Mandie & Ryan . Indianapolis Wedding at the Efroymson Wedding Garden at the White River Gardens

August 5, 2014

This wedding was absolutely adorable! I can’t say it any better than the beautiful bride herself. Enjoy the sweetest wedding description ever! 🙂

From Mandie:
Although I am patriotic (having served in the army), we settled on the Fourth of July holiday based on Ryan’s desire to have guests shoot off Roman candles as we recessed at the ceremony, which was only slightly dangerous. So, initially, we sought a venue that would allow for a view of the fireworks as a compromise to this idea. The Hulman Riverhouse within the White River Gardens at the Indianapolis Zoo provided a beautiful view of the Indianapolis skyline for the holiday festivities, but it was the ceremony space that truly sealed the deal for me.

As soon as we stepped into the Efroymson Wedding Garden at the White River Gardens, it was love at first sight. I knew it was where Ryan and I would be married. In due diligence, we toured other venues but everything paled in comparison to the lush landscape of the wedding garden. It fit my vision of a vintage-inspired, romantic garden wedding and the visual aesthetic was integral to me in setting the tone for our day.

To keep the aesthetic soft and romantic, I chose blush tones, pink, ivory and metallics. My bridesmaids wore blush Lela Rose dresses (I was dying over the feminine side draping) and each carried a different variation of my bridal bouquet. I told my florist that I was looking for flowers that were big, soft, romantic – and boy, did she deliver the most beautiful combination of hydrangeas, lisianthus, dahlias, and garden roses!

All the other details came together slowly as I sourced and made items for the ceremony and reception. The vintage mint green chair (found at an estate resale boutique) became a resting place for my DIY chalkboard and the white garden caddy that held ceremony programs and bubbles for the recessional. The white frame with chicken wire (found at the same estate resale boutique as the chair) was perfect for holding escort cards with miniature clothes pins. The small chalkboard table numbers tied in with the reception chalkboard as well as the smaller chalkboard sign I made for the reception table. A white birdcage, similar to the ones used for the centerpieces, was big enough to hold cards from guests.

Even though we stayed away from a patriotic color palette, I still wanted to acknowledge the holiday by incorporating subtle details like the chalkboard sign that read “We hope you have a blast”, flashing LED wand lights, and drink stirrers (another DIY) reminiscent of fireworks. Those small details married (forgive the pun) the two events – wedding and Fourth of July – in a way that wasn’t tacky.

I was so, so glad we chose to do the draping in the Riverhouse; it really transformed the feel of the room and softened up the masculinity of the wood. The pink petal tablecloths on our sweetheart table and the cake table provided a nice contrast of color and texture and helped break up the space, while the gold chargers and blush napkins on the guest tables were just the finishes to make the settings look complete. The tissue paper poms (DIY’d!) and paper lanterns hanging over the dance floor were a beautiful way to visually separate the long, narrow hall, too.

As for the ceremony, we took a lot of care in crafting something that was meaningful to us but still fit into somewhat of a traditional format so guests could follow along easily. We began the ceremony with a ring warming, passing our bands (tied inside a small book) among guests so they may say a blessing, prayer, or wish for our marriage, essentially warming the rings with their love for us. It was incredibly symbolic. Rather than have others read passages, Ryan and I read passages to one another – I from Jane Eyre, he from The Fault in our Stars (yes, Augustus’s speech about love and oblivion!). My dear friend and colleague Danielle Valenilla, a writer, performed Taylor Mali’s “How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog,” a playful and humorous poem. We chose to plant a tree as a symbol of the enduring strength of our union and the taking root of our marriage. Eventually, the wedding tree will be planted when we buy our first home.

Seeing my vision and all the small parts come to fruition was magical, especially when it came time for the fireworks – icing on the cake. It was a true reflection of the love and romance between Ryan and I – a feeling we hoped was well interpreted to our guests on such a special evening. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day!






























Caterer: Centerplate
Floral: Lisa Gallagher at lily lane
Day-of coordinator: Rachel Doyle at lily lane
Bridesmaid dresses: Lela Rose
Bride’s dress: Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner, Nancy’s Bridal
Cupcakes: Gigi’s Cupcakes
DJ/Sound: Midwest Sound
Decor (draping/hanging lanterns): Atmospheres Indy
Photographer: Gabrielle Cheikh Photography

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  1. Donna Crawford says:

    Gabby, you do such a great job!!!!!

    Sent from my iPad


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