Bride Talk: Kristin’s Indianapolis Wedding

bride talk indianapolis wedding

Kristin and her fiancé Jonathan. Photo by Kelley Jordan Photography.

It didn’t take us long to become completely obsessed with this Indianapolis couple and the details of their upcoming DIY wedding. Everything about it sounds AMAZING and we seriously can’t wait to see it! Bride-to-be Kristin took the time to update us on how the wedding planning is going with less than two weeks until the big day. Read on, below!

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Name: Kristin Hess

Occupation: Community engagement and design

Wedding City: Indianapolis, IN

How long do you have to plan your wedding? 10 months

How many weeks/months until the big day? 12 days!

Have you had any major hurdles planning the wedding, or has anything been easier than expected?
The biggest hurdle has been using a reception space that isn’t used for weddings (we’re the first ever!). Our reception will be held in a building that has sat vacant for many years and needs a ton of TLC…which is part of its charm to us. We fell in love with The Hall (thank goodness!), but it has truly been a labor of love: There’s no kitchen, no water source, we’re lighting it ourselves, renting all tables/chairs etc., trying to celebrate–and in some cases hide–its various “quirks,” and plan around details like no sprinkler system, etc. Totally exciting. Totally packed with hurdles. The irony is that despite all of these details, it’s still easier than expected because we care so much about it. I’ve really learned that whatever your splurges are (time, money, stress, etc.), if they’re the things you care about, it can be really gratifying.

What’s one thing you’ve totally splurged on and why?
My dress. I had always dreamed of wearing my grandma’s (which was also worn by my mom), but when I took it to be evaluated by a seamstress, the alterations were so significant that the dress really wouldn’t have even looked the same. The dress had been such a sentimental component of what I “always dreamed” my day would be, so once I moved past letting go of the emotions, I really prioritized feeling great about my new decision (which I do!! so excited about it!!!).

What about saved on?
Anything that connects to people we love! Literally. From the beginning, we decided to have the wedding where we live, because we thought we could make it more personal. The people and personal details were our two top wedding priorities. My fiancé Jonathan is roasting all of our coffee and helping grow flowers, and we’re both graphic designers, which helps to save on invitations, etc. BUT, our friends are catering the meal (cooked from produce that other friends grew!), brewing the beer, arranging the flowers, DJ-ing the reception, performing the music, photographing the day, videoing special moments, assembling crafts, concocting cocktails, and are teaming up for one heck of a set-up the day before (you should see the spreadsheets to get that sucker arranged!). Our loved ones’ talents are the greatest gifts we could ever ask for!

What made you pick your wedding venue?
The reception venue came first. We needed a site that didn’t have a catering contract, felt “like us” and was located in downtown Indy. We love being a part of our city and so a breath-taking, semi-abandoned historic building was the one! The ceremony venue needed to be walking distance from the reception (so that we could schedule a New Orleans-style, brass-band parade!) and far less-maintenance, so we went with the Hilbert Circle Theatre, home of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. It’s gorgeous and located right on Monument Circle in the heart of the city. It’ll be a fun parade (we hope!).

Have you taken on any DIY projects? If so, tell us about them!
Can I answer “the whole wedding”??! Here’s a preview of a few favorites:

  • Personalized guidebooks to Indy that we designed (most of our guests haven’t been here, so the guidebooks have maps and our picks for best spots and fun activities!)
  • A poster for all wedding guests to sign as a witness to our wedding (we aren’t doing a traditional wedding party…all guests are the party!)
  • Noisemakers, flags and ribbon wands for our parade to the reception
  • We made a stamp that I really love. It’s been a great way to personalize everything! (bags, place cards, to-go coffee cups, etc.)
  • Several different friends are making garlands to hang at the reception. I can’t wait to see how they all look together with the friends’ different personalities incorporated! Our wedding colors are metallic, which makes matching really easy.
  • Also, with the metallics color scheme, I spray-painted just about anything you can imagine metallic colors: bottles to serve as vases, candle holders, safari animals, etc. Everything looks elegant in metallics!

Did you create a wedding planning timeline for yourself or just tackle things as they came up?
A little bit of both. My fiancé was tremendously helpful in carrying the weight for this wedding planning process, and so we made a monthly “try to accomplish” schedule. I think it was helpful. At this point, though, we’re just trying to extinguish all the fires we can!

Here’s where we’re at so far…

Kristin's Wedding To-Do List

  • Putting together welcome packages for our guests
  • Tracking down RSVPs and meal options
  • Finalizing the bar/menu/rentals
  • Doing “final” run-throughs with all major vendors (DJ, caterer, etc.)
  • Keeping day-of schedule updated
  • Asking for help day-of (program distributers, deliveries, etc.)

  • Seating chart
  • Breaking in shoes
  • Thinking about honeymoon (ha! It’s planned, but I haven’t thought of details)
  • Counting extension cords
  • MARRIAGE LICENSE!

What are you most most looking forward to?
Getting married! Also, I cannot even express how excited I am to have everyone we love together. Nothing makes me happier than the people who are coming to this wedding.
Oh…and we have one minor surprise for our guests during the ceremony…my parents don’t even know about it! That will be really fun 🙂 So, a lot of stuff, I suppose! Better get back to work…

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