Aly & Chris' West Bend wedding

Aly & Chris' West Bend Wedding

Photograph by Something Blue Images

Aly & Chris’ West Bend wedding

When high school sweethearts Aly & Chris began planning their wedding after nearly six years together, they knew they wanted it to be anything but ordinary. Vintage touches accented the day, and because the bride loves green, shades of it appeared everywhere, from the centerpieces and invitations to the attire and the garland accenting the celebration space.

“A lot of the wedding was DIY, so a lot of things had the potential to go bad!” Aly says. “Without the help of all of our family and friends, it really would have been a disaster. Everything that I was worried about worked out just great in the end.”

Chris agrees: “The key to our wedding was that we pretty much did everything how we wanted to, and we avoided going overboard with all the crazy wedding stuff.” The Bay View couple chose to have a first look followed by a simple ceremony, a meal prepared by Chris’ brother’s company and a cake baked and decorated by a friend (supplemented by sheet cakes); guests helped themselves to a grab-your-own open bar. “Overall, I think everyone enjoyed the ceremony, and the reception was a huge party, so all my goals were met,” Chris says.

“The music was probably my favorite detail,” Aly admits. She and Chris compiled a playlist and a friend created the evening’s soundtrack. But she’s taken away lots of other memories, too: “Making our bouquets an hour before the ceremony, eating delicious food, dancing, drinking and finally the cleanup—it was really over in a flash,” says the DIY bride, who’s looking forward to this summer, which is wedding planning-free.

Location: West Bend
Date: August 13, 2011
Photographs: Something Blue Images

Venue: Old Courthouse Museum of the Washington County Historical Society; Officiant: John Szyjewski; Ceremony flautist: Melanie Chapman; Caterer: Imagine Coffeehouse and Catering; Sound equipment rental: Select Sound Service; Gown: Blue Velvet Vintage; Bride’s shoes: Boston Store; Bride’s hair: Vici Capilli Salon; Groom’s suit: Brooks Brothers; Bride’s earrings and necklace: Great-grandmother’s; Centerpieces: Maid of honor’s garden; Bouquets and other flowers, sheet cakes: Costco; Cake: Megan Petri; Stationery design: Kierston Ghaznavi

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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 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.


  • John Szyjewski June 20, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Truly was a wonderful ceremony down to the last detail. It was an absolute honor to be apart of the day!

  • Jon Larsen June 22, 2012 at 7:52 am

    The pictures look amazing. I love the unique spin you guys put on everything. And Aly, your dress is awesome!


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