I had been looking forward to covering Kelly & Tim’s wedding for quite a while, since they were one of the first couples to book us for 2007, and since they were planning to do a first dance fake out similar to Kevin & Jill’s, which they first saw on this blog. The day was every bit as hot as advertised, but even without air conditioning, the ceremony at Holy Cross Parish was a beautiful affair enjoyed by their 250 guests. Afterwards, we all snuck onto the railroad tracks outside the Mavris Arts & Event Center for some cool photos in front of the downtown skyline with super photographer and friend Jessica Strickland (who referred the couple to me – thanks, Jess!).

The reception inside the Mavris was a welcome reprieve from the heat, and the artsy loft atmosphere added the perfect ambiance to the couple’s colorful decor. My favorite touch was the monogrammed decals on all the doors, a simple but effective way for Kelly & Tim to put their own personal stamp on the venue. The first dance surprise was a hit set the tone for rest the evening, and Dave & Rae had no problem maintaining that energy among the lively crowd for the rest of the night. Consultant Carlie Oakley did a great job throughout the day staying a step ahead of everyone, and I’m looking forward to watching her run the show at many more events. My only regret was having to leave before this fellow IU couple had breadsticks from Pizza Express delivered. I’ve been craving them ever since!

Anytime consultant Leslie Jones refers a wedding to us (thanks, Leslie!), I know we’re in for an adventure together, and Sara & Michael’s big weekend was no different. The fun started a day earlier, as Michael’s family hired us to cover the rehearsal dinner at the gorgeous Eiteljorg Museum. One comment that I kept hearing throughout the evening was that this event was being given the level of attention normally reserved for a reception, and my good friend Sarah Bean and her staff pulled it all off beautifully. The crowd enjoyed the video slideshow I put together, the speeches were plentiful but concise and often hilarious, and the huge tub of ice cream had to rank among the best dessert experiences ever. (Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry’s or Handel’s Pops? I had to sample all three in order to decide!)

Laurie covered most of the events on the wedding day, including a beautiful ketubah-signing ceremony prior to the couple’s traditional Jewish ceremony under a lovely chuppah at the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. The reception marked our fourth trip to the posh Conrad Hotel this year, where Leslie (with much help from her awesome assistant Marjan) took an already magnificent ballroom to a whole new level with her unerring sense of style. I wish I could describe the scene, but let’s just say that the band etc. had a backdrop that they just had to LOVE playing in front of. I stopped by late to say “hi” to Laurie, Leslie, Marjan, the Conrad’s Liz Mok and photographer Hether Miles, only to be hired on the spot to cover the swanky after-party outside the ballroom until 1 a.m. This group sure knows how to throw a party!

Jennifer Montoya of Majestic Events called me today to share the sad news of the sudden passing of a mutual former client, Ryan Holmes. Along with consultant Deanna Boyce of Eventfull Planning and photographer Angela Talley, I covered his and Stephanie’s beautiful wedding and reception three years ago at the Columbia Club.

It remains one of the most memorable events for all of us that still seems to come up often in conversation, but Ryan really made the biggest impression on me the night before at the rehearsal dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery. It was there during the speeches that it became clear what a special person he was, and how much he truly cherished his family, especially his mother who had passed away earlier. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, and it says a lot that that particular memory is more salient to me today than the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl that took place on the big-screens later that night.

It will be with a heavy heart that I will be working with Ryan’s family over the next few days to create a photo presentation for his memorial service at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. I thought this was the least I could do for someone who, like all former clients, will always be part of the IndyVisual “family.” All of my heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Stephanie, their new baby, Ryan’s dad and the rest of their family. Here’s an Indianapolis Star article with more information about his passing.

UPDATE (8/9/07): Wow. Although I can’t begin to fathom what the Holmes and Grumbacher families are going through, it was inspirational to arrive at our huge church and see a full parking lot and endless line of visitors weaving back and forth in the narthex waiting to pay their respects. It’s a testament to how many people’s lives Ryan has touched over his 34 years. It also makes me want to live my life in a way that I can touch so many people by the time I move on…

Lindsay & Seth enjoyed a wonderful wedding weekend, starting with an elegant rehearsal dinner at the Skyline Club, which provides the most amazing view of the city. Then Seth and his huge entourage teed off the next morning at the Legends of Indiana golf course in Franklin. As a former professional athlete in the Chicago White Sox organization, Seth was clearly unfazed by the pressure of sinking long putts with a video camera right at the hole. Lindsay and the gals had their hair and makeup done at Studio 2000 overlooking Monument Circle, where I ran into my good friends Tiffany and Nate of Nathaniel Edmunds Photography covering a different bridal party.

Then it was off to the spectacular Indiana Roof Ballroom with ultra-creative photographer Andrew Scalini (with whom I will be working there again in three weeks), where we enjoyed the luxury of having plenty of time to set up gear and get lots of great shots of the couple while the nice folks from the Shadeland Flower Shop transformed the ballroom. The ceremony took place under a beautifully lit chuppah, where a sneaky hidden camera gave me a great view, and I was tickled that the entire wedding party was willing to listen to my suggestion of switching sides per Jewish custom. The rare post-ceremony ketubah signing took place in the dark balcony, where my camera light came in handy. The reception was predictably spectacular as well, always a given when the Flip Miller Band is lending their fast-paced set to the proceedings, and day-of consultant Martha Rohr did a great job of keeping things moving along, a necessity after the 7:01 p.m. ceremony start time.

Here are the highlights from Krista & Phil’s 6/30/07 wedding at St. John Catholic Church and reception at the Conrad Hotel:

UPDATE: Krista sent me a nice e-mail just minutes after I sent her a preview of her video: “Thank you SO MUCH for sending this out! It totally made my day and I can’t wait to send it out to everyone, especially those people who couldn’t be there! Laurie did a fantasic job and I can’t wait to see the rest! Have a great weekend!”

I’ve always enjoyed traveling to Fort Wayne, whether it was to shoot graduations in the old days, shoot weddings each of the last few years, visit Amish country nearby, or bring the kids to the awesome Children’s Zoo and Science Central. On this particular weekend, I drove up there to cover Heather & Sean’s beautiful wedding mass at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Heather was recovering from a recent spate of illnesses, but she looked gorgeous nonetheless, and quite relieved to finally be able to kiss the groom and not care about getting him sick anymore. The reception was in what appeared to be an “inflatable” banquet hall adjacent to the Marriott Hotel. Sounds strange, I know, but the inside was very nicely decorated, and the prime rib during dinner was delicious! Everyone had a wonderful time, and I’m sure that Heather & Sean are feeling perfectly fine in Maui right about now.

While I was working in Fort Wayne, Laurie worked a little bit closer to home, covering Jill & Stephen’s ceremony at Northminster Presbyterian Church. Then everyone made their way to the reception at the Meridian Hills Country Club, where photographer Dawn Fisher of Galleria Studios (who referred the couple to us – thanks, Dawn!) got some great shots of the couple while Laurie captured lots of candid moments at the cocktail hour. The reception was a lively affair, and this was interestingly the third time Laurie worked at this venue this year. (Her next reception will be her third at the Conrad Hotel this year as well – pretty strange but cool!)