Decide to Be Happy: Rita Adair & Bernell Hooker
July 17 // March 10, 2020 // Wyndham Gardens, Fitchburg
One month after our engagement, we were in quarantine and had not lived together prior. Six months after our engagement, Bernell was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. We canceled our original wedding and in the next nine months Bernell had surgery, endured several rounds of chemotherapy, and lost 100 pounds. That experience gave us the complete commitment to move forward with living our best lives together.
We planned an all-white wedding and celebrated our ceremony with 75 family and friends.Three months after our wedding we moved to North Las Vegas to enjoy the sun, and today our motto is: You can’t wait until life’s not hard anymore before you decide to be happy. Photographer: Jennifer Miller
Jumping the Broom: Dannee & Rene Livingston-DeTienne
July 31 // Engaged June 10, 2019 // Goodman Center Brassworks, Madison
On the last day of July 2021, on a breezy summer afternoon, Rene and Dannee married under the cool industrial bricks and beams of the Goodman Center Brassworks building. It was the wedding that almost didn’t happen—just a month prior, the couple’s church informed them they were back on high COVID alert. Only 18 people would be allowed in the building—much fewer than the expected 100 guests!
Fortunately, they were able to switch to the reception site, and the two were married in a unique ceremony in the round, encircled by chosen family, friends, relatives, and two of the couple’s four crazy little dogs. The vows were hilarious and heartfelt, no one tripped jumping over the broom, and there was not a dry eye in the house. It was truly the wedding of their dreams! Photographer: Meg Sias
Too Good to Miss: Robin Matthies & Madelyne Greene
September 4 // Engaged May 1, 2020 // The Loft At 132, Sun Prairie
We bought our house in December 2020 and became fast friends with the former owners (Don and Joan) who are both former pastors. We asked Joan to officiate our wedding as a testament to the kinship we feel with both her and Don, and the shared love we all have for the place that we are now lucky enough to call home.
We had a unique ceremony. No wedding party (though we did have Team Robin and Team Mady). We walked down the aisle together. We wanted to challenge tradition a bit, as nothing about us is perfectly traditional.
A friend on “Team Robin” called us right before the rehearsal dinner and said she was having stomach pains and had to go to the ER. She ended up having an emergency appendectomy and SHOWED UP to the wedding the next day (talk about a dedicated/amazing friend)! Photographer: Mo Speer
On the Same Team: Patrick Grillot & Aaron Millonzi
September 5 // Engaged January 5, 2019 // Memorial Union, Madison
Our independently written vows were much more similar than we could have imagined, down to the same joke about our compromise to be Packers football and Cubs baseball fans. Our wedding and celebration was special because it was the first wedding to be held at the Memorial Union since the beginning of the pandemic. Photographer: Dutcher Photography