Part 1: Celebrating Your Special Day, Done Your Way

by | Jan 1, 2024 | 0 comments

  • Photo by Brad Ryan Photography
  • Photo by Brad Ryan Photography
  • Photo by Brad Ryan Photography
  • Photo by Alyssa Lentz-Underwood
  • Photo by Alyssa Lentz-Underwood
  • Photo by Happy Gnome Photography
  • Photo by Happy Gnome PhotographyPhoto by Happy Gnome Photography
  • Photo by Lianne Milton
  • Photo by Sam at Dutcher Photography
  • Photo by Sam at Dutcher Photography

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Full PDF


Cold Never Bothered Me  //   Daniel Felix & Daniel Freiburger

January 27  //  Engaged November 17, 2021  //  The Tinsmith, Madison

As Disney fans planning a winter wedding, of course “Let it Go” was on our must-play list. About halfway through the reception, we heard those iconic intro notes twinkling across the dance floor. We locked eyes and even though we hadn’t planned or even talked about it, we both knew where this was going.

We started lip-synching our hearts out with an improvised dance number. Even though it was utterly spontaneous, we were completely in sync—matching and mirroring each other as we each manifested our own snow powers. The DJ turned all the lights icy blue and everyone formed a big circle around us, singing along at the top of their lungs. I don’t think either of us stopped smiling through the entire song—it was a moment we’ll never forget! Photographer: Brad Ryan Photography

 

From Near and Far  //   Danielle & Rachel Maes

May 20  //  Engaged October 23, 2021  //  KI Center, Green Bay

It was a gorgeous, sunny day for the wedding. The trees in the courtyard at Schreiber Foods were blossoming, and our ceremony overlooked the Fox River. Danielle said vows to our three kids, Richie, Bryn, and Gemma, and they shared why the day was special for them.

Our officiant, Zeb, made a return appearance at the reception as Ms. Mimi Jackson and helped get the party started. During the reception, we had so many LGBTQ couples who are our found family on the dance floor dancing side by side with our blood relations. Having so many people important to us show up (even from Switzerland!) was a really special testament to our love and commitment.

After a few hours of sleep, we drove straight through to Orlando to visit Disney World and Universal Studios for our familymoon. Thankfully, we got there about a month before it became illegal for trans folks to use public restrooms in Florida. The food was great, the rides were amazing, and the familymoon was a great way to solidify our new family. Photographer: Alyssa Lentz-Underwood

The Luckiest  //   Allison & Hailey Wilson

May 23  //  Engaged July 25, 2022  //  Dandy, Milwaukee

Our wedding was supposed to be a destination wedding. We had the event planned and paid for with only five weeks to go. Then my father’s health declined, and his battle with cancer took the highest priority for us. He was unable to travel, and we refused to get married without him, as he and I both always dreamed of sharing a father-daughter dance.

We canceled our destination wedding and planned an entire Wisconsin wedding in only five weeks. My bride is the most selfless, caring, and thoughtful person I know, and to cancel everything meticulously planned without hesitation to ensure that my family could all be together is only one of many reasons I proudly married her. It quickly became clear that we could get married anywhere in the world and still be the luckiest. Photographer: Happy Gnome Photography

 

The Eastsiders  //   Sarah Airozo & Chelsea Cornelius

May 27  //  Engaged December 30, 2021  //  Goodman Center, Madison

We met in Chicago in 2018 but didn’t start dating until January 2020. Sarah was living in Chicago at the time, and Chelsea was living in Madison. We went on our first “official” date at Mint Mark on the east side of Madison. In March 2020, during the first wave of school shutdowns, Sarah came up to Madison to “visit” and hasn’t left! Our love came full circle in December 2021 when we got engaged playing cards at the end of the bar at Mint Mark.

We both decided that it felt important to have our wedding on the east side. We have both devoted our careers to children, Sarah as an early childhood educator and Chelsea as a pediatric chaplain, so it only seemed fitting to have our wedding at a venue that supports Madison’s youth. We got married on Memorial Day weekend in 2023 at Goodman Community Center. Sarah surprised Chelsea by taking the mic from the DJ and singing “Semi-Charmed Life.” (Shoutout to DJ Femme Noir for being the most fun and easy going DJ! She is wonderful!) After the ceremony, we promptly jetted away to Puerto Vallarta for the honeymoon. Photographer: Lianne Milton

 

A Re-Wedding  //   Amber Lefers & Rachel Veltman

June 4  //  Olin Park Pavilion, Madison

Because I didn’t get to wear a wedding dress (before transition) on our original wedding day in 1998, we had a re-wedding ceremony in June for our 25-year anniversary where I wore a wedding dress.

We made new vows, since we’re both different people now. We also had people write notes to us and tie them to a flower and bring them up during the ceremony instead of having a traditional receiving line.

After the ceremony, for attendee photos, we invited them to “photobomb” us, and it was an absolute blast to see what people came up with! Finally, we got to tell our courtship story during the reception since most people that are our close friends now did not know us when we got married 25 years ago! Photographer: Sam at Dutcher Photography

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