Haley & Alex’s Rustic Railroad Wedding

July 7, 2021

From Meeting to “Marry Me”

Alex, originally from St. Croix County/Duluth, and Haley, originally from Green Bay, met online while both living in Milwaukee. “We are a Tinder success story!” Alex proposed in June of 2018. He originally planned to pop the question in the Infinity Room at the House on the Rock, but that ended up feeling too rushed. “I had just picked up the ring two days prior.”He instead decided to wait a few weeks and ask Haley to be his bride while vacationing in Wisconsin Dells. Alex didn’t have a solid plan, rather was waiting for inspiration to hit. He spied people walking along the Wisconsin River and thought that would be the perfect spot. One night after dinner, the couple took a walk along the riverbanks, ending at Priegel Pier. “I pretended I forgot my phone in the car,” Alex says. “I butt bumped the horn while trying to fish the ring out of the center console.”

Wedding Planning from Afar

Though they now live in Milwaukee, Haley and Alex chose to have their wedding at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, which meant planning from afar. “So much travel goes into planning a wedding outside your hometown. We made at least a dozen after-work drips to Oshkosh and Appleton. Our Green Bay trips were planned around family trips.” The silver lining: “Between car rides, restaurants, and leaving work a little early, our evening trips led to some great memories.”Through all the long-distance planning, Alex says the key to success is communication and relinquishing some control. “Set your vendors and coordinators up for success and they will deliver.” Haley agrees: “As long as everyone knows what their part is, it will be fine. If you do not have a wedding planner, make sure you have a designated person who knows what is going on.”

All Aboard for the Big Day!

Both the ceremony and reception were held at the National Railroad Museum. Haley and Alex chose the place because they wanted a more rustic, industrial theme. “It would have been easy enough to obtain a warehouse space, but we ended up choosing the railroad museum to have the trains as an added ambiance. We got to have our special day between two historic steam locomotives.”Alex actually worked on the North Shore Scenic Railroad in Duluth, so he particularly loved being around the trains. The spacious museum allowed for everyone to spread out and feel comfortable. When it came time for photos, Haley and Alex didn’t have to look any further than the museum’s grounds. “The museum has a shed in the back that has beautiful trains that make outstanding photo props. It was a fun experience to be able to climb on these engines and train cars and use them as beautiful backdrops. It made for some pretty epic pictures!”

A Charming Ceremony

While Haley says the ceremony was a bit of a blur, she can also name two favorite parts. The first was when Alex said his vows. “When Alex went to say ‘I do’ he had to hold back his tears and take a deep breath, otherwise he was going to lose it. At that moment I knew it was as perfect as it could ever be.”Her second favorite moment? How the ceremony ended on a funny note. Alex’s grandpa was officiating, and he actually forgot to pronounce the couple as husband and wife. “He forgot that part of the script and went straight into the announcements,” Haley says. “I had to gesture over and point in his book to the line he missed so he could say it. Everyone laughed about it and we got some awesome pictures of it too! It’s something we’ll remember forever.”

A DIY Reception

At the reception, Haley estimates that 90% of the decorations were homemade. Alex built most of the decor from reclaimed lumber. “The ceremony backdrop was handmade from Japanese pallet wood Alex acquired from work and held together with over 200 nails that he hammered himself. It was then turned into a backdrop for the photo booth once we added lights to it.” Alex also made the cake stand, tiered cupcake stands, reserved seating signs, and more. “I would even say the cupcakes were DIY, because I helped my sister make them,” Haley says.

First Dances & A Last Bit of Advice

Haley’s favorite part of the reception was the first dances. “Our dance together was perfect. We were able to block out the world around us and talk about the day so far. Next, being able to have special moments with my dad and stepdad made me the happiest ever! Watching Alex dance with his mom and my mom also just made my heart so full of happiness. From the moment we stepped on the dance floor, we could not stop laughing. It was one of the parts we will remember the most.”A last bit of wedding advice from Alex: Wedding planning is all about balance. “We planned everything out in enough detail that everyone had direction, but still had flexibility. I feel this allowed for great balance. Nothing is going to go exactly as planned, so do your best to plan up front and just roll with anything that comes your way.”

Make-up Artist Lipstick and Lace by Melissa | Green Bay
Hair Stylist Studio 926 by Ashley Holtz | Green Bay
Rehearsal Dinner National Railroad Museum CBQ Silver Sprint Lounge Car | Green Bay
Ceremony & Reception Venue National Railroad Museum | Green Bay
Catering Renard’s Catering | Green Bay
Bartending Service Gerczak’s Liquor | Green Bay
Wedding Cake Classy Girl Cupcakes | Milwaukee
Cupcakes Made by Bride’s sister Tena
Flowers The Plant People | Green Bay
Music/Entertainment Yo DJ | Appleton
Officiant Nole Cook ( Alex’s Grandfather)
Photographer Tara Rudy Photography | Oshkosh
Bridal Gown & Bridesmaid Gowns David’s Bridal | Greenfield
Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse | Greenfield
Rings Kessler’s | Greenfield