Amy + Jay | Fort Harrison Wedding

Amy and Jay met later in life, after experiencing the joys and losses of their first marriages. At their wedding, their lives, hearts, and children came together to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter and the healing power of God’s grace.

From the Bride: I am a widow. My late husband, Karl, and I had eight children together. One died an hour and 27 minutes after birth. Sometimes, we talked about how we wanted the other to feel free to marry again if one of us passed away. I would always say, only half joking, “Who’s going to marry a woman with seven kids?” 

Then Karl died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 54, after 21 years of marriage. When he passed, the remaining seven children were between the ages of 6 and 20. 

Life as a single mom with five kids at home and two away at college was hard. Harder than anything I had ever done. One evening, after a particularly rough and emotional day, I found myself becoming increasingly tearful after dropping off one of the kids at an after-school event. I eventually pulled over in a parking lot and, sobbing, cried out, “I can’t do this by myself! Send me some help! Dear God, send me some help.” I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe a coupon for free maid service?

That night, to distract myself, I logged onto Catholic Match and finished a previously started profile. All the while I thought, “Who wants to marry a 47-year-old woman with seven kids?” The next day at work was slow, so I started flipping through profiles. Few caught my eye. Even fewer lived close enough to consider, as I knew I wouldn’t be pulling my children out of school. 

But three days after my breakdown, Jay popped up as a possible match. It was clear from his profile that he loved the Lord and his Blessed Mother (you’d be surprised how many on Catholic Match don’t agree with all the teachings of the Church), so I sent him a message on the app. And he answered! I thought surely he hadn’t read my profile, as I had explained my whole story to avoid getting involved with someone who couldn’t handle my history. But we quickly hit it off. Soon we were sharing stories of broken hearts, broken marriages, and the children caught up in all of it--Jay is a divorced father of two.

He says he knew almost immediately that he would marry me, but I was trying to keep some distance. Karl’s first birthday without him here was quickly approaching. I told Jay we couldn’t meet until after my family had gotten through that first, and he was immediately supportive. But as the day loomed ahead, I realized I didn’t have anyone to help me through it. 

I reached out to Jay and asked if there was any way he could spend the day before with me. I had already arranged to be off work to deal with my own emotions, and then Karl’s birthday, a Saturday, I could devote to my children. Jay arranged to be off work and drove 200 miles to be with me. 

My heart was so confused the first time I was within ten feet of him. I was missing my late husband terribly, and yet there were butterflies at meeting Jay. We embraced like old friends and went to the cemetery, where he sat with me in my sorrow for an hour.

He let me sob and never once felt threatened by my tears. Never once tried to hurry me along. Never once tried to tell me to stop crying. He just sat with me, his arms around me, trying to bring whatever comfort he could through his presence and prayers. Who does that for someone they hardly know? At the end of that day, I knew I wanted to spend more time with Jay. The real challenge was how to tell my children.

My kids struggled through wanting me to be happy, but feeling angry because they thought moving forward meant I didn’t love their dad. We had lots of hard conversations, many of them ending in tears (theirs, mine, or both). Jay’s teens struggled with him moving away. He and I talked on the phone every day and prayed a Chaplet of Divine Mercy together every night. We also prayed a novena to Mary Undoer of Knots. 

Within six weeks of that first Match message, he had found a new job and moved to my town. Within three months of that first message, we were officially engaged. Four months after that we were married. 

By that time, all of the children were supportive of our marriage. That doesn’t mean everything has been “smooth sailing” ever since, but in general it has been much better.

Our nuptial Mass, which was offered for Karl’s soul, focused on faith and family. All of our children were involved: from the musicians, to gift and ring bearers, to Jay’s best man. My oldest son walked me down the aisle. In fact, one of my favorite photos was taken from the back of the church as Thomas walked me down the aisle. The band included a violin, viola, cello, and trumpet, as well as a piano and organ. Our two cantors led us beautifully in prayer.

From the Photographer: As a wedding photographer, I see many young couples preparing for their first marriage to begin, but this year I began the wedding season with an incredible pair who have ventured through life and gleaned the wisdom each year has brought them. 

Their incredible love, faith, devotion to Mary, and adoration for Jesus was so evident throughout their Mass that it brought me to tears many times. I admire Amy’s amazing trust that the Lord would bring her a man who could not only devote his time to stepping into the role of a father to her children, but the role of husband, again.

Jay is one of the most peaceful, fun men I've ever met. In his presence, you feel safe. I can’t begin to tell you how much their families will be divinely impacted by their love for each other, and most of all for Jesus.

Photography: Soul Creations Photography - Spoken Bride Vendor | Church:  St. Luke Catholic Church, Indianapolis, IN | Reception: The Garrison at Fort Harrison, Indianapolis, IN | Cake Vendor: Cheesecake Factory | Jewelry: Dress Barn | Rings: Engagement ring: Sam’s Club | Wedding rings: Jared | Bridal Gown: Ada’s Bridals, customized by in Broad Ripple | Stationary / Invitations: Shutterfly | DJ: Brian Jackson | Hairstylist: Rebecca at Salon 6 in Broad Ripple

Becca + Kyle | Mediterranean-Inspired Styled Shoot

We're pleased to share with you our first styled shoot today, courtesy of Spoken Bride Vendor Sinikka Rohrer of Soul Creations Photography.

We're also beyond excited to include in this piece something that's not always evident in picture-perfect shoots: the story of a love hard-won, refined by holy fire and filled with constant unveilings of the heart. Becca and Kyle, newlyweds and the models for this shoot, have learned firsthand that purification is painful. Yet like the Cross, there is a sweetness--and victory--in suffering for love's sake and in losing yourself to find yourself.

Becca and Kyle were engaged long-distance and planned most of their wedding over the phone. To stay connected, they'd pray together each night before the first of them went to sleep--whether the other was with friends, at the gym, or making dinner. Prayer was their stronghold. They also read Thomas G. Morrow's Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World, Dr. Gregory Popcak's Holy Sexand Eric and Leslie Ludy's The First 90 Days of Marriage during their engagement.

Three weeks after the wedding, Becca went, as had been planned months ago, on mission to the Philippines with no wifi. Kyle worked back home in Indianapolis and prayed his wife was safe.

From the Photographer: When Becca got home from her mission, life really started. Kyle finally learned what life was like with “ever-present Becca,” and Becca faced working through every buried expectation she'd had about marriage prior to the wedding. Before marriage, she never realized she was so excited about the big picture of her vocation to be Kyle's wife that she'd overlooked about the small details of actually living as a wife. Details like making decisions for two, washing dishes, being intentional about healthy eating, and creating a harmonious environment to come home to.

Their first year of marriage brought challenges, but had Becca and Kyle both thinking constantly of how they can show Christ's love to each other. That passion and desire has brought them together while they grow in Christ, seeing his intangible love in each other. They walk to Mass every day from their shared office building.

This chic Mediterranean styled shoot was inspired by the Soul Creations Photography brand and made possible by the incredible vendors involved with the Indianapolis chapter of the Rising Tide Society.

Soul Creations Photography has just launched a new brand fully focused on serving the Christian bride, which sparked the desire for a styled shoot able to paint the picture of a holy wedding: full of spiritual decor, Middle Eastern dishes, Israeli florals, and a Christ-centered bride and groom.

With the help of local artists and wedding vendors in the Indianapolis Rising Tide group, this dream theme turned into an elegant Mediterranean reality at Emerald Acres Wedding Barn.

The bespoke wedding gown was chosen to evoke a goddess-like feel, with lace details at Becca's shoulders and expertly crafted embellishments gracing her hips. Her real life Maid of Honor, Tristin, was also adorned in a Bella Bridesmaid gown, whispering of Spring in all its glory.

Rebecca and Tristin’s hair and makeup were intended to reflect the essence of tame, yet powerfully beautiful women, with soft, windswept locks accompanied by natural makeup.

The handcrafted florals were full of greenery and flowers found in the Holy Land, including lavender, eucalyptus, olive branches, and heather. From these options, The Zionsville Florist Company created a table runner, bouquets, tabletop displays, boutonnieres and a decorative arch.

To take full advantage of the venue’s brick-lain floors, we collaborated with A Handcrafted Affair, owned by an incredible artist out of Fishers, Indiana. With owner Nakia’s help, each place setting, from gold-rimmed plates and red wine glasses to gold chargers and a hand-stitched tablecloth, exuded the rustic elegance of a Mediterranean dinner table.

Our buffet included lamb cutlets with mint, goat cheese on crostini, and figs stuffed with mascarpone,items that would all be found at a wedding in the Mediterranean. The ‘naked’ cake we chose was decorated with fresh heather and lavender to fit the theme.

As a photographer, my goal was to capture the truth: a relaxed, spiritual story reminiscent of Becca and Kyle's real wedding day. With the help of our incredible vendors and models, the truth of what it looks like to have a Christ-inspired wedding was captured in the most indescribable way.

When recounting a memory from their first year of marriage, Becca told me that Kyle once asked how she was doing as they put away laundry. She really was not okay. Immediately, Kyle threw down the clothes, held her and listened, affirming her along the way. From her own words, if it was normal life, he would never throw down his shirt… and he did it for her! She said, “If we can heroically love one another and God, then love won’t be work anymore.” 

I pray you make every moment with your beloved and those around you extraordinary, because Becca is right. We are called to heroic love. Becca and Kyle's relationship shows that overcoming challenges and trusting Christ with our life's steps is what we've been made for in our call to love.

Videography by Unique Heart Productions

Photography: Soul Creations Photography | Photography Assistant: Chloe Luka Photography | Venue: Emerald Acres Barn, Indianapolis, IN | Coordination: Sparkles & Lace Events | Videography: Unique Heart ProductionsModels: Kyle and Rebecca Kovert, Tristin Martin, Rajan Sra | Paperie: Athena Street CreativeHair + Makeup: Megan Logsdon Hair & Makeup Artistry | Catering: Jaquie's Gourmet CateringDecor: A Handcrafted AffairBride's Dress: Sophia's BridalGroom's + Best Man's Tuxes: DC TuxMaid of Honor Dress: Bella Bridesmaids | Cake: Classic Cakes, Carmel, IN | Florals: Zionsville Flower Company