I’m always honored to shoot on assignment for Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. I adore collaborating with the editorial staff, whose design and editorial standards inspire me. This lovely wedding came via Melissa Colgan, a Martha staffer at the time, who is the bride’s sister. Melissa, now an interior designer, designed this vibrantly colored fall wedding in her family’s home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Being from Minnesota myself, it was a delight to work on a wedding that was dominated by the best of the Midwest vendors. I even drove to the wedding, instead of flying.
The all important color scheme was not only gorgeous and suited the season perfectly but also a subtle nod to the the groom’s last name, Port. The bridesmaids all picked their own silhouette from the same colored fabric from J. Crew. They paired their dresses with strappy sandals of their own choosing.
Munster Rose, based in Minneapolis, was tapped to create lush florals in seasonal blooms including an extra large bridal bouquet. According to the Martha Stewart Weddings article, they used over 50 “café au lait” dahlias throughout the weekend, including the ceremony and reception flowers. Overall, the florals provided the heart and soul of this wedding design. The fall blooms and rich colors were a joy to photograph.
When covering for the magazine, the photographer and stylist always start with a details shoot on the day before. I was lucky to collaborate with Cassidy Iwersen, who was the stylist. She did double duty at the graphic designer for the invitation as well. Cassidy and I started with a shot list from real weddings editor Shira Savada. We organized our day to pre-shoot as many details as possible, including the welcome bag, gifts, invitation, guest book, and many more. Cassidy came prepared with boxes of fabric, props, and tricks of the trade (pins, glue dots, lucite blocks, etc!). The care that goes into every shot is what makes a Martha Stewart spread so gorgeous. Every shot is perfectly designed to later be used in the layouts. Many of the shots that are used in the final layout are taken the day before the event.
One of the more spectacular details was the jewelry suite from Kwiat New York. The set included diamond earrings, a triple strand diamond bracelet, and a ruby and diamond cocktail ring. We arranged the jewelry pieces on a bed of burgundy velvet ribbon.
The wedding day started out with more detail shots and then breathlessly cleaning up just in time to start what is known as “real time” coverage. Fortunately, we did not have to venture far as the ceremony was also in the Milwaukee Athletic Club (known as MAC). Jackie from Munster Rose had adorned the fireplace with a swag of greenery and dozens of dark grey candles. The mantle of the fireplace is quite an interesting piece in itself — scroll down to the pictures below to see the hand-carved oak creation.
Following the ceremony, the wedding party went to the beautiful grounds surrounding Marquette University. Although they were not married at the chapel on campus, the gardens and landscaping provided the perfect backdrop for pictures of the wedding party. We moved quickly, though, as the air was seasonally chilly!
The reception was in the jaw dropping ballroom of MAC, which includes an original coffered ceiling from the building’s construction in 1917. At some point during my coverage I spontaneously pointed my camera straight up at it to capture its beauty. Although not on the official “shot list,” this image became the full page opener to the magazine story. Again the editorial staff wowed me — what a great way to encapsulate the historic charm of this building and the the design brilliance that went into the wedding. Scroll below to see all the beautiful and thoughtful details.
Published: Martha Stewart Weddings
Creative Direction/Floral Crown: Melissa Colgan Interiors
Styling/Stationery: Cassidy Iwersen
Florals: Munster Rose
Gown: Judd Waddell
Veil: Sara Gabriel Designs
Ring box: Wedgwood Jasperware
Real Weddings Editor at Martha Stewart: Shira Savada
Film Scans: Fast Foto
Bridesmaids: J Crew
Calligraphy: LH Calligraphy
Cake: Regina Bays at Geenabees Bakery
Deserts: Le Rêve Patisserie & Café
Diamond Jewelry: Kwiat Diamonds
Groom’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank