Guests arrived at the Crowne Plaza Grand Hall Historic Union Station in downtown Indianapolis for the
5:30 p.m. ceremony wearing everything from their Sunday best to sparkling party dresses and the shoes to match. Passing security and a careful checklist of attendees, guests were led into a ballroom with 400 white chairs with black bows tied around them.
Stam, gripping the arm of her dad, Keith, glided past guests in her custom-designed gown from New York designer Steven Birnbaum’s collection. Complete with cathedral-length train and veil to match, the silk satin ball gown looked as though it belonged to a princess. Stam grinned from side to side at her audience as she passed, stepping over the hand-painted monogrammed aisle runner, but it wasn’t the practiced Miss America smile she gave at the pageant. Rather, it was the smile of a bride on her wedding day.
She carried a bouquet of white hydrangea, gardenias, orchids, roses, lisianthus and viburnum, and made it vintage by adding lace from her grandmother’s dress and a brooch.
To complement the vintage feel, Stam went to designer Gina Howald in Indianapolis for old-style signature jewelry ‾ all from the mid-1930s and 1940s. Her ceremony jewelry included earrings and a bracelet (along with other bracelets provided by a grandmother’s friend) and a hair brooch, all made from different shapes of shining rhinestones.
Looking on at her daughter, Tracy Stam wore a stunning off-the-shoulder, champagne-colored ruched satin gown. Bridesmaids wore variations of a black gown, and matrons of honor were Stam’s sisters, Heidi Lawrence and Heather Florido.
The Rev. Ralph Blomenberg and Pastor Daron Earlewine officiated at the ceremony. Earlewine read verses picked out by the couple, one of which dealt with looking at the inner beauty rather than the outer of a person and added this to Irk, “It’s not very often you get to say you are married to Miss America, but you do, Brian.”
As Earlewine spoke about the meaning of the wedding ring, Stam dabbed at tears pricking her eyes.
While being announced as Mr. and Mrs. Brian Irk, Stam pumped her bouquet victoriously before they walked out of the hall and into the lobby where excited shouts were heard.
Guests were led to a cocktail hour following the processional while the ceremony room was transformed in less than an hour into a reception banquet hall. The giant white hanging topiary was illuminated to a sunset orange color, as were many of the lights in the room.
Stam tossed her bouquet from the balcony and then re-entered wearing a lace gown and different jewelry.
J. Scot Reid, Stam and Irk’s wedding planner, has been there from the beginning of the arrangements. Stam and Reid were friends before he became her planner, and he said their meetings were mostly spent talking and laughing together. Reid said Stam took the reins for most of the planning. “Katie was very involved with almost every aspect of her wedding from the beginning,” he said. “Katie also included Brian on many aspects of the event, which was awesome.”
Reid added, “Her event is going to be spectacular, and she took the time to design, create and make her own programs, menu cards, and the bouquets for her bridesmaids. I love that fact that she has a DIY part to her.”
The theme was “Unforgettable” because it was the song Stam was supposed to sing at the gala where she received her marriage proposal.
Whether it was the detailed and personalized feel to the event, or it was spending the evening celebrating with a loved one, for all those who attended, the evening truly was “unforgettable.”
Keeping with tradition
Something old, something new,
a list of the traditional items worn by Katie at her wedding.
Lace from her Grandmother’s wedding dress,
along with a brooch around the stems of her bouquet.
Tiffany bangle bracelets that belonged to the Grandmother of her best friend
The inside soles of her shoes.
Instead of a sit-down dinner, guests traveled to different stations to fill their plates.
Spinach, Caesar or cubed fruit
♦Carving station: ♦
Herb encrusted prime rib, chef’s choice vegetables.
Penne, bowtie and spiral pasta with either alfredo, pesto or marinara sauce and a choice of chicken on top served with breadsticks.
♦Exotic mashed potato martini bar:♦
Roasted garlic red-skinned or white cheddar mashed potatoes served in a martini glass. Ten different toppings were offered .
Does someone have a sweet tooth?
Guests had a variety of sugary treats to choose from.
♦A two-tiered wedding cake made by a family member.♦
♦A dessert station with four types of cupcakes,
several kinds of brownies and Rice Krispie treats.♦
♦The wedding planner, J. Scot Reid, surprised the couple with a mini-ice-cream station later in the evening as a way to completely satisfy the palate.♦
All photos are copyrighted to Jennifer Driscoll