For many couples, honoring certain family traditions plays an integral role in wedding planning. Brides may choose to redesign their mother or grandmother’s wedding dress, or use a family stone in their wedding ring. These are the kinds of stories we love and details we can’t wait to see. For Jessica, honoring GENERATIONS of tradition was her key focus and the story is absolutely beautiful. She shares the same wedding date and details as her grandmother and great grandmother – who got married 100 years to the day before Jessica. Read the full story from photographer Steve Daubs below!
From the Photographer: Your wedding is a lot of things — A public expression of love, the joining of two families, a party for all your closest friends and family—but that doesn’t mean it has to be a massive, elaborate event. Some of the most beautiful and memorable weddings we’ve photographed are the ones that keep things small.
Sometimes that means choosing to get ready at home or having the ceremony in the backyard. Sometimes it means a ceremony just for a few people to witness. Other times it might be about a social place, whether it is a park or a restaurant or a city that few others can make it to or fit in. For Sam and Jessica it was a date.
Sam and Jessica got married on April 30 at the Wisconsin State Capitol in front of just 30 of their closest friends and family. A childhood friend officiated, they had no attendants, and they held a small simple dinner at Rare Steakhouse afterward. What they did have, and what they wanted the most, was to commemorate a family tradition dating back 100 years.
On April 30, 1944, a stunning young Wisconsin couple, Rose and Duane, got married. The date wasn’t coincidence, but rather a way to honor Rose’s parents, who married the same day in 1917. So when Rose’s granddaughter Jessica and her fiancé, Sam, started planning their wedding, they already knew the date.
But Jessica had a lot more in mind. She knew the dress, and the ring she would wear, and she knew the most important guests, Rose and Duane, both of them now 97. She re-imagined Rose’s dress. She wore Rose’s ring. And she was determined to celebrate the wedding on April 30, 2017, a hundred years after her great-grandparents tied the knot and 73 years after her grandparents did.
Every wedding we photograph is special because it represents something truly joyous, an affirmation of love and commitment. But this one, with this amazing couple and their families, was exceptional in more ways than history. Sure, it was cold and wet. Like every wedding, things didn’t go exactly according to plan. But none of that mattered.
What mattered was simple: Family. Sam and Jessica got married at the Wisconsin State Capitol building, they flipped a 1917 silver half dollar to decide who would recite their vows first, a nod to the great grandparents who married 100 years ago that day. Rose and Duane sat in the front row, surrounded by both their family and friends.
Each guest, each memento, and each choice was special to Jessica and Sam because they wanted to honor their personal stories, not some abstract idea of what a wedding should look like or because “that’s the way it’s done.” And this fall, they’ll celebrate again, with a party for everyone at Jessica’s family farm. By separating the wedding day from the reception, they saved themselves a lot of stress while concentrating on what was most important to them while still being able to share the joy of their union with everyone later on.
What this wedding and all the other intimate weddings we’ve photographed have in common is one thing: Being true to yourselves and your story. For Sam and Jessica, the date itself was important, and making sure Jessica’s grandparents could attend was critical. When you free yourself of conventions, you open up a world of possibility.
Ceremony Venue: Wisconsin State Capitol
Reception Venue: Rare Steakhouse
Photographer: Steve Daubs Studios
Getting Ready: Edgewater Hotel
Dress: Grandma Rose, assisted by bride and seamstresses Themis Flores and Kate Compton
Hair: Anaala Salon
Makeup: Kneaded Relief
Florist: Sunborn Gardens
Videographer: Stacy Bruner
Music: Andrew Nath
Officiant: Friend of the groom