These two met through Jake's cousin, Becca, who was also her best friend through pharmacy school at UW-Madison. They would get together at their family’s lake house on Green Lake and play cribbage all night after a day out boating.
A Snowy Proposal
Alyssa and Jake love to snowmobile together and will take a few trips every year to Upper Michigan just to go riding. So of course, when Jake decided to propose, it was up in Munising, Michigan, during a snowmobiling trip. On January 23, 2016, Jake got down on one knee while they were overlooking Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
A Stormy Wisconsin Wedding
On the day of the wedding, I spent the majority of time prior to the ceremony with Alyssa. There was a lot of action and hub-bub involved in getting her ready. Even though I could tell she was anxious to get into her dress, she was the calmest person in the room. This bride handled herself with both grace and poise.
I was also impressed with the care that both moms poured into helping things get ready. Alyssa’s mother was practically the wedding planner, but Jake’s mother, who only has a son, was highly involved as well.
Jake was also cool and collected, joking around with the rest of the guys ahead of the ceremony. I couldn’t help but laugh along with them as I sat in the room documenting their “getting ready” process.
Even with as together as everyone was, there was one minor upset at the start of the day. Right before it was time to go to the church, Alyssa realized that she didn’t know where the marriage license was! Thankfully, Becca was on it. She and Kristin C, one of the bridesmaids, rushed off to go find it and save the day.
Alyssa wanted to be married at the Old St. Joseph Church (Old Saint Joe's) because it was an “alma mater” to her. She was employed there as a music ministry intern while she was a student at St. Norbert College, and she spent many days playing Mass at the church. It felt like coming “home” for these two as the officiant spoke about her time and talents given to the church.
It was also an interesting venue as a photographer, because it has so many angles that it’s hard to stay invisible—though I did my very best all the same. And yet even with all the angles, I couldn’t get enough of the beauty of the church. The enormous, cathedral-style ceiling and the gorgeous stained wood were a photographer’s dream.
An Elegant Thornberry Creek at Oneida Wedding Reception
The weather was warm after the service as we went on campus to take photos. Even though everyone was sweating, they all had fun—the ladies even photobombed the guys’ pictures! But as the reception started up, I noticed a storm approaching. The sky turned from blue, to orange, to a threatening shade of purple. Alyssa is terrified of storms, but she braved her fear for some incredible shots on the golf course.
Jake, of course, loves storms and didn’t mind at all, but he was great for keeping Alyssa calm. He even sheepishly grinned when I asked him if he wanted to take pictures in front of the storm. He was a good sport while we had to keep moving as the weather shifted. Growing up, I’d wanted to be a meteorologist, so the little kid in me loved every minute of it.
The parent dances were something else. Jake’s mom hugged him so hard I thought she would squeeze the breath out of him, and Alyssa and her father couldn’t stop smiling. The love simply poured off the edges of the dance floor.
I also loved the anniversary dance when Jake and Alyssa were out on the dance floor with both sets of Alyssa’s grandparents. They knew Alyssa’s grandparents would be the longest-married couples that day. Her dad’s parents had been married 61 years and her mom’s parents had been married 60—and they wanted to honor their enduring love during the reception.
After the reception, I raced to my car only to be met by a torrential downpour. It even started hailing! I was so thankful the weather held out for Alyssa and Jake. I’m glad we were able to get all of our pictures without all that rain and wind.
Jake & Alyssa, thank you for asking me to be your wedding photographer. And thank you, Alyssa, for braving your fear of the weather. I hope one day you’ll be able to share these images with your grandkids and look back on this day. The grace and kindness you showed me and everyone around you was phenomenal. It made for a wedding I know I’ll never forget.
Flowers - Marshall Florist
Succulent centerpieces - Penny's Plants & Pots
Cake - Alpha Delights
Videographer - Best Man Media
Dress Shop - Marah's Elegant Bridal
DJ - Elite Music Service
Hair - Haven Salon + Spa
Maid of Honor: Rebecca Lukanich
Bridesmaids: Brittney Springstroh, Cassie Groeschl, Kristin Gasser, Kristin Christianson, Keena Goham
Best Man: Mitchel Stauss
Groomsmen: Tim Donnelly, Brett Vahsholtz, Jacob Gasser, Paul Fix, Joel Goham
Flower girl: Zoe Gasser
Mother of the Bride: Terri Dama
Mother of the Groom: Kathryn Lukanich
Father of the Bride: Jeff Gasser
Father of the Groom: John Lukanich