Carmel Lutheran Garden Flower Wedding // Rachel & Matt

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” // 1 John 4:7

Rachel and Matt’s wedding was one amazing wedding that I just can’t even begin to explain! There was seriously so much love surrounding this couple throughout the entirety of the day. They were not only surrounded by love but they were surrounded by 300 amazing friends and family at a gorgeous ceremony at Advent Lutheran Church followed by a fun reception at University High School of Indiana, where Rachel attended high school. I’m pretty sure this duo had three things in mind when planning their wedding day:

  1. Spend time with the amazing people in their lives.
  2. Have so much fun.
  3. Oh yeah, and get married cause they’re crazy in love!

Personally, I feel like they successfully accomplished all three of these goals (that I kind of made up...) and so many more! This day was definitely one to remember! I hope their friends and family had as much fun as I did!

So hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen because this wedding of two Butler grads is about to blow. you. away. with all of their love, fun, color, and special moments. I mean, I’m still trying to catch my breath and it’s been a week!

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Rachel is a bride with many, many talents. Aside from being a wonderfully caring human being she’s also an amazing hostess, artist, daughter, sister, and servant. She really can do it all. She hand drew the design on her shoes (IN THE CAR!) and painted the invitations! It really brought such a special touch to all of the details of the day. Paired with a family heirloom choker, hair clips, a hankie she bought when she was in the third grade (and labeled “For Wedding”), and flowers from her mother’s garden these are quite possibly some of my most favorite detail photos I’ve done in a long time!

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After hair and makeup and a delicious lunch with her bridesmaids in her parents’ backyard everyone packed up and headed to the church to get dressed! Lit by the light of a lone window, Rachel donned her wedding dress surrounded by her mother and all of her bridesmaids. She wanted to make sure everyone was part of the process and everyone felt included. She looked so stunning.

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Meanwhile, Matt was having his own fun time with his groomsmen getting ready in another room of the church.

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Rachel + Matt had written wonderful letters to each other before walking down the aisle. I always love this part of weddings and wish my husband and I had done it. We wrote letters that we nailed into a box but I would have loved to have had something to read on the day of. Rachel’s letter was so sweet because I guess sometime in there relationship there was a disagreement over white vs. colored Christmas lights. Rachel voting for classic white and Matt for fun colors. She mentioned in her letter that she believes in compromise and that’s what marriage is about. So she gifted Matt a pack of colored Christmas lights. I thought this was just so sweet and thoughtful. Rachel, you’re killing the marriage game for all us gals! You're too good at this!!

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Before the ceremony began, in a the quiet of Rachel’s bridal suite her bridesmaids and family made circle around her as they each shared a prayer for her, Matt, and the wedding day as a whole. While being hugged by her mom and maid of honor she shed a few happy tears. It was such a touching moment.

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This year has been the year of ceremonies unlike any others that I’ve ever seen! First a Greek Orthodox wedding, then Nigerian, and now a Lutheran wedding. While I’m not particularly familiar with Lutheran weddings and I don’t know if singing is typically involved I love how not only was there singing but it was singing by the entire group of wedding guests. There was a song book included in the program and every single able person sang along. It was beautiful. Plus the music alone was amazing! There were horns and singers and piano! It was all so lovely. I’m totally up for another one!!

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Rachel + Matt decided to do their recessional a little different than tradition. Rachel really wanted to sing the final hymn of the ceremony. Typically the bride and groom exit first but in their case they had everyone else exit first so she could continue singing the hymn. And when her and Matt finally did recess down the aisle they met up with their parents at the door to the sanctuary, turned around and faced their friends and family and everyone finished the hymn together. It was so cool. I loved it.

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And then... bubbles!! And one wicked cool car! I swear they have all the best friends and family! They had a friend let them used this awesome vintage Corvair as their get away car! I’m a sucker for a vintage car so I definitely squealed with excitement when I got to use this car for photos!

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One last photo outside the church before heading to the park with the wedding party! Check out that blue sky!!

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We traveled to West Park in Carmel with the wedding party to get some amazing photos. The light was good, the company was good, the location was good. We had a good time.

I love this photo of the whole group surprise hugging the bride and groom. It definitely fits their personality with their friends. They like to hug everyone!

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Cathedral veils will always be one of my favorites. But that family heirloom choker as a headpiece was giving that cathedral veil a run for it’s money! It looked so awesome! Such a fun touch! Not to mention Rachel made the most beautiful bride. Her dress was so perfect for her, AND IT HAD POCKETS!

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West Park... why you so amazing!? I love this location! The sun was bright but we worked with it! I’m dying to shoot at this park at sunset!

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I’m a sucker for a groom with a bouquet! Aside from the fact that it just pops better off of a dark tux versus a white dress, I just think it’s nifty! Also... these shoes!!

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Rachel + Matt opted to have their reception at Andrew’s Hall at University High School of Indiana. Both of them have tons of cousins, aunts, and uncles, that helped them prep everything for the day of. When I arrived to photograph reception details the cousins were all rapidly setting up the reception space for the bride and groom. They all made the floral centerpieces for the tables as well! There were so many flowers! I was amazed what all they could accomplish all by themselves. Most of the cocktail hour and dinner time took place outdoors on the patio space provided by the high school. Cocktail rounds and picnic tables plus fun things to do for the kids. But let’s not forget that their wedding was catered by... food trucks. Good ones too! Oh my gosh the pizza was killer!

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Before everyone headed inside to dance the night away Rachel and Matt had their cake cutting in the middle of the patio. Their cake, which was made by the maid of honor, Lauren, was absolutely beautiful! I wish I could make a cake this well! But alas, all of my cakes end up looking like a two year old made them!

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After the cake cutting everyone filed inside the school for dancing. The night was kicked off by introductions, toasts, and then first dances. Another switch-a-rio the bride and groom decided to do was the groom and his mother danced first and then the bride and her father danced. After dancing for a little while, Rachel + her dad invited all fathers and daughters to the dance floor to share a dance together. It was really sweet. Stephanie was, once again, a puddle of tears.

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After the parent dances concluded THEN the bride and groom had their first dance.

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After all of the formalities of the evening the bride and groom snuck away to get changed while guests were enjoying music on the dance floor. They came back ready to dance... SWING DANCE! The bride and groom had family teach the guests how to swing dance and then after the guests had their chance to shine the bride and groom shared a private swing dance to “Route 66” by Michael Bublé. It was so rad! My dancer heart was a pitter patter!

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We ended the night with the last sliver of sunlight left, an orange horizon, and two people madly in love just unified as one.

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Thank you so much Rachel + Matt and their families for having myself and Stephanie on your big day! It was so much fun spending the day with you and everyone that is so close to you! You all are amazingly loving and giving people. I’m so happy to have been able to work with you and get to know you all. Thank you so, so much! Congratulations and I hope you’re enjoying your road trip!

Carmel, IN


Rachel + Matt

Current City | Zionsville, IN
Rachel | Student
Matt | Student

The Wedding

Ceremony Venue | Advent Lutheran Church
Reception Venue | Andrew’s Hall at University High School of Indiana
Catering | Scratch Truck :: Byrne’s Grilled Pizzas :: Duos Truck
Florals | Sharon McKee
Cake | Lauren Hannah :: Maid of Honor
Dessert Buffett | Sweet and Savory :: Chef Melissa Mudd
Hair Stylist | Meg Eckart :: Salon Lofts
Makeup Artist | Jessica Kersey
Bride’s Dress | David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses | Azazie
Groom + Groomsmen Attire | Chromatics Studio and Gallery
Rentals | A Classic Party Rental
Entertainment | Sunny Moon
Second Photographer | Stephanie Duncan


Want to see more of Rachel & Matt? Click the left photo to see their Butler University & Eagle Creek Park engagement session!
Want to see more weddings in unique locations? Click the right photo to see Lisa & Dave's geeky love wedding!

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Guest - Tammy on Friday, 15 July 2016 23:23

Thank you so much for capturing such joy! It was a beautiful day and these photos will take us right back whenever we see them. Looking forward to the others that I know you took. The vendors, guests, and family all noticed your organization and were really impressed....thank you!

Thank you so much for capturing such joy! It was a beautiful day and these photos will take us right back whenever we see them. Looking forward to the others that I know you took. The vendors, guests, and family all noticed your organization and were really impressed....thank you!