We’re getting the week off to a rather chic start, with Sarah and Michael’s elegant rooftop wedding.

Their simple yet stylish nuptials were held in the scenic city of Madison, Wisconsin. Photographing their romantic moment by the lake, their ramble around the Capital Building and their sweet sunset reception was wonderful photographer, Katie Ricard Photography.

A stylish bride in a Monique Lhuillier wedding dress and Badgley Mischka shoes, her dapper groom in his tux and dickie bow, and a wedding that was classic, intimate, and took in some of their very favourite places and things.

We think you’re going to like this one…

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The Flowers

When I met with our florist, Monica at Daffodil Parker, for the first time I discussed with her the colors and feel we wanted to create.  We have always loved the soft and vintage styles bouquets with a bit of a ‘garden’ feel. 

I knew I wanted a mix of flowers with some pops of green included.  But we also wanted to use flowers that were seasonal and fresh. I didn’t necessarily have a specific bouquet in mind. 

When I saw the flowers on the wedding day I was in awe of what a beautiful job they had done. 

The bouquets included: ivory hydrangeas, lisianthus, dahlias, freesia, anemones, ranunculus, roses and spray roses in shades of blush, champagne and ivory. We used pewter ribbons around each of the bridesmaid bouquets and a rich champagne covered in ivory lace on the bridal bouquet – to ad d a slight vintage feel. 

Our centerpieces and alter pieces kept with the same theme.  Instead of large centerpieces, we opted for multiple smaller bud vases on each of the tables.  I also had daffodil parker create a simple cake topper for us as well.

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The Attire

The men wore classic slim tuxes in black with light ivory shirts and black suspenders. 

The bridesmaids wore floor length pewter dresses by Bill Levkoff. 

Each bridesmaid selected her own style, since I wanted everyone to be happy and comfortable in their dresses.  I also liked the idea of giving each bridesmaid a chance to display her own personality and style with their dresses and shoes.  

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The Ceremony

Since both Michael and I are Catholic, we wanted to have a traditional Catholic wedding. We held our wedding at Blessed Sacrament Church, where we regularly attend.  We loved the simple and beautiful interior of the church for our ceremony.  We were also able to have two string -players – violin and cello and a beautiful soprano create our ceremony music. 

After the ceremony, we took photos at several of our favorite places around Madison. The first location is Lake Wingra, which is nearby our home.  We always love to sit by the lake in the summer. 

Katie, our photographer also took some of our engagement photos there, so we were thrilled to have the chance to visit it again.  Then we headed to the reception and took photos nearby at the Madison State Capitol Building and out State Street outside of the venue.  

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The Photography

Katie Ricard, our photographer, was fabulous during our wedding day.  We chose her because she asked us a lot of questions about how we envisioned our wedding day and what we wanted to capture. 

Katie has an great talent for catching people in beautiful candid poses, which is how we wanted to remember our wedding day.  

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Favourite Moment

I think the best part of the wedding – following marrying the love of my life was spending the entire evening on the rooftop overlooking my favorite city and home, Madison, Wisconsin.

Following our reception dinner, we held dancing and dessert on the Fresco rooftop. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees – a beautiful early summer day. 

We were able to dance, drink, and celebrate with the sun setting on the city around us. Michael and I love the outdoors and spend a lot of our free time walking down state street, visiting farmer’s markets in the city, and exploring downtown – so the reception venue was absolutely perfect for us.

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The Theme

We wanted to create a wedding vibe that was elegant but at the same time would be effortless and relaxed for our guests. 

We also knew we wanted to keep the guest list a little small – so we could spend time with all the family and close friends who made the trip to Madison to celebrate with us. 

During our wedding day we were thrilled to have 95 of our closest family and friends to celebrate with us.

For our theme and inspiration, we loved the idea of including a few vintage twists such as lace and soft flowers with the modern feel of our reception venue.  I have always loved the look of a vintage and lace wedding, with the soft, elegant colors.  But at the same time we also wanted to keep a more modern feel as well.

We decided to use black and pewter as our primary colors with pops of soft blush and ivory.  

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The Refreshments

In Wisconsin, we love nothing more than good food and great drinks with our friends and family so it was important to Michael and I that we show our guests the best Wisconsin has to offer.  We held our reception at Fresco Restaurant in downtown Madison, which is a restaurant on the top floor of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

We had our cocktail hour on the Fresco rooftop which has a view of downtown Madison Wisconsin, State Street, and the Wisconsin Capitol.

We served chicken tarragon, tuna tartar and fresh summer spring rolls. For dinner we used the restaurant for a sit down meal that offered guests a choice of: chicken, New York Strip, Halibut, or Gnocchi. One of our favorite parts about the restaurant is their focus on fresh and local foods- many of the items served were bought by the restaurant from nearby local farms. 

We offered guests a his and hers cocktail in true Wisconsin style.  Her cocktail was a traditional Wisconsin Old Fashioned made sweet and using Korbel Brandy and orange.  His cocktail was a New Fashioned Yahara Bay Rye Whiskey.

For dessert we had white cake with buttercream frosting and raspberry filling from Whole Foods and topped with our cake topper courtesy of Daffodil Parker. 

We also offered some of Fresco’s beautiful desserts including house-made Kit Kats, flowerless chocolate cakes, and crème brulee.  We also offered port wine as a dessert – which is one of my favourites. For a late night snack we served flat bread pizzas.

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The Decor & Details

We kept the décor and details simple – since the rooftop had views of the downtown and Capitol, we wanted to let the scenery do the decorating for us. 

Lots of candles and flowers inside the restaurant to create a soft and elegant feeling.  We also included photos from our parents and grandparents weddings on the gift and card tables.  

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The Music

Our Processional was Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring by Bach for the bridal Pprty and Trumpet Voluntary by Clarke as I entered with my father.  

Our closing song and recessional was Joyful, Joyful We Adore You and Ode to Joy.  

For the first dance songs we wanted to find something that captured our personality and our relationship with each other and our parents. 

The father and daughter dance was the Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra.  I loved dancing to the fun, light hearted music – it reminded me of being a child. 

Michael and his family love the Beatles (and Michael Jackson), I actually think at least a third of the dance songs during the event were from one of the two.  But it was perfect, because the music, combined with the perfect weather for outdoor dancing, kept everyone on the dance floor the entire evening.  The mother and son dance was to In My Life by the Beatles.  

Michael and my first dance was to Something by the Beatles.

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Advice for Other Couples

We knew we wanted a simple tiered cake without a lot of fancy or complex details.  So we decided to get our cake from Whole Foods, which was a big budget saver for us. The Madison store did a beautiful job and was able to recreate the cake exactly as I described it to them.  

I would also say to pick good vendors – and then trust them.  Our florist really listened to the image and vibe we wanted to create for our wedding.  Since we didn’t have a specific list of flowers we needed included, she was able to pick and choose based on what was the freshest.She created stunning bouquets and center pieces – even better that I imaged and described to her during our meetings. 

The same was true with our photographer – she really took time to get to know us and what we were hoping to create for our wedding.  In the photos, she captured our personalities and the wedding just as I remembered it.  

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How lovely does Madison look? The view from the rooftop is so cool. And aren’t Michael and Sarah just the most gorgeous couple!

Thanks so much to Katie Ricard Photography, and of course, Sarah and Michael for sharing their beautiful rooftop wedding with us.

For more stylish nuptials, check out Chic + Unique Real Weddings. 

Photographer: Katie Ricard Photography / Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier Bliss 1304 / Bridal Salon: Town and Country Bridal / Bride’s Jewelry: Swarovski / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Groom’s Attire: Nedrebo’s Formal Wear / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff / Reception Venue: Fresco Restaurant and Outdoor Patio / Ceremony Venue: Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church / Flowers & Decor: Daffodil Parker / Cake Baker: Whole Foods