Rustic Resort Wedding

Rustic Lakeside Wedding

I can’t even believe that this is the last love story and wedding of rustic month. I’ll be honest with you, I’m a little sad. Only because I’ve LOVED every single feature, and moment really, of our rustic month. It’s been a good run, hasn’t it? (I make it sound like we’re never going to feature a rustic wedding again, which is so not the case. We’ve got like six lined up for the coming months.) Thank goodness we have this rustic Wisconsin resort wedding from Emily Steffen Photography to send us out with a bang! A very, very pretty bang that is!! With the most incredible floral arrangements (bouquets and centerpieces), the cutest pint glass favors with chalkboard stickers in the shape of the bride and groom’s home state (Wisconsin), and the most adorable flower girls and ring bearers also known as the cutest “here comes the bride brigade”. The details are just so pretty, and so perfectly rustic, and in so many shades of pink. The light strewn dock is just so romantic, and the cake oh my goodness, the cake it’s incredible!! Everything about this wedding, including the bride and groom (their love story is adorable by the way) is picture perfect. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to close out rustic month. Truly. Enjoy every single second.

bride and groom, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

bride and groom, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

moss covered letters spelling love, chair decor, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

Karlee and Matt have been together since they were fourteen and fifteen. Matt was friends with Karlee’s neighbors and surprised everyone (including her parents who thought for sure he was there for one of Karlee’s sisters and not their fourteen-year-old) by coming to the house one day asking to see her. Their summer love rolled on throughout high school… and college… and grad school… True love that lasts. Sigh.

pink flowers in moss covered jars, wedding floral centerpieces, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

lace wedding gown, sparkly wedding sash, beautiful bridal portraits, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

bride and groom portraits, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

lakeside wedding ceremony, lakeside bride and groom portraits, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

purple bridesmaid dresses with pink floral bouquets, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

Their first kiss was during their small town’s annual summer festival. Karlee told her parents she was with her girlfriends, but then snuck off with Matt for a walk by the river. It was there that he made his move! Meanwhile, a mini-search party was looking for Karlee little did they know 🙂

groom and groomsmen in blue checkered shirts and blue ties, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

bride and groom kiss on lakeside dock, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

bridal party with bridesmaids in purple dresses and groomsmen in blue checkered shirts, pink roses bridal bouquet, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

rustic groom's ring shot with bride's diamond ring and wedding band, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

ring bearer with rustic wedding heart-shaped sign, here comes the bride sign, ring bearer with groom and groomsmen, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

photos of family at wedding reception, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

ribbon backdrop for wedding ceremony, rustic welcome sign for wedding guests, pick a seat not a side welcome sign, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

Karlee and Matt always say that they were lucky to grow up together and grow closer instead of apart. High school was wonderful, but typical high school with occasional two-day breakups, etc. For college, Matt went to UC-San Diego and Karlee went to UW-Madison. They realized that they had to make a decision make it work with the distance, or go their separate ways. They chose to make it work, and it did nothing but make them stronger. They were able to create their own lives and friendships while still building their relationship at the same time.

flower girl in pink dress, bridal bouquet with pink roses, purple bridesmaids dresses, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

purple bridesmaids dresses, pink bridesmaids bouquets, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

father escorting bride down the aisle, flower girl in pink dress, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

ribbon backdrop for wedding ceremony, bride and groom, first kiss as husband and wife, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

bride and groom first kiss at reception, moss covered letters spelling love, chair decor, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

After graduation, they decided to move to Montana (and enjoy the mountains) for six months before Karlee started a nursing program in Denver. It was there that their love moved to the next level. They were finally done with the distance and their shared passion for the outdoors brought them together in such a special way. They’d gone backpacking before, but in Montana they went almost every week and created memories that will last forever.

bride and groom portraits, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

escort cards, seating chart, seating flags on map, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

rustic drink sign at wedding reception, chalkboard glasses, unique wedding favor, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

cute recycling barrel, galvanized bucket for drinks at wedding, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

canoe paddles as guestbook for rustic wedding, burlap table runner with floral centerpiece, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

Six months later, they moved to Denver, and finally to Minneapolis for Matt to start Law School. They truly just love spending time together. They have such a history and share such excitement for their future 🙂 They know there is no other person to spend this life with than each other.

outdoor lakeside reception, rustic table setting, moss covered letters spelling love, chair decor, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

names of national parks as table numbers, pink floral centerpieces in beer growlers, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

bride and groom, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

rustic moss covered table centerpieces, rustic table setting, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

Matt planned to propose on a backpacking trip to one of their favorite places Pictured Rocks in the UP of Michigan. The ring, however, got delayed and he couldn’t do it. So he waited until their next trip to Door County on a fall weekend getaway.

When they pulled into town, they stopped to pick up some sandwiches to take to a favorite secluded beach they’d been to before. As Karlee set up their picnic spot, Matt suggested she set up the camera so they could take a picture (something they did on all of their trips) while he ran back to the car to get chairs. When she saw him coming back, Karlee set the timer to start and ran to Matt so they could get their picture before the timer went off. As she ran, he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. The camera went off at the most perfect moment and they now have the most amazing picture of an incredibly special moment.

Karlee was completely blown away by him and the ring!! She loved that he surprised her, that he did it at the start of the trip, and that he asked her dad secretly ahead of time 🙂

mexican family style menu for a wedding, corn salsa served at wedding, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

pint glasses with a Wisconsin shaped chalkboard sticker as drinking glasses and favors, jicama salad served at wedding, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

outdoor lakeside reception, rustic wedding table settings, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

dockside lighting for rustic wedding, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

{From the Bride} Looking back on our wedding is extremely emotional. It was a long-time coming and there was so much heart and soul poured into the planning by all of our dear friends and family. Everything took off once we decided to have it at Matt’s grandparents’ property on the lake a place we’ve been coming to since the start of our relationship. We wanted the setting to speak for itself and to show our guests an amazing evening at the lake and under the stars. Mother Nature more than cooperated and we were able to go without a tent and have the outdoor wedding and reception we had always dreamed of. We would never had any of it, however, without our unbelievable family and friends. We had an army of help the days leading up to the wedding. Everywhere we looked, our loved ones were overwhelming us with how incredible they were!

To make the wedding truly represent who we are, we wanted every aspect to be personal and have meaning. One of our best friends and Matt’s roommate from college was our officiant, my sister sang during the ceremony and for our first dance, we had our favorite Mexican food for dinner, flower vases were beer growlers we’ve collected over the years, tables were named after national parks we’ve visited, guests signed canoe paddles for the “guestbook,” almost all of the signs and crafts were made by family and friends, favors were pint glasses with Wisconsin chalkboard stickers where guests could write their names, the band (drummer was a former neighbor) played some Badger football favorites, and guests were boat taxied at the end of the night to our favorite lakeside bar.

Everywhere we looked we saw something that represented our relationship and the family and friends that mean the world to us. One of the best moments of the night was when we slipped away onto the dock and tried to take it all in. It was a full moon without a cloud in the sky, our guests were dancing under the stars, and we were married! We’ve never felt so loved and so honored to have such amazing people in our lives.

names of national parks as table numbers, pink floral centerpieces in beer growlers, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

names of national parks as table numbers, pink floral centerpieces in beer growlers, rustic wedding table settings, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

gorgeous rustic wedding cake with pink roses, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

bride and groom, first dance, cutting the cake and kiss, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

{Advice for Couples} If we were going to give advice to future bride and grooms it would be…

Choose a place to get married that has meaning to you. Put a good chunk of your budget towards a phenomenal photographer like Emily Steffen. Your day goes by as fast as everyone says it does. Your experience with the photographer and the pictures are worth every penny. (Emily you’re truly amazing!) Put a lot of thought into lighting! Our outdoor lighting was one of our favorite parts of the look of our wedding. Thanks to my Clark Griswold of a brother-in-law, the property came to life when the sun went down! (Make sure to have the power you need for the lighting too!!) Enjoy the planning! The days of crafting with my mom, the brainstorming with sisters and friends, the dress shopping, the excitement of the families, the showers, and the new bond with your fiancé it’s all things you will remember long after the wedding is over. It’s definitely not just about the day. Soak in the special moments when they happen I took a short walk with my dad the morning of the wedding (even though I had 80 million things to do!) it was so special and calming! Let people help it’s easy to want to micro-manage, but people want to be included and a part of the experience! Go on a long Honeymoon! 🙂

wedding dockside lighting, wedding twinkle lights, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

bride and groom, Rustic Wisconsin Resort Wedding, Emily Steffen Photography

Congratulations, Karlee and Matt, and thank you so much for sharing your wedding and love story with us!! We wish you both so much love and laughter in the many years you’ll share together! Many, many, many thanks to Emily Steffen for sharing their very special day with us today!! We couldn’t have dreamed of a better way to end rustic month 🙂

Love great pictures, but not in Wisconsin? Then check out our Featured Wedding Photographers, Chris & Becca Photography. They started as Connecticut Wedding Photographers and soon after becoming some of the best wedding photographers in CT, they began taking their services on the road. Working as internationally featured and award winning Destination Wedding Photographers. Regularly shooting in some of their favorite places, like as Puerto Rico Destination Wedding Photographers. Don’t worry, the best will go wherever you are getting married!

Couple kissing san juan sunset

Photographer: Emily Steffen Photography / Videographer: Shawn Christensen for Visual Productions / Venue: Placid Bay Resort Grandparents of the Groom’s Cabin and Resort on Long Lake in Northern Wisconsin / Cake Baker: Jans Custom Cakes / Catering: Savories Catering / Rentals: Festivities Tent Rental / Rentals: Aprés Party Rental / Rentals: Ultimate Events / Rentals: Camrose Hill Flowers / Restroom Trailer: Jimmy’s Johnny’s / Band: The White Keys / Bride’s Dress: Allure 8634 / Bridal Salon: Bella Bridal Boutique, Woodbury, MN / Dress Sash: The “Claire belt” from Amalee Accessories on Etsy / Bridesmaid Dresses: Ann Taylor / Flower Girl Dress: Us Angels / Flowers: Cozy Creations / Invitations and Programs: My Sweetie Pie (Etsy) / Hairstylist: Tara Richter for Belissio Salon and Spa / Makeup Artist: Holly Lucas

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