Heartfelt and Nostalgic Barn Wedding in Indiana
It isn't every day that we see a beautiful fine art wedding photographed on film in Indiana on Wedding Sparrow! I, Megan, live in this wonderful Hoosier state but don't always see this elegant aesthetic so I'm beyond excited for this incredibly sentimental wedding to hit the pages on WS.
Renee Lemaire Photography captured Katie and Greg's unique love story in such a wonderful manor. They met in Texas, Katie is from San Diego, Greg is from Indiana, and they currently reside in Los Angeles... phew! We totally understand their conundrum - where in world to get married? You'll have to read their story below on how they landed on a rustic, yet timeless wedding in Indiana and how everything works out for a reason.
The Wildflowers planned each detail to perfection and always kept Katie and Greg's love story central to the design. The pretty Isibeal Studio florals felt foraged and natural, which fit right into their vision of a no-fuss wedding. Lots to be inspired by today!
From the bride, Katie: "Even though Greg and I met in Texas, we are not Texas natives. I am from a suburb of San Diego, California and Greg is from Indianapolis, Indiana where he grew up on a wheat, soybean, and corn producing farm. We both live in Los Angeles now, which made the venue search quite difficult. Should we get married in my hometown or his? Go for a hip LA wedding or throwback to Texas? We entertained every option possible, which probably contributed to the length of our engagement (2.5 years).
After a long search for “the perfect” venue, we really began to feel let down by the whole experience. They say choosing your venue should be a lot like picking your college campus. You’re supposed to have this “ah-ha” moment where the stars align and you feel at home in the space. Greg and I, quite frankly, didn’t find that anywhere in California. We found stunning Malibu wineries, ornate hotels, and charming garden venues. We found Topanga ranches, whimsical restaurants, and downtown lofts. Unfortunately, it felt like someone else’s story and not ours.
Early on in our relationship, Greg took me to his family farm in Indianapolis to meet his parents for the first or second time (I can’t remember). His mom suggested (not-so-subtly) that we check out their neighbor’s barn, Barn Swallow, as a potential wedding venue. To keep his mom happy, we walked down the street to see the wooden relic. It was the first venue we ever looked at, and it was before we were ever engaged.
I’m not sure what took us so long to realize Barn Swallow was it. For some reason, this space hid in the way, way back of our minds during the entire rigmarole of a venue search. I think we just got so tired of looking, so tired of seeing dollar signs in reps eyes, so sick of the endless bridal factories and production of it all. So one day, out of nowhere, I just said “Hey, what about that old barn your mom made us look at before we were engaged? You know, right next door?” From then on we had our venue.
But why we chose Barn Swallow Farm goes so much deeper than that. Constructed in the 1800s, this barn is also a part of Greg’s history. As a young boy, one of Greg’s jobs was to put hay up in that very barn during the hot summer months. Sometimes it was to help his neighbor out, who was an old farmer. Other times it was because Greg’s barn was full and they needed extra storage space. But either way, it taught him the value of hard work and a job well done.
Holding the ceremony here felt both sentimental and comfortable. It felt like home — down home to be exact. A place where everyone from all parts of our lives could gather, under one familiar roof, and enjoy some good Indiana cookin’ and company.
Everything was of personal significance. Whether it was having my good friend, Kevin Chung, play “Hallelujah” on the violin as both of my parents walked me down the aisle (I found it important to honor both my mother and father), or the single chair we left reserved for passed family members who couldn’t be there in person (but were certainly present in spirit), there were so many moments that touched my heart.
One being the rings I chose to wear that day. Growing up, I was always very close to my grandparents John and Edith Roberts. So much so, that I had hoped for Greg to ask my Grandpa for permission in marriage. Unfortunately, my Grandpa passed away in October of 2014, just shortly after my Grandmother, and that opportunity went unrealized. But Greg found another way to honor their 60-some years of love that I admired, and the role they both played in my life. He had the gold from my Grandmother’s wedding ring made into my engagement ring. On my wedding day, I wore that ring along with the baby ring of my Grandfather (which only fit on my pinky finger), given to me by my Aunt Sally. To carry a little piece of them with me as I walked down the aisle, hands clutched around my windswept bouquet, meant everything to me. Oh, and you bet when “24k magic” started playing on the dance floor, I raised my pinky ring up to the moon!"
From The Wildflowers: "As a designer and planner, there is no better way to bring a new vision of what we are celebrating that with the inspiration of words, feelings, and the personal story of the couple. Knowing Katie and Greg, creating a storied setting that read their personalities aloud was truly important to all of us. Katie is a free-spirited, natural beauty and Greg is a kind soul who worked his childhood summers at Barn Swallow Farm, their eventual wedding venue. The effortlessness and purity of their love inspired our natural and simplistic, but meaningful design.
Knowing this, and taking in the rolling beauty of the wheated fields and wooden grange, my mind immediately went to Café Au Lait, Days of Heaven, wildflowers from the hedgerows, the beauty of cème silk chiffon flowing in the wind, and all of the feelings of what “home” is: the warmth of family and friends, sharing victuals around the table, and the comfort of wearing your hair down and taking your shoes off in familiar space. This was home for Katie and Greg and it became home to 185 of their guests.
To honor the venue and town genuinely, we designed paper goods with simple serif script, landscape photography, and negative space. We kept the florals verdant and lush, but natural enough to look as if they had been growing on the farm for years.
Processing through a growing delphinium flanked pathway to the ceremony, Katie and her bridal party ensemble were like Pre-Raphaelite visions in diaphanous and delicate dresses, with bouquets of mostly greenery and ivory florals, with a pop of buttercream tea roses for the bridal party’s posies. During cocktail hour, guests shared knitted blankets in the field while sipping cocktails and playing yard games. After being invited to dinner, guests were greeted at the barn doors with their names amid a specific wildflower motif, signaling their table. A mix of long and square dinner tables were dressed in raw linen, café au lait candlelight, milky iridescent mineral votives, and garlands of greenery and florets. After a home cooked meal of comfort food, guests danced under the twinkling lights of the barn. As the night grew darker, guests guided the bride and groom to their getaway car with lights of sparklers and a surprise display of fireworks, signaling the end to a beautiful evening. "
Photographer: Renee Lemaire Photography | Film Lab: Photovision | Styling, Planning, and Stationery: The Wildflowers | Floral Designer: Isibeal Studio | Dress Designer: Stanley Korshak | Rentals: A Classic Party Rental | Venue: Barn Swallow Farm | Cake Designer: Heavenly Sweets | Hair & Makeup Artist: Kindred | Linen: La Tyvola | Lighting: Atmospheres Indy | Entertainment: Midwest Sound | Catering: City BBQ