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  • Danielle Horvatin

Colorful, feel-good wedding at Jan Serr Studio

Jess + Colin's third wedding is the charm

Buckle up, folks. The wedding journey for Jess + Colin was a wildly wearisome, tragic and, ultimately, triumphant one. And because it's difficult to properly translate their experience, I decided to let Jessica's lovely + mighty inquiry message lead this story:

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"Hi Danielle! My name is Jessica and my fiancé (Colin) and I are having our wedding celebration on July 24, 2021 at Jan Serr Studio in Milwaukee.


Our story is a little bittersweet. We got engaged October 2019 and had originally planned a very large wedding for November 2020 which we decided to postpone due to COVID (as well as significantly cut the guest list).


Unfortunately, my mother-in-law was battling cancer this past year and when she made the very difficult decision to begin at-home hospice care in August, we knew we wanted her to see us married.


In 48 hours we put together a really beautiful intimate ceremony with only our immediate families on the balcony of their home in Michigan. Our original wedding photographer heard about what was happening and came all the way there to take professional photos for free. It was by far the most meaningful moment of our lives.


The only thing we weren’t able to do was get a legal marriage license in time….but we’ve joked that it still counts. So here we are, going forward with our July 'wedding part 2' ceremony, and while I’m certainly happy and excited about it, I think we’re both just feeling a little 'meh' lately, given everything.


We hadn’t originally planned on hiring a wedding planner and have most of the big things done so far, but I think it’s clear that we could use someone who fits our style and vibe to help us with the remaining details….as well as give a needed infusion of some creative joy on the wedding day - so we can focus on celebrating our love, partnership, and resilience.


Throughout our entire process we’ve sought out vendors that reflect openness and inclusivity and I just truly love your whole style and approach. We’re pretty low-key/non-traditional/minimalist (we got engaged in sweatpants in our Chicago apartment) - and would really love to work with you and chat more. Crossing my fingers you’re available!"

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After drying my eyes, I reached out to Jessica immediately. Forget the sales pitch. Screw the process.


This inquiry was more than an email message to me. It was a call; a spiritual connection, and a way that I could use my skills to truly help someone...in addition to coordinating their wedding.


As Jess said in her message, her photographer, Justine Montigny, is certainly one of the precious ones. Here are some photos of J+C's first wedding on that balcony in Michigan - captured by Justine:





Colin's family put together an incredible memorial website for Shelia, called "Sheila in the Sky." Take a minute now to visit there, and even learn about two instrumental organizations that were very important to Shelia: The Swifty Foundation and Almost Home Kids.


Once planning together, Jessica + I both dove into the idea of adding lots of color into their upcoming (second) wedding. In addition to the raging pandemic, these two families had endured this world's single, most difficult struggle.


All I wanted was to cover this family in comfort + color.


Cue Liz with Floral Alchemy. Liz and I met earlier in 2021 to talk about how we can make a colorful + meaningful impact within the client's budget. While talking flowers, Liz and I also talked about human struggles and fortitude. There couldn't be a more perfectly fitting florist for this celebration. And that's the truth!


Jess + Colin had a religious ceremony at their church earlier in the week - making it their second wedding. So jokingly, we all went into Saturday at Jan Serr calling it their third wedding...third time's a charm!


But even before their second and third weddings, Jessica + Colin's love had proven itself infinite.


venue: Jan Serr Studio photog: Justine Montigny catering: Saz's Catering floral: Floral Alchemy cake: Butter Bird Bakery entertainment: Bluewater Kings Band paper goods: Hall Creative Co. hmu: Arch Apothecary dress: Alice In Ivory


Let all this feel-good color wash over you, and keep loving hard on your people.


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