Best of Milwaukee: Marquette, Lake Michigan, War Memorial, Marriage

People who don’t know much about Milwaukee often wonder about the city’s appeal.

But for those of us lucky enough to live in this hamlet on the nation’s Third Coast, Milwaukee’s charms are more than abundant.

That’s precisely why Valerie and Ryan planned a wedding that would showcase some of the best of what their city has to offer: alma mater Marquette University with its gorgeous Gesu Church and our unparalleled lakefront with a joyful reception at the modernist Milwaukee County War Memorial Center.

The War Memorial not only became a beautiful location for a celebration, but its iconic bronze Abraham Lincoln statue by artist Gaetano Cecere holds a special place in Valerie’s heart, where she gathered her brother and cousins to take a photo for a grandparent who couldn’t make it to the wedding due to poor health. Lincoln is dear to this relative, and Valerie wanted to make sure they knew they were part of this special day.

Thoughtfulness like that perfectly explains how wonderful this couple is and how they are simply meant for each other.

Family means the world to these two, and above all they wanted their loved ones gathered close as they launched their married lives together.

Milwaukee on tour

These two Marquette grads started the day off at Gesu Church, which is the religious heart of the Jesuit university. A deacon from Valerie’s home church officiated the ceremony, and his personal connection to the wedding couple made the ceremony even more personal.

We enjoyed his entire sermon, but particularly like what became the opening voice over for Val and Ryan’s Sneak Peek. We won’t soon forget his statement about presiding over the wedding ceremony of “The Pope.” (If you want to fully understand that, you’ll just have to watch the Sneak Peek!)

Once the ceremony concluded, the rest of the day was all about fun!

Milwaukee’s lakefront

First the wedding party toured Milwaukee by bus while a light mist brought a glow to the streets. A quick stop at a favorite Marquette U haunt Caffrey’s Pub for refreshments and some hoops, and then it was on to the beautiful War Memorial reception.

The rain let up just enough so that guests could wander along the center’s expansive deck, which offers amazing views of the lake, Veterans Park, Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World.

The center’s newly refurbished ballroom sparkled, and guests sat down to a delicious meal. No only were guests treated to a great meal, but they also heard moving speeches by Valerie’s father, David, as well as best man Mark and maid of honor Alexandria.

While more of these toasts will be in the couples’ full film, we just had to include parts of David’s speech, because it was the perfect blend of funny, serious, sentimental and adoring. We hope you agree!

Congrats to Valerie and Ryan! We are so honored to have been given the honor of filming your big day, and we hope it brings you joy for years to come.

The Team:

Ceremony venue: Gesu Church
Officiant: Deacon Mike Penich
Reception venue: Milwaukee County War Memorial
Photographer: Happy Gnome Photography
Sound by Design
Florist: Cora Flora
Cake: Batches Milwaukee
Bride’s gown: Bliss Bridal
Bridesmaids attire: David’s Bridal
Groom’s attire:  Cole Hann from Men’s Warehouse
Bride’s & makeup: Studio 890 Salons
Couple’s rings: Craig Husar – Fine Diamonds and Jewelry
Transportation: Camp Bar Third Ward

Love lakefront weddings? Check out Sarah & Adam’s lovely day at Discovery World