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From the Photographer:

A gorgeous warm summer day in a beautiful garden created the perfect day for Amanda and Jeff’s wedding. Their wonderful wedding party and family not only made the day run smoothly, but made the day very fun.

I’ve always loved the Efroymson Wedding Garden at the Indianapolis Zoo. When I started to think about my own wedding, I quickly fell in love with the location. I decided to keep my wedding closer to home though. You could imagine my excitement when I heard Amanda and Jeff were having their wedding at the zoo. I was thrilled to be capturing it.

We stayed late in the night with a full dance floor. After the reception ended, they continued the celebration in Indy with friends and family. I love celebrations like that. Nothing says a successful night like being surrounded by friends and family.

Photographer:  Jennifer Van Elk Photography//Caterer: Centerplate//Dress Store:David’s Bridal//Hair Stylist:Flipped Out Hair Salon//Officiant:Mandy Baldwin//Invitation Designer: Minted//Floral Designer:The Farmer’s Daughter’s Market//Bridesmaid Dresses:Vestique Boutique//Event Venue: Indianapolis Zoo//

Today, we have an interesting take on a style shoot. This concept is based on the bride alone, and how she should relax and get focused before her wedding. I’m loving the colorful details and carefree feeling evoked. Read below for the full vision behind this shoot!

From the Designer:

The vision behind the shoot was first inspired by an article I read about how to relax before your wedding.  We wanted to take a single bride and capture these moments.  The advice included things like: get outside, be alone, pray/meditate, journal, drink herbal tea, and just let go. To keep the flow of the relaxing theme of the shoot, I decided head to toe chiffon and basically bare feet seemed to be the perfect choice, so you will see Kayla in a beautiful 2 piece, one-shoulder chiffon wedding gown and a chiffon and vintage lace bridal cap (an amazing alternative to the traditional veil).  Both will be available in my 2014 design collections which I am so excited about.  🙂

 The venue was the property of an English artist.  She agreed to let us use it if she could have permission to spy on the shoot, proving there are still a few awesome people in the world.  🙂  We were much obliged!  It was magical.  There were hills of fruit trees including apple, pear, and plum. There was a bridge and a bench and so many things that just made it a rustic dream all on its own… We felt very blessed to be accepted so warmly.

 As for the styling, Michelle (AKM Events), and I (Christina)-27 Dresses Designs, have collaborated on quite a few shoots this year.  With this particular shoot, she decided we should utilize our own resources since we had access to so many beautiful things that really complimented the boho theme we were going for.  We used a lot of pieces of our own/family and friends.  Many of the beautiful pieces came from basement shopping trips Michelle took to her sister-in-law’s house.  Her SIL was so excited to see us use her things, and was even a good sport when Mother Nature decided to rain on her REAL SILVER pieces right in the middle of the session!  Aaaahhhhh!  Don’t worry…We wiped everything down right away and it is fine.  🙂  We also used an antique secretary’s desk that was passed down to me from my grandmother.  It has a great history…It first belonged to Marshall Field!  (Yes the store owner).  My great aunt and uncle, Dr. Bertash, moved into his old Chicago home back in the day, and it was one of the things he had left in the house.

 Our little gypsy angel of a model, Kayla, is maybe one of the most naturally beautiful girls I know (inside and out btw).  She was such a trooper during this shoot, walking over rocks and sticks in her bare feet with a smile on her face the whole time.  She has been told numerous times that she should go pro, but claims she is “too shy” for that.  This summer she was even approached by Carson Daly while on vacation in Vegas and ended up in a Billboard Music Awards commercial that day!  The funniest part was she didn’t even know who Carson was…her mom had to tell her.

 We all had an amazing day together shooting this and I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed lending our talents to make it beautiful!

Photographer: Mel Klemz Photography / Flowers & Decor: AKM Events / Fashion (Gown, Bridal Cap, and Barefoot Sandals): 27 Dresses Designs / Hair and Makeup: Stephanie Hauser w/ Salon Paje’ / Model: Kayla Pomeroy / Venue: Walnut Creek Cottage, Valparaiso, IN (Private Property)

There are two kinds of venues that I really love: ones that are a completely blank slate and allow for a couple to entirely make it their own, and ones that are already infused with a certain ambiance that the couple can play off of in multiple ways. The venue this couple chose is the latter, and being a historical society, it had all sorts of interesting installations that led the couple toward a vintage theme. It shone through beautifully, in their day that was crafted around making sure the bride and groom’s personalities were evident. I’d say they nailed it.

From the Bride:

Our aim during wedding planning was to keep it strictly us; to be sure that our personalities shown through in as many aspects of it as we could. We started the process by finding our incredible venue, the Indiana Historical Society in downtown Indianapolis, and a “vintage” theme just sort of fell into place from there. My mom (and matron of honor) and I did the bulk of the planning. We’re not terribly crafty, so we got ideas from friends who are and scoured Etsy on a regular basis.

We were dead set on an outdoor ceremony from the start, which the venue provided in its scenic patio on the canal that runs through the heart of the city. Our weather was perfect, despite the freak September hailstorm that hit our outdoor rehearsal dinner the night before. A priest and dear family friend served as our officiant and she did perfectly in upholding our wishes to make it strictly personal. We each wrote our own vows and picked one of the two readings. Paul read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 when he proposed to me, so it was the obvious choice. A friend provided piano accompaniment for the ceremony and I walked down the stairs “aisle” to an instrumental In My Life by The Beatles.

We had a cocktail hour in the cafe of the museum section of the venue immediately following the ceremony and then proceeded upstairs to the main hall for the reception. The centerpieces were a labor of love, the one thing I’d really insisted upon DIY-ing since seeing an idea online early in the planning stages. We assembled a collection of vases (some vintage, some not) from family and friends and filled them with various items like flowers, beans, birdseed, and candies to give it a natural feel. Our caterers provided an amazing dinner of fall-themed foods like carrot souffle and cous cous with butternut squash.

I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine by Dj-ing my own wedding. I, with help from Paul, painstakingly created a playlist of Motown classics, 70’s funk, and 80’s one hit wonders for the reception and our coordinator plugged my iPod into the sound system. We had a ball! The icing on an already incredible day came when we played the last song of the evening, “With a Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker, and all of our guests formed a circle around us as they all wailed the lyrics and we guitar solo-ed.

Photographer: TALL+small Photography / Reception Venue: Indiana Historical Society / Catering: MBP Catering / Flowers & Decor: Coby Palmer / Cake Baker: Taylor's Bakery / Hairstylist: Biz on Fletcher

Lauren and Wil’s wedding is everything I love about a wedding: intimate, earthy, organic, heartwarming, fun, and full of love. From the delicate lace details on Lauren’s Claire Pettibone gown, to the guest-involved ceremony, makes you appreciate the simplicity and emotion of it all. These are the weddings I live for – the very type that landed me in this industry in the first place. And, when I get a chance to post one just like this, it’s like my heart explodes with joy over being able to share in the beauty of a love-filled soiree.

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From the Photographer:
Wil and Lauren met in college at Villanova University in 2005. Now they live in Atlanta , GA. She is working on my PhD in Film Studies and he manages a specialty running store. They were married in June at her parents’ home in Granger, IN (just outside of South Bend). It was a sunny afternoon wedding — stunning, but, relaxed and casual. They wanted the wedding at a home in order to make it feel unique and distinctly like themselves. They had a true summer garden party surrounded by wonderful friends, family, artwork + sculptures from her parent’s home.

Photographer: Justine Bursoni Photography / Hairstylist: Beehive Salon / Invitations & Stationery: paper affair / Invitations & Stationery: Define Design 11 / Bridal Salon: Kelly's Closet / Bride’s Dress: Claire Pettibone / Makeup Artist: Emerald Cut Salon & Day Spa / Groomsmen Attire: Deadly Squire / Groom’s Attire: Deadly Squire / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Groomsmen Attire: J. Crew / Officiant: Michael Cowden / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Domestically Urban

It seems like you are always hearing those stories about ‘marrying your high school sweetheart’ and the wedding of Mary Kate & Lee is just that. These high school sweethearts decided to get married at the one place that meant so much to them as this place was also a huge part of their relationship. The commons of IU created the perfect setting for their wedding. Not only did it hold a sentimental meaning to the couple as they spent 4 years of their relationship on the campus, but the commons also had gorgeous windows that were able to showcase the beautiful fall colors that the couple fell in love with, confirming the reason they decided on a fall wedding. I absolutely love the different style bridesmaid dresses and cranberry accents every way you turn. This color is a stunning choice for a fall wedding; it is one to notice, and one that won’t soon be forgotten.

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From the Bride:

IU’s campus in the fall is such a beautiful place, so after spending 4 years on the campus we both came to love the months of September and October. We both knew right away we would want a fall wedding. The Commons was an obvious choice then as the large windows really showcase the warm colors of the season.

Our favorite moment from the day was right after the ceremony. We went straight from the sanctuary to the bridal suite downstairs to wait for the bridal party for pictures. It gave us a minute alone to really appreciate what just happened. Then, all of our bridesmaids and groomsmen came running down the stairs hugging and congratulating us.

The funniest moment was definitely seeing Mary Kate’s dad break it down to Gangnam Style on the dance floor.

Our advice to other couples would be to relinquish some control to those that offer to help. We never felt stressed about the planning, because we were happy to let others assist. It is an exciting day for a lot of people, not just the couple, and having a little input from friends and family helps them to feel included and eases the stress.


Photographer: Stacy Able Photography | DJ: Alan Trisler, AudioMagic! | Catering: Bistro 310 | Decorator: Nea Ritz | Floral: Gina @ Claudia’s Floral Bunda | Cake: Icing on the Cake | Dress: Enzoni | Bridesmaids: Bella BridesmaidAlfred Sung dresses | Chair Rental: 50 Chairs | Invitations: Carrie Smith, friend of bride

There’s just something sweet about Aubree and Greg’s wedding. The combination of her vintage-inspired, lace wedding gown and the bold pop of her bouquet. Or maybe it’s their traditional church ceremony followed by the art museum reception. It’s that mix of the old and new, the classic and modern. The understanding that it’s okay to do a little of this an a little of that – as long as it’s something you love; a style reflective of your own.

Photographer: Mary Kate McKenna Photography / Hairstylist: Serenity Salon & Spa / Catering: Sahara / Flowers & Decor: Shady Lawn Florist / Reception Musician: Joshua McClain / Cake Baker: Chesterton Cake Shoppe / Reception Venue: Lubeznik Center