After downsizing their more elaborate wedding, Mikayla and Sarah rented an entire park, four cabins, a hall and a chapel and hosted a wedding weekend.
How did you meet?
We met through the Bumble app in 2018, and we talked for about four weeks before meeting in person. For the first time at a local bar in Milwaukee, WI, we met and spent the entire evening until the bar closed just chatting and sharing stores. This was both our first time on a date with a woman. And it ended up being the first and last date needed to find “our person”!
What is your favorite memory together?
Our favorite memory together was camping in the Summer of 2019. Just short of being together for a year, we rented a camping spot at Kettle Moraine State Forest and spent three beautiful days in nature. We packed our bags and tried to prepare our best and made our own little campsite.
We spent our days learning how to cook over a fire (and failing). Trying to sleep on the hard ground, which ended up with us visiting a local Walmart to buy an air mattress and enjoying our time completely disconnected from the world around us. It was a true experience of spending every moment together and learning how to navigate the environment around us.
S: Mikayla taught me how to fish, and I taught Mikayla how to put together a suitable fire! Although we have both traveled much internationally, this trip was only forty minutes away from our home in Milwaukee. It was an experience we look back on frequently and can always smile about that time.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
One of the biggest challenges we’ve had to navigate together has been learning how to adjust to Mikayla’s schooling. When we met, Mikayla had just begun an intensive graduate program at the University of Milwaukee for Nursing. Our relationship was a first for both of us as we have never dated another woman before. During the exhaustive school program for Mikayla, we had to learn how to find the balance of developing a new relationship while still respecting the life paths we chose before meeting each other. It’s been gratifying to work as a team to ensure we both succeed in our chosen career paths. Mikayla is still working towards earning her nursing degree, and we are still overcoming new challenges that brings.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
S: Mikayla has a way to bring lightness into my life. Her joy and goofiness help me let go and be present. As a frequently lost person in my own thoughts, she reminds me of the good things around us and to focus on what’s in front of me.
M: Sarah constantly humbles me. She is beyond thoughtful and insightful. Her wisdom helps me in times of difficulty to be able to be the best I can be.
Tell us about your proposal.
S: Throughout our relationship, I was always set on surprising Mikayla with fun date days like going to festivals, concerts, museums, etc. I always told Mikayla that it would be near impossible to surprise me because I’m constantly anticipating things we could potentially do for a date.
One day, Mikayla told me that we would have a date day on a Saturday coming up (October 5th, 2019), and it would be a surprise. The day came, and I was convinced nothing could surprise me, but I was still eager for the day. She started the day by quickly ushering me from our apartment into the car. She took me to an Italian place in downtown Milwaukee. We had a nice lunch and then walked across the street to a little festival. She then told me we had to grab some dessert and took me to a local pastry shop. We had delicious cake and coffee and enjoyed our time together.
After we got into the car, she said the next part was more of a surprise, and I had to be blindfolded. Mikayla ended up driving me all through Milwaukee taking wild turns to try and throw me off her scent as I knew the streets like the back of my hand. After twenty minutes of driving around and acting like I knew where we were going, she helped me out of the car (still blindfolded) and made me start walking. She then told me to wait a minute to take off the blindfold.
I found myself in my parents’ beautiful backyard with Mikayla waiting under the pergola with roses scattered on the ground forming a path to her. She gave me a bouquet of flowers and then told me she loved me and got down on one knee and proposed. At that moment, she shocked me with a surprise of a lifetime. I had no idea. All I could say was, “No way!”
After the proposal, we celebrated with a little champagne, and she took me to a quaint bed and breakfast for an evening in a beautiful little cabin. It was the most beautiful day of my life.
On October 19th, our proposal story continued. Mikayla and I went to visit her college friends in Indiana, who I had never met before. I planned with them secretly and ended up proposing to Mikayla at a botanical garden with her friends present. Although her proposal was out of this world, I am so happy we were both able to have our “own moment.”
Tell us about your wedding day.
Like most other couples who had weddings planned for 2020, ours ended up being quite different than what we originally planned. We decided to move forward with our original date of September 5th, 2020, with a downsized guest list of forty-five. Our entire wedding weekend was spent at Glacier Hills County Park in Hubertus, Wisconsin. We could rent out the whole park including four cabins, a small house, the chapel and reception hall.
We started our wedding weekend on a Thursday and decorated the entire chapel and hall with only the help of Sarah’s mom and life-long neighbor. Inviting our friends and family to join us for our weekend and stay in the cabins we rented on the park grounds. Friday was spent greeting our friends we haven’t seen in months due to the pandemic and catching up. Spending the evening grilling out and hanging by a bonfire along with all of our friends meeting each other for the first time.
The morning of the wedding, Mikayla and I woke up in our beautiful A-frame cabin bright and early along the Freiss Lake (on the park grounds). We watched our friends go for a morning swim and kayak. That moment by itself was so wonderful. To see our friends having fun and enjoying themselves, which was something about our wedding that was important to us. We spent the morning running into friends walking around the campground and chatting about the day ahead of us.
A few hours before the wedding, Mikayla and I sat down at the picnic tables outside our reception hall and wrote our vows. Meanwhile sneaking peaks at what the other was writing, comparing lengths and timing! The day was shaping up to be absolutely perfect, seventy-five degrees, sunny, and a light breeze.
We had our makeup and hair done in the same room and ended up listening to some pump-up music. Before we knew it, everything was happening so fast. Our lovely photographer Sandy showed up, and it was time. We headed down to the forest in the park and ended up capturing some magical photos along with a fun “first look” moment.
Then the ceremony. We ended up using the chapel on-site at the park, and my best friend Samuel Andryk, who also is part of the LGBTQIA+ community, perform our ceremony for us. It was short, sweet, and a lot of funny moments in between. For our “unity ceremony,” we wanted to do something goofy and different. To the surprise of our guests, we put together a puzzle of our fur babies at that time, which consisted of three cats and our one ferret. We shared our vows and made our promises, then said, “I do!” We ended our ceremony by walking out to Smash Mouth’s “I’m a Believer.”
Following the ceremony, we had our guests join us on the patio for a coffee. We rented a “coffee bike” from a local coffee roaster and made sure our guests were ready for the night upon us. The reception started, and we enjoyed dinner. Which consisted of baked chicken, mac and cheese, pulled pork, fruit salad, green beans, and potatoes. Followed by having a local ice cream shop stop by with their ice cream bike serving up some local flavors.
Our first dance was “Same (Alternate Version)” by Josie Dunne. The rest of the night was filled with drinking and dancing with our friends. Our bar included specialty shots which we named after our animals, for a little extra touch of goofiness. We had the “Franky”- Apple pie, “Alfie”- Tequila, “Boo”- lemon drop, and the “Frodo”- fireball.
We finished off the night with pizza from Dominoes and wrapped things up. In a time of chaos in the world, we were blessed with the opportunity to make our own little bubble of happiness with memories that will last a lifetime.
Photography by Sandra Lynn Photography
Cart Pilcrow Coffee
Catering Eden Meat Market & Catering
Celebrant Samuel Andryk (Sarahs best friend)
Dessert Scratch Ice Cream
Dress Boutique Eva’s Bridal Center
Entertainment Direct Entertainment
Favors Wedding Favorites
Hair Aimee Davids
Makeup Kat Poole
Photo Booth Sound Sensations Entertainment LLC
Veil Eva’s Bridal Center
Venue Glacier Hills Hall & Chapel