Kelly & Soren

* Kelly, Graduate Student & Soren, Laboratory Technician * Photographer: Emilia Jane Photography * Soundtrack for reading: “Your Song” by Elton John *

One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: A lovely, relaxed day, surrounded by the green of the forest and our closest family and friends, where we ate our favorite foods, drank our favorite beer, and promised our lives to each other.

 The Info—Photography: Emilia Jane PhotographyVenue: Schlitz-Audubon Center / Officiant: Joan, a family friend of Soren’s / Catering: Saz’s / Cake: Simma’s Bakery / Musician: Fran The Piano Man / Flowers: Lockers / Kelly’s Dress: Off-the-rack BCBG / Kelly’s Headband: Acute DesignsSoren’s Suit: Macy’s / Kelly’s Engagement Ring: Silverwoods / Kelly’s Wedding Band: Bario Neal

Other cool stuff we should know about: My parents had a very nontraditional wedding (she wore a red dress, he wore a tan corduroy suit). When I told them Soren and I were engaged, my mom asked me where we were going to elope. In our case, making more traditional choices was unexpected, but it also gave us a lot of freedom to have the wedding we wanted.

We picked the venue unseen, based on my awesome sister and mom’s inspection and some facebook photos. This was the best decision we made, we loved our venue and no number of facebook pictures could do it justice. Then I picked a lot of Milwaukee vendors that I and my family were familiar with, but weren’t traditionally “wedding” vendors—we always got our flowers from Lockers, we’d had cakes made by Simma’s for other events, we’d eaten at Saz’s restaurant since I was a kid and picked food that we would normally order at the pub-type restaurant. Our guests were thrilled with the BBQ pork and fried Chicken with all the picnic fixings. I don’t know if it was cheaper, but I felt confident with our vendors because we had a history with these places.

At the last minute I felt compelled to add details, but in the end the only details that I remembered or anyone commented about were the ones that we had an emotional connection to—my deceased grandmother’s cookies I baked, the bracelets I chose (one was my golden birthday present from Soren, one was my deceased grandfather’s watch fob, and one was made by my mother), my dad doing my sister’s and my hair like when we were kids. The other “super-cute” details either didn’t get finished, got forgotten about in the morning rush, or just weren’t important.

We loved our ceremony. We are not religious, but we were both raised in religious families and knew the majority of the guests were Christians. The ceremony was mostly secular but we included a prayer and my grandma’s favorite bible passage. I think that it was respectful and still us. Our mothers (both are retired librarians) each did a reading they chose. Our officiant wrote a wonderful homily that was us, in its practicality, but also emotionally resonant. We wrote our own vows and were surprised when both of us included some very similar parts—confirming how much alike we are. After that we just had a wonderful, relaxed day chatting with friends, drinking New Glarus Spotted Cow, listening to the super fun and accommodating Fran, and enjoyed being married!

Favorite thing about the wedding: We loved our venue, we love camping and hiking, so being in the woods felt like that time after you start hiking, when you finally get where you can’t see cars and you feel surrounded by nature and at peace. After the wedding a friend came up to me and said, “You said your wedding was going to be in a park, and I thought a city park with grass and a few trees, but your wedding was in a forest!” And the weather was perfect.

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