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Tyler and Rachel used their wedding day to celebrate the life they will share, to point their loved ones to Christ, and to honor their parents and the generations of love that came before them.
Tyler & Rachel’s wedding day included a Christ-focused ceremony at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church & a packed dance floor at The Rat Pak Venue!
When I met Rachel for our coffee last year, I asked her what her and Tyler’s three biggest wedding priorities were, and she answered, “Getting to marry my best friend, celebrating with family and friends, and making memories for a lifetime.” And, I think it’s safe to say that this is exactly what happened on Tyler and Rachel’s big day!
Tyler and Rachel’s celebration began with the ladies getting ready in Tyler and Rachel’s townhouse in Lafayette. While it was certainly a fun morning full of hair, makeup, coffee, and girl time and the fact that Tyler and Rachel happen to have a perfect fall photo spot right outside their door (Wait until you see the fall leaves!), the highlight of the morning was certainly Rachel putting on her mama’s wedding dress.
I’ll share more about Rachel’s gorgeous, vintage gown in a moment, but Shelly (Rachel’s mom) sure beamed as she got to help her daughter put on the same dress she had worn exactly 34 years—to the day—before.
After putting on her wedding dress and sharing a first look with dad among the beautiful fall leaves, Laura (my second shooter) and I headed to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in West Lafayette, Indiana to take Tyler’s getting ready photos.
While Rachel honored her parents by wearing her mama’s dress, Tyler honored his parents by carrying his dad’s wedding ring. Unfortunately, Tyler’s dad is no longer with us, but on Tyler and Rachel’s wedding day, Mr. Nolan was talked about frequently and was certainly there in spirit.
Once Tyler was ready, we went across the street to Purdue’s campus so that Tyler and Rachel could share their first look among the beautiful fall trees. The weather for Tyler and Rachel’s wedding day was the definition of perfect fall weather.
After sharing a very sweet first look (You’ll see photos below!), we grabbed a few portraits of the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Nolan before heading back to St. Thomas Aquinas so that Tyler and Rachel could hide as their guests arrived and mentally prepare for their ceremony.
While Tyler and Rachel wanted to keep their wedding day on the intimate side (I believe they had about 60 guests.), they certainly wanted to start their marriage with their faith at the center. (Their Catholic faith is so important to them that they actually met on CatholicMatch!) With this in mind, they decided to have their ceremony at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in West Lafayette, Indiana—which is the parish they regularly attend.
Tyler and Rachel became husband and wife in front of God and their closest friends and family. And, if you’d like to see how elated Tyler and Rachel were about this, be sure to check out the photos of the two of them walking back up the aisle. They were both smiling from ear to ear and clearly very excited to finally be able to call one another “hubby” and “wifey”!
Following their ceremony and signing their marriage license, we returned to the sanctuary to take family photos. And, it quickly became clear to me that Tyler and Rachel are so loving and kind because their families are so loving and kind! It was such a pleasure to get to meet and photograph Tyler and Rachel’s parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces, and grandparents.
Wondering who should be included in family photos on your wedding day? Find a sample wedding family photo list here!
Following family photos, we headed to downtown Lafayette to take bridal party and bride and groom portraits outside of the Tippecanoe County Courthouse and at Riehle Plaza—which is by the Lafayette train station. If you ask me, this worked out perfectly, because both of these locations are lovely and just a block from The Rat Pak Venue—which is where Tyler and Rachel had their reception. This allowed Tyler, Rachel, and their bridal party to park downtown just once, take photos, and then walk to the reception!
Following photos, which I cannot wait for you to scroll and see by the way, it was time for the Nolans to party! The Rat Pak Venue is one of my favorite venues in Lafayette, Indiana because of the beautiful exposed brick, excellent staff, and—of course—the incredible DJ that is always included. (Rat Pak owns both a venue and DJ company. If you need a DJ for any reason at all, I highly recommend Rat Pak Mobile DJs!)
After a delicious meal catered by The Outpost, wonderful toasts (which included an interpretive dance), and wedding traditions (dances and cake cutting), Tyler, Rachel, and their loved ones hit the dance floor hard!
Between the perfect weather and a whole lot of love, Tyler and Rachel’s wedding day was perfect from beginning to end, and as their wedding photographer, I sure hope they enjoyed every moment of their first day as husband and wife.
Tyler & Rachel used their wedding to honor & celebrate their parents in several ways.
Now, before you see Tyler and Rachel’s wedding photos, I can’t help sharing something that truly stood out on Tyler and Rachel’s big day.
You see, Tyler and Rachel wanted their wedding to be a celebration of both their love and the love that has come before them. As a result, they did a few things to honor their parents:
- They got married on Rachel’s parents’ anniversary. While October 22, 2022 was Tyler and Rachel’s first day of marriage, Bob and Shelly (Rachel’s parents) celebrated their 34th anniversary on the same day. How sweet is that?!
- Rachel wore her mom’s wedding dress & veil. While she made a few alterations to update the dress, Racel was radiant in her vintage gown and veil.
- Tyler carried his dad’s wedding ring. While I know the whole family wished Tyler’s dad could’ve been present, carrying his ring allowed Tyler to have his dad with him all day.
- Tyler & Rachel agreed the main stone in Rachel’s ring should be a sapphire. While many wedding rings contain just diamonds, Shelly’s ring includes other stones, and Rachel has always loved this and wanted to use her mom’s ring as inspiration for her own ring.
As couples plan their weddings, many tend to make the day just about them. However, Tyler and Rachel intentionally used their fall wedding at The Rat Pak Venue and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church to honor the generations of love that came before them, and this intentionality was absolutely beautiful to witness.
Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Nolan!
Tyler and Rachel, you’re officially “hubby” and “wifey”! Congratulations!
I hope you enjoyed every minute of your first day of marriage and that your wedding day was everything you hoped it would be. I pray that you’re always best friends and that every trial only brings you closer together and closer to Christ. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for trusting me to be your wedding photographer.
I cannot wait to share your full gallery with you, but in the meantime, I hope you love these previews from your fall wedding at The Rat Pak Venue in downtown Lafayette, Indiana! In case you didn’t read above, Rachel wore her mama’s wedding dress. She made a few updates to the gown and looked absolutely stunning in her vintage wedding dress! Doesn’t Rachel look stunning?! I’m not sure if it’s the vintage gown or perfect smile, but doesn’t Rachel look a bit like Rachel Brosnahan? She was the most beautiful, classic bride! Between the perfect 70-degree weather and the gorgeous fall leaves, Tyler and Rachel’s wedding day was everything a fall wedding should be! Don’t Mr. and Mrs. Nolan just look so happy?! One of the many advantages of having their fall wedding at The Rat Pak venue is that this venue is walking distance from multiple great photo locations, including the Tippecanoe County Courthouse, which is where we took bridal party photos! Tyler and Rachel got married on Bob and Shelly’s (Rachel’s parents’) 34th wedding anniversary. How sweet is that?! As a result, a portrait of Rachel’s parents was certainly needed! Tyler and Rachel are such a timeless, classic couple, and Riehle Plaza in downtown Lafayette was the perfect place to take their bride and groom portraits. I mean, not only was this location convenient, but if you ask me, it went with Tyler and Rachel’s attire and style perfectly! Something Blue Bakery somehow always makes the most beautiful and most delicious wedding cakes! Also, I just love how Something Blue Bakery helped Tyler and Rachel include Bailey—their beloved pup—on their wedding day! Tyler, Rachel, and their loved ones brought the energy and DJ Powder of Rat Pak brought the beat! I can’t recommend Nick and his team enough. I mean, the dance floor was packed all night!
Want to see more of Tyler and Rachel? Check out their engagement photos in downtown Lafayette!
Want to see more photos from weddings at The Rat Pak Venue? See more VRP weddings at The Rat Pak Venue in downtown Lafayette, Indiana!
Ceremony Venue: Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Rat Pak Venue
Officiant: Father Brent Bowen, OP
Seamstress: David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse
Florist: Sola Wood Flowers
Caterer: The Outpost Catering
Baker: Something Blue Bakery
DJ: Rat Pak
Rings: Rogers & Hollands
Photographer: Victoria Rayburn Photography