Take me out to the wedding
Sarah Johnson played four sports at Michigan City High School from 2000-04, so obviously there was no other option than to have her wedding with Aaron Puntarelli at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
The Wolves letter-winner in basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball and her fiance commenced their marriage at home plate in late September inside of the stadium for the Triple A Indians and the Indiana high school state finals. Johnson, a pediatric physical therapist for Indiana University Health, met Puntarelli through coaching volleyball, which comes as less of a surprise given her athletic background at City.
Believe it or not, it was an old Michigan City connection that helped the new Mr. and Mrs. Puntarelli put their dream day into motion.
“We were searching for a unique venue that would let us design a day that truly reflected us as a couple. We both grew up playing sports and none of the venues we looked at seemed unique to us,” Johnson said. “I had a contact at Victory Field, so I asked about a wedding and the rest was history. The staff was fantastic and allowed us to design our wedding.”
Johnson’s connection at the field was Joel Zawacki, a former Wolves baseball player and a City 2003 graduate. According to Johnson, the wedding included popcorn box programs for guests during the ceremony while they sat in the stands, showcasing downtown Indianapolis over the outfield gates, designing their own specific menu and dancing the night away on a deck in right field.
Since it was an all-day event at a baseball diamond, what better way to commence the wedding than with the groom and his groomsmen wearing the famous all-black PF Flyers from the hit movie “The Sandlot”, while the ladies wore Converse sneakers throughout the day?
“We wanted to be comfortable walking around a baseball field all day, and Converses just made sense,” Johnson said.
The special day for Johnson included her five bridesmaids, four of which attended City. Melissa Forker, Johnson’s younger sister, Meagan Carlon, Kristen Lutterbach and Stacy Bobillo all participated in the ceremony, along with Monica Rusbolt, a former cheerleader and a 2003 graduate of Marquette Catholic.
“My group of bridesmaids have gone through every stage of life with me,” Johnson said. “We formed close friendships through sports at Michigan City, and then stayed close while we all went off to different colleges and then have gotten even closer as we’ve become adults and realized how special our life-long friendships are.”
The Johnsons and Puntarellis couldn’t have asked for a better day last month to see Sarah and Aaron wed, as the weather in Indianapolis was about as close to perfection as a couple could want.
“The day was a perfect 68 and partly sunny, which made for good pictures,” Johnson said. “And while I’m sure there were some minor things that didn’t go as planned, the large majority of the day just kind of worked out. Our rain plan was to just get married and have the reception under the concourse, so we were pretty lucky.”
Following the wedding, the newlyweds traveled off to Central America — more specifically Costa Rica — for an exciting, yet relieving honeymoon.
“We spent a week in Costa Rica where we were able to relax by the pool, swim in the Pacific Ocean, and zip line across the rain forest,” Johnson said. “It was the perfect, relaxing ending to a year-long wedding planning experience.”