“When no-one else can understand me. When everything I do is wrong. You give me hope and consolation. You give me strength to carry on” // Elvis Presley
Boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I am so excited to share with you Anna & Zach’s beautiful wedding at St. John’s Catholic Church and The Mavris Arts and Event Center in Indianapolis. This wedding was definitely a stunner of a day!! I had so much fun hanging out with these two and their giant wedding party from all over the world! That’s right! ALL. OVER. THE. WORLD. If you remember correctly from their engagement session Anna and Zach live in sunny California! Anna being from Indiana and Zach being from St. Louis and then traveling to LA one can imagine their friends they chose to stand with them on their wedding day are from all over. People flew in from all parts of the United States and the Best Man and his wife (also a bridesmaid) flew in from LONDON to be with them! Honestly though, that just shows how amazing Anna and Zach are! Here I thought I was lucky to be able to travel out last year to meet them for their engagement session and photograph them on the Venice Canals Walkway and El Matador Beach in Malibu! Definitely a fun time! I seriously could have photographed there all day! But I digress…
Anna and Zach met while they were both working together in Chicago back in 2010. They were in the same new employee orientation group and then their cubicles ended up being right next to each other. I’m not sure if their office KNEW they were playing match maker… but they definitely were! Haha! After meeting on that first day at their new jobs it was history from there. They’ve been by each other’s side ever since! Including moving out to LA together when Zach needed to finish school! Which he just did! Which is SUPER cool. He even traveled to China for a little while to study. Super rad. I’m kinda jelly!
This wedding was full of all sorts of fun things! Like, Anna’s LOVE of all things The Colts and Peyton Manning. A donut wall in lieu of a traditional cake. A stunning dress and shoes from BHLDN. Gorgeous dusty purple long bridesmaid dresses. Bridesmaid prep at The Alexander Hotel. The most gorgeous organic florals from Lauren Brown of Woven Blooms. A fun reception at The Mavris including some of the best toasts I’ve seen in a long time, emotional songs, dancing, and corn hole in the garden. So basically you just need to check out this wedding and see all that there is to offer because I’m pretty much in love with it! Go on now! Go!
So first off, I knew from the minute I met Anna at her engagement session where she rocked bell bottoms and an off the shoulder shirt and then a super cute romper. I knew then that her details were going to be fantastic on her wedding day because she had great style. She did not disappoint. Almost all of her details were from BHLDN including her dress, shoes, purse, and the bridesmaids dresses. She told me in her first email she liked the boho look and I was so happy to see she used BHLDN to execute that. Because man to they have that look down. All of her details were stunning!
I especially loved her little heeled sparkly shoes. They were so stinkin' cute. I wish I had a pair of my own! BRIDES! this goes to show that you do not need 5 inch sparkly heels to have pretty shoes on your wedding day! There are so many cute shoes that are sensible and don't break your feet! I flippin' loved these shoes. Did I say I wish I had a pair?!
If your wedding is in Downtown Indy and you're thinking of a hotel to do your prep in I highly suggest The Alexander Hotel. The hotel is STUNNING for portraits but also a great place to find spots for details! I loved so many spots for her dress shot I couldn't just pick one! Seriously... LOVE!
Anna's bridesmaids made the cutest little gift for her of a custom wooden box filled with letters from all of them and photos. Such a fun and cute idea. Her gals were the sweetest.
Oh Lauren... you seriously out did yourself on Anna's florals! Seriously guys, if you're not following Woven Blooms on Instagram for your daily flower fix you're missing out. And if you're not booking Lauren Brown/Woven Blooms for your wedding florals your doing your wedding day a disservice! #ThereISaidIt
These flowers give me all the heart eyes.
I love the way Lauren draped Anna's grandmother's pearls in way that really featured the pearls and was unique. So beautiful!
Seriously Anna... why you so pretty?!
These girls were so stinking cute and more than eager to pile onto a bed with mimosas giggling together.
You'll probably see me say this a lot but Anna's mom was so adorable through this whole day. She was so excited to be part of and watch her daughter get married. She was so cute. Shedding a few tears along the way! But who can blame her?! I know I'll be a bucket of tears at Beckett's wedding. I loved spending the day with her. She was such a fun companion to the prep process and the whole day! Moms! Be like Karen Kolodzej!
Anna... have I mentioned you're pretty?!
Zach wins Groom Of The Year Award!* He seriously collected things like receipts, napkins from weddings, movie tickets, and other trinkets since the beginning of their relationship! THEIR FIRST DATE! And put them all in a scrapbook that looked like the Adventure Book from Up!. Yes, Anna cried. (If you can keep a secret... I cried a little too. Shhh... don't tell anyone!)
*Not a real award... I just made that up. Sorry Zach. If I had a trophy I'd give it to you!
Get you a set of girls on your wedding day that react like this when they see you in your dress for the first time.
Everyone always talks about the bride's details but Groom details are important too! I loved Zach's custom suit. Also... the rugs in The Alexander are legit AF. #AllTheColor
Perks of having a second shooter are that they can capture things like prep of the Groom while I'm with the prep for the Bride. I love these shots Stephanie got of Zach and his guys getting ready at The Mavris.
Have I mentioned that I'm in love with this Bride, this hotel, and these flowers?! Because I am. Also quite fond of this new side crop I did of the bouquet. Different look to the photo. Kinda fun.
Ladies, you are all just TOO photogenic damn it!
More stunning florals by Lauren Brown. Plus these super cute necklaces Anna got all of her bridesmaids.
More killer photos by Stephanie of the groomsmen. Side Note: Groomsmen like to do jumping photos too.
The ceremony at St. Michael's The Archangel was absolutely beautiful. Yes, there tears shed.
After we finished the ceremony we headed back Downtown for Wedding Party and Bride & Groom photos. Anna had ONE request. That we photographed some stuff at Lucas Oil Stadium. I'm pretty sure if nothing else happened that day other than a quickie ceremony at the City County Building and photos at Lucas Oil, Anna would have been thrilled. She was so excited to be there taking photos. Even if the wind was blowing LIKE CRAZY!
Let's not forget though the beauty of The Mavris. Because for reals though.
Forgive me as I blow up this blog post with detail photos from this reception. If you like detail photos... you're going to love this. If you don't care about detail photos... well you're going to be bored for a little bit. But seriously, these florals. PLUS A DONUT WALL!!!
Entrance of the very excited Bride & Groom. Anna's face here says it all.
The toasts and speeches portion of the evening was full of laughter AND tears. We started with speeches from both Anna's father and Zach's father. Anna's father told touching stories of Anna growing up and then told a hilarious story about how Zach asked for his blessing to marry Anna. #YouCoolWithThat?
Then Zach's father came up and said a few words and then... SANG A DANG SONG! It was so beautiful. And all of the ladies at the head table were crying. Yep... all of 'em.
And just when I thought there was enough laughter and tears shed during Zach's father's speech/song... Anna's brother gave a speech. Oh my goodness this speech y'all. He told great stories about how he used to live with Anna and Zach back in Chicago. And then he went into talking about how much he loves and looks up to Anna as a sister and a friend. I'm tellin' you guys... EVERYONE was crying. Anna, all of the bridesmaids, Anna's mom, Stephanie my second shooter... everyone. Such a sweet speech.
I will admit... Anna's brother was a tough act to follow but her Maid of Honor and Zach's Best Man also gave great speeches. I love the toasts and speeches part of the evening because there are always such fun reactions. Either laughter or tears I know the reaction photos will be great.
Y'all know sunset photos are my jam. And I'm so glad that we got outside for this one because it was a killer one. We almost missed it with the events happening in the reception but we were able to make it out there for some amazing portraits!! Some of my most favorite sunset portraits to date... for sure.
After the toasts, sunset photos, and Anna & Zach's "donut cutting" the couple shared their first dance to a cover by The Villagers of "The Wonder of You" originally by Elvis Presley. They also opted for a joint parent dances instead of sectioning them off separately. Which I thought was kind of fun and I've seen happen a lot more lately. It's a fun little spin on it!
The remainder of the evening included dancing, drinking, photo booth shenanigans and of course... the Indiana classic... cornhole. I didn't know for sure if people would actually go outside and play cornhole. Most of the time when I'm shooting at The Mavris unless people are made to go outside they triy to avoid it. Not this group! Everyone was outside gathering, cornhole-ing (is that a word?), drinking, and celebrating! It was such a fun atmosphere and honestly the perfect night for it!
Two words... Heart. Eyes.
Or maybe three words... OH. MY. LORT.
This photo is seriously what my portraits are all about.
Thank you SO much Anna & Zach for having myself and Stephanie on your extra special day! I cannot thank you both enough for all of your kindness and your welcoming spirit! You two are seriously the bees knees and I count myself lucky to even know you! If you're ever in Indy again PLEASE hit me up so we can go out for drinks! And when I'm in California again (which I know is going to be within the next year) I will definitely contact you so we can get DRINKS! Maybe some anniversary photos?! Who knows! Either way! Congratulations you two! You're the best! Cheers to Mr. & Mrs. Symes!
ANNA & ZACH
Anna | Project Manager
Zach | Developer
Current City | Los Angeles, CA
Ceremony Venue | St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church
Reception Venue | The Mavris Arts & Event Center
Donuts | Long’s Bakery
Florals | Woven Blooms // Lauren Brown
Hair Stylist | David Bozell
Makeup Artist | Suzanne Raykovich
Bride & Bridesmaids Dresses | BHLDN
Bride’s Shoes | BHLDN
Groom’s Attire | Custom Made in China
Groomsmen Attire | Jos. A. Bank
Entertainment | DJ Connection // Ryan Smith
Photo Booth | Picture Perfect Photo Booth Rentals
Second Photographer | Stephanie Duncan