Sometimes, it’s hard for a guy not to pop the question as soon as the ring is his. Not so for Josh, who was able to wait almost an entire vacation. He and Tonya were touring Portland and Seattle, spending lots of time outside—something they both love to do. On one of the last days of their summertime trip, they went hiking in Washington’s Wallace Falls State Park. “When we got to the top [of the trail], we stood in the spray of the uppermost waterfall,” Tonya says. “All of a sudden, Josh went down on his knee and proposed right there! Of course, I said yes after some moments of true surprise and disbelief.”

Another waterfall—along with wooded paths, a river and a field of wildflowers—was the setting for the Greenfield couple’s engagement shoot. This time, it was local: “We wanted to pick a place that was ‘us,’ so we drove to Milwaukee’s lakefront in the Grant Park area,” says the bride-to-be. “We found this awesome spot with a waterfall nearby. We just knew that was the area we would take our photos.”

Their wedding, however, won’t be local at all. Tonya and Josh are headed to Sandals for a Jamaica wedding. There, they’ll be marrying in a gazebo just before sunset with the ocean as their backdrop. When the newlyweds return, guests will join them for a simple, elegant reception at Tulip in the Third Ward, the spot where they had their first date three years ago.

“There are so many lovely places to have a reception in Milwaukee, especially for a smaller budget and smaller guest list,” Tonya assures. “Don’t assume you need to pay thousands of dollars for a hotel ballroom for your reception, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box and follow your heart.”

Photography by Studio 29

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Ellie Martin Cliffe Ellie Martin Cliffe (104 Posts)

By the end of high school, Ellie Martin Cliffe was completely enamored of journalism, so she chose the most logical college major possible: anthropology. Disappointed by the minimal emphasis on writing and editing, she changed tracks and earned a comm degree from Carroll College. Ellie has since tackled many facets of the field including books, magazines and the Web at places like The Knot and Reader's Digest. She now works full time in book publishing, and is thrilled to get her wedding fix with WedInMilwaukee.com. When she isn’t wielding her (red) pen, Ellie can be found in the garden, at any concert that showcases a fiddle, playing pub trivia or in the kitchen. She and her husband live in Riverwest with their hedgehog, Guinness, and grapefruit tree, Sprout.



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