Bride and Groom

Premier Bride Feature- Melissa Bucci is MARRIED!

Aug 17, 2019

Published on Premier Bride

How They Met

Owner of Bucci’s Bridal, Melissa was born and raised in Hartland, Wisconsin. She met her now-husband Jake, who grew up in Delafield, via Facebook. “He sent me a friendly message, which I didn’t think much of at first,” Melissa admits. “After a couple months, we chatted and decided to get a glass of wine and get to know one another. After our first date, that was it!”

The Proposal

Two days after Christmas, on their two-year anniversary, Melissa had just gotten home from the gym to find Jake, claiming he had also just walked through the door. He said he still needed to run back to the car to fetch their lab puppy, Odie. Once back inside with the pup, Melissa noticed a box duct taped to Odie’s collar. “I was so confused,” she says. “Jake acted confused himself, wondering what it was, then took off the box and got down on one knee. I was in utter shock. On top of it, the doorbell rang right in the middle of the proposal! (Thank you, Fed Ex guy, for Jake’s new shirt.) After I collected myself, I said ‘yes of course!’”

An Intimate Italian Wedding

Jake and Melissa’s families are both Italian, so their wedding revolved around the culture that means so much to them. Both the ceremony and reception were held at Onesto in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. “Knowing how great their space is upstairs, it was an easy choice for a smaller wedding,” Melissa says. “We wanted a very small wedding with everything based around family, food, and Italian influence — and also my Armenian side.”

Wedding planning — in just 3 months!

Having been in the wedding industry for years, Melissa knew just what to do when it came to planning her and Jake’s small, speedy wedding. “I knew which vendors were going to be best for us and I immediately asked them to help, since we planned the wedding in three months!”

First up, Melissa naturally found her gown and bridesmaids dresses at Bucci’s Bridal. Rings came from Craig Husar, and invitations fromPaperwhites. “Because of the short timeframe for planning, we did all of our invites by word of mouth and online. But I also wanted something to remember the date and venue by. Paperwhites was able to create a beautiful bridal suite, so there was an RSVP to photograph and eventually put into a shadow box. I loved the natural, raw paper with a mix of blue and green colors to create an Italian countryside feel.”

To decorate the space, Melissa worked with Bank of Flowers. She chose a color palette of sage green, dusty blue, butter yellow and orange, and soft pink and maroon. “I didn’t want a lot of décor, but I wanted an organic look to everything through our flowers. Bank of Flowers made a beautiful hanging floral installation for our wedding. They took my inspiration images and ran with it. The flowers were fresh and beautifully arranged. Some of the guests didn’t even think they were real!”

Photos in the Historic Third Ward

For Jake and Melissa’s wedding-day timeline, they opted to do photos before the ceremony. “We went down to the boardwalk and around the Third Ward to get our pictures done ahead of time, so there wasn’t a big gap between the ceremony and dinner,” Melissa explains. “I love outdoor photography, and between the river and the architecture of the buildings, it was the perfect backdrop for what we wanted.

Snapping the photos was Better Together Photography, who Melissa says made the experience comfortable and relaxed. “They helped us laugh and feel in-the-moment so our personalities could really show through the pictures.”

The Onesto ceremony welcomed 25 of Melissa and Jake’s closest family members. Since Melissa’s mom had passed away three years prior, they wanted to keep the wedding all about family, her memory, and bringing both sides together. Melissa’s cousin, Maria, is a youth minister and officiated the wedding. “She personalized our ceremony so it felt really memorable. We even had a part where we passed out Italian Bonbonniere, which is a traditional wedding favor.”

Maria also had Jake and Melissa each frame a photo from their childhood that captures their true personality. “We exchanged them during the ceremony; they’re meant to be a reminder of who we married, whenever we may be feeling less than loving.”

The Dinner Reception

The reception was a chance for Jake and Melissa’s families to really meet each other and mingle. “It was nice to be able to go around and talk to everyone and relax without feeling like we were missing out on our day.” Dinner was served charcuterie style, incorporating a lot of different cheeses, meats, olives, spreads, salads, and pasta.

For dessert, Melissa’s dad made Pizzeles, an Italian cookie with an old family recipe, and Paklava, which is a family recipe from Melissa’s dad’s Armenian side of the family. The couple also got their favorite carrot cake from Mason Street Grill and had Krista from Weddings with a Twist decorate it with some flowers. Krista also acted as the day-of wedding coordinator. “She kept the whole thing running smoothly and was in contact with all of our vendors.”

Melissa advises other brides to also consider hiring a planner, even if it’s just for the day of the wedding. “Too many things will be going on, and someone like Krista from Weddings with a Twist will keep everything running smoothly so you don’t have to worry about a thing.”

Advice for Brides from a Wedding Professional

“Since I’ve been in this industry for so long, the best thing I can say is to stop worrying about all the little details,” Melissa advises. “Planning a wedding can be stressful and emotional. Think about how you want to feel that day instead of making sure every napkin matches or having a meltdown if there’s a typo in the program. While budget is a big factor, know what your top priorities will be — whether it’s the dress, photography, flowers, or inviting those who mean most over 200 people you only know a little. This is your day, and in the end, everyone is there to celebrate you and this new chapter in your life.”

Wedding Consultant Weddings With A Twist
Make-up Artist Lustrous Beauty Studio
Skin care Estetika
Hair Stylist Lexi Lee Hair
Invitations Paperwhites
Ceremony, Reception, Catering, Bartending Onesto
Dessert Carrot Cake from Mason Street Grill
Flowers Bank of Flowers
Music/Entertainment David Charles Productions
Photo & Video Better Together Photography
Gown Stella York from Bucci’s Bridal
Formalwear Bonobos
Rings Craig Husar



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