At Charlotte’s Bridal we have so many brides that touch our hearts, which is why we love hearing about all their wedding’s exciting moments, and why we LOVE to play a part in them. We have connected with so many of our amazing brides and their fiancés, so it’s special to hear from them and get some advice for those still in their wedding planning stages. I mean, who doesn’t love a little advice to make life easier?!
Recently, I connected with a much-loved bride of ours, Alexis Dunnum, or now officially known as Alexis Woodhouse.
Congratulations to her and her new husband Jay as they begin their married life together!
Alexis has not only been one of our brides, but she has also modeled for us as well. Not to mention her husband Jay for also being notorious for his signature coat flip during his modeling career at Wedding World this past March.
Alexis and Jay began their engagement in February of 2020, which as many of you are aware was the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a 27-month long engagement, they were finally able to say their “I Do’s” at English Lutheran Church, which followed with a celebration at the Grand Hotel Ballroom here in our very own historic city of La Crosse! No matter what year we are enduring there will always be stressors you may feel as you plan such a big milestone. Alexis shared with me, “Outside of the obvious stresses of planning a wedding in the years 2020 and 2021, the biggest stresses my now-husband and I felt were dealing with feelings of being overwhelmed by so many options, staying on top of dates and deadlines, paying for things, and finding good vendors who would help us on our big day.” After hearing Alexis’s experience, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
We asked Alexis about venders, dress shopping, music, food, planning, etc., but one thing she said really stuck out to us. She wrote, “As a couple, decide what you want as a theme or vibe for your day and then start some broad research for big ticket items (reception halls, décor, and attire) in your area. The financial aspect of a wedding is obviously very important to consider, but there are ways you can get creative to achieve your desired end result. Before you put any money down, make sure you’re both on the same page with what you want for your big day and then find vendors that make your vision a reality!” To us, this was so important! Not only does this ensure that you and your fiancé are on the same page, but it is a great way to bond and grow together as you plan an event that almost everyone you know, and love will be attending.
Alexis’s Big Planning Tip:
“If you’re doing this yourself, make sure you get organized from the start. We purchased a wedding planner binder from The Knot and that was really helpful for us to keep track of major dates and deadlines! It served as a great guiding point for us, but we quickly realized that we didn’t want to follow it exactly because some of the extra details added just didn’t matter to us. If you go this route, keep that in mind because everyone’s wedding is different and just because you saw something is supposed to be at a wedding doesn’t mean it has to be. Spend your money on things you think are worth spending money on.”
About the Woodhouse Wedding
While planning for venders, Alexis and Jay got down to business! To kick the night off, they found their DJ at Midwest Family Entertainment. DJ Bags was their emcee for the night and helped kick the cocktail hour into gear. Alexis shared with me that their DJ had the guests on the dance floor for FOUR STRAIGHT HOURS! She also said that their DJ did such a good job that no one was ready to go home at the end of the night. She HIGHLY recommends Midwest Family Entertainment! Aside from the exciting hours spent on the dance floor, Alexis and Jay also supplied their 150 guests with some delectable goodies. I mean c’mon… Look at this menu!
“We worked with Pogy’s Catering and they were awesome!” – Alexis Woodhouse
-Pot Stickers with a sweet chili sauce
-Spinach and artichoke dip
-Roasted salmon served with a Dijon cream sauce
-Grilled pork ribeye served with a balsamic glaze
-Three cheese ravioli served with basil pesto cream sauce, sliced cherry tomatoes and mushrooms
-Au gratin potatoes
-Honey glazed carrots
-Truffles and ice cream sundae bar from The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor
Wedding cakes from Crumbtastic Cakery in Holmen
-Almond cake with raspberry filling and vanilla frosting
-Cholate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting
Now that we’re not distracted by drooling over this spread the Woodhouse’s had at their wedding, let’s talk about venders. Here’s what Alexis shared with us, “We are super fortunate to live in such a great community with excellent options for wedding vendors. La Crosse has so many businesses and individuals who really care about their services and clients. Our vendor team was fantastic, because we selected people who were not only good at what they do, but also are excellent communicators and professionals.” We couldn’t agree more! We are extremely fortunate to live in a community that has such amazing venders only miles apart. Another vendor we asked Alexis about was where she chose to order their flowers from. We, once again, were thrilled to hear about another amazing vendor right here in the La Crosse area! Alexis wrote, “I worked with Tiffany DeLap Designs, who purchased flowers from Wyld Stems. The flowers were amazing and perfect! I wanted local and seasonal flowers, but beyond that information and mentioning a few key colors, I didn’t have a ton of input on flowers. I just trusted Tiffany to do her thing and was ready to be surprised on my wedding day—and she truly knocked it out of the park! I get that’s not how every bride would want to do it, but if you’re like me and know nothing about flowers, it was a great strategy!”
As a vendor ourselves, we wanted Alexis’s input on what it’s like to be a Charlotte’s bride. We asked her, “If you could describe your shopping experience at Charlotte’s in three words what would they be?” We were charmed and delighted to hear that she described our hometown shop as:
“Exciting! Supportive. Knowledgeable.”
We pride ourselves knowing that we can reflect our knowledge back onto our brides to make them feel supported and comfortable throughout the entire shopping experience. On top of finding her dress here, Alexis and her husband also chose to work with us for our other specialties; bridesmaids, and menswear. They picked out a fine set of classic wedding colors to help make the night unforgettable.
Woodhouse Wedding Colors: Navy, Eucalyptus, Champagne and White
Read more about Alexis’s shopping experience below!
How did you hear about Charlotte’s Bridal?
“As a La Crosse area native, I’ve always known about Charlotte’s, but it wasn’t until I attended Wedding World in 2021 that I really learned about their business, what makes them different, and how I decided they were the store I wanted to work with for my big day.”
How long had you been dress shopping before you found “the one”?
“My appointment with Charlotte’s in April of 2021 was actually my very first-time trying dresses on… and it ended up being my only appointment! I’d been browsing Pinterest for months and found so many dresses that I liked, but nothing I saw online ever stood out to me as being “the one”. When I went to my dress appointment with Charlotte’s, I was met with a variety of dresses that I wanted to try, and I think my dream dress was the 4th one I tried on. I still tried on several dresses after that one, but I couldn’t move past it and found myself comparing each of the other dresses to the one I purchased—and that’s how I knew I’d found the gown!”
What helped you find a style of gown you loved? Social media? Physically trying them on? Pictures? Etc.
“Without a doubt, physically trying on the dresses was the most important aspect for me to finally decide on the fit and style. While looking online, I was interested in several types of gowns; from sleek and elegant A-lines to glittery, princess ballgowns, but once I tried on the dresses, I could just tell if they were a hit or not. Styles that I thought I’d really like didn’t excite me as much as I thought they would or aspects of the dress I thought I’d dislike actually proved to be really flattering on me. But of course, you don’t know any of this until you try on the gown!”
What was the best part about shopping at Charlottes?
“Honestly, my whole experience was amazing. I had the pleasure of working with Meagan and she was so knowledgeable, supportive and fun to work with. I really appreciated our phone call before my first appointment where she got to know me a bit and discuss my ideas for my dream dress. I’m sure that prep work she did prior to the appointment saved us all a ton of time (and stress!) and helped me find a dress I loved without getting frustrated. She also stayed within my budget and there was no pressure to purchase something that was too expensive or outside of my budget. My whole dress shopping experience was fun, and I felt like the staff working all really cared about helping me make selections that would make me feel beautiful on our big day.”
Who did you bring with you and why?
“I brought my mom, my sister (maid-of-honor) and a close college friend to my dress fitting appointment. My appointment was in April of 2021, so we kept the group small, but honestly, I think it was the perfect number of people there for me. I chose these ladies for the obvious reasons of being family – or like family—but also because I knew they would be the most honest with me with how things fit. The three of them also get along so well that I knew there would be no potential for drama, awkwardness, or tension so the whole appointment can be solely focused on me and helping me find my dress.”
Did you get all your wedding attire from Charlotte’s? If so, why?
“Yes, we got all of our wedding attire from Charlotte’s! It just made the most sense for us to book our rentals with them and keep things under one roof. The selection was great for us and with so many other details to keep track of, it was just way easier for us to know Charlotte’s had it all taken care of. Our whole wedding party had a great experience.”
What advice do you have for future shoppers of Charlotte’s?
“Have an open mind and enjoy the process! While I knew most of the styles I liked already prior to my appointment, it was fun to try on different types of dresses that I probably wouldn’t have picked for myself. Some of them surprised me! My dress was a strapless mermaid, which was the style I was heavily leaning toward in the first place but trying on different styles totally reinforced my decision that I had found my dream dress. I never had second thoughts about other dresses because I knew the other styles didn’t make me feel the way I felt in my dress.”
Save the Dates and Invite Advice from a Bride:
Did you do Save the Dates?
Yes, we did Save the Dates. Since our wedding fell on Memorial Day weekend, we gave most of our guests over a year notice and had most everything in the mail by mid-May 2021.
How did you print/send invites?
“Save the Dates: I made my own using Canva (an excellent resource and free graphic design website, check it out—it will change your life!) and printed them at LaX Print here in La Crosse. You can also print directly from Canva, too.
Invitations: We worked with a graphic designer to create our invitations, details cards, RSVPs, and other creative pieces to create a more cohesive look to our wedding and printed them locally at LaX Print in La Crosse. If you have a specific vision for your stationary items, I recommend working with a graphic designer, otherwise another route to go is visiting sites like Etsy to purchase templates that you can customize and support smaller artists.”
More advice on Save the Dates located on our Blog Page titled “Save the Date Inspo”!
Of course, a wedding wouldn’t be complete without someone to capture all your moments! The Woodhouse’s didn’t choose a local photographer, but we still want to give love to Anna Grace Photography. Located in the Milwaukee area, Anna Grace is a much-loved photographer of the Woodhouse’s, and we would like to give a warm shoutout to what a fantastic job she did for this wonderful couple on their big day!
Congratulations Jay and Alexis! We wish you both many years of love! Thank you for letting all of us at Charlotte’s Bridal be a part of that!
Complete Vendor List:
-Dress and Attire: Charlotte’s Bridal & Formal Wear
-Hair & Makeup: Su Casa Salon
-Ceremony Location, Officiant, and Music: English Lutheran Church
-Catering: Pogy’s Catering
-Rehearsal Dinner and Hotel Accommodations: The Charmant
-Floral: Tiffany DeLap Designs
-Reception: The Grand Hotel Ballroom
-DJ: Midwest Family Entertainment
-Dance Lessons: Applause Dance Academy
-Wedding Cake: Crumbtastic Cakery
-Sweets & Treats: The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor
-Photography: Anna Grace Photography
-Transportation: Lamers Bus Line – Trolley
-Wedding Ring: The Real Real
-Wedding Bands: Mark Jewelers
-Stationary Design: Beta DeFlorian
-BIG HIT WITH THE GUESTS: Audio Guest Book: Fetefone
Alexis, thank you for being a Charlotte’s bride, we have loved having you.