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Sharing all the details of our reception day in Milwaukee – from our getting ready photos and parent gifts, to our reception decorations and dinner menu.
We had our backyard summer wedding in August of 2022, with our immediate family attending as guests. It was a beautiful weekend filled with laughs, love, and lasting memories. Without wanting to miss out on creating memories with extended family and friends, we decided to plan our dreamy Milwaukee reception for one-year after our wedding ceremony.
Sharing all the details of the day below – which is honestly making me miss everyone! I am so happy with how everything turned out, and so thankful for everyone who came to make this day even more special.
Hair & Makeup: my oldest sister did both
Photography: McKenna Marie Photography
Flowers: Trader Joe’s baby’s breath
Decorations: so, funny story. I was planning to use all of our decorations from the year before. However, when I opened up the boxes that contained these decorations, all our candles were melted. With only 48 hours to figure out new decor, we ended up purchasing glass vases and candles from Walmart, and borrowed some decorations from my sister. Even with the chaos, I’m happy with how it all came together!
Wedding Sign: Kraig built the copper wedding sign holder, and my oldest sister made the wedding sign
Guest Signing Book: I created a photo album with our engagement and wedding day photos
Reception Venue: Centraal Grand Cafè & Tappery
Hotel & Getting Ready Photos: The Journeyman Hotel
Afterparty: The Outsider
My bridesmaids started to show up to the hotel room around 11:30 am to get ready. Getting ready with all my favorite ladies by my side was so fun! There’s something so special about starting the day slow and sharing these core memories before the day embarks.
I had seven in my bridal party – my two sisters, Kraig’s sister, and my closest childhood friends. I gifted a pearl ring and a Summer Water Rosé to my bridesmaids, and a birth flower necklace for my two sisters, who were also my maid of honors. What makes this even more special, is I also gifted myself a birth flower necklace and pearl ring – two jewelry pieces I will forever cherish!
I had a charcuterie spread of meats, cheeses, veggies, fruits, muffins, chips & salsa, popcorn, and pretzels displayed for us to snack on throughout the morning and early afternoon. There were also a few champagne bottles to be drank, with rose petals to used as a garnish for the finishing touch.
We kept our first look very casual, mainly due to the fact that Kraig already seen me in my dress. Which was fine, since we’ve already been married for a year! Our first look was in the lobby of our hotel, with all our family, friends, and even Klark surrounding us.
We didn’t give our parents gifts last year, so we decided we would this year during our reception. This is one of the wedding traditions I really wanted to keep.
I gifted my mom a birth flower necklace, the same one I gifted my two sisters and myself. There is something so special about meeting up with my family and seeing all of us wearing our necklaces 🤍
I gifted my dad a black tie with a photo sewed on the back of him walking me down the aisle last year, with a special message. The tie turned out perfect!
Once the gifts were given to our parents, both our families and bridal party went outside to take photos in Third Ward and on the Milwaukee RiverWalk. I am so happy with how our photos turned out!
For my bridesmaids, I simply asked them to wear green, brown and gold colors, purchasing a dress they would wear again. For the groomsmen, I asked them to wear black pants and a tie to match their date. I wanted to keep it simple, as costs add up quickly for weddings. The most important ask for our bridal party was to simply be there on our reception day. 🤍
After about an hour of taking photos with our family and bridal party, McKenna, our photographer, took Kraig and I around Milwaukee for more photos of just the two of us. I mean, do you see the backdrop of these photos?! I can’t wait to make another photo album from our reception!!
There were so many special moments scattered throughout the day. But the time alone with Kraig was my favorite. With all the chaos, it was so special for us to slow down and truly soak in our time together.
We had our reception at Centraal Grand Cafè & Tappery. We landed on this venue as their menu features an eclectic array of European inspired, made-from-scratch dishes. Not to mention, the venue included the food, drinks, music, bartenders, and several of the decorations within the package.
Our venue was held in the back of the restaurant, that opened up to a courtyard. The venue was absolutely stunning!
We chose this venue for a multitude of reasons. One major reason being how gorgeous the courtyard was! This made it easy for choosing decorations, as not much was needed – I wanted the venue to do most of the talking.
For our table decorations, we used ivory table runners, ivory candles, glass candle holders, gold candle sticks, and baby’s breath flowers.
We had no seating chart, as we wanted our guests to mingle throughout the night. It was so nice to walk throughout our venue to catch up with all our loved ones!
Our guest book was curated with our favorite engagement and wedding day photos. This was one of my favorite details, as it is now our most cherished coffee table book. We used black pens that were smudge free for our guests to leave their well wishes. One word of advice though, have someone go around, making sure all the guests sign the book. Unfortunately, we only had about half our guests write in the book. Be sure you designate someone with this task!
Beverage selections – we wanted to make sure there was something for everyone from beer, to wine, to mixed drinks. Our guests were also able to order other beverages not on the menu at the restaurant’s bar.
High Speed Wit
Dinner menu – what really drew me to this venue was the eclectic array of European inspired, made-from-scratch dishes. We were able to choose from a variety of options, selecting the dishes we preferred and the serving amount. It was quite the variety! And the best part, we were able to take home all our leftovers!
Artisanal cheese display
Chips & Dip
Quinoa, Blueberry & Brie Salad
Banh Mi Chicken Sliders
Bay View Burger Sliders
Black Bean Sliders
Rosemary Goat Cheese Mac
Asian Chicken Rice Bowl
Lemon Orzo Chicken
Sirloin Soba Noodle Bowl
Holes De Donut
Our reception was truly such an amazing way to celebrate our first year of marriage. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!! We’re so thankful for all the amazing family and friends we have in our lives.🤍
Thanks for reading all about the details of our reception, we hope you enjoyed seeing more photos from our (second!) special day! 🥰