Marriage Musings & Our Wedding Video

When you’re planning a wedding it doesn’t feel real. It feels like you’re playing pretend and then BAM the day is here and over before you can even catch your breath and the real adventure begins — marriage. A few weeks in and the bumps in the road start to appear already. You realize that marriage means your triumphs and your failures are shared. Those awards are doubly celebrated and the stumbles are a little less painful because you have someone to hold on to.

I have a couple of wedding posts left to share, but I’m excited about getting to the real living. Real life is laughing, crying, nerves, fun, love. This video is all of that and shows the start to my new life.


I always wanted a videographer for our wedding, but I didn’t think we would be lucky enough to have one. Numerous people and countless internet lists told me over & over again the best decision you can make for your wedding is to have a videographer. It’s true, so true. Our video is beautiful and better than I could have imagined. Andrew, our videographer, caught our special little moments (like me wiping my lipstick off of Bryce’s face) I wouldn’t have remembered, but show who we are and how we were on that day. I’ve said it countless times already – I’ll never be able to thank Andrew enough for this cherished keepsake. He was with us ALL day long. As a matter of fact, I think he was shooting before I was even awake. He’s a great guy and it’s clear from our video he has real talent. I have no doubt that Earthrise Productions will be enormously successful.


Our Wedding: The Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony | Affichomanie Blog

Bryce and I don’t enjoy being the center of attention and we don’t have any religious affiliations so we knew that meant one thing for our ceremony – it would be short and casual.

It actually ended up being what I believe is a fairly normal length ceremony, but either way we wanted it to be relaxed and we wanted it to be about our love not about the fanfare that’s usually associated with a wedding ceremony. We wrote our own vows, picked out music that we loved, found a “unity” ceremony that we actually wanted to do, and came up with a short ring exchange that felt meaningful. Our officiant, Rev. Jane Stewart, was wonderful and accommodating. I will say that we didn’t know what she had planned for her speech and that’s where our ceremony got a bit long. It was very sweet, but I was happy to move on to the rest of the ceremony when she finished.

“Stubborn Love” by The Lumineers played while our best friends started the ceremony. My dad walked me down the aisle to a teary-eyed groom while “Gold” by Wake Owl played. Emotional, I got up to Bryce and let out a “geez” while wiping a tear – that’s what I’m saying – our ceremony was casual. Mostly because I can’t be emotional or serious for more than 5 minutes at a time. Our groomsman, Kurt, read a love quote from Albert Einstein and Bryce’s sister, Kaitlyn, read the Apache Wedding Blessing. In place of a unity candle or sand ceremony we had a wine box. We both wrote letters to each other the night before and found a bottle of wine from the year we started dating, 2007. We added those to a box we painted gold and shut it closed together. After our honeymoon we added some chocolate we got in Seattle. It will all be enjoyed on our first anniversary. My Maid of Honor and I had a sly exchange of my bouquet and vow book (she ran up behind me with a choreographed move of my bouquet over my shoulder and vow book in the opposite hand at my hip with no turning around). There is no recorded evidence of this (which makes me a little sad), but it’s probably because we are sneaky ninjas. It did, however, get a good laugh from our lovely guests. Bryce said his vows first and that adorable guy got so choked up I told him to just breathe. I practiced my vows and didn’t cry until the last line. It was special and beautiful and man, do I love that guy. We kissed and I was so excited to be married I started heading down the aisle before it was officially announced that we are Mr. and Mrs. Bryce & Ashley Ulmer. We glided out to “Halo” by OneRepublic (awesome cover – check it out if you haven’t heard it) and gave hugs to our friends and parents before waving our goodbyes as we headed up the elevator for a few minutes of alone time and photos. Best moments of my life.

Groom | Affichomanie BlogBride & Father | Affichomanie BlogWedding Ceremony Reading - Einstein Quote| Affichomanie BlogWedding Ceremony | Affichomanie BlogWedding Ceremony | Affichomanie BlogWedding Ceremony | Affichomanie BlogWedding Ceremony | Affichomanie BlogWedding Ceremony | Affichomanie BlogWedding Ceremony | Affichomanie Blog Wedding Ceremony | Affichomanie Blog Wedding Ceremony Reading - Apache Wedding Blessing| Affichomanie Blog Wedding Ceremony | Affichomanie Blog

Our Wedding: Bryce’s Favorite Moments

I have to say that many of Ashley’s favorite moments from the wedding were some of my favorites as well, but I thought I’d share a couple more moments that made my day special in their own way.

Groomsmen Pocket Squares | Affichomanie Blog

1. Pocket Square School: Just as my groomsmen and I were about to head down to the ceremony, we took a moment to circle around the ironing board to decide how we wanted to wear our pocket squares. We tried three different options and eventually each groomsman picked the fold that best suited his personal style. It was a really fun bonding moment with the guys and one I was thankful to have.

Groom at Altar | Affichomanie Blog

2. As you’ve probably seen from Ashley’s posts, we chose to see one another for photos before our ceremony. It was great to see her and really calmed my nerves before the big event. However, I can say it didn’t change a single emotion when she walked down the aisle. As she turned around the corner, I simply lost it. It is a moment I’ll never forget. She was so beautiful and in that moment I could not see anyone else in the room but her.

Dancing with Grandma | Affichomanie Blog

3. About half way into our dancing, our wonderful DJ, Tim, put on ‘Roll Out the Barrel.’ Because the unofficial Milwaukee drinking anthem really didn’t fit our wedding’s vibe, I was so confused as to why it was being played. I looked around the room bewildered and then I spotted my 91-year old, polka loving grandma dancing by herself. I rushed over and spent the next four minutes bouncing up and down in front of her giant smile.

Groomsmen Dance | Affichomanie Blog

4. Right after the bouquet toss, my four groomsmen sat Ashley down in a chair of honor at the edge of the dance floor and lined up. She had no idea what was going on. As the first few chords of One Direction’s ‘You Don’t Know Your Beautiful’ rang out across the room, the surprise, three and a half minute choreographed dance began. It was amazingly epic, and beyond anything we could have ever hoped to pull off. After hours and hours of practice, the ‘Dance’ as it is now known, was the talk of the evening.

Wedding Dress Buttons | Affichomanie Blog

5. Finally, a favorite memory of mine was when Ashley and I finally headed up to our room at about 2 a.m. We were so wired and couldn’t sleep. We read through our amazing wedding comment cards and shared more than a couple laughs over suggestions for our future childrens’ names. There was oneissue though…getting Ashley out of that dress. After trying to unbutton each of those buttons first with my fingers and then with a corkscrew (one of the the only tools we had available), I ended up having to cut Ashley out with a bar knife. So sorry Alvina Valenta, but thanks for the memory.

Our Wedding: Favorite Moments

Bridesmaids Walking Down | Affichomanie Blog

1. The anticipation & emotions building while “Stubborn Love” by The Lumineers played and I watched our best friends walk down the aisle as I waited my turn. I said to my dad, “Why did I pick such good music?! This is what’s going to make me cry!”

Don’t worry, I held it together. Bryce on the other hand…

Reception Decor | Affichomanie Blog

2. Our “David Tutera” moment (as we liked to call it) when Colette showed us the set up reception room all aglow with candles and flowers galore. Two years of planning came to life beautifully in her hands.

First Look - Kiss by Train | Affichomanie Blog

3. Walking up to Bryce for our first look along side a moving train (we had incredible timing). I just couldn’t wait for him to turn around and take in the moment with me.

Father Daughter Dance | Affichomanie Blog

4. Moments with my parents: Hugging my mom after the ceremony and dancing with my dad to “Don’t Panic” by Coldplay. My mom was just so happy & emotional – I loved seeing her give a big hug to her new son-in-law too. Coldplay has always reminded me of my dad after a fun night driving in his old Saab looking up at the stars through the moon roof. I knew we had to dance to one of their songs at my wedding.

Hugging MOB | Affichomanie Blog

5. Exchanging vows with my guy. We wrote our own and every word we spoke was honest and from the heart. Despite the laughter from our guests during some of my funnier vows, I didn’t even notice anyone was there but him. I was happy to hear from people afterward that our vows were their favorite part of the wedding or that we reminded them why they married their spouse. We had a room bursting with love that night.

Vow Book | Affichomanie Blog

Photography: Daniel LaBelle (Reception Photo: Alyssa Nepper)
Day of Coordination: Colette Cascio Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Iron Horse Hotel

The Elegant Farmer

The Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie Blog

It’s Fall! I can never decide if I’m a Summer girl or a Fall girl, but I sure do love me some apple pickin’. As someone who grew up in Kenosha, our apple picking go-to was Apple Holler. They are so overrated and overpriced. After moving to Milwaukee I discovered The Elegant Farmer which has a beautiful apple orchard (and reasonable apple prices) as well as a shop with all the apple cider, cheese, and pie your heart desires.

We picked a peck of apples with our friend, Carly, and loaded up on treats including cherry crisp, cheese curds, port wine cheese dip, pretzels, honey mustard dip, caramel (for apple dipping), cider donuts, and of course, apple cider. I loved apple picking at the Elegant Farmer. Not only do they actually let you climb cute wooden ladders to get the apples, but you also get to keep your adorable apple basket! It’s the little things…

The Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie BlogThe Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie BlogThe Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie BlogThe Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie BlogThe Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie Blog The Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie Blog The Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie Blog The Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie Blog The Elegant Farmer | Affichomanie Blog

Our Wedding: The Look

All I really wanted when it came to our personal style for my friends, Bryce, and myself was to all look classic, elegant, and to feel comfortable on our wedding day. We ended up looking pretty darn sexy if I do say so myself. The ladies & gents have clothes they can actually wear again. No really, every bride says that but you can’t go wrong with black dresses & gray suits. Bryce and I were happy and looking good. Overall, I think the look suited us, our style, and our wedding.

Wedding Dress | Affichomanie Blog Earrings from BHLDN | Affichomanie Blog Vintage 1930s Necklace | Affichomanie Blog Badgley Mischka Shoes | Affichomanie Blog Getting Ready Wedding Photo | Affichomanie Blog Getting Ready Wedding Photo | Affichomanie Blog Getting Ready Wedding Photo | Affichomanie Blog Cassis Headband from BHLDN | Affichomanie Blog bride & bridesmaids | Affichomanie Blog Wedding Getting Ready Photo | Affichomanie Blog Bride Photo | Affichomanie Blog Groomsmen Getting Ready | Affichomanie Blog Groom Getting Ready | Affichomanie Blog Groom Getting Ready | Affichomanie Blog Groom Getting Ready | Affichomanie Blog Bride & MOH | Affichomanie Blog bride | Affichomanie Blog kiss | Affichomanie Blog bouquet | Affichomanie Blog groom + groomsmen | Affichomanie Blog bride + bridesmaids | Affichomanie Blog groom + groomsmen | Affichomanie Blog

Photographs: Daniel LaBelle Bride Details: Dress: Alvina Valenta (purchased through preownedweddingdresses.comVeil (and dress alterations): Le’s Bridal Headpiece: Cassis Headband (purchased through BHLDN) Earrings: Spirited Earrings by Erickson Beamon (purchased through BHLDN) Necklace: 1930s Vintage (purchased through Funky’s) Hair: Liz for Neroli Makeup: Angelica for Neroli Flowers: Stems Cut Flowers Shoes: Badgley Mischka (purchased through bluefly.comBridesmaid Details: Dress: Cap Sleeved Vintage Dress (purchased through Jewelry: Express MOH Jewelry: Nordstrom Groom & Groomsmen Details: Suits: Suit Supply Ties & Pocket Squares: The Tie Bar Groom’s Shoes: Calvin Klein (purchased through Macy’s)

Practice Makes Perfect

Rehearsal Dinner at Swig Milwaukee

Our rehearsal dinner was very small, intimate, and lovely. We started off the evening with our rehearsal (obviously) at the Iron Horse Hotel and walking down the stairs to the rehearsal was one of the most exciting parts of the day. It was the first time I got to see all of our best friends in the same place! It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Wedding Rehearsal Name Tags

Bryce and I created name tags for everyone who was a part of the wedding to make our officiant’s job a little it easier. It seemed like it made the rehearsal run a little bit more smoothly. I should also mention, if you have a day-of coordinator definitely have them there at the rehearsal. Not only did my coordinator, Colette, have a lot of suggestions and guidance for the group & officiant but she thought of things that I didn’t when given the opportunity to see the space and how it would be set up in person. She was there to help me plan any additional set up, including having the dance floor & ceremony chairs moved and fixing a few issues with the Iron Horse. She also had the opportunity to meet the coordinator at the Iron Horse which I think was helpful to have done before the actual wedding day.

I’m going to take this opportunity to thank Colette. The moment we hired her I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders. My instinct to trust her completely was absolutely right. Even though she was our “day of” coordinator, she was there for us through the whole process. She’s organized and sharp, but even more than that, she’s a genuinely wonderful person. Every time I saw her I just wanted to give her a big hug. She went so above and beyond my expectations. I knew Colette in high school, but now I can say she’s my friend. I’ll be forever grateful to her.

Back to the rehearsal, we moved on to dinner at Swig where I booked one of their small private rooms overlooking the streets of the third ward. (Thanks to Bryce’s mom and step-dad for hosting!) We had one long table with a family style meal. Just our parents, siblings, wedding party & their dates. It was wonderful company and delicious food including:

Fried Ravioli, Spinach Artichoke Bread, Chicken Skewers, & Caprese Skewers
House Salad
Spinach Angel Hair Pasta
Beef Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes
Stuffed Chicken with Fettucine
Chocolate Fondue!
We paid for non-alcoholic beverages and three bottles of champagne to share for toasts. We had an open bar at the wedding so we figured we’d save the booze money for the next day.

Bryce and I made our thank you speeches and handed out gifts. I cried like a baby when thanking my parents and maid of honor. Honestly, I had no idea I was capable of so many public displays of emotion.

The night flew by as the best nights always do. Before I knew it, I was at my hotel room waiting for the best day to begin!

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Ah demon eyes! But it is a hilarious picture.

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