On one of our only rainy days this fall, Alexis and Josh pledged their lives and their love to one another in front of their family and friends at Zion Lutheran Church in Decatur. Their Fort Wayne wedding at Goeglein Homestead was one full of surprises, laughter, and tears of joy from start to finish, and it was such an honor to photograph it!
I knew from Alexis and Josh’s Lafayette engagement session that we were in for a fun day together. These two first met at Purdue University with the help of mutual friends and a blind dance to attend a barn dance together.
When we arrived, laughter filled the church as Alexis and her girls got ready in one of the Sunday school classrooms. We pulled together all of her gorgeous details, including her amazing bouquet and stunning lace dress, and headed off to get all her details captured. Alexis chose to go with some super cute sandals – comfortable and adorable! – which perfectly matched the rose gold of her rings. With the rain, we were limited on where we could capture photos outside, but I love these types of days because it forces me to stretch myself to get those creative shots the couple will love.
Alexis chose to do a first look with her father John to kick off the day. These two are very close, and both had planned some sweet surprises for one another. As Alexis walked upstairs to meet her father, he had “Butterfly Kisses” playing in the background as she walked toward him with her gifts – his boutonniere with a charm of her baby photo and a handkerchief with a sweet embroidered message. As her father turned around to see her for the first time on her wedding day, his eyes filled with tears, and she handed him his gift of the handkerchief to dry his eyes. John had planned his own surprises for Alexis, which included a small gathering of baby’s breath to wear in her hair. Then seeing her bouquet for the first time, she noticed her “something blue” from her dad; he had cross-stitched a message for Alexis into a blue material, and wrapped it around cherry blossoms and added it to her bouquet to carry with her throughout the wedding day. These two kept crying sweet tears of joy together, and it was so beautiful to be a witness to it.
After her first look with her dad, Josh had his first look with his bride. As soon as Alexis tapped him on the shoulder, his eyes filled with tears, and they wrapped each other in the tightest embrace. Josh and Alexis held hands and prayed together in the quiet moments before the day began, and I enjoyed getting to stand back and capture the sweet moment shared between them. Even with the rain, we were able to get absolutely stunning outdoor portraits for the two of them thanks to the overhang by the church entrance. Looking through their images, you would never know that it rained from start to finish of their day, and we even got to capture a little fall foliage in the background!
These two had an incredible wedding party by their side, and we had a blast together before the ceremony. Alexis had wanted to do a prayer circle with some of her closest girlfriends, and it was so sweet to see the fellowship they had together, covering her in prayer for her marriage to Josh and her life moving forward as a wife.
As Alexis and John, her father, came up the aisle for the wedding ceremony, these two couldn’t stop laughing together, as Josh’s eyes welled with tears at the sight of his beautiful bride approaching the altar. Their wedding ceremony was unlike one I have experienced before, with beautiful hymns sung by their guests and a meaningful sermon for Josh and Alexis to remember the purpose of their marriage and their love for one another and God. They were pronounced husband and wife, and after family photos, these two danced right off to their wedding reception at Goeglein Homestead in Fort Wayne.
Their wedding reception in the Kercherval room kicked off with an amazing welcome and toast from John, Alexis’s father, where many tears were shed across the room. Toasts were given by their two best men – Josh’s brothers, Danny and Chris – and maid of honor – Alexis’s sister Aidan. After the wedding party speeches, Uncle John sang a song that he prepared especially for the two of them, which had everyone buckled over laughing and some tears streaming down cheeks. Then finally, with Alexis having been heavily involved at a camp during college, her camp friends came prepared to sing to Alexis and Josh to wrap up the toasts for the evening.
After guests enjoyed the delicious family-style meal provided by Goeglein’s Catering of Fort Wayne, Alexis and Josh cut their wedding cake, with them going rogue and smashing cake into each other’s faces. The two shared their first dance as husband and wife to “Horses” by Keith Urban, where they twirled and swayed in the sweetest way.
Alexis took over the mic and gave a short speech in dedication to her dad before their father-daughter dance, and she had prepared another surprise for her dad. They had just sold her childhood home a couple months ago, and one thing she missed was the castle on the wall where they tracked their heights over the years. She shared that she knows you can’t take a wall out of a house when you move, she wanted to give her dad another castle to track those important heights of the future generation. Josh turned around a board displaying the Disney castle, which is a favorite spot between them. Alexis said, “I didn’t want to make everyone come to Florida,” so she brought Disney to their wedding. She and her dad danced to a Disney medley of songs, while her siblings popped confetti poppers like fireworks over the castle during their dance.
After Josh had a sweet dance with his mom, his brothers joined the couple on the dance floor for their traditional hog trough dance, which left guests in stitches laughing. I enjoyed getting to capture such a fun moment for the couple, while capturing their parents’ laughter across the room as the boys danced in and out of the hog trough.
The funniest part of the evening was during the garter toss, when Josh tossed it back, but instead of landing in a single man’s hands… it got caught on the wooden beam across the ceiling of the venue. Then it was a race to the top – literally – to who would be able to grab the garter. Men were jumping up and down, while one guy got down on all fours to be a stepstool to another to jump up and grab it. I was laughing so hard I was nearly in tears and still trying to capture it all unfold. Thankfully, one of them finally did succeed and grabbed that garter, which opened the dance floor for the evening.
With 275 guests, these two had an incredible dance party with a completely full dance floor. My favorite part was watching their parents get out and dance right alongside their friends, and I know they will remember their reception as one of the most fun nights of their lives with all their favorite people by their side.
When I say that Alexis and Josh’s wedding was one of my favorites, I’m not kidding. I have probably never laughed and cried as much as I have at any other wedding I’ve photographed, and it was such a blessing to be a part of their romantic Fort Wayne wedding at Goeglein Homestead!
Alexis and Josh, thank you so much for choosing me to photograph such a beautiful, special day for the two of you. It was such an honor to be a part of it, and I know you two have a life full of love and adventures ahead of you. Blessings as you start your life together as husband and wife!
Autumn Howell Photography is a Fort Wayne wedding photographer, serving clients across central Indiana, including Kokomo, Noblesville, Indianapolis, and Bloomington. Learn more about booking me as your wedding photographer!
Ceremony Venue: Zion Lutheran Church, Decatur, Indiana
Reception Venue: Goeglein Homestead, Fort Wayne
DJ: Quattro Systems
Florist: The Backway to Wren Floral & Gift Shop
Caterer: Goeglein’s Catering
Wedding Dress: The Wedding Studio Greenwood
Suit Designer: Men’s Wearhouse