As I turned the corner inside East Main Street Christian Church in Elwood - heading for the small room where Alex would be getting ready I immediately heard laughter and the happy sounds of excited voices. They grew louder with each step that I took and I knew it was going to be a good day. We were greeted by Alex, her mom, Paulette, and the lovely Morgan - makeup artist extraordinaire. Before long Alex's sweet bridesmaids and Alex's hairstylist Kassidi would join the mix and the Lord of the Rings soundtrack would fill the room. As the morning pressed on, I started to notice the special relationship that Alex shares with her mom. Alex had warned me ahead of time that they are very close, but seeing it in person was pretty cool. They have a shared sense of humor and kept each other laughing all day. And when Alex needed anything at all, Paulette was right there to help her. I just loved that.
Before long, the guys arrived. Much like the ladies, the guys seemed to have their own soundtrack for getting ready. Except that theirs was a live show put on by the groom's brother Sean as he played the sweet tunes of Billy Joel on the piano. Jordan's brothers were sure to pick on him just the right amount and as they threw their arms around one another during the groomsmen portraits I could see that despite the occasional jokes, these guys would do anything for their brother. (Including standing outside for photos on a chilly April day!)
Before the ceremony I was able to grab some photos of Alex as she prepared to walk down the aisle. Alex had taken extra care to cleverly add personal touches to the day. The rings she wore were from her grandmother and mother. The three swords on her garter was a sweet nod to a movie that she and Jordan both love. The label on Jordan's boutonniere and his personalized cufflinks read "MUV" another personal touch that Alex had so thoughtfully curated in preparation for her big day.
Following a sweet ceremony, Jordan and Alex followed me across the street to the most beautiful victorian style home I have ever seen. The home belongs to Cathy and Dave, a sweet couple originally from Cincinnati. A month ago when Alex and I toured the church we couldn't help but notice the impressive home just feet from the parking lot. As luck would have it, Cathy was on her porch with her incredible great dane. We explained that Alex and Jordan would be getting married soon and asked if it would be okay to use her beautiful porch for portraits. Cathy happily agreed and even gave Alex and I a tour of her lovely home. It was the perfect location for photos and I am so thankful that Cathy and Dave were kind enough to let us use their house!
Once portraits were finished, we headed to the Historic Elwood Opera House for the reception. You can feel the history as soon as you enter the space, and rightfully so. The opera house is the most historic building in town. In it's height it hosted many famous patrons including William McKinley - rumor has it he gave his presidential nomination acceptance speech on the very balcony where Alex and Jordan posed for photos later in the evening. The tall, curved ceiling framed the couple perfectly as they had their first dance. Jordan smiled as he danced with his bride. Alex gently rested her chin on his shoulder as they slowly made their way around the dance floor. It was beautiful, sincere and everything a first dance should be if you ask me. It's clear to me that they are best friends and will continue to support one another in everything as the years go by.
Guests enjoyed a candy bar filled with the bride and groom's favorite childhood candies and cheered as the couple cut into their gorgeous cake. The dance floor was rarely empty and I even got out there for a dance or two. I am so thankful that I was able to celebrate with Alex and Jordan. My best friend Megan came along as my second shooter and we just had a blast! Congratulations to Alex, Jordan and their families!