An Elegant Wedding at Milwaukee Public Market in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Maia Ferrella (29 and a physician assistant) met Paul Schwartz (34 and an executive director) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Like most great things in life, our journey began on the Wiffle ball field,” Paul jokes. After dating for nearly five years—including a long-distance stint when Maia attended graduate school in Georgia—Paul popped the question. They got married at the First Unitarian Church of Milwaukee, a beautiful landmark that “welcomed all our family members with diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds,” Maia says. The church, built in 1891, was naturally stunning, so the only decor added was white tulle, satin pew bows and a bouquet at the pulpit. After exchanging heartfelt vows in a “quick and sweet ceremony,” Maia and Paul moved to the Milwaukee Public Market, where Paul works as the executive director. “We know they throw some of the best parties, and the staff is a second family to us,” Maia says. The reception venue, overlooking the first floor of 16 local vendors and the Milwaukee River, was decked out in muted pastel colors and greenery with accents of white. White, gold and tan paper lanterns and strings of lights hung from the ceiling, while tables were decorated in a palette of cream and sandalwood. Guests sipped on beer, wine and spiked cucumber lemonade, munched on bacon-wrapped dates, crab cakes and chips and guac served in martini glasses, and enjoyed three food stations (including many vendors of the market): Italian, Mediterranean and traditional. A dessert bar of cannoli, tiramisu, cupcakes and cheesecake took the place of a wedding cake, and pizza was served as a late-night snack. Guests ate, drank, laughed and danced the night away, but the couple's sentimental handwritten vows stood out for Maia. “I tear up just thinking of that special moment we had in front of our friends and family,” she says. “Not just declaring ‘I do’ but sharing the depth of our love was incredibly powerful.” —Chrissy Sorenson