The Foley Wedding
I've never been a believer of coincidence. I stand in my belief that everything in this life happens for a resolute reason, to serve a greater purpose, a common good. This wedding not only serves as a greater purpose but also as something that has helped put me where I am today.
Sean and Julie are from Culver, Indiana now living in West Lafayette. They love wine, great food, and the occasional binge on Netflix. They're also passionate and hard working entrepreneurs. Sean is a classically trained chef with french pastry influences. In fact, Sean spent his internship in France working for a bread maker, waking up early (I mean EARLY) every day and shutting the store down by 11AM since they would sell out. He and his chef, along with another apprentice, would then venture down to a local eatery and enjoy two bottles of wine, some french bread, and whatever else the chef said to eat that day.
Julie is a dancer, mother, and comic relief. She loves to laugh and has a heart of gold. Julie is from Culver and has a son, Owen. Julie's father has owned many different successful restaurants and has inspired Julie to have a great taste in not only wine and food but also men. Sean and Julie were always meant to be together and I am so happy to have been a part of their big day. The catch is that I was actually in the wedding.
Sean and Julie, along with another business partner, are opening a French-American influenced restaurant in August where Kokoro once stood. Sean, Julie, and their partner have been working countless hours to turn the restaurant from one staple into something even more.
To rewind just a bit, I met Sean and Julie through their partner, who found out I was a photographer at our local gym when he would attend my indoor cycling classes. We spoke about how he and Sean are opening a restaurant this summer. So I was invited out to his home and met this amazing chef and his beautiful fiance, new to town, and hard working. We hit it off that evening after three amazing courses of fresh sous vide egg with a black truffle sauce on fresh homemade pasta, Mediterranean styled white fish, octopus, fresh smoked mussels, and lobster tail, and ending with a beautiful and unique cake with fresh passion fruit sauce and mango sorbet. All along with some of the best wine we've ever had.
Sean, Julie, Felicia (my wife--owner of Emerald Lotus Events), and I met up a week later at a local taco stand with Julie's son, and we had such a nice time. It was true friend love from then on. We've spent so many hours at their house with them. Not only are we collaborating on mutual projects, but growing our friendship and ours lives around each others. Sean asked me to stand up with him as a groomsman awhile back and I was flattered and accepted. We travelled to Culver on their special day and Felicia suggested that I bring my camera. My gift to them would be helping to document the end of their day and to take a few portraits. A few turned into more than a few. The love that Sean and Julie have for one another is something different than a lot of people have. There's an understanding deeper than just infatuation. Sean and Julie know each others strengths and weaknesses which is why they need each other. They complement one another in both the fairytale and real life ways.
Their wedding day was relaxed and beautiful. I arrived at the reception area, a beautiful rental home on the lake of Culver and met with Julie and her bridesmaids. She couldn't see me yet since she hadn't put her contacts in so I made myself known and photographed a few brief glimpses of the ladies before they were ready. Sean's other groomsman, Ed, came to pick me up a bit later and took me back to his house where Sean was still sleeping off the karaoke from the night before. After a sandwich, shave, and shower, Sean and his groomsmen were ready to roll into one of the most chapels I have seen.
Culver is famous for its high school military academy. Julie happened to attend her high school there. So it was only fitting that they were married in this beautiful old place. Their ceremony was one of the simplest but most beautiful ones I have been a part of. Their officiant, Nilu, friend and neighbor of Sean and Julie, said some beautiful things including asking everyone to remember the love that they have inside of them and then send it out to Sean and Julie. You could just feel the room fill up with love as everyone found the love that they have inside that keeps us all running, filling up the reservoir of Sean and Julie.
Julie's uncle was wonderful enough to photograph their ceremony and post ceremony pictures down by the lake. After we finished the photos, I headed to the reception and Sean and Julie went out on the boat to arrive at their reception via pontoon!
The reception was outdoors and was the perfect temperature for an outdoor event. It was decorated neatly with birds, cranberries, and some rustic pieces of wood. Sean and Julie arrived a bit later on the boat to a happy crowd and we ate a delicious meal of seasoned shrimp (40 POUNDS OF IT!), pasta, breads, sautéed root vegetables, and of course wine, beer, and champagne!
The neighbors next door were having an adult slip and slide down the hill so some of the bridesmaids and a few guests took their turn down the slide. That was definitely a first to see at a wedding.
Ed, Sean's MMA fighter brother, gave the most beautiful best man's speech to date that I've heard. It was about their childhood in Culver and is going to go down in history as something beautiful and heartfelt. (He also caught the garter later). To add to the sentimental feeling, Julie's maid of honor, sang "You are my sunshine" to her and asked the whole crew to join in. Julie also wore her grandmother's pearls and they looked so elegant. At the bottom of the gallery they are featured. They are beautiful and were the perfect addition to her elegance.
The rest of the evening was smooth and through their first dance as man and wife, to the end of the evening which included fireworks, it was perfect. I'm so happy to have been able to give this gift to them. I hope that they cherish not only these images of one of the most important days of their lives, but each other for always.
Love you two, best wishes!