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).
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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!
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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.
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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.
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}.