Lafayette, Indiana isn’t the center of the universe, or even the center of Indiana for that matter. But it does hold a special place in many people’s hearts. Whether you’re a Purdue alumni, a former townie, or a transplant–Lafayette and the surrounding areas draw a lot of people. For those who had the pleasure of growing up in Lafayette, there are many different fun places to see and enjoy. Our wedding story takes place at the Lafayette Country Club in Lafayette, Indiana
You might notice that February 29 is a leap day and happens to fall on a Saturday! The last leap year, 2016, the 29th of February was on a Monday. I remember it very well because it was when I started my previous job at Cornerstone Autism Center. It was just a little past that date in 2019 when I left my full time job as a registered behavior technician and behavior therapist to pursue full time photography.
The past year has been outstanding and I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to meet dozens of new couples and connect with some very special venues locally. But this blog isn’t about me–it’s about Kaitlin and Joe and how they met over 6 years ago at college just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From their initial meeting in passing up through their first date with gelato and downtown Milwaukee up until the first leap year of the new decade, Kaitlin and Joe have come so far. They’ve been separated for months at a time across the country from one for jobs and have finally settled in suburban Chicago with a home of their own they purchased recently.
After Joe’s surprise proposal to Kaitlin, they reached out to meet with me at my favorite client consultation spot, The Pint in West Lafayette. We spent almost 4 hours chatting, waiting for Joe to beat the Chicago traffic, and sharing about our lives and their love story. Their engagement, in Milwaukee, was a chilly fall adventure that saw us through rain, overcast weather, and gorgeous downtown Milwaukee sights. Their wedding day took place in Lafayette at the beautiful St. James Lutheran Church, where Kaitlin and her family attended church nearly all of her life until she moved away.
Planning an out of state wedding isn’t always easy, thankfully Kaitlin’s mom, Julie and her aunt Kristi assisted in implementing details and plans. During their engagement portraits, they were also able to meet my wife, Felicia, owner of Emerald Lotus Events, and they also hired her to coordinate the wedding day. Along with many other amazing local vendors such as DJ Joe Sheets, my favorite dessert bakery Sweet Revolution Bake Shop, and Love, Hair, Etc., Kaitlin and her team of helpers, coordinators, past teachers, and pastor created the perfect wedding day that included a traditional Lutheran wedding ceremony, a personal meet and greet with the bride and groom afterward, cozy family portraits, and a fun grand entrance.
They hosted their reception at the Lafayette Country Club in Lafayette, Indiana which cozily fit everyone in and allowed their guests to enjoy cocktails and appetizers while Kaitlin and Joe, along with their wedding party braved the leap day chill for portraits. Both Kaitlin and Joe are huge sports fans, having played soccer and baseball in college in Wisconsin. Seeing that they too understand how cold things could have been, they were brave enough to spend almost 30 minutes with my associate photographer, Megan, and I outdoors.
Kaitlin even took off her “something blue” heels to run in the cold wet grass for the last of their couple’s portraits. I couldn’t have been happier. With the guidance of my amazingly talented coordinator wife, we then were able to usher the wedding party into the reception for an amazing dinner, heartfelt toasts from David, the best childhood best friend of Joe, and Kelly, Kaitlin’s younger sister. Kaitlin’s dad also shared a few words during the speech time about how each person present was there as a support for the couple and to make that point clear, everyone stood to show their support and connection to the newly married couple.
DJ Joe Sheets led a great dancing reception and filled the dance floor (and the reception area) with dancing and even a conga line. One of the most memorable parts for me for this wedding was the choreographed dance that Joe and his mother had set up to Rod Stewart’s song, Forever Young–during which I cried which makes it difficult to take photos.
Kaitlin and Joe, thank you so much for trusting me to capture your wedding day and to spend this time with you. I know that planning an out of state wedding in a different time zone is difficult but YOU TWO ARE PURE GOLD! I feel like a new set of family members after meeting you two and look forward to following along with all your new adventures in the coming years!
A special thanks to all of the wonderful vendors who dedicated their time and service to ensure that this couple’s wedding day was perfect.
Cake: Cheryl Berger
Florist: Sarah Widmer
Wedding theme: Romantic Winter Wedding–cozy with lots of candles and florals. Color palette: wine, navy, blush, gold, and ivory.
Kaitlin’s advice to future couples: “Relax. In the end you get to marry your best friend. I would also highly recommend a day of coordinator. Felicia (Emerald Lotus Events) has given me so much peace of mind knowing that our day will go seamlessly.”