I can honestly say that I have never seen as many details packed into a single wedding day as Jennifer put into hers. But she pulled it off beautifully, with some last-minute help and a great can-do attitude by the staff of Black Tie Events, and the result was a wedding day to be remembered by all. The ceremony uniting Jennifer & Eron was held at Christ United Methodist Church, the site where Jennifer’s parents were married 39 years ago to the day. My favorite unique detail during the ceremony was the assembly of a wedding wreath, during which we learned the meaning behind the many beautiful pieces that went into the wreath.

Cindy Wagner of Wagner Photographics got some great shots of the couple on the canal afterwards while I focused on capturing as many details as I could at the lively cocktail hour at the Indiana History Center. The reception was also full of many touches and surprises, my favorite of which was the raining down of rose petals provided by The Painted Daisy during the perfectly choreographed first dance, an idea that Jennifer said she got from my website. Wedding entertainment director Jim Cerone presided over the many details with his usual class and professionalism through the end of the evening, when the couple hopped on a horse carriage ride to begin their new life together.

Today we booked our 48th wedding for the year 2008, and I couldn’t be any giddier. What’s the big deal about 48? It represents the most weddings we have ever booked in a single year. We had 47 events back in 1995, our third year in business, when we were a more budget-oriented studio. Once we became a more upscale outfit a year later, I assumed we would never see that number again, typically booking 30-35 a year since then. But despite a struggling economy and a lingering resistance to hiring professional videographers, we’ve been blessed with a huge upswing in these past couple of years.

What makes this so cool is more than just my own geekiness about numbers. More importantly, this success represents validation for all the hard work we have put into improving the quality of our work, taking care of our clients, and generally trying to do things the “right” way. And it wouldn’t be possible without the 500-plus clients and 100-plus vendors who have supported us every step of the way. I can never thank all of you enough, but I will certainly keep trying my best to continue rewarding your trust in us. (And please keep the calls coming for 2009. We’re nowhere near this year’s pace…yet!)

Jessica & Mark were referred to us by the Indiana Roof Ballroom‘s Antonia Zunarelli as well as her friends Amie & Justin, whose wedding we covered last fall. After their first meeting in the ballroom amidst a beautiful floating sea of floral arrangements by JP Parker Flowers, the couple and the rest of the wedding party walked to Monument Circle for some great shots with photographers Melody & Jeremy Carpenter. Then it was back to the Roof for an elegant ceremony, highlighted by a sweet song performed by Jessica’s sister.

After cocktails and dinner, Dave and Rae took the stage with their full band configuration and rocked out like I’d never seen them do before. (They’re great as a duo, but if you’re considering having them at your reception, trust me – the rhythm section is worth it!) Jess & Mark weren’t shy about getting onstage to add their vocal and percussive stylings to “American Pie.” Through it all, consultant Jacque Comella kept everything running flawlessly behind the scenes.

Photo by Carpenter Photography & Design

Drucie and David Cook (not that one, “Idol” fans) found me fairly last-minute thanks to Dave Cohen of Jerry Goldberg Photography, and their intimate backyard wedding was a welcome change of pace on a gorgeous Friday evening. If my math is correct, they were pronounced husband and wife at exactly 8:08pm on 8/8/08, which should bode very well for their luck and prosperity according to Chinese lore. The reception was intended to be a casual barbeque dinner with few formalities and no dancing, but Dave encouraged the best man and maid of honor to say a few words, and I encouraged the couple to share a first dance on the lawn while harpist Jennifer Midkiff kindly agreed to play an extra song for them. Hopefully this resulted in a few more special moments that they’ll never forget.

After some early preparations in the bridal suite and a first meeting in the Omni Severin ballroom, Adrienne & Ryan enjoyed a gorgeous wedding “in the round,” the second such ceremony I have covered there this year. I particularly like this arrangement because it gives the couple the feeling of being truly surrounded by loved ones as they exchange their vows. The multitude of candles, outstanding decor by Coby Palmer, and eloquence of Rev. Marilyn York only added to the unique ambiance of the event. As a big Beatles fan, I got a kick out of the recessional music, a string quartet version of “All You Need Is Love.”

After some quick shots outside with photographer Zach Dobson (whose wedding I covered a couple of years ago), the couple joined their guests for an evening filled with great food, memorable speeches and nonstop party music provided by DJ Sunny Moon. The candy station outside the ballroom was a sweet way to say thanks to their guests, who in turn bid them farewell at the end of the night with a sparkler sendoff on the way to their horse carriage ride.

Photo by Zach Dobson Photography

Dani & Grant returned to their alma mater to get married at St. Paul’s Catholic Church on the Indiana University campus. They were referred to us by Lauren & Matt, whose wedding Laurie covered back in March, and Laurie was back at it again for this one. Because this was a campus reunion of sorts for the couple’s many fellow alumni, there were some nice Hoosier touches throughout the day, the most surprising of which was the performance of the IU fight song during the recessional.

After a long break on a hot summer day during which Dani & Grant roamed the campus for photos with Kristen & Terri of Blueline Weddings, everyone reconvened at the Indiana Memorial Union’s Alumni Hall for a cool blast of an evening. Tricia Riviere of Social Butterfly kept everything running smoothly while Mark Smith of Platinum DJ Productions provided the tunes that kept everyone in a dancing frenzy. Dani & Grant topped off the evening with my favorite favors ever, personalized bags of breadsticks delivered by a Hoosier institution – Pizza Express. YUM!

Photo by Chelsea Sanders of Blueline Weddings