Real Weddings

Dana & Brandon’s Glitzy New Years Eve Wedding

October 11, 2017
Bride and groom under sparklers
Dana and Brandon grew up less than 10 minutes from each other, yet didn’t meet until they were at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Technically the two first met during a State Street snowball fight, but Dana says their first meaningful interaction happened at a Madison bar call the Nitty Gritty. In 2015, Dana was in Brussels, Belgium, for work and Brandon came to visit. The two took a trip to Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Skye. On a pebbled beach on the Isle, Brandon proposed. “We were having a beautiful moment looking out at the ocean, standing with our arms around each other,” Dana recalls. That’s when Brandon said, “There’s only one other person I’d rather be here with.”

“I immediately responded with ‘Well who the heck would that be?!’” Dana laughs. “Before I knew it, Brandon got down on one knee and said, ‘My fiancé!’” The two planned a New Years Eve wedding with a black, gold, silver, and glittery color scheme. To get ideas, Dana and Brandon attended the Visuelle’s Spring Wedding Spectacular at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. On the wedding day, the ceremony was held at St. Nicholas Parish in Freedom, WI, right down the road from Dana’s house. “My parents were married there, as well as both of Brandon’s siblings.”
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What made the ceremony extra-special for the bride and groom was having their mutual friend, Father Scott Valentyn, officiate. “When Brandon and I got engaged, we wanted to wait until Scott was officially ordained, so he could take part in the most special day of our lives,” Dana says. “Having our friend, who we are truly so proud of, as the priest for our ceremony made the entire mass so special and unique. He gave the most beautiful and personalized homily I’ve ever heard.”
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Following the ceremony, but before the reception, Brandon and Dana had an “in between” at The Fieldhouse in Freedom. “It was right down the road from our church, so after the ceremony we invited our family and friends to stop in for an open bar — lots of Old Fashioneds — and hors d’oeuvres.” Then the party moved to the Grand Ballroom at The Rock Garden in Green Bay.

The Rock Garden also catered a sit-down dinner: “Considering we had a very large reception — about 460 people for dinner! — we wanted to keep it simple. We had a traditional family-style dinner with broasted chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, coleslaw, veggies, and dinner rolls.” During dinner, the couple played a slideshow of photos for entertainment, and guests were also able to ogle the gorgeous DIY decorations in the reception hall.
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Dana’s Aunt Shelly designed and painted over 100 wine bottles for the table centerpieces. “Each design was unique and included glitter, gems, feathers, ribbon, and some even had pictures of Brandon and me,” Dana says. “Shelly and my mom also designed and compiled placeholder name cards for 450 people, each color-coordinated with individual feathers and rhinestones. I can’t even describe how beautiful the hall was, and it was 100% because of their generosity and creativity.”
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Through all the glitter and fun, Dana says the moments that stick with her most are the last five minutes of the reception: “I remember slow dancing with Brandon in the middle of a circle comprised of our family and friends, linking arms and singing. While Brandon and I looked out at our loved ones, we commented how truly perfect a day and night our wedding was. What they say is true — the entire day flashes by far too quickly!”
NE Wisconsin Wedding Vendors:
Bridal Shows Attended Visuelle's Spring Wedding Spectacular at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
Invitations My sister-in-law
Rehearsal Dinner   My mother and father-in law hosted our rehearsal dinner at their home in Freedom, WI. We brought in Cedar Creek Marketplace catering and it was delicious!
Ceremony location St. Nicholas Parish, Freedom, WI
Reception location The Rock Garden, Grand Ballroom, Green Bay, WI
Caterer The Rock Garden
Cake designer/dessert Simple Simon’s Bakery in Appleton, WI
Flowers N/A – we did not have any flowers at our ceremony. Instead, I ordered bouquet brooches for my bridesmaids from an Etsy shop, as well as boutonniere’s for the guys. My very talented sister-in-law made my bridal brooch bouquet from scratch.
Music/entertainment Audio Excitement – Nic did a fantastic job! He played music videos for each of the songs, and he took a ton of great action shots from our reception. We were able to look back and see our guests enjoying their night.
Transportation DJZ Party Bus – we rented a coach bus for transportation for the bridal party.
Photographer Daisy Fields Photography – Laura Grahl was our photographer and she was amazing!
Videographer Kathy Lorge
Wedding dress designer Martina Liana
Bridal Salon Brandi’s Bridal in New Glarus, WI
Formalwear Bridal Event in Appleton, WI
Rings Kesslers

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