DIY Wedding Warrior Part III: Venue and Ceremony

After a raging afternoon storm pushed the wedding plans indoors, Kat and Nick’s ceremony took center stage in DIY style.


We wanted to do our posed photos before the ceremony, so we could enjoy as much time with our friends and family as possible. We took some shots at the Milwaukee Art Museum, a beautiful structure designed by Santiago Calatrava, the architect of the Syndey Opera House. In the summer, a retractable splay (which locals dub ‘the whale tail’) fans out over a pedestrian bridge, where we took our photos.

Under the Calatrava, Milwaukee Art Museum

DIY Wedding Photo

Not sure about this weather

DIY Wedding Bride And Groom

Plan ‘A’

was to get married outside with the Milwaukee Art Museum in the background, from the rooftop of the rooftop of the Downtown Transit Center building. There’s a lot of grass and some trees, and a nice view of the art museum.

Plan ‘B’

was to put a tent out on the rooftop if it rained. Then we would hold dinner and dancing inside.

Plan ‘C’

was created the day of our wedding. The storm was so bad we didn’t even want our guests to have to walk outside to get to the tent. In a last-minute change of plans, our wedding planner, The City Bride, amazingly helped us navigate all of the last minute changes, and she was great at reworking stuff when the weather turned. We ended up holding the ceremony first inside the reception hall, seating everyone at the same tables where they would later dine. Then we said ‘I do’ and married in the middle of the dance floor. I called this “dinner theater without the dinner.”

DIY Wedding with Bride and Groom Dancing

Planting Ceremony – Strength and Support of Community

We did a “planting ceremony”. The planting ceremony was something that I created myself. I wanted friends involved, but I didn’t want everyone to have to buy wedding dresses or stand up there for a long time.

Each of our guests put a stone in a glass bowl to represent that they were our support system.  Then our parents each poured some soil on top of the stones to represent that they had given us what we needed to grow. Then each of our friends and siblings planted a little succulent plant, to show they had grown with us.  During the ceremony, Nick and I each planted one to represent ourselves, and then one to represent our marriage. We got our succulents from Succulents Galore.

DIY Wedding Guest

DIY wedding plants

Wine Box Ceremony – Reminders of Love

Afterward, we had a wine box ceremony, which I’d read about online. We wrote each other letters the morning of our wedding, sealed them, and brought them to the ceremony.  We put them in a box with a bottle of wine and two wine glasses.  If our marriage ever hits a rough patch, before we make any major decisions, we will open the box, drink the wine, and read the letter that was written to us on our wedding day.  If we don’t need to open it before then, we open it on our 10th anniversary, and write new letters to put in with a new bottle of wine to open on our 25th, and so on.  Nick wrote on the outside of his envelope “To Kat, who I love far more than I could express in one letter.”  That’s why there are photos like this:

Nick’s close friend and coworker became a court commissioner for the day so she could perform our ceremony, and she did an amazing job.

I made some activity books to keep the kiddos content during the ceremony:

After the ceremony, the room was cleared for turnover and everyone headed out into the venue hallway, where we had drinks. We even got to set up some of the lawn games we had intended to have outside.

But most importantly….

Your wedding is going to be amazing.  No matter how the weather turns out; whether or not you get finished with all the little details; or even if the suits aren’t fitting perfectly. As long as the people you love are there, it’ll be the best day of your life.

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DIY Wedding Warrior Part III: Venue and Ceremony
After a raging afternoon storm pushed the wedding plans indoors, Kat and Nick’s ceremony took center stage in DIY style. Continue following this DIY Bride

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1 Response

  1. I love the tips but more so I love the blue it’s gorg! 🙂