I try not to pick favorites when it comes to real weddings we feature on the site, but sometimes a wedding comes along and you can’t help but swoon at how perfect a day it was. That’s why I am beyond thrilled to feature Kristin and Jonathan’s amazingly fun and gorgeous Indianapolis wedding from the super-talented Kelley Jordan Photography. This real wedding just makes me smile!
You might recognize Kristin from the Bride Talk interview she did with us when she was a mere two weeks away from the big day. We were so excited to see the outcome of Kristin and Jonathan’s planning and DIY projects, and they were better than we could have imagined. Every detail is heartfelt and unique, and this real wedding and couple literally exudes happiness…it’s contagious! Read Kristin’s thoughts on her wedding day and the planning process, below.
Thanks so much to Kristin and Jonathan for sharing (and Aunt Mary Michael!), as well as Kelley Jordan Photography for these beautiful photos.
What was your favorite part of the day?
Am I allowed three? Please! (1) Walking down the aisle. Oh my goodness! I will always carry the feeling of having my parents on either side of me and looking around to see the amazing community shared by the two of us; I didn’t know it was possible to feel so much love! I actually started laughing…I was literally bursting happiness at the seams and couldn’t contain myself! It was the most wonderfully overwhelming feeling in the world! (2) Parading through the streets of sweet Indianapolis with all of our wedding guests. It was sprinkling and less-than-ideal weather, but everyone danced and sang and brought so much joy! It was unbelievable! (3) Seeing so many parts of our lives come together. All of the special details and wonderful people who helped make the day unique and special. All of the family and friends meeting for the first time: It’s amazing to see childhood friends talking to your new extended family talking to neighbors. And the dance party!!! Sigh. It really was the best!
What were your non-regrets?
Doughnuts for wedding cake, reception in a really tricky building that meant a lot to us, no wedding party, having a casual family party the night before where guests could make toasts, kicking the day off with all of the women in our families, rainy weather, having a photo booth, day-of-coordinator, limited drink menu (we went for quality over quantity of options and guests seemed fine with it), hiring two on-site babysitters, cards with funny questions at the tables, putting a lot of time into the process.
Were there any unexpected moments?
My darling husband’s jacket button got caught in my dress during our first dance! To solve the problem, he took off his coat and threw it into the crowd, which instantly kicked off a ridiculously fun first dance! Oh the laughter! And mid-dance there was a balloon drop, which really boosted the energy in the room! I had such a blast!!! It felt like the roof could blow off with excitement at any minute!
Also, in my Bride Talk post, I mentioned a surprise that our parents didn’t know about…Well, after we were announced for the first time to conclude the ceremony, the brass band that led our wedding parade emerged from the second balcony and started playing Mendelssohn’s Wedding March as everyone left. So much energy! So much joy! It was amazing. The band followed us all out for champaign, noise makers, and singing and dancing ourselves to the reception. The balloon drop was a surprise, too!
Tell us how your DIY projects turned out!
We were so happy with the way that our DIY projects came together! Strangely enough, I think that what made things work so well is that both Jonathan and I got quite sick about 3 weeks before the wedding. We had to cut several of the “special but not essential details,” and it really forced us to let go and prioritize what would make the largest impact, given the limited time remaining. For example, we focused on things like having clean and concise signage, instead of extravagant displays. Even the table numbers were thoughtful, but executed by quickly printing them off the computer (my initial dream was do something far more elaborate). The other component that I think really helps with a DIY wedding, is making the colors and aesthetic easy on yourself. I absolutely loved our metallic/white color scheme, and it made it significantly easier to have a consistent look.
My favorite DIY moment was when three friends from different parts of the country brought the garlands they had created to help spice up a less-than-celebratory hallway. They had all put so much of themselves into the garlands and it was really special to see it all come together.
One final thought: I think DIY is a tricky thing; it feels so exciting to customize your day and create things, but there’s also this funny expectation of having to do it, and in the end, it’s a ton more time and sometimes more money. Do the things that you want to do, but know that none of it is essential. I was really grateful and loved what we did, but part of loving those things meant setting some limits to maintain the fun. As they say, know your limits!
Now that you’ve been through it, what is your advice to other brides planning their wedding right now?
Focus on the process. I completely underestimated the value of planning a wedding…once you can focus on maximizing the process (not just the day), it can be a transformative and equally amazing experience as the day itself. Think about the people who love and support you: How can you use this time to connect with them in a new or deeper way? Think about the place where you have your wedding: How can your wedding leave it permanently better? Think about your families: How can you make this transition exciting,meaningful, and full of gratitude for their lifelong love? And don’t forget your partner! How can the experience of committing to something really, really huge strengthen what you have? This probably sounds mushy and common-sensical, but, for me, it took being intentional about making the most of the process for the wedding planning and wedding itself to mean as much as it did. It’s too easy to get tunnel vision about the day.
Ceremony Venue: Hilbert Circle Theatre
Reception Venue: The Hall
Wedding Dress: Designer Simone Carvalli from Marie Gabriel Couture
Makeup: Erica Foit
Hair: Carly Rush, MakeFresh Salon
Jonathan’s Suit: John Varvatos
Rentals: Kevin Schwab at A Classic Party Rental
Lights: DIY Lighting
Catering: Mary at DUOS
Beer: Clay at Sun King Brewing Company
Day-of Coordinator: Adrianne Slash
Florist: Kristofer Bowman at The Inventorialist
Cake: Long’s Bakery
Band: Pork & Beans Brass Band
DJ: Joe Fingerhut