When You Love Coffee, You Get Married at a Coffee House

updated May 3, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
1 / 48
The beautiful couple, Martin and Carin, on the day of their coffee house wedding reception in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Image credit: The Paper Elephant)

Bride & Groom: Carin Bagguley & Martin Hopkins
Wedding Date: October 16th, 2015 (ceremony), April 23, 2016 (reception)
Venue: Anodyne Coffee, Walker’s Point, Milwaukee
Number of guests: 14 at the ceremony, 150 at the reception

The stuff on your to-do list when you’re planning a wedding—choosing a color palette, booking a dining hall and deciding on which flowers should go in the centerpieces—that’s all extra. All you truly need to make a wedding happen is two committed people and a witness standing with them to make it official.

It’s that sort of “do your own thing” spirit that inspires me to share this wedding with you today. Bride Carin and groom Martin turned the basic wedding formula on it’s head— there was no bridal party, no wedding ring for Carin (she stuck to her engagement ring), no flowers and, actually, no “big day.” You see, Carin and Martin had two.

“After 12 years of dating, 2 homes, and welcoming our son Jude into our lives we wanted a no stress wedding.”

Carin and Martin were officially married in an intimate outdoor ceremony at Hoyt Park, near their home, in October 2015, with just 14 immediate family members as guests (and Carin’s brother-in-law as their officiant).

“The setting was gorgeous, under a bridge off one of the trails along the river,” Carin told us. “Afterwards, our photographer took photos and we dined at one of our favorite spots—Le Reve—with our families. It was laid-back, simple, memorable and very special.

“After twelve years of dating, two homes, and welcoming our son Jude into our lives we wanted a no stress wedding.”

Part two took place six months later, in April 2016, when the couple hosted a reception celebration that was every bit as thoughtful and personal as their ceremony. Because Carin and Martin love coffee and comfort food, they invited 150 guests to join them at Anodyne coffee house for a dinner of brisket sliders (to honor Carin’s Midwestern roots) and fusion tacos (for Martin’s Californian side).

Photographer Tegan of The Paper Elephant was there to capture it all, so check out the gallery of photos above. Or scroll down to hear more about the day in Carin’s words.

(Image credit: The Paper Elephant)

How did you meet?

We met in college at Marquette University through a mutual friend when Carin was 19 and Martin was 20.

How would you describe your wedding style?

Vintage, eclectic, rustic, laid back

What was totally “you” about your wedding?

Instead of flowers, we had green potted house plants. I’m an avid gardener and Martin’s and my home is filled with plants (both indoors and outdoors during the growing season). We LOVE terra cotta so much that I bought 40 terra cotta pots and saucers and then planted all the plants myself. I also worked as a barista for eight years and I’m a never-miss-a-day coffee drinker and got Martin loving coffee just as much. We really love to visit coffee shops and also make lattes at home with our espresso machine—which is one of the main reasons we chose a coffee establishment for our reception celebration.

(Image credit: The Paper Elephant)

Biggest challenge:

Planning a wedding/reception with a toddler and sticking to a budget.

Proudest DIY:

Our seating chart. It was an old 1930’s paneled glass door that was at the home we purchased in 2013. We cleaned it up and used it as our seating chart, writing in white chalk ink.

Most worthwhile splurge:

Our food! We wanted a custom menu with foods that are unique to us. We love to cook and dine out. We went with a local caterer right up the block from our house and they let us pick each menu item. It was a buffet set up with a “Bride’s Midwest Station” and “Groom’s Westcoast Station” featuring comfort foods Carin enjoys such as brisket on pretzel rolls, twice-baked cheesy potatoes, tacos, asian slaw, Wisconsin fried cheese curds, mini shepards pie, etc. And our desserts were local assorted pastries from our three favorite bakeries—Rocket Baby, Blue’s Egg & Cranky Als.

(Image credit: The Paper Elephant)

What we skipped or did without:

A lot actually. No bridal party, no transportation, no wedding ring (just bride’s engagement ring), no flowers, no hotel stay, no honeymoon, no professional makeup, no long dress or alterations, no rehearsal dinner, no bridal showers. The list goes on. We included the essentials: good music, food, drinks, simple decor and attire.

Favorite detail:

Our wedding ceremony photo display/guest signing table. We had a framed Walker’s Point neighborhood print (where Anodyne resides) and had guests sign it instead of a guest book. Also personalized espresso cups with each guests name written in chalk marker as a keepsake set at each farmhouse table.

(Image credit: The Paper Elephant)

Favorite memory of the day:

Getting to drink honey lattes all night, working with our photographer, hearing a few really funny speeches, and seeing all our friends/family together in one warm, unique space!

What our guests said:

They LOVED the warm, inviting, rustic space. Also every guest raved about the food and how delicious and very “us” it was.

Your best advice for anyone planning a wedding:

Do exactly what you want and incorporate details that are unique to the couple into the day.

Thank you, Carin & Martin!


Submitted via Two Bright Lights

The complete guide to modern weddings.