As we drove down hilly back roads, we wondered where in the world Emily and Chandler were taking us. We drove over half an hour on one lane roads that had pot holes for days expecting to end up at the French Lick Resort. After confirming our destination point on Google Maps multiple times, we were sure that this was where our clients had requested to meet us. Emily said that it was incredibly special to her.
When Kevin and I arrived in the city of West Baden, the muted yellow towers of the hotel -- the one Emily's father had helped restore to its former glory -- peeked over the tops of tall pine trees. "Is that where we are going??" I asked Kevin as we pulled down the brick road leading to what I can only describe as a palace out of Disney's Aladdin. To our left, a stone fountain with turtles spitting out water was surrounded by a perfectly manicured garden with crisply cut hedges and gorgeous flowers. Brick paths lined with tall trees and tulips led back to an old bowling alley. To our right was a grand staircase leading up to a large white porch with white rocking chairs. Attached to the porch was the yellow building with intricate gold detailing and those towers we spotted from the road.
We met Emily and Chandler in the parking lot and she gave us a tour. When we entered the lobby of the West Baden Hotel, my jaw literally dropped. The doors opened to reveal a dome shaped hotel lobby that made me feel incredibly under dressed in my Teva's, running shorts, and tank top. I looked over at Kevin to find his jaw also on the ground. The floor was detailed with a beautiful stone mosaic pattern. The furniture included green tufted chaise lounges and long bold red claw-foot couches, and the tables were a dark mahogany. The patterned ceiling was roughly 30 feet above our heads and the gorgeous outside light shone into the hotel lobby. From floor to ceiling were windows leading into the hotel rooms. The windows were lined with elegant curtains and every few had a balcony that overlooked the extravagant hotel lobby. Hat's off to Emily's dad because Holy Cow.
We spent the next hour or so at the West Baden Hotel before Emily mentioned that there was another hotel that we could get to by hotel trolley. Kevin and I just had to see it. So we hopped on the trolley and headed to French Lick Hotel and Casino that Emily's father also restored. This hotel was equally mesmerizing, but in a different way.
Emily proudly told us about the architecture that her dad created and that there was actually a painted portrait of him on the second floor. She pointed out the floors of the lobby, with a similar mosaic pattern as the first hotel, and told us that the restoration team hand pulled up and then relaid each and every small tile to create the masterpiece. Gorgeous marble pillars rose floor to ceiling. Emily told us that they were painted black when the restoration began. When the restoration team took the paint off to repaint the columns, they found the beautiful grey, black, and white marble and kept it. To add to the awe of the hotel was a ceiling detailed in intricate gold that I could have gotten lost looking up at.
Emily and Chandler, thank you for choosing us to be your wedding photographers. We loved photographing, eating dinner, and overall just hanging out with you guys. Thank you for showing us the place that is near and dear to your hearts. We truly enjoyed learning about the hotel's history and getting to know you guys. We cannot wait to see you soon as you guys say "I do".