The message from Ryan flashed across my phone screen as I hurriedly brushed my teeth in attempt to dash out the door – always on my way to .. well.. somewhere. But this message stopped me in my tracks. I eagerly opened the message to read more and as I did my eyes widened with excitement and my heart swelled with joy.
Ryan and Zach had been roommates years ago, back when Zach and I first met in fact. Technically I’d met Ryan long before that as he worked at the gas station my best friend and I frequented on our way home from high school, but I digress. Zach lived in a house shared with three other roomies, Ryan included. Back then Ryan had long dreads and vaguely resembled Adam Duritz from the Counting Crows. He loved cats and was hilariously sarcastic – two things that are still true about Ryan to this day. Fast forward a few years and Ryan was the best man in our wedding – so he will always be such a special person to us!
So when Ryan messaged me asking if I’d be interested in photographing his wedding I couldn’t contain my toothpaste covered smile as I skipped into Zach’s office to share the news. We agreed to meet a few days later to catch up and to be introduced to Erica. Right away I just absolutely adored her. She is kind and well spoken, but can hold her own against Ryan’s sarcasm. She’s pretty much the coolest!
The morning of their wedding was cool with clear skies, a gorgeous day to say I do. Erica got ready along side her sweet mom and incredible sisters at Le Meridien Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The hotel itself looks like something out of a Wes Anderson film, so it was the perfect place to set the tone for the first part of their celebration! Erica wore beautiful pearls from her family’s collection that complimented her unique pearl engagement ring and had the most stunning sparkly gold Betsey Johnson heels.
Not long after Erica finished up in Andrew Elliott’s makeup chair, she made sure to take some time to decorate the cake. That’s right – not only did she bake her own delicious wedding cake, she decorated it too! Of course, this makes perfect sense as she is a very talented pastry chef at Milktooth – a beloved Indianapolis gem. That’s the thing about Erica. Just when you think she can’t possibly get any cooler – she does! I’m a big fan!
One of my favorite parts of Erica and Ryan’s wedding day was seeing how incredible Erica’s mom and sisters were when it came time to help her get ready. They selflessly finished up whatever needed done and you could really feel the love and joy that had for her as she transformed into a bride. It was a beautiful thing to be able to experience.
After Erica finished getting ready we headed down to the hotel lobby for a few bridal portraits – Wes Anderson style. If you’re not familiar with his work, he does a lot of wide angles, bright colors and bold, sometimes serious poses. We did our best to fuze that with some classic bridal portraits and had a blast while doing so! Le Meridien is a stunning place and we had all kinds of fun little spots to take photos in.
Finally it was time for the ceremony! Erica and Ryan opted to have their celebration at Bluebeard, a renovated 1924 warehouse that serves contemporary American cuisine with farm to table flair. Warm, bold colors greeted guests as they entered the private dining area following a cocktail hour in Amelia’s, the bakery next door. A stunning floral and greenery arch complimented the lush florals on the tables – thoughtfully created by the talented Rabble Flowers Bespoke Studio. Beautiful music by Andrew Elliott (yes, he does makeup and plays Cello, he’s pretty great!) and Bobby Donnelly swept through the room as guests nestled into their seats.
Their ceremony was short and sweet, but not lacking in emotion in the slightest! Happiness radiated from Erica and Ryan as well as everyone in attendance!
Following some photos with friends and family, (and a surprise guest!) Erica, Ryan, Zach and I went for a walk around the Fletcher Place neighborhood. Being able to photograph their joy and love for one another was just wonderful!
After our walk, we headed back inside to continue the celebration. Following a delicious dinner Erica’s sisters gave a funny and heartwarming speech and Erica’s dad performed a heartfelt song. Finally it was time to cut that delicious cake and then the happy couple headed out onto the sidewalk – lined by their favorite people and bright sparklers!
The last stop of the evening was Dorman Street Pub – one of Erica and Ryan’s favorite hang out spots. They’d even made some Wes Anderson inspired backdrops for fun photos! Friends from all parts of their lives came out to celebrate this happy couple and it was truly something special!
Congratulations Erica + Ryan! Zach and I are so happy for you!
A very special thank you to each wonderful vendor for making this amazing day possible!
Bridal Prep: Le Meridien
Cocktail Hour: Amelia’s
After Party: Dorman Street Pub
Makeup: Andrew Elliot
Florals: Rabble Flowers Bespoke Studio
Music: Andrew Elliot + Bobby Donnelly
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About the author: Alison is an Indianapolis based wedding photographer who loves working with joyful couples, celebrating timeless love and helping other small businesses grow.