We've been getting to know Joe & Caitlin for a year and a half and started following along in their over 8 year relationship! Joe and Caitlin met in South Bend while at college when Caitlin was at St. Mary's College and Joe was at Notre Dame. When we met them Caitlin was working in Indianapolis, Indiana at a school for the deaf and Joe was in his MBA program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! They toughed out many round-trips to visit each other during the long-distance portion of their relationship AND even visited South Bend often, so we were lucky enough to meet up with them at least four to six times throughout the past year while we got them some physical photo products. Throughout their relationship they've proven to be an amazingly humble, intelligent, & kind travel couple having hung out in the Amazon, paddled row boats with us for their Engagement Session up in Michigan, and made some amazing memories to add to their past over eight years. Joe just finished his MBA this summer, so now the two of them have moved and now live (along with their rabbit) and work in Omaha, Nebraska!
Just a few days ago these two were wed at the University of Notre Dame Basilica at Joe's alma mater. Both Caitlin and Joe started getting ready at the Morris Inn at Notre Dame in rooms directly above each other, and then Caitlin and her bridesmaids as well as some family headed over across the street to Caitlin's alma mater of St. Mary's College to prep a bit more, get Caitlin in her dress, and have some bridesmaid/ bride photos taken! Meanwhile the groomsmen and Joe headed around Notre Dame's campus for some portraits of their own.
After preparation for the wedding ceremony was over, we kept Caitlin away from Joe and everyone headed to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame. The wedding prior was just letting out, so we waited a bit with everyone until the ceremony started. Joe excitedly waited by the altar to get his first glimpse of Caitlin on their big day. The ceremony went off without a hitch and even included us getting to come back with them behind the altar to photograph their Mary Adoration! (Every Catholic couple this year has opted for this, so we were excited that Joe and Caitlin did as well!)
After the beautiful ceremony, we captured our allotted 15 minutes left of images in the church of they and their families, then headed outside for some more formal portraits on Notre Dame's campus. After making it to about five or so spots at Notre Dame, we then headed off to Caitlin's alma mater St. Mary's College again across the street for some additional formal portraits there! There was another wedding party having portraits and video taken, so we patiently waited our turn at both spots we'd planned on taking bridal party and married couple portraits. We then captured the sweet wedding party and Caitlin + Joe around in a few spots at St. Mary's before heading on to the reception in downtown South Bend!
Once we got to Palais Royale (the reception hall attached to the Morris Performing Arts Center) we snapped a few more portraits before heading in and letting the bridal party enjoy some of cocktail hour. After cocktail hour in the Morris Performing Arts Center, attendees were ushered into Palais Royale and the bridal party was announced! Caitlin and Joe were announced twice, and upon the second announcement (as a surprise from Caitlin) about 20 former Notre Dame marching band members (friends since Joe is a Notre Dame band alumnus and Caitlin is also a band alumna!) started playing the Notre Dame fight song! Joe seemed to enjoy his surprise and the entire reception hall even sang the Notre Dame anthem together! After getting settled, Caitlin's dad welcomed everyone and their priest gave a great speech and blessing. Following the blessing, salads were served and then the Maids of Honor and Best Man speeches were given! The heartfelt speeches were enough to bring a tear or two to the eyes of both Caitlin and Joe. After the speeches were said, dinner was served and then the newlyweds went around the room greeting those in attendance. Then it was time for cake cutting!
During dinner we'd eaten and then photographed close-ups of Caitlin and Joe's wedding rings before cake cutting. Shortly after feeding each other some cake by fork, Joe and Caitlin enjoyed their first dance, their father-bride dance, and mother-groom dance! After that Open Dance started and miraculously neon glow necklaces were distributed during dancing! Caitlin started a train around the dance floor and everyone enjoyed more dancing! During the dancing we captured some more formal portraits of Caitlin's high school friends, as well as a shot of all of the former girl scouts in attendance at the request of Caitlin's mother.
As the end of the night approached, we took Caitlin and Joe around for them to have some last portraits together. We captured some in the Palais, more in the Morris Performing Arts Center, and finally some outside of the hall. When they headed back in they did their bouquet and garter tosses before everyone enjoyed late night snacks of mini slider burgers and tiny milkshakes! We then gathered our gear and headed out to wait until Joe & Caitlin's sparkler send-off. Everyone hustled outside and grabbed their own mega sparkler before there was a bit of a hitch trying to get the sparklers lit. Once they finally got one lit, it seemed like hundreds were lit all at once and before we knew it Caitlin and Joe were making their way through the path of sparklers! They laughed their way through the tunnel of sparkler fire and drove right off with their chauffer!
So much congratulations again, Caitlin and Joe! We had an awesome time with you a few days ago celebrating your beautiful wedding day as well as getting to get to know you two over the past year and a half! You're truly deserving of all of the happiness after all of your dedication, hard work, and kindness and we wish you a lifetime of happy, adventurous memories together both in your new state of Nebraska AND throughout wherever your lives together take you!
Coming up in just a few days is Jenny's only sibling's wedding! We've been busy with that and work this week, so we're looking forward to attending a wedding for a change this weekend! We can't wait to share some of our personal photos from that with you sometime in the next month, but for now we're off busy with so many things that we've already turned on our "Away" message on for our emails until Tuesday the 8th! We'll catch you next Wednesday with a throwback wedding anniversary with photos of our past clients who haven't made it onto the blog yet, so check in next Wednesday for some more marital bliss! For now enjoy your weekend and keep love in your lives <3