June 5th, 2016:
For the third year in a row, we took part being the kickoff location for the Indy 500 parade. This year was the 100th running, and the buzz was louder than ever. The floats, bands, drivers, cars, princesses, and music were everywhere. Sometimes it's great to be smack dab in the middle of such a great party!
Summer is now in full swing, and we are (as always) making some improvements to the place. The ivy is growing in thick and lush in the courtyard, and Mike (head engineer) is putting up some new lights to make the building look just as impressive once the sun goes down.
It's been great to see so many people have such a good time at all of the events here. More than ever we're seeing people book parties and weddings just because they've already been here and love it. It feels nice to go from seeing everyone come in just from our advertising change over to being here because they know us. Makes everything else seem more friendly and personable. Now it's time to start throwing our Summer weddings, planning for our fall events, and get up on the roof for our annual slate maintenance. Any building from 1875 needs constant love, and we take a ton of pride in preserving all of the history found in this stunning old building. If you haven't yet, come check it out!
Feb 29th, 2016:
It's a new year at The Sanctuary on Penn! As it's rolled in we've seen warm weather, a cool new string of lights on the main room ceiling, a couple of swanky corporate gatherings, a refurbished penny floor in The Den, and our annual Newlywed Ball. In the middle of the month this month, everyone who got married here in 2015 gathered for some drinks, dancing, good food, and good company. Everyone got to know each other and capped off the night with a dace-off. Don the DJ kept everyone in good spirits, and there was some silliness on the stage by the end of the night.
By the time a wedding rolls around, people often feel like family to us. It's great to see things come together and there's a big sense of achievement for everyone involved. To gather everyone in one spot at the end of the year is a special moment. We get to see the people we care about meet each other and hear some fun behind-the-scenes stories of the things we weren't privy to around the wedding time. Starting it all again this year, we're ready to make some new stories!
Dec 26, 2015:
As the year comes to a close, we find ourselves grateful for all of the experiences we've had in 2015. We've seen wedding ceremonies beautiful enough to bring anyone to tears, parties for the ages, Nigerian royalty, elaborate costumes, original music, amazing new corporate ideas, and Indianapolis' new mayor roll through.
As always, we're also trying to keep things here visually interesting. While we always want to make sure that everything looks as though it could have been here from the days the building was built (1875), we also want to keep it creative and fresh. In an effort to do so, The Den (lower level of the building) now has a floor made entirely of pennies. It's an extraordinary look and has to be seen to be appreciated.
We're looking forward to 2016, and our calendar is filling up much more quickly than in years past. This year looks to be a busy one! We hope that everyone has a wonderful new year and makes some great new memories. Happy New Year, everyone!!!
October 10th, 2015:
The air is turning with the leaves, and Autumn is in the air. October has always been our busiest month at The Sanctuary on Penn, and this year is no exception. With a ton of weddings and a big halloween event, things are as exciting as ever.
This year has been a clinic in how to decorate. So many people that have come through have had so many wonderful ideas. We've seen all kinds of lights, curtains, chandeliers, signs - you name it. The creativity of the people rolling through here is extraordinary. In particular, in late September we had a wedding in the courtyard that was one of the most beautiful we've seen. The clover-like blossom on the ivy was bursting from the trellis, and there were flower petals EVERYWHERE.
Something else has been different about this year - the people having events here have been extra pleasant. We've had a long run of kind, interesting people to work with and we couldn't be more grateful for it. It's been fun seeing everyone get to know each other!
Finally, we'd also like to officially welcome our new office manager, Marcia. Already here for over a month, she's enthusiastically dived into the deep end of the pool. She is a regular bloodhound at finding answers for people, and has been a big morale boost to the staff. As always, our housekeeping supervisor and maintenance department have been keeping the ship running smoothly on the back end. We are grateful to have such a good crew, and are ready to tackle the rest of the season with a smile. Happy Autumn, everyone!
July 9th, 2015:
Fireworks were in no short supply this weekend. Andrea and Hayden chose the right night for their wedding and decided to end the night with a bang!
It's always interesting for us to get to know the people we work with so well. In any family, when you get people together and make them feel comfortable, they tend to let loose in the ways that only a family can. Each group has a different version of "normal", and in a wedding people let that shine through. We hear the ideas, values, dreams, jokes, and conversations that are usually reserved for the Thanksgiving dinner table. By the end of the whole thing we feel like we're family too.
We've been working on the building as always. It's been a constant wave of refinishing the woodwork lately. Floors, banisters, and walls. Everything looks sparkling and... old! Just like it should! :-) We try to maintain the integrity of the designs and ideas that were set forth when the building was built in 1875, and love all of the history that surrounds us. We've been so fortunate to have many people stop by over the years and tell us little tidbits from different points in the history of the place. If you happen to know more, we'd be happy to hear from you too! We're still curious as to the shape of the loft and the room underneath it which is now the bar. We'd also love to know about the purpose of the vent system in the walls. The passageways that go through the stone and the ornate grates over them hold so many questions.
As Summer rolls on, look for us to host a few more public events, including some exciting work with non-profits this fall. Enjoy the day, and we'll see you soon!
March 27th, 2015:
The new year has flown by so fast. After a flurry of winter weddings, we're seeing the grass start to grow this week. Soon, the ivy and flowers will be out in full force, and the courtyard will look beautiful! We have so many exciting things in store for this year. In addition to our weddings, we will also have several concerts, conferences, art shows, and other goodies. Our first art show of the year will be Christina Ramos on Friday, April 3rd. We'll also be hosting a concert of an extremely talented musician that will be made public later this week. Keep an eye peeled.
Last month we had our 2014 Newlywed Ball and most all of the couples who got married here last year came back for a huge party. Don the DJ had the place rockin, and we went long into the night. It's Springtime at The Sanctuary on Penn! Come join the festivities!
December 29, 2014:
It's hard to believe that it's almost 2015! This year has been so wonderful, and we can't thank everyone enough who made it possible. The holidays have been great so far, and we're gearing up for a fabulous New Year's wedding celebration this week. It's so hard to say goodbye to everyone that we've found an excuse to bring them all back. Near Valentine's Day of each year, we hold a Newlywed Ball. We invite all of the couples back who got married here this year and tell them to bring 4 of their friends for a fabulous party. Don the Dj will be here and it should be a great time. Judging by our RSVPs, this should be the biggest one yet!
It's also been a busy engagement season. Our dates are filling up much faster this year than last, and we have some really interesting people on board for 2015 and 2016. We've now been open for three whole years, and things are running as smoothly as ever. We're so happy to have become part of Indy's downtown arts and culture rebirth over the last decade, and we can't wait to see what's next!
November 7, 2014:
Wedding season is coming to a close, and fall is winding down along with it. This year has been exciting! We've learned so much over the first couple of years about how to take care of people and create the perfect wedding day. Looking at our calendar, we've just completed 26 weddings in a row with 100% happy couples!!! 2015 is booking up more fully than expected and we're having a ball meeting all the new people. The cobblestone driveway is now complete and we're getting ready to repaint the trim on the outside of the building. Today is a wedding day and we're all jamming out to Postmodern Jukebox while the bridal party is getting ready. The Bridal library is overflowing with new vases and today's couple has decorated the stage with some beautiful ironwork and antique birdcages. The next time you visit, you may also see some great new lighting in and around the stage and a new sound system in the cocktail plaza.
We've also seen an uptick in other events and parties toward the end of the year. We've done a corporate rollout, a couple of birthdays, and holiday parties are filling up fast. The whole staff is pumped - we're getting a GIANT tree for the cocktail plaza. We didn't have one last year and we all missed it!!!
July 17, 2014:
The heat of Summer is here and we've just had one of our biggest weddings yet. People were here from all over the world dancing the night away and having an incredible time. The outside is looking good - the ivy is growing fast, we're nearly finished with the old bricks lining the driveway, and a new landscaping feature was installed in the front walk. The new AC system has been working like a beast, and we've needed every bit of it. It's been muggy! After considering it for a while, we've decided to cut our basic photography prices down to just over a thousand dollars for a wedding. With the rise of both digital photography and the talented people that have picked it up, we've found that prices across the industry have dropped and followed suit. We're continuing to find ways to provide top-tier services for midrange prices.
Today we talked to the great folks at the 500 Parade Festival, and signed up for another year of taking care of the drivers, volunteers, and princesses through many steps of the process. They have been supporters of ours from nearly day one, and we're excited to do it again! It's also been a prime time for planning around here, and our 2015 event schedule is filling up fast. We don't know why, but weddings seem to be booking up twice as fast as they did last year. Finally, we's like to extend a special thanks to our couples from this year so far. We've had so many kind people, and it makes what we do even more fun!
May 16, 2014:
Winter has jumped right into Summer and we're in the thick of wedding season already. Last week the finishing touches were put on a new 5 ton AC unit for the main room, and it's nice and chilly in there to beat the heat in a month or two! This weekend we have three weddings coming up, two of which have put together some of the most unique menus we've seen yet. One is a European 6 course meal including squash blossom soup, cuttlefish, and wild poultry in a rose petal sauce - while another is a full fledged English tea party. Tanjerine was a smashing success with 4 days of fashion, food, and film. The organizers really delivered on the promise of the idea, and we look forward to see what they come up with next! Danielle is coming again in late June for another incredible concert (her fourth) and we're excited to share a few more that we have in the works as soon as they're final!
April 4, 2014:
The first batch of spring weddings has passed, and all three were a rousing success. It seems like everyone that has set foot in the building this year has been both kind and interesting, and we couldn't be more grateful. This last weekend we were proud to host Sarah and David, who were two of the people that helped work on this place when it was little more than a dream. To have them come back and choose to have the most important day of their lives here has been an honor and privilege. We also got some fantastic photos!
This month has been eventful just as always, and we're getting excited for the summer to arrive. It's time to stain the deck, mow the lawn for the first time, and finish the cobblestone on the driveway. We have also had such a big influx of goodies into our decoration library (or "Imagination room") that it's time to build new shelves. (vases, vases, and more vases.) Now that the frost is off the ground, it's time to get some things done!
We've had several events for the 500 festival crew and are getting geared up for the big day of the parade. The festival princesses continue to be some of the nicest bunch of young women we've encountered. Last year was the first year we hosted the celebrities, and we're looking forward to that too. The excitement of a parade day at The Sanctuary can't be matched.
The inaugural year for Tanjerine seems to be coming together nicely. Their team is beyond enthusiastic and it appears as though it's going to be a huge cultural event for this city, just like Oranje. We have no doubt that it too will grow each year after this - the talent both producing and surrounding this show is immense. Come check it out!
February 20, 2014:
February is winding down and we're getting excited to start the busy part of year three here at The Sanctuary. The year began with a beautiful wedding on the day of the snowpocalypse! After talking it over with everyone, the family decided to march on. The snow came hard and fast and made for some MAGNIFICENT photos. Half of the RSVPed guests ended up showing, and we had a great time. Since the other half didn't come and we had an available date the next weekend, we decided to have a do-over! We cleaned up a little, left the decorations right where they were, and EVERYONE that didn't make it the first time around showed up! It's the first time we've done something like that, and it was interesting. On the first day there was all of the preparation, anticipation, and detail that goes along with planning a wedding. The second time around not only was it all done, but everyone had already the experience of having a great event and there was NO stress. From anyone. It was so light and pleasant!
The blitz of tours is coming to a close, and now it's time for "spring cleaning". We're gearing up for a little work on the roof and are polishing up a ton of the woodwork inside. In the meantime, we have several other events going on. Oranje has locked down a sister event to hold here in the third week of April that should be fascinating. It's a music, food, and fashion festival they've called "Tanjerine". We're just now learning details ourselves, but we'll keep you posted as to what they are!