Weddings are all about roots — planting new ones, honoring old ones, and bringing where you came from and who you are together for a big blow-out celebration. And staying true to their roots is what brought Zorica Stacevic, 38, and Michael Kedor, 37, together in the first place. In February of 2011, the self-described goofy couple met at a Valentine's Day-themed dodge ball tournament in Los Angeles. "We knew of each other from the tournament the year before," says Zorica, "because Michael accidentally hit me in the head with a wayward ball, but we didn't talk until the tournament in 2011." A quick chat led the two to discover that they both had roots in Milwaukee, and a few weeks of Facebook messages led to their first date in March of that year.
A year and a half later, a Sadie Hawkins fundraiser and dance led Zorica to invite Michael as her date. "As we were about to leave, he noticed that something was missing from my outfit," Zorica remembers. "He got down on one knee and proposed, with our dog, Emma, as our witness." Can you think of a better accessory than a brand new engagement ring?
The playful couple decided to return to Milwaukee for a colorful, fall-inspired wedding on October 19th, 2013 at Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery. Keep reading to see how their creativity brought the whole day together, and how Jonny and Michelle of Paper Antler captured all the joyful details.
Zorica's sister designed the invitation suite, featuring bright fall colors and the couple's beloved dog, Emma.
The bride's gown was inspired by an ever-popular Anne Barge style. "I knew I wanted sleeves, since we were getting married in the fall," says the bride, who worked with a close friend, Sarah Hamilton, to create the custom frock. Zorica kept the pin-tucked details and blush hue, but shortened the skirt. She paired the dress with classic nude Jimmy Choo pumps.
Zorica kept her hair and makeup soft and simple. Her mother hand-made a belt to highlight the waist of her custom dress.
Continuing the colorful theme, Michael donned a pair of burgundy oxfords, a hot pink tie, and a playful plaid pocket square.
"Hot pink and blue are two of Michael's favorite colors," says Zorica, "so when we picked navy suits, there was no question about what color his tie would be!"
The couple's flowers continued to colorful theme, with dahlias in peach, yellow, red, and pink hues brightening up Zorica's bouquet and Michael's boutonniere.
The couple's wedding party wore suits and dresses in a crisp shade of navy. "We really wanted them to be comfortable, and to wear something that reflected their style," says the bride. Bridesmaids paired their dresses with bright shoes, while groomsmen chose colorful ties to accent their navy suits.
The bridesmaids carried smaller versions of Zorica's bouquet, full of chrysanthemums, dahlias, and lisianthus. Jars full of rainbow ribbon wands for the guests to wave during the recessional were displayed by the ceremony entrance. As one of their many DIY projects, Michael and Zorica put together a short film about their relationship to show at the beginning of the ceremony. The program was printed and attached to bags of popcorn for guests to enjoy as they watched the film.
The ceremony took place in the courtyard of Best Place. "We were concerned about the chance of rain, but wanted to get married under the sky," says the bride. "We had a little drizzle, but our guests were such troopers!" Zorica's maid of honor read a poem written about the couple by a friend before Michael and Zorica exchanged vows they'd written themselves. After their first kiss, everyone waved ribbon wands in celebration.
Once they decided to return to Milwaukee for their wedding, Michael and Zorica knew they needed to find a venue that captured the best of the city. "Milwaukee is synonymous with beer, so Best Place was a natural fit," says Michael.
Planning a Wisconsin wedding from California put a limit on how involved the décor items could get, so Michael and Zorica made sure to choose a venue that was already rich in detail.
The venue's varnished wood interior and furniture provided a warm backdrop for the colorful centerpieces and burlap runners dressed up with metallic copper paint. Textural blossoms like lisianthus, thistle, dahlias, chrysanthemum, and a bloom that isn't a flower at all — brassica, a colorful cabbage.
Younger guests were treated to wedding-themed coloring books and their own buffet of mac & cheese and chicken tenders. "The adults may have loved the mac & cheese more than the kids did!" says the bride. The menu was designed to give guests a real taste of Milwaukee, ranging from Wisconsin cheeses to kielbasa to broiled whitefish. The couple's families' favorite cocktails, a classic rye Manhattan and a vodka gimlet, served as the evening's specialties. "We wanted guests to eat when they were hungry, dance when they wanted to, and feel free to socialize, so we skipped place cards and had a 'sit-where-you-want' dinner," explains Michael.
For dessert, cake was replaced with Wisconsin favorites, including cream puffs, éclairs, and cherry tartlets. In the venue's smaller room, guests nibbled on sweets and challenged each other to board games. "After putting so much time into creating a wedding out of our imagination, it was so amazing to see everyone have such an amazing time," says Zorica.
The couple honeymooned in Central Europe, visiting Budapest, Vienna, and Krakow. "I can't recommend going on your honeymoon right away highly enough," says Zorica. "We were so happy to have a break right away." Planning their wedding from afar, Michael and Zorica learned the value of prioritizing. "We picked five things that were really important to each of us, then compromised or let go of the rest. It saved us a lot of stress!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery || Wedding Coordinator & Florist: Rainbeau Tharp || Bride's Wedding Dress: Sarah Hamilton || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Jewelry: House of Harlow 1960, Pluie || Hair & Makeup: Vici Capilli Salon || Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss || Wedding Rings: BVLA || Invitations & Paper Goods: Entropy Design Lab || Music: Family Friend || Catering: Saz's Hospitality Group, Kopp's Frozen Custard || Photo Booth: Smilebooth || Photography: Paper Antler