Claim to fame: Pearls, rhinestones and lace, oh my! From minimalist to extravagant, Jaxie Bridal in Milwaukee has something for every bride. Owner Jackie Barutha creates custom accessories as unique as your relationship. With her experienced background in the industry, she can transform any traditional piece to match your style, whether it be handed down from your great-grandma or something borrowed from your mother-in-law.
Best Mother-of-the-Bride Apparel
Claim to fame: “Family-owned” is an understatement at Vera’s House of Bridals in Madison. Started in 1964 by Vera and husband James Stillmank, their children and grandchildren have kept the tradition going for years. With three generations of women working under the same roof, they value mother-daughter relationships. Housing a selection of more than 300 mother-of-the-bride dresses, you are guaranteed to find the perfect dress for any event!
Best Wedding Makeup
Claim to fame: With the mantra, “Be Bold. Be Beautiful. Be Inspired,” Kati Whitledge, owner of Be Inspired Salon in Madison, has been creating a community of loyal stylists since 2011. You’ll be matched with your “salon soulmate” after answering a few short questions about yourself and, of course, your vision for your big day. Be inspired as you leave feeling beautiful—inside and out!
Best Wedding Hair
Claim to fame: Centrally located in Madison, Be Inspired Salon is the perfect one-stop shop for makeup and hair on your special day. The Be Inspired Team specializes in bridal hair and makeup and continually educates its team members with an emphasis on training. And as mentioned above, utilizing their "salon soulmate" survey is a great way to cater your experience to your personal needs for hair and makeup.
Best Spa Services
Claim to fame: Indulge in cocktails, wine and hors d’oeuvres while getting pampered at The Edgewater Spa in Madison. Their luxurious services include something for everyone in your bridal party and beyond. The bride-to-be and bridesmaids will be treated like royalty with one of the wedding day packages while the future husband and groomsmen will be greeted with a drink of choice while getting prepped for the big day.
Claim to fame: DuBois Formalwear has a focus on transparent pricing and an expansive selection alongside an enthusiastic staff. With over 550 unique tie options and 200 different vest options, there is something for every groom in this mix. And if you're looking to rent, DuBois Formalwear has a seamless and streamlined rental process that is guaranteed to get you wedding-ready.
Claim to fame: With over six different locations around Wisconsin and tons of glimmering ring options, Kesselers Diamonds is not only reliable but affordable. Boasting the largest selection of diamonds and mountings in the entire Midwest, all rings come with a lifetime of free maintenance and a strong warranty. If you're looking to get creative with your wedding bands, they also offer bands made from meteorites, dinosaur bones and other uncommon materials.
Claim to fame: After getting his start as a wedding officiant eight years ago for some close friends, Bradley Schnell expanded his love for officiating and has worked with hundreds of couples. His apparent passion for storytelling and celebration comes through in his ceremonies, which are completely customized for each wedding. Best of all, couples have the opportunity to work closely with Bradley as he drafts the ceremony and has several meetings with couples to discuss their individual visions.
Best Wedding Planner
Claim to fame: With a mission to make wedding planning fun, Events to a T puts all the focus on you. From a classic extravagant event to a microwedding, the team at Events to a T has the experience and ideas to design your wedding day. If you are seeking organization, the Events to a T team has you covered with monthly check-ins and essential wedding planning documents available.
Best Rentals & Décor
Claim to fame: Look no further for elegant, reliable rentals. Located near Milwaukee, the team behind Relics Rentals has access to showstopping rentals for your wedding day and will work with you from brainstorming to execution. Whether you're going for a classic sophisticated event or a bohemian seaside wedding, you can find it here. The Relics Rentals team encapsulated their brand, "Think Anthropologie meets Martha Stewart"!
Claim to fame: Founder/owner Sally Vander Wyst and studio manager Courtney Stenberg are the dynamic duo behind the breathtaking designs that set the tone for your celebration. They hand-craft their florals to suit each couple, focusing on the details and taking care of the planet through conservation efforts.
Best Wedding Cakes
Claim to fame: As owner of The Cake Lady in St. Francis, Cecelia Grade prides herself in making everything from scratch and using only the best ingredients. Providing over 20 filling flavors and an abundant list of cake and frosting flavors, the options are limitless. No matter what you decide, your cake will taste as delectable as it looks.
Best Wedding Desserts
Claim to fame: Cupcakes, cookies and cakes? Yes, please! Hailey Smith, owner of Hailey’s Sweets & Treats in Janesville, blends her love for baking and design to create sugary treats for newlyweds. Custom designs ranging from vintage to edgy atop cake bites, cupcakes, bars or cookies are sure to impress. Her mission to provide the highest quality confections in every order will make your wedding day that much sweeter.
Claim to fame: Founder and owner of Blue Plate Catering in Madison, Jodi Fowler, has a passion for sustainability. Their farm-to-table food consists of locally sourced, fresh ingredients resulting in the highest quality meals to clients. They offer couples the chance to build a customizable menu and taste testings ensure a superb spread. From backyard to black tie, Blue Plate will cater any type of wedding!
Claim to fame: Owner Debbie Pape started designing in 1998 for friends and family. Soon after, she started Paper Envy, spreading beautiful custom stationery far beyond studio locations in Elm Grove, Milwaukee and Chicago. It can be hard to decide on a font and color that will match your style, but Debbie is dedicated to creating the perfect pre-wedding sneak peek through your invitations.
Claim to fame: Allie Lofy, owner and designer at Pure Joy Ink in Elkhorn, will make your wedding signage and invitation process flow as smooth as her calligraphy. With a mission to create affordable, custom stationery and art, she spreads joy to happy couples through her impeccable work. She will also design on any smooth surface provided; you give, she’ll write!
Claim to fame: For this team, it’s all about capturing moments. The Twig & Olive team, Courtney, Doug and Bobbi, came together in Madison five years ago (with more than a decade of combined experience) to give your special moments the longevity of a picture. Their vibe of mystery and moodiness effortlessly balance with the use of light to tell your love story. Whether you're looking to marry in your backyard or overseas, this team will follow you to get the perfect shot.
Claim to fame: As owners of Sweet Pea Cinema in Milwaukee, Cindy and Dean Johnson want to make your wedding day reels as sweet as the actual day. Their inconspicuous filming nature will make you and your guests comfortable while capturing all the essentialsmoments. They will create a stunning highlight and documentary film so you can relive your special day for years to come.
Best Photo Booth
Claim to fame: Photos are the number one keepsake for you and your guests, and featuring a photo booth at your event is memorable and fun. The Sound by Design team ensures their photo booths have the best picture quality to match your high-quality party. With unlimited photos, an onsite attendant, props, backdrop of your choice, custom photo album and an online gallery, what are you waiting for? Say cheese!
Claim to fame: With a long list of famous artists the Bluewater Kings Band has performed alongside ranging from Prince to Lady Gaga, to their countless five-star reviews, you can guarantee they know how to wow. Feel in control with their online organizational system where you can customize your wedding playlist an unlimited amount of times leading up to your big day. Put on your boogie shoes and enjoy!
Claim to fame: Cut loose on the dance floor to your favorite songs during your special day. The Sound by Design team in Shorewood has a system that will work for any couple. Based on your individual tastes, A DJ will be matched with you and then meet with you to ensure a perfect fit. Couples can also customize their music with the online portal. Easy and stress-free!
Best Ceremony Music
Claim to fame: Let your guests be serenaded by the sweet sound of the Dream City Strings. Based in Milwaukee, the band has a versatile list of songs ranging from classical artists to contemporary picks. No matter what style of ceremony you are having, Dream City Strings’ harmonious sound will tug on everyone's heartstrings and provide the perfect backdrop for you to say "I do."
Claim to fame: With a quick and easy reservation system and a team of professional chauffeurs, booking transportation has never been so effortless. Whether it's your bachelorette or bachelor party, rehearsal dinner or post-wedding transportation, Blackline has you covered. You can go for a classic stretch limousine or opt for the extravagant "Limo Bus" that is sure to be unforgettable!
Best Rehearsal Dinner Venue
Claim to fame: Giving guests a food tour of New England-style seafood set against gorgeous lakefront views on a seasonal outdoor patio are staples of Harbor House. Executive Chef John Korycki aims to bring global flavors to seafood and steak, and his delectable creations at Harbor House are no exception. With a full bar and views of the Milwaukee skyline, you can't go wrong.
Best Urban Venue
Claim to fame: You could never tell from the outside, but this modern industrial haven began as a warehouse turned nightclub. With a focus on live greenery throughout event spaces and copious amounts of natural light, the Ivy House really does live up to its name. Couples can opt to celebrate in the green-scaped ballroom of in open air in the ivy-covered patio, both oozing a contemporary and stylish ambiance.
Best Wisconsin Destination Venue
Claim to fame: Villa Bellezza will transport you to Italy in the middle of Wisconsin. With classic Italian architecture and estate vineyards, visiting this venue really is an other-worldly experience. There are options for outdoor villa weddings and intimate microweddings, whatever direction you are taking your event, Villa Bellezza is here to accommodate you.
Best Barn Venue
Claim to fame: Located in Hillsdale, the Enchanted Barn can make your rustic wedding dreams come true. Gather under 18th-century wooden beams in the Hayloft for a more traditional ceremony. Continue the party in the elegant glass barn and patio, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows elegantly framed by wood. The barn seamlessly balances indoor and outdoor space creating the ideal wedding from day to night.
Best Winery Venue
Claim to fame: La dolce vita! Villa Bellezza in Pepin brings Tuscany a little closer to home. Get ready in The Apartment with your bridesmaids, then walk down the brick aisle surrounded by vines to say “I do” in The Vineyard Pavilion. With options to hold your reception in a private piazza or at the Great Hall, the expansive ambiance of Villa Bellezza shines through. Don’t forget to satisfy your taste buds with the full catering kitchen’s authentic Italian cuisine.
Best Hotel Venue
Claim to fame: The Edgewater in Madison blends modern design into its historic roots with awe-inspiring lakefront views. Have your wedding on the coast of Lake Mendota, in the Grand Plaza or one of two magnificent ballrooms. Their devoted wedding concierge team will ensure a stress-free day, so all you’ll have to worry about is saying “I do!”
Best Country Club/Golf Course Venue
Claim to fame: Set against the stunning Oconomowoc backdrop, the Carriage House can accommodate up to 240 guests and even offers an enclosed patio space. Outdoor spaces offer games, additional bars and fire pits, meaning your guests will never be bored with activities galore. Located just on the lower level of the Carriage House is a fully-furnished bridal prep suite, perfect for getting ready.
Best Historic Venue
Claim to fame: If historic Italian architecture and eye-catching art is your thing, then Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is the ideal venue for you! Lloyd and Agnes Smith commissioned architect David Adler to bring their renaissance villa vision to life in 1923. Now part of Milwaukee County parkland, the elaborate two-story villa and picturesque renaissance garden not only celebrate the arts, but the love of newlyweds.
Best Resort Venue
Claim to fame: The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake is steeped in luxury. Featuring a long list of amenities accompanied by breathtaking suites and guest rooms, this resort venue has something for everyone. Dine in one of the highly-rated restaurants, tie the knot amidst lake views and dance the night away with friends and family in one of many impeccable ballrooms at the wonderful Osthoff.
Best Wedding Night Hotel
Claim to fame: Perched on Lake Mendota in Madison, The Edgewater Hotel’s panoramic views and extravagant accommodations make for a flawless way to end your wedding day. With countless amenities to aid your relaxation, including luxurious spa showers and gorgeous suites, the Edgewater sets the perfect tone for relaxation. The next morning, head over to The Statehouse, one of many on-site upscale dining options, for mimosas.
Best New Vendor
Claim to fame: Located in Milwaukee's Fifth Ward and with a sophisticated space draped in natural light, the Dress of the Rack boutique is a bridal gown haven. Founder and Owner Christina Alexander Wegner aims to bring Parisian and New York luxury to the midwest while keeping it friendly and laid-back. From hair bands to high heels, the team at Dress Off the Rack is here to help, and their keen eye to details will make your wedding day look effervescent.
Member of the Year
Claim to fame:
Senior Planner Jayme Galanos, owner of Darling Wedding Co., opened this boutique-style wedding planning service in 2004 and has been helping couples plan, design and create their ideal event ever since. Darling Wedding Co., previously known as Beyond Elegant Events, only takes on a select number of weddings a year, so the team can get to know each couple and give them the undivided attention they deserve. From helping you choose your team of vendors, coordinating the space in your venue or doing it all, this team not only can plan your event, they’ll support you every step of the way.
TOP OF THE TIARA - All-Around Best Wedding Vendor
Claim to fame: Elevate Events is all about sisterhood. Started by sisters Kristie and Mallory, Elevate Events aims to bring the collaborative nature of sisterhood to event planning. With a promise to tell your wedding day story in a meaningful way, the team behind Elevate Events will work tirelessly to make sure your speical day runs smoothly from the ceremony down to the smallest details. Whether it's planning, design or execution, their carefully curated team has got you covered. Elevate Events treats every event as their own, and will take away all of your wedding day jitters and stress in the process of making your event a real showstopper.
Finalists: O & B Photo Co., Vera's House of Bridals
Best Floral Design
Bird & Bumble
From elopements to destination weddings, Bird & Bumble has florals to fit any occasion. Utilizing locally grown florals and romantic aesthetics results in gorgeous ethereal creations that ooze classic elegance. With seamless communication and high standards for professionalism, the Bird & Bumble team is ready to cater to any requests you may throw their way for your special day. Perfect for any bouquet, boutonniere or beyond, these blooms are absolutely breathtaking.
Look no further for a contemporary cake creation. The owner of The Baked Lab, Shawn, works to infuse each of his creations with passion, whimsy and a story. From an elaborate multi-tiered cake to a lively box of macarons, the options to personalize your wedding day dessert are immense. This elegant cake pulls together textured elements against a classic white palette for a modern twist. As Shawn says, "I look to inspire a sense of nostalgia while delighting with unforeseen discovery."
Best Event Design
Best friends, designers and business owners, Andrea VandeBerg and Sarah Sarbacker started Cherry Blossom Events to address their mutual love for weddings. From modern to bohemian, they keep up with trends and create new ones along the way. No matter what style you are looking for, the duo’s passion for designing beauty goes above and beyond to make your special day truly unforgettable—as it should be.
With over ten years of experience under his belt, Dave Stremikis is more than qualified to capture the most meaningful moments of your wedding day. His approach focuses on building meaningful relationships with clients to help cater to their specific ideas and vision. The outcome is stunning photos that reflect Dave's mastery behind the camera and understanding of lighting. For months and years down the line, Dave's photos will reflect the magic and monument of your wedding day.
Katy Schuele Scanlan in Monique Lhuillier
Statement sleeves are of-the moment this season, but bride Katy Schuele Scanlan took it up a notch with an all-around captivating gown for her wedding at the Kohler Riverbend Estate in Kohler. This aptly named “Lovely” ball gown by Monique Lhuillier could have been made with this bride in mind; “I knew I wanted a Monique Lhuillier dress,” says Scanlan. “I just love her aesthetic, and her dresses are so timeless and classy.” With its sculpted shape in luxurious mosaic lace and a spellbinding off-the-shoulder neckline, it’s the dress of her dreams, Scanlan says.
Best Invitation Suite
At Bay View Printing Co. your wedding day really is all about you. The combination letterpress design and printing shop is completley client-focused, and invitations are printed one at a time and completely customizable. The options are nearly endless and the team behind Bay View Printing Co. approaches every job with an open mind. This stunning invitation suite paired baby blues with bold rust hues and jewel tones.
Best Catering Idea
These cakes made of cheese are giving us life. Compiled from Wisconsin's vast selection of artisan cheese, couples can style their own multi-tiered cake to feed guests for appetizers, rehearsal dinners and beyond. And these creations are effortlessly elegant and unique, and decor elements like dried fruit and florals complete the look. If you're looking to add a classic midwestern twist to your special day, one of Fromagination's cakes made of cheese might be the perfect option for you!