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We’re so glad that we got to start the 2012 wedding season off with Jim & Erin! The love they feel for each other was almost tangible on their wedding day, and couples like them are what make wedding photography so much fun. We met up with Erin on a snowy Saturday in February at the Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana. She bounced out of the car, make-up, hair, and veil perfectly in place and excited for her wedding day!
After a few touch-ups, the ladies gathered to help Erin slide into her gorgeous Watters & Watters gown. Erin’s sister, Stacie, helped her buckle her shoe in a sweet role-reversal from Stacie’s wedding. (A special thanks to Stacie – she was awesome sauce and a superstar for wedding photographers. She was so incredibly helpful in helping round up family and friends for photos and I wish we had one of her at every wedding.)
Jim and Erin chose to have their first look in the chapel of the church. The church, where Jim’s grandfather had served as a priest, recently celebrated their 100 year anniversary and we learned that all of the artwork that covered the walls were replicas of living icons. They shared a private moment alone, bathed in sunlight streaming in through the stained-glass windows.
The ceremony was my first Russian Orthodox wedding with Joshua Albanese Photography, and it was incredible – filled with tradition and history. And how awesome are those crowns!?!
Jim – a stylish guy in a perfectly-tailored tuxedo – helped Erin choose a white cape to match her wedding dress, so we stepped outside for a few fun photos before heading to the reception.
The reception was held at the County Line Orchard in Hobart, Indiana. We love this venue, not only because of the cool history (built by the Amish and completely made of wood), but also because they have some of the best donuts we have ever tasted. Jim and Erin chose centerpieces with coffee beans and black-eyed peas – tributes to their apartment above Starbucks and words of wisdom about luck from Erin’s grandfather. They also treated guests to bottles of Italian Barolo and Red Strawberry Merlot that they made themselves.
The touches of burlap and vintage Rolodex guestbook were perfect accents for this barn reception. Jim and Erin put together these adorable recipe books with some of their favorite family recipes for guest favors. We’ve already tried Erin’s guacamole recipe and it was devoured almost immediately. Such a great idea!
Their cake, from Cakes by Karen, featured delicate flowers scattered across the layers.
After the first dance and the parent dances, Music Masters Entertainment opened up the dance floor and kept it packed all evening.
Thank you so much, Jim and Erin, for letting us join in on your special day – and also for the donuts (that should come with an overindulgence warning)!