Tag Archives: weddings

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Embracing Adversity

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“I WAS TAUGHT THAT WHEN YOU FACE ADVERSITY, IT’S EITHER GOING TO DESTROY YOU OR MAKE YOU BETTER. … YOU CLIMB OUT OF THE HOLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO BE BETTER, AND WHEN YOU FIND OUT WHAT’S BETTER, YOU KEEP GOING.” –LARRY WILDER

Southern Indiana Attorney Larry Wilder opens up about love and life-defining moments

BY RICK REDDING | PHOTO OF LARRY WILDER BY CHRISTIAN WATSON

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESS AND GENIE VOGELSANG OF BIRDSONG WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

When Larry Wilder and his now-wife Teresa were dating, she once shared an embarrassing personal story and then asked if he could remember an embarrassing moment in his own life. Larry thought he was being set up.

That’s because he has perhaps one of the “best” embarrassing stories – a tale that put him in the national headlines and still today, 10 years later, comes up first in Google searches for his name.

It wasn’t until that moment while swapping stories months into their relationship that Teresa realized the charming guy she was dating and falling in love with was the same person she’d seen images of passed out in a trash can in the news.

Today, Larry may be the best-known lawyer in Southern Indiana, especially since representing high-profile clients such as the infamous Katina Powell, who wrote the book that rocked the University of Louisville athletics department. But it was his defense of a murder suspect, he believes, that led to what he now calls the “trash can incident” and, more importantly, the ultimate test of character.

“I ended up out with a group of guys, one of whom unfortunately had lost his mother in a horrible crime, and I was representing the gentleman who had taken his mother’s life. We probably spent too much time in the same place out together,” Larry said. “He thought he was getting a great prank on me at the end of the night because I didn’t have any idea what was going on. He got a whole lot more bang for his buck because he didn’t realize the police officers who came to investigate this potential crime included a police officer that I had probably tormented more than I should have.”

Larry still doesn’t recall how he ended up in the trash can passed out in front of his house but was soon dealing with a “defining moment” in his life.

“So, the next thing you know, you guys in the media end up with the pictures. I was worldwide news and the most Googled name in Switzerland for a week,” he recalled.

Faced with a moment that could have destroyed his career – and more – Larry said he did the only thing he know to do: He put on his best suit and went to work.

“I was taught that when you face adversity, it’s either going to destroy you or make you better,” he said. “My family were eastern Kentucky coal miners and every day was adverse. Either you climbed back in the mines and figured out a way to stay out of them, or you went down in the mines and you died in them. My concept through life is you make it better. You climb out of the hole and find out how to be better, and when you find out what’s better, you keep going.

“I was raised that way and it was the right thing to do, rather than run and hide. In this day and age, you can’t hide from anything.”

Another part of moving on was his personal life. Larry, who has a son and two daughters from his first marriage, had been divorced for several years when he made a pitch on a dating web site to Teresa. She said that she had just ended an 8-year relationship on the heels of an 18-year marriage. She’d just signed up on the dating site and had dozens of men requesting dates.

“I looked at (Larry), and he wasn’t my type,” she said. “But I love words, and he’s a good writer. I liked what he said and ended up canceling a date (with someone else) to go out with him.”

That first date ended up being a three-hour dinner at Volare, one of her favorite spots, in which the conversation was so intense she didn’t get to finish her scallions. By the weekend, Larry had convinced her to let him go with her to the St. James Court Art Show (“He invited himself,” she clarified. “He’s quite the negotiator.”). The first date felt more like an interview, Teresa recalled, with “lots of questions.”

This was the fall of 2009, just months after Larry’s trash can incident. Teresa, who was working as a pediatric nurse at Home of the Innocents and had a home in Bullitt County, said she fell in love with the Indiana attorney on date No. 5.

She moved in with him in 2011 but didn’t sell her home until 2013. They didn’t get married until 2017.

“Early on, we had no interest in getting married,” she said.

Of course, that changed.

Larry helped Teresa get through some health issues, which led to her quitting her job. She became a grandmother, which led her to reevaluate the situation. And then Larry asked her to be his wife.

“After 8 years of being together and 6 years of living together, Teresa and I got married,” Larry said. “We flew to Sedona (Arizona), and only her daughter and husband and our granddaughter went with us. We got married in what I consider one of the most spiritual places in the United States. We had a great time and are looking forward to going back.”

After all those years, both said the time was right. Teresa wore cowboy boots under her dress, and the pair had to hike two miles to the wedding spot.

“As a lawyer, there’s a certain part of me that likes legal institutions. We both kind of agreed it was time to make that a legal institution and get married. It’s been great for both of us. It changes your perspective of things. Even though we shared the same house and have been together, it gives you some security and continuity,” he said.

And that’s how the marriage works.

They enjoy hiking together, even though Teresa had to talk him into the idea that it was fun. She plans trips and dinners out; he supplies the big personality. And Wilder, who once checked in at more than 300 pounds, lost a third of that and learned to live a healthier lifestyle with Teresa’s help.

On a recent trip to Boston for a business conference, she had lunch and dinner reservations set for the entire trip a week before they left.

“We’re weird in an alike way,” she explained. “When you find someone, you just settle down. I just truly think it was the right thing to do, and it’s profoundly different than the boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, in a good way.”

Larry’s career as an attorney has blossomed since the trash can incident. In the immediate aftermath, he resigned as attorney for the Jeffersonville City Council and Clark County School Board. The council has since retained him, and Wilder has more than 300 active cases today.

A sole practitioner, Larry has an assistant, Elise Jackson, who has been with him for 20 years, and his daughter works for him as well.

It has helped that Larry seems to know everyone in town and has earned their respect through the years. And he’s known a lot of the people he deals with for decades, even back to childhood. He’s known John Schnatter as a competitor in athletics since they were 10 years old, and he went to college at Hanover with Vice President Mike Pence and actor Woody Harrelson. He has close ties to the University of Louisville, where he earned his law degree, and has represented UofL athletes when they’ve gotten in trouble.

“The people here in this community know you, and they know your family, and they know your work ethic, and they know your willingness to fight for what you believe in. And to fight for what you’ve been hired to fight for,” he said.

Brad Jacobs, a Clark County circuit court judge, said Wilder was “bigger than life” when he was growing up.

“He taught me how to manage cases more than just trying them,” Jacobs said. “He’s super honest; he’ll tell you the good and bad. And he can be aggressive when he has to be.”

Attorney Bart McMahon said Wilder went out of his way to welcome him when he first came to Indiana to practice 20 years ago. Through those two decades, Larry has become “a good personal friend” and teamed with him on the Katina Powell case.

“He knows people, and he can read people better than anyone I know,” McMahon said. “He has a load of personality and can connect well with anyone.”

Larry believes his success is attributable to simply working hard. And he recognizes that the trash can episode was, indeed, a defining moment.

“I’ve represented a lot of really good people and a lot of very interesting cases. It’s a tribute to the fact that people recognize that I work hard, and I don’t let adversity or let things change course for me or my clients. You just put your nose down and you go. I think that’s something that people admire and like about their lawyer,” he said. “I think it made me a better person, a better attorney and made me a hell of a lot more money.”

Time has its way of healing, and Wilder is quick to make jokes today about his most embarrassing moment, though it hasn’t always been easy.

“I think in life if you walk away from what has happened and then take what’s happened in your life and move forward using that as a tool to be better,” he said, “then it’s much better than trying to pretend like it didn’t happen and act like it’s gonna go away.”

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An Experience To Last A Lifetime

acr5516202132275229723156Welcome to En-joy The Venue at Flat Rock Estates. We are a new upscale outdoor wedding and event venue in southern Indiana. The ceremony space at En-joy is one of a kind with breathtaking views of Sydney lake and stadium style seating so every view is unobstructed. En-joy The Pavilion is an outdoor Amish built reception space where your guests will be in awe surrounded by nature as they celebrate weddings, company outings, class reunions, graduations or family gatherings. At En-joy The Venue we don’t just hold events we help create memories that last a lifetime. Welcome to the place that will set the mood for your event long before it ever begins. Welcome to En-joy.screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-11-34-08-am screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-11-34-15-am screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-11-34-21-am


For Tours Email Sydney@enjoythevenue.com

13967 E Flatrock Trail Henryville IN 47126

www.enjoythevenue.com | 812.727.5545

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SINGLED OUT

Photos and Q&A by Jennifer McNelly

Attending a wedding minus a plus 1 can be daunting. Then again, it can also be an enjoyable evening. We asked a few single Southern Indiana residents to share their thoughts.


screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-11-14-57-amWHAT DO YOU DISLIKE THE MOST ABOUT GOING TO A WEDDING AS A SINGLE?

“When you go by yourself to a wedding, or even with a group of friends as a single, it’s always so awkward when you don’t know anyone else. You might go sit down with your friends at a table, and that’s it. You don’t talk to anyone else or really mingle. You talk to who you know and then you go home. I just don’t enjoy weddings where I don’t know anyone else.”

Luis Bisoso

Sellersburg


screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-11-15-03-amWHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT GOING TO A WEDDING AS A SINGLE?

“For me, the wedding reception is the most fun part. It’s all about the type of music they play. As a single, it’s a party – that’s all you think about! You go for the party, it’s all about the music.”

Amy Bisoso

Sellersburg


screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-11-15-09-amWHAT MAKES A WEDDING MOST FUN WHEN ATTENDING AS A SINGLE?

“I went to a wedding where they did a photo booth and I absolutely loved it! It was interactive, fun and I was able to do it together with my family.”

Alice Bymaster

Clarksville


screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-11-15-16-amWHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST WEDDING PET PEEVE?

“My biggest pet peeves with weddings is when the bride and/or groom try to set you up with someone else before the wedding. Because then it turns into a blind date and a wedding at the same time, and it’s awkward because you feel like you have to talk to that person the whole time. You just can’t really enjoy yourself. That’s easily my biggest wedding pet peeve. But overall, it’s really fun to be single at a wedding.”

Josh Staten

New Albany

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Heather Asari Watson & Rodney Alen Haynes

1.13.18

Photography by Meredith Morrison of Meredith Morrison Photography

screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-10-42-49-amOUR STORY

How we met.

We met at a church where Rodney was a deacon serving communion. I asked him for two servings of wine/grape juice because I had, had a really bad week. He said, “Take what you need sister.”

Our first date.

It was very nervous and awkward. We went to Sake Blue. My car was at the mechanic, and I was communicating with the mechanic by text. So, he thought I was on the phone too much. We hugged at the end of the date and it started to snow.

Our engagement story.

I had to have my car towed to the mechanic, so I was angry. I was also tired. I laid down on the bed and was about to go to sleep when he said we had to go to dinner since it was our fourth anniversary since we’d started dating. So, I got up and went, even though I was sleepy and moody. We were talking about our relationship at dinner. He asked, “Did you think we would be together this long?” I said no. Then, he got down on one knee and started to yell his proposal across the restaurant. I did not understand what was going on until he opened the box and the rest of the restaurant patrons started cheering. I started crying and put on the ring.

Our wedding day memories.

I was worried about the wedding day because we had bad snow the night before. We couldn’t rehearse because of snow and ice. The Second Street Bridge was closed. My hairdresser was not able to do my hair, so I had an appointment with a stranger. I loved getting dressed with my bridesmaids and makeup artist, who had me laughing the entire time. I loved walking down the aisle with my father who was a few weeks out of recovering from major surgery. I loved that my mother was able to attend (and look good), since she has advanced Alzheimer’s disease. I loved our first dance. I loved our photographer and videographer. I loved our caterer and baker. But the thing I love most about our wedding day was walking down the aisle to my husband and saying our vows, and having our pastor pray over us.screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-10-45-33-am


VENDORS

Wedding and Reception Venue: Kye’s

Officiant: Pastor Corrie Daniel Shull of Burnett Avenue Baptist Church

Photography: Meredith Morrison of Meredith Morrison Photography

Wedding Planner: Toinette LeMaster of Memorable Moments LLC

Wedding Dress: USA Bridal on Hurstbourne

Accessories: Laurel Wreath Bridal at Eventful 203*

Make Up: Tressa Crayton of WhoDoesYourMakeup?

Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Rings: Genesis Diamonds

Décor: The bride, Heather Watson

Flowers: Wildflowers

Invitations: David’s Bridal

Catering: Stumler’s Catering

Cake: Kristin Harris of Lavish Cakes

Sound/Music: Kye’s

Videographer: James Jamison of Reel Time Jay

*Heather Watson won a wedding dress courtesy of Laurel Wreath Bridal at Eventful 203 after being drawn the grand prize winner at our 2017 Wedding Issue Launch Party at the Calumet Club. Because Heather had already purchased a dress, Laurel Wreath Bridal owner Laurie Haag instead supplied Heather’s beautiful wedding accessories.

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John & Emily Goldman

12.30.17

Photography by Tony and Mandy Bennett of Tony Bennett Photography

OUR STORY

How we met.

We met through mutual friends, Bobby and Sara Hughes.

Our first date.

John took me to Jeff Ruby’s.

Our engagement story.

It was the Sunday before my birthday and we went to brunch at Rivue. John wasn’t eating much, and I was eating everything. Then, he said we should get a picture, and we asked our waitress to take our picture up in a private room at the restaurant. After she took a few pictures, he said, “Wait, I want you to take one more,” and that’s when he got down on one knee.

Our wedding day memories.

Having all of the people we love in one room to celebrate us was pretty awesome. We both were calmer throughout the day than we ever expected to be. For Emily, the best memories from that day include getting ready at the Bridal Lounge at Eventful 203 with everyone, my bridesmaids reaction when they saw me in my dress for the first time, Johnny’s smile when he saw me walk down the aisle, my niece owning the dance floor all night long, the father-daughter dance, dancing with friends and family all night, and having family and friends in from out of town meant a lot. For John, the best memories from that day include having breakfast at A Nice Restaurant to start off the day, seeing all of the nephews wearing Indiana University gear, seeing his bride walk down the aisle, dancing with his mom to Eric Church and seeing the limo bus pull up outside of church during the ceremony.

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Phil & Allie MacDonald

4.20.18

Photography by Lauren Morris of Photography & Design by Lauren

OUR STORY

How we met.

We met at a bar called Uptown Larry’s in Fort Myers, Florida. Phil was born and raised in Fort Myers, and I lived there while attending Florida Gulf Coast University and for a few years afterward. We were each “wingmen” to our friends who were meeting up that night at Larry’s, and we hit it off so well that we stayed in touch and hung out every now and then, but our job and school schedules were completely opposite of each other. I worked at a Hyatt at the time as the evening shift lead and full time at FGCU, and Phil worked at FedEx and UPS starting at 4 a.m., so there were not a lot of chances for us to spend time together. Fast forward to after graduation and I had a lot more free time, and Phil got a new job at 84 Lumber, so we started to see more and more of each other to really start dating officially.

Our first date.

We went to the Naples Zoo. I had a rare afternoon off on a Sunday, and we had so much fun. We fed the giraffes and rode the boat for the tour of the monkey islands and had a blast all day. We still love going to zoos together and do our best to visit the zoo in any city that we visit on vacation (the few and far between times that I’m able to have time off to travel!). Phil says he “remembers going to the zoo one afternoon and that I had so much fun and we went to dinner – or maybe you cooked for me?”

Our engagement story.

It was a few days after Christmas, and I was working in the morning at Huber’s Plantation Hall (at Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards, which Allie’s family owns). I took the afternoon off. It was a really nice day for late December. Lots of sunshine. So, I came home and Phil was all antsy and in a jittery mood, saying he wanted to go back out to the farm to get a picture in the vineyards for his mom. I was a little skeptical because who wants to take a picture in some dead vines for their mom? And he was acting all weird, so I kind of got a hint of what he was up to and took my time getting ready, curling my hair, doing my makeup and picking out a cute outfit – just in case! It turns out I was right. Phil remembers being very nervous and sweating a lot for it being December. He chose the location because he thought it was very romantic and it would be a place that we could always revisit. It was the blackberry patch where the wooden post walkways between the rows are, which is where I have always wanted to have professional photography pictures taken. But we didn’t do an engagement photo session, so we’ll save it for another life achievement.

Our wedding day memories.

For Phil, the best memory from our wedding day was having all of his friends and family come to Southern Indiana for the first time to visit and see our new life up here, and it was very important for me to have them all here as well. It’s so hard to explain Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards to people who have never been here, and they were all very much impressed. We had everyone visiting from Florida out for a wine tasting and tour of the entire farm before our rehearsal. It was so fun to have our worlds combined like that. Phil said he will always remember our first look in the peach orchard and thought that was a very nice location with the trees blooming on our wedding day, and how pretty I was in my wedding dress.

I will always remember the love, support, and (of course) attention I received as a bride. We have such a wonderful group of friends and all of our family there to celebrate with us. It is really hard to put into words how much it meant to us to have all of that pouring in on one day. I think my most memorable moments are from the ceremony when I walked through the doors with my dad and was overwhelmed by all the love and smiles and happiness for us. Exchanging vows, rings and promising to love each other and be there for one another every day for the rest of our days is obviously something you aren’t going to forget very soon.


VENDORS

Wedding Venue: St. John’s Catholic Church in Starlight

Reception Venue: Huber’s Plantation Hall

Officiant: Father Winifred “Sonny” Day

Photographer: Lauren Morris of Photography & Design by Lauren

Dress: Laurel Wreath Bridal

Bride’s earrings: Koerber’s Fine Jewelry

Rings: Engagement Ring from Shane Co.; Wedding Bands from Koerber’s Fine Jewelry

Other accessories: Bride’s grandmother’s bracelet and father’s wedding band

Hair Stylist: Suzanne Motsinger and Shelby VanArsdale from Hair, Nails & More

Makeup: Angie Maxwell

Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse, Black by Vera Wang

Décor: Nance Events and Huber’s Plantation Hall

Flowers: Nance Floral Shoppe

Invitations: The Funky Olive (an Etsy Shop)

Catering: Huber’s Plantation Hall

Cake: Adrienne & Co.

Music: Endless Summer Band

Acknowledgment from the bride: “I have known Debbie Adams at Huber’s Plantation Hall my entire life. She is a staple of what the farm represents to ourselves, as well as the community. Debbie is a very committed and hardworking woman, and I know for a fact my wedding (and honeymoon – she covered my responsibilities while I was off) would not have been half of what it was without her helping and guiding hand. Almost everything I know and have learned about managing events comes from Debbie, and I want to take the opportunity to thank her for all that she’s done for me personally, as well as my family and our brand.”

Amie Bradford, owner of Amie & Co. Hair Studio

Life-Changing Locks

Amie Bradford, owner of Amie & Co. Hair Studio

Amie Bradford, owner of Amie & Co. Hair Studio

Amie & Co. Hair Studio offers ‘revolutionary’ hair extensions

BY ANGIE FENTON | PHOTO OF AMIE BRADFORD BY PAPER CRANE CINEMA CO | COURTESY BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS

screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-3-50-36-am“This hair has literally changed my life,” says Amanda Brooke Jones, a beautiful brunette with locks that flow nearly to her waist.

Jones isn’t being flippant as she flips her tresses over her shoulder and adds, “I’m not kidding. Getting these extensions has been life-changing. … Sometimes all it takes is a little jump start, a little flicker. When you look good, you feel good. It sounds insane, but this hair – it was a catalyst for me. It was the spark that reminded me of who I am. It pulled that confidence and sass back to the surface.”

Hearing such glowing testimonials is the norm for hair stylist Amie Bradford, owner of Amie & Co. Hair Studio in Clarksville, ever since she started offering Natural Beaded Rows™ Hair Extensions (NBR) at her salon.

Many in the beauty industry tout NBR as the most comfortable, natural looking and least-damaging hair extensions on the market. And fashion bloggers have even referred to it as “revolutionary.”

Unlike other methods, the process, which typically takes about four to five hours and includes color and styling, does not involve glue or tape. Instead, extensions are sewn into the hair in rows using only thread and beads, which means removal takes only about five minutes.

The hair used is of “supreme quality,” says Bradford, and can last up to six months.

NBR is “fully customizable” depending on preference of length, thickness and even color, adds Bradford. “For every customer that sits in my chair, I personally customize their NBR experience.”


Amie & Co. Hair Studio

1521 Blackiston Mill Road

Clarksville

502.641-4895

amieandcohair.com

 

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Letter From The Editor

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Much Love. On a personal note, I’d like to congratulate my brother-in-law Billy Applegate and soon-to-be sister-in-law Jyl Hildreth on their upcoming nuptials. These two deserve all the happiness.

The Extol Team is excited to debut our 2nd annual Wedding Issue – but it’s so much more. Yes, you will find a number of pages dedicated to all things wedding, including a gorgeous fashion shoot shot at Hidden Hill Nursery in Utica by photographer Gretchen Bell with styling and creative direction from Miranda McDonald. But you’ll also find articles about art, food, philanthropy, crafts, camping, sports, businesses, events and a heartfelt tribute to one of our favorite interviewees on the very last page.

It’s a good thing we have increased our page count because you’ll probably notice the number of ads have increased, too. Thanks to the support of our advertising partners, we’re able to offer Extol for free throughout the region.

We are especially grateful to Mark Bliss of The Calumet Club and One Southern Indiana – along with all of our additional sponsors – for partnering with us on our Aug. 15 Wedding Issue Launch Party. We hope you’ll join us 5:30 to 8 p.m. that day for the free event. Details are on the page adjacent to this one.

As always, thank you for taking the time to enjoy Extol.

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A Bridal Wonderland

Because wedding season is always magical, we revisited the classic fairytale of Alice in Wonderland to showcase this season’s bridal offerings. All you need is a touch of lace, some embellished accents and the simple use of your imagination to join Alice and the Mad Hatter at their tea party in Wonderland.


Photography by Gretchen Bell

Creative Direction & Styling by Miranda McDonald

Photographed at Hidden Hill Nursery in Utica

Photo Shoot Assistant: Jessica Malloy

Models: Chelsea Plamp, Abbie Purdie, Savannah George, Kesley Moorefield, Micah Cargin and Keoni Glory


PHOTO SHOOT CREDITS

Location

Hidden Hill Nursery

812.282.0524

1011 Utica Charlestown Road, Utica

hiddenhillnursery.com


Wedding Gowns and Hair Accessories

Laurel Wreath Bridal

812.946.2038

203 W. First Street, New Albany

laurelwreathbridal.com


Bridesmaids Dresses

House of K Boutique

502.640.0049

137 E. Market St., New Albany


Menswear

HIM Gentlemen’s Boutique

812.595.7752

314 Pearl St., New Albany

himgb.com


Jewelry

Koerber’s Fine Jewelry

812.945.5959

3095 Blackiston Mill Road, New Albany

koerbersfinejewelry.com


Hair and Makeup

Strandz & Threadz

812.945.5480

322 Vincennes St., New Albany

strandzandthreadz.com


Floral Arrangements

Nance Floral Shoppe

Designed by Brian Nance

812.945.5225

624 Spring St.

New Albany

nancesfloralshoppe.com


Dishes, Linens and Place Settings

Nance Events

Styling by Brian Nance

502.558.7010

624 Spring St.

New Albany

nancesevents.com


Chairs, Table and Chandeliers

Lux Chair Company

502.558.7010

luxchaircompany.com


Calligrapher

Jenny Garner

etsy.com/shop/PenAndLeaf


Cookies

Rookies Cookies & Cakes

812.948.8858

310 Pearl St., New Albany

www.rookiescookies.net


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A Dream Do-Over

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BY LAURIE HAAG | PHOTOS BY NATALIE SPAULDING PHOTOGRAPHY AND ASHLEY WALTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Wedding planner Laurie Haag and her husband experience the wedding of their dreams

May 7, 1988, is one of my favorite days ever. It’s the day I married my husband.

Fast-forward to May 2018, and I can’t believe 30 years have gone by so fast. When we got married, we were very young. We lacked a lot of resources and we had some unusual rules to follow at our church because I already had a baby. So, our wedding wasn’t exactly a “dream wedding,” and from time to time, we have joked about and discussed redoing it.

At our 10-year anniversary, it would have been impossible to redo a wedding celebration as we were in the throes of raising four young daughters and were basically super poor at that time.

At our 25-year anniversary, our oldest daughter was due to have her first baby any day during that timeframe. We couldn’t risk missing the birth of our granddaughter, or our daughter and son-in-law not being at our party.

So, this year, as we were anticipating 30 years and reminiscing about our life, Bryan asked if I thought we should go for it and re-do the “wedding.” We were sitting beachside during a romantic dinner while on vacation and it just seemed like it was meant to be. He asked if it should be a full-fledged vow renewal, and all I could think was that I just didn’t want it to come off corny. But really, a lot of the traditional ceremony things are what we missed out on, so we felt like it was really important and would be special.

The Vendors Venue: The Loft on Spring Wedding Dress: Laurel Wreath Bridal Anniversary Band: Koerber’s Fine Jewelry Catering: Stumler’s Catering Florals: Merci Bouquet Cake: Mert’s Cake DJ: A Class Act DJ Various Rental Items: Party Central Videography: Matt Simpson Photography: Natalie Spaulding Photography and Ashley Walts Photography 77

The Vendors
Venue: The Loft on Spring
Wedding Dress: Laurel Wreath Bridal
Anniversary Band: Koerber’s Fine Jewelry
Catering: Stumler’s Catering
Florals: Merci Bouquet
Cake: Mert’s Cake
DJ: A Class Act DJ
Various Rental Items: Party Central
Videography: Matt Simpson
Photography: Natalie Spaulding Photography and Ashley Walts Photography
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I had a mere six weeks to plan the whole thing, but I do own three wedding businesses in town, and I have all the experience, resources and friends in the wedding industry to pull it off to perfection.

The day was so special. The girls and I started off our day with brunch at The Exchange Pub + Kitchen, which decked out our table with flowers and mimosas. We got ready at the Beauty Lounge located at Eventful 203 (which I own). Then, we headed down to Brooklyn and the Butcher for some photos.

The ceremony and reception took place at the Loft on Spring (which I also own) and it was full of sentimental, funny and lively moments.

Bryan surprised me with an anniversary band during the vow renewal that was officiated by our good friend Ray Green, the pastor at Graceland Baptist Church. We did a short first dance to “I Want to Grow Old with You” by Adam Sandler. Our best man and maid of honor from our original wedding were both able to come, and since we didn’t have toasts at our first wedding, they were gracious enough to do a toast at this one. It was so sweet and, of course, I cried.

But probably the best part of the whole evening was when Bryan did a dance with our four daughters. They started out with “My Girl” and each daughter took a twirl around with their dad during the first verse and chorus. Then, the song cut to “Bad Boys,” then “No Diggity” and finished out with “I’m Too Sexy.” They had it all perfectly choreographed, and it was definitely outside of my husband’s comfort zone. He typically hates to dance, but he really stole the show and it was a hit.

Really the whole day was about celebrating family and celebrating all the things we had gotten through in 30 years. We are a testament that things in life can be crazy, disappointing, chaotic and full of crises, but if you just stick together through it all, then you will also be able to enjoy the times when it’s sweet, peaceful and full of goodness.screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-4-30-02-pmscreen-shot-2018-06-05-at-4-30-14-pm