Weekends don’t get any better than this time of year for me. After spending Saturdays covering the best day of my clients’ lives, I spend Sundays either at the Colts’ home games as a season ticket holder or watching their road games on TV from a couch or sports bar. I’ve been going to their games ever since they moved to Indy, and I’ve endured some pretty lean years, so their current success has been quite a ride. So while many of my fellow vendors are toiling away showcasing their services at the Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show at the Montage this Sunday, I’ll be on the 50-yard line with three guests – my oldest son Matthew, my visiting father-in-law Steve, and my brother-in-law Todd (whose wedding I was in back in May). Now that’s a fun day! Alas, I’ll miss their next two home games, one on 10/8/06 because of a Sunday wedding, and the other on 10/22/06 because of our departure for a vacation in Kauai. I’m sure I’ll get over the disappointment. 😉

I’ll have four more highlight segments to add here shortly. I’m not quite sure how I accumulated all of those in just the past week and a half, but we’ve definitely been going non-stop in the editing suite lately. I’m looking forward to videotaping a wedding this weekend for the third McCracken daughter I’ve covered since 1999. Hopefully they won’t compare their videos too closely, as new technology and creative growth have allowed us to improve our work year after year. This will be my first of two straight ceremonies at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, and my first return to the Columbia Club since four straight weekends last fall.

Taping at my church
Today I’ll be taping Christi & Eric’s ceremony at my church, St. Luke’s United Methodist, and for the second straight weekend, photographer Jim Wyant of Wyant Photography and Ami Gallery will be working alongside me. (It’s funny in this business how one could go a year or so without working with someone and then suddenly work with them several times in a short span. My four straight weekends at the Columbia Club last year will be hard for me to top.) The reception will be at the Meridian Hills Country Club, which I haven’t been to since the On the Spot Productions days (pre-2000), so that should be fun. Big thanks to Dede Brand of the Mansion at Oak Hill for referring this wedding to me! She’ll be Christi’s maid of honor.

While I’m here, I should get this blog caught up on a few video clips that I’ve promised over the past few entries. These are up on the Samples page of our website as well. Enjoy!

Annie & Nick’s gorgeous ceremony took place at the Indiana Statehouse, beautifully adorned by consultant Rayna Traylor and florist Tim Kelley. Annie surprised Nick with a gospel choir after the ceremony. The reception was the first one ever held at the new five-star Conrad Hotel downtown. Tim Brickley‘s orchestra provided dinner music, while his rock band packed the floor afterwards.

Annie & Nick’s Highlight Segment – 6/17/06

Beth & Jim are probably the wackiest couple I’ve ever worked for, which is a good thing! They got married outdoors in downtown South Bend followed by an extravagant reception in the Palais Royale. The Impalas also made the trip from Indy and rocked the house with their soulful style.

Beth & Jim’s Highlight Segment – 7/8/06

Kristin & Zach tied the knot at the Omni Severin, tastefully decorated by Julie Acheson of Royal Creations and expertly photographed by Stacy and Mary Photography. Sunny Moon MC’d the evening’s events and kept the guests glued to the dance floor later on, while the Omni’s Carrie Logie kept everything running to perfection.

Kristin & Zach’s Highlight Segment – 7/9/06

I also recently completed editing Debbie & Mike’s 7/15/06 wedding and reception at the Ritz-Charles, and Ilona & Geoff’s 7/22/06 wedding and reception at the Eiteljorg Museum, and Kim & Dave’s 8/5/06 wedding and reception at the Mansion at Oak Hill, so look for those clips here soon. Busy, busy!

The “IndyVisual Tour” concluded August 26 with Katherine & Mike’s beautiful ceremony amidst the jaw-dropping arhictecture of the St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Kentucky. Ted and Sarah from Ron Shuller’s Creative Images Photography and I followed the bridal party across the river to Cincinnati’s Ault Park, where several other bridal parties were jockeying for space to pose for photos within the park’s luscious landscaping, blissfully ignoring the humid 90-degree weather. A return drive across the river brought us to the perfectly situated Drees Pavilion in Devou Park, which provided a stunning view of the Cincinnati skyline. DJ Matt Woods of Music by Request DJ Butlers did a superb job of staying in communication with the vendors and clients, running the show to perfection while keeping the dance floor packed.

Last week was a productive week at the studio during which I completed editing Debbie & Mike’s July 15 wedding and reception at the Ritz-Charles, whose highlight segment will be posted here shortly. I also nearly completed editing Ilana & Geoff’s wedding, which I flew in from vacation in Wisconsin to shoot at the Eiteljorg Museum on July 22. Editing is also now underway on Kim & Dave’s August 5 ceremony and reception at the Mansion at Oak Hill, which should be done in the next few days.

Labor Day weekend ushered in a gorgeous, almost fall-like Saturday for Jim Wyant of Wyant Photography (and the new Ami Gallery in the Carmel Arts District) and I to start coverage at Julie & Paul’s elegant home in the village of WestClay. We then drove a mile south to the beautiful new Coxhall Gardens for an emotional ceremony in a giant gazebo in the middle of the amphitheater. When consultant Mark Mattingly of Formalities referred this wedding to me, this was going to be the first wedding ceremony ever there, and judging by everyone’s reaction to the unique setting, there will be many more to come. (Note to parents: I was so impressed by the Children’s Garden on the property that I took my kids there yesterday to play. There’s nothing quite like it in all of Indy!) The festivities continued at the Bridgewater Club, where various members of The Flying Toasters took turns rocking the house at lead vocals. But stealing the show was the groom himself, who brought Julie to tears with a personalized version of “Your Song.”

I had a wonderful time covering Laura & Greg’s wedding in Bloomington on August 12. It’s always fun to visit my old stomping grounds at Indiana University, especially while doing the very type of work I went to school for, let alone at the very same church I attended as a student. It gave me the feeling of coming full circle, as did the less upbeat thought that I’m finally “old” enough in theory to have kids enrolling there now. (Fortunately, coming home to a couple of kindergarteners always helps to shave a few years off that perception – for now.) It was nice to work with some unfamiliar faces, like the good-natured yet utterly professional photographer Kip May and bridal consultant/florist Cathy Teeters, who took Laura’s unique vision for the reception and brought it to life at the Bloomington Convention Center. It was also a pleasant surprise to see the Wendy Reed Band there, as neither Wendy nor myself knew we’d be working together that night. The Love Story video that I created for the reception was a big hit as well, and it was a relief to watch everyone laugh and cry in all the right places.

During the week that followed, I finally received a song selection for the highlight segment for Annie & Nick’s June 17 wedding at the Statehouse and reception (first ever!) at the Conrad Hotel. I promptly completed their video, so look for their highlight segment to pop up here shortly. I also completed editing Beth & Jim’s lively July 8 wedding and reception that took place in South Bend. I mentioned earlier that they were probably the most fun-loving couple I’ve worked with, and that will definitely come across in their highlight segment, which is also forthcoming.

On the homefront, the boys all started school last week, which doesn’t change anything around here, but definitely gives my wife Chris a huge daily break from their craziness. What a good sport! I took my 8-year-old son Matthew to the “American Idols Live” concert Thursday at the State Fairgrounds. Like the rest of America, I’ve followed the show since the Kelly Clarkson days, but Matthew didn’t get hooked on it until this season. Chris and Taylor have been his favorites, and they certainly didn’t disappoint with their performances. As a whole, I’d say the show was – like the food we ate at the fair beforehand – a guilty pleasure.

Then my own tour continued this past Saturday, as I drove down to the Evansville area to cover Jordan and Matthew’s wedding. It’s not a quick drive – three hours minimum – but the perfect scheduling of the events allowed me to avoid having to stay overnight down there. Apparently, many others felt the couple was worth the drive as well, as about 400 guests made the trip, including a busload of the bride’s family from Minnesota. Despite the hot and humid conditions, spirits were high, and the hayride getaway provided the huge wedding party a memorable and slow-paced opportunity to cool down with a few beers before the reception at Hullman Hall.

Seeking work in Indy
August has been as busy as advertised so far. I finished editing the two weddings from June 24. Here’s the highlight segment from Cathy & Marshall’s wedding, which I shot in Terre Haute with consultant Teddy Lenderman, photographer Michael Colter and DJ Craig James from Ultimate Entertainment:

And here’s an overview of Kerri & Kevin’s wedding, which Laurie shot at the Regions Bank building with consultant Gloria Boyden of

Events by Design, Chris Robb of Waldek Photography and DJ Steve Goldstein of Sound Spectrum:

I already received this nice e-mail from Kerri regarding her video: Bob – I can’t tell you how much we both LOVED our video!!!!! I was crying though the whole thing – it was shot & edited BRILLIANTLY! You guys are the BEST! You totally surprised us by using some of our songs from our favor CD’s! It meant the world to us when we heard those songs – thank you so much. I can’t wait to show it off!”
And as promised in an earlier post, here’s the overview segment from Leanne & Kyle’s wedding at the

Omni Severin on June 23:

Leanne’s mom left the kindest voicemail message for me regarding the video, so I will add it to the other excited mom’s message on our website soon.

I shot Kim & Dave’s wedding and reception at the Oak Hill Mansion last weekend, which is always a pleasure because of my long history of working there, my acquaintance with the Zehrs from church, and the location just up the street from our studio. (That they referred the wedding to me was a plus as well!) It was my first outdoor ceremony there, however, as well as my first reception in the big tent, so it managed to remain a novel and refreshing experience. Even the vendors were new faces to me – mostly. Consultant Julie Doyle of D&G Signature Events & Weddings handled the day-of duties and did a superb job taking over the many details that Kim had lined up for her. It was fun becoming familiar with photographer Sue Huffer and her considerable sense of humor, even in the midst of corralling a LOT of grandkids for photos. Finally, there was DJ Randy Pierson of A Night To Remember Entertainment – who was my financial planner ten years ago! I had no idea that he was in the business, but he did a masterful job behind the colsole, and he was every bit as articulate with MC duties as he was at selling mutual funds. Great guy!

This week my focus has shifted to editing the July weddings, and I have started work on Beth & Jim’s July 8 wedding in South Bend. I also completed a very ambitious “Love Story” video for this weekend’s couple, Laura & Greg, involving interviews with a dozen of their friends and family members from all over. It was a daunting task distilling two hours of comments into an entertaining presentation with a good narrative flow, but the bride is thrilled with the results, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes over Saturday at the reception. Their wedding is in my old stomping grounds of Bloomington – at the church I attended, no less! Then comes a wedding in the Evansville area the following weekend, followed by a wedding in Cincinnati. FINALLY starting in September, I’ll have ten consecutive weddings in Indy. Nice to know we’re still liked around here! 🙂

I just returned from a nearly two-week vacation in Wisconsin, where my wife’s family covened to celebrate her grandparents’ 65th anniversary. This is always a tricky time of the year for someone in my business to take time away from work. In fact, halfway through the trip, I flew back to Indy to videotape another wedding before rejoining the in-laws the next day. It helps that this has been a relatively “quiet” July, with four weddings and two open weekends to help me avoid falling behind much with the editing. Tomorrow heralds the beginning of by far the busiest August I have ever seen with six weddings booked, and a seventh considering. As hot as it’s been lately, I hope for ours and our clients’ sakes that August is hotter than July only in the business sense this year!

The wedding I shot mid-trip on July 22 took place outdoors at the Eiteljorg Museum downtown. Rebecca Raymond of Event Fantastic, who referred the clients to me, kept the day running smoothly and everyone’s spirits upbeat, despite some heavy hearts due to the recent sudden passing of one of the groom’s relatives. Photographer Andreas Nemitsas, a talented and wonderful soul who lives in my neighborhood, captured the beauty of the day in his usual artful manner. Sarah Bean of the Eiteljorg was a picture of quiet efficiency behind the scenes the entire day, and the band Zannadoo kept the dance floor packed, including the longest horah (the traditional Jewish “chair dance”) I have ever seen – and I’ve seen many!

We made it through the busiest June we have ever experienced (and I’ve seen a lot of busy Junes) with the expectation that our two bookings in an unusally slow July would give me some time to stay on top of editing of all the June weddings. However, we received two last-minute bookings that have turned this month into a more “normal” July and put that effort to the test. So far, I have two June weddings remaining to complete, so our clients are still getting a great turnaround time compared to most quality videographers in the industry. The big test will come next week, when I’ll be leaving town for our annual summer visit to my wife Chris’ family in Wisconsin. Not much time for editing then. I will squeeze in a little work when I will fly back to Indy briefly on Saturday the 22nd (taking a vacation from my vacation) to videotape a wedding at the Eiteljorg Museum. Crazy, I know!

This past week I finished editing Leanne and Kyle’s 6/23/06 wedding and reception at the Omni Severin. I will post their highlight segment shortly. It was a relatively laid back Friday affair with no dancing, aside from a first dance under a perfectly aimed spotlight. They were a wonderful, spiritual couple, and it’s amazing how that inner beauty sometimes shines through to the surface sometimes, as it does throughout their video.

I also got a wonderful card from Nicki & Austin (6/16/06) that said the following: “We can’t thank you enough for your excellent work on our wedding video. You were by far the most professional one could be. I would highly recommend you to anyone. You are peaceful and calming. It really made our day to watch our video after all the hype was over. You are truly the best!” Thanks, guys!

Yesterday I shot a wedding and very animated reception at the Ritz Charles. Debbie and Mike are an “older” couple in their 40’s, but I haven’t seen a more youthful spirit in any couple yet this year. They were so easygoing and fun to work with, and it meant a lot to me that they thanked me in their welcome speech at the reception. (So much for being invisible!) They were referred to me by several vendors – Anne Clidence of the Ritz Charles, Dave Cohen of Jerry Goldberg Photography and Brandon & Cybil New of B&C Digital Media. (Thanks to all of you!) I was pleasantly surprised to see Jennifer Montoya of Majestic Events there, too, and then she reminded me that I had referred the couple to her! How quickly I forget. So obviously, the chapel and ballrooms were gorgeous – lots of white with elevated bursts of red roses. I had a great time working and chatting with Dave and DJ Brian Whitis, who did a superb job of keeping the dance floor packed with an older crowd while keeping things just slightly under control when, uh, shirts started coming off…

I just got this rave via e-mail from Courtney & Brian about the video of their 6/10/06 wedding in Columbus: “Bob, we wanted to thank you SO MUCH for the wedding video. It was beyond what we ever imagined it would be. We both absolutely love it as does every single person we’ve showed it to. You did a fantastic job and we will treasure it forever. We wanted to let you know how many compliments we have had on it and will gladly recommend everyone we know to you. I think ours is the best one on your site :), but I may be biased!! Thank you again so much!”

I also got this e-mail earlier from Kelly & Peter about the video from her
6/10/06 wedding at the Indianapolis Art Center: “We absolutely love it! I knew we would since we had seen your work, but it was really great to revisit the wedding from a different perspective. It made me cry more than the actual wedding day!” Someone also e-mailed me a link to a thread on The Knot that Kelly started. Apparently, her highlight clip has brought a lot of strangers to tears! She had started a funny thread prior to her wedding questioning her sanity for going outside her budget to hire us. Thankfully, a previous bride raved about us then, just as Kelly is now. The toughest sell about videography is that the importance of it is not always fully appreciated until after the wedding, by which time our clients (many of whom didn’t even initially want a video) believe that it was their best investment.

So here’s what been happenin’… After a long Fourth of July weekend during which I took the boys to King’s Island and later watched the fireworks downtown here, it was back to business as usual, and busy it has been. I finished editing the Aufmann wedding that I shot on 6/18/06 at the Ritz-Charles with consultant Tonya Shadoan of Circle City Planners and photographer Joe Defabis. I also mostly finished editing the Singleton wedding from 6/17/06 that took place at the State Capitol building and was the luxurious Conrad Hotel‘s first-ever wedding reception. The only thing I’m waiting on is a song choice for their highlight segment, though I’ll have to wait until the couple returns from their honeymoon in Africa for that.

Last night I shot a very memorable wedding and reception in South Bend. The sister of the groom, Kristen Leep, whose wedding I am booked to shoot on 7/7/07 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, called me on Wednesday “just in case” I might be available on short notice to cover her brother’s wedding, and I was! The wedding took place in a beautiful fountain area just outside the Morris Performing Arts Center downtown, and the reception was held in a grand ballroom in the adjacent Palais Royale. The event was about as extravagant as any I’ve seen in Indy, involving canine attendants, butterflies, umbrellas, apples, a very tall cake, and a former governor in attendance. I had a nice time working with Master Photographer Gary Mester, and it was a pleasant surprise to see Indy’s own Impalas bringing their brassy soul to the reception. But nothing topped the fun of simply observing the couple, Beth and Jim, who were about as wild and fun-loving a couple as I’ve ever seen. If this is how the Leep family rolls, then I’m even more excited about covering Kristen’s wedding next year!

I titled this post “Wandering Indiana” because yesterday’s wedding confirmed that that variation of our former state slogan should be my motto for the year. I’ve already shot weddings in Cincinnati (close enough), Fort Wayne, Columbus, Terre Haute and now South Bend, with more coming up in Bloomington, Muncie, Evansville, Bedford and Crawfordsville. While I hope the brides haven’t forgotten us in Indy, it’s definitely been a joy to branch out a bit. At least today I’ll be “staying home,” as I’m shooting a wedding and reception at the Omni Severin. (Thanks for the referral, Carrie!) This will be my fifth one there out of the last dozen I’ve shot. I’ll be working with the always-fun photographers Stacy and Mary, whom I just found out will be working at the aformentioned Leep wedding next year along with Jessica Strickland. The last time I worked with them, they had a wedding to shoot in South Bend the next day. Today, I’m returning from South Bend before working with them again. Coincidence?

The 8 weddings in 15 days finally passed without a hitch – well, aside from the 8 hitched couples, of course. Half the fun is working with people I already know, which is kind of like a family reunion every time. The other half the fun is getting to work with unfamiliar faces, and I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a lot of both in such a short amount of days. Ultimately, it’s all about the bride and groom, and I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch to be around on the best days of their lives.

I spent Friday covering Leann and Russ’ wedding and reception at the Omni Severin. Jim of Henri’s Photo in FortWayne and his assistants got some great shots of the bride in the bridal suite, which offered a stunning view of Lucas Oil Field under construction. The ceremony took place in front of a stately backdrop of Greek-style columns, giving the wedding an outdoor feel. The reception was fairly subdued by design, with maximum mingling (and chocolate) and minimal dancing, save for the couple’s first dance under a perfectly-pointed spotlight. I’m getting so used to working with Carrie at the Omni that I hope she isn’t getting too sick of me yet. She was also a guest at the reception I shot at the Conrad the previous weekend. She oversaw three simultaneous events this day without once breaking a sweat or losing that big smile. What a trooper! I’ll see her again in about a week.

My Saturday wedding took place at First Presbyterian in Terre Haute under the watchful eye of consultant Teddy Lenderman and her sharp staff, with Michael Colter snapping photos. The three of us have worked with each other quite a few times recently, and it showed in the way we smoothly shuffled Cathy and Bruce through the day’s formalities. The Terre Haute Country Club provided a scenic backdrop for some fun group photos, one of which I’m especially hoping Michael will let me share. Later that evening, the bride’s father was kind enough to publicly acknowledge me after playing the photomontage I put together for them. It’s always a surreal feeling when that happens, considering how hard I try to blend in and not call attention to myself. DJ Craig James of Ultimate Entertainment also made the trip from Indy, and he did a nice job of moving through a large number of formalities in quick succession without seeming rushed.

Meanwhile, Laurie shot a wedding and reception at the Regions Bank building with consultant Gloria Boyden. Kerri had wanted to book us for quite a long time before we finally became available, so we’ll do our best to make sure we were worth the wait. I don’t know too much about how that one went yet (no news is usually good news), but the bride apparently hit it off quite well with Laurie. They’re both interested in entering the bridal consulting business someday, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this isn’t the last time they’ll work together.

I’ve been hard at work at the studio trying to stay ahead of schedule in editing some of these weddings, hence the slowness in blogging and updating the website. The upside is that several of these couples have gotten the pleasant surprise of having their videos ready upon returning from their honeymoons. The feedback has been as superb as I could have hoped for, but I’ve been too busy plowing ahead to really sit back and appreciate it. Hopefully by the time I shoot my next wedding on July 8, I’ll have all but two of these June weddings edited. Here are the highlight segments for the Wright wedding at the Indianapolis Art Center and the Hammond wedding at the Montage.

I recently purchased a DVD publishing system that automatically copies and prints onto the finished DVDs, and this new toy is showing early signs of making quite an impact on our efficiency at the studio. I don’t have a wedding to shoot this weekend, so I’ll probably take the boys somewhere fun so Mommy can have a rare (for this time of year) weekend to herself.

My recent stretch of weddings on three consecutive days went about as smoothly as I could have hoped for. Nicki and Austin’s Friday wedding took place at the Montage, with Gene Huddleson providing the design and direction, Andrew Scalini photographing, Sunny Moon handling ceremony audio and reception music, and Joe Husar of Kahn’s Katering doing a splendid job of running the facility and food service. The 8:00 start time for the outdoor ceremony made the weather tolerable and provided a beautiful dusk light over the proceedings. Unfortunately, the couple wasn’t given a chance to exchange the vows they had written to each other, so I staged a private moment afterward on the terrace for them to do so in front of the setting sun. Despite their disappointment in not having the chance earlier, they felt the full emotion of every word they wrote, and the improvised moment was one they appreciated and will always remember.

On Saturday, the State Capitol was transformed by consultant Rayna Traylor and designer Tim Palmer into a gorgeous sea of white for Annie and Nick’s ceremony. The bride surprised the groom with a gospel choir outside the building after the recessional. Bruce Livingston and his staff at the new Conrad Hotel were well-prepared for the Conrad’s first-ever wedding reception, which was written up in the Star the next day. I was surprised by the ballroom’s bold, contemporary design, and Tim Brickley‘s orchestra set the proper mood during dinner before his rock band took over when the dance floor opened up. The words “photographer from New York” fill me anxiety for some reason, but it was a true joy working with down-to-earth photographer Danny Linossi throughout the evening.

Jennifer and Russ’ Father’s Day wedding at the Ritz Charles chapel was a relatively short and sweet affair, with an abbreviated reception minus the usual dancing. The groom’s brother wrote and performed a beautiful ballad for the couple during the ceremony. Overall it was a nice, relaxed atmosphere in which I got to hang briefly with consultant Tonya Shadoan and reconnect with photographer Joe DeFabis. Joe and I were booth neighbors at my first bridal show in 1994, and I hadn’t worked with him in over 10 years. He books a lot of weddings online, and he had some good insights on search engine optimization, which may motivate me to move this blog back to my website’s server.

During the week I finished editing Kelly and Peter’s wedding, which Laurie shot at the Indianapolis Art Center on 6/10/06. They had a great engagement story that involved Kelly flying to Tokyo to find out if her friend Peter might have feelings for her, only to return to the U.S. as his fiance! They shared so many loving glances – it was an editor’s dream. I also heard from Meg Searle, the mother of the bride whose wedding I had shot in Columbus on that same day. She was blown away by the video and has promised to bring me to Cleveland to cover her next two kids’ weddings. Love to travel!

Which brings me to the home stretch for June. Friday I’ll videotape a wedding and reception at the Omni Severin. Then on Saturday, I’ll be joining consultant Teddy Lenderman and photographer Michael Colter for a wedding in Terre Haute, while Laurie shoots a wedding and reception at the Regions Bank building with consultant Gloria Boyden. (Thanks for the referrals, Carrie, Teddy and Gloria!)

Finally, CONGRATULATIONS to photographer Angela Talley and buddy Rich Johnson, each of whom called me this morning with news of newborn babies! Both kids will definitely be in capable, loving hands.