Alicia and Kristian: Making Beautiful Music Together

I'm absolutely in love with everything about Alicia and Kristian's Milwaukee wedding! The musically talented bride and groom are both cellists, who met as stand partners in orchestra at UW-Milwaukee-- and they're relationship has since been plagued with various puns including "making beautiful music together," which I then used to title this post (I couldn't help myself!). Given their backgrounds, the big day was held at the exquisitely beautiful Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, where the groom teaches. I could go on and on about details captured wonderfully by Valo Photography of the ceremony and reception, but what I really want to focus on is Alicia's dress.

Yes, a wedding is about more than the dress, but this custom-designed, one-of-a-kind, hand-painting based dress deserves the spotlight. The dress was created by Amanda Ergen, owner of MinkMaids. After searching for fabrics and fabric painters, Alicia asked matron of honor and artist Daria Schumann if she would create a painting that would then be printed on fabric via Spoonflower.com. After a few trial runs of fabric samples to get the colors just right, Ergen worked her incredible magic and made a gown that's hard to forget.  A smaller version of the print was created in black and white to make a handfasting ribbon for the ceremony. Seriously, you just have to see it...

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Lots more details from the bride:

A very important part of the ceremony was a way in which to honor my mom, Marianne Storin, who died in early 2010 from cancer, that was more than just a mention in the program or a bouquet of flowers. I had a procession of my five honorary mothers at the beginning of the ceremony, in her honor.  

I used to work in a bakery and my best bakery friend, Kate Laitinen, did our entire dessert spread by herself, almost all from scratch - 3 cakes, 2 flavors of mini cupcakes, 2 kinds of chocolate dipped caramels, macarons, 2 kinds of mini cheesecakes, mini fruit tarts, jordan almonds, 3 flavors of meringues, and all of it was fabulous. She is a wonder woman. I took one of each. 

Our reception music was provided by the inimitable New South Rampart Street Paraders Dixieland Band (say that ten times fast), whom I know of because my mom used to be a co-worker of the tuba player, John Knurr. The ceremony music was provided by a cellist friend of ours, Marie Sinco Warren - all Bach! It was beautiful. 

Lee John's catered for us and created a custom dinner menu as a nod to Kristian's home state of NC - pulled pork and grits, shrimp and grits, and mushrooms and grits, with a salad that included friend green tomatoes and black eyed peas. Completely delicious. Best grits I've ever had. We also couldn't have a wedding without WI cheese, so we had a cheese board during cocktails of all local cheeses. 

Our photos were done by Valo, and we lucked out by getting to spend the day with both head photographers, Jake and Simon. They were such a blast (as you can see from the selfie photo they are in), and some of our guests thought we had been friends with them for years - so much fun. 

Flowers were done by Bobby Simonsen at Marius Bell, who was recommended by my dessert queen, Kate. I showed him a sample of the fabric for my dress and told him to go nuts (and to include a few particular crazy blooms - I used to work in floral as well). My bouquet was a perfect match for the dress!

Daria, who owns Schumann Studio in Mequon along with her husband Ben, also designed almost all the paper products for the wedding - invitations, table numbers, programs, seating chart, menu, favors, all with hand painted flower graphics. She is amazing.

Our officiant was Rev. Chirs Weidner, and she did a wonderful job making the ceremony very personal, and took a good deal of time getting to know us. We figured out the first day we met her that she and my mom used to both work at the Aids Resource Center of Wisconsin, and had many connections there. That was a sign that we had to have her as a part of the wedding! 

Credits: 
Photography
Bridal Gown
Flowers
Hair and Makeup
Print Pieces and Signs
Ceremony Music
Marie Sinco Warren
Catering
Desserts
Kate Laitinen
Officiant
Save the Date Cards
Kris Reicher