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On weekdays, she works in the basement of IU Health University Hospital. Weekends are spent in the country where beautiful sunsets, blooming fields, and a wooden barn are the backdrop for making memories.
By IU Health Senior Journalist, T.J. Banes, firstname.lastname@example.org
She is a self-proclaimed “people person.” That title has landed Alyssa Martin two compatible career paths – one inside IU Health and the other with a family business.
Almost four years ago, Martin began working as a nurse in interventional radiology. Located in the basement of IU Health University Hospital, the department provides patients with minimally invasive, image-guided procedures. On any given day Martin could be assisting with such intricate procedures as treating liver tumors with chemo beads
On weekends, she assists couples that are getting married at her family’s business – The Barn at Hamner Ridge. Located in Edinburgh, Ind. the wedding venue is situated in the countryside, surrounded by farmland and woods. It’s a haven from Martin’s typical work in the sterile hospital setting.
“I would say that nursing has made me a super organized person throughout the years. It has also made me even more of a people person. Both of these things definitely help out in the wedding business. You also have to be prepared for anything, just like in nursing,” said Martin.
Before coming to Indiana, she lived in Tennessee where she exchanged her vows with Chris Martin in a barn wedding – five years ago this September. They now have a child who turns two in September – the same month they are expecting their second child.
It wasn’t long after her marriage that Martin, her mom, Ruth Mattingly, along with two sisters, Angie Richards and Christi Pappano, began brainstorming about owning a wedding venue. Her mom owned and managed a bed and breakfast for nearly 20 years.
“We started looking at properties with existing barns and none of them really spoke to us,” said Martin. “Then along came some land for sale that we thought would be perfect for a venue to sit (the view and sunsets are amazing). After that, things moved really quick and the next thing we knew we purchased land and started building our dream wedding barn.”
The idea of wedding planning can be overwhelming so Martin, her mom and sisters, divide and conquer to attend to every detail. Martin and her sisters rotate serving as the on-site coordinators the day of the wedding. The busiest months are in the summer and extend to September and October.
Like her patients, Martin says she loves getting to know the couples and their families. She has actually been in a wedding, and has had friends, cousins and coworkers married at the site.
As with nursing, she is always prepared for the unexpected.
“No two weddings are alike and this lets me express myself. We are always changing something yearly to keep things fresh,” said Martin. “I can’t think of anything too crazy, but we’ve had some pretty funny karaoke moments from the bridal party and family members.”