Natalie and John marry at Saint Kate in Downtown Milwaukee

Milwaukee Wedding at Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel

October 27, 2023

A mega-fun, beautiful, classic celebration of love for an incredible couple.

How They Met

Natalie, a Milwaukee native, and John, who is originally from Houston, both interned at a manufacturing plant in Freeport, Texas. John had to call Natalie before she accepted the offer to convince her that Texas was not as bad as she thought. They hit it off almost immediately after Natalie started her internship in June 2018. John remembers coming home after her first day and asking his sister-in-law if he was allowed to hit on the new girl at work. Meanwhile, Natalie had written in her journal that she “could marry a man like John.” About a month later, John asked Natalie to go to a Texas country concert with him, even after she said she liked every kind of music besides country.

The Engagement

Natalie and John were back in Wisconsin for a friend’s wedding. It was also Natalie’s 25th birthday, and she wanted to celebrate turning a quarter century in a special way. She planned a birthday party for herself at her lake house on Big Cedar Lake in Washington County. She invited her close family and friends and convinced John’s brother and family to drive up from Illinois to join. During the party, before most of the guests had arrived, John pulled her aside and said he had another birthday gift to give her.

Suspicious, Natalie looked to see if anyone was taking photos or recording videos with their phone. Sure enough, after explaining that he had planned on asking her to marry him since the day she drove out of his parents’ driveway in December 2018 after her internship ended, he got down on one knee and opened the ring box. She said “yes” over and over and gave him a giant hug before putting on the ring. It was the exact ring she had wanted and was even more gorgeous than she could have imagined. The glowing couple was able to celebrate with the rest of the guests once they arrived and even enjoyed granny cake, Natalie’s favorite.

The Dress

Natalie designed her custom wedding dress at Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique in Milwaukee. Her dress was the best design element of her big day. When she went dress shopping with her mom, future sister-in-law, and grandma, she had a very specific vision in mind, but couldn’t find anything that matched what she was looking for. Miss Ruby, however, sells custom dresses, which allowed Natalie to bring her design dream to life. She selected the fabric, shape, and skirt and added a belt, neckline, and of course, pockets!

The Ceremony

Natalie and John’s wedding ceremony was at St. Mary’s Visitation Catholic Church in Elm Grove, where Natalie went to grade school. The last time she had walked down the aisle was for her first communion, when she wore a much smaller white dress.

The Reception

The party continued at Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee. Natalie and John loved the artful vibe and loved the idea of a wedding reception venue that provided everything in the same place, including the food, alcohol, and of course, the hotel rooms for guests.

During the reception, Natalie, John, and their bridal party participated in a grand entrance, which pumped up the energy level in the room. To make sure they snapped photos with all of their loved ones, they went from table to table. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room during the dinner speeches from Natalie’s father, the best man, the maid of honor, the matron of honor, Natalie’s cousin, and John’s brother and sister-in-law. Last but not least, John gave an improvised speech to express his love for his new wife, and everyone cried even more.

After dinner came the dancing, and their live band was incredible. Natalie and John performed a choreographed dance to their song, “Hold You Til We’re Old” by Jamie Miller. The father-daughter and mother-son dances followed. Natalie also wanted to honor her mom in a special way, so they shared a mother-daughter dance to “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. All of the women in the room were invited to join them at the end of the song.

There was also an anniversary dance to celebrate all of the married couples, including Natalie’s grandparents, who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. While the band took a break, a playlist curated by Natalie and John played, which included a lot of teen angst and classic 2000s songs. Someone even grabbed a mic and sang karaoke-style. The dance floor was flooded the entire night, and it was so much fun to spend quality time with everyone they love.

The Food and Drinks

Dinner began with a beet and mozzarella salad. For the entrée course, guests had a choice between steak, salmon, and a vegetarian option. There was a dessert table as well as late-night pizza. Simma’s Bakery provided the cake, a white cake with luxurious lemon mousse. The couple offered signature cocktails to guests, including a Paloma (called the “Broloma”) and an old fashioned (called the “Old Sibal”).

The Décor

Natalie and John’s wedding had a classic theme, with a blue, gold, and white palette. Their venue, Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel, is known for its colorful, modern atmosphere. Jane Kelly Floral in Wauwatosa designed the gorgeous flower arrangements.

The Photos

In addition to their stunning venue, the newlyweds took photos and videos along the lakefront and by the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The Honeymoon

Natalie and John are going on their honeymoon after Thanksgiving 2023. They plan to spend four days in Paris, where John’s brother lives, before jetsetting to South Africa to embark on a safari. Natalie loves planning vacations, and this will be John’s biggest trip yet.

Words of Wisdom from the Bride

“The wedding is fun but remember that this is all for a marriage. So focus on the marriage, the party is a fun start to the marriage. John and I always kept our love at the center of all the wedding planning. And wanted our personalities in the day.”

Wisconsin Wedding Vendors:

Consultant/Coordinator Heather Farr Events
Reception, Catering, Bartending Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel
Ceremony Location St. Mary’s Visitation Elm Grove
Photographer AMarie Photography
Videographer Jack Wilkins
Cake Simma’s Bakery
Flowers Jane Kelly Floral
Music Michael Walters Orchestra
Hair and Makeup Neroli Downtown
Gown Designed by the Bride from Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaids Dresses Revelry
Formalwear Bonobos
Groomsmen’s Formalwear Jos. A Bank
Rings Quince and Local Houston Jeweler
Rehearsal Dinner Lake Park Bistro