South Bend, Indiana, Wedding Photography | July 9, 2011
Photographer: Katie Whitcomb | Photographers, Ceremony Venue: St. Bavo Catholic Church, Reception Venue: Century Center, Catering: Macri’s, DJ: In Tune DJ, Florist/Coordinator: Merry Me Events, Cake: Macri’s Italian Bakery, Hair: Twisted Salon, Make-up: Bethza Seminario, Videography: Maust Creative
Cameron and I first met when we were thirteen years old. Going into high school, we shared the same group of friends and all lived within five minutes of one another. We grew up together sharing many memories of young summers, high school events and late nights with friends. Seven years ago, we became inseparable. We both fell in love with our best friend. 🙂
In August 2010, Cam and I went on vacation with two of our college friends, Brie and Drew. We spent the week at Brie’s condo in Daytona Beach, FL where we have vacationed before during our college spring breaks. The condo is directly on the beach and we had been looking forward all summer for this vacation together! We spent the beginning of the week laying in the sun, drinking by the pool, being at the ocean, and having fun with Brie & Drew! On Wednesday, the four of us were hanging out at the pool thinking of where we should go to dinner that night. Cam, Brie and Drew suggested going to our favorite restaurant, Aunt Catfish’s! On our previous trips to DB, we have always gone to Aunt Cat’s the very last night of our vacation. I wanted to stick with tradition and wait until later on in the week. I had an outfit already planned and wanted to save it for our very last night. The three of them convinced me it was okay to wear my outfit a little earlier than expected, and I was looking forward to having their homemade sangria a little early as well. 😉 Brie & I got dressed up for the night and took pictures with the boys before dinner. It was such a gorgeous Florida night! We took our time at the restaurant, drinking cocktails & listening to the live music playing on the pier. Our dinner & drinks were fabulous as usual and after a couple hours, we left to go back to the condo. When we got back, Cam asked if I wanted to go take some pictures on the beach. I immediately asked, “Who are you?!” I know he hates taking pictures! I thought I should take the opportunity while he offered and went down to the beach to take pictures underneath the moonlight. 🙂 After our “photo shoot” Cam asked if I wanted to take a walk on the beach. I said yes, obviously walking on the beach is my favorite! We started to walk and I realized Brie & Drew weren’t walking with us. I asked Cam why they weren’t following and he said, “Don’t worry about it, they’re bothering me.” I had no idea what he was talking about! I thought to myself, okay that’s weird but continued to walk and spend time just the two of us. We walked down the beach, holding hands and looking at the stars and lights from the city. After a couple minutes of walking, I started to feel nervous because I realized we weren’t really talking! I remember thinking I couldn’t remember the last time I felt nervous around him, and thought that maybe something was going on. Then, Cam pulled me around him smiling and said, “I can think of one thing that could make this vacation even better..” put his hand in his pocket and started to get down on his knee! I couldn’t believe it! I pushed him and said, “Oh my God!” “Shut up!” 🙂 I dropped to the ground with him, where he told me to stand back up and said, “Bella, will you marry me?” Underneath the ocean stars, it was my dream come true. After screaming YES! I turned around to Brie and Drew right behind us taking pictures and waiting the entire time! We all laughed, Brie and I were obviously crying, and it was absolutely perfect! When we got back to the condo, Brie and Drew had champagne ready to toast. 🙂 We had so much fun calling all of our family and friends (who I found out were waiting for the phone call the entire night) and had the absolute best first night as an engaged couple!
Choosing our venues was very easy! I have grown up attending Mass with my Italian family, sitting in the front pew, every Sunday at St. Bavo Catholic Church in Mishawaka. As a little girl, I would practice walking down the aisle after Mass. St. Bavo is such a special place for me and my family and I was more than excited to be able to get married in the church I grew up in.
When choosing the venue for our reception, the choice was just as easy! Growing up, I would have all my ballet recitals in the Auditorium at the Century Center. I remember sneaking around after my recitals to look over the balcony into the Ballroom, walk down the gorgeous staircase and admire the waterfall from the river. I always knew I wanted to have my wedding reception in the Ballroom. After Cameron and I got engaged, it was the first and only place we visited! We were thrilled to find that our date was available and my Ballroom reception dream was able to come true! In addition, we also found ourselves extremely excited to know that the Island Park was not being used that weekend, and we were able to plan our cocktail hour outside for our guests to enjoy the beautiful landscape and scenery overlooking the city.
Katie had photographed one of our best friends weddings a couple years ago. When we got engaged, I looked for her website to see more pictures and find more information. After loving her pictures and seeing that we shared an obsession with pink heels, Audrey Hepburn, Sex and the City and Starbucks, I knew we had to have her photograph our wedding! Katie was simply amazing throughout our entire wedding process! She was so wonderful and truly went above and beyond for us on our wedding day by doing little things like keeping my lip gloss, helping with my dress, veil and bouquet when my other girls couldn’t, and just constantly having our best interests in mind. Her bubbly and friendly personality makes her so fun to be around and I am so thankful to have had her with us on our big day!
For my bouquet I carried a round, compact design using solid yellow roses. Yellow roses symbolize friendship, which perfectly matches who we are and our relationship. Cameron’s boutonniere coordinated with my bridal bouquet with a single yellow rose, and a touch of dusty miller.
My bridesmaid’s carried round bouquets of white hydrangeas with yellow spray roses and yellow button pomps dispersed throughout. The groomsmen had a yellow button pomp with a silvery dusty miller touch also.
Our centerpieces consisted of these flowers as well as yellow spider mums for a yellow and white floral arrangement on the tables. I loved them.
I have been in love with weddings ever since I was a little girl! Growing up, one of my girlfriends would buy me a wedding magazine each year for my birthday. I always loved to see different color combinations and create new color palettes as well. For my wedding, I knew I wanted to portray a look that would be elegant and timeless with a modern, chic flair. I first saw this color palette watching Tori Spelling’s Vow Renewal Ceremony on T.V. a couple years ago. I instantly fell in love and knew that sun yellow, charcoal/steel gray, black and white, with silver accents would be the perfect palette for my vision of a modern yet elegant wedding.
I was so excited to share my ideas and create our decor for the big day! We worked with the fabulous Cher, from Merry Me Events, who loved my color palette as much as I did and truly made our vision come to life! The hammered steel gray tablecloths with silver Chavari chairs, pops of yellow and white floral centerpiece arrangements and silver touches throughout the room to add a little bit of glam created the atmosphere we dreamed of!
First, we had fabulous appetizers that were passed around during our cocktail hour. Our appetizers consisted of fresh fruit kabobs, caprese kabobs, boursin stuffed mini yukon gold baked potatoes, and spanakopita.
For dinner, I wanted to incorporate my Italian heritage with traditional Italian dishes. Our dinner menu started with insalata italiano featuring a mix of romaine, red leaf and radicchio lettuces with fresh roma tomato and shredded asiago. Our entree consisted of chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto and provolone, topped with a sun-dried tomato pesto cream sauce served alongside garlic and parsley linguini and a melange of green and yellow zucchini.
We also filled our favor boxes with Jordan almonds, an Italian wedding tradition that symbolizes five wishes for the bride and groom: health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life. The tags on our favor boxes had our names, wedding date, and the Italian phrase ‘La Dolce Vita’ which translates to ‘The Sweet Life’. Guests were able to snack on the delicious candies all night!
My family has always gotten our specialty cakes from Macri’s Italian Bakery. We were so excited to meet with Carmela and create our wedding cake! We chose to have a five tier layer white cake with Italian buttercream icing and a lemon custard filling. We created five different designs so that each cake tier would have it’s own pattern of white icing.
Merry Me decorated the cake with yellow floral and probably my favorite part was the silver rhinestone ribbon that was placed around two of the tiers to resemble the silver band on my wedding dress! I absolutely loved the way it turned out!
I have so, so many best moments of the entire day. I think my first best moment was when it was just my Dad and I in the back of the church getting ready to walk down the aisle. I wrapped my arm through his and I heard him starting to cry. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl, and I know how special that moment was for the both of us. I know we will both remember that moment for the rest of our lives.
Following that, my next best moment was when the doors opened to the church and it was time to walk down the aisle. It was such a surreal moment knowing that here I was, in the church I practiced walking down the aisle as a little girl, walking to the love of my life on my actual wedding day. I remember just smiling the entire time through my blusher looking at Cameron and catching glimpses of our guests smiling back from each side. I still get goosebumps thinking about it!
I also remember the first time we saw the Ballroom! Cameron and I were waiting on the top of the staircase getting ready to be announced and were peeking down at the beautiful room and watching our family and friends be announced into the reception. It was the first time Cameron and I were alone, just the two of us, and we were able to pause for a moment and take it all in. As we were watching, we saw we were surrounded by the most amazing group of friends and family and we knew at that moment, this was going to be the best night of our lives.
Our last best moments and memories of the day were during the reception. We would look around the room and were able to visibly see how much fun we all were having. We have received so many comments from our guests about how great of a time they had and how the atmosphere was so joyful and full of love. Our room was radiating happiness and love, and that definitely will be one of our favorite moments we will both remember forever.
Love and cherish every big and little moment! Starting from your engagement, throughout the whole wedding planning process and your entire wedding weekend. Remember the purpose of a wedding. It shouldn’t be a time to stress about every little detail, but a time to celebrate love with all your family and friends! Take a moment to appreciate all the hard work you and your family have done to make your wedding the most perfect and beautiful day. Appreciate having all your closest family and friends together for one night, in the same room, celebrating you. You will keep the experiences and memories you create. Enjoy each moment and experience throughout your entire wedding planning and your big day, because it is truly once in a lifetime.
To view more image from the day, got to: http://pictage.com/1012921