Julie & Justin – 10/8/06

I had a blast covering Julie & Justin’s wedding and reception yesterday at the Ritz Charles. It was a very emotional day, as both of them have weathered so much adversity in recent years to get to where they are today. Even the mother of the bride had to recover from injuries from one recent accident and survive yet another last week just to be able to walk the aisle. This is one resilient group of people! I loved how the ceremony was tailored to include Justin’s two children as a significant part of their union. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the four of them went up to light the unity candle. I spotted photographers Stacy and Mary and chapel coordinator Anne Clidence all getting a little misty-eyed, and I’ll admit getting a little lump in my throat myself.

The reception was the first that I’ve shot in the Ritz Charles’ permanent outdoor pavilion. In fact, I didn’t even notice the structure was new until consultant Tonya Shadoan of Circle City Planners (who referred the wedding to us) pointed it out to me. I had shot one there two years ago in their big “tent,” and this new structure looked exactly like it! The whole space was beautifully designed, with lots of apples everywhere, including the tall centerpieces. (My chocolate-caramel apple favor was a hit with my kids later that night.) The Ritz Charles, Tonya and designer Julie Acheson of Royal Creations all did a magnificent job! DJ Brian Jones of Indy Sounds was thoroughly professional, and much of his dinner music was exactly the same music I like to use when editing our videos. But stealing the show once again was the happy couple, whose heartfelt speech – acknowledging the anniversary of Julie’s own adoption and remembering family members and firefighters from Justin’s unit who had recently passed away – had us all misty again. They’ve definitely “earned” every ounce of happiness that they will share with each other!

Update (10/12/06): Here’s a cool photo from Julie & Justin’s wedding day that I found on Stacy & Mary’s blog. There’s also a photo of me on there, so view at your own risk! 😉

I’ve had a few “thank you” notes piling up on my desk for awhile now, so as I prepare to videotape a Sunday ceremony and reception at the Ritz Charles, here’s a sampling of what our clients have been saying lately:

From Cathy & Marshall VanNahmen, regarding the video from their 6/24/06 wedding: “Bob – you did an absolutely phenomenal job putting our wedding video together! Thank you so much for your dedicated effort and quick turnaround in getting this to us. We positively love it! Also, our friends couldn’t stop talking about how much they loved the picture slideshow we showed at the reception – it turned out wonderfully as well. You have been so terrific to work with, and even better, so genuinely sincere and kind to us in every encounter. Thank you for an amazing memory we will cherish forever! We will recommend you to everyone we know!

Sincerely,
Cathy and Marshall VanNahmen

P.S. My mom is already saying she’s going to keep a copy of the video in the safety deposit box, just for safe keeping! :)”

(Quick sidebar: Here’s why I love the end of that e-mail. There was a time early in the life of my business when one of my relatives was questioning the “importance” of what I was doing for a career. He felt that I should have been a chemist! My proud response was that not many people are lucky enough to be able to say that they provide a service that means so much to their clients that the finished product goes straight to the clients’ safety deposit boxes.)

From Sissy Allen, mother of the bride regarding Kristin & Zach’s 7/9/06 wedding: “Thank you so much for all you have done! We feel so blessed to have had you working with us to make Kristin & Zach’s day special!”

From Mike & Debbie Cobb about their wedding video from 10/8/06: “Thank you very much for being a part of our wedding. Your participation made it an even more magical day for us. We really appreciate and thank you for the professionalism and consideration you demonstrated during our event. We have truly enjoyed watching our wedding video and look forward to sharing it with family and friends!”

From Jordan Schmitt regarding Jordan and Matthew’s video from 8/19/06: “Bob – I got the video today…it is WONDERFUL!!!! You really did an excellent job capturing the day! Thank you SOOOO much! I love it! I’ll definitely be recommending you to friends in the years to come! Thanks again!”

September and October are my favorite months to videotape weddings due to the cooler weather, the beautiful outdoor shots, and of course, the football that awaits me the next day as a reward for a hard but fun day’s work. And fun it has been these past two weekends!

Courtney & Zach’s September 23 wedding at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church marked the third wedding that we have shot for the McCracken family, so it was nice to catch up with our former clients and count kids. I was pleasantly surprised to find David Takayoshi of Line 11 Images, whom I had known but never worked with, working alongside photographer Eric Graf from Louisville. While waiting downtown for the wedding party to arrive at the Columbia Club, I ran into consultant Michelle Rogers of Accolade of London, Jeff Reed of the band First Impression and Larry Seidman‘s associate photographer preparing for a wedding on the first floor. (Too bad they didn’t also hire me to shoot their ceremony – I probably could have fit it in while waiting for Courtney & Zach!) I also spotted photographer Mark Dutkevitch getting some shots at the church next door. I wonder how many wedding parties go through the Monument Circle area in a single Saturday. After a few photos on the Circle, we all headed to the 10th-floor ballroom, tastefully decorated by Alan Thompson of McNamara Florists, for a night of good food and big-band music by Chicago’s Bobby Schiff Band.

Last weekend brought me right back to St. Joan of Arc for Emily & John’s ceremony, and I immediately recognized the white and gold ribbons blowing in the wind as the work of Majestic Events. That bundle of positive, creative energy known as photographer Jessica Strickland (who referred the wedding to me) was there to greet me as well, and the day’s upbeat vibe never let up from there. I followed the bridal party and Jess to Holcomb Gardens afterwards for some laughter-filled photo ops, then moved on to the Montage to capture (and partake in) the customary hospitality of Joe Husar’s staff. After a nice breather and chat over dinner with the Stricklands and DJ Jason Fritz of Pro-Sound Entertainment, Jason kept me busy the remainder of the night by keeping the dance floor so packed by the young crowd that I could barely navigate the area to get my shots. In fact, I don’t recall Emily ever leaving the dance floor…

I spent the past week finishing up Latosha & Adrian’s wedding video from August 19, which Tony Cardinali shot for me while I was covering Jordan & Matthew’s wedding in the Evansville area. The ceremony was at New Life Worship Center, which I thought I’d never been to until I saw the footage and realized it used to be Traders Pointe Christian Church. The reception was at the Children’s Museum, which made me envious of Tony since I’m a member there and LOVE it! I also completed most of Catherine & Michael’s video from their August 26 wedding in the Cincinnati area – that one should be done tomorrow morning.

While all this has been going on, I’ve also been helping my church (St. Luke’s UMC) duplicate and print about 2500 DVDs for our latest capital campaign. I’ve also met with several brides and filled up even more dates for 2007, which is shaping up to be another record year for IndyVisual. The blessings just keep on coming!

Five more video clips
I’m editing videos faster than I can blog! Here are the five most recently completed video clips as promised…

Debbie & Mike had an intimate ceremony in the chapel at the Ritz Charles, followed by a spirited reception in the main building. Jennifer Montoya of Majestic Events provided the elegant bursts of red roses (my favorite!), Dave Cohen of Jerry Goldberg Photography captured the day’s many highlights, and DJ Brian Whitis kept the lively crowd glued to the dance floor.

Debbie & Mike’s Highlight Segment – 7/15/06

Ilona & Geoff were married in a beautiful outdoor setting at the Eiteljorg Museum. Rebecca Raymond of Event Fantastic (who referred the wedding to me) coordinated the events of the day with the Eiteljorg’s Sarah Bean, Rue de Fleur added a touch of European elegance to the decor, Andreas Nemitsas brought his personable style to the photo sessions, and veteran band Zanna-Doo brought a touch of local rock scene history to the night.

Ilona & Geoff’s Highlight Segment – 7/22/06

Dave & Kim’s wedding and reception proved to be a perfect showcase for the Oak Hill Mansion’s outdoor facilities, as they exchanged vows in the wedding gazebo before celebrating in the reception pavilion. I enjoyed working with photographer Sue Huffer and consultant Julie Doyle for the first time, and it was a kick to see my former financial planner Randy Pierson behind the DJ console.

Dave & Kim’s Highlight Segment – 8/5/06

Laura & Greg were a fun, spiritual couple to produce a Love Story video for, and returning “home” to the IU campus to cover their wedding weekend, including a ceremony at my former church, was a real treat. Consultant and florist Cathy Teeters transformed the Bloomington Convention Center, while photographer Kip May captured it all and the wonderful Wendy Reed Band entertained the crowd.

Laura & Greg’s Highlight Segment – 8/12/06

Jordan & Matthew were married in the Evansville area, joined by a huge busload of guests from Minnesota. The hayride from the church provided ample opportunity for the group to get loosened up for some humorous photos at the family farm nearby. I declined to ask what was in the bucket that everyone was taking a sip from at the reception, but it was a family tradition that led to some great reaction shots for the video.

Jordan & Matthew’s Highlight Segment – 8/19/06

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!