and experienced planner/stylist. It makes all the difference! Need recommendations? Sign up here for our vendor recommendation freebie.

4. Prioritize floral design.

(as seen in Wisconsin Bride Magazine; designed by Flower & Bee)

Floral design is one of the most influential aspects of wedding features! People just die for posts that showcase beautiful floral inspiration and design, so blogs are constantly on the lookout for fresh ideas, design trends, and color palettes in the world of floral design. If there’s something you go crazy over, let it be florals.

(planning and design by Cherry Blossom Events, florals by Daffodil Parker)

5. Choose a publication-worthy venue.

(Villa Terrace and Milwaukee Art Museum; coming soon to Style Me Pretty)

Closely behind florals is a statement-making venue. While golf clubs and ballrooms were made for hosting large gatherings, publications are often looking for something a bit more personal and pretty. A winery, private estate, piece of modern architecture or venue with historic charm (think european historic, like chateaus, and villas, not kitchy 50 year old American-historic) will be winners. On top of that, plan an outdoor event. Publications almost exclusively prefer to show off natural light, so plan a day outdoors, and if you need a rain plan, schedule a clear topped tent to keep that light coming in.

6. Consider lighting when constructing your timeline.

To attract a publisher, it's not only important to consider what is being photographed, but how those things are photographed. Good lighting elevates the quality of your images and makes everything looks its best.

If you're planning an beautiful outdoor ceremony, consider where the light will fall at your ceremony time. Bright, overhead midday lighting will detract from even the most beautiful of designs, so we recommend having your ceremony just a few hours before sunset. 

If you're having an outdoor reception, consider the best time for the space to be photographed when building it into your timeline. The closer to sunset the better! While every moment of your day can't be shot in that warm, glowy light right as the sun sets, prioritizing the best light for the most impactful moments of your event design can go a long way toward getting published

7. Communicate your goals with your creative team well in advance.

Shooting for publication is an intense game and requires planning and extra work. We need to know this early so we can make sure we're shooting both for you and for the publication you like. If you like Style Me Pretty and would like to aim for a feature there, tell your team early in the planning process and ask the question “what do you need for this?” For photography, it will impact how we schedule for your day.

We’ll want to plan our styling, coordinate with the florist, make a list of details to photograph and ensure we have quality time to photograph everything well. Telling us after we only had 30 minutes to photograph details is the equivalent of a death sentence to your dream of publication.

Communicate what you’d like EARLY and OFTEN and listen to your team when they give suggestions or tell you how to get it.

 

Sarah and Charlie | A Vibrant Farm at Dover Wedding

Sarah and Charlie were that couple that ended each email with the standing invitation "next time you're in Chicago let us know! We'd love to get together!" They were caring and thoughtful and so deeply loved by their families. 

Naturally, they wanted a day that felt joyful and relaxed, giving them plenty of time to connect with the people that meant the most to them. They did two key things to help them achieve that feeling and they knocked it out of the park!

Choose the right venue

First, they chose the right venue. They chose the Farm at Dover for several reasons, but namely, so they could create a relaxed and elegant escape for their guests. They chose a place where everything happened at one place so they didn't have to stress about moving between places and could maximize their time with their friends and family.

Hire the right vendors

The second thing they did was recognize that you have to plan very well in order to relax on your wedding day. So they hired vendors who got their vision. City Girl weddings was a dream to work with and worked hard to protect Charlie and Sarah's priorities when logistics began weighing in on their day. As I worked with Alyssa on their wedding photography timeline, we found ways to keep their day organic and moving during the photography times. We chose to focus on candid moments over posed portraits, photographing them walking, talking and laughing with their favorite people and I love the results. 

Sarah and Charlie, thanks for inviting us to be a part of your day! I felt completely immersed in your wedding experience and loved photographing the joy and sweet moments. And guys...I'm still not over the UW band surprise during cocktail hour! Truth be told, I cried a little bit because I was so happy that it all worked out!

Enjoy a sneak peak of some of our favorite photos-more are coming your way soon!

Thanks to City Girl Events, the Farm at Dover, and Flowers for Dreams for a flawless day!

Sarah & Keith | Feminine and Industrial Milwaukee Pritzlaff Wedding Photography

Sarah and Keith told us they wanted Thai food at their reception. Do I need to explain to you why we were excited to photograph their wedding? Okay...you know me. I love a good story and my excitement stemmed from that. It had way more to do with the story behind the food than the actual idea of eating curry and pad thai at a wedding!

Keith and Sarah met in college and quickly fell in love. (ummm, have you seen them? They're gorgeous people.) Keith is order, direction, and plans and Sarah is relationships, kindness, and understanding. He adds structure and big ideas and she softens the edges. They're an incredible couple together. 

After college, Keith and Sarah spent a year living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. During that year, they fell in love with Thai culture and cuisine, attended the world famous lantern festival, Yi Peng. They traveled the world and found their best selves in traveling together. 

When planning their wedding, they wanted to create something that blended their love for home and family (Milwaukee for Sarah) with their love for travel. They chose a classic industrial Milwaukee venue and added touches of their travel story to the reception design. 

If you're planning a wedding, be like Keith and Sarah. Plan a day that shows people how much you love them AND tells your story. Invite them into your life a bit more-create an experience for them. They'll never forget it!

Many thanks to the following talents:

Florals: Impressions by Esther Fleming | Getting ready venue: The Iron Horse Hotel | venue: Pritzlaff Events | Catering: Shully's Cuisine 

Vivienne & Jason | A Classic and Romantic Madison Club Wedding

Vivienne and Jason's day was one we'd been waiting for all year! From a work perspective, we knew we'd have the pleasure of working with one of our favorite planners, Cherry Blossom Events, and one of the best videographers around, Vaughter Weddings, and my floral darlings, Daffodil Parker. 

I knew we'd get to sleep in, drink coffee on our deck, and then go work with our dream team of vendors and I was so thrilled! But more than that, I was drawn in by the amazing, nuanced love I saw in Vivienne and Jason and I completely melted to see them so deeply happy. 

In our first meeting, Vivienne claimed in her hysterically direct way "Planning a wedding is expensive! I'd rather spend that money on Chanel handbags!" I laughed then realized she meant it...then laughed even more. I loved Vivienne and her insightful commentary from the moment I met her. But what I loved more was what she said next: "but Jason is so important to me and I want him to be surrounded by his family." She knew how to love Jason in a way that meant adjusting her priorities to give something special to him. 

And Jason, a talented Dentist and quiet, introspective guy, knew how to be the stable, attentive support for Vivienne during times of intense pressure. It was really amazing to see how they chose love and gave love to each other.

Vivienne and Jason, thank you for including us on such a special day. I laughed, cried and cried again. Thanks for loving each other with your daily choices-it's so inspiring and beautiful! Enjoy a few of our favorite photos from your day! More coming soon!

Thanks to my dream team:

Event planning and design: Cherry Blossom Events | Videography: Vaughter Weddings | Florals: Daffodil Parker | Venue and Catering: The Madison Club 

Intimate Catskills Lodge Upstate New York Elopement

The beauty of elopements is in the feel of intimacy they portray. So when shooting this elopement at the Jake Anderson Workshop at Foxfire mountain house in the Catskills, my goal was to see everything through that lens of intimacy.

Intimacy & Warmth

The styling from Lacy Geary and stunning floral works by Kelly Lenard lent themselves perfectly to this intimate approach, wrapping you with a sense of love and warmth.

Workshop: Jake Anderson | Stylist: Lacy Geary | Florist: Kelly Lenard | Silk: Frou Frou Chic | Paper Goods: Plume Calligraphy | Ring: Susie Saltzman | Film Lab: Photovision | Venue: Foxfire Mountain House