Well, it took a couple of weeks longer than I had planned, but I finally uploaded our “new” website over the weekend! I put “new” in quotes because it’s still essentially the same website with a few nice tweaks on each page. But what I’m most excited about is the new method of letting visitors view our video samples, which I completely redesigned from the ground up. My main objective was to allow the videos to be embedded within the page as Flash video clips, as hinted at from my experiments with Google Video and YouTube. Ultimately, to be able to show things exactly the way I wanted, I knew that I would have to author the site (with much help from Cathy Gerlach) and host the clips myself, hence the extra time. It was a huge yet very educational challenge, and I’ve learned more about coding than I ever expected to know in a lifetime.

As rewarding as it has been to finally see how our videos work within the site, it’s the silly little stuff I figured out that I’m proudest of. Like the new Google map on our contact page, whose satellite imaging will make it easier to direct people to our specific building. Or the DVD simulation – getting a “hotspot” within another image to highlight while the cursor changes to a pointing hand? Probably straightforward for most techies, but a year in the works for me! Having our e-mail links work yet become unreadable to most e-mail harvesters should greatly reduce the spam that I get. Even something as simple as having our logo include transparent layers is something I should have learned long ago. There are some minor tweaks to come, but otherwise, it’s better than good – it’s DONE! Hopefully the result is a slicker, smoother viewing experience for our prospective clients. What do you think? Check it out at www.indyvisual.com.

Elizabeth and John wanted a winter wedding and got it – on a snowy weekend just days removed from the area’s heaviest snowfall in decades. The rehearsal dinner the night before at the Old Spaghetti Factory was a special treat for me, not just because of the couple’s hospitality, but also because it was where I enjoyed my first prom date in high school many years back. The couple’s generosity extended to the rest of their lucky friends and family as well, as I have never seen so many gifts handed out, with so much thought put into each one. I even scored three rock candy favors for the boys!

I had an early start covering Elizabeth’s preparations at her beautiful home north of Downtown. It’s the kind of house my wife and I always drool over, Victorian but new. (Someday…) Once we got to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, we navigated through a maze of narrow paths of shoveled snow (not easy with all this gear) to get inside for pictures with Joe Defabis. The ceremony and mass were long as expected, but enjoyable nonetheless. To see this sweet couple, who I knew put more planning and detail into this day than most couples do, finally have their moment (along with plenty of time to soak it all in) was a true pleasure.

The reception took place afterwards at the Fountain Square Theatre just southeast of Downtown. Surprisingly, it was the first time I had ever seen this Fountain Square area that I had heard so much about, so I was quite impressed and made a mental note to bring the kids sometime. The theatre itself was like a whole new world that you don’t expect when you enter it from the outside, with an outdoor village atmosphere similar to the Indiana Roof Ballroom, but smaller and more intimate. Having a spacious dance floor and an entire stage to roam allowed me to get some perspectives that I don’t normally enjoy at most receptions, so I’m looking forward to editing the footage in the coming days.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been over a week since the Colts won the Super Bowl, but after countless hours of reading every article I could find and watching every morsel of Colts coverage I could fit on my TiVo, I think I’m finally ready to get on with being a productive member of society, albeit with an extra bounce in my step. I am completely caught up with all of our wedding edits, and once I settle on an ideal format for showcasing the video clips, I’ll look forward to sharing those highlights here. My main focus this week has been catching up on all the “little” projects that I have accumulated over the past several months and completing an update of our website. I’m doing much of this from my home for these couple of days, and the view out my window of the heavy snowfall actually makes a perfectly serene backdrop for working.

I had the pleasure of attending a brunch Sunday at the Omni Severin Hotel organized by the Association of Bridal Consultants. It was fun as always to chat with fellow vendors there, but the highlight of the event was a presentation by nationally reknowned bridal consultant Barbara Wallace. She had a lot of wonderful insights to share, primarily aimed at the consultants there but applicable to anyone in business, about how to get to the top of your field and stay there. While I did pick some good tips, most of what she said already mirrored what my approach has been, so I left with a sense of affirmation that I’m on the right track.