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}.