A celebration of love at Vertical Timbers
As the oldest of three, Rachel’s sisters teased that this day was long overdue. I would argue that the timing could not have been more perfect. On Saturday June 4th, our two beautiful brides, Rachel and Lia gathered at The Barn at Vertical Timbers. Surrounded amongst family and friends they shared in a day filled with love, emotion and a very special surprise…
Rachel and Lia have spent the past several years together and in that time they’ve grown close to one another’s families and have built lasting friendships. They’ve enjoyed their fair share of hosting game nights, attending family holidays and vacationing together. In doing so, they’ve found themselves surrounded by a community of people who love and support them unconditionally and who would do just about anything to see the two of them happy together.
The morning of | The “Hen House”
Prior to the wedding day, Lia’s father got sick and was hospitalized. Devastated, Lia realized she would be getting married without him. Her family traveled from out of state to celebrate and support her throughout. As the girls got ready in the morning, Lia shared a few emotional moments with her mom. She was otherwise in good spirits. The usual commotion of a wedding day kept everyone busy as they all prepared for the two brides to share a first look.
Rachel and her bridesmaids headed outside first and Lia followed. When Rachel turned to see her bride for the first time, the two instantly became emotional. From a distance I listened to each of them share hand written letters, and reflect on how this day that they had so patiently waited for was finally here. They gave me goosebumps.
The Ceremony | Under the Willow Tree at Vertical Timbers
After taking a few moments to touch up after all of the tears, we continued on with portraits and some wedding party fun. When the bridal party headed back inside to prep for the ceremony, Rachel filled me in on the surprise that had been planned for Lia. Without her knowing, they had arranged for her father to leave the hospital for a short period of time so that he could see his daughter get married. Family and friends made sure to keep him out of Lia’s sight. As she made her way to the ceremony space, he was snuck out into the first row where he would escort her on her last few steps before officially being given away.
The moment Lia realized what was happening will be forever preserved in my memory. It was one of the most genuine and emotional reactions I have ever witnessed, and the best gift anyone could give. I saw so much love in Rachel’s eyes as she watched her bride react, and within moments it seemed as though we were all crying. This set the tone for the rest of the ceremony, and the tears continued as the girls exchanged personal vows. The ceremony ended on a lighter note, as Rachel announced “this is how we do things in Wisconsin” and our newlyweds shared a shotski before departing for cocktail hour.
The Reception | The Barn at Vertical Timbers
The rest of the evening was lighthearted and fun. Since they had opted for a first look, they were able to socialize with guests for the majority of cocktail hour. The barn was set up with an indoor and outdoor bar, so guests were able to move freely back and forth. Dinner was a quick and tasty buffer catered by Millhome Supper Club, and guests had their pick of three different kinds of cupcakes for dessert! The girls’ Maids of Honors gave speeches with a balance of love and sarcasm, and Rachel’s mom delivered a heartfelt bit of advice. After cutting their cake, the two decided to sneak off for one last round of portraits under the string lights, and they were back on the dance floor before guests even realized they were gone.
Rachel and Lia, thank you so much for including us on your wedding celebration. It means the world to us to share in this part of your story and we cannot wait to see where your next adventure takes you!