I met Mary during my undergrad at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. One of my closest friends in college played on the UW Volleyball Team with Mary and we met through that mutual friend. When you first meet Mary, you can’t help but notice her smile (which is something I will touch on again a bit later!). She radiates joy and love, she is welcoming, she is honest, and she is quirky … which makes her even that much more welcoming and honest. Despite the fact that she is drop-dead gorgeous and an incredible athlete, her inviting and free-spirited personality makes her one of the most lovable and relatable people I have ever met. Getting to document the day she married Ethan — another handsome and gifted athlete with the biggest heart — was an incredible honor for Caleb and I.
Prior to the wedding day, I had been so excited to meet the families of these two; if they are such great people, I could only imagine where they had come from! The hospitality, generosity, and kindness the Ording and Hemer families lavished on us this past weekend as they invited us into some of the most important moments in their children’s and sibling’s lives was really unbelievable. We are so grateful. At the end of the night, as I hugged Mary’s mother goodbye, she gave me the biggest kiss on the cheek and said to me, “When my daughter calls you “Mais” instead of “Maison,” that’s it. You’re in. You are now part of the family. Thank you for your friendship to our daughter and by the way, did you know that you married one incredible, incredible man?” (I sure do, Herminene!).
Family. For Ethan and Mary, it’s all about family. This may be the most obvious thing about these two — their deep, great love for their families (including both their literal family and their friends and teammates). Despite having a huge wedding, Caleb and I couldn’t get over how intimate everything felt … as if everyone in the entire room really knew and loved one another. Guests came from all around the world to celebrate these two, which speaks volumes in and of itself!
On the morning of the wedding, as I was shooting details in the bridal suite, Mary’s mom, Hermiene, brought out her dress and I commented on how beautiful I thought it was (I love a structured, timeless gown!). While she was steaming the veil, Hermiene told me the story of how Mary found her dress. As she was telling it, I swear she got lost for a moment in the story as she relived the memory of her baby girl finding the perfect dress for her wedding day: “Mary tried on a lot of dresses — and she initially thought she wanted lace — but nothing was quite ‘right.’ The shop owner pulled out a final option, this one-of-a-kind Rita Vinieris gown that had the top of one of her designer gowns paired with the bottom of another; there isn’t another one out there like it. Mary put it on and as she looked in the mirror … Maison … she started to do this thing she always did when she was a little girl. She looked at herself in the mirror and she swayed, every so gently, back and forth in the gown. That’s when I knew, this was the dress.”
Story-telling was a strong theme throughout Ethan and Mary’s day and at the reception, both fathers, as well as the Best Men and Maid of Honor, told stories about memories they each had with Ethan and Mary. The last story I’ll share (because I know we need to get to these photos!), is Mary’s sister, Nicola’s (the MOH). Nicola described how she had always been very protective of Mary as her older sister. When Mary was in college, Nicola would fly often to visit her and several times, she had met guys that she knew were interested in Mary. She would always ask them, “So, what is it about Mary? What do you like?” and without a doubt, they would answer with something about how beautiful Mary was. Mary’s beauty was already obvious to Nicola and she was always looking for something more. Then she met Ethan. Upon meeting him for the first time, she asked her routine question, “So what is it about Mary?” After a couple of seconds, he responded, “You know, I love the way her face wrinkles by the corners of her eyes when she smiles. I also love how our personalities compliment each other so well.”
And there you have it, my friends, the brand new Mr. and Mrs. Hemer <3 Enjoy : )
How stunning is this custom invitation suite by Saffron Avenue?!
Oh, Mary … <3
I heard through the grapevine that all the groomsmen were crying inside as they were watching this … so sweet! : )
LOVE this group!!!
We went inside to warm up for a few minutes : )
A tradition in Mary’s family is the gift of the rug — one of her aunt’s buys a rug for each niece and nephew when they get married. The couple says their vows while standing on the rug and then gets to take it home with them as a daily reminder of the commitment they made to one another on their wedding day <3
Cherry Blossom Events did an extraordinary job bringing Mary’s wedding vision to life!
Floral by the incredibly talented Daffodil Parker!
Sharing a sweet moment after seeing the ballroom for the first time : )
Ceremony Venue: Grace Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: The Edgewater Hotel | Design and Planning: Cherry Blossom Events | Floral: Daffodil Parker | Videography: One Fine Day Productions | Stationery: Saffron Avenue | DJ: Sound by Design | Cake: Creative Crumbs | Hair and Makeup: Arch Madison | Wedding Dress Shop: Bella Bianca Bridal Couture, Designer: Rita Vinieris | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse | Rentals: Event Essentials & A La Crate Vintage Rentals | Draping: Elegant Event Lighting | Cocktail Music: ACA Entertainment | Transportation: Badger Bus | Production Company: Majic Productions | Coffee Bar: Roast Coffee Catering