Best of 2015 weddings photography

madison wisconsin wedding photography

 

*Vote for your favorite photo in the comments at the bottom of this page.*

Contest Details:

  • When voting, please write the number of the photo you are voting for and why you like it.

  • The number is UNDER the photo.

  • 1 vote per person.

Prize: Photo with the most votes gets $300 credit for a session or product.

Deadline: Contest ends January 12th 2016

 Winner will be announced on my FB page so you should stop over and  LIKE it! Click HERE.

 

best of madison wedding photographer

1.Megan & Jason’s winter wedding at the Delafield Hotel

madison wedding in wisconsin in winter

2. Brenda & John’s Valentine wedding in Madison

winter wedding in madison wisconsin

3. Hollie & Arthur’s π day wedding in Janesville

artistic photograph of candid at a wedding

4. Amber & Eric’s spring wedding at Holy Wisdom Monastery

destination wedding in the mountains

5. Janine & John’s Destination wedding at Yellowstone National Park

monona terrace wedding

6. Sophie and RJ’s Monona Terrace wedding

golf course wedding in wisconsin

7. Emily and Andrew’s Lake Geneva wedding

olbrich wedding photograph in madison wisconsin

8. Anke & Evan’s Olbrich Gardens wedding

east side club wedding in madison

9. Sarah and Nick’s Eastside Club wedding

barn wedding in wisconsin

10. Elsa and Stuart’s barn wedding

destination wedding in St. Paul

11. Patrick and Jonah’s St. Paul wedding

Olin park outside wedding

12. Kristin & Steve’s Olin Park wedding

majestic wedding natural outdoors photography

13. Kelly & Ryan’s Majestic Theatre wedding

destination wedding in the UP of Michigan photography

14. Whitney & Hicham’s backyard wedding in the UP

monona terrace wedding fun candids

15. Becky and Jake’s Monona Terrace wedding

olin wedding romantic photograph

16. Carolyn and Eric’s Olin Park wedding

justin trails outside wedding

17. Lindsey and RJ’s outdoor wedding at Justin Trails

wisconsin dells wedding

18. Anna & Ross’s Wisconsin Dells wedding

lussier wedding in madison

19. Julie & Juanjo’s wedding at Lussier

candid at backyard wedding

20. Cindy & Eric’s backyard wedding in Verona

backyard wedding portrait of bride and groom

21. Maria & Kevin’s backyard barn wedding

backyard wedding fine art photography

22. Karen & Tim’s Olbrich Gardens wedding

madison wedding photography

23. Lisa & Ryan’s Bergamot wedding in Oregon, Wisconsin

backyard wedding first look with bride's father

24. Britta and Brandon’s backyard wedding

children museum wedding in madison wisconsin

25. Megan & Tom’s Madison Children’s Museum wedding

portrait of bride at the madison club in madison wisconsin

26. Tiffany & Kevin’s Madison Club wedding

winter wedding fun natural outdoor barn wedding

27. Tracey and Doug’s winter barn wedding at Harvest Moon Pond

candid at the barn at the harvest moon pond

28. Brittany & Kevin’s wedding at the Harvest Moon Pond Barn

sugarland barn wedding in madison wisconsin photography29. Deanna & John’s wedding at Sugarland Barn

Get your voting on!

I loved shooting weddings in 2015.  I had 3 destination weddings, 4 backyard weddings (I love this new trend!), and the other 22 weddings were at stellar Madison area venues.  Each year I love my job more and more and I am so grateful to have the honor to document the union of 2 people.  It fills my heart with joy to witness all the love that fills a wedding.  It’s a lot of fun and hard work which I love! Thank you to all my couples of 2015!! Big thanks to Sarah Maughan and Katarina Kobor for helping with the back-end work! And to my awesome 2nd shooters Patricia Espedal, Amie Heeter, Nikki Hansen & Neil Thompson for assisting at weddings!

Much Love, Maureen

To see past best of 2014 weddings click here.

 

my life in 2015

Recap of 2015

Life continues to be really good to me. My daughters are the delightful ages of 7&9 and are really great people to be around. They get along with unusual ease for siblings and there is a lot of harmony and fun in our home.  I feel fortunate that my kids really get to be kids. And lucky for me they are really good kids!  As you will see there is lots of play and not taking ourselves too seriously! The year was sprinkled with fun trips with Neil.  A huge highlight was shooting a wedding at Yellowstone National Park then backpacking in the wilderness.  Being in nature is where my heart and soul feel most at home!  Canoeing along the Wisconsin river is my favorite pass time in this great state of Wisconsin.  I highly recommend it!!!  I am starting out with high hopes for 2016 with planning to work less and play/hangout more with my kids and friends/family.  I really really love my work but my goal for 2016 is work less.  I have blocked off a bunch of weekends to take trips with my loved ones.  Plus my big news is Neil and I are buying a home together on the east side of Madison!  Picture is at the end of the post.  We will move in April to a full house of 4 kids!

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My laptop fell this summer and I lost some personal photos (always back up) so there are no pics of my parents and few from our trip to philly. Sorry mom and dad! Thanks to all my friends and family and my most amazing man Neil.  You all make my life so rich and filled with countless smiles!

I hope everyone’s 2016 is filled love and peace in your heart and mind!

Maureen

Dylan’s Wedding Proposal to Allie at Picnic Point in Madison WI

wedding proposal in madison
wedding proposal in madison
The backstory

Allie and I met in high school when we had a few classes together.  We liked each other as teenagers but were nervous about admitting it.  I finally worked up enough courage to ask Allie out on a date and we’ve been together ever since.  Our love has taken us from high school to college at UW to post-college life.  We’ve been together seven and a half years now. They’ve been the best years of our lives and we’re looking forward to what the future holds for us.

Planning the proposal

Every fall Allie and I love to take walks through the parks and around Madison’s lakes and really take in the colors of the season.  When it came to deciding when and how to propose to Allie, I knew I wanted to incorporate our love for fall and one of our favorite spots in Madison, Picnic Point.

wedding proposal candid in Madison

wedding proposal in madison

wedding proposal in madison at picnic point

wedding proposal outside

wedding proposal candid

How I decided to have the proposal photographed

Allie had previously mentioned to me that she would love to have someone capture the moment during a proposal. Luckily for us, Maureen was able to capture our proposal. Besides being beyond excited and surprised that I popped the question, Allie was shocked that Maureen had secretly photographed the proposal for us.  After working with Maureen and seeing the look that Allie gets in her eyes when she looks at the photographs, I know that I could not have asked for a better photographer in Maureen.  The feeling I get when I see the photographs is indescribable and I’m so glad that we will always have these photos to remind us of this special moment in our lives!

Madison Wisconsin wedding photographer

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Maureen Cassidy Photography is in the Huffington Post!

Exciting news: Huffington Post recently posted 26 Snowy Wedding Photos that Capture the Romance of Winter…and we made the list! Hooray! Check it out and thanks everyone for your support!

 

huff post sw wi huffington post photo

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Britta and Brandon’s Backyard Wedding

wedding prep madison photographer happy bride wedding photo

Where our wedding was, and how we chose the venue(s)

Brandon and I are both originally from Beaver Dam, WI, where most of our family still lives. After toying around with the idea of a destination wedding or something closer to our home in Minneapolis, we realized what was most important to us was to be surrounded by family for our wedding. We were enjoying a post-engagement celebratory drink with my parents when my dad offered to host our wedding in my parents’ backyard. I instantly burst into tears! We were so touched by their offer and knew a backyard wedding would allow us to have the intimate celebration we envisioned.

Our favorite part(s) of the wedding

It was so fun to share the places where Brandon and I grew up together, became friends, and eventually fell in love with friends from near and far alongside our families. The most perfect moment to us was walking into the tent as husband and wife for the first time and seeing all of our loved ones faces smiling back at us.

Planning an at-home wedding definitely added a lot of work during the wedding planning process, but looking around on our wedding day and realizing how much love our friends and families poured into making it happen was incredible. My parents spent months planning lighting schemes, planting schedules, tent placement, and brunch menus to transform their home into a wedding venue. My sister Cobby handcrafted hundreds of paper flowers to create a “WELCOME” sculpture guiding our guests to the reception.

So many personal touches – My Grandpa Ken helped our dads string the hundreds of lights and paper lanterns in the tent, hand-lettered every sign in the yard, and scoured eBay for our vintage ski guestbook. The centerpieces filled beautiful hobnail vases my Grandma Becky had searched out for us as soon as we announced our engagement – we missed her and Brandon’s Grandma Paula but felt their presence in so many ways. Brandon’s family hosted a rehearsal night bonfire BBQ to kick off the weekend, and the wedding night escape to my aunt’s candlelit lake cottage was icing on top.

I could go on forever! (we borrowed golf carts to help guests up the hilly yard! our next-door-neighbors lit the candles before dinner!) Every detail was perfect and we couldn’t have made any of it happen without these incredible people.

first look black and white bride and groom bright sunshine photography father seeing bride first time wedding photography madison

What was definitely worth it

Keeping the guest list to a size that matched “personal and intimate” was really tough, but we were really happy that we felt like we had a fun memory to share with every guest. We ended up with around 130 guests, and it was fabulous to feel like we had a little time with everyone.

Oh, and the dress. Worth. It.

What was definitely not worth it

It was all worth it! Honestly we have no regrets. Maybe worrying so much about the weather – that wasn’t worth it!

Our Planning Guidelines

“Keep it simple, keep it personal” –  I have the tendency to over-research and over-plan. I tried hard to stay focused on our vision and limit myself to a few really great options before making a decision. Also, I told myself that if it wasn’t important when my mom got married, it can’t be that important. Pinterest, magazines, and the internet have turned wedding planning into this crazy thing that you could spend every waking moment on. We aimed to be more minimalist.

bride and groom  color love pictures wedding first look pictures father walking bride down aislefather and bride hugging wedding photo

Greatest challenge planning the wedding

We basically built our venue from scratch and did not hire a day-of coordinator, so I was very nervous about day-of logistics throughout the wedding planning process. There are so many things you don’t think about at first: who will receive deliveries while my family is gone taking pictures, who will manage ice/garbage/etc. how do we light the tent, who will refill the generator for the tent (?!!).

With so many variables, I relied on choosing vendors who are known for being flexible and creating a VERY detailed plan that was scheduled in 15 minute increments. I shared my color-coded wedding planning spreadsheet with everyone who helped out with the wedding, fully knowing the day wouldn’t go 100% “to plan” but that at least the many pairs of helping hands would be on the same page. That spreadsheet turned into a family joke, and we never did end up with a great Plan B for the weather!

Resources that helped us along the way

I used the checklist from TheKnot.com to keep me on track overall – but I would definitely recommend that brides pick and choose which “to do’s” really matter to them (no dance lessons for us!). Word of mouth in a town like Beaver Dam goes a long way – I chose my amazing DJ (Sound Effects DJ) through family friends, and I got a lot of help choosing a salon and stylist. Our wonderful florist Gene, from Beaver Floral, is a family friend and gave us invaluable assistance along the way.

ceremony love wedding picture ceremony photography wedding madison wi just married photography entire wedding party photo

The wedding photos we’re most excited to see

The group shot! Maureen was so accommodating of our crazy idea to try and get a photo of all of our guests together. Everyone was really cooperative and we are so excited to have a memento of the entire party. Maureen also snagged us at the perfect moment to take a few photos together in the “glow’ of the sun setting. We saw some sneak peeks and can’t wait to see the magic!

tears of joy wedding photography congratulations hugs madison wi wedding

 Advice for other people planning their wedding

Decide what is really important to you and forget the rest. I really wanted both Brandon and I to enjoy the experience of planning our wedding, and to look back on the wedding day as special, outrageously fun, and full of love. Putting my foot down for gray tablecloths instead of white ones didn’t meet that criteria of “important” – making that distinction early on helped keep me sane and the budget reasonable!

Other cool stuff people should know

  • We asked the pastor who had married my parents to officiate our wedding ceremony, and we were so honored he agreed to perform the service. The ceremony was touching, just the right amount of funny, and he started the entire evening off with so much meaning.
  • Instead of serving traditional cake or dessert, we used personal-sized cakes at each table to display the table numbers. A note told the guests to dig in whenever they would like – and they totally did! Watching our friends mingle as they bartered for more cake was a hilarious memory from dinner.
  • The selfie stick that my sister brought out for the dance deserves an honorable mention…we spent hours on our honeymoon flight laughing over the shenanigans captured in the candid snaps!

wedding detail shots sw wibride and groom dinner table photo wi newlyweds sunset photography backyard madison wi

We chose Maureen Cassidy Photography because

Maureen is so friendly and laid back, and she immediately hit it off with me and my sister the first time we met her. We knew she would fit right in with our fun-loving families. She takes the most beautiful outdoor photos, which was also a priority. We were prepared for anything as far as hosting an outdoor wedding, and we knew we could count on Maureen to capture beautiful moments, rain or shine.

photo collage madison wi wedding reception

Where we allocated the most funds 

Food & drink, photos!

Where we allocated the least funds

No upfront venue costs! We saved by buying our own alcohol. We kept “extras” pretty simple (DJ provided ceremony music, we decided against any rentals for decorations).

bride and bridesmaids hugging photo father and bride first dance photography madison wi newlyweds first dance black and white happy picture groom and mother first dance madison wedding photographer

 Vendors!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: my parents’ home in Beaver Dam, WI

Hair: MCV Salon in Sun Prairie, WI- Absolutely loved my braided crown and wavy wedding hair – Brides, ask for Kristin!

Make up: my sister and her date Anthony

Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Ultimate Bride in Chicago, IL – Wonderful personal service!

Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaid in Excelsior, MN

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Groom’s suit – Nordstrom Custom Fit; Groomsmen’s suits – Men’s Warehouse

Catering & Bar-tending: Upstairs Downstairs Catering in Madison, WI- Amazing service- they kept everyone fed and happy!

Rentals: Modern Rentals in Ripon, WI 

Officiant: Pastor Garrett Kamerling (retired) – It was such an honor to have a trusted family advisor and officiant bless our day.

Flowers: Gene’s Beaver Floral in Beaver Dam, WI- Gene was wonderful, he created the most gorgeous floral centerpieces and arrangements and even straightened my dress as I walked down the aisle!

Invitations: Minted – loved the pre-printed guest addresses!

Dessert: 8 inch cakes from Rechek’s Food Pride in Beaver Dam, WI – were the perfect centerpiece decorated with flowers from Beaver Floral and handmade table numbers

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography – Maureen was wonderful with our guests and created the most beautiful visual story of our day!

Videographer: Tommy Schmidt (skishowtom@gmail.com) – Tommy captured our day exactly as we had asked him to – we are so grateful to be able to relive our wedding!

DJ: Sound Effects DJ in Beaver Dam, WI – Chad played at least 3 encores when our guests couldn’t get enough of the dance floor! He was the best!

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

 

 

Cat & Cassidy’s Picnic Point Proposal

madison wi engagement & wedding photography
The backstory
We met in college at a 90’s party. Cassidy was dressed as Baby Spice and I had acid wash jeans on. Interestingly, we grew up in the same town in New Jersey. Our parent’s houses are only a mile away. We went to the same middle school together two years apart but never met. From there, we followed each other to Boston, Atlanta, and then New York before finally settling in Madison this summer for Cassidy to start medical school. I think I knew marriage was imminent when we shared a 200 square foot efficiency apartment in Manhattan and came out liking each other even more than we did when we moved in.
gay couple proposal picturemadison wi love picturesmadison wi natural photographer
Planning the proposal
I had the ring made over the summer, but I knew that I wanted a fall proposal. Fall is when we met and has always been our favorite season. I considered a few outdoor locations but ultimately decided on Picnic Point. I liked that I could reserve a fire pit to create our own space in a public area. My grandparents went to UW and I grew up hearing about walks to the point.

engagement photo madison wiemotional love b&w proposal pic engagement photographer madison wiHow I decided to have the proposal photographed

I wanted to strike the balance between it being a private moment for just us and being able to share it with our families and friends. We just moved to Madison from the East coast and are both close to our families; I wanted them to be able to experience the moment with us from far away. I absolutely love the pictures! Looking at them brings me back to how I felt in the exact moment– the nervous energy leading up to the proposal and the elation following the “yes”. I never want to forget how it felt!

natural outdoor proposal photo wi

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Maria & Kevin’s Backyard Barn Wedding

artistic DIY backyard wedding portraits in Madison
Where our wedding was, and how we chose the venue(s):

Our wedding was at our farm outside of Columbus, WI. We purchased a small farm almost 2 years ago and the barn was in amazing shape. It’s over 100 years old!

backyard wedding DIY sign Backyard wedding DIY Backyard wedding DIY first look Backyard wedding DIY

Our favorite part(s) of the wedding:

My nephew Tyler who is 19, sang and played acoustic guitar during our ceremony. Almost every single song he learned was recorded before he was born. When Kevin walked down the aisle with his parents, Tyler played, ‘Holding out for a Hero’, by Bonnie Tyler. He did AMAZING. Kevin is a HUGE Footloose fan. This song was appropriate for so many reasons!

Kevin and I also wrote our own vows. It was so touching to be able to express our vows from the heart.

backyard wedding guest

DIY backyard weddingbackyard wedding in a barnbarn weddingWhat was definitely worth it:

Having it at our place. The photos and memories from that day mean so much more knowing it was in our backyard.

Greatest challenge planning the wedding:

We are SO GLAD we had our wedding on our farm BUT living at the same place as the venue could sometimes be a challenge. We wanted to constantly ‘do things’ in preparation. I am a sprinter and this was more of a marathon…I probably swept the barn 20 times before the actual day J.

DIY backyard weddingDIY wedding backyard

Resources that helped us along the way:

Pinterest and Etsy! I would find things I liked on both sites and then bring these ideas to my dad. He played a HUGE role in helping us construct a lot of our décor. I would tell him what I liked and he would build it. He actually built the bar in the barn out of old barn wood.

Advice for other people planning their wedding:

The day will go by so quickly. Try to enjoy every moment! Don’t stress, everything will get taken care of.

DIY wedding backyard in Madison family centric DIY wedding backyard in MadisonDIY wedding backyard in MadisonDIY wedding backyard in Madison

Other cool stuff people should know:

My dad and I made all of the decorations. He trimmed birch trees, placed them in corners of the barn and we strung clear lights on them. He found an oak tree already down. He trimmed it to be the base of our cake. He spent a lot of time stringing lights and hanging material on scaffolding.

We purchased our centerpiece flowers from a vendor at the Sun Prairie Farmer’s Market the morning of our wedding.backyard wedding DIY detailsDIY details

The wedding photos we’re most excited to see:

There was so much going on that day, we are excited to see our guests engaging with each other. We know there were bits we missed and we can’t wait to see what was captured in the photos!

artistic DIY backyard wedding portraits Backyard wedding DIY

We chose Maureen Cassidy Photography because:

We met with Maureen in January and immediately felt comfortable with her. She had only one day open in September, our date. It was meant to be! She has such amazing energy, we knew she would be able to capture our day perfectly. And when she confirmed she would climb the barn banisters if needed, we knew she was our photographer! The day of our wedding, she was so much fun!

artistic DIY backyard wedding barnartistic DIY backyard wedding barn artistic DIY backyard weddingDIY backyard wedding barnartistic DIY backyard wedding barn

Vendors!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: our home

Hair: Bfix Salon in Madison, WI

Make up: My sister and I did ours together

Wedding Dress: I found my dress online. It was from a boutique in NYC and had been a mannequin sample.

Bridesmaid Dress: www.modcloth.com

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Everyone picked their own

Catering: Eldorado Grill provided our dinner with smoked brisket and mashed potatoes

Bar-tending: We had kegged cocktails provided by Dlux. Old-fashions were on tap!

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.): Event Essentials

Officiant: Rev. Rita Erickson from Tomah, WI. She was great!

Wedding planner: Kevin and Maria 🙂

Flowers/Florist: Wild Apples Floral in Baraboo, WI

Invitations: Maria made them. She has a design background.

Dessert: Market Street Diner did our wedding cake along with rustic pies, pumpkin and s’mores bars.

Basset Street Brunch Club provided us with donuts. Guests were encouraged to take them home for breakfast the next day. Flavors included Maple Bacon (yesss!), Oreo-Crusted and Sprinkled.

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography

Bands: During cocktail hour, the No Name String Band: Midwestern new-time string band.

Our dance was The Rusty Hearts: electrified, stringified and countrified music.

Both bands fit our theme quite well. In fact the Rusty Hearts even countrified some songs from the 80s and learned how to play ‘My Maria’.

 

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Kelly & Ryan’s Majestic Theatre Wedding

trek bikes weddingWhere our wedding was, and how we chose the venue(s):

Majestic Theatre. We wanted a venue that was unique to Madison and near the capitol area. We fell in love with the Majestic and loved the idea of a theater wedding. The event coordinator, Jenni, was a big part of the decision as well, and she was a huge help for planning and running the big day!

majestic theater wedding

Our favorite part(s) of the wedding:

Having all of our family and friends present to share the big day! We loved our beautiful, unique venue – the most positive feedback from our guests was about the theatre. The florist was amazing and came up with arrangements that were exactly what Kelly was picturing. The caterer did a great job, and we loved our cupcakes. We loved working with Maureen – she did an amazing job making sure we got all of the pictures we wanted, and the photos were beautiful! It was hard to pick our favorites because they were all great.

What was definitely worth it:

The venue! It was beautiful, unique, and so much fun.

details at majestic theater weddingmajestic theater wedding majestic theater weddingmajestic theater wedding candid of exchanging wedding ringsmajestic theater wedding
first kiss at majestic theater weddingcandid at the majestic theater in Madison

Greatest challenge planning the wedding:

Busy work schedules. Kelly is a veterinarian and was working long hours, so a large amount of planning was packed into her days off.

Resources that helped us along the way:

The Knot was very helpful for planning seating arrangements and had a nice checklist

Advice for other people planning their wedding:

It’s very helpful to have someone coordinating the day, whether it’s an event coordinator for your venue or a wedding planner. It lets you focus on sitting back and enjoying the day! Don’t get caught up in small details and remember that even if everything isn’t perfect, the day will be beautiful. Make sure you love your photographer!

Other cool stuff people should know:

Ryan is an industrial designer at Trek, and he used his artistic talent for multiple parts of the wedding. He designed Kelly’s engagement ring and wedding band in SolidWorks, and he made his own wedding band using a billet rod of titanium from Trek Bicycles. He also designed the save-the-dates, invites, and programs.

custom wedding rings at the monona terrace DIY at the majestic theater DIY program at the majestic theater off beat wedding in madison wisconsin

The wedding photos we were most excited to see:

First look pictures; wedding party photos! We drove around Madison in a limo bus to some of our favorite Madison locations (Olin Park, Memorial Union Terrace).

first look at the monona terrace bride candid at monona terrace fun candids on the party buscandid of bride at Olin parkcandid of bride and groom at Olin parktrek bike wedding couplecandid of bride downtown in Madison Wisoconsin

We chose Maureen Cassidy Photography because:

We liked her aesthetic and energy, and we clicked well after meeting with her. Also, some of Ryan’s coworkers had used Maureen Cassidy Photography for their weddings and they were happy with their experience.

 candid at the majestic theater in Madison  candid at the majestic theater in Madison  candid at the majestic theater in Madison

Vendors:

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Majestic Theatre

Hair & Make-up: Elevation Salon & Spa

Wedding Dress: Vera’s House of Bridals

Bridesmaids Dresses: Brandi’s Bridal Galleria

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse

Catering: Blue Plate Catering

Bartending:Majestic Theatre

Officiant: Fred-Allen Self

Flowers/Florist: Daffodil Parker

Invitations: Designed by Ryan Callahan, printed using Badger Graphics

Dessert: Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography & Nikki Hansen

DJ: Double Platinum DJ

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Our Stunning Backyard Wedding in the Northwoods

first look in woods at backyard wedding

Where our wedding was, and how we chose the venue(s): 

Our wedding was at the Mother-of-the-Bride’s cabin located on Rice Lake in Upper Michigan.  The rustic beauty of the cabin and the lake made it an easy choice for our wedding venue.  The cabin also had a special significance for both of us, as Hicham spent the summer of 2014 helping build the cabin from the ground up and I was also helping out the day the foundation was laid.

DIY rustic cabin for backyard weddingceremony on lake in backyard

Our favorite part(s) of the wedding:

The first look – after a lot of anticipation and a bit of stress, it was such a relief to finally share  a quiet moment with each other and hold one other close.  The rest of the day went by as such a whirlwind. Looking back, walking together for our first look in the beautiful north woods of the Keweenaw definitely stands out.

Also, being reunited with our friends and family. One of the hardest parts of living abroad is being so far away from all these amazing people.  It was the first opportunity many friends had to meet each other, and for others it was the first time Hicham and I had seen them in years.  It was very special reuniting to celebrate our love with everyone.

backyard wedding photography northern wedding UPDIY-backyard wedding

What was definitely worth it:

The flowers: After a lot of hunting, my Mom found a small farm (Rock River Farm) in the U.P. that sells fresh flowers at a really good rate. A few weeks before the wedding, we drove out and met with the owner, Shailah, who is absolutely amazing! She was really accommodating and the flowers were beautiful. For the big day, Shailah made my bouquet, the floral crown for my hair, the two arrangements on the archway, and we had over 400 fresh cut flowers all for a very affordable price.

flowers at backyard wedding rustic wedding in backyard rustic wedding in backyardbackyard_wedding-0032

What was definitely not worth it:

Too many small details: A few weeks before the wedding, when I was home from abroad for the first time in months, I went a little detail-happy during a few shopping trips to the craft stores.  There were a lot of little decorations that didn’t end up being used or put up because we ran out of time to set them up! I spent a lot of time stressing about little details and in the end they didn’t matter much. If you’re doing a DIY wedding, I would recommend sticking to a few must-haves and ditching the rest of the little details!

Our Planning Guidelines:

We live abroad, so our biggest planning guideline was that we had to be able to plan it from afar.  We had a lot of help, particularly from my family, with contacting vendors and getting the cabin ready for the big day.  I was also lucky that a lot of my close girlfriends were already married, which means that I had a lot of advice and tips for DIY wedding planning (lucky me!).

My Dad gave us a great piece of advice that became our other main guideline: figure out what is worth doing yourself and what is worth delegating or hiring someone to do.  This mantra was super helpful when deciding when to find a vendor and what to tackle on our own.  Sometimes, it’s totally worth it to hire some help! 
bride getting ready in cabin in the north woodsrustic wedding in backyard details with candidsdestination backyard weddingrustic wedding in backyard bride getting ready in cabin
Greatest challenge planning the wedding:

Living abroad! Although a lot of things could be organized by email and online, there were some things that just had to wait until we were back in the Midwest.  We were lucky that we had 3 weeks off in the States before the wedding.  Those three weeks were spent helping finish the cabin (the frame was constructed in 2014, but the entire interior, exterior and landscaping was done from May-July 2015!) and finalizing all the other last minute things, including having my wedding band made.  That said, we did what we could and tried our best not to stress out about the things we couldn’t get to before the wedding.

Resources that helped us along the way:

As mentioned, we had a lot of help along the way, from my parents and from a number of our friends including Kim (our Officiant), Nicky (who made our amazing cake and cupcakes), the entire bridal party and family members (who helped with wedding set-up), and the whole work crew that helped finish the cabin on time. Pinterest was another key resource to gather ideas and inspiration for our own DIY wedding.

rustic wedding in backyard rustic wedding in backyard in the UP outside wedding in backyard bridesmaids candids at ceremony

Personal Vows:

I, (Hicham/Whitney), take you (Hicham/Whitney), to be my lawful wedded (husband/wife), my partner in life and my one true love.

I give to you in the presence of our loved ones as witness,

My promise to love you without reservation,

To trust and honor you through times of good health and bad, and times of joy and sorrow. 

I promise to comfort you in times of distress,

And to encourage you to achieve all of your goals.

I will grow with you in mind and spirit,

Always be open and honest with you,

And will love you, today, tomorrow and always.

No matter where in the world we are,

My home will always be wherever I am with you.

first kiss at rustic wedding in backyard ceremony in backyard wedding

Advice for other people planning their wedding:

Don’t stress the small stuff and remember that things have a way of coming together in the end!  The other most important thing is to have fun, because the day will fly by!  The day after the wedding, Hicham and I both said, “We want to do it all over again, it went by too fast!”

The wedding photos we’re most excited to see:

The first look photos!  Whitney is also pretty excited to see the photos of the keg stands (which she missed out on and only found out about later on in the night)!northern wedding in backyardcandids at wedding

We chose Maureen Cassidy Photography because:

We were referred to Maureen by Natural Intuition Photography, who had done our engagement photos (but was booked our wedding weekend). As soon as I looked at Maureen’s website, I knew that her style was a good fit for us!  Maureen and I emailed and chatted on Skype a few times in the months before the wedding and Maureen is so easy to work with.  She has such a great spirit and a natural calm about her that we didn’t even stress at all about the photography.  The day of the wedding Maureen (and her second shooter) were amazing – they worked so quickly and quietly that we sometimes forgot they were there!  Our guests loved them and so did we! 

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Wedding Vendors:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Private residence on Rice Lake in Upper Michigan

Hair: Regis Salon

Make up: I did my own!

Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero

Bridesmaids Dresses: Each bridesmaide chose her own dress.

Groom:  Custom-made in Lebanon

Catering:  Kanga’s Catering

Bar-tending: We did our own alcohol and had our friends Sherri and Tim help serve!

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.): UP Event Rentals

Officiant: Our lovely friend, Kim Hodges

Wedding planner: Us!

Flowers/Florist: Rock River Farm near Marquette, MI

Invitations:  Betty Lu Designs

Dessert: Another lovely friend, Nicky Gagnon Outinen

Wedding Bands: 

His – from a jeweler in Hicham’s home town of Tyre, Lebanon

Hers – custom-made by Thomas Dailing at Lee Ayers Jewelers of Stevens Point, WI

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography & Amie Heeter 2nd shooting

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Summer Family and Newborn Sessions in Sweet Madison, Part 2!

Hey all!

Here’s installation #2 of Family and Newborn session highlights for the past couple of months.

I hope you enjoy and that you can feel and see the love these families have for each other! Please scroll through at the bottom to see Installation #1 from a few days ago!

**Also, if anyone is really wanting to schedule a family or newborn session this fall, I only have a few spots left- please sign up soon!

family outdoor photography madison wi kids love their parents pictures sw wi black and white family pictures madison wi teenagers with parents picture candid newborn photography madison wi black and white candid family photo sw wi b&w outside photos family madison wi sweet natural outdoor family photo madison wi joyous family love photography madison wi mother and newborn photo madison wi black and white photos madison wi happy family southwestern wi photography having fun kid photography madison wi natural family photography madison wi family at lake natural photography wi pictures of happy families father and son candid photography madison wi black and white madison wi family photography black and white baby picture madison wi

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Summer Family & Newborn Sessions in Sweet Madison, Wisconsin, Part 1

I’m sure this has been the same for a lot of people but dang (!) this summer has been busy! As such, I haven’t done much in the way of social media updates. But here is a post of some Family and Newborn session highlights from the past couple of months. It’ll be split into 2 parts because there are soooo many photos to share. This is installation #1.

Also, here’s a list of My Top 4 Reasons Why I Love Photographing Family and Newborn Sessions:

1) Continuity. Some of the families below I had the honor of taking pictures for the couple’s wedding, then newborn photos, then family photos. This is the type of photographer I strive to be: one you can (and want to!) call back year after year for all those special moments in a family’s history. I love this because I get to build relationships, see how the kids (and parents) have changed over time, and I think this relationship building allows me to capture more natural shots.

2) I am a kid at heart. The things that I consider my best qualities are those that we also cherish in children: I am light-hearted, fun loving, and happy to play. So doing family sessions gives me a great chance to do my job (photography) while also being myself and hanging out with the kind of people I act like most (kids!).

3) Summer fun! I get to take pictures, mostly outdoors, in great weather, in a beautiful part of the country- yea southern Wisconsin!

4) Seeing how LOVED children are. These parents are exceptional- and it’s a good reminder for me of how amazingly difficult and incredibly rewarding it can be to raise children. My goal is to capture this love and a family’s happiness in photos.

I hope you enjoy!

mother and daughter love photo natural family photo sw wi family photography black and white newborn and family photo madison wi black and white mother and son hug photo outdoor natural family photos love families photography natural family photography madison wi outdoor natural family photography southern wisconsin black and white family pictures 3 kids and parents public library family picture family outside natural film style photography natural family photographer sw wisconsinjoyful toddler in lake picture happy kids pictures wimom and newborn baby picture love b&w family outdoor session photography toddler with dad and flowers natural photography outside happy families picture madison wi mom and baby happy love picture madison witoddlers cuddling with parents photo children in the woods and newborn photographysilly fun toddler photo madison wi

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Elsa and Stuart’s Barn Wedding

 Our love story:wedding at cashton barn B&B  groom holding bride canind
Stuart and I met through a mutual friend while we were both living in Boise, Idaho.  We also both happened to work at the same hospital. I was a relatively new nurse working the night shift and just trying not to kill anyone. Stuart was an experienced tech in the ER. He was kind enough to offer up his veins to let me practice my IV skills on him (very brave), so I knew he was pretty special. We bonded over stories about crazy patients and gruesome injuries (as most people in the medical profession do).
wedding in a barn wiwedding outside first look
Where our wedding was, and how we chose the venue(s):
We got married at Country Pleasures Bed & Breakfast in Cashton, WI. We first heard about the venue at a wedding show in Madison. We were thinking about doing a barn wedding, and the pictures we saw of this venue were beautiful. We decided to make the 2 hour drive for a visit on a subzero February day during a snowstorm. Not ideal. We had to do a lot of visualizing during the tour because the entire property was blanketed in snow. But even in the snow, the barn was beautiful. The owners, Mary Lou and Jim, were beyond fantastic. We loved the venue, but Mary Lou and Jim were honestly a big part of the reason we decided to get married there. They went above-and-beyond, especially during the weekend of our wedding. They helped us set up, celebrate, and clean up. They even offered to drive 40 minutes each way to pick up pizza for us the night before the wedding. Amazing. We also liked the fact that we could rent the venue for the entire weekend, and were able to have our close friends and family stay at the bed and breakfast with us. Plus, the barn has a bowling alley. How could we say no to that?
The wedding photos we’re most excited to see:
The first look photos, ceremony photos, and the photos we did at sunset!
shadows natural lighting flowers wedding candid love photo madison wi preparing for wedding ceremony wi
Our favorite part(s) of the wedding:
Walking down the aisle and standing at the altar were probably my favorite parts. We had a slight music snafu, so none of the songs we had agonized for hours about were played during the ceremony.  I remember thinking it was going to be awkward walking down the aisle with no music, but instead I found it incredibly peaceful. And even though we were standing in front of all our family and friends, I really felt like it was just Stuart and me. It was perfect. I also loved the first look. It was so nice to have a little alone time before the wedding.
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What was definitely worth it:
The venue, photographer, and desserts. We were able to have a whole weekend to celebrate with our family and friends at the bed and breakfast. Setting up the day before, bowling in the barn, and enjoying the wonderful homemade breakfast with everyone the morning of the wedding are some of my favorite memories.
What was definitely not worth it:
The stress. Seriously. I had nightmares for months leading up to the wedding because I was worried I would forget something. I don’t really know if it’s possible to plan a wedding without stress. But if it is, I highly recommend it.
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Our Planning Guidelines:
The main thing we tried to remember was the fact that this was a celebration of love. The people we invited are the people we love and the people who love us. Would they notice if the centerpieces weren’t perfect or if we did a buffet instead of a plated meal? Maybe, but who cares. In the end, we just wanted to plan a nice party for all our friends and family to share with us.
Greatest challenge planning the wedding:
Not comparing everything we were doing to something we saw on Pinterest or in wedding magazines. It was easy to fall into that trap and get discouraged. Often it was Stuart who would remind me that no, our wedding wasn’t going to look like the one I had just pinned. But that’s a good thing. Our wedding was our wedding. It was us.
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Resources that helped us along the way:

I may have just gotten done explaining how evil Pinterest is, but I really don’t think we could have planned our wedding without it. It’s a necessary evil in this day and age. I also really liked www.apracticalwedding.com.  They have great articles and how-to’s. From how to create a seating chart to how to mix your own wedding cocktails and how much booze to buy.

Advice for other people planning their wedding:
Plan the wedding you want, not the one everyone else wants. Don’t do something just because you feel people “expect it”. It’s your wedding, you get to say what happens. Also, on the day of the wedding, delegate and let someone else handle the stress.
natural photo candid dancingOutdoor barn rustic wedding photography
We chose Maureen Cassidy Photography because:
We loved the photos we saw on Maureen’s website. Once we met with Maureen, the decision was easy. She’s so down-to-earth and easy to work with. She put us at ease during our engagement shoot while we were awkwardly posing, pretending to meow like our cat. She also offered us beer when we first met with her, so I’m pretty sure Stuart was sold then.
Vendors!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Country Pleasures Bed & Breakfast
Hair & Make-up: Cura Salon
Bridesmaids Dresses: Wtoo (purchased from various websites)
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Macy’s, Banana Republic, Ties.com
Catering & Bar-tending: Famous Dave’s of La Crosse. My dad and uncle mixed big batches of cocktails for our self-serve bar. We bought all our wine, beer, and liquor from Steves’ in Madison. They were super helpful!
Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.): Nelson Agri-Center
Officiant: Sheila Roehl (Rose Weddings)
Flowers/Florist: Sunborn Gardens. They made all our bouquets and boutineers and provided us with buckets of mixed seasonal flowers that we arranged for centerpieces.
Invitations: Designed by bride, printed at StudentPrint
DJ: Perfect Night DJ

 

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.
 

Emily & Andrew’s Lake Geneva Wedding

unique madison wedding photographyThe love story

Our love story goes all the way back to 5th Grade! Andrew and I first met when he moved down the street from me. We became friends right away that summer and spent most of our free time playing games with our siblings and neighborhood. We stayed close through out Senior year of high school, when we started dating. Unfortunately, it didn’t last too long and I (yes, I, Emily!) broke up with Andrew after a few months. After that I had to work really hard to get our friendship back….but eventually it happened. Andrew and I continued to get together during breaks from school and always kept in touch while we were busy at college. We went out together with a couple of friends for New Years Eve 2011. Andrew went around the party telling people that we were engaged…even though we weren’t even dating! We started officially dated in March 2012, when I lived in Milwaukee and Andrew lived in Lake Mills. Our schedules were hectic, so we were lucky to see each other once a week. In August 2013, Andrew made me a homemade Italian dinner, then asked to go outside and take pictures with his new camera. While we were mid-picture, Andrew got down on one knee and proposed.first look embrace photobride and groom kissing nature groomsmen having fun groomsmen natural fun photographyWhere our wedding was, and how we chose the venue

Our wedding was at the Grand Geneva in Lake Geneva, WI. We chose the venue because we wanted a place where we could have both the ceremony and the reception. The outdoor ceremony location was gorgeous, as was the ballroom we chose.

Our favorite parts of the wedding

It’s so hard to pick! Obviously “I do,” was one favorite. Another favorite was taking pictures. Andrew’s favorite part was taking group photos and mine was our first look and pictures together. Another one of my favorites was the sermon during the ceremony. Our Pastor made it funny, relatable, truthful and tied it all together with our faith. Lastly, the dance! It was so fun to let loose and dance with everyone that came to celebrate with us!

black and white bride and father picture kids with dad at wedding ceremony candidfather with bride and groom at altarceremony details wedding shotsWhat was definitely worth it

The Venue, Photographer and DJ. Those were the things the meant the most to us. We wanted the space to create an event we would remember and always love. We wanted a photographer that would photograph the wedding and our guests the way we remembered them instead of staging everything. And we wanted a DJ that would help make the ceremony and reception flow and play music that we could dance to.

Greatest challenge planning the wedding

Decision making! There are soooo many decisions to make, it gets overwhelming and that takes the fun away.
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Resources that helped us along the way

The Knot app for my iPhone. It gave me rough deadlines for when certain things should be done.

Advice for other people planning their wedding

Don’t stress about anything on the day of your wedding. It’s not worth it. The day is going to be as perfect as it can be with or without you stressing.reception details photo happy bride with dog natural photo first dance photo madison wi fun natural dancing wedding photo wi family and friends dancing receptionThe wedding photos we’re most excited to see

Our night photos! We told Maureen we wanted Sunset photos, but there wasn’t much of a sunset. So Maureen came up with another idea of taking night photos and using street lights, fountain lights etc. We are beyond excited to see them.

We chose Maureen Cassidy Photography because

Maureen came as a recommendation from our DJ, Milwaukee Airwaves, but we chose Maureen Cassidy Photography because we LOVED ALL of the photos we saw from previous weddings. When we met with her for the first time, it felt like we already knew her. She is so comfortable and easy to be around; her energy is contagious and she was always coming up with different ideas.black and white contrast night bride and groom newlyweds kissing happy outside black and whiteVendors

Ceremony Venue: Fairview- Grand Geneva

Reception Venue: Evergreen Ballroom- Grand Geneva

Hair: Grand Geneva Salon and Spa

Make up: Grand Geneva Salon and Spa

Wedding Dress: Bliss Bridal and Alterations done by Bridals by Joyce

Bridesmaids Dresses: Nordstrom

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Officiant: Pastor Clark (our highschool teacher and close friend)

Wedding coordinator: Kate from Grand Geneva

Flowers/Florist: GiaBella Flowers

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography & Rejoy photography 2nd shooting

DJ: Milwaukee Airwaves (they were awesome!)

 

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

 

Sophie and RJ’s Romantic Rooftop Wedding at the Monona Terrace

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The love story:
RJ and I met and started dating during college (in the Fall of 2008). RJ worked as the theater manager at the Orpheum theater in Madison and I worked as a waitress at the restaurant that was in the theater’s lobby. I thought he was cute, but I remember thinking that there was no way he’d be interested since I thought he was way older than me (surprise: he wasn’t, we are the same age). Also, I was a clumsy waitress, and one night when he was working I dropped a HUGE tray full of dirty dishes right in front of him. After that I was always pretty embarrassed in front of him. But one night, I was working a cocktail shift and he was working the late night movies. There was a big party going on so people were only interested in going to the bar, so RJ and I both had a lot of downtime. We started chatting, realized we had a ton in common, and hit it off. We ended up hanging out in the box office for hours and making tons of popcorn after midnight for all the party guests. We both hung out way past our shifts so we could keep chatting with each other. From there we started seeing each other outside of work and going on dates, and the rest is history :). getting ready detail shot madison wi beautiful bride black and white wedding photo
Where our wedding was, and how we chose the venue(s):
The wedding was at Monona Terrace in Madison. We visited a few different venues in Madison, but we were pretty sure we wanted it there, and once we toured the rooftop and community terrace, we both fell in love with the location and knew we wanted to get married there. Monona Terrace is only about a block away from our first apartment together, and we used to hang out on it’s roof terrace in college and read or play cribbage together. We loved the idea of a ceremony outside on a rooftop. Plus the unique and modern architecture coupled with all the beautiful plants in the building made it an easy decision for us. It definitely fit our personalities. 
 
Our favorite part(s) of the wedding:
Probably the unique wedding ceremony and the fact that it was written 100% for us. We love that our officiant Owen knows us so well and wrote such a beautiful ceremony that fit our personalities exactly. We loved that it incorporated our beer unity ceremony, our own written vows, and also acknowledged my mom and RJs dad, both who passed away last year. 
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Our Planning Guidelines:

Stay true to our personalities and keep it simple. 

Greatest challenge planning the wedding:

My family is Jewish, RJ’s family is Catholic and Protestant. Neither RJ nor I are very religious ourselves. So it was hard at times to balance all of that and still make everyone happy. Ultimately though, it was our wedding and we wanted it to fit our personalities while respecting our families’ traditions.

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Personal vows: 

Sophie’s Vows:

RJ, I choose you, today and every day, to be my husband, my companion, my soul mate, and my best friend for as long as I live. You have shown me what true, unconditional love feels like, and for that I can never thank you enough. I love so many things about you: I love how you actually cry when you laugh really hard; I love the concentration on your face as you work in the kitchen making delicious meals to share with the people you care about; I love how you warm up my feet when they feel like ice, and how you tuck me in and snuggle up with extra blankets to keep me warm, even when you’re already sweating; I love how much you love your family, and how excited you get as you watch your nieces grow up; I love your determination, self-motivation, and willpower to achieve and surpass every personal and professional goal you set for yourself. You inspire me on a daily basis to be the best version of myself that I can be, and I am so proud to be yours. For these, and so many more reasons, I promise to be faithful to you, support you, and trust in you completely. I promise to listen to you with compassion and understanding, and speak to you with encouragement and honesty. I promise to put your needs before my own, and to be sensitive to your goals and aspirations. I promise to experience all that life has to offer with you, and to turn the mundane into unique and fun-filled adventures for us, together. I promise to work at our love and always make you the first priority in my life. For the rest of my life, RJ, I promise to be the best to and for you as you have been the best man, the only man for me. I love you with my whole heart, and I promise I always will.

RJ’s Vows:

Sophie, from the moment we met here in Madison, just a few blocks from where we stand, you have been my friend, my voice of reason, my partner in crime, my taste tester, my sous chef, my accountant, my guiding light and my rock. Being back in Madison here today, reminds me just how far we have come, how much we have been through and how much we have changed. But even more striking than the differences I see, are the things I love about you that have remained steadfast after all of these years. Your cute smile, your amazing energy, your tenacious spirit, your disdain for scary movies and, of course, your affinity for turtles. Those unwavering quirks and qualities are exactly what make me so excited to enjoy, love and explore life with you. Through our journey together, no matter where in the world life takes us, I promise to be the best husband I can be, to make you laugh when you are down, to help and support you to reach anything you want in life- whether it is a life long dream or a glass on the top shelf, to always kill it in the kitchen as your Chef Boy RJ, to still listen to you even when the game is on (playoffs excluded), to grow old with you, but never grow up, and to unconditionally love and support you through good times and bad, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health from this day forward, forever and ever.

happy newlyweds monona terrace guests giving hugs after wedding ceremony bridesmaids having fun madison wi photo fun photography bridal party madison wiResources that helped us along the way:

Making google docs for EVERYTHING and sharing them so everyone was always on the same page.

Advice for other people planning their wedding:

Make decisions and stick to them. There’s no point in going back and forth and changing your mind about everything a million and a half times. We made quick and efficient decisions and it made planning so much easier. I loved how involved RJ was in the planning. It’s easy as a bride to take over all the planning, but I’m really glad I didn’t. RJ and I did get mad at each other and stressed over stupid things sometimes, but overall, I’m really happy that we shared the planning.

Where we allocated the most and the least funds: 

Most funds were given to food, alcohol, and photographer.

Least funds were for the centerpieces. We made all the centerpieces because I love DIY projects. We made all the cupcake stands and used string balls instead of spending a ton of money on floral arrangements for each table.

details of wedding madison wi picture groomsmen and bridal party reception fun monona terrace shadow photography

The wedding photos we’re most excited to see:

All of them!!! I can’t wait to see the photos from the first look and the mini-session with just RJ and me. I can’t wait to see the photos with my bridesmaids and the ceremony photos too! I’m excited for the getting ready photos and sunset photos and photos of guests and ahhhh just everything! So yea, all of them! I’m just so excited to be able to re-live the wedding again through all the photos!

We chose Maureen Cassidy Photography because:

RJ works at a photography studio and he did a ton of research to choose his top 5 favorite photographers in the Madison area. Then, he had the creative director and lead photographers at the studio all vet all his top choices by writing pros and cons about the photographers’ portfolios. They all loved Maureen’s portfolio and website, and after RJ had a quick first call with her, we knew, without a doubt, that she was the one!

first dance newlyweds madison wi natural family and wedding photomadison wedding photography monona terracereception dance at monona terrace

Vendors:

Ceremony Venue: Monona Terrace Rooftop

Reception Venue: Monona Terrace (Community Terrace Room)

Hair & Make-up: Brideheads

Wedding Dress: The Wedding Shoppe (in St. Paul, MN)

Bridesmaids Dresses: Donna Morgan at Nordstrom

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Amelishan

Catering & Bar-tending:Monona Terrace

Officiant: Owen Pratt

Flowers/Florist: Abundance Acres

Invitations: Minted.com

Dessert: Cupcakes from Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery (they were amazing and the baker worked with us to make 4 unique cupcake flavors)

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography

DJ: Milwaukee Airwaves

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Amber and Eric’s Elegant Springtime Wedding at Holy Wisdom Monastary

How we met:

We first met in the military. We met in Student Flight, a military prep program for basic training. So, we were 18 years old and we had our minds focused on other things like trying to figure out right from left while marching (Amber still struggles with this). We didn’t talk when we first met, but knew of each other. Amber really wasn’t happy when she saw him later when they were both doing training in Texas and she waved and he didn’t wave back (she still hasn’t let this go). Years later (6 to be exact), we finally had our first real conversation, it was a group conversation, but one nonetheless. That was while we were waiting to get a plane for a work trip to Key West.  It took sometime for Eric to realize how interested I was but once he figured it out we were set.

bride getting ready for wedding  madison wigroom getting ready for wedding Where we got hitched, and how we chose the venue: 

Our wedding reception was at Lake Windsor Golf Course. We chose it because of the wonderful onsite coordinator, gorgeous windows with a great view and ease of access (parking was one of our biggest concerns).

Personal touches we added to make the wedding ours:

There were so many! We cut down a branch from a tree in our front yard to make the table numbers and name holders. We had an untraditional reading at our ceremony that meant a lot to the both of us (we love dogs), “How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali. We opted to have the officiant create a personalized message for us. He asked each of us questions separately and then incorporated them into this message, neither of us knew what the other had said until the ceremony.
wedding ceremony detail central wi
wedding details cake table settings wibride wearing dress in field first look natural outdoor photo wi Our favorite part of the whole dang wedding: 

Eric– Amber walking down the aisle.

Amber- The First Look. It calmed my nerves for the rest of the day!

Our personal vows:
Neither of us are fans of public speaking, but we really wanted personal vows. We decided on a set of our officiant’s prewritten vows that felt right for us.
“From this moment,
I, Eric, take you, Amber,
as my wife forever and always
I pledge to honor you
encourage you, and support you
through our walk together.
When our way becomes difficult,
I promise to stand by you
and uplift you,
so that through our union
we accomplish more
than we could alone,
I promise to work at our love
and always make you
a priority in my life.
With every beat of my heart,
I will love you.
This is my solemn vow.”

candid-wedding-photography-143 father giving away the bride wedding pic ceremony wedding pics first kiss as bride and groom wi you may kiss the bride madison wi
Most enjoyable part of planning the wedding:

Eric- all the food! (ie. food testings, bridal shows, cake testing).

Amber- I enjoyed how involved Eric was in all the planning. We did about 95% of the planning together and by ourselves.

Greatest challenge planning the wedding: 

Dealing with all the options! For every little decision there were hundreds of options or more. Once we made a decision about one thing we HAD to stop looking or we’d change our minds again.
clouds sky bride groom natural wedding picture sky nature wedding photo outside just married wedding photo outside natural natural light filled outdoor wedding couple photo just married rings outside natural wedding photo trees grass bride groom outside photo wi
Resources that helped us along the way: 

Pinterest, Etsy and Google. We actually found our amazing officiant from a Google search!

Advice to others planning their wedding: 

Prioritize what is important to the both of you and spend more time and energy on those things. A day-of coordinator really helps make things run smoothly. She took care of all the little hiccups. As far as we know everything went as planned and perfect, and that’s how we want to remember our wedding day. At the reception, step back, just the two of you and admire all your hard work and that everyone is there for you. Take it all it, it goes by so fast! 

The wedding photos we’re most excited to see: 

Eric- Amber walking down the aisle and our photos right after the ceremony just the two of us.
Amber- All of them! Especially the sunset pictures, all the pressure was off and I could relax.
first dance madison wi wedding photographybride and father dance photo
We chose Maureen Cassidy Photography because: 

We first met her at a bridal show before we even had a wedding date. Months later we had picked a date and attended a few more bridal shows. We met many more photographers, but we kept thinking back to Maureen. Her energy and positive attitude were so memorable and contagious. Our decision was made, we had to pick Maureen otherwise we knew we’d regret it.

Vendors!

Ceremony Venue: Holy Wisdom Monastery

Reception Venue: Lake Windsor Golf Course

Hair: Kim Kucksdorf from Allure Hair Design (Stevens Point, WI) 

Make up: Colleen Feucht from About Face

Wedding Dress: Brides Across America (A wonderful organization that gives a military bride a free wedding dress. My dress will be donated back to them, so another bride can enjoy her special day in it!)

Bridesmaids Dresses: Nordstrom

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Nedrobo’s

Officiant: Chris Truitt from You had me at I Do

Wedding planner: Kayla Ann Coordinates 

Flowers/Florist: Prairie Flowers and Gifts

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Dessert: Carl’s Cakes

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography, 2nd shooter: Patricia at ReJoy Photography

DJ: Music For You

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Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Featured on A Practical Wedding

Last summer I photographed a super fun and unique wedding at the Madison Children’s Museum. As sometimes happens, I never got to blogging it (until now!).  

Lucky for me the bride submitted their wedding to her favorite wedding site A Practical Wedding.  Check it out! It really has so many awesome resources and I really love her write-up on their wedding!!
The link for the featured blog post on A Practical wedding is {here}

featured wedding on A practical wedding

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Winter Wisconsin Wedding on π day

Hollie          &         Arthur
madison wedding photographer

Wisconsin wedding on π day

They had their fun wedding on ∏ (pie) day. They guys are as unique as landing a Saturday wedding on 3.14.15 and I mean that as the highest of compliments!  Their Wisconsin Wedding was on a warm sunny March day. When I asked Hollie how they meet her first sentence was the best(!!!)- “We met through friends, but thought each other was weird.”

I really want to leave it there but their story obviously  continued! They met a few other times through mutual friends and started thinking that each other was potentially not weird-in-a-bad-way when they went to a Marilyn Manson concert together. Then, Arthur found Hollie on match.com and asked for a date. Hollie says “I wasn’t keen on the idea, but went anyway. Our first date was full of delicious New Orleans food and drinks and we’ve been connected ever since…”

creative photo of wedding dress

Where was your wedding and how did you choose the venue(s)?

We got married at First Lutheran Church (where my mom is happily employed!) and chose the Janesville Country Club because it has the best food and service in Janesville! The JCC was a no-hassle location–their event planner is experienced, had good ideas, and was always available for questions.

What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

Standing at the altar! It was so hard NOT to turn around and wave at all of our family and friends in the audience.

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What personal touches did you add to the wedding to make it your own?

I wore two dresses that were given to me. My ceremony dress was given to me by my mother-in-law. My mom and her cousins worked to alter the dress to make it fit perfectly! My reception dress was inspired by a photo from Pinterest. My best friend’s mom used the picture to design and sew me the perfect dancing dress!

What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

I loved planning an event with my husband. We’ve never done this before and so it was a fun challenge to make sure that our event choices reflected the new “us”.

bride walking down stairs creative veiwcandid moment of bride and groomnatural looking photos of a wedding

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

Since I plan events every year for my job, I felt that planning a wedding was a routine task. It was hard for me to be patient while family and friends went along with this journey and made suggestions that I had already thought about and made decisions on.

What advice do you have for people planning a wedding?

Be sure to take an hour+ on your wedding day just with your new spouse to take photos together! It’s romantic and fun!

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Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?

Candid photos!

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Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

Maureen was recommended to us from another photographer. Her online portfolio looked awesome and she had a really fun personality. It was easy to choose Maureen!

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Vendors!

Ceremony Venue: First Lutheran Church

Reception Venue: The Janesville Country Club

Hair: Stacy Jersild, owner of Hello, Beautiful

Make up: My Aunt Karen

Wedding Dress: Ceremony dress: borrowed from my mother-in-law, Reception dress: made my Lisa Pettera (friend)

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Self selected, undershirt from Express

Catering, Bar-tending, & Desserts: The Janesville Country Club

Officiant: Pastor Jim Melvin of First Lutheran Church

Flowers/Florist: Floral Expressions

Invitations: Minted.com

Photography:Maureen Cassidy Photography and 2nd shooting Rejoy Photography

Videographer: Family Friend

DJ: Terry at Jukebox Bandstand

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Megan & Jason’s Wisconsin Winter Wedding

Where were your wedding and reception and how did you choose the venue(s)?

Our wedding ceremony was at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish in North Lake, WI and our reception was at The Delafield Hotel in Delafield. We chose our church because it reminded Megan of the church she grew up going to. It’s cozy and beautiful. It really made our ceremony feel intimate and personal.

We picked the Delafield Hotel because of its old world/antique charm. Also, the on-staff wedding planner, Erin, was phenomenal to work with and she made planning our wedding reception so easy. 

What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

Off the top of my head, my favorite memory was how awesome our dance floor was! There was NEVER a dull moment and everyone looked like they were having a blast!

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What personal touches did you add to the wedding to make it your own?

We chose vendors who knew us personally and could customize their services to us. Our priest has been a friend of Megan’s since Kindergarten; our DJ was a friend of Megan’s from high school; Maureen has been our buddy/coach/photographer for a few years (and for many more to come)! We picked our favorite colors to decorate with and to base our floral choices around. We decided to have a bean bag toss game instead of glass-clinking as it’s one of our favorite tailgate games. The game had the logo of the gymnastics academy where we coach together on display. Jason also made a fantastic slideshow of photos of each of us growing up, us together, and our favorite people!

What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

Megan most enjoyed that we were able to work together as a team to make decisions. It wasn’t always easy, but we always figured out how to make a decision we were both excited about. It bonded us and brought us closer together.

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So stinkin’ sweet- I love it when grooms want to take their own pictures of the beautiful bride!

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What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

Wedding planning wasn’t too tough at all for us. We were extremely lucky. I would have to say that I felt least prepared for how difficult it was to try and see and speak to all of our wedding guests. I wish the night could have lasted longer so I could have connected with everyone!

What resources (blogs, friends, websites) helped you in planning your wedding?

I glanced at Pinterest to get some ideas, but not too closely. Pinterest pressure is a real thing! Etsy, however, became my best friend. I got lots of ideas from the site and found some great deals, too! Plus, I loved that most of the items I shopped for were handmade. I used theknot.com for the checklist. It helped me prioritize the order of our ‘to do’ list.

groom being thrown in the air playful wedding photo groom and groomsmen having fun photo gymnastics students photoThese ladies are some of Megan and Jason’s students so I did some fun shots of them at the venue.
wedding reception speech photo playing with rings at wedding reception photo first dance wedding reception photo

What advice do you have for people planning a wedding?

Don’t be afraid to break the rules. While we followed many of the wedding traditions out there, you definitely don’t have to. Your wedding should reflect YOU! 

Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?

I’m most excited to see the moments that we were unaware Maureen captured! Candid photos are my favorite!

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Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

Because she RULES! DUH!

Wisconsin Wedding Vendors!

Ceremony Venue: Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish 

Reception Venue: The Delafield Hotel 

Hair & Make-up: Creative Flair Salon 

Wedding Dress: Brandi’s Bridal 

Bridesmaids Dresses: The Wedding Shoppe 

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Catering & Bar-tending: The Delafield Hotel 

Officiant: Fr. Jacob Strand

Wedding planner: Erin Neureuther (with The Delafield Hotel)

Flowers/Florist: Waukesha Floral & Greenhouse 

Invitations: Minuteman Press (formerly R.B.’s Printing, INC) 

Dessert (cake and such!): Our cake was from Piggly Wiggly 

Photography- Maureen Cassidy Photography Like there would be anyone else?? 😉 & 2nd shooting-Sarah Maughan of  Urban Anchor Photography

DJ: We used Sound By Design for our DJ and lighting services.

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Winter Wedding at the Barn at the Harvest Moon Pond

I love photographing weddings!

Every wedding I feel like I love it more.  I love witnessing and documenting the joys, passions and expressions of each couple. For this winter wedding, Tracey and Doug made my job so crazy easy! Tracey has an awesome smile and is one of those full-of-life people in a perfect way! Doug is so tender, loving and free with his expression of love. The whole day you could just tell that these guys hit the jackpot with each other.

Their wedding was in January (oddly there was no snow) at one of my favorite barn wedding venues: The Barn at Harvest Moon Pond.

Where was your wedding and how did you choose the venue?

We chose The Barn at the Harvest Moon Pond.  We were both looking for a country setting and loved the idea of an old barn.  The Barn at the Harvest Moon Pond was perfect.  It had a huge fireplace as you enter the barn and chandeliers with large timbers.  We were able to have the ceremony up stairs in the hay loft and reception downstairs.  The owners, Gary and Renee are great people and easy to work with.

What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

We had so many great moments it’s hard to narrow it down to a few.  Some of the highlights included my eighty one year old Cowboy Dad walking me down the aisle, taking pictures on the ice (harvest moon pond), Doug and I scooping out ice-cream to the kids, carriage ride, seeing everyone with cowboy hats on, intimate ceremony with Doug and I giving out communion, vows, awesome music and serenade from the band at the end of the night

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What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

We enjoyed all of it!  We had fun being creative and letting the ideas flow.  This allowed us to think outside the box, like when Doug suggested cowboy hats for everyone, I was thrilled.  Then we went to work on how we could get hats that were nice, yet reasonable cost wise.  We took chances like ordering off the web.  It wasn’t always perfect, but we rolled with the errors and didn’t lose sight of the big picture which was to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding?  What did you feel least prepared for? 
Since we planned this in three and half months, we should answer “everything”!  But, the most difficult part was ordering the food.  We had Eldorado Grill for our caterer and they were fantastic.  The food was fabulous and we heard about it weeks later.  The difficult part was ordering since on our buffet line we wanted to provide lots of variety with several entree options.  However, we also didn’t want to end up with triple the food.  In the end, we calculated spot on and we were really relived the left overs were not coming on the honeymoon.  Burritos don’t travel well.
Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?
We are excited to see our “first look” and the one’s taken while we were on the ice in our dress shoes!  We’re also looking forward to pics of us scooping out ice-cream to kids.  Plus the pic of our guests in the moment having fun!

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What personal touches did you add to the wedding to make it your own?

We wanted to make our wedding a fun and relaxed environment, but we also wanted to have a level of elegance.  Doug made the wedding arch and we decorated it with garland.  The tables were decorated with white table cloths, candles, evergreens and each table had a chocolate cake.  We also gave out cowboy hats to start the party.  By choosing the barn, our ceremony was incredibly intimate which seems unlikely given we had 200 guests.  Our Pastor told our love story and we chose vows that reflected how we felt.  We had live music which included Chris Hanson for ceremony music and a live band, The Mighty Wheelhouse for the reception.  We had carriage rides available for our guests and bean bag toss at reception.

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What resources (blogs, friends, websites) helped you in planning your wedding?

Pinterest became our obsession and our favorite “go to place” to see how it had been done by others.  We also asked our friends and photographer for ideas.  One common question we’d ask is, “what’s the one thing you would change about your wedding?”  The answer we most often received was, “I wish we would have hired a better photographer or videographer”.  We took steps to be sure we were in good hands.

What advice do you have for people planning a wedding?

Be true to who you are.  Choose things that make you happy and represent you.  Make the day about your love for each other and the love you have for others.  Choose quality people you believe will carry out your vision and ones you have confidence in.  We found we gave a bit of direction, showed our trust in them and let them lead.  By showing our gratitude we were thrilled at how generous they were with their talents.  Our band, Wheelhouse serenaded us one the dance floor, our cake people delivered 25 + cakes when typically they don’t deliver, our pastor came back early from vacation to marry us and we could go on and on.  Everyone was so very generous it felt like even the vendors were all just friends celebrating the day with us.

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Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

We wanted the best!  Maureen has the technical capability and creative side we fell in love with.  She is an artist and uses her talent to capture the beauty in and around her.  Her motto is, “always make everything fun”.  Now we can say in hindsight her motto was just as important as her technical skill.  We had a blast Maureen.  Thanks for increasing our “fun factor” on our big day.

first dance photos madison wi barn dancing madison wi maureen cassidy family wedding natural photography wedding outdoor dancing madison wi wedding madison area photos wedding natural Ceremony & Reception Venue: The barn at the harvest moon pond

Hair and Make up: Daisy Quintal, Union Hair Salon

Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids DressesDavid’s Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: The Men’s Warehouse

CateringEldorado Grill 

Bar-tending: Catered Cocktails

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.):none

OfficiantPastor David Dragseth from Lake Park Lutheran Church in Milwaukee

Wedding planner: none

Flowers/FloristDaffodil Parker

InvitationsOnline at Mixbook

Dessert (cake and such!):  Miller and Sons in Verona.

Photography– Maureen Cassidy Photography & 2nd shooting with Patricia from Rejoy Photography

Videographer: One Fine Day

DJ and/or band:The Mighty Wheelhouse Band

Horse and Carriage: Cinderella Carriage

Favors:  Cowboy Hats

Honeymoon: Puerto Rico and island, Vieques – highly recommend!

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Best of Madison 2015 winner for photography

Yippie!

Maureen Cassidy Photography is a BEST OF MADISON winner!

BEST OF MADISON photography

 

Check out all the awesome winners [here]

 

Contest winners for Weddings, Families, Newborn and Maternity

Here are the 3 contest winners from this year Best of 2014

Best of Wedding 2014

Sara and Josh-See more of their awesome backyard wedding here
best of madison wedding photography

Best of Families 2014

Angela & Ben & the sweet Avalyn

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Best of Maternity & Newborn 2014

Amanda-Phil + 2 twins and a new baby brother!!

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2014 was a great year for me!

I photographed 25 weddings, 56 family/children/sessions, 21 maternity/newborn sessions & 30 boudoir sessions.

Special thanks so my 2nd shooters & photo editor Sarah from Urban Anchor Photography.

My friend Kat who helps me blog!

And my sweet loving boyfriend Neil who makes my life happier and keeps me filled with love and smiles!

My goal for 2015 is to have a wedding each month!  So far I need to book a wedding in November 2015 & December 2015.  I already have 20 weddings for 2015.  2 of them destination weddings and maybe one more to come.  Maybe just maybe! I will book a destination wedding in Nov or Dec some place warm and tropical!!

I always striving to better my work and I am attending an elite and stellar workshop lead by top wedding photographers Todd Laffler who won 70 fearless photography awards, Brian Callaway who has won 18 fearless photography awards and his amazingly creative wife Allison Callaway who has received 25 fearless photography awards.

I am also doing some mentoring this year with Kirsten Lewis who is a crazy amazing family photography and wedding photography!!

I love my work and I am grateful that I get to photograph love and connection between people.  It’s amazing witnessing such joy either at a wedding or family/newborn shoot…

Boudoir photography continues to be one of passions.  I really love working with women and photographing their beauty. I get to be more creative in boudoir vs the rest of everything else I photograph simply because I can pose people.  Kids are not going to sit still and wait for me to find the light or their best side…

It uses a different part of myself plus I LOVE seeing women feel good about their selves and it makes a killer gift!

Thank you Madison for continuing to welcome and accept me into your community!  I am excited for 2015.

 

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

 

Weddings Weddings Weddings! Best of 2014 Contest

*Vote for your favorite photo in the FB comments at the bottom of this page.*

Contest Details:

  • When voting, please write the number of the photo you are voting for and why you like it.
  • The number is UNDER the photo.
  • 1 vote per person.

Prize: Photo with the most votes gets $250 credit for a session or product.

Deadline: Contest ends January 23th 2015

Thanks! Winner will be announced on my FB page so you should stop over and  LIKE it! Click HERE.

 

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Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Madison Area Family/Children Photography

The best of 2014 family photography contest is still going on. You can go vote for your favorite: Here

Selecting only one photo for the contest was a hard task. So I put together a compilation of other great ones through the year. Just for fun!
I hope you enjoy viewing these family photos!
Thank to all the families who have hired me! I am a lucky lady to be able to photograph such love and connections!!

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Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Best of 2014 Family Photography for Madison, WI + End of Year Contest!

*Vote for your favorite photo in the FB comments at the bottom of this page.*

Below are 56 photos to choose from for my 2014 Family Photography contest (and maybe I forgot some?-let me know if I did!).

Contest Details:

  • When voting, please write the number of the photo you are voting for and why you like it.
  • The number is UNDER the photo.
  • 1 vote per person.

Prize: Photo with the most votes gets $100 credit for a session or product.

Deadline: Contest ends January 12th 2015

Thanks! Winner will be announced on my FB page so you should stop over and  LIKE it! Click HERE.

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Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Boudoir Photography in Madison Wisconsin {boudoir mini sessions}

Boudoir photography is my speciality.  I really think it’s where I shine most.  I LOVE shooting weddings and families but I love the extra challenge boudoir photography brings.
To photograph women and have them LOVE their images (their bodies) is no short order.  I love that each of woman I have photographed in a boudoir session have loved the results! It’s an amazing present and a great thing to do for yourself.

I know it’s huge venture to try a boudoir session so I offer this great offer to help you take the chance!

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Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Best of 2014 {my life}

2014 was a great year! My daughters are 6 & 8 (which I consider their golden years) and are so fun and loving towards both me and each other. We have it pretty sweet, and I’m blessed to have a really wonderful family! My family even went on a cruise together this year- which was a big highlight for all of us. Even though I live far from my sisters and parents we all see each other throughout the year. My sister Donna had a 3rd open adoption go through so I have a new niece in my life!! (She is in the newborn photos).

I also have a super stellar (& adorable) boyfriend Neil. He is the best!! He photographed some weddings with me and we went on some great adventures together in 2014. He is an incredibly supportive partner + he can handle me! I love the friends I have and the people in this town that I get to interact with. I know I’m a people person but Madison is filled with such great people. I swear, I have not met an asshole here yet and I’ve been here almost 5 years! I love it here. Besides the bitter cold it’s perfect.

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Notice other photographers in here? Hell yeah!!! That is one of the gems for me in Madison.  Some of my closest friends are the other rocking photographers in Madison.  Everyone is so nice to each other and we are a community and help each other and have a lot of fun together.  We get to share what we have learned, critique our work, be back up for each other, brainstorm ideas, joke around, go dancing, 2nd shoot for each other, watch each others pets…

Special thanks to the 2nd shooters from 2014 who took all the photos of me shooting weddings.  Patricia Espedal from rejoy photography, Sharon for SV heart photography, Laura Zastrow from Laura Zastrow photography, Amie Heeter, Nikki Hanson and Neil Thompson!

 

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Best of 2014 Maternity & Newborn Photography in Madison Wisconsin

 End of the year contest for Newborn and Maternity sessions!

*Vote for your favorite photo in the FB comments.*

Write the number you are voting for and why you like it in the FB comments. {The number is UNDER the photo}

1 vote per person.

Photo with the most votes gets $100 credit for a session or product.

Contest ends January 9th 2015

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*Missed #21 the original post. If I missed any others let me know!

 

Here are some more pictures from these sessions because it was hard to choose just 1 image to showcase.-Madison maternity photographer relaxed oraganic madison newborn lifestyle photographer madison newborn photography natural easy fun madison maternity outdoors natural fun madison newborn photography lifestyle candids natural madison newborn lifestyle photography madison wisconson natural newborn photographer

*let me know if you had a maternity or newborn session in 2014 but your images is missing.

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Engagement session in Madison Wisconsin {one of the best places on earth}

These guys were so  fun, relaxed and quirky which might be the easiest combination of traits to photograph.  I laughed more in this session than think I should of for a cold, cloudy day in late December in Madison.

relaxed fun engagement session in madison wisconsin relaxed fun engagement session in madison wisconsin madison wedding photography-authenic-outdoors-family-natural

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

By |December 29th, 2014|Engagements| Comments|

Published in the Huffington Post

Exciting news for me today! I got published in in the Huffington post in their wedding section.  The article was on their favorite winter romantic photographs.

Check it out here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Here is the photo they chose.

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Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Sweet Sugarland Barn Wedding in Arena Wisconsin

I first photographed a wedding at Sugarland during my first photography season in Madison in 2011.  It was a complete dream come to true me then.  The rolling hills, the beautiful trees and the land seemed foster reverence in the same way old churches often make you feel.   It left a great impression on me and I was so excited to come back and photograph another wedding there.  Charles and Katia’s wedding was beautiful and meaningful.  They are a lovely down to earth couple who were able to pull of an intimate wedding on a Monday in October!

In their words: We met at an anti-war meeting on UMass campus in 2007.  Charles was speaking about sexism in the Vietnam Antiwar movement.  Katia thought that he was alright.

After a year of being close friends we started dating in the summer of 2008.

Where was your wedding and how did you choose the venue(s)?

Our wedding was at a farm in Arena, WI called Sugarland. It’s operated by the folks who run The Old Feed Mill in Mazomanie, WI.

We moved to Madison together from New England four years ago. When we were discussing what kind of wedding we envisioned for ourselves we really wanted it to be a reflection of us as a couple, and of what our life in Madison has been like. We felt that picking the right venue was a really important piece of that puzzle. It’s also worth noting that we knew from the outset that we wanted to get married during our favorite season, Fall, and that our venue would, ideally, allow us to incorporate the smells, tastes, and colors of Autumn.

Sugarland-barn

What personal touches did you add to the wedding to make it your own?

I think, more than anything, we wanted the entire wedding to feel like our own.  That was my biggest anxiety, that it would feel impersonal or that after all the planning and expense (and AMAZING generosity of our friends and families) that we wouldn’t actually enjoy the wedding itself, like a crying kid at her own birthday party.  Luckily, that didn’t happen.

Our officiant is a close friend of my family, who knows us as a couple.  This really helped with personalizing the ceremony.  We decided to use Humanist language, we incorporated Russian Orthodox and Celtic traditions to feel continuity with our families’ heritage…  We stood on the same cloth that three generations of my family have been married on.

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What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

It’s hard to pick… Charles says, “My favorite moment was seeing my beautiful bride for the first time.”

We were really blown away by the toasts our friends and family made during dinner. We didn’t know who was going to speak because we had left organizing the lineup to our Best Man, Joe. We did ask him to solicit speeches from the women in our wedding party and families, specifically. Oddly, I think women’s voices sometimes get left out of the celebration and that would be bizarre.   

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE wedding ceremonies!!!  It’s such a beautiful reason for people to come together; to witness and celebrate in ceremony two people making a life long commitment of love and partnership.  I know I’m a  hopeless romantic but I just find the ceremony (and marriage) beautiful and touching.  I have documented many weddings and I see the challenges couples face with making a wedding ceremony moving and powerful.  Many times my couples are shy or don’t want a big to-do and would prefer to have the ceremony be quick (and hopefully painless).  Even then, I still see the beauty and meaning woven into the fabric of each ceremony as each couple takes the leap, vowing their lives together.  

Admittedly I love being carried away with all of the guests witnessing this union – to feel the couples love and to see their collective personality and to believe in their love that could last a lifetime.  One window into the love at the heart of a wedding is in the readings that a couple chooses.  So I thought I should start asking for them to share.

I loved their readings and I’m so grateful that they shared them with us.  I posted some here and at the end of the photos.

We are all a little weird

And life’s a little weird,

And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours,

We join up with them and fall in

Mutual weirdness and call it LOVE. 

— Sometimes attributed to Dr. Seuss (read by Ginny Lyons, Mother of the Groom)

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What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

I was least prepared for some of the personal dynamics to be kind of stressful.  We’ve been together for almost seven years, so we didn’t anticipate drama and tension that’s probably a natural part of, not only blending families, but the financial and personal stress of planning a big(ish) event.

Otherwise, it’s hard to stop planning.  We had a small, rustic wedding – we had to be careful about not taking on too many DIY projects.  After a year of planning, I was burnt out by the time our wonderful friends and family arrived from out-of-state and I didn’t really have the energy to direct them well.  Luckily, our helpers were self-directed and wonderful and made the race to the finish line a lot of fun.

What resources (blogs, friends, websites) helped you in planning your wedding?

We hired Jayme Galanos at Beyond Elegant Events (B.E.E.) to help us with Day Of coordination.  I strongly recommend this if you have A-Type personalities in the mix.  It allowed some of our key players to relax and enjoy the big day.  Additionally, our Best Woman, Sophia, works at a wedding venue so she was a valuable resource for answering vendors’ questions.

We used The Knot’s wedding website as well as their planning binder.  Our families and wedding party are scattered all over the country so we got multiple binders so we could literally be on the same page.

 

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What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

Charles says, “Food.”

Planning the wedding put us in closer contact with many friends and family members. Bringing all these beloved people closer to us was the best part of planning the wedding. I started having weekly phone calls with the wedding party… long email chains with family friends. It’s been really nice to feel close to people you don’t always know how to reach out to.

What advice do you have for people planning a wedding?

Don’t spend too much money on flowers.  Do your toasts during the meal.  Don’t ask your wedding party to spend crazy money on their apparel, that’s no fun for anyone.

If you had an unlimited budget or could simply redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

Yes and no. We got married on Monday, which was a stroke of brilliance and a blessing in many ways. Many vendors and venues that would have otherwise been booked were available to us, and often at a discounted rate. This was great. That said, it wasn’t really our first choice.

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Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

Maureen was recommended to us by beyond elegant events because she was, “Kooky and had great energy.”  That sounded like a good fit.  When we met with Maureen she made us feel confident that she understood our priorities and style.

Posed pictures were really important to my mother, but we wanted to feel relaxed and natural.  We wanted to find a photographer who could capture candid moments and make us feel at ease when taking the posed pictures.  Maureen was definitely the right person.

Any funny moments to share?

Maureen was a wild woman, she was practically hanging off the rafters during the reception to take photos.

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What readings did you have at your wedding?

 I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment,

and as a secret compartment loves a secret,

and as a secret loves to make a person gasp,

and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves,

and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor,

and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make everyone else gasp,

and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against,

even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment.

I will love you until all such compartments are opened and discovered,

and until all secrets have gone gasping into the world.

I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled.

— Lemony Snicket (read by Kelly McDonough, Mother of the Bride)

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.

“Pooh?” he whispered.

“Yes, Piglet?”

“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand.

“I just wanted to be sure of you.”

______

“How do you spell ‘love’?” asked Piglet

“You don’t spell it, you feel it,” said Pooh

— A.A. Milne (read by Denis Chernyshov, Father of the Bride)

 

Awesome Wisconsin Vendors that helped make this wedding day extra great.

Ceremony Venue: Sugarland http://sugarland-weddings.com/

Hair: Hair Excellence http://www.hairexcellence.net/

Make up: I did it myself

Wedding Dress: Saja http://www.sajawedding.com/index.html

Bridesmaids Dresses: ModCloth http://www.modcloth.com/

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse and Macy’s

Catering & Bar-tending: The Old Feed Mill http://oldfeedmill.com/

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.): A La Crate http://alacratevintage.com/

Officiant: Rev. Maddie Sifantus

Wedding planner: Jayme Galanos “Beyond Elegance Events” http://www.beyondelegantevents.com/

Flowers/Florist: Daffodil Parker http://www.daffodilparker.com/

Invitations: Minted.com http://www.minted.com/

Dessert (cake and such!): Cupcakes A-Go-Go http://www.cupcakesagogo.com/

Photography- Maureen Cassidy Photography http://maureencassidyphotography.com/

DJ and/or band: MidWest Sound http://www.midwestsoundwi.com/

Favors: http://www.cbmaplefarm.com/wedding-favors.htm

Honeymoon: DisneyWorld

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Marie and Adam’s Capitol Wedding in Madison, Wisconsin

I love the story of how this couple met! Marie and Adam both graduated from the University of Wisconsin from the same graduate program. On graduation day, they sat next to each other by chance and started talking. Fast forward a few years and they ended up getting married!

Their wedding took place on an ideal October day. The bride and groom created a super family-centric wedding, full of considerations for their guests. They had photo booths, great music, pastries for dessert, and an amazing array of organic food choices. Everything in this wedding was kept local to Madison, which worked beautifully for this young couple. Enjoy the pictures!

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Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Kelly and Matt’s University Club Wedding in Madison, WI

This was a beautiful gathering of family and friends, and here is what stood out to me about Kelly and Matt’s wedding:

  • They were so vibrant and adventurous while getting their wedding photos taken (such as dancing under pine trees!).
  • Close-knit, talented, and creative family, who contributed greatly to the natural and charming decorations.
  • Smorgasbord of delicious, organic dishes.
  • They added vegetables to the bouquets!!!

Where was your wedding and how did you choose the venue(s)?

After our engagement we took a tour of Madison venues. After viewing 6 locations in one day my mom mentioned the University Club; we are glad she did! The warm wood and chandelier glow reminded us of cabins and restaurants up north. We knew our family and friends would feel welcomed in the University Club space.

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 What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

Trespassing in the neighbor’s yard to have our first look under the property line trees!

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What personal touches did you add to the wedding to make it your own?

I studied Nutrition and Matt is a Chef. We spend the majority of our time cooking together and highlighted this passion by adding artichokes, cabbage, kale, pears, rosemary, and sage to our wedding flowers and decorations. Our whole family contributed their energy to make the wedding special. My mom, Julie, designed the table center pieces. My mother-in-law, Patty, printed family wedding photos, made a birch branch wish tree, a birch card box, and a framed photo for our groom’s dinner. My father-in-law, Jim, cut, stained, and wood burned our birch cake stand, table numbers, and cake topper. My sister, Amanda, water colored and designed our programs and menus. My Aunt Cathy made invitations, thank you cards, and pew bows for the ceremony. My Aunt Julie created our picture slideshow.

What readings did you have at your wedding?

Our friend Ann Smith read a passage from the book Anam Cara that focused on the celebration of our lives together.

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What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

Making the invitations and monitoring the response cards was both the most enjoyable and the most challenging part of planning our wedding. The invitations were designed by myself and my Aunt Cathy during a Spring weekend at our cabin. We then enlisted my mom and sister for a crafts assembly line. This happened more than once- they deserve multiple thank you cards!

What advice do you have for people planning a wedding?

Delegate! Accept the offers of your friends and family. Let go of the details and allow others to add creativity to your vision. Using my guidelines, themes, and colors, my friends and family made the majority of the DIY crafts.

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Any funny moments to share?

My father, Tom, made a gutsy and endearing gesture to welcome Matt to the family. He presented Matt with a Bears jersey during his toast, amidst a sea of Viking and Packer fans. The crowd reaction was explosive, the family members from Illinois cheered, but they were outnumbered by the boos and shouting of all the rest.

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If you had an unlimited budget or could simply redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

If given an unlimited budget we would have sprung for a live trio to play Gypsy Jazz during our cocktail hour.

Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

Maureen goes above and beyond to get the perfect shot, literally. She climbed a pine tree to capture our first moments together before the ceremony. A combination of our dance lessons and her photography skills created one of my favorite photos. Maureen‘s work does not include filters or editing tricks. Her photos are crisp, lively, and captured the moments exactly as I remember. Maureen is the photographer who will make you laugh even as you’re sweating in a field in your layered dress and full tuxedo.

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Vendors!

Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church, Waunakee

Reception Venue: The University Club

Hair: The Premiere of Windsor

Make up: Mary Kay

Wedding Dress: Allure, The Wedding Shoppe

Bridesmaids Dresses: Kennedy Blue, The Wedding Shoppe

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Savvi, Minneapolis, MN

Catering & Bar-tending: The University Club Staff

Officiant: Pastor Kirk Morledge

Flowers: Klein’s Floral

Invitations: My Aunt!

Dessert: Craig’s Cakes

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography & the great Rejoy Photography 2nd shooting for me

DJ and/or band: Jukebox Bandstand

Favors: Donation to Youth Farms, Minneapolis, MN

Honeymoon: San Francisco, CA

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Casey & Becky’s Wedding at Elkhart Lake

This wedding was a BLAST.  Becky and Casey are a sweet and loving couple who know how to have fun and throw a party. I really felt like everyone there was having the times of their lives. I have to say that Casey was one of the kindest, most considerate grooms I have worked with. He was looking out for everyone the whole night, on HIS wedding night! If their wedding was any indication of their future together, Casey and Becky will be living it up and taking care of each other for years and years to come.  Special thanks to Amie Heeter for 2nd shooting! 

Casey & Becky’s Proposal: 

Casey and Becky got engaged on Christmas morning, 2013. Becky searched the Christmas tree for the traditional pickle ornament while Casey pretended to (but really he wanted Becky to find it).  Becky found not only the ornament, but also an engagement ring hanging on it.

Where was your wedding and how did you choose the venue(s)?

Our ceremony was at Trinity Lutheran Church in Kiel and the reception was at Victorian Village Resort in Elkhart Lake, WI.  We absolutely love Elkhart Lake.  It’s so pretty, with small town charm and the most beautiful, crystal clear lake.  For us, it was the perfect place to be for our wedding day!

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What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

My favorite part of planning was getting together with my bridesmaids and family to do it.  Dress shopping with the girls was so fun, and each time we would talk over wedding plans it got me more and more excited for the big day.

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

The greatest challenge was planning the wedding apart from Casey.  He was not always able to talk, or be a part of certain decisions because he was in Spain for the vast majority of the planning process.  I can be very indecisive about things, and I didn’t like committing to decisions without him to confirm with.  In the end though, both of us were very happy with everything and it all worked out perfectly!

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What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

We both had the same response for this one: seeing each other for the first time while walking down the aisle- indescribable feeling!

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What advice do you have for people planning a wedding?

I think that the best advice that I got while planning my wedding was that no matter how planned or focused you are on little things, be sure to soak everything in on the actual wedding day with no worries.  I tried not to worry about anything that day and to just enjoy every moment, because all the planning was done.  It was the best feeling to be surrounded by people that we love.

What resources (blogs, friends, websites) helped you in planning your wedding?

Pinterest, The Knot, my bridesmaids, my matron of honor (who has been through wedding planning before), and both my parents and Casey’s parents were all very helpful.

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Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?

Our wedding party actually had a lot of fun taking pictures together, and we are excited to see the pictures of the group.  We also can’t wait to see pictures of people at the reception and things that we may have missed in the amazing whirlwind of the evening.

Any funny moments to share?

There were so many funny moments!  Quite honestly, the bridal party had so much fun taking pictures. Some of our friends told me that usually taking pictures was the most boring part for them, but that taking pictures for our wedding was super funny.  Thanks Maureen and Amie for fitting right in with everyone and making it even more fun!  Also, singing and hanging out on the bus was super fun.

What personal touches did you add to the wedding to make it your own?

I’ve been known to be a little bit of a picture person (I have photos and frames all over).  So Casey and his brother hung up a little picture clothesline at the reception.  It had a ton of pictures on it of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and us.  All the decorations at the reception had touches of us in them and we  had so much fun putting them up together and doing all of that ourselves.

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Casey and Becky met while bartending at this bar! During the reception they served shots together from behind the bar.

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If you had an unlimited budget or could simply redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

We honestly wouldn’t change a thing.  However, if we had an unlimited budget we probably would have had a videographer as well.

Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

We found Maureen online and liked her portfolio.  After meeting her and having her take our engagement pictures we were so happy and relieved that we chose Maureen for our wedding.  Not only is her work amazing and speaks for itself with the emotions that she captures, she makes everything more fun!

dancing at wedding reception photo

Dancing at this wedding was sooooo fun. When I left the wedding, the maid of honor picked me up and all the bridesmaids circled around us doing crazy awesome dance moves. These people seriously know how to throw a party!

newlyweds taking first dance photo

Vendors!: 

Ceremony Venue:  Trinity Lutheran Church (Kiel, WI)

Reception Venue:  Victorian Village Resort (Elkhart Lake, WI)

Hair:  Matron of Honor: Heidi Tschudy (works at Image By Design in Kiel, WI)

Make up: Bridesmaid: Alisa Burgo (works at  Johnathan Breitung Salon & Luxury Spa in Chicago)

Wedding Dress: Brandi’s Bridal Galleria (New Glarus, WI)

Bridesmaids Dresses: Vera’s House of Bridals (Madison, WI)

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse 

Catering & Bar-tending: Victorian Village Resort 

Officiant: David Laabs

Flowers/Florist: Jesse’s Flowers & Gifts (Kiel, WI)

Invitations: DIY (had help from my mom and mother-in-law!)

Dessert (cake and such!): DIY (my dad and mother-in-law made all of the desserts.  I decorated the cake and cupcake with my mom.)

Photography- Maureen Cassidy Photography

DJ and/or band: Chuck from Disc Jockeys Now

Musicians: Jon Laabs (ceremony vocalist), Sharon Laabs (ceremony pianist)

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Bruce & Sean’s Wedding (& 20th Anniversary Celebration!) at Capitol Theater

Bruce & Sean’s wedding was incredibly elegant and unique- they totally changed the traditional order of events, which I haven’t seen before (and I’ve seen a lot as a wedding photographer!). First they had cocktail hour, and that segued naturally into dinner. After dinner was the wedding ceremony, for which guests gathered around the couple in a semi-circle. After the short and sweet ceremony (complete with a french horn performance and beautiful readings), Bruce and Sean immediately had their first dance! Then alllllll the dancing happened! It felt like an efficient and thoughtful use of both space and time.

Where was your wedding? 

At the Capitol Theater in the Overture Center

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)? 

Quite honestly, there weren’t many venues available by the time we started looking. Nevertheless, when we walked in to the theater we knew it was where we wanted to have our celebration anyway.  It’s not an easy venue to get, as stage productions get priority, but it was worth the patience and the work.   On the night of the event we even heard from Madison residents that they didn’t know the venue existed! I think everybody felt it was a very cool space to enter after having cocktails in the lobby.

gay wedding madison same sex wedding

fun wedding photography

When I can, I try to do something different and funny!

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What memory stands out most from your wedding day? 

Just before the first photographs. Bruce and I used a dressing room backstage at the theater to put on our tuxes, and it was a nice quiet time for us together as a couple before the festivities got under way.

 Any funny moments to share? 

After I (Sean) said my vows, Bruce started his vows with “Likewise I’m sure.”  Maybe you had to be there but it was funny then.  There was also a spontaneous group hug on the dance floor at the end of the last dance, all the last people in a big hug in the center of the stage with Bruce and me in the middle.

capitol wedding wedding

capitol weddingbackground photo of wedding photo booth for gay weddingwedding speeches same sex couplegay wedding ceremony emotionalDid you write personal vows? 

We did write our own vows, individually, and as it turns out there was a fair amount of similarity in what we wrote.

 What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding? 

We had a lot of fun thinking about what our guests would enjoy and remember, which also allowed us to not worry too much about little details (I’m told people remember the emotions and general vibe of the night, and forget about things like the food and flowers).

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for? 

We weren’t doing a traditional wedding: it was a cross between a wedding and a 20th anniversary celebration, which allowed us the freedom to create the evening and ceremony that we wanted. This also presented a challenge in that we couldn’t just rely on whatever is considered traditional.  As for being unprepared, I felt  a little overwhelmed as guests started to arrive for the cocktail hour.  A good friend told us to do our best to greet people and mingle, but then to stop doing that at some point and just enjoy the evening.  It was great advice.

wedding ceremony capitol theater

first dance gay couple weddingfirst dance detailWhat resources helped you in planning your wedding? (blogs, websites, magazines, planners, friends, wedding shows, etc.) 

We asked married friends for occasional advice, spent some time on Pinterest, and then relied significantly on our wedding planner Rachel Best.

 Do you have any advice for people planning a wedding? 

Do what you can to enjoy the entire process, have fun, relax, and make sure that as a couple you are communicating well throughout. Day of, don’t worry about little things, have fun and feel the love.

disco ball and details of guests dancinggay couple dancing at weddingreception at same sex wedding ceremony madison wiWhich moment(s) are you most excited to see in your wedding photos? 

We are excited to see friends and family who didn’t know each other before the weekend enjoying themselves together.  It makes sense that if we love all these people they might get along, but it was truly magical to see all the random fun and friendships forming that night.

Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography? 

We chose her based on her portfolio, and the way you could see the joy in people’s faces in her photos.

embraces after wedding madison wifamily members dancing madison wi weddingwedding detail in madison wiVendors!

Venue- Capitol Theater-overture center

Catering & Bar-tending- Fresco

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.)- A La Crate & Event Essentials

Officiant- Family friend

Wedding planner- Rachel Best

Photography- Maureen Cassidy Photography & Rejoy Photography & Anya Wait Photography– (Thanks Anya for the up high shots!!)

DJ and/or band- Juke Box Band Stand

Musicians- Family friend

Photobooth- Traveling photobooth

Favors- DB Chocolates

FlowersMetcalfe’s and Sentry

InvitationsSarah B

CakeCraig’s Cake Shop

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Lauren & Tim’s Backyard Wedding in Madison

Lauren and Tim are two super down-to-earth, fun-loving people, and they managed to pull off the most complete outdoors wedding I have seen. No dance tent! No dance floor! No indoor facility! Straight up dancing outside in the grass under the stars!* I was so impressed by their simple (but beautiful) family-centered wedding and reception. They did SO much of the work for their wedding- Lauren’s mom made the wedding dress and one of the bridesmaid’s dresses, Lauren and Tim made the desserts and a lot of the alcohol, did the decorating themselves, and they made the invitations.

They were so excited to be getting married to each other.  Their love for each other was clear in a sweet, no-holding-back, smiles-as-wide-as-your-face kind of way- just check out some of the photos below for proof on that!

*For those DIY types out there interested in having a completely outdoors wedding, I will say that they did have 2 small tents set-up: one with a cocktail lounge area, and one with seating for the older guests.

 

Where was your wedding?

Our amazing family friends offered us the use of their 8 acre backyard!!!

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)? 

Tim and I really wanted to get married in a personal setting. We had been joking about throwing the wedding in our very small backyard. We really just didn’t want to get married somewhere that felt too formal.

Three days after Tim and I got engaged we had dinner with our dear family friends. When we told them about our engagement they immediately offered us their backyard for our wedding! How perfect!!!

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What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

Being done with the planning and getting to actually experience the wedding day!

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

Haha…probably everything! I honestly never had big dreams of my wedding day, so figuring out exactly what Tim and I wanted took time. Thank goodness my mom kept encouraging us to “keep planning!” I’m not sure it would have been planned otherwise!

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bride walking down aisle at outdoor wedding in friends backyard

This smile is amazing! Lauren was so expressive and enthusiastic all day.

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What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

     Lauren: It was such a sweet feeling to walk down to the ceremony with my dad and see our family and friends smiling back at us. Then turning the corner to go down the aisle and seeing Tim waiting at the end was just an amazing, indescribable feeling. Two of the most heartwarming minutes of my life! So that stands out from the wedding, and of course, dancing under the stars.

     Tim: The paper lanterns at night among the trees. I remember walking down through the trees and seeing everyone dancing down by the tents and wondering how we pulled this off :).

Any funny moments to share?

We planned the entire wedding outside! We knew it was a big risk, but also knew we would regret not trying to have an outdoor wedding. The weather was starting to look questionable in the afternoon, but the sun was shining for the ceremony and we danced under the stars!!! And then at 10pm…the rain came! Most of the yard turned into a giant mud pit!

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If you had an unlimited budget or simply could redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

Since we planned the wedding ourselves, and a lot of it was DIY, we would have hired a day-of wedding coordinator.

How did you calm your wedding day nerves?

I was strangely calm the day of the wedding! The day before the wedding? I was a bit less calm! While we were on the way to the rehearsal dinner, my sister (luckily) started making a list of things we needed to do on the morning of the wedding. I’m not sure why that calmed me, but it did the trick. Thank god for sisters!

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Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

We found Maureen through Paulius of Queens and Hearts Photography. He told us she was “99% rock’n’roll!” How could we turn that down?! We instantly loved the emotion Maureen captures in her pictures! They just seem so real. And when we met Maureen, her energy was contagious! We booked immediately!

Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?

All of them! The day flew by and I can’t wait to re-live it by looking at the pictures!

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Vendor Shout-outs!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private residence

Hair & Make-up: Nicole from Bang Salon

Wedding Dress: Made by Lauren’s mom

Bridesmaids Dresses: One by Lauren’s mom, one from J. Crew

Groom’s Attire: Suit from Jos. A. Bank

Catering & Bartending: Wood fired pizza from La Fortuna, appetizers from Metcalfe’s Market, Beer/Wine from Steve’s Liquor, bottled cocktails made by us

Bartenders & Servers: Catered Cocktails

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.): Event Essentials for tents, chairs, and tables; Bucky’s Portable Restrooms for bathrooms; all linens and tableware were purchased by us

Officiant: Tim’s aunt and uncle

Flowers/Florist: Garden Laurels by Sager

Invitations: Designed by Lauren and printed through CatPrint

Dessert (cake and such!): Ice cream made by Lauren & cheese cake made by Tim

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography

DJ: Bride’s co-worker

Musicians: Ceremony music by Alexis Carreon

Honeymoon: Cirali, Turkey

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Allison & Jason’s Bayfield Wedding

Allison and Jason’s wedding was such a treat for me. 1. Allison & Jason and their families and friends are so wonderful. 2. They got married along the shores of Lake Superior (which is by far my favorite lake!) 3. I love destination weddings (even if they are only 6 hours from my place) 4. I got to photograph this wedding with the love of my life, Neil (and he did so great)!

Where was your wedding?

 Bayfield, WI!

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)?

We really wanted a place where all of our guests could spend the weekend together, enjoying and exploring a destination that has come to mean a lot to us. Our other goal was a casual, flexible location where our guests could easily walk from their lodging to the event venues.

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

 Since we wanted a venue where we could choose our own caterer and stock our own bar, we had a lot of little details to coordinate and numbers to come up with that sometimes presented a challenge. Fortunately we had many friends, family and vendors that were happy to offer advice along the way. The only thing we could have been a little more prepared for was the reception timeline being more structured- we did not have a day-of coordinator, so all things considered, things went very smoothly!

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What resources helped you in planning your wedding? (blogs, websites, magazines, friends, wedding shows, etc.)

 We used a couple websites (weddinggawker, offbeat bride), but mostly our great vendors and friends provided the most help.

How did you calm your wedding day nerves?

 We really treated it like any other day- getting up, having coffee together…then the set-up and semi-madness began, so we were really too busy to get nervous! It helps to have calming people around you during the day too- and people willing to help out wherever needed.

Do you have any advice for people planning a wedding?
Don’t be constrained by tradition- I truly think people will be okay with whatever unique things you want to incorporate into your day. People will appreciate a wedding that reflects your personalities and life.

Bayfield wisconsin outdoor family wedding getting ready

Took the opportunity to do an environmental portrait!
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Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?

Since Maureen was doing some cool ‘artsy’ stuff with us before the ceremony, we’re excited to see those shots, along with ones of our guests at the ceremony.

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bride and groom meaningful wedding photo

This shot is for Jason!
reflection of bride and groom artisic candid

What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

 If we hadn’t been planning a wedding, we never would have had the opportunity to meet so many talented, gracious vendors from both Madison and Bayfield.

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Did you write your own vows? 

 We did decide to write our own vows, which we kept a secret until the ceremony. I think a lot of people thought we did write them together, because they reflected so many of the same ideas- our chance re-meeting in a coffee shop (we knew each other in college but hadn’t seen each other for many years), our hopes for our future together, and the many ways we complement each other.

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Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

 While looking for a photographer, we were hoping to find someone familiar with Bayfield that was more into capturing unscripted moments than posed ones. Maureen fit those criteria, plus we felt like we’d known Maureen for years the minute we met.

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wedding reception at lake superior wedding candid madison wisconsin

What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

That’s a hard one to narrow down, so here are a few memories that really stood out: reading our personal vows during the ceremony (we didn’t share them ahead of time), listening to the touching wedding message our officiant (Allison’s Godfather) prepared, and the awesome toasts/speeches at the reception.

wedding photography on lake superior candids bayfield wedding

Any funny moments to share?

Nothing outrageously funny, but there was a moment we thought the father/daughter  dance might not happen, as Allison’s father was a bit busy handing out the special cigars he had ordered. Eventually he was tracked down for the dance, and did get to enjoy his cigars afterwards!

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artistic candid natural

If you had an unlimited budget or simply could redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

 I suppose that with an unlimited budget we could have hired a band vs. a DJ, but people were on the dance floor until 1am, so I think we did okay in that respect! Otherwise everything was pretty perfect in our eyes.

 

Vendor Shout-outs! 

Ceremony Venue: Bayfield Memorial Park

Reception Venue: Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion

Hair: Nicole Glaza (friend of the bride & groom who works at Cinema Studio in Madison)

Make up: Nicole Glaza

Wedding Dress: Monica Freng (of Monirose)

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Macy’s

Catering & Bar-tending: Good Thyme (Washburn, WI)

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.): London Road Rentals (Duluth, MN)

Officiant: Tom Foltz (family friend and Godfather of the bride)

Wedding planner: Allison & Jason, friends, family , and vendors

Flowers/Florist: purchased boxes of fresh perennials from Hauser’s Superior View Farm in Bayfield and our friends/family arranged them

Invitations: Jill Koskelin of Etikette (Middleton, WI)

Dessert (cake and such!): Coco Bakery (Washburn, WI)

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography + her amazing, awesome, wonderful boyfriend Neil Thompson

DJ: Sounds Unlimited (Duluth, MN)

Musicians: Ric Gillman (acoustic guitar during ceremony)

Favors: personalized cups from Discount Mugs

Honeymoon: Australia and New Zealand

Maureen Cassidy is a Madison wedding photographer, Madison family photographer & Madison boudoir photographer who loves capturing connections, love and beauty in Wisconsin and around the world. If you would like to send her a message contact her {here}.

Anna & Mathias’ DIY Wedding

I was so impressed by how much work Anna and Mathias did for their own wedding- from the wedding favors(clippings from a plant that has sentimental value to them), to having a friend officiate for them, to writing their vows, to making a playlist and having a relative as their DJ, to the bridal party doing their own hair and make-up, to the groom’s recipe for dinner- this couple knows how to Do It Yourself- and in style!  Special thanks to Patricia from Rejoy Photography who has 2nd shot for me most of  this year.  

A partially cautionary word about DIY weddings from the Bride

You will want to pull your hair out at times, especially planning a larger wedding. BUT when you look back at your wedding, the things that turned out best will be the things you did yourself. A lot of people told us how they could tell how much work we put into the wedding and how they loved how personal it all was (especially our DIY ceremony). In the end, all the hard work was worth it. We definitely saved a lot of money doing it ourselves, too. We still went over budget though!

How Anna & Mathias Met

Mathias and I met when I was walking home from a party with Sophie, my best friend (and maid of honor!). She knew Mathias, and stopped to say hi. Mathias offered to walk us the rest of the way home and asked me for my number when we got to my place. He called me for a couple months to hang out before we actually did–he worked third shift and always called late which I initially misinterpreted as a booty call (haha!). When we finally did hang out, it was sparks and fireworks right away. We went to James Madison Park, across from my apartment, for our first “date”, and have been together since that night in July 2009.

All Their Wedding Deets

Where was your wedding?

 At the Double Days in Cottage Grove– don’t go there! The owner managed to insult every single one of our guests and was very unprofessional.

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)?

We both have really big families so we needed to find a place that could hold them all! We wanted somewhere we could do the ceremony and the reception in the same place and not have our guests travel anymore than they already were to share our day.

Madison wedding photograpyMadison outdoor wedding photographer

madison photography

wedding sign

What resources helped you in planning your wedding? (blogs, websites, magazines, friends, wedding shows, etc.)

I used my matron of honor a lot for advice on how to do things since she had been through this all before. I picked up a wedding planner and guide, but didn’t really use it. My matron of honor gave me a binder to use and I organized all of our wedding related things in there. I don’t know how we would have pulled it all off without all the help from our friends and family. We are so grateful!
madison park wedding details
madison park wedding details

 What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

My dad crying– I had only seen him cry one other time in my life. Also, Mathias dancing all night like a maniac, I couldn’t keep up with him!  He was doing dance moves I had never seen before. He must have been saving them for our wedding :-).

father-bride-before wedding ceremonymadison wedding photography

madison wedding photography wedding candid

Did you write your own vows?

Yes, Mathias can’t find the ones he wrote! But mine were: Mathias, when I look back and see how far we have come in the last 5 years, it makes me excited to see what the rest of our lives together will look like. I am excited to see how we will grow and learn together, how we will laugh and cry together, how we will wrinkle and age together. I vow to be your partner for life, to be there for all the adventures life presents us, I vow to lift you up when you are down, I vow to stand by your side in good times and in bad,  I vow to love you madly and unconditionally for the rest of my life.

Any funny moments to share?
When I tried to put Mathias’ wedding ring on and it got stuck on his knuckle! I said I would marry him if I “could just get it over your knuckle”.

Do you have any advice for people planning a wedding?

Write your own vows, it’s easier than you think. You already know why you are getting married and what your future spouse means to you. It makes your ceremony so much more personal. Also, look at your wedding day like this–the main goal of the day is to marry the love of your life, everything else is a bonus. Don’t forget the big picture and accept that something will go wrong no matter how much you have planned. Make sure to soak as much in as you can, the day will go by in a blur!

wedding ceremony in madison

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If you had an unlimited budget or simply could redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

Not sure we would change anything except the venue we used. Everything else was so beautiful and exactly how I pictured it in my mind.

What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

The most enjoyable part of planning the wedding was how close it made us with those we were planning with and getting to know Mathias’ large family- we both felt so much love and acceptance from them.

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

We were not prepared for how fast our wedding day would go. I remember looking at the clock after dinner and thinking, “Really?! Our wedding day is almost over already?!”
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wedding first dance in madison romantic photograph of bride and groom
wedding dip at reception after first dance

wedding dip at reception after first dance

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Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

We chose Maureen because we loved her photos right away, she has a way of capturing natural moments. I liked that her work didn’t seem posed or too formal. It looked like fun!
How did you calm your wedding day nerves?
I practiced deep breathing! I was told by some of our guests they heard me deep breathing into the microphone a few times. I was sooooo nervous.

wedding dancing at reception

Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?
All of them! The day went by so fast that I need to see pictures just to make sure it all happened.

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Vendor Shout-outs! 

Ceremony Venue: Double Days in Cottage Grove, WI

Hair: My friend Amber came to the house on the morning of our wedding and did my hair and all the bridesmaids’ hair.

Make up: The girls did their own makeup, my maid of honor did mine.

Wedding Dress: I found my wedding dress at West Towne Mall in Madison for $350 at Cache.

Bridesmaids Dresses: Custom made by Charissa Goerge at toFREEyourSTYLE from Etsy. This lady was awesome!!

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: The guys all went together to get suits from Burlington Coat Factory. Mathias got his suit from JC Penney.

Catering & Bar-tending: Catering was done by Banzo of Madison, WI. Mathias worked there before he got into his electrical apprenticeship and wanted to use them for our wedding. They made Mathias’ fajita recipe for our wedding, it was super delicious and super personal.

Officiant: Our friend got ordained so that he could marry us.

Flowers/Florist: Hyvee Madison East

Invitations: DIY! From a template I found online.

Dessert (cake and such!): Hyvee Madison East

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography & Rejoy Photography

Videographer: A few people in our wedding party set up a camera to record our ceremony.

DJ and/or band: We made our own playlist and had our Uncle Dave manning the station all night.

Favors: We took clippings from our purple heart plants at home and painted mini-pots to put them in. We wanted our favors to be something we made ourselves.

Honeymoon: Mathias took us to Chula Vista for the weekend and it was a blast! Planning a longer honeymoon next year- to someplace warm!

LOTS of Family Sessions Going Down This Fall

The fall is big time for family photos!  I have been so busy photographing lots and lots of wonderful families! I would love to showcase each session individually, but for now I wanted to put together some photos from sessions this fall. I know recently I have been blogging a lot of weddings, but truth be told my business is only half weddings.  The rest is families and boudoir. I soooo love being part of families for even a half hour- to hang with, play with, get to know, and of course, photograph the story of a family- especially when I’m able to do so year after year. I have been photographing many of these families for the 4 years I have been in Madison. I love being able to document the playful times parents have with their kids. I strive to get animated photographs that families will treasure for years. Thank you to all of the loving parents and children that trust me to photograph you!

Outdoor Family Photos Outdoor Family Photos Lifestyles Family Pics  Kids Photos Outside Family Pics Madison Outdoor Photographer Madison Outdoor Photographer Sweet Family Photos Sweet Family Photos Madison Outdoor Kids Photos Madison Outdoor Kids Photos Lifestyle Family Pictures Lifestyle Family Pictures

outdoor family photography

Also! If you could be so kind and vote for me best of madison photographer I would SOOO appreciate it!

http://madisonmagazine.secondstreetapp.com/l/BOM-2015/Ballot/ArtsampEntertainment

-scroll down to “Photographer” category

-enter “Maureen Cassidy Photography” and enter required info

-you can vote daily-voting ends this Friday!!

 

Erin & Michael Awesome Wedding in Denver, CO

I met Erin when I was 19 years old and we were in AmeriCorps together.  We had the good luck to be roommates and became instant best friends.  That was in 1998 and we have stayed close to each other and followed each other’s journeys into adulthood closely.

I think I can take a small amount of credit for Erin and Michael’s meeting – after sharing my adventures in online dating with Erin, she quickly bit the bullet and made an online profile for a dating site.  Soon after she went on a magical date with Michael and said that they were “connected”.  When Erin told me Michael proposed I was crying right along with her.  

Michael is a perfect match for her and he makes Erin smile even more which I thought was possible!  I was honored and excited when she asked me to photograph her wedding.  I went searching for an amazing 2nd shooter and found a total winner, Jennie Crate from Green Blossom Photography.  You should check her out if you live in the Denver, CO area!

Venue 

Our wedding was in Evergreen, Colorado at The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park. It’s this funky and wonderful place about 45 minutes outside of Denver that keeps buffalo and elk. The barn was constructed just over a decade ago out of reclaimed boards and has stained glass that was shipped from Germany.

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)? 

We knew we wanted to be married outside and to have a space large enough for at least 200 people indoors. But really it was about finding a date that would work for this incredible photographer we know who was already half booked for the wedding season, and working around the schedules of our immediate family.

Destination wedding details Destination wedding Destination wedding Destination wedding first look Destination wedding photographySeriously! There was just elk hanging out really close to where they did their first look.

Destination wedding barn

What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding? 

All of the interactions with people: hearing from so many friends and family members; creating the world’s most awesome bridal party; working with all the great vendors.

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for? 

The enormity of the project. For a moment there in the beginning, it felt like I was taking on a part-time job. I wasn’t prepared for how much focus we all had to put on the event.

What memory stands out most from your wedding day? 

I’m flooded with memories. I will always remember how much the day meant to me, every single part of it, every person there, every word shared, if not actually remembering the parts, people and exact words. It was an incredible feeling.

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Did you write personal vows? 

We did. Very near the wedding day, too, so they were fresh and a little raw with emotion. We shared them with each other the morning of our wedding day to get each other’s approval. It was a very sweet moment in a day chock-full of sweet moments.

If you had an unlimited budget or simply could redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

Our wedding was a hit, but it could have certainly gone on for another few days and I wouldn’t have minded.

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What resources helped you in planning your wedding? 

We used the local version of The Knot to get us started. We picked it up at a bookstore after showing up at a wedding planning event, seeing the line, and immediately deciding the event wasn’t for us. It also helped that we have a lot of DIYers in the family.

Do you have any advice for people planning a wedding? 

Not really. Good luck. Remember it is just one day and try not to be too extravagant with tiny details. Stay organized by keeping a spreadsheet and making lots of email folders. Be prepared to be emotional on wedding week and make time to share/delegate your worries to your support network.

How did you calm your wedding day nerves?

 I just kept trying to remember that the day was going to go so fast and to just enjoy it while it came.

outdoor ceremony in mountains

Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos? 

People enjoying the wedding. I didn’t get to see everyone, and I’m hoping that most of them appear in these photos.

Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography? 

Because Maureen has the ability to capture emotion and moments like no other photographer I know. She is pure energy and will always go the extra mile for the great shot or say the extra raunchy joke for the hilarious reactions.

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Every wedding I always look forward to the speeches.  I am a sucker for people opening their hearts in any form + often there are funny stories.  The groom’s father had such a heart felt speech that I think everyone was really touched and teary.rustic barn wedding candids speech rustic barn wedding candids rustic barn wedding candids rustic barn wedding candids rustic barn wedding candids dancing

Any funny moments? 

Well, Michael and I had this big plan to don a horse (him) and a unicorn (me) mask for our daytime photos – with us holding signs that said “Thank” and “You” for our cards. The masks were inspired by our horse and unicorn cake topper that I randomly purchased from ModCloth (along with my dress). One day, in a toy store, I saw the matching masks and had to have them.

Like so many things you plan, I forgot all about it in the excitement of the day. At around 11pm, our friends found the masks in one of our bags and were like WHAT?! PUT THESE ON NOW!! So we did and were guided upstairs – because you couldn’t see anything in these masks. Just to set the scene, we had an epic dance party of a wedding – Michael and I kicked off the dancing with a choreographed number and then we brought everyone out for the couples-together-longest dance and the dancing just never stopped – our friends get most of this credit for being awesome, but equal credit is due to the most excellent DJ Rockstar Aaron.

The sight of us in our masks, though, sure cleared the dance floor. Suddenly, it’s a circle around Michael and I dancing to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It.” The masks were hot and the song just wouldn’t end. It was apparent to me, even though I couldn’t really see, that we had created the “and then things got weird” moment. On the other hand, it was so hilarious, so we just kept dancing. Shortly after, all my remaining extended family members who had traveled from Michigan to come to our wedding decided to take their exit. The correlation was clear.

artistic Destination wedding barn rustic

rustic barn wedding candids dancing rustic barn wedding candids dancing

Vendor Shout-outs!

Ceremony/Reception Venue – The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park

Hair – The one and only Stefany Vanderberg who will be coming online in 2015

Make up – My amazing bridesmaid Shannon

Wedding Dress – ModCloth, with alterations by The Wedding Seamstress

Bridesmaids Dresses – Varied

Groom & Groomsmen Attire – Varied, ties from The Tie Bar 

Catering & Bartending – Hog Heaven BBQ and Hey Bartender

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.) – Colorado Party Rentals

Officiant – Friend (my high school English teacher)

Wedding planner – Family (my cousin Beth)

Flowers/Florist – Family (my mom and Aunt Lorie)

Invitations – PaperlessPost for the Save the Dates, Noted Occasions for the invitations, and MagnetStreet for the programs

Dessert (cake and such!) – Friends made cookies and Cake Crumbs made the cake

Photography – Maureen Cassidy Photography & Green blossoms photography

Videographer – Family (my stepbrother Chris and his wife San)

DJ and/or band – DJ Rockstar Aaron

Musicians – Vocalist – Carver Duncan

Favors – Discount Mugs

Honeymoon – We planned our own trip to Italy

By |October 24th, 2014|Uncategorized| Comments|

Megan and Brett’s Wilderness Resort Wedding

The Beginning of Megan and Brett in their own Words

We met while working at the Eau Claire Academy. Megan worked on a unit and Brett worked as a crisis staff. We had seen each other around work, but really hit it off while going out to a bar with co-workers. We began dating and have enjoying each other ever since! In March 2012 we welcomed our first child, Parker. He has brought us even closer and given us more reasons to laugh.

Wedding Venue

Wild Rock Golf Course Clubhouse at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)?

We originally were planning on getting married in Madison because a lot of our family is from southern Wisconsin and Illinois, but a lot of the venues in Madison didn’t fit our personality, wedding size, or the vision we had for the day. The Clubhouse was the perfect size and had a rustic charm we were looking for.

getting ready for wedding

pre-wedding photos bride and groom shoes

What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

Megan: Brett and I had to travel to the Dells/Madison to do a lot of the planning, I really enjoyed the weekends away and I felt like we agreed on most things.

Brett: Being able to meet with different people and being able to make decisions together.

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

Megan: We live in Eau Claire, so planning long distance was difficult especially since Brett and I have conflicting work schedules. It was also hard because we knew how we wanted things to look, but it’s hard to make sure it looks that way when you can’t visit your venue all the time.

Brett: Finding time to plan together or planning with a toddler.  I felt the least prepared for the dancing and removing the garter because I wanted to have planned something funny and out of the ordinary.

bride with dress on bride with family and friends bride in dress bride with veil bride with son wedding decorations

How did you calm your wedding day nerves?

Megan: One of my coworkers told me to remember that the day is about love and that everyone is there to celebrate the love between Brett and me. I just kept reminding myself about that. Being surrounded by friends and family was also a great way to keep calm.

Brett: With a lot of friend and family support and help.

groom, waiting for bride groom at front of wedding kids walking down the aisle bride and father walking down the aisle

What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

Megan: Walking down the aisle with my dad was such a great feeling. I had a lot of nerves about how everything was going to go, and once we got there and I saw Brett I felt so much more calm. I also really enjoyed dancing the night away with our friends!

Brett: Watching my bride walk down the aisle with her father and not being able to stop smiling at her beauty and my happiness.  But also when our son escaped my parents grip and came up to the alter and stood in between us.

groom watching bride walk down the aisle dad giving the bride away bride and groom with officiant bride and groom holding hands just married audience and aisle photos bride and groom just married outdoor wedding just married family and friends

What resources helped you in planning your wedding? (blogs, websites, magazines, friends, wedding shows, etc.)

Megan: I used Pinterest to get some ideas, but that can be dangerous for the budget and it can be hard to find original ideas. I watched probably too many wedding shows. We did go to a couple wedding fairs and got some ideas there.

Brett: Pintrest, attending wedding fairs and actual weddings, and MY WIFE was a major resource as she took the reins in the planning process (and was the ultimate decision maker).

Do you have any advice for people planning a wedding?

Megan: Everyone will give you advice about how to do things, whether you want it or not, but be true to your vision and how you want things done. Keep in mind that no one remembers the small details (unless they are planning a wedding), so don’t stress about them.

Brett: Try to have fun with it and try to do it together. Also meet with several people before you make a decision on a certain product.

groom and groomsmen high five bride and groom with the sky happy couple with flowers outside

Why did you choose Maureen Cassidy Photography?

Pictures were one of the most important expenses of the wedding to us, so we initially met with Maureen because her photos are beautiful! But after meeting her we knew she would be a good fit. We loved her personality and sense of humor. She made us very comfortable throughout the whole day.

Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?

Megan: EVERYTHING! I am especially excited to see pictures of the ceremony and all of the details throughout the day. It went so quick and we were so busy I didn’t have time to take it all in.

Brett: ALL OF THEM! I’m excited to see the pictures by the red barn and weeping willow tree. But also with all the bridesmaids and groomsmen.  And my father won’t stop talking about the picture of us dancing and Maureen taking the picture from behind a window.

black and white couple photo nature bride and groom newlywed photos

If you had an unlimited budget or simply could redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

Megan: I probably would have had an open bar and hired a videographer. I don’t know how often we would have watched the video but as the bride, you don’t really get to see the whole ceremony and all of the details that you’ve spend so much time planning! Other than that, things went as well as we could have hoped.

Brett: Probably would have remembered the cake topper. Haha. And with an unlimited budget we would have had an open bar and the more expensive fish plate. But other than that I thought the wedding was beautiful and everything went smoothly.

having fun at the reception grandpa and grandson at reception first dance bride and groom dancing at reception candids

Any funny moments to share?

Megan: Some of Brett’s friends kept passing funny little notes to us via our DJ during dinner. Also, my mom and dad are not big drinkers (aside from wine) but we got them to take some shots (which I had never seen!). My dad was even taking shots of Patron, which completely surprised me! Brett’s mom also took a couple shots with my mom.

Brett: During dinner Megan returned from the bathroom and told me she had taken her bra off and left it in there.  And when my mother-in-law said “I don’t take shots.” But then proceeding to defeat 3 or 4 of them.

party at reception candid shots

 Vendors

Ceremony & Reception VenueWild Rock Golf Course at the Wilderness Resort 

Hair & Make up: our friend, Amy Weideman

Wedding Dress: The Wedding Shoppe St. Paul, MN 

Bridesmaids Dresses: The Bridal Shoppe Eau Claire, WI

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: The Bridal Shoppe Eau Claire, WI

Catering & Bar-tendingThe Wilderness

Officiant: Rev. Karen Hofstad St. Paul Lutheran Church Baraboo, WI

Flowers: Wild Apple Floral Baraboo, WI

Invitations: Megan

Dessert: Cake- Chris’ Confections  S’mores- The Wilderness

Photography: Me!

DJ and/or band: Music Box

Favors: Succulents from etsy, buckets from the dollar store

Honeymoon: The Royal Resort in Playa del Carmen Mexico

By |October 16th, 2014|Uncategorized| Comments|

Tina and Ben’s Unique & FUN Wedding at Union South

Tina and Ben are so fun and quirky! During both their engagement photo session and throughout their wedding day they had LOTS of fun and unique ideas.  Including the idea to take pictures with a BEAR RUG! Haven’t had that happen before, and probably won’t again, but it was awesome. See below for those photos! I really tried to find ways throughout their wedding day to capture their personalities in photographs, while getting lots of candids and natural photos.

We had a lot of fun on this perfect August day! Thank you so much Katie Paulos from Beyond Elegant events for suggesting me for their photographer!

Venue

Our ceremony was at Eastside Lutheran Church and the reception was in Varsity Hall at the Union South.

The guys got ready at the Essen Haus because my father owns it and they could have an awesome lunch and drinks!

details wedding guys getting ready in madison madison wedding photographer

How did you calm your wedding day nerves?

I was calm all day! It was the days and weeks leading up to the wedding when I was freaking out!

candids at a wedding candids at a wedding in madison candid moment in a wedding day candid wedding

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Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?

The photos with the bear!

akward wedding photo

akward wedding photoThe bear is a great representation of Tina’s awesome humor!!!
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What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

Waiting to walk down the aisle was a similar gut-wrenching anticipatory feeling to inching up the first hill on a roller coaster.

Any funny moments to share?

Right before the service my bridesmaids and I quacked like the Mighty Ducks, and I’ll always remember it. Also my friend Peter split his pants trying to dance like Michael Jackson!

14candids in church-2 candids in church candids in church candids in church candids in church church wedding quirky wedding photos details at a wedding madison wedding photographer madison wedding photographer natural wedding photography outdoor

creative  adn quirky bridal party portraitThey really like ducks!
creative bridal party portrait Varsity Hall in the Union South

What resources helped you in planning your wedding?

My planner Katie from Beyond Elegant Events was the best. I needed someone to organize my crazy ideas!

 What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

The center pieces were my favorite. I absolutely love A la Carte rentals. I surprised Ben by incorporating antlers!

wedding details at Varsity Hall in the Union South Varsity Hall in the Union South speeches

 What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

Dealing with seating arrangements was intense. We invited a huge amount of people and it ended up feeling like a crazy amount to work with! Also, planning a wedding in Madison while living in Minneapolis did not help!

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)?

It really came down to the wood flooring! It was large enough with a color scheme that went perfectly for my wedding!

Varsity Hall in the Union South Varsity Hall in the Union South Varsity Hall in the Union South

wedding-humor

If you had an unlimited budget or simply could redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

I would have changed into a short dress for the reception. I just wanted to jump around and the long dress was cramping my style!

Do you have any advice for people planning a wedding?

Delegate jobs! You don’t have to do everything!

34Varsity Hall in the Union South maureen cassidy photography

Vendors

Ceremony Venue: Eastside Lutheran Church

Reception Venue: The Union South

Hair & Make up: The Ultimate

Planner: Katie Paulos from Beyond Elegant Events

Catering & Bar-tending: The Union South

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.): Event Essentials and Ala Crate

Officiant: Eastside Lutheran

Wedding planner: Katie from Beyond Elegant Events 

Flowers/FloristFlora by Jamae

Wedding Dress: The Wedding Shoppe in St Paul, MN

Invitations: My Personal Attendant

Dessert (cake and such!): Carl’s Cakes

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography – Patricia from Rejoy Photography as 2nd shooter

DJ and/or bandShowtime Entertainment 

Musicians: Little Vito and the Torpedoes

Bridesmaids Dresses: Target 

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Mens Wearhouse

 

By |October 10th, 2014|Uncategorized| Comments|

Leila & Jason’s Olbrich Garden Wedding

This was a great wedding, and I see a lot of ’em. Thing that made it so great was the love these two have for each other, and how honest they are about it and willing to let the whole world see. I so admire men in particular who show their love so openly, and Jason is one of these men. Leila and Jason’s love for each other is soooooooo strong and clear. It brings me peace to witness love like this, and is definitely one of the perks of this job.

How Leila and Jason Met

We both grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and went to rival high schools but never actually met each other until we were in college. During our first semester in college we both traveled to Milwaukee to visit friends from high school and instantly clicked. The problem was that we lived over 200 miles apart! But that didn’t stop us- the next semester Jason transferred schools and moved to Minneapolis to be with me there. Five years later we got engaged!

Venues

The ceremony was at Olbrich Botanical Gardens and the reception was at Madison Concourse Hotel.

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)?

We live in MN now but we decided to have the wedding in Madison because both of our families and some of our friends still live there. I’ve always loved Olbrich and absolutely LOVE flowers. Plus, we didn’t have to do much decorating since the scenery was already so amazing. Since it was an August wedding we didn’t want to have the entire wedding outside so people wouldn’t overheat. We chose the Concourse for our reception because of its location, good reviews, and flexibility with decorating. Plus they were able to take care of all the setting up and taking down of decorations for us, which was amazing.

lush salon getting ready wedding photos groomsmen get ready bride getting ready olbrich garden

What memory stands out most from your wedding day? 

Leila: I have a lot of great memories from that day. I think the part of that day that I expected the least was seeing myself in the mirror with all my wedding attire on and all my best friends and closest family members around me helping me get ready and at that moment I was so emotional and overwhelmed with happiness! I didn’t think I was going to cry at the ceremony but I did and it was probably the happiest moment in my life. I couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle and share that with my husband.

bride at olbrich father seeing bride at olbrich gardens in madison olbrich garden wedding

What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

Leila: I loved making decisions with Jason for the wedding. We had the same taste for a lot of things but he also brought a few ideas to the table that I never would’ve thought of. For example, neither of us are crazy good dancers, so originally we were planning to just slow dance to Hard to Concentrate by RHCP (since that is a song we both love). But then Jason suggested we have a fun, semi-choreographed dance to Groove Me by King Floyd. We quickly put together a fun and upbeat dance. Everyone seemed to enjoy the change of pace from the typical first dance song.

Jason: For me the most enjoyable part was watching all of the individual pieces come together into a fantastic celebration. In the beginning there is so much stress and anxiety over what stuff to pick, which vendors to go with, and so forth. But once the decisions were made it was truly awesome to see the pieces come together into something that was so well coordinated.

bridesmaids and ring bearer walking down the aisle at olbrich gardens bride and father walking down the aisle at olbrich gardens

What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

Jason: Absolutely it was Leila walking down the aisle and seeing her for the first time was the most vivid memory I have of the day. She had done a very good job of keeping every part of her outfit and hairstyle secret from me, I really didn’t know what to expect when she walked out. When I saw her I almost fell over, she was so beautiful and radiant, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful and having no clue what was coming it hit me like a storm the moment I saw her.

Personal Vows

Leila’s: Do you remember the watercolor painting I made for you for our first valentine’s day? The words I wrote say: “I love you not only for who you are but for who I am with you”.  Those words are still true today and always will be. From the moment we met you’ve made every day better and have given me all of your love. You’ve been there for me through any hardship I’ve faced; you’ve held me when I’m upset; you’ve encouraged me to try new things and live life to the fullest. And I promise to always do the same for you. I promise to always support you, appreciate all the things you do for me, and be the best wife I can be. I couldn’t ask for a better partner to experience this life with and I can’t wait to start this new chapter in our life together. And as you always say “the fact of the matter is” I love you. Always and forever.

Jason’s: 

Leila, Standing here at the alter with you,
There are a few things I vow always to do.
Firstly I vow always to give you my heart,
There’s nothing in the world that can tare us apart.
Secondly I vow to always give you my mind,
Whenever you need laughter, support, or words that are kind.
Third I vow to always give you my shoulder,
To cry on or to hold when life is as heavy as a boulder.
Fourth I vow to always give you my life,
To share with you as my beautiful wife.
Finally Leila I vow to you,
To love you forever and always be true.

 

Their kiss as a married couple…

first kiss at olbrich gardens

And Jason could not stop kissing her.still the first kiss at olbrich gardens

And she loved that!!!still the first kiss at olbrich gardens bridal party photos happy newlyweds happy newlyweds at olbrich gardens bare feet and wedding dress outdoor wedding black and white newlyweds

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

Leila: Coordinating the wedding from afar was difficult at times. Luckily, we had family in town to help us, but we did end up making the 4 hour drive plenty of times to organize all the vendors. It may have even been a good thing though because it made my mother-in-law and I a lot closer. We ended up talking on the phone almost every day and she basically became my wedding planner and second mom all at the same time! I felt least prepared for our speeches. I’m not very comfortable getting up and talking in front of a huge crowd so I was pretty nervous but Jason helped me through it by taking the lead.

Jason: Finding the time to do all of the little stuff was very difficult as both of us were in school and working during most of the year while we were planning. Little tasks or decisions that needed to be made together became rather difficult to accomplish with our different schedules, but we made it work!

reception wedding party photos bridesmaids sitting outside at capitol

How did you calm your wedding day nerves?

Leila: My bridesmaid’s helped me the most with that. My nerves were put to the test when our officiant showed up late to the ceremony and I thought at first that we might not get married! Luckily, he showed up but everyone around me helped me to stay calm and figure it out. When I was walking down the aisle, my dad talked to me about something else to keep me from bawling and kept me calm so I was able to make it in one piece.

Jason: Jameson and PBR! Every time I was going nuts about something one of my groomsman would hand me their personalized flask  and say “chill out and take a swig”. It worked.

bouquet and wedding shoes wedding party sitting on capitol steps reception wedding details, cupcakes and tables

What resources helped you in planning your wedding?

We looked for inspiration in a few usual places like Pinterest for decorations and hairstyles and asked our friends and family for their opinions on things. My mom also gave me Colin Cowie’s book on wedding planning and that helped for keeping on a timeline and making sure we had all our T’s crossed. Honestly, my mother-in-law was actually the person who helped us the most with wedding planning, setting up all our appointments, and keeping us on track so really we have her to thank!

Do you have any advice for people planning a wedding?

Leila: Make sure you enjoy every moment of being engaged and the wedding day itself. When you first start out you think you have so much time before the big day and then it just flies by! Make sure to also show appreciation to all the people who help you get to that point because they matter too. Most of all, just enjoy your time together!

Jason: Don’t sweat the little things especially on the wedding day. Try not to get worked up or upset if something doesn’t go absolutely to plan, no one will know and no one will care, something always goes wrong but enjoy the day. Hopefully, you only have a wedding day once, so don’t forget to have fun with it. It is a high stress event but let loose, get crazy, and live it up to the fullest on that day.

bride and groom first dances with father and mother bride and groom first dance at reception bride and groom kiss during first dance

Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos?

Leila: All of them!!! Maybe the ones from the dance floor because all of our friends and family were dancing the whole night so I’m sure we will have some good ones from that!

Jason: The dance for sure. also the decorations and look of the reception hall, I feel like I barely even got to see it.

reception dance photos

Any funny moments to share?

Leila: A lot! But Jason has a good one:

Jason: The funniest thing that happened was actually after the wedding was over, my brother who was also my best man came back after going out with a large group of people from the wedding, it was 3 am and he had given his key card for his room to his friends who left early and were staying with him in the room. He gave them the key card and told them he would knock when he comes back. After returning form the long night of drinking he goes up to what he thinks is his room door and gives a couple of very loud knocks to let his friends know to come and let him in, what he didn’t realize was that this was not his room, it was the room next door to his room. After a few sends who comes and answers the door but my grandpa, and my brother just looked at him swaying from drunkenness and my grandpa slams the door on his face. In the morning we all had a good laugh about it my grandpa thought it was hilarious.

funny wedding photo

If you had an unlimited budget or simply could redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently? 

Maybe, if that was the case but thinking back on it, it was the best wedding we could have dreamed of. All of our favorite people were in one place together, dancing and partying like they’ve known each other for years. That’s what made it the best.

Vendors

Ceremony Venue: Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Reception VenueMadison Concourse Hotel

Hair: Temptd Hair Salon

Make-up: my friend, Becky Cripps

Wedding & Bridesmaids DressesDavid’s Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen AttireSavvi Formalwear

Catering & Bar-tending:  Concourse Hotel

RentalsEvent Essentials

Officiant: Daniel Floeter, he is a Madison judge

Flowers/FloristMaureen Essenmacher

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

DessertGigi’s Cupcakes

PhotographyMe!

DJ and/or bandRyan Etten

Favors: made them myself! Got materials from Party City

HoneymoonTurks & Caicos Islands

Meghan & Austin’s Awesome Outdoor Wedding at Century Barn in Wisconsin!

When I first met with Meghan she kept saying that she wanted a ton of candids and natural photos.  I hear this at most wedding consults that I do, and luckily I love candids and natural photos too! I have to say that I think this is pretty much why people hire me. I don’t like stale photography and I see the whole wedding day as one of the most emotion filled days of your life. For Meghan and Austin’s wedding,  I was lucky to have Sharon from SV Heart photography 2nd shoot with me for the day. I LOVE her and her work.  We had too much fun at this wedding! Meghan and Austin’s beautiful wedding lent itself easily to candids and natural photos, including those below. I hope you’ll agree! Without further ado..

Meghan and Austin’s Wedding in their own words

Where was your wedding?

Both our ceremony and reception were at Century Barn in Mt. Horeb, WI.

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)? 

  • We wanted to be outside, so we could feel summer elements.
  • We wanted the wedding in the country without all the noise and busyness of the city.
  • Affordability.  With Century Barn, we liked the option of being able to bring in your own alcohol, catering company, and flowers. This made it much cheaper.

barn wedding details barn wedding candids barn wedding candids

What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?  

Meeting my photographer!  Also, setting up the day before and watching the wedding all come together.

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding? What did you feel least prepared for?

There is sooo much out there about weddings, that it can be overwhelming when searching for invites, ideas, etc.  Also keeping to a budget was hard because we wanted to make our wedding awesome and personal, and that can cost money. It was also a challenge to make sure that our DJ understood and supported everything that we wanted.

bride at barn barn wedding candids barn wedding details at cermony barn wedding details at cermony barn wedding at cermony

If you wrote personal vows, will you share what they were?  

It was hard enough getting out the standard vows during the ceremony due to nerves and emotions.  We chose to share our personal vows to each other when it was just the two of us after the wedding.

If you had an unlimited budget or simply could redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently? 

I would have a life coach there to tell me not to drink as much and to remind me to take a chill pill!

barn wedding details at cermony

 I think this picture perfectly captures the beauty of their outdoor wedding, and their love for each other!

barn wedding pictures of bride and groom barn wedding pictures of bride and groom

fun bridal portraits

What memory stands out most from your wedding day?  

The ceremony and the beautiful sunset.

 Which moment(s) are/were you most excited to see in your wedding photos? 

Austin and I right after the wedding, the sunset shots, close family photos.

fun bridal portraits

I love hugs, even photographing them!

century barn candids century barn candids century barn candids

What resources helped you in planning your wedding?

Friends and family helped.  We also checked out a few wedding checklists.

Do you have any advice for people planning a wedding?  

Think about the big picture.  Don’t get worked up about the little details.  Remember that your wedding day is only 12 or so hours.  Make them all count. Take it all in and enjoy the moment. Try not to let anything get you upset. 

century barn candids century barn candids

Nikki Hanson is my friend and she is so so fun and an absolutely amazing photographer!  She could not photograph this wedding because she was the maid of honor.  So glad she trusted me to photograph her best friend’s wedding.  That is a big deal to me!

29-century-barn-wedding-outdoors-209 madison wedding photographer madison barn wedding photographer madison wedding photographer madison wedding photographer century barn

 Any funny moments to share?  

It was a very warm day, and I used a hunting knife to cut out the netting in my dress because I was SO hot.

 How did you calm your wedding day nerves? 

 I had a big breakfast and was able to enjoy all the steps leading up to the big walk down the aisle. After that I just remembered to smile and eat dinner!

century barn reception

tent rentals madison

 Shout out to all the Hardworking Vendors!:

Ceremony & Reception Venue- Century Barn

Bridesmaids Dresses- David’s Bridal

Catering, Bar-tending, & Desserts-  Lombardino’s, Madison

Rentals (tents, chairs, linens, etc.)- Brookfield Party Rental and A La Crate 

Officiant- Father Michael Messina

Flowers/Florist- Costco in Verona– Ellen is great!

PhotographyMaureen Cassidy Photography

Invitations- Coqui Design– awesome!!!

Favors- Matches “Get lit up on the Dunn”

Honeymoon-  San Francisco, CA to Portland, OR. This was an amazing trip. that I would recommend to everyone.  Rent a convertible!

Transportation – Badger Bus

Barn at the Harvest Moon Pond Wedding

This was a beautiful wedding under two willow trees, with both the ceremony and reception taking place at Harvest Moon Pond in Ponyette, WI. The thing that I’ll always remember from this wedding is how GORGEOUS Dustyn’s smile is. Just check out all the pictures below, her smile is shining in all of them. Amazing smile=amazing lady with an amazing love. Without further ado…

Dustyn & Calvin’s Wedding, in their own words

How did you meet?

Calvin and I met in Menomonie in 2006. I attended college with Calvin’s sister, Summer, and she introduced us. Our relationship was sparked the weekend of May 6, 2006, when we spent a long weekend in Kentucky with Calvin’s family. Calvin met me at the airport with a bouquet of roses – a great start to the weekend! We did some sightseeing around Louisville and also went to the Kentucky Derby! It was an amazing time. We wore big hats, went to a special derby breakfast, met the Derby Festival Queen, and had our fair share of mint juleps- Calvin also gave me my first lesson in betting at Churchill Downs. We started dating soon after, on May 24, 2006. The rest is history!

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue?

We wanted something both rustic and nice, but with a laid back feel. We were also looking for a place that had a great view.

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What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

I had an 18 month engagement so I really tried to enjoy the whole process. I loved dress shopping and meeting with all of the vendors.

What was your greatest challenge in planning your wedding?

​My biggest challenge was to try and make our wedding day our own. With so many people giving their opinions, wedding websites telling you what you “need”, and Pinterest, it is easy to get lost in how other people see your day.

What resources helped you in planning your wedding? (blogs, websites, magazines, friends, wedding shows, etc.)

​ Blogs, friends, and websites helped us plan. But in the end I realized that most of the things I saw online ended up costing me $$ and didn’t pan out. So, I would say that Pinterest actually hurt me more than it helped!

 

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What memory stands out most from your wedding day?

​ I loved the first look! I wasn’t going to do it, I actually was super against it at first, but it was an amazing part of our day.  I was very calm during the first look, but right before I walked down the aisle I got very nervous and excited. Having the first look didn’t take anything away from seeing my husband while I walked down the aisle. It was almost like having two weddings, if that makes sense.

madison wedding photographyThe first look! 
view of outdoor wedding ceremony The beautiful willow trees.

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I love love love photographing the hugs!Outdoor-wedding-ceremonyDustyn asked to have a photo with me.  Can you find me?
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If you had an unlimited budget or simply could redo your wedding day, would you have done anything differently?

​ If we really had an unlimited budget, I would have loved to have lobster and king crab on our menu, a videographer, and I would have wanted two photographers to shoot; I would have loved to see all the different angles.

How did you calm your wedding day nerves?

I actually didn’t really have wedding day nerves, but Calvin did :). I was able to eat all morning (the determining factor if I am nervous or not) I guess I calmed them by being with my husband for 8 years prior and knowing that he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We also spend a lot of time planning for our marriage instead of just our wedding. We took financial classes, consulted with our pastor, and took a marriage counseling class. All of these situations allowed us to talk about things that we don’t typically talk about in our day-to-day lives.


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What one moment from your wedding day will last with you both forever?

​ Calvin and I both agree that the first look was the best moment of the day! I also loved on our bus ride back to the hotel, Calvin held my hand and said, “This was a perfect day”.

Do you have any advice for people planning a wedding?

Make sure that you decide what you want your day to be like before you start planning.  Also, don’t ask other people for their opinion unless you are ready to hear it. I realized that people like to live vicariously through you, and they try and push their ideas on to you. ​

Vendors that work really hard to help make the wedding day so awesome!

Venue for Ceremony & ReceptionBarn at Harvest Moon Pond

Hair: Brideheads

Wedding DressBrandi’s, New Glarus

Bridesmaids DressesDavid’s Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen AttireMen’s Wearhouse

Catering & Bar-tending:​ Porktropolis & Exceptional catering, Sun Prairie ​

Officiant:​ Pastor Michael Lee – First Lutheran Church, Lodi​

Flowers:​ Felly’s Flowers, Monona ​

Photography: Maureen Cassidy Photography

Dessert (cake and such!): My grandma made it 🙂 ​

DJ and/or band:​ ​Juke Box Bandstand

Musicians:​ Bill McInnes, Piper for Any Occasion 

Honeymoon:​ Cozumel, Mexico! ​

Backyard Wedding in Madison Wisconsin

Sara & Josh’s Backyard Wedding

I know I am not good at blogging.  Writing has never been a strength for me.  It’s much easier for me to tell a good story with photographs than words.

BUT I need to blog. I want to share the pretty photos and I would love to have a resource for other couples getting married.

So here we go!!!
A whole new thing!
A whole new great thing!!

You get to see pretty pictures from their wedding and learn about the couples journey together and planning.  It’s going to be awesome!!!  (see all of those !!!<<<<<)

Josh and Sara met by chance on a sunny day in May of 2005.  Josh was home for the summer from college working on remodeling Sara’s mom’s house.  Sara came home for lunch one of those days, just a week before her high school graduation, and the two were introduced (Sara’s mom will take all the credit…just ask her :).  They had an instant connection and really, what girl can resist a man doing construction? Through ups and downs, years and distance, good times and bad, they always remained a part of each other’s lives.  And nine years later, they are excited to begin writing the next chapter of their story together.

Where was your wedding?

Easton, Wisconsin (20 minutes north of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin)

What were your deciding factors in choosing your venue(s)?

We lived a town apart growing up and we both have large families so we wanted to have something that was close by the place where we grew up and convenient for the majority of our guests. We also knew that we wanted something low-key and more casual so we decided on a family member’s private backyard in the country. We weren’t locked into setting up everything just before the wedding or subject to the prices and limitations of many wedding specific venues. We really felt we could make it our own.

 

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What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?

I am very detail-oriented so I loved planning the decorations and focusing on the tiny details. We also did a lot of DIY. My husband built wooden gift boxes out of our old, rustic deck boards for my bridesmaids’ gifts and I decorated them with lace and filled them with individualized gifts for each of my girls. I also made my own table runners from wholesale burlap and lace. My husband made the rustic signs that were displayed around the yard. We used old windowpanes for our table assignments and chalkboards for the ceremony programs instead of having them printed.