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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Jonathan & Jennah | Christmas Themed Engagement Portraits | Waco, Texas

Couple pose in middle of street at sunset for their engagement portraits in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

It’s always fun when we have a connection with a couple before we even work with them!

2 ½ years ago, we photographed Jennah’s brother TJ’s wedding to his bride, Holley. We got to know Jennah too since she was one of Holley’s bridesmaids, and we connected again when she came to help TJ & Holley’s son laugh when we photographed him in the bluebonnets this past year. So when Jennah reached out to us to say she had found her forever Sweetheart and was planning her wedding, we were so happy to get to work with another member of the Goedeke family!

Jonathan asked Jennah to marry him this summer while on vacation with her family. As they started wedding planning, Jennah’s mom thought it would be so fun to have a Christmas wedding. But being a school teacher Jennah didn’t think she’d have enough time to plan a December wedding once school started. She and Jonathan chose July 2019 for their wedding, but still wanted to keep a Christmas vibe. So Christmas in July became the theme of their wedding! And with such a great theme, we knew it’d be fun to have their engagement portrait session during Christmas break to tie it all together.

So Jonathan & Jennah met us the Friday before Christmas for some engagement portraits right before sunset. Jennah had a vision for her and Jonathan wrapped in Christmas lights near a barn wall, so we chose the Carleen Bright Arboretum as our first stop. It felt full circle, because the Arboretum was TJ & Holley’s wedding venue and where we first met Jennah in 2016. It was neat to meet back at that location, this time for Jennah’s portraits with her groom-to-be.

We got some great portraits of them wrapped in Christmas lights (which by the way, get really warm when wrapped on your body!) and then headed to Woodway Park. Waco doesn’t exactly provide a winter wonderland and there was no snow for their session, but we really liked how the trees resembled Christmas trees. They were the perfect backdrop for the session, and made for a great place to hang Jenna’s ring on their cute ornament.

Photographing Jonathan & Jennah for their engagement portraits was a fun way to get ready for Christmas, and we can’t wait to feel all Christmas-y with them again at their wedding in July!

Couple wrapped up in white Christmas lights for engagement portraits - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Couple holds one another in field of tall grass - Waco, Texas
Sunset engagement portraits in a field of dry grass - Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple sits beside road with sunset behind them during engagement portraits - Jason & Melaina Photography
A close up of a bride-to-be’s diamond solitaire engagement ring during her engagement portraits - Jason & Melaina Photography
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography, Waco Texas
Groom carries his fiance on his back while she laughs during their engagement portraits in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Jonathan & Jennah,

We are so excited to have you two as Sweethearts! We hope your first Christmas together as fiances was wonderful, and that you are looking forward to all the Christmases together to come!

Love, J&M

Couple holds Christmas ornament with their wedding date for their save the date - Jason & Melaina Photography