Just when I thought the Omni Severin‘s Carrie Sprague & Amanda Coffey couldn’t possibly spoil us more than they already have, not only did they refer two awesome events to us for Laurie to cover there this past weekend, but they also let us keep our gear in their office overnight. Wendi & Patrick’s Sunday ceremony took place under an intimate chuppah in the beautifully refurbished Fischer Ballroom, which featured some nice floral touches by Kathy’s Kloset. Laurie and photographer Larry Seidman kept this very free-spirited couple on track through the cake-cutting and other formalities, and the equally free-spirited Wendy Reed Band kept them on the dance floor all night with their trademark sassy brand of rock-n-soul.

This is probably as good a spot as any to thank Rich Johnson and Geoffrey Chandler for lending a hand on a very high-demand weekend in which we had an unprecedented FOUR weddings to cover. Rich managed to help us out with taping twice in the midst of his studio’s own two weddings, and Geoff made time to assist us before and after participating in a triathlon. Big ups, fellas!

Photo by Angela Talley
I got the sense early on that this wedding was going to be B-I-G when Molly & Scott brought in video clips from several movies plus one of Molly’s Fox59 AM on-air fitness segments to incorporate into the video slideshow that I created for their rehearsal dinner at the Governor’s mansion. The video was a hit, and the recurring sight of Scott quietly going along with Molly’s pre-wedding fitness routines had the crowd roaring with laughter. It became clear during the numerous speeches later that night that this couple has touched (and been touched by) a LOT of people, and that they had a tremendous appreciation for how truly blessed they are.

I joined wonderful photographer and friend Angela Talley Saturday morning at the Conrad Hotel for some behind-the-scenes coverage of the couple, and then we all made our way up north for more fun shots at yet another mansion along Meridian Street. The wedding took place at SS. Peter & Paul Cathedral, and just when I thought I knew what to expect at every ceremony there, along came an unassuming 91-year-old man in denim overalls and a white T-shirt to close the ceremony with the most soulful, spiritual rendition of “Amazing Grace” that I’ve ever heard.

We arrived at the Indianapolis Museum of Art for the reception with plenty of time beforehand to get more great shots with the wedding party at the fountain and then with the couple just about everywhere else on the beautiful grounds. The reception featured lots of heartfelt toasts, some very special guests (including one particular “angel” who had saved Scott’s life years earlier), superb cuisine provided by Kahn’s Katering, and the usual awesome music by the Flip Miller Band.

After completing all of her preparations at the Omni Severin Hotel downtown, Jainie arrived at Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood just in time to walk down the aisle for a beautiful wedding ceremony with her new husband Matt. The couple then stopped at the Indianapolis Museum of Art with videographer Laurie Buschmann and super-nice photographers Kevin & Alicia Monahan for some great shots on one of the few pleasant Saturdays we’ve seen all summer. I was hoping to run into all of them there when I arrived with the wedding party I was covering, but it’s probably a good thing that we missed out on seeing the guys dropping trou for one of their time-honored traditional photos in boxers. Then it was back to where they started for a fun-filled reception beautifully decorated by Julie Acheson of Royal Creations and perfectly orchestrated by the Omni’s wonderful Amanda Coffey, who had referred Jainie & Matt to us. (Thanks, Amanda!)

Photos by Andrew Scalini
I arrived at Amanda’s bridal suite in the Embassy Suites just in time to join ace photographer Andrew Scalini in capturing some great shots of Amanda getting into her gorgeous, slender gown and later poignantly greeting her ailing mother, who had been too sick to attend some of Amanda’s previous milestone events but wasn’t going to miss this one for the world. I also caught Shaun holed up in the adjacent suite’s bathroom memorizing his vows. The ceremony took place right next door in the grand Indiana Roof Ballroom, which was beautifully adorned by Our Backyard Flowers. A long aisle of floating candles (wish I knew the terminology) greeted the guests and made an amazing entrance for the bridal party. The couple exchanged their beautifully-written and emotional vows under a huge, leafy arch with lots of little candles hanging over their heads.

This arch later made a great addition to what is already one of the most stunning entrances in the city as guests re-entered the ballroom for the reception after cocktails. The couple was introduced following the Roof’s signature thunder and lightning show, and Greg Imboden’s Indy Express Band contributed plenty of class and brass to the dinner and dancing music for the remainder of the evening. All of these festivities took place under the watchful eye of consultant Leslie Jones (thanks for another great referral, Leslie!) and her awesome assistant Marjan, who took the reins for this event like a seasoned pro and clearly shared Leslie’s knack for pampering the bride while keeping everything on schedule.

Anytime I book a Hindu wedding, I know I’m in for an unforgettable experience, and Sajal & Shash’s wedding was no exception. I joined the festivities on Friday at their party at the Knights of Columbus, where Sajal showed off the most intricate henna tattoos on her hands and feet that I’d ever seen. Once Shash arrived, the drumming and dancing started and rarely let up for the rest of the evening. I’ve never really liked Indian food, but the food that I sampled there was quite good and sold me on trying more in the future. My favorite part of the night was a traditional dance that involved two revolving lines of people hitting each other’s “sticks.” (I’m not going to pretend to remember any of the formal names for these events.)

Then on Saturday morning, Shash (on a horse) and company lined up at the east end of the Oak Hill Mansion’s parking lot and slowly danced and paraded towards the front door, where Shash was greeted by Sajal’s parents. Then the 300-plus guests worked their way into the ballroom for a casually paced ceremony during which many beautiful traditions were observed, the guests freely mingled, and no one seemed to mind me and photographer K.C. Ferrill hanging around in front of the stage to capture the formalities. The room was fabulously decorated by Sonali Patel of Dulhani (her first job, amazingly!) with floral help from Julie Acheson of Royal Creations. Laurie videotaped the reception festivities there that evening, which included some funny speeches, plenty of surprises, and a LOT of colorful and spirited dancing.

Photo by Angela Talley

I was excited when consultant Tonya Shadoan of Circle City Planners first contacted me about flying me out to Seattle to cover Amanda & Doug’s 8/3/07 wedding in Seattle, but bummed that the couple opted to hire someone local instead. I guess I can’t expect to tag along on ALL of Tonya’s destination weddings, but it would have been a blast to work again with Seattle transplant Tania Shepherd (formerly of Studio E Photography here in Indy), let alone on a boat in front of the Seattle skyline!

I was delighted, however, to have the opportunity to cover the couple’s reception last night at the Mavris Arts & Event Center, where I had also worked only six days earlier. Tonya had the venue decked out fabulously with a huge bar in the middle of the room and English daisy accents everywhere – most notably on the yummy cupcakes. Mary Beth Poe of MBP Catering added a fiesta flair with several Mexican food buffet stations, my favorites of which were the fajita bar and fried ice cream station. Photographer Angela Talley and I had our usual great time gabbing in between grabbing shots of the couple and their guests, and it was a pleasant surprise to see the band etc. again after working with them just last weekend.