Just a few months after covering Chanda’s sister Jamie’s 1/5/08 wedding, I had the pleasure of capturing Chanda & Jeff’s big weekend. This was probably the most comprehensive coverage I’ve ever provided, starting Friday afternoon with the bridal luncheon at the Columbia Club, and continuing through the rehearsal that evening and then the rehearsal dinner afterwards at the Rathskellar.

I joined the guys Saturday morning at the Omni Severin Hotel, where Jeff gave everyone the coolest gifts ever (which for legal reasons I probably shouldn’t describe) while the ladies got ready in the bridal suite. After a gorgeous ceremony at St. Mary Catholic Church, we hopped on a trolley with the Altamira Photography crew for some fun photos around the World War I Memorial.

The reception back at the Omni was a gorgeous affair, with decor by Kathy’s Kloset. DJ Brian Jones of Indy Sounds (we were all basically the same vendors from Jamie’s wedding) presided over the most hilarious intros I’ve ever seen, and everyone had a great time from there on out. Their gift boxes of cake for the guests were a nice touch that enabled me to surprise my twins late on their birthday.

Jennifer & Pat’s coverage started at The Westin downtown the night before, where in addition to the typical happenings, the bride’s sisters entertained the crowd with a funny remake of the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” The next day’s ceremony brought me back to the Irvington area where I grew up, as they exchanged vows at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Jennifer’s cousin arranged all of the beautiful music prior to and throughout the ceremony, and I’m glad that the couple will now be able to enjoy hearing on the video some of what they missed that day.

The reception was held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, tastefully designed by Petal Peddlers and Antonia’s great IRB staff. The Flip Miller Band (whose namesake referred the couple to me – thanks, Flip!) rocked the house and did what few bands can do – keep the dance floor full despite its huge size and the lure of an awesome bar at the other end of the ballroom. It was a treat to finally work with Bill Collins of ProWeddingPhotos.com, after spotting him atop the Google rankings for many years.

Photo by ProWeddingPhotos.com

Nine months after Laurie covered Krista & Phil’s wedding, we were fortunate to be a part of the wedding of Phil’s sister Lauren and Matt. I started behind the scenes at Crowne Plaza Union Station, where the gals surprised Lauren with a nice card and beautiful necklace, while the guys were hilariously wagering on exactly how long the Catholic ceremony (with full mass) would last. I offered to ruin their game by telling them exactly how long it would be, having shot a couple dozen there over the years, but they understandably declined.

Laurie helped me cover the beautiful ceremony at SS. Peter & Paul Cathedral and then took over for the remainder of the day. She followed the group in their trolley to the canal for some fun photos on a gorgeous day with photographer and friend Angela Talley. Then it was back to Union Station’s Grand Hall for the reception, stunningly decked out by the folks at Enflora, where the two-member Paul Otten Band did a remarkable job of keeping the huge dance floor packed the whole time. I rejoined the festivities near the end just in time to witness this sea of humanity and snag a couple of “favors” I’d never seen before – personal pizzas from Donato’s. Yum!

UPDATE: Lauren took time out of her honeymoon in Hawaii to e-mail the following: “I just want to give you a huge thank you for all your work at our wedding. I checked out the teaser on your blog and it brought me to tears. I LOVED it and I just know the video is going to be amazing!” Thanks so much, Lauren – enjoy the islands!

I was blessed to have Tony’s invaluable help with editing and videotaping for a couple of years while he was finding his footing in the video & multimedia business, finally landing an awesome full-time job doing video and 3D work at Medical Animatics. So I was thrilled to be able to cover his wedding day as he tied the knot with Stephany at the Indiana State House. We couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony a few times, not just at his being my boss for a day, but also being on the other end of the type of video that he’s seen so many times while working in my studio.

The ceremony was filled many nice touches, including roses given to the mothers after each set of parents expressed support for this union, a sand ceremony, and one that I’d never heard of before. They wrote love letters to each other and placed them in a box containing a small wine bottle and glasses, then hammered the lid onto it. In ten years, they will open the box, enjoy a toast, and finally read the letters they wrote to each other for their wedding day. What a wonderful way to be transported back to your wedding day – well, in addition to a video!

The reception took place at the Rathskeller, and the food was steller – I’d been looking forward to the pretzels ever since they booked me. DJ Wes Adkins of Event One DJs did a great job of running the show, especially after a lightning-quick setup following the ceremony, where he provided the audio. Tony’s friend Erin Davis of Bare Bones Photography did a masterful job of capturing photos throughout the day while blending in with the guests. But the best part of the day was the couple themselves, who were inseparable the whole time and are obviously great friends just as much as they are husband and wife.

UPDATE: Stephany just e-mailed these kind words to me: “The video is gorgeous! Tony and I just got back from our honeymoon and this was such a treat to watch. Thank you so much!” The pleasure was all mine!

I only get to cover mitzvahs about once every couple of years, but it’s always a big production and loads of fun, and Sharla’s bat mitzvah celebration at the Marriott North may have topped them all. I got to know her family more than most due to my extensive work on her photo & video presentation with her mother Idrienne, and the video was a big hit. But it was only the beginning. In addition to the traditional moments, the “Masquerade Ball”-themed party also included a quick ballroom dancing lesson, Sharla’s sister doing a surprise “Wizard of Oz” bit, Bubbles & Pickles the clowns getting the party revved up, lots of masks and “Phantom of the Opera” music, great food by Great Cooks & Company and nonstop dancing courtesy of DJ Tim Fuller. It was fun to work with photographer Sue Huffer again, and big thanks to the Marriott’s Robyn Sweet for the referral. Congratulations, Sharla!

After weeks of finalizing plans with Joanna from opposite sides of the globe (either she was in Australia or I was in Thailand), we were finally united on the weekend that mattered most, the weekend of her wedding to Lou at the Omni Severin Hotel. My coverage started with a rehearsal in one of the meeting rooms, and I could tell right away from the chairs that this would be a wedding “in the round,” just one of many unique touches to come. Another thoughtful idea was having a cocktail party instead of a rehearsal dinner, as the couple wanted to invite all the guests who had already arrived from afar at the hotel instead of just the customary select few.

I arrived early on the big day, so I was able to capture some extra moments behind the scenes before getting some nice shots of the ceremony arrangement in the ballroom, tastefully decorated by McNamara Florist. The ceremony was an elegant affair in an intimate setting punctuated with much levity by the groom throughout. Following the ceremony, I squeezed in a cab with the couple and photographer Andrew Scalini for some fun shots around the town, including the canal’s newly refilled water dyed green for St. Patrick’s day.

There was more green to come at the reception, as a bagpiper surprised the guests, accompanied by green beer and some nimble footwork by the couple. DJ Brian Whitis did a wonderful job the rest of the evening at keeping the small but very spirited crowd moving on the dance floor. How spirited? Let’s just say for example that I’ve never seen a groomsman wear an ice sculpture as a necklace before and leave it at that. Big thanks to the Omni ladies – Carrie for the referral, and Amanda for letting me store my gear in her office while taking in the Big Ten Tournament game (which I had HOPED would be IU vs. Purdue when I bought the tickets) prior to the rehearsal. And congrats to Joanna (Happy Birthday, too) and Lou!

Photo by Andrew Scalini

After becoming the first studio in Indiana to capture weddings in high-definition (HD) in 2006 and offer finished HD videos on Blu-ray discs in 2007, IndyVisual has made another technological leap with the acquisition of Sony’s new HVR-S270 camcorder. This much buzzed-about camera offers low-light performance far exceeding that of previous models, interchangeable lenses, and the ability to record simultaneously to tape and compact flash cards. Yes, that’s right – those little one-square-inch cards that you stick in your point-and-shoot cameras can now hold over 2 hours (soon to be 4) of HD footage! This amazing technology will further enhance our workflow, allowing us to serve our valued clients with even greater efficiency while providing an even more visually stunning keepsake of their special day. To help spread the gospel about HD, we will be offering HD upgrade specials shortly for existing and future clients while continuing to share this technology with our peers in the industry.

Eve & Jack were referred to us by Laura Kopetsky, whose daughter’s wedding we covered last fall. They got engaged in January, decided after seeing the Indiana Roof Ballroom that they HAD to have their wedding and reception there, and chose the venue’s only open date of the year to get married. This meant a lot of quick planning, though the day ran quite smoothly given the extensive details and huge guest list.

After a rehearsal on Friday, I accompanied them for a rehearsal dinner at Hillcrest Country Club, our first visit there in nearly five years. Jack amusingly noted that the delicious fried chicken dinner was being served that night because it wasn’t going to be a catering option allowed by Eve at the Roof the next night. The casino-themed dinner was followed by all-ages blackjack in a clever casino setup in the adjoining banquet room.

On Saturday, I joined Eve at Don Allen’s Hair Care Salon in Greenwood just in time to catch her stylist finishing up her beautiful hair with perfectly matching ribbons subtly blended in, followed by a quick Electric Slide lesson for one of her line dance-challenged bridesmaids. After final preparations at the Roof, followed by an emotional first meeting with Jack and photos with photographers Jim and Lois Wyant, Eve walked down the aisle with music played by a four-piece horn ensemble split two-by-two around the aisle at the back of the seats.

Designer Jim Holland’s spectacular vision really came to life once the ballroom was flipped for the reception. After the Roof’s signature thunder and lightning display and a quick sequence of traditional formalities, Nashville recording artist Casey Jamerson and her band rocked the crowd for the remainder of the evening. Special thanks to videographer Rich Johnson for making time following a family funeral to join me and pull off the mammoth task of getting video greetings from the majority of the nearly 600 guests, which the couple will undoubtedly appreciate.

Photo by Wyant Photography

I just returned from a wonderful one-week stay in Thailand to visit my mother, who lives in the popular northern city of Chiang Mai. Highlights included many gatherings with various members of my huge extended family, all the Thai food I could handle, and lots of hours relaxing in the neighborhood pool. It was just the break I needed following a crazy winter to recharge my batteries for an unusally busy spring. I’m already looking forward to my next visit, when I finally get to bring the kids!

After 14 years of having typically one or two weddings to cover in our “down” season of January through March, yesterday I began an unprecedented winter stretch of six events in six weekends. It’s a strange feeling. This is the time when I am accustomed to twiddling my thumbs for 2-3 months, working on other projects, reorganizing the studio, and trying out new looks for the website as well as our videos. Instead, having completed our last edit from the previous season just a couple of weeks ago, this seems like a continuation of the 2007 season without much of a break or the feeling of starting anew. But considering how great last year was, staying on that roll is perfectly fine with me, as I am very blessed to be able to do what I do for a living – and to pay the bills in winter!

Helping out the cause were Amber & Nic, a very fun-loving couple who were referred to us by their friends Candace & Damon (who could not book us for their wedding last year but thought enough of us to kindly refer us). The ceremony took place at Central Presbyterian Church in Terre Haute, with amazing floral design overseen by consultant and best-selling author Teddy Lenderman. Amber had lost her voice prior to the weekend but managed to get through her vows and the rest of the day anyway. The reception setup at the Country Club of Terre Haute was equally fab, and DJ Matt Luecking of Showtime Music kept the small dance floor so packed that photographer David Stapp and I could barely get around, which is a good thing. The chicken dance rarely makes it into the highlight video, but this one surely will!