Photo by Richard Spahr Photography
After many prayers and crossed fingers, the weather held up beautifully for Emily & John’s wedding day, which kicked off a very busy month of June for us. The ceremony took place at Meridian Street United Methodist Church, which was adorned spectacularly by McNamara’s. The sequence of arches that welcomed the guests down the aisle was amazing, but the same designer did the unbelievable arrangements for the Lauth reception I covered a couple of weeks ago at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, so I’m not surprised. Church coordinator David Otto did his customary great job keeping such a big wedding with so many attendants and guests running smoothly and right on time. The music throughout was terrific, and fortunately, I was able to debut some new audio accessories at this wedding to capture it all.
The 300 or so guests then packed the Woodstock Club for a lively outdoor cocktail hour and indoor reception. With the Flip Miller Band providing the music as they usually do for this crowd, I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me with everyone wanting to dance to all that great music in a limited area, but the smaller HD camera that I used made navigation much easier and gave me some fun shots. My good friend Leslie Jones did a superb job throughout the day, right up until the couple exited in a shower of rose petals at midnight. Photographer Richard Spahr hung in there with me until the very end as well, and it was a joy for me to work with him for the first time. (Laurie enjoyed working him recently, too.)

The Meridian St. UMC/Woodstock combination has become an annual tradition for us, as a lot of our clients who are members of those venues use pretty much the same vendors every time a daughter gets married, and IndyVisual has been a lucky beneficiary of that for years now. The real fun part of these events is catching up with the many former clients in the crowd every time. But it was Emily’s family who kickstarted this whole run of weddings for us after we covered her sister Sarah’s wedding years ago, and I can’t thank the Neighbours family enough for their incredible support throughout the years.

Photo by Karen Bowling Photography

While I was covering Emily & Andrew’s wedding a mile away, Laurie was at Bethlehem Lutheran Church for Virginia & Lars’ beautiful wedding ceremony. I can’t help but think about the song “Everlasting Love” by Natalie Cole as I write this, because the couple met through eHarmony, whose commercials prominently feature that tune. After getting ready at her sister’s house, Virginia arrived just in time ten minutes before the ceremony. This has been a very unique and refreshing couple to work with since day one, and true to form, the bride surprised everyone with a change into a red dress prior to the reception at Meridian Hills Country Club. Karen Bowling and Platinum DJs provided the photography and music, respectively, and Laurie enjoyed their company throughout the day. June 2 has been by far the most inquired-about date this year (even more than 7/7/07), so I’m really glad we were able to accomodate Virginia & Lars’ unforgettable big day, and I’m looking forward to editing this into a very fun video soon.

Tiffany Stoner and Nate Rowe of Nathaniel Edmunds Photography just gave my family the coolest “thank you” gift ever for the video clips I put together for their new website. Nate met us at Holiday Park last week to capture some images of the boys romping around at the huge play area, and of all of us wandering around the woods. I’ve always loved bringing the kids there, but it also has significance to me because I shot my first wedding in front of the park’s beautiful ruins with the fountain running, and it is also the last place Chris and I played with Matthew right before the twins were born. The kids are much older now and pretty tricky to wrangle for pictures, so I’m amazed at how many great shots Nate was able to get out of all that craziness. Thanks, Tiff & Nate! There are many more shots on their blog, but here are a few of my favorites:

Almost ten years after videotaping Leigh Ann Lauth’s graduation ceremony at Second Presbyterian Church and reception at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, it only seemed meant to be that I would have the honor of covering Leigh Ann & Kevin’s wedding and reception last night at those same venues. The couple certainly came ready to party, and their early first meeting gave them plenty of time to get some great shots in and outside the church with photographers Dan & Brooke Brand of Brand Photo & Design. The ceremony took place in front of about 400 guests, who easily filled this normally hard-to-fill sanctuary. The balcony was pretty full, too, as I shared space with a sizable orchestra whose beautiful music set a majestic tone for the whole ceremony. I was pleasantly surprised to see my talented friend Michael Vaughn of the Fishers Chamber Players there in the orchestra. (Our oldest kids are going to marry each other one day – they just don’t know it yet.)
The reception at the Indiana Roof Ballroom was simply breathtaking! This was also my first wedding with uber-designer Gary Bravard in almost ten years, and he came back better than ever and even outdid himself in a big way with this one. The huge ballroom is virtually impossible to truly fill with decor (not that it needs it), but Gary and his team did exactly that, transforming it into an extravagant forest of floral arrangements. One of the many highlights of the night was a surprise by the bride’s father Bob Lauth – an amazing Celtic dancing troupe to celebrate the couple’s Irish heritage. The band High Society Orchestra came down from Chicago to show everyone how it’s done in the Windy City, keeping the majority of the huge crowd – and the couple – on the dance floor for hours on end. I can’t thank Gary Bravard enough for making me a part of his great team at this event, or my buddy Rich Johnson for his invaluable help. And my kids are thankful for the favors that the couple had waiting for guests at the exit – boxes of Krispy Kreme Donuts!

Anna & Michael share a mid-street kiss for photographer Kevin Swan.

While I was covering Leigh Ann & Kevin’s reception at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, Laurie was videotaping Anna & Michael’s beautiful wedding and reception right down the block at the luxurious Conrad Hotel. At the rehearsal, they had toyed with the idea of squeezing their slightly smaller crowd into a third of the ballroom, but I think they made a great choice instead to spread them out over a larger section of the room. After all, you can’t have an event in a fancy venue like that and then not show it off, right? Anna gave me the impression that theirs would be a pretty subdued crowd, but they turned out to be quite the fun-loving bunch on the dance floor, aided surely by DJ Sunny Moon‘s experience at keeping the party moving. (Thanks to Sunny for the referral, as well as for inviting me to be part of your bridal open house earlier in the week!) The always-animated photographer Kevin Swan was there to cover the event as well, so I’m sure that much fun was had by all!

After a fantastic wedding week in St. Kitts and another week’s honeymoon in Antigua, the celebration continued last Saturday at their reception at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Tonya Shadoan of Circle City Planners and Gene Huddleston of Detail + Design collaborated to bring tropical chic to the Deer Zink Pavillion. What really made the room was the contemporary furniture sets carefully picked out by Tonya and provided by Watson’s, where Kevin is the sales manager. I put together a video of photographer Hether Miles‘ great images combined with my footage, and it was a huge hit with the crowd. It was intended by Jill to be the focal point of the reception, but it got upstaged soon after by the couple themselves. I’ve seen over 500 first dances, so it would take something really special for me to say that it was my Favorite First Dance Ever, but this one was by a mile. (I’ll post it shortly.) All in all, it was a magical night to cap off what Kevin’s dad called the “longest wedding ever!”

Tiffany Stoner of Nathaniel Edmunds Photography contacted me a few months ago about producing an online video for their new website, which made its big debut last night. (Congratulations, guys!) The purpose of the video was to give their site visitors a chance to get to know Tiffany and Nate better. But the real acknowledged “masterpiece” that came out of it was a hilarious outtakes video that I think captures them even better than the main video. Needless to say, they just HAD to include this video on their website as well! Go ahead, try to get through this video without cracking up:

I also converted Tiffany’s home videos to DVD around the same time, and in doing so, I feel like I’ve really gotten to know her family. So it’s with a heavy heart and much pride that I wish Tiffany’s husband Tim godspeed and a safe return home from a tour of duty in Iraq that started last Sunday. Tiffany sent me a link to some incredible, poignant images that Nate took of their farewell, and I was particularly moved by the ones of Tim saying goodbye to his four beautiful children. Hopefully they’ll fully appreciate someday how brave their Daddy is to bring critical help to the men and women on the front lines who sacrifice so much so that we can live the wonderful lives that we lead.
Who’s luckier, the guy standing on the far left, or the one on the far right?
Wow! Jill brought me a CD of Hether Miles‘ images from their wedding in St. Kitts to create a video for their reception at the Indianapolis Museum of Art this weekend. I normally like to keep these blogs short and sweet with one image at most, but I’m going to have to break form and post a handful. Sorry – couldn’t help it! Narrowing it down was really tough (I’m notoriously indecisive – never go grocery shopping with me), so I had to limit it to mostly ceremony-only stuff just to avoid going crazy. Keep in mind that this was only half an hour out of the whole week’s fun, and only a somewhat random sampling of Hether’s great shots!
How STUNNING is the bride?!Love the cropping on this one! Couldn’t resist asking them to twirl. Hope I didn’t mess up Hether’s shot!
I’m thinking magazine cover here…

Gorgeous view from the room. (The couple’s, not mine!)