We're Elevate

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.

Sara & Jake’s Northwoods-inspired Winter Wedding

Let’s face it – planning a wedding in the middle of a Wisconsin winter can be intimidating. On top of the unpredictable weather and potential travel woes, there is also the ever-present question of how to decorate in a winter-appropriate way, without taking it too “Christmas.” Well, if you were looking for the perfectly cozy, wintry wedding inspiration, look no further than Sara & Jake’s beautiful day on today’s blog! 

Their Lead Planner and Designer, Mallory, had the most amazing time creating their custom design – starting with the venue itself as a source of inspiration. From the exposed brick, beams and ductwork, to the gorgeous walls of windows, to the beautifully-chosen neutral palette of the wood floors and soft white walls, we thankfully already had a lovely backdrop to work with! Sara wanted to create, very simply, a warm, cozy environment where she and Jake could welcome all of their closest family and friends, gather around warm drinks and delicious food, and celebrate the promise of their new life together. We agreed early on in the design process that we wanted to amplify the warmth of the space with tons of extra lighting and warm wood tones, infuse seasonal greenery wherever we could (without, of course, leaning too “Christmas”), and focus on Sara & Jake’s love of the outdoors and the “Northwoods” in all aspects of the decor, paper goods and details. 

The incomparable Ariyl and the team at Briar Loft were responsible for all of the floral details seen throughout the day. They sourced and installed the stunning greenery and smilax vine incorporated into the beamwork of the ceiling to define the aisle, King’s Table and dance floor, the delicate bud vases adorning the cocktail tables, and the elegant compotes and evergreens displayed on every table, as well as all of the beautiful personal flowers held by the wedding party and Sara & Jake’s family. We especially fawned over the incorporation of the breathtaking anemones with deep grey centers, delicate flannel flowers that danced within the bouquets, and the slight taupe touches in the cattails and mocha roses. Ariyl even found a way to make mini pines cones chic!  

Sara knew from the beginning that she wanted to lovingly incorporate her and Jake and their preferred beverages at the end of a long day; hers: a glass of champagne, his: Bud Light. Thus was born our idea of building a “Bubbles & Buds” entrance wall that would greet guests as soon as they arrived to the party. (We later transformed that very same wall into the escort card display so guests could find their seats – we are all about finding dual purpose however we can!) Mallory also wanted to ensure we brought Sara’s gorgeous vision of lots of warm, ambient lighting into the space, so with the help of the amazing team at Chance Productions, we infused uber-chic “West Elm” pendants as the focal point down the aisle (and later above the King’s Table), tons of warm uplighting, and a stunning Edison bulb display behind Sara & Jake as they said their vows. To top it all off, we incorporated the showstopping “S&J” marquee lights behind the dance floor, tons of cozy (and perfectly “Northwoods!) lounge furniture from A La Crate, classic black table linens and elegant hunter green velvet napkins from BBJ. It all came together to create the most beautiful wintry environment!

Outside of their already adorable “Bubbles & Buds” wall, Sara & Jake incorporated a special area inviting guests to snap polaroids and add them to a “memories” box of the day. A cigar station was set up just inside the rooftop patio with a vintage ashtray and cigar box infused into the display as a special nod to Jake, his father and his groomsmen.  We especially loved Sara & Jake’s casual dessert setup, with a few simple “semi-naked” cakes decorated with seasonal fruit and delicious donuts, the perfect accompaniment with a warm cup of coffee after a delicious winter’s meal. 

Please enjoy (preferably with a warm beverage in hand), and happy anniversary, Sara & Jake! Happy Holidays!


Photography: Paper Antler | Venue: The Loft at 132 | Catering: Heritage  | Planning & Design: Elevate Events | Floral: Briar Loft | Entertainment / Videography: Sound by Design | String Quartet: Dream City Strings | Officiant: Andy | Hair: Anaala  | Makeup: Lovely Elegance | Rentals: Chance Productions, Event Essentials, A La Crate Rentals, EZPZ Marquee, BBJ Linen | Stationery: Mint & Lovely | Cake and Desserts: Bloom Bake Shop  | Transportation: Gallant Knight