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What started as a side hustle for two creative, driven sisters has now become one of the Midwest’s premier event planning and design firms. At Elevate, we find pure, unbridled joy in celebrating all aspects of life - big moments, small gatherings and anything in between.

Elevate Exclusive: Gibraltar Rock Sunset-Inspired Wedding Inspiration Shoot

Earlier this summer, the two of us were on a hike in south central Wisconsin, chatting away about beautiful places to get married, when the thought struck us: with so much gorgeous scenery in the area, what’s to prevent a nature-loving couple from taking their cue from the land and bringing their family and very best friends to their favorite hiking spot to get married!?

With so much beauty in this state, we thought there were quite a few natural “venues” that were being underutilized, so we designed a styled shoot around an iconic natural feature of southern Wisconsin – Gibraltar Rock. Gibraltar Rock is a flat-topped butte towering 200 feet above vast farm fields and a picturesque view of the Wisconsin River Valley, nestled just outside the sleepy town of Lodi. Not only does the name “Gibraltar Rock” draw you in with its dignity; the 360 degree views at the top create a truly majestic experience.

To style this nature-inspired editorial, we took our inspiration quite literally from the rock formations themselves. The first thing we knew we had to consider was what our adventurous bridal party would wear. For the bride, we chose a slate grey chiffon gown from BHLDN. The feminine, ethereal quality of the gown worked beautifully against the hard rock formations, and the non-traditional color was a must, since this was certainly a non-traditional ceremony space!

It is impossible to leave out the three metallic Sorella Vita “Modern Metallic” dresses worn by the bridesmaids.  These dresses were the perfect juxtaposition to the soft, flowy quality of the BHLDN gown, and definitely upped the glam factor. We also loved how the gold and rose-gold hue in the bridesmaids’ dresses mirrored the gorgeous sunset we were able to capture that evening.

Speaking of sunset – can we talk about the gorgeous florals?! Taking her cues from the beautiful colors of a summer sunset (magentas, oranges, soft pinks and creamy yellows), Amanda from Alluring Blooms was able to create a phenomenal floral altar at the very top of the rock and bridal bouquets also inspired by the same hues.

As planners, we firmly believe that you can create a gorgeous and fun reception anywhere, so when we decided to plan our shoot at Gibraltar Rock, we had to consider ways to make our party portable. Luckily, three adventurous gentlemen already had us covered – they converted an air stream trailer into a bar, now fondly known as the Barmadillo. What better way to throw a gorgeous, mobile reception than driving in your very own bar on the back of your pickup, serving some wine and a delicious cake made out of cheese and dancing the night away??

For those of you who are adventurous brides, planning your dream wedding and reception (even if it’s at the top of a rock) CAN be done. With a little extra planning, you really can take your wedding to new heights. 🙂

Please enjoy select images* from this shoot, as recently featured on 100 Layer Cake!

Kudos to our awesome team of vendors involved with this shoot (and yes, they did hike all the way up the bluff!):

Photography: Maison Meredith Photography | Location: Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area in Lodi, WI | Florist: Alluring Blooms | Bridal Gown: BHLDN | Veil, Sash & Bridal Accessories: Vera’s House of Bridals | Bridesmaid Gowns: Sorella Vita from Bucci’s Bridal | Hair & Makeup: Lead Stylist: Alice Ezrow & Styling Assistant: Nicole Nilson | Bar: The Barmadillo | Cheesecake: Fromagination | Rentals: Event Essentials