We always appreciate our opportunities to work with Midwestern Bride. They are an amazing team that can accomplish whatever vibe they are looking for. In fact, that’s kind of their thing. Midwestern Bride is a team of totally different personalities which gives them a chance to pair their clients with the planner that best suits their story, location, and voice. They recognize that not everyone wants to be a princess on their day, but not everyone wants to be a party animal. Your planner should be someone that you can connect with and build a relationship with.
Covering Milwaukee, Chicago, and Madison, we couldn’t get the ENTIRE team together. However, we were able to spend some time with Ashley, Alex, and Hannah to find out more about what makes Midwestern Bride so unique.
What is your adult beverage of choice?
Ashley: I have two kids, so… Manhattan
Alex: Sauvignon Blanc, all day
Hannah: Red wine
What is your junk food of choice/guilty pleasure?
Ashley: I have a severe sweet tooth, so candy
Alex: Double stuffed Oreos
Hannah: Ice cream
What is your favorite animal?
Ashley: We had some awesome weddings with llamas lately. I’ll go with Llama. They were so fun!
Hannah: cheetah as well.
What is the best trip you ever went on and why?
Ashley: I’m going to go with Cinque Terre, Italy. Because it’s the most beautiful place I’ve been to. But also because I’ve found out I was pregnant a day before the trip. I just felt so much deeply every moment of the day.
Alex: Banff Canada. Because I got engaged there.
Hannah: Cabo, St Lucas in Mexico.
What music makes up your favorite playlist?
Ashley: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. She is just a badass powerhouse singer who is a really soulful, tall, gorgeous goddess-looking woman. She is pretty amazing!
Alex: It really depends on my mood. 90’s music in general. I think the only thing that I can’t get along with is heavy metal rock.
Hannah: It depends on my mood as well. Everything!
Tell me about your family and friends – what do you like to do together?
Ashley: I like to spoil my kids. We like to be outside, exploring. My husband and I are foodies, we will eat our way all over Chicago and Milwaukee.
Alex: With our friends, we like to go on big long outdoor escapades, or trying new restaurants. If it’s just me and my fiancee, we love to spend time with our dog. We have a german shepherd mix, his name is Nash.
Hannah: My husband and I like to play board games. Anything he can win 🙂 And drinking wine. With our kids, we love to go for walks outside.
Why are couples drawn to your work? What style/type of weddings or couples are the best fit?
Alex: We are very approachable and straight forward. When couples contact us for the first time, we are trying to be very personal and customize everything from the get-go.
Hannah: Many brides have mentioned that they don’t have a cookie cutter experience with us. Each of our girls has a different style and different personality.
Ashley: We are trying to bring new upcoming trends to the area.
When you sit down with a couple for the first time after they’ve hired you, how do you start the design process?
Ashley: It depends on a package that they chose. If it’s a full-time package, we are going to be with the couple every step of the way. We start with the budget so we know what we are working with. We ask questions about their style and esthetics. There is a long questionnaire where the couple tells us everything about how they met, where they like to shop, what they like and dislike. So that way we get a feel for what they want from their day.
Alex: Instead of telling a bride and groom, “here is a tradition, here is our favorite thing” we look into what makes sense for them, based on their personalities and preferences.
What is your favorite venue in town to design for?
Ashley: Villa Terrace is the only place in the city that really takes you out of Milwaukee as a space. It’s the most fun place to design for and to take in the results through the imagery we get back. Walking through it I can envision my time in Italy. You can do a lot to it and blow people away, or you can go really minimalistic and still make jaws drop.
Alex: I’d say that the outside space of Villa Terrace is my favorite too for the ceremonies and small intimate weddings. But interior wise I’d go with The Cooperage. I love the industrial shabby chic feel: the chandeliers, the exposed brick, the big windows.
Hannah: I’d say the Milwaukee Art Museum, which is iconic. It’s the only all white hypo modern place. There is nothing design-wise that wouldn’t work in this space. Unless you put burlap there, that would be wrong.
What is the difference between full-service planning and day of planning?
Ashley: Day-of is really your final month. We will take everything off the couple’s plate for the last 30 days before the wedding. All the vendor correspondence, timeline creation, tweaking all the logistics, etc. The day of the wedding is a completely unlimited amount of time. There is no nickel and dime to it.
On the other hand, whole planning is everything from logic creating to vendor assisting, contracting, negotiation, and making sure it is all streamlined with our recommendations, styling and making sure things are really cohesive piece-by-piece. It’s unlimited amount of correspondence and phone calls and tasting and anything else their heart desires.
Why should couples consider hiring a professional planner?
Alex: A planner brings background knowledge of the wedding industry and we suggest who to work with that would fit the couple’s style. A planner brings stability and organization to the whole process, to keep everyone on schedule and make sure things are done right. Last but not least, having someone on your wedding day who can take the stress off your and your husband’s shoulders is crucial.
Hannah: We take care of the things and make the day to go smoothly for the bride and groom.
Ashley: It’s the most emotionally driven day they have had so far in their lives, couples are spending so much money on it so having somebody to just take the stress away is huge. We don’t provide a product, we provide service. There can be unforeseen circumstances and we can limit their impact on the couple on their day through the process of planning.
How can a planner help with the practical aspects of the schedule and planning as well as the design and vendor management?
Ashley: I think the biggest value is that we can break the huge wedding day to small pieces. It’s easier to plan one thing at a time. We know how much time the things should take, we know all the demands on time from different vendors.
Alex: When I sit down with a bride to look at her questionnaire and break out their timeline for her day, I can’t tell you how many times they say: “Wow, I never thought of that”. Those moments that they didn’t think of before working with us are exactly the moments that might cause mild or major chaos on the wedding day. Thus, it’s really helpful to have the day broken out by 15-30 minute intervals.
What is the best thing about working with your company?
Alex: I mean, look at us. But seriously, all of our girls are very emotionally invested in their couples and their wedding day. It’s more than just a business. We just live and breathe weddings, creating a very personalized very special emotional day. We feel blessed to be a part of it.
Ashley: I think the best thing is that we all are different. When a couple reaches out and they say they need a “get things done” planner, I know who would be the best match. One bride might need more of a therapist on a day to calm mom down, and another bride needs a really focused, up to the task planner. And we have different girls that meet these all standards.
What services are available in-house?
Ashley: It’s everything from the whole planning to the day-of. We don’t do anything less than a day-of coordination. That way we get the face time with vendors and with our clients. On a wedding day, they actually know who we are and why we are bossing people around 🙂
What questions do couples forget to ask you, that is important?
Alex: I feel like all the questions are covered by our extensive questionnaire that they are filling out. But I do get a lot of “Oh, I didn’t think of that”. It’s very often the flowers for their family: boutonnieres and corsages. And the music they are going playing through the whole day: processional, recessional, grand march, cake cutting song, etc.
Ashley: I think it’s how things come to and go from a location. Who is breaking down the stuff after the day is over? Very often people don’t think how much time it might take to go with the whole bridal party from place to place. So the biggest question is always logistics.
What is one thing every bride and groom should know before their wedding?
Alex: I think it’s very crucial to make the day about two of you. After the ceremony, I think it’s imperative to take 10 minutes to take a breather and to be together without a camera, parents, bridal party, etc. You just got married, it’s new and exciting. Enjoy it!
Ashley: Reconnect the day with your vision. Don’t be forced by any tradition to do things that are not you. Everyone is there to celebrate the two of you. Whether it’s in a barn or on Maui, people will deal with it. It’s your day and it’s all about the two of you.
What color and design trends are you most excited about for 2019-2020?
Hannah: I’m really into neutral color palettes and floral pops of colors. I love jewel tones, too, if they are done right.
Alex: This season I’m more into the modern looking trends. I really like lucite, metallic pops, and black and white color pallets.
Ashley: My favorite design things are a bit of what’s unexpected. Instead of thinking of centerpieces only, I try to think outside of the box. If there is brick, you can do a climbing installation of the florals up a wall! Or at my recent wedding, we did a heavy draped velvet fabric and there were greens that looked like they were crawling up the wall. So it’s something that surprises guests. That is the design I’m drawn to.
If you are designing an event from scratch and you have total creative license, where do you look for inspiration?
Alex: Everywhere. Sometimes paintings, murals, architecture.
Ashley: I draw a lot from other creators from all over the world. If there is one great thing about social media, it’s that we can share our creativity with each other a lot.
For more information on Midwestern Bride and how they could help you with your wedding, please check out their website!
To see more of our wedding work, please check out our portfolio!