‘A Carmel Wedding’: How my sister is using only local businesses


My family didn’t grow up in Carmel. We lived just on the other side of the 96th Street border. We attended Washington Township schools and it was only in the last six or seven years that we discovered everything Carmel has to offer.

Now, my little sister, Samantha is getting married in August. And so far everything she’s found for her wedding has been in Carmel.

It all began with her wedding dress. She said it was the first piece and her starting point for everything else. She visited several bridal shops she found on Yelp, but she found the perfect dress at Blue House Bridal, located at 31 S. Range Line Road. She thought she wanted a ball gown or an A-line style, but she decided on a mermaid-cut with straps and crocheted lace.

“Once I found the dress, it all felt real,” she said. “And I knew what kind of style of design I wanted for everything else.”

From there, my sister went cake tasting with my mom Beth. They tried a variety of places but found a lot of custom cakes were pretty but not very tasty. In the Carmel Arts & Design District, she found Rascia’s Creative Cakes, located at 328 W. Main Street. Since it’s a small bakery, my sister said she likes that she’ll be able to customize her cake. She hasn’t decided on what style she wants, but she likes the idea of incorporating lace into the decorating so it can match her dress.

“There’s something about the handmade quality about it and it just tasted so great,” Samantha said.

Then it came down to big a venue for the reception and the ceremony. She researched several venues, but they were either too expensive or too formal for what she envisioned. My sister liked the idea of finding a place in Carmel since it would be geographically convenient for her Indianapolis family and her fiancé Michael Bechtel’s family, many of which are located in Muncie.

Finally, she found a venue that had not even opened at the time: The Warehouse. The new live music venue, located in Arts District at 254 1st Avenue SW, is a converted machine shop turned concert venue. Blair and Heather Clark, of the Midwest School of Voice, used their expertise in acoustics to create an exciting new place to catch a show. My sister liked the idea of having a rock ‘n’ roll vibe for her reception in an intimate setting with several cocktail tables scattered about.

While it makes for a unique reception spot, my sister thought she wanted something different for her actual ceremony. It was brought to her attention that the gazebo located near Carmel’s city hall is available to the public for weddings. After seeing the gazebo in use during CarmelFest and summer concerts, she knew it would work and she filed the paperwork. It’s a resource that most people don’t know is available all you have to do is fill out a form, pay a $100 refundable deposit and wait to see if your request is approved by the city’s Board of Public Works.

Another benefit to the gazebo? My sister loves an outdoor venue because it means her Shiba Inu pup can be in attendance.

“Benny has to be at the wedding because he was adopted out of wedlock,” she jokes.

My sister is still looking for a florist, a makeup artist and a hair stylist. She also might need a place to rent chairs and get an outdoor tent set up. She would like to stay local and stick with Carmel businesses. Contact me at [email protected] if you have any suggestions.

Even with some details still to be decided, my sister is very excited about her “Carmel wedding.”