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Kaitlyn & Colin's University of Notre Dame Wedding: Basilica of the Sacred Heart & Morris Inn!

Kaitlyn & Colin are MARRIED! These two were wed just a few days ago over the weekend at Kaitlyn’s alma mater The University of Notre Dame (specifically the ever popular Basilica of the Sacred Heart and Morris Inn on campus)! We originally met Kaitlyn & Colin about a year and a half ago at Morris Park Country Club’s annual Bridal Show that we’ve been privileged to be a part of for all 4 years of its run (and even sponsored this year). We loved their personalities immediately and were so happy that we just clicked! These two are truly an intelligent, easy going, motivated power duo and we feel so lucky to have met them, gotten to know them, and photograph their big day! These two live and work in Warsaw about an hour from here in South Bend, Indiana, so luckily they were close to home for their wedding day. Kaitlyn and Colin both work at the same biomedical device company in Warsaw, but in different fields with Colin in engineering (having studied biomedical engineering at University) and Kaitlyn as a Commercialization Manager. But anyway, enough background info- let’s get to the wedding day!

On their wedding day Kaitlyn & Colin got ready at the Morris Inn on Notre Dame’s campus very close to the Basilica. Almost all of our our Notre Dame wedding couples get ready at the Morris Inn since it’s so close to everything on campus, makes getting to the Basilica very easy (with its strict ceremony timelines due to it having 4 weddings a day in summer), and lets the couple retire to their room right there on campus at the end of the wedding night! Since these two had the last wedding ceremony time slot of the day, Kaitlyn was able to head off campus with her bridesmaids for hair and makeup, then come back to the bridal suite at the Morris Inn to get dressed! By the time we started photographing for them for the day, Colin and his groomsmen were already dressed and ready (finishing up a last boutonniere), so they headed out to campus with Jason immediately for groomsmen photos.

Kaitlyn and her bridesmaids had cute matching oversized button-up shirts with their initials embroidered into them, so Jenny captured some photos of them in their shirts before the ladies got their dresses on. Once finished up with their dresses, it was time for the bridesmaids to help Kaitlyn get into her wedding dress! These ladies are a tight-knit group with most of them having been together as friends literally since days into their freshman year at Notre Dame in their shared dorm! Kaitlyn’s sister was the only non-ND alum in the group of 7 bridesmaids, so it was beautiful seeing these ladies together at their old stomping grounds helping Kaitlyn into her wedding gown. Once they and Kaitlyn’s sister got Kaitlyn into her dress and had it buttoned all the way up, they they helped her with her shoes, bracelet, necklace, and veil.

Once finished getting dressed, Kaitlyn had a First Look with her dad. Her dad got choked up and teared up a bit, but was so excited to see her!

After that reveal, the ladies all headed out with Jenny for bridesmaid portraits with Kaitlyn by their old dorm! Dorms on Notre Dame’s campus are a big deal in that they are your community. Some people try to live in dorm communities that their family members had once lived in and each dorm community has its own mascot, backstory, and more! Kaitlyn and her bridesmaids had lived in McGlinn Hall, so it was the first stop for portraits! You may remember that earlier this month we photographed May & Jimmy at May’s dorm Lyon’s Hall (though we didn’t get to Jimmy’s ND hall since he had proposed to May at Lyon’s Hall), we photographed our March couple Lex & Jessica at their dorms Duncan Hall and Ryan Hall, and have gotten to photograph many of our other couples at their halls, dorms, and even classroom buildings (either where they met OR where they spent most of their time) at the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University!

It was great getting to separately photograph Colin with his groomsmen and Kaitlyn with her bridesmaids around campus prior to their ceremony for about an hour! Usually this happens after the ceremony along with ALL of the family portraits and portraits of just the two of them (making it a hot back-to-back couple hours outside after the ceremony), but when possible this is the best layout since it relieves some post-ceremony stress and allows for some down time to breathe and wipe away sweat (also ensuring that there aren’t 2 full hot hours outside if it gets into the upper 80s or lower 90s with full 60 to 80% humidity). We’ll share these images in the post-ceremony group photos in a bit, but for now onto the ceremony!

Once finished with separate bridal party portraits outside, we all headed into the Basilica (with men hidden in the back of the church and ladies hidden in the front vestibule). The Basilica requests that the bride, groom, & bridal party arrive a half hour prior to their ceremony, so we were all on time if not a bit early (since again 4 weddings in a day back-to-back keeps things moving quickly). This time request is pretty standard for a Catholic ceremony (with some school Catholic churches in town requesting bride & groom with bridal party be there a full hour prior to the ceremony) and necessary to keep things running on time since though they were the last ceremony for the day, there was also a mass a half hour after we finished up photos with them in the Basilica.

The half hour pre-ceremony inside the Basilica flew by and it was time for their wedding ceremony! These two watched as one-by-one family members preceded them down the aisle, then Colin, and then the bridal party.

Finally it was time and Kaitlyn made her way down the aisle to Colin. Colin seemed a bit choked up once Kaitlyn was revealed from the vestibule and headed down the aisle toward him with her dad.

The ceremony went on for the hour without a hitch!

During the homily the priest wonderfully mentioned that Kaitlyn is an equal to Colin. We loved this little tidbit because we totally believe that a marriage is a team effort and that neither party is better than the other, rather an equal team!

We loved the wonderful ceremony and it seemed to fly by! Soon these two were heading back down the aisle a married couple!

Afterward we then proceeded to capture about 15 family portraits with the married couple within the Basilica as well as a full bridal party photo.

Once finished with the family group photos, we captured some portraits of just Kaitlyn and Colin in the Basilica alone before heading out due to a mass coming up in just a half hour within the Basilica.

Post-ceremony we had non-relatives head outside for a group photo on the steps of the Main building (the Golden Dome) and Colin surprised Kaitlyn with their dog visiting them right then and there! He had asked friends to bring their dog from their home an hour away to see them on their wedding day and Kaitlyn was pleasantly shocked to see their Labradoodle!

Back outside we did one last full bridal party portrait in front of the Golden Dome before dismissing everyone to cocktail hour.

After the group photos were finished around 4:45, we had Kaitlyn and Colin to ourselves for photos for an hour! We captured them by the Basilica itself, by the Golden Dome, under some foliage, and finally by the Grotto!

We photographed the bridesmaid photos with Kaitlyn and groomsmen photos with Colin earlier in the day pre-ceremony, but we’ll share those now for cohesiveness!

Kaitlyn and her bridesmaids all (other than her sister) met at Notre Dame most meeting in their dorm freshman year just days in to college, so we photographed them as a full group in front of their old dorm of course!

The Grotto was the main spot that Kaitlyn and Colin wanted their portraits of the two of them together and as luck would have it, the month’s worth of construction on the Grotto itself (everything being taken out of it in June, it being repaved with stone slabs, and more) ended early a day before, so just the Grotto itself was opened! It did not have its regular wrought iron fencing around it, many kneelers, or all of its candles, but these two lucked out that it was opened!

The Grotto was extremely hot due to all of the candles and the cave capturing all of the heat and humidity of the day, so these two were very much looking forward to the A/C at their reception on campus!

Just before heading to their reception at the Morris Inn, we stopped at one more spot along the way for some final photos since we were running early!

What isn’t seen in the weddings that we’ve photographed at Notre Dame over these past few weeks is that the ENTIRE Basilica (next to the Golden Dome) is surrounded by metal fencing with the ground and everything completely ripped out. With photo magic (i.e. framing the photo sneakily to not show this) we’ve tried to work around the construction to capture the gorgeous essence of that area of campus in particular. At the Grotto there was a temporary metal fence on our literal backs as we photographed and all of the walkways are completely torn up pavement as they continue to work on the project.

After portraits of the Kaitlyn and Colin married, we had them head over to their reception there on campus at the Morris Inn! When having your reception on campus the Morris Inn, venues in the football stadium, and more provide golf carts for guests to ride to/ from the ceremony in and for the couple to ride to/ from the ceremony in as well as to the reception in! This was very convenient throughout the day as the heat and humidity were pretty high and we didn’t want Kaitlyn having to walk in heels and drag her train all over campus! Plus the wind was pretty nice for them as the Grotto was like an extremely, extremely hot furnace (likely because of all of the hundred lit candles in there coupled with all of the humidity gathering in the cave).

Once at the reception during cocktail hour these two got to relax and cool off with water and hors d’oeuvres in a side room for over a half hour before folks were seated for their and the bridal party’s announcement into the ceremony! These two were extremely thankful for that time and Kaitlyn’s bridesmaids took that time to also bustle up Kaitlyn’s wedding dress & take out her veil.

Meanwhile we captured cocktail hour!

We loved all of the gold and Notre Dame details around their reception at the Morris Inn!

Folks were seated at 6:30 and Kaitlyn & Colin were announced in with their bridal party preceding them! Immediately these two went in to their First Dance. It was calm and beautiful.

Kaitlyn’s dad then gave a welcome speech afterward followed by Kaitlyn and Colin welcoming & thanking their guests as well!

After their First Dance and welcoming guests, these two cut their cake. Kaitlyn’s grandpa Jack then gave the pre-dinner blessing (prayer) and it was time for dinner!

During dinner we took their wedding rings and photographed close-ups of them as everyone enjoyed their salads, then full meals. After that these two mingled with their guests and greeted every single table!

Soon it was time for the speeches/ toasts! Kaitlyn’s sister was her Maid of Honor and gave her speech joking that if Colin laughed at and truly found humor in their mom’s jokes, then he was definitely a keeper. Colin’s Best Man then gave his speech which was equally heartfelt and funny.

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After the speeches these two had their Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dances. Kaitlyn’s dad got choked up again during the touching dance and Colin’s mom seemed to revel in the heartfelt moment with her newly married son.

Right before the dance floor opened for Open Dance, Kaitlyn also did her bouquet toss! One of her bridesmaids caught the bouquet and then the dance floor opened! We captured a half hour of Open Dance before taking Colin and Kaitlyn outside for a quick moment of one last photo right there before sunset!

Everyone rushed the dance floor for Open Dance and cut a rug!

All ages seemed to enjoy dancing and partying together! Before we knew it it was about 10 minutes until our leaving time, so we took these two right outside for some last married portraits before heading out!

Since these two had a couple hours left before their Sparkler Exit and we were contracted for our 8 hour package, we left a few minutes early, went home 6 minutes away, packed up for a trip to Michigan while downloading the photos to one of our computers, packed up our computers, and then headed back before 11 p.m. to photograph their Sparkler Exit from the Morris Inn! When we came back we set up studio lights and it was time to capture their sparkler exit! It was very quick and beautiful with so, so many of their guests sticking around all the day until the end of their reception at 11 p.m.! It was a great day to end the wedding night before we headed out to Michigan for holiday to go see our siblings in from Arizona!

Congratulations on your beautiful wedding day, Kaitlyn & Colin! We were thrilled to get to capture your big day at Notre Dame and we hope that you two had a blast throughout the day! We hope that you were able to relax in your room at the Morris Inn afterward and have a great breakfast with everyone on Sunday as well. Enjoy the beach in Florida this coming weekend!! We hope that you two also have safe travels to your island honeymoon at the end of the month and enjoy your time together!

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Unrelated: Tomorrow is the 4th of July! We hope that you all have the day off and have plans with loved ones or family for the holiday! Jenny’s sister and brother-in-law got in late on Friday (the day before the wedding) and we saw them then/ they kidnapped our dog, we’ve gotten to spend time with them on Sunday & Monday, we edited on Monday, got to go to the fair yesterday, and are working all of today, then spending the 4th tomorrow through Saturday with about 40 family members for a big BBQ and lake fun!

Coming up next Weekly Wednesday we’ll be sharing Bee & Jordan’s South Bend Engagement Session! We had had this scheduled to capture in June, but Bee was sick, so they had to push it back to the start of next week. Their wedding isn’t until next May 2020 at the Conservatory and The Brick, so we’re very excited to see them again since we haven’t seen them since a separate Portrait Session in the fall! We’re so excited to capture their urban sunset Engagement Session in downtown South Bend in a couple meaningful spots to them, so be on the lookout for that next Weekly Wednesday!

We did not have a time to post it, so the following week we’ll be sharing 6 June Wedding Anniversaries on one blog post! So many wonderful couples celebrated their 10th to 1st wedding anniversaries last month, so we wanted to spotlight some of them for you and re-live some of those gorgeous days/ update you on their growing families!

The following week we’ll be sharing with you Mollie & Bobby’s South Bend Engagement Session! They will be including some elements of their home life as well as jobs in their Session, so it will also be a beautifully unique one coming up in just a couple weeks when we capture it! Their wedding is in a few months here in South Bend at Holy Cross Catholic Parish right next to us and their reception is also at the Brick!

This month is a heavy wedding photo editing month for us as well as a product month with literally about 700 photos choices for us to print for 11 couples, $450 worth of Print Credits to print, and two physical wedding albums to design and print for our couples! No one has emailed us with their final choices from June yet, so we’ll be checking in with everyone come Monday to get rolling on all of these prints, wedding boxes, Engagement Sessions, and event photos to print for everyone! Whew! We hope that you have a great 4th of July and upcoming weekend and we’ll catch you next Weekly Wednesday!