Hayden and I didn’t take a very traditional route when it came to our weddings. Yes, you read that correctly–weddings. Plural. On February 11th, 2023, we had the most magical destination wedding in Costa Rica. If you are considering a destination wedding, I highly recommend it, and you can read our tips and check out the resort we used.
But this blog is about wedding #2. Or rather, our wedding reception that took place in Wisconsin Dells on April 15th, 2023. Our destination ceremony was small, so we chose to also have a stateside reception with dinner and dancing with all of our extended family and friends. We called this our Happily Ever After Party, and oh my goodness, was it a PARTY!! We received ridiculous amounts of positive feedback, and so many people told us it was the best wedding they had ever attended. All of that positive feedback goes back to our incredible wedding vendors. Let’s jump into The Best Wisconsin Wedding Vendors!
Table of Contents - Click to jump to the section.
Back to the Beginning
Locations across Wisconsin
Hayden and I have nothing but good things to say about Kesslers. His family has used them for years, and they came highly recommended by both his brother and father. I love that he shopped locally even for such a big, important purchase. Kesslers is very well known for having the largest selection of diamonds and mountings in the Midwest, but I think their customer service sets them above the rest. Hayden used a diamond from his grandmother for my engagement ring, and Kesslers spent the time with him to find the perfect band to place it in. (Shoutout to Susan from the Madison location!) My ring is absolutely stunning, and I love that the design is centered around a diamond from his beloved late grandmother.
When we went back together to pick out our wedding bands, I saw why Hayden spoke so highly of his experience. We got to work with Susan again, and she helped us find exactly what we were each looking for while helping us stay significantly under budget. Kesslers truly makes the ring picking an enjoyable experience, and I am so thankful for those memories.
A Moment for the Dresses
Vera’s House of Bridals
7857 Big Sky Dr, Madison, WI 53719
Wedding dress shopping was not something I was looking forward to. I don’t enjoy regular clothing shopping, so the fact that I needed to pick out two different wedding dresses felt so daunting to me. That being said, I totally recommend Vera’s House of Bridals for any Wisconsin bride! They have you make an online account ahead of time, and it was nice that I could look through and “like” some dresses so that my stylist could get a sense of my style before I even arrived. Their store is stunning and makes you feel like you’re part of a fairytale, and the selection is unmatched. Vera’s really does have dresses for every budget, and they were able to help me stay under budget even though I needed two dresses! I was so thankful to have worked with them. If you want to read my full dress experience, keep reading, or click here to jump to the next section.
I won’t lie: I was instantly overwhelmed when I walked into Vera’s. I brought a few of my favorite ladies with me, and they were all so excited and started pulling dresses right away. I didn’t quite share their same excitement, and I wasn’t necessarily vibing with the dresses they were picking out. Thankfully, my incredible stylist, Jennifer, took over the situation. She used my feedback from the dresses my girl gang had picked and was able to use her expertise to pull more dresses herself that felt a lot more like what I was looking for. And then, just when we were getting ready to give up for the day, my mother-in-law and Jennifer came back with the dress of my beach wedding dreams! It was perfect that day at Vera’s, and it remained the beautiful dress of my dreams a full year later when I got to marry my best friend.
One dress down, one to go! I now needed a dress for our Happily Ever After Party. I went back for another appointment with just one friend and used that online lookbook to my advantage more beforehand to be more prepared this time. I noted two dresses from their lookbook that were the style I was looking for. I tried them both on and liked them both, but they were lacking the “wow” factor I was seeking. Then, Jennifer came back with an absolute glitter bomb of a dress. I never would’ve picked it for myself, but when I put it on…I got that “wow” factor and so much more!
That appointment had been more of a secret, but I still had to come back with my ladies. So we went back for appointment number three, and the ladies at Vera’s continued to treat us like absolute royalty. (Another shout out to Jennifer who dealt with us for all three appointments!) I told all of my girls to pick out one dress, the one they thought would be “the one,” and I would try them all on before trying on my pick. We were there on a Wednesday night and basically had the place to ourselves, which made it so fun! I tried on all of their picks before coming out in my glitter bomb… When I tell you their faces were priceless, I mean it! It was truly a moment I will never forget. I had found my party dress!
Fun Fact: My stylist Jennifer is the granddaughter of Vera! I thought that was so dang cool.
Pro Tip: Pack some champagne and disposable flutes for your appointment. My sister did this for us (and my sister-in-laws sent even more champagne too!) and it really made the experience feel luxurious. Plus, you have to toast to saying yes to the dress!
Local Businesses We Loved Using
The Missing Pastry
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Huge shout out to The Missing Pastry for making the cookies of my dreams! Her cookies are absolutely stunning AND they taste amazing! I love our TWC logo, and it was so cool to see it on such tasty treats. They were an absolute hit with our guests. I’ve been a customer for years, but this was my first custom order, and it will not be my last!
770 W Scott St, Fond du Lac, WI 54937
Faris Popcorn to the rescue!!! These little popcorn party favors were such a hit! We got Kettle Corn, Mac n Cheese, and Jalapeño Cheddar flavors, and all three were so good! I had really wanted a popcorn party favor. I think it’s so fun when party favors are consumable–who doesn’t love snacks?! Our original vendor backed out less than two weeks before the wedding, and I was so frustrated and disappointed. Even with such short notice, Fairs Popcorn was willing to step up, and they blew me away with their flavor selection and prices. I definitely recommend checking out their shop in Fond du Lac, placing an order online, or reaching out for a bulk order!
The Best Wisconsin Vendors
Midwest Vintage Photography
128 2nd Ave Baraboo, WI 53913
Kristen, the owner of MVP, is married to one of Hayden’s closest friends. It’s been so fun getting to know her over the years and watching her business grow. She captured our magical wedding day in Costa Rica, and my goodness did she crush it! Her bright, bold style made for stunning wedding photos. We’ve had the opportunity to work with Kristen on numerous occasions, and she always gets the shot. Check her out and get ready to see so much more from her—She now has a studio in Downtown Baraboo and is taking bookings for weddings, family portraits, and her speciality–boudoir!
Mandy Litwin Photography
Mandy is one of my sister's closest friends, and I absolutely adore her. Her gorgeous romantic style was perfect for these family photos, and we loved how quickly and efficiently she got them done. She is such a professional, and I look forward to working with her on future projects!
DJ Justin Pitlik
Justin was seriously so much fun and kept the party movin’ and groovin’! Many of our guests reached out to let us know how much they enjoyed his service. He brought confetti poppers for Hayden and me to pop on our guests and this box for people to stand on in the middle of the dance floor. It might as well have been a stage with a spotlight—it was an absolute HIT! To any brides out there looking for a DJ–I highly, HIGHLY recommend Justin!
337 WI-136, Baraboo, WI 53913
A MOMENT FOR THE FLOWERS! Wild Apples made us the most stunning bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. We had a tropical themed reception in April in Wisconsin…so it was the flowers that really made the photos come to life!
I could talk about The Keg in Wisconsin Dells for literal hours. I used to bartend there during my college summers and absolutely loved it. Hayden and I met there while I was bartending one night, so it really felt like a full circle moment to have our wedding reception on their amazing patio. The Keg is connected to Kilbourn Cork, a stunning wine and whiskey bar that we adore. We also used the wine bar for our event and put up a massive D & S Tent on the patio. It was such a fun outdoor wedding venue, and their burger and mac n cheese bar was a huge hit! 100/10 to the team at The Keg & Kilbourn Cork for putting on such an incredible event!
TrueToYou MakeUp Artistry
128 2nd Ave, Baraboo, WI 53913
Alyssa from TrueToYou MakeUp Artistry slayed the glam! She really listened to what I wanted and made sure I loved my look. She is super talented and even offers trials in her adorable studio in Downtown Baraboo. Highly recommend her for you and your BridesQueens.
Trends by Shannon
441 E Main St, Reedsburg, WI 53959
Shannon from Trends made all my hair dreams come true! I was seriously obsessed with this look. She nailed my Elsa braid request—going so far as to cut some face framing locks to complete the look. I have never felt so pretty!
Our Favorite Details
If you know us, you know that our dogs are a big part of our life, and we do our best to take them on as many adventures as possible. While The Keg and Cork patios are dog-friendly and we would have loved to have them, it just would’ve been too overstimulating for them. Plus, I would’ve just been worried about them the whole time. So even though the pups didn’t come to the wedding, we did our best to include them in little ways! Our dogs are named Pabst and Leinenkugel, after the Wisconsin breweries. We served PRB and Summer Shandy at our wedding and hung their photos above the tappers.
Next, we had these fabulous Koozies! We got them on Etsy and you can check them out here. The sketches are so good, and they were an absolute hit. Our guests loved them, and it was so fun to see everyone holding them on our big day.
We also made these doggy party favors! I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was such a fun idea. Apparently everyone else did too, because all 100 were gone at the end of the night! Bonus–it was only $20 for us to make them all. We bought these little bags on Amazon and then just got a big box of MilkBones. Highly recommend it!
My Wedding Shoes
Our niece Taylor bedazzled my wedding shoes, and they were absolutely stunning! She made a pair for me, a pair for herself, and a pair for our other niece. It made me so happy to match with them, and the shoes were truly better than I could have ever dreamed. Thank you so much, Tay!
This was another Pinterest idea that was so easy to do and turned out so special. We had people write down adventure recommendations for us, and now we have such a fun collection of trips to plan thanks to the help of all our favorite people! This is one of my favorite wedding things, and I think every new couple should do it! (But don’t forget to have everyone sign their ideas, as we did not, and I wish we knew who put in which recommendations. But nonetheless, it is a remarkable thing to have!)
This is one thing Hayden really wanted, and (while we definitely overbought) it was really special for him. It was fun to see him and all his guys out there smoking cigars and having a ball! I loved having little custom match boxes made as another party favor–especially after hearing my parents still have their matches from their wedding! They were so cute and you can find them on Etsy here.
This neon will forever hold a special place in my heart! My dad gifted it to us in such a thoughtful, tear-jerking way. That’s a story for another time, and despite just the overall sentimental value, it truly made for such a fun touch and served as a great backdrop for photos. This could be fun to do in your last name or wedding hashtag for your own photobooth!
This was another detail I loved so much. My mother-in-law found this on Amazon, and it was perfect! I loved that we got to have some of our favorite photos on display for our guests to see in such a fun way. It sits on a lazy Susan so your guests can rotate it and look at all the photos before dropping their cards in. Such a special touch!
There you have it, The Best Wisconsin Wedding Vendors!