Waukesha Milwaukee Madison Wedding Photographer | Kara Reese Photography » a film-inspired documentarian approach to wedding photography - serving Wisconsin

These two bundled up and braved the cold for their engagement session. Didn’t phase them though and they were troopers! I really enjoyed getting to capture them together and even got some gorgeous golden light through the snow.

These tree lines helped frame their shot perfectly!
That pretty warm light makes warms the whole image up.
Between the sun flare and the fog of their breath, this image is a favorite!
The way these two looked at each other was the sweetest.

Waukesha Engagement and Wedding Photography

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There is nothing more heart warming than a winter wedding! Chris and Brittany tied the knot in a January and it was gorgeous ceremony. I’m so happy I was able to capture their day!

How did you two meet?

We met back in high school through a mutual friend. It did take a couple of years to become friends, but after that we were in separable. What really made us be good friends was a while back Christopher had really long hair and wanted a hair cut. Brittany offered too, but of course its never that simple. She was cutting it while he was playing Resident Evil 4 for the first time. A jump scare came up and she snipped part of his ear. The guilt was so deep, she kept trying to make it up to him for months. He now gets his hair done professionally to prevent a part of his other ear from missing…

How did he (or she!) pop the question?

Christopher popped the question on December 31st, 2017. We were up north at a friend’s cabin, out in the middle of nowhere. He insisted that we go for a walk in the sunset. That day however, it was negative forty. We had to bundle up really well, but it was well worth it. The sun left beautiful pink trails in the sky as he proposed. However, due to the cold, Brittany’s glasses fogged up and she didn’t see what was going on till Christopher said something. Up until that point he had the ring out and was waiting for her to react. Everything was frozen on them, but it was a gorgeous moment out in the sunset and snow sparkling.

What was your favorite moment(s) from the wedding?

Being together with family and friends. Being able to spend time and see everyone there for you was really special.

How long have you been together?

We have been together for 9 years.

How would you describe your overall wedding experience?

The wedding experience was magical once the day actually started. Before hand, it was a little stressful planning everything, but in the end was worth it.

What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?

Be patient and start early. Things take a lot longer than you would expect. And if you don’t finish everything in time, let it go. There are too many pieces that one or two things not making it in doesn’t matter.

Tell me about the dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?

The dress was found by chance. My mom and I had decided on a whim to go to a shop that was closing in Oconomowoc. We popped in and was just browsing around and happened to find the one. We had not been shopping anywhere else. And when I tried it on it fit perfectly. We took the time to adjust it a little bit to add on a little extra flare and it was perfect.

Any tips that you have about preparing your wedding party for the photos? What did you tell them, how did you get them to cooperate, what did you do or what would you have done differently?

I just wanted my wedding party to act naturally. Whatever works best for them. Pushing them too much and getting upset would make for awkward photos. You do want everyone comfortable so that it looked natural and not forced.

What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple?

Figure out a style you want before picking a photographer. That will help you find the right photographer for you. Once you have the style you want, plan the style of pictures you want. It saves time the day of so you aren’t wasting time posing. Everything goes much faster than you think.

How was your experience taking photos/working with me on your wedding day?

Everything was smooth and super laid back. We never felt any pressure and was reassured we’d have amazing pictures no matter what. We never felt shy to ask questions or purpose ideas on the spot. If we asked, we got it. It was so easy to work with you. Everything went wonderfully with the pictures.

Any tips on how to prepare for the wedding photos?

Know what poses you are comfortable doing. Figure out who you really want pictures with and what matters most to you at the end of the day.

Did you see each other before the wedding? If not, did you like waiting or would you have rather done it differently? Tell me why or why not!

We did not see each other before the wedding or even talked. The last time we talked was about 10pm the night before. Other than that, we wanted to wait. Waiting was just perfect. Christopher had a little chin quiver the first time he saw me walking down the aisle. It was romantic and made the moment we saw each other even sweeter.

What were you most anxious, nervous or fearful about regarding your wedding day and what was the outcome?

It was more so timing. Everyone wanting to know what we were doing when got really stressful and made it feel like we would run out of time for the things we wanted. In the end, it worked out fine.

What was the first song you danced to as husband and wife? Father-daughter dance? Mother-son dance?

As husband and wife we danced to Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen. The father-daughter dance was Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog (for real). There was no mother-son dance.

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Nick & Malea’s Wisconsin Autumn Wedding at West Bend Country Club

Fall Weddings in Wisconsin, there’s something so magical about the brisk air on a special day! At Kara Reese Photography we love putting you at ease during every step of your Wedding process. It was such a pleasure working with Malea and Nick, their images are spectacular. Malea took so much care in every detail of the day, I am so excited to share her perspective and advice with you in this post. Do you have a fall wedding in your dreams? Let’s make it a reality! Book a consultation, let’s grab a pumpkin spice latte and start this storytelling journey together! Do they have PSLs in February?

How did you two meet?
Malea and Nick first met in dental school at Marquette! Separate clinic groups and opposite ends of the alphabet kept them apart at first! But, through mutual friends they continued to meet up more and more at dental school functions and became closer as friends. Finally, at their Sophomore year Winter Gala, they really hit it off; Nick asked Malea to go out for dinner with him that next week!

How did he pop the question?
After graduating from dental school, Nick knew Malea was the one and had a plan for a summer engagement. After sneaking the ring past the metal detectors at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills and managing not to lose it in the fescue, Nick proposed on the golf course, hole #2, with Holy Hill in the background! Malea’s family was all there; it was an incredible day! Unbeknownst to them, a professional photographer and journalist covering the tournament spotted them and managed to capture the moment!

Tell me about the dress? How did you know it was the one?
This is a special story! My mom surprised me with a trip to NYC! I was able to take my mom, maid of honor and my aunt on a weekend trip I will never forget! We met one of my best friends from college out there who lived in New York! AND yes – we went to Kleinfelds!!!!! My consultant was fabulous! I tried on probably 5-6 dresses (in a style I thought I really wanted) and I didn’t really LOVE any of them.
Brandi (my consultant) pulled one final dress that had a couple components I told her at the beginning I didn’t think I liked… I looked at it on the hanger and did have a couple doubts… but she convinced me to try it on anyway! I put it on, looked in the mirror, and immediately started crying. This was the one!!! I went out to show my gals and everyone else started crying! I absolutely fell in love with the detail – both front and back, beading, mermaid style I never though I would wear! AND right then and there I “Said YES to the dress” 🙂 A moment I will never forget!!

Did you chose to see each other before the ceremony?
YES! We did a first look and bridal party pictures prior to the wedding ceremony! Kara was the one who talked me into this decision, and I am SO glad she did! It was a moment for just the two of us! A moment to take one more deep breath before committing ourselves to each other with all of our friends and family! It made the actual ceremony much more relaxing!!

How would you describe your overall wedding experience?
One for the books! It took a lot of planning, but every effort put into the day was so worth it! I had fantastic people helping me throughout the process and the day itself was almost flawless.

What advice would you offer other couples planning their wedding?
Have fun with it! There are going to be stressful times during planning, but always remember the big picture! It is about you and your significant other – your special day – and nothing should get in the way of that! Take your time when deciding on your vendors – at the end of the day they are the ones you have to trust to make your day go smoothly and make your vision come true!

The colors of the trees were perfect for this fall wedding!
Couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for this sweet couple!

What photography advice would you give to an engaged couple?
Make sure to make a shot list of all the formal pictures you would like to get! On the day of things get a little crazy – you don’t want to miss any pictures that you really want for memories! Trust your photographer! 🙂

Any tips for preparing your bridal party for photos?
I did not prepare them at all – we ended up walking into the woods under fall colors – this wasn’t really organized! But we made it work with the time we had! And we had a very fun bridal party! If I were to do it again – I would have allotted more time for bridal party pictures – especially with my girls – it takes longer than you would think for everyone to get ready! It would help if you knew what kind of pictures you wanted with your bridal party as well! – It’s all about timing – if you have enough time I don’t think it would be an issue!

How was your experience working with Kara Reese Photography?
I truly never had to worry about a thing on the day of the wedding! Kara and her assistant were on top of it! We stuck to our previously planned schedule and everything ran very smoothly! Sometimes I didn’t even know where she was – but looking at our finished pictures – she captured every single moment in a very natural way!!

Any tips on preparing for your wedding photos?
Do your research on style of photography you want – I am all about the in the moment candid photos and capturing the emotion! Kara nailed it! I loved that we had many different areas that we took Bride and Groom photos – the lake view ones were my favorite!

What were your favorite moments from the day?
It’s so hard to pick favorites! 🙂 We loved having all of our friends and family in one place to enjoy our special celebration together. It was a beautiful fall day, fabulous colors on the trees, NO RAIN 🙂 – we couldn’t have asked for anything better! I think one of our favorites was being surprised by Malea’s parents with a fireworks show right after dinner – JUST AMAZING, what a surprise – it was the perfect time to take a breath away from everything, take in the moment, and appreciate how truly blessed we really are – only us! (Well and of course our great photographer capturing it all 🙂

What were you most nervous about going into the big day?
Making sure we talked to all of our guests that made the trip to come and celebrate with us! I think we did a pretty good job! And of course we prayed for a beautiful fall day!

What were your first dance songs?
First dance: “Forever Like That” – Ben Rector
Father Daughter: “Butterfly Kisses” – Bob Carlisle
Mother Son: “Have I told you Lately” – Rod Stewart

Vendor Love

Dress – Kleinfeld Bridal (New York City)
Flowers – Melissa at Bank of Flowers (Menomonee Falls, WI)
Paper – Robin Dorwak (Cedarburg, WI)
Cake/Cupcakes – Delicately Delicious (Cedarburg, WI)
Bridesmaids Jewelry – Julie Schnoll Designs
Venue – West Bend Country Club
Band – FM Rodeo

Honestly all of our vendors made our vision com true! I couldn’t have imagined it any other way!

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Let’s Go Up North

Jared & Molly have a special place in the woods, and I felt fortunate to be included in their magical day with family and friends. Being a photographer is the best because I get access to unique venues and places I have never explored. I also get to capture the most special days for my clients.

These two met back at St. Olaf college and have been writing their love story for 5 years. Molly & Jared were such a wonderful couple and I think the images are stunning. The trees and the lake were the perfect backdrop for their unique wedding portraits. Do you have a family cabin that could double as a wedding venue? I’m there!

How did he pop the question?
Jared proposed at the end of a long day of moving into our first apartment together.
What was your favorite moment(s) from the wedding?
We loved the ceremony, the boat ride with our bridal party, the speeches, and dancing with everybody on the dance floor!
Tell me about the dress. Where did you find it & how did you know it was the one?
My dress came from Posh Bridal in Wayzata, MN. Ideally, I wanted something that would be light since I had an outdoor wedding. I was also looking for an a-line so that I would feel comfortable all day but also flatter my body type. My consultant at the bridal shop picked out my dress for me and at first I was doubtful. It did not look like what I had pictured myself in. However, I felt really good in it. Maybe because the details were unique. Certainly the lines were flattering & it was super comfortable. Even though it was unexpected, it looked like me. It was the first time my family and I teared up at a dress. Because of the confidence the dress gave me and the reaction it gave my family, I knew it was the one.
How would you describe your overall wedding experience?
The planning was definitely stressful, but we felt so grateful for all the support around us. It was a lot of work to plan and organize a wedding that we also had to host, but our family went above and beyond to help us in every way. It was so worth all the work that went into it and the love and support we felt on our day will never be a feeling we will take for granted.
Any advice you would offer to other couples planning a wedding?
Don’t spend too much time fussing about the small details. You spend the whole day enjoying the company of all the people that came out to support you and your fiance, that you won’t even notice if something wasn’t just right. In the end, what matters is that you are marrying the person you love – trust that everything will turn out just that it is meant to be.
How was your experience taking photos/working with me on your wedding day?
It was great!! You were so nice, patient, and flexible even though we were so unorganized. You knew what we wanted, and spent time on details we cared about, but you were still efficient with the photos that were not as important. Kara Reese Photography is so creative as well, finding opportunities for unique and fun photos & we LOVE how they turned out.
What were you most anxious about for your wedding day and what was the outcome?
I just wanted all the guests to have a fun day . We didn’t want them to worry about anything! Really, I just wanted to host a good party with the best drinks, food, and music we could. As far as I know, the outcome was great. I thought everything went well – we had good feedback on our drinks and food and our dance floor was full the whole night. My husband and I had the best time. Once the day got started, it was relatively stress-free. As a result, we owe that 100% to our friends and family who were working all day to make sure everything went smoothly for the guests.
Other Vendors that you loved, shout them out!
Vendor Love:
“I Do” Wedding Design – flowers and decor – St. Paul, MN
Billy’s Grill and Catering – catering – Bloomer, WI
Brigg’s Tent and Party Rental – rentals – Eau Claire, WI
Estilo Salon – hair and makeup – Eau Claire, WI
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The internet is a very powerful tool, to be honest we can’t image Kara Reese Photography without it. In addition to it bringing Kara’s work to the world and connecting us to clients it also has the power to create families and love stories. Nicole and Tommy met online (after some encouragement from their kids…) — we love it!

Here are some of our favorite moments from their wedding day, along with Nicole’s own reflections on the day. Are you planning your dream wedding? Do you know a couple as fun as Tommy & Nicole? Reach out to me, we’d love to meet them!

Tell us about your dress! What is the story?

I found it at David’s Bridal. Nick and Izzy where with me to look at dresses. Izzy was emotional when she saw me in it and Nick said it made me look like a glass of Champagne!

Did you chose to see each other before the ceremony?

Yes. We took Kara’s advice on this one and it definitely calmed me seeing Tommy for the first time. We had a very special moment together. I will remember it forever.

Where was your wedding ceremony?

We got married at the Delafield Fish Hatchery.

What were you worried/anxious about before your big day?

The weather, with it being an outdoor ceremony. It turned out to be a beautiful 80 degree day! I also worried if the kids and everyone would have a good time. Everyone had great moments and made fun and special memories.

What was your favorite part of the day?

Seeing each other for the first time and getting ready with the kids before the ceremony were my highlights. I loved seeing our kids so happy and dancing along with our friends and parents.

What advice would you give to other couples?

Take time to enjoy the special moments don’t worry about the things you can’t control. Don’t stress about every picture being taken instead focus on the moments being captured. Just be yourself, be real! These are the moments that are precious so you will want to feel natural.

What was your First Dance song?

The Cure by Lady Gaga

We also did a Mother & Son dance to Lauryn Hill’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You

The couple wants to share some vendor love to Tuscan Hall in Waukesha 

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