Two Hearts of Gold Take Center Stage at Madison's Overture Center
Libby and John's wedding lived up to its "Champagne Celebration" theme, where details including the bridesmaid dresses, the place cards in champagne corks, and the sparkling cocktails all glittered in gold. And you know it's going to be a good wedding when the bubbly pops at the ceremony (with the ushers offering refills) and keeps the party flowing all night long. The newlyweds filled their fun day with personal touches, including handwritten vows, music played and sung by family members, table numbers that reflected fun facts about the couple, and a surprise performance by the University of Wisconsin marching band. Libby and John felt their day was a success and knew the guests felt the same way by all of their smiling faces. Laura Zastrow Photography went above and beyond to capture every gorgeous moment of this special occasion--even saving the day when the bride's veil blew off and into the cold, icy lake (which the bride caught on camera with a few not-so professional shots of her own). Come be wowed by this amazing Madison wedding...
From the Bride:
To John and me, it was all about finding the perfect venue. I probably dragged John to view 30 sites throughout Chicago and Wisconsin until we finally found the Main Lobby at the Overture Center in Madison. We walked in, saw the modern, neutral design with so much natural light and were blown away by its beauty. Everything fell into place from there, as we mirrored the design and colors of the venue in every decision we made for a cohesive flow. My favorite drink has been and always will be champagne, and since we were sipping it throughout the night of our engagement and the months that followed (obviously), “champagne celebration” became our theme. The end result was a modern, classy affair with clean whites, golds, and black tuxedos.
The day began at the new Edgewater Hotel in Madison. The bridesmaids looked stunning in their gold Bladgley Mischka gowns, rented from Rent the Runway. After a tearful and moving “first look” with my dad, I was off to meet John at a small, public beach on the opposite side of Lake Monona. We chose this meaningful spot because it was the same view of the lake and state capitol I saw from my grandparents’ lake home in Madison growing up.
The bridal party then picked us up in a big Badger Bus, and we headed to the Madison Memorial Union (a must for two University of Wisconsin grads), the state capitol, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art for photos before heading to The Overture Center for the ceremony.The ceremony, happy hour, and reception all took place in The Overture Center’s Main Lobby, with the ceremony on the third floor, the happy hour on the second, and the reception on the main level.
Since we opted for John’s brother to marry us, we got to plan the entire ceremony ourselves. While this was daunting at first, we really had a lot of fun with it. The ceremony was my favorite part of the whole day, as it really felt like “us.” John’s cousin played his violin and one of John’s brothers played his guitar as we walked down the aisle. Another cousin sang, and our three sisters-in-law read. We chose readings that meant something to us, including a reading from the Wisconsin Supreme Court case that made same-sex marriage legal in Wisconsin. We read our own, handwritten vows. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
After the ceremony, Marie Campbell quickly styled my hair a little differently for the reception. The guests made their way down one flight of the stairs to happy hour, where we served hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and more champagne. Guests collected their table cards, which were supported by champagne corks, and saw our gifts to our parents: reenacted photos of our parents, telling them that they "are our greatest example."
After happy hour, our guests traveled down the last flight of stairs to the main level for the reception. Tables were adorned with black and white striped runners with gold accents and champagne glasses filled with floating candles. Dinner was phenomenal, as was our “ice cream cake” dessert. My favorite of our flavor options was “bleu cheese pear”--it was a Wisconsin wedding after all! We also had a Norwegian celebration cake (Kransekake) to honor my family’s heritage, with American, Irish, and Dutch (my husband’s nationalities) flags on top, in addition to mini University of Wisconsin Memorial Union chairs. Our wedding favors to guests were lottery tickets, explaining that we wanted to share some of our “luck” with our guests. One guest even won $50!
John’s musical brothers and cousin sang our first dance song (my brother even jumped in), and John and his dad sang a special song to me later in the evening. My favorite surprise of all happened later--we hired the University of Wisconsin marching band to stop by and play since so many of our family and friends are alumni. Our fabulous band, Velocity, entertained the guests for the rest of the night.
The day was such a success--not a single thing went wrong (the rain even held off!) and all I saw were smiles and laughter the entire day. I was worried I would be sad when the day was over, but actually, I felt incredibly happy and gratified that we pulled off the most perfect day. I had no regrets and became giddy with excitement to leave for our honeymoon to Africa the next day!
Norwegian Celebration Cake
Alex Normington (friend of the couple)