Katie and Wes are MARRIED! I can’t believe it’s been 8 or 9 months since we met at a coffee shop in Beaver Dam on a super snowy day! Thankfully the weather was so much nicer when we met in Fond Du Lac for their engagement session in the spring and the sun shone brightly on their late summer wedding day as well!
Katie and Wes’s families each own cottages on Lake Winnebago and both spent many summer days on its shores, but they didn’t meet until a few years ago! Wes asked for Katie’s number that fateful day and they got married on September 15, 2018 at The Waters.
In its stunning location in Oshkosh, WI on the shores of Lake Winnebago, The Waters was built in 1903 as a yacht club. Over the years it also served as an American Legion Post clubhouse and more recently has been beautifully restored as a wedding and event venue. Katie and Wes chose to get married at the stately venue because it has special meaning to them both – Katie’s grandma had her reception at the same venue decades ago and it’s on the same lake they grew up visiting! Their entire wedding day was a celebration of their love of each other, their family, and their lake!
Oshkosh is a two-ish hour drive from Madison. While it makes for a long day it’s worth it and it’s nice to have time to discuss the wedding day strategy with my second photographer! Upon our arrival in Oshkosh, Kirsten and I grabbed a quick early lunch and headed to the hotel to start photographing the girls and all the pretty little details!
^^^^^This scrap of lacy fabric? It’s from Katie’s grandmother’s wedding dress!The red lock has a story – Wes used its twin to propose to Katie in Mexico and it now hangs on a bridge in Mexico! The twin lock is a precious momento that they can keep forever!
Of course we didn’t leave the guys out – Kirsten and I snagged a few gentlemanly details before driving over to The Waters!
Once everyone was ready, it was time for the first looks! The first look is one of my absolute favorite parts of the wedding day and is always so filled with emotion. The Waters has a beautiful 2nd floor balcony that supplied a private spot.
After the first look, Wes showed Katie the finished custom wedding rings – she hadn’t seen the finished pieces yet! So stunning!Then it was time for a first look with Katie’s dad:
We had time to sneak in some portraits before the ceremony – the Waters has so many beautiful portrait locations! Katie and Wes had a brief, heartfelt ceremony that was filled with personal touches – their unity ceremony was pouring sand over colored sand from places they had traveled together!
For the sake of my sanity I’m not sharing my favorites from the beginning of the reception (this blog post would be so SO long), but there were epic entrances with much laughter and speeches that brought tears to most! It was clear to all that Katie and Wes are so very loved by so many!
During dinner, we snuck away from the celebrations to get some sunset portraits before the first dances! Mercifully, there was a breeze and we enjoyed both some quiet moments and fewer mosquitos! The bracelets Katie and Wes are wearing are in memory of Wes’s dad who had passed away.
You guys. These people know how to do a party and they are appropriately passionate about football! Traditionally, Katie’s family does some kind of prank or practical joke at weddings family weddings and this one was no exception! During the dancing, the Chicago Bears made a spirited entrance, followed by a swift and equally spirited rebuttal from the Green Bay Packers! And yes, custom eye black was involved.
Together they ensured that Katie and Wes were presented cheeseheads by Katie’s grandma! More dancing ensued and the two teams lived in harmony for perhaps the only night every in the history of ever! Best. wedding. reception. EVER.<3
PS: I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the amazing vendors I got to work with Saturday! Links are included below! And remember Isaiah & Hannah’s wedding? It just so happens that they are a videography team and it was such a pleasure to work together with them! I also had the best second photographer ever! Kirsten is a sweet friend and fellow photog and I was so blessed to have her working with me!
Wondering what it looks like behind the scenes? Left: Isaiah getting a shot of the dress. Right: Kirsten helping me double check my settings before the first look!
Videography: Isaiah Kazarovich – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZB8gA4a7Zg&list=PLljGAkbLRQC9fY8fjko1xGuwW727vyo0J
Venue: The Waters http://thewatersoshkosh.com
Cake/Cupcakes: Mix It Up Bakery https://www.facebook.com/MixItUpFDL/
Dress Designer: www.maggiesottero.com
Dress Boutique: https://www.thebridalevent.net
Bridesmaids Dresses Designer: https://www.morilee.com/browse/bridesmaids/bridesmaid-dresses/
Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique: https://www.elainesweddingcenter.com
DJ: MP Pro Weddings http://badgerpro.com/weddings/#welcome