After two years of falling in love and growing in their friendship, Kathleen and Michael had the most perfect fall day for their The Venue at Brookestone wedding in Kokomo, as they vowed their lives to one another in front of their family and closest friends.
From the perfectly mild fall weather, gorgeous venue, and breathtaking florals – designed and orchestrated by Michael’s mom Michelle Herr with Banner Flower House – their wedding on October 21, 2023 was absolute dream!
Kathleen had been working in Fishers for about four years when her boss asked if she wanted her to set Kathleen up with her cousin Michael. But after their first date, the rest was history.
Fast forward to December 2022, when Michael asked Kathleen where she wanted to go to eat, and Kathleen picked a bar they had never been to. Before they walked in, Michael handed her the ring that he had made with their grandmothers’ diamonds, and he explained how the ring was designed. Funny enough, Michael never actually asked Kathleen to marry him as they sat in the car together. But it was the perfect proposal for the two of them, and they began planning their wedding at The Venue at Brookestone in Kokomo.
While Kathleen and Michael live in Mishawaka, they both grew up close to the Kokomo area. And of course, Michael’s mom Michelle is a talented floral designer who helped make some serious floral dreams happen for their wedding day! Kathleen had shared that Michelle is actually the one who recommended me to photograph their wedding, and I must say – I was incredibly honored. Nothing means more than the highest recommendation from another vendor, especially one as crazy talented as Michelle and her team!
But walking into The Venue on their wedding day, it was a serious dream. The Venue is a newer location in Kokomo, designed specifically for an elegant, modern wedding day. We walked into the ballroom, and there were flowers as far as the eye could see, including the epic floral arch at the front of the ceremony.
We started the day with detail photos, including the handcrafted ring box that Grandpa John made for Kathleen and Michael’s wedding day. Once detail and getting ready photos were complete and Kathleen was dressed in her stunning gown, we were ready for the big moment – when Michael shared a first look with Kathleen.
We all loaded up and headed out to Jackson Morrow Park, which is conveniently about one minute from The Venue – just in their backyard! However, there were so many amazing spots we could have used at The Venue, but I’m a sucker for Jackson Morrow Park myself.
Thankfully, after two days of nonstop rain, the weather cooperated and we had a perfectly mild fall day on forecast for Michael and Kathleen. I did want to be mindful of any mud that might be left behind, so we did our best to stick to the paved walking paths in the park. This was perfect for showcasing the gorgeous train on the back of Kathleen’s ballgown.
When Kathleen tapped Michael on the shoulder and he turned around, his face absolutely said it all. She was stunning, and he couldn’t take his eyes off her! After they shared a brief moment alone, we took some time for their couples portraits before joining their wedding party. I’m telling you – the lighting just couldn’t have been better, and everyone looked absolutely perfect.
After we finished portraits at the park, everyone headed back to The Venue to relax before the ceremony. Meanwhile, we were able to finish photographing all the details of the reception and ceremony before guests started to arrive.
Kathleen had put her full trust in Banner Flower House for creating all the florals; all she gave Michelle was the color scheme she wanted to use. What Michelle and her team created was breathtaking, including the beautiful flower petal path that was designed by Michelle for Kathleen to walk over on her way to Michael during the ceremony.
After Kathleen and Michael shared their vows, participated in their cord tying ceremony, and shared their first kiss, they were finally husband and wife, and they were ready to celebrate with their family and friends at the reception!
Of course, Kathleen had given me a head’s up to expect a surprise with the grand entrance to the reception. As the “Chicken Dance” began to play over the speakers, two of her bridesmaids entered wearing chicken costumes and performed the Chicken Dance as part of their grand entrance, followed by the rest of the wedding party and Kathleen and Michael rocking some sunglasses.
After dinner, with a little convincing, we headed out for some sunset portraits with Kathleen and Michael. We had such a perfect sunset in a perfect location, and I’m so excited to share some previews from their husband and wife portraits during sunset. Not only did the sunset portraits add a few more beautiful photos to Kathleen and Michael’s gallery, it also gave them just a few minutes to get away from the noise as newlyweds and soak up the day together.
The reception events began to wrap up, but right before the dance floor opened, Kathleen had a surprise of her own. Her friends Liz and Randy, who were married earlier this year, were unable to have a wedding reception, so they missed out on a first dance.
But as Taylor Swift began to play over the speakers, the DJ invited Liz and Randy to step onto the dance floor for the “first dance” as husband and wife. This simple act of giving part of their wedding day to their dear friends shows so much about Kathleen and Michael’s character, and it was seriously the sweetest thing to see how grateful and joyful Liz and Randy were to share this dance on such a special day.
When asked, Kathleen shared the most important aspect of their wedding day was dancing at the reception, and I’m not sure we saw an empty dance floor the entire evening! Starting with the anniversary dance, Kathleen and Michael were surrounded by friends and family happy to joy them in dancing and celebration.
In fact, Kathleen took over the mic, leading the dance floor in an amazing rendition of “Goodbye Earl” by The Dixie Chicks. Hands down one of best parts of the day, and I couldn’t help by join in belting out the lyrics alongside the guests!
Ending the night with grandma breaking out the glow sticks for the children in attendance, this wedding day was filled with so much love and fun – all for an incredibly special couple!
Kathleen and Michael, what a joy to be with you on such an incredible day! It was perfect from start to finish, and it truly a reflection of what is important to you as a couple – fun and dancing with your loved ones! I’m so honored to have been your wedding photographer for such an important day in your relationship, and I hope you love your previews!
Venue: The Venue at Brookestone
Florist: Banner Flower House
DJ: DJ Connection
Caterer: Rozzi’s Catering
Cake: Tastefully Indiana
Makeup Artist: Dermababe
Hairstylist: Chiara Minor
Wedding Dress: Brides by Young
Bridesmaid Dresses: Blye’s Bridal Loft
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Photographer: Autumn Howell Photography