Michael & Gabrielle | Puppy Engagement Portraits | Cameron Park, Waco, Texas

A couple kisses in the woods while walking their 4 dogs during their engagement portraits in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

It’s our first blog post in 2019, and this fun engagement session is the perfect way to kick the year off!

I (Melaina) met Michael & Gabrielle at the With This Ring Bridal show in January. When they told me their wedding plans- full of pinatas, bubble girls instead of flower girls, and a unicorn cake- I knew their wedding would be so much fun. So when they told us they wanted us to be their photographers, we were so pumped!

A few weeks later at our traditional coffee double-date with new #J&MSweethearts, they told us about their love story - how they had met online and had found their perfect match in one another. And how they each had 2 dogs so when they moved in together, they had a full house right away!

We decided Brazos Park East was the perfect location for their engagement portrait session, since it was the park where Michael tried to teach Gabrielle disc golf early in their relationship. And when they mentioned they’d like to include their dogs in some photos, we knew it would be a fun and meaningful photo shoot!

During the session, I noticed Michael’s red crayon cuff links, and asked him about them. It turns out they were a gift from Gabrielle. You see, Gabrielle had once described to her friends how dating in adulthood was like coloring with someone else’s crayons. And she had ended things with a guy recently because he was like a white crayon, had hardly been used and wasn’t her favorite. She told her friends she wanted to find her red crayon, the one that was her favorite and would be perfect for her. Not too long after, Michael came into the picture and Gabrielle had found her red crayon.

It was such a sweet story that showed not only their personalities, but the beauty in finding the perfect person for you. We are so happy for them, and excited to see what their wedding and marriage has in store!

A couple laughs and hugs in the sunlight by the Brazos River in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple nuzzles their faces together beside the Brazos River as the sun sets in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
A boy and girl kiss alongside the river and cliffs in Brazos Park East in Waco, Texas during their engagement photo session - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Michael & Gabrielle,

Every time we are around y’all, you are always having fun and seem perfect for each other! (I didn’t blog the funny faces you were making at one another but make sure and look for them in the gallery!) We’re so happy you found your red crayon in Michael, Gabrielle. And we pray you have many more years of fun together!

Love, J&M

A couple smiles at the camera during their engagement photos in Cameron Park, Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Steven & Cassandra | Elopement in Waco | Waco, Texas

Groom in charcoal suit holds bride in gold sequin dress close to him in the front lawn of a private residence in China Spring, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

We received an email in our inbox in mid-December with the subject line- Elopement 12/30 (The 2 week bride). With such an intriguing subject line, we couldn’t wait to open it!  The email was from Cassandra, and she and her fiance, Steven, were eloping in Waco and wanted us to photograph their ceremony if we were free. We did happen to have December 30th free, so I (Melaina) hopped on a call with Cassandra to learn more about their plans. And what sweet plans they were!

Steven & Cassandra live in the Midwest, but his family is located throughout central and east Texas. No one actually lives in Waco, but it was a central spot for all the Texas family so it was the perfect wedding location. They rented a large AirBnB in China Spring, right outside of Waco, and invited Steven’s family to join them. Rather than a traditional church wedding or reserving an area wedding venue, Steven & Cassandra chose to have an intimate gathering with family to witness their vows to one another right in the front lawn of the home. Their elopement in Waco was the perfect wedding for them- intimate and meaningful, allowing them to focus on the love they have for one another.

We were only with these Sweethearts for a couple of hours that evening, but in that short amount of time so many meaningful moments occurred. When we arrived to the AirBnB, I made my way back to the master bedroom to find Cassandra. She gave me a big hug, and I admired her beautiful gold gown. The dress was a surprise for Steven, so it was so fun to watch his reaction when he turned around to see Cassandra for the first time in their first look. Throughout the evening they would smile at one another, or look deeply into one another’s eyes, or even wipe away each other’s tears during their vows. All these little moments between them really showed the deep connection and commitment they had for one another.

Their connection was even more amplified when they doted on their daughter. One of the sweetest moments was when Steven carried their daughter back up the aisle with Cassandra after they were married. After the ceremony, Steven held their daughter and looked on proudly while Cassandra did a reading to mark the celebration. And one of the final portraits we captured was their sleepy daughter snuggled against her parents in their wedding attire.

After the ceremony and the portraits, we said our goodbyes. Steven, Cassandra and their family were moving on to the reception portion of their wedding day - steaks cooked over the fire pit in the back yard. It was the perfect ending to the day, a time with family celebrating the new marriage that had begun.

Dear Steven & Cassandra,

We are so happy you sent us that email! It was an honor to be with you on such a monumental day in your love story. We hope the memories of your Texas wedding ceremony will remain with you all your days, and that the loving looks you have for one another only grow as you grow old together.

Love, J&M

Couple holds one another and smiles at camera after their elopement at a private residence in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

If you liked Steven & Cassandra’s story, here are some others you’ll want to check out!

Remington & Marley | Sunrise Engagement Portraits | Cameron Park

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We normally take engagement portraits with our Sweethearts in that magic golden hour right before the sun goes down. But sometimes sunset isn’t possible schedule-wise, so we set alarms and head out to locations and wait for the sun to join us.

Marley and Remington live in Tennessee, but chose to have their wedding in Texas near Remington’s parents since that was the most central location for all their family throughout the US. So when Marley and her mother made a trip to Texas one weekend to get all their vendors booked, they squeezed us in for a quick coffee meet up between cake tastings and a trip to the Magnolia Silos. We loved Marley, her mom, and Remington’s mom right away, and loved how Marley talked about her relationship with Remington. So we were so excited to get to work with them in 2019!

Since they live in Tennessee, we only had one shot for an engagement session with them when they were in Texas visiting Remington’s family for Christmas. And with work schedules and family Christmas celebrations, the only opportunity we had to connect with them for their session was Saturday morning before Christmas. So Remington and Marley drove down from DFW to make it to Waco by sunrise. Talk about dedicated!

It couldn’t have been easy to leave DFW in the 5 am hour, but we are forever grateful to them because sunrise sunlight just might become our favorite light! The way the warm sun filled the space at Cameron Park highlighted these Sweethearts and their love. Remington & Marley were naturals at posing, switching from sweet romantic moments to laughter and dancing with ease. And they seemed wide awake and warm the whole time, which is not easy to do on an early morning in December!

When we asked Remington to whisper in Marley’s ear, Marley busted out laughing at whatever he had said. The “whisper test” is always a great moment at an engagement session, because we learn the true nature of our Sweethearts and their relationship based off whether they whisper sweet words, funny jokes, or random nonsense words. And we knew Remington & Marley were a fun couple who brought out the joy in each other when Marley immediately started laughing.

Their session was so beautiful and so fun, and we can’t wait to be with them again in June!

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Dear Remington & Marley,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for meeting us bright and early in Waco! We loved seeing you in person again, Marley, and meeting you, Remington. You two were flawless, and your love for one another shows so much through these images. We hope you enjoy the remaining days of wedding planning and being engaged. And we can’t wait to see what married life has in store for y’all!

Love, J&M

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