It all started at Christmastime, when Colleen and Matt met for a blind date at a coffee shop. “As weird as it sounds, as soon as I saw him, I felt like I recognized him and that he would somehow be a big part of my life,” says Colleen. Her intuition was right, and this last December, Colleen and Matt married.
“We knew as soon as we chose our date that we wanted everything to be Christmas-themed,” explains Colleen. So, the Shorewood couple set about giving their wedding a cozy and magical look. They selected their reception spot for its ski-lodge vibe, and decorated with red and green via the attendants’ attire, the red-rose bouquets and the shimmering cake. Guests even went home with a Christmas-inspired gift: a cookie cutter and the bride’s grandmother’s legendary sugar cookie recipe. “It was a way for me to share some love with everybody who came out,” Colleen says.
The wedding day didn’t just look cozy; it felt that way, too. The couple married in the Fox Point church where Colleen has been a lifelong member. “The congregation there is my family, and the church feels like home to me,” she says. For the couple who was more concerned about the marriage than the event, lots of particularly special moments happened there, from getting ready to saying vows. “Walking down the aisle was as amazing as I always thought it would be…you’re seeing all the people who mean so much to you on this huge, important day,” Colleen explains. “You’re just so overwhelmed by this feeling of love.”
Much of Colleen and Matt’s winter wedding was DIY, including the planning, flowers, menu and hair and makeup. They even bought a photography package with image rights, so they could make their own album. The bride and groom didn’t do it all themselves, though; they asked loved ones to pitch in. “You’ll be surprised how many people secretly love weddings—love being involved with them, love planning them, love everything about them,” Colleen notes. “I had a lot of people tell me that they were ‘honored’ to help with my wedding and thanked me, when really, of course, it was I who was honored!”
Date: December 29, 2012
Photographs: Dan Zaitz of Ari Rosenthal Photography
Planner: The bride’s mom; Church: St. Eugene Congregation; Officiant: Fr. Jerry Herda; Ceremony music: Bill Lieven; Wedding photo location: Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown; Reception site: Brown Deer Clubhouse; Food: The couple’s friends; Gown: Galina by David’s Bridal; Bride’s shoes: David’s Bridal; Bride’s hair and makeup: The bride’s best friend; Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse; Rings: Kesslers Diamonds; Bride’s necklace and shoe clips: Heirlooms; Floral supplies: Hobby Lobby; Flowers: The bride; Baker: Aggie’s Cakes and Pastries; Transportation: The bride’s brother-in-law; Favors: Cookie cutters from eFavorMart.com