Stephen & Ariel | Star Wars Wedding | The Palladium in Waco, Texas

A bride dressed as a Jedi Knight and her groom, dressed as a Sith Lord, embrace holding lightsabers down a darkened alley in downtown Waco, Texas  - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Man, oh man, we’ve been so excited to share Stephen & Ariel’s wedding day on the blog! Remember these Sweethearts and their love of Star Wars? It was so fun to photograph their engagement session with their custom made lightsabers. But their wedding was on another level!

There were so many custom made pieces Stephen & Ariel made as part of their wedding decor. They built the blast doors that served as the ceremony background (and made for a really cool backdrop for formal portraits). Every table had a unique centerpiece of a scene from Star Wars displayed as a diorama in glass jars. The bar area was set up to look like a space cantina, and the photo booth area was a custom built replica of the trash compactor from A New Hope.

The Star Wars details weren’t limited to decor, though. These Sweethearts went all out in their outfits for their wedding day too. Stephen & Ariel wore custom made outfits to dress as Revan & Bastila, characters from the Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic series. Everyone in the bridal party, including Stephen & Ariel’s family, dressed up as jedis and siths and characters from the Star Wars movies. The bridal party, bride and groom, carried lightsabers. And the Sweethearts were even married by Darth Vader!

This awesome wedding may have looked a little different than a traditional wedding you’d see on wedding blogs, but it still had so many little wedding day moments that are what make wedding days so special.

There was all the bridal party getting ready at Ariel’s parents’ home, getting their jedi outfits just right. There was Stephen & Ariel seeing one another for the first time on their wedding day, all smiles in their excitement to get married. There was Ariel’s sister, her parents, Stephen’s family, and all their friends, there in costumes to support them and celebrate their love.

There was sneaking these Sweethearts out of the reception for some sunset portraits. And though we may get a little stares from on-lookers when we take a bride and groom down Austin Avenue, we’ve never really had people walk up and ask us what Stephen & Ariel were doing. And there was the excitement of their exit, with everyone cheering on the newlyweds as they ran under a colorful tunnel of lightsabers.

A bride and groom, dressed as Star Wars characters, see each other for the first time before their ceremony - Star Wars Wedding in downtown Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography
A Jedi Knight bride and her Sith Lord groom pose in front of the blast doors at their Star Wars wedding in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
The bridal party poses in front of blast doors dressed as Sith Lords and Jedi Knights - Star Wars  Wedding  at The Palladium - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
The groom watches his Jedi Knight bride come down the aisle, escorted by her Han Solo dressed father, at their Star Wars wedding in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Star Wars wedding ceremony on May the 4th at The Palladium in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography
Star Wars wedding details for the reception at The Palladium in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride, dressed as a Jedi Knight, and her groom, dressed as a Sith Lord, pose together in downtown Waco on their May 4th wedding day - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple poses in a downtown Waco alley with their lightsabers on their May 4th Star Wars wedding - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom, dressed as Star Wars characters, kiss under a lightsaber tunnel as they leave their May 4th wedding reception - The Palladium at Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography

Dear Stephen & Ariel,

Your wedding was definitely a day to never forget! All the years of planning and preparation paid off for such a magical day. We hope the love and joy you felt for one another and from all your loved ones stay with you for many more years to come.

Love, J&M

Star-Wars-Wedding_0002.jpg

The awesome wedding vendors who helped bring Stephen & Ariel’s Star Wars’ vision to life-

Venue | The Palladium

Caterer | Blanek’s

Cake | Kakes by Kat

DJ | PhilDoesIt

Jeremiah & Shannon | Cameron Park Engagement Session | Waco, Texas

A man hugs his fiance from behind in a wooded trail inside Cameron Park in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Jeremiah & Shannon met while swing dancing in Austin. They kept dancing together whenever they’d go swing dancing, and eventually started spending more time together off the dance floor. Their love of dancing, working out, and movies meant they always had fun together. They decided they wanted to be each other’s forever dancing partners, and so during a trip to Chicago, Jeremiah took Shannon on a tour of a beautiful greenhouse in the city. Inside, he proposed to Shannon with the ring she had saved on her Pinterest board. After she said yes, they took a cruise on Lake Michigan. Talk about a romantic proposal!

Since their engagement, Jeremiah & Shannon have been busy building a life here in Waco and planning their wedding. Their June 15th wedding day will be here soon, so we met them in Cameron Park for their engagement portrait session at the end of April.

When deciding where to have the engagement session, we always ask our Sweethearts what locations are important to them and their story. Is there a particular spot where a milestone in their story occurred, like a proposal? Or is there a favorite date night spot that’ll be the perfect backdrop for the session?

We do this because we want to give our Sweethearts more than pretty engagement photos. We want them to be able to show their children and grandchildren these photos and point out exactly where grandpa proposed, or where their favorite date night spot was when they were younger.

Jeremiah & Shannon chose Cameron Park and Waco’s iconic Suspension Bridge as the location for their engagement session. They love hiking and the outdoors in Cameron Park, so they wanted to document that favorite date day location. And they wanted an iconic spot in Waco to symbolize how they are starting their new life together here in Waco. We thought those were great choices!

We had so many fun moments during this session with Jeremiah & Shannon! They were game for hiking through some of the trails to capture the beautiful green trees in Cameron Park. And Cameron Park kept showing off this spring with all its wildflowers, so standing in a field of them was a no-brainer for these two!

One of our favorite memories was when we really got to see their playful side during the session when they started swing dancing for us. Between the dancing and working out, they are both strong, which was lucky for us so we could ask them to hold some swing poses to get great photos!

We can’t wait to see these two tear up the dance floor at their wedding reception!

A couple stands on the MLK memorial platform by the Brazos River, looking into one another’s eyes, while the sun sets behind them - Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Jeremiah & Shannon,

We hope these final weeks of wedding planning and preparation are filled with excitement and joy. And that you always find reasons to dance together!

Love, J&M



A couple puts their foreheads together with the sun setting behind them during their engagement photos near the Waco, Texas Suspension Bridge - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Nicolas & Kayla | Bohemian Garden Wedding | Gathering Oaks Retreat, Crawford, Texas

A bride and groom embrace with the Texas sunset behind them during their spring wedding day at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Crawford, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com

Easter weekend was the most gorgeous spring weekend you could ask for, and the perfect weekend for Nicolas & Kayla’s wedding celebration!

When we arrived at Gathering Oaks Retreat we found Kayla in the La Casita cottage, getting her makeup done by Callee Kelly. This cottage is the cutest bridal suite! And the big windows and large mirror made for some beautiful portraits of Kayla getting into her dress.

Kayla picked out her dress from Georgio’s Bridal - a gorgeous, fitted gown, complete with intricate lace detail on the bodice and train. She looked stunning! Her daughter, Aubree, agreed, and it was adorable watching Aubree admire Kayla in her dress all day.

Before the ceremony began, we had to take pictures of the beautiful work Kathy Thorman with Before I Do had done. Her hanging baskets filled with soft purple and white roses, and a touch of macrame fringe, hanging from the arbor completed the bohemian garden vibe for the ceremony. All the tables were decorated with spring blossoms and lanterns, and the bridal bouquet Kathy made Kayla was so beautiful it brought Kayla to tears.

While it’s always fun to admire the hard work our wedding vendor friends put into such beautiful weddings, our favorite part of our Sweethearts’ wedding days is still noticing all the special little moments that happen. And being there to photograph them.

We’ll never forget how in awe Aubree was of how beautiful her mom and dad looked on their wedding day. Nor how much love Nicolas & Kayla had for Aubree so obviously on their faces whenever they looked at her.

Nicolas & Kayla wrote their own vows to one another, and Nicolas even wrote vows to Aubree and shared them with her during the ceremony. It’s little moments like those that are such an honor to photograph

We still laugh about how Aubree learned to count like Jason- “1, 2, 3, cheese!” -during all the family portraits, and how she even stood beside him directing her grandparents and aunts and uncles in photos. Kayla emailed us later to say Aubree had been playing photo shoot with her dolls since the wedding day, so we’re looking forward to seeing her work in the future!

And when we snuck these Sweethearts out of their reception for some sunset pictures, we were able to photograph them with a Texas sunset in the sky and a field of cows behind them. It’s the perfect image for them to hang on their wall in their new home in Alabama and remember the magical place in Texas where all their family and friends came together to watch them begin their life together.

Purple and white roses hang in wooden holders from the arbor for a spring garden wedding at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Crawford, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride taps her father’s shoulder and he turns around to see her in her wedding dress for the first time | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride hugs her father before her wedding ceremony at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride poses with her flower girl daughter before her bohemian garden wedding ceremony in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A groom cries as his flower girl daughter walks down the aisle before her mom | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
Groom cries as his bride walks down the aisle at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom have their daughter be their flower girl for their wedding day | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride holds her groom’s head and looks into his eyes while they dance during their wedding reception at Gathering Oaks Retreat | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom swing on a tree swing in a field on their wedding day at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Crawford, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A groom gives his young daughter a bite after he cuts the cake with his bride | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A groom dances with his young daughter during his wedding reception at Gathering Oaks Retreat | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom leave their reception under a tunnel of sparklers at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom kiss under a tunnel of sparklers at the end of their wedding day | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Nicolas & Kayla,

The only thing more beautiful than your wedding day is the love you share between you…and with Aubree. We pray for many more years of whiskey in mugs, loving glances at one another, and a close bond between you. We hope Alabama feels like home because you are all there together.

Love, J&M

A bride and groom look out over a field as the sunsets in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com

Wedding Professionals who made this beautiful wedding possible-

Venue | Gathering Oaks Retreat

Planner & Florals & Decor | Kathy Thorman of Before I Do Waco

Caterer & Cake | Bestyett Catering

DJ | DJ Kris with a K

Hair & Make up | Callee Kelly

Bridal Gown | Georgio’s Bridal