Braden & Laura Hocking
What was the creative inspiration for your wedding?
We both enjoy spending time in nature, which inspired our rustic wedding. All of the wood used to decorate our venue came from our “up north,” where we enjoy spending time throughout the year.
What was your color palette?
Rust, maroon, peach, greenery.
How did you personalize your wedding and make it about the two of you?
One of our hobbies together is brewing beer and making wine, so as a parting favor for our guests, we made many different varieties of wine and beer to go. We also chose some of our favorite local beer to be on tap (Pearl Street Brewery), and The Cargill Room helped us create a dessert that included our favorites—apple pie and apple crisp.
What was the significance of your
wedding date and/or location?
La Crosse was where Braden and I met, started dating, and got engaged. We love everything about La Crosse and only found it fitting to also get married here. We originally planned a fall wedding, but due to Covid, it was pushed back. It turned out to be a perfect winter wedding with a fresh blanket of snow.
What was your favorite moment in your ceremony and wedding reception?
During our ceremony, Father Dodge connected not only with us, but with all of our guests as well, making the entire crowd laugh and bringing great meaning into his homily. Having a smaller-size wedding, we really loved being able to spend time with all of our guests, without feeling rushed at our reception.
What is one thing you were glad you insisted on?
One thing I am happy we did was have a cookie cake to dunk in milk as our “cake cutting.” We originally were not going to have a cake cutting, but I surprised Braden with cookies and milk so that we did not miss out on pictures and memories with this tradition.
If you could tell couples planning their wedding one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t fret over the little things. At the end of the day, it is about you marrying your best friend, and the little details don’t matter. Just have what you love and the day will be perfect.
What was the most challenging
obstacle you overcame when
planning your wedding?
Planning a wedding in a city you do not live close to was not always the easiest, but at the end of the day, it was worth every weekend spent traveling to and from La Crosse. Our amazing vendors were flexible, and they made it as easy as possible for us!
What did you obsess over that you
realized in the end didn’t matter?
Centerpieces. Being a “do-it-yourselfer,” I wanted everything to look as professional as possible on a budget; however, at the end of the day, the décor on the table is not likely what people are going to remember about your special day. Keeping it simple is the way to go!
CEREMONY Roncalli Newman Center
RECEPTION The Cargill Room
OFFICIANT Father Billy Dodge
CATERER/CAKE/DESSERT The Cargill Room
FLORIST Hannah Uitenbroek, Petal Away Floral
BEAUTY Sue Kolve’s Salon & Day Spa
BRIDAL GOWN Elaine’s Wedding and Event Center, Appleton
BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES Savvy Bride, Brookfield
MEN’S ATTIRE DuBois Formalwear & Tuxedo
RINGS Craig Husar Fine Diamods & Jewelry; JVL Jewelry
CEREMONY MUSIC Roncalli Newman Musicians
COCKTAIL/RECEPTION MUSIC Music Mix of La Crosse
PHOTOGRAPHER Jordana Snyder Photography
WEDDING PLANNER Shannon McGraw, The Cargill Room
GET READY HOTEL The Charmant