Weddings are often presented as the culmination of a love story, and its location typically reflects that romantic journey. Regardless of the wedding’s participants, the old adage of location, location, location still rings true, which is precisely why some couples decide to get married at the University of Indianapolis.
UIndy alumni Jenn Meadows and Kelbi Schnabel and senior English education major Rebekah Raab are a few of the women who were recently married at UIndy. Schnabel and Raab both met their husbands while attending school at UIndy, and as a result, the campus is home to several cherished memories for the both of them.
Schnabel and her husband, 2013 communication alumnus Will Schnabel, met at UIndy in 2012 during resident assistant training. One of Schnabel’s fondest memories with Will during their time at UIndy was studying abroad together
“I studied abroad in England and so did Will,” Schnabel said. “We went to different schools, but we were able to travel a lot together for that semester.”
The Schnabels got married in Esch Hall and had their reception in the Alumni House, which Schnabel recalls being beautiful because it was still decorated for Christmas. Kelbi and Will Schnabel said they decided to have their wedding at UIndy because it was an integral part of their story.
“We met at UIndy, our friends are at UIndy, our family is at UIndy,” Schnabel said. “UIndy holds a special place in our heart and it really makes us feel like we’re at home.”
Schnabel’s good friend Meadows also got married at UIndy. Unlike Schnabel, Meadows did not meet her husband at UIndy; in fact, her husband had no connection to UIndy before her. Rather, the school is home to many fond memories for Meadows, who was both proposed to and married on campus. Her husband Alan knew how important the school was to her, and said he was more than willing to “share in its magic” with her. Meadows got married on Smith Mall in a large “Harry Potter” and “Doctor Who” themed wedding.
“My fondest memories… were at the University of Indianapolis. I still get emotional about hearing the processional play,” Meadows said. “I walked from the steps of Esch Hall onto Smith Mall, and it was just like, how many times have I walked to Esch Hall to go to the third floor? That’s kind of where I started, where I learned to start my career, and now here I am, starting my life with the person that’s going to be my forever partner. It felt really full circle for me.”
Unlike Meadows, Nate and Rebekah Raab did not get married at UIndy, but did have the reception in Schwitzer. Raab said her favorite memory is of her husband, senior religion major Nate, asking her to homecoming in 2015 when they started dating.
“I was texting him about homecoming… and then the next day, he was like hey, let’s go for a walk in the morning. And so he’d gotten there early, and he had done chalk drawings. It said my name on Schwitzer Park and it had arrows pointing to the fire pit, and it said ‘will you go to homecoming with me, yes or no’ in chalk,” Raab said. “No one has ever done anything for me like that.”
The Raabs are both actively involved in Thursday chapel together. Nate served as the music director for awhile. After hearing Raab sing in the car one day, Nate encouraged her to get involved with music and chapel, and began teaching her how to use her voice.
“Music has kind of been the thing that means the most to him,” Raab said. “And now it’s something we do together, which is nice.”
Despite having their ceremony in a different location, Raab said she wanted to incorporate UIndy in some way because it played a huge role their story.
“UIndy was the place where we had fallen in love,” Raab said. “Everything that happened that was either really rough or really great happened here: just kind of going through life and changing, we figured it out here.”
All three women agree that Event Services made getting married at UIndy very easy, as they were generous and willing to accommodate their respective visions. According to Schnabel, the process was very similar to planning an event on campus: notifying them early and renting out a space. Meadows hopes that other students will consider having weddings at UIndy.
“Depending on what your experience at UIndy was, you can make that happen on your wedding day,” Meadows said. “It just so happened that Esch and Smith Mall were huge parts of my story and proposal, and that’s what happened with my wedding.”