Brian & Kendra

Brian & Kendra | The Phoenix Ballroom | Downtown Waco, Texas

Bride and groom in downtown Waco, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

These two Sweethearts have appeared on our blog not once but twice before! We’ve known Brian and Kendra through working with them as fellow wedding vendors in the Waco area. Brian is the talented DJ behind Broken Spoke Entertainment and we always love when we find out he’s the DJ for one of our weddings. When Brian and Kendra began planning their own wedding we were so honored they asked us to be their photographers. But we had no idea how fun it would be having them as J&M Sweethearts! First, we had an epic engagement session on a legit NASCAR racetrack. Then we had a SECOND engagement session on Brian’s grandmother’s farm in West, Texas. And that’s only the photo sessions! Learning about NASCAR, eating Olive Garden together, visiting each other’s booths at bridal shows, and just getting to know them as friends has been an amazing experience.

Brian and Kendra were married at the end of July in Kendra's home state of Ohio where her family still lives. But they knew not everyone could make the trek to Ohio, so they decided to have a second celebration here in Texas. And the idea of a Texas reception was born!

We were blown away with how authentic and fun Brian and Kendra made their Texas reception. This wasn’t just a party to celebrate their Ohio wedding. This was a real-life wedding reception! Kendra had her hair and makeup done, and put back on her wedding dress. (Yay for getting to wear your dress multiple times!) Brian didn’t wear a full-blown tux this go round, but dressed up his jeans and boots with a vest, tie and his signature cowboy hat. They had the majority of their bridal party present, with her bridesmaids even wearing their navy bridesmaid dresses again!

Brian and Kendra invited all their guests to The Phoenix Ballroom, a beautiful warehouse-style venue in downtown Waco. Guests arrived and sat around tables filled with centerpieces overflowing with white hydrangeas and blush & white roses. And at 6 pm, DJ Jim Alvarado called everyone’s attention to the video screens around the venue where Brian & Kendra’s Ohio wedding day video began playing. Everyone was able to see Kendra walk down the aisle on her dad’s arm, hear the vows Brian & Kendra exchanged, and see them seal their marriage with a kiss. And then as the happy couple walked up the aisle as husband and wife on screen, the video faded out and Jim announced the married couple as Brian & Kendra made their grand entrance into The Phoenix.

Everyone cheered for the newlyweds, and the Texas Reception was underway. A dinner of fried chicken and BBQ was served. Brian and Kendra had a second chance to cut into a gorgeous wedding cake, made by The Cake Lady - Veronica Gloeckner, as well as not one but two amazing groom’s cakes by the talented All Sugard’ Up. There was two-stepping and line dancing all night, endless margaritas at the bar, and in honor of Brian’s family’s Czech heritage, kolaches were served and everyone joined in on a fun Grand March around the ballroom.

It was the perfect central Texas reception, y'all!

Wedding gown and bride's shoe details, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bridal jewelry and bouquet details, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Dallas Stars groom's cake, Beer cooler groom's cake, 3 tiered cream bride's cake, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
blush and white rose bouquet, DJ set up at The Phoenix, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Groom's mother's wedding gown made into custom table-cloth for wedding, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Details from navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom in downtown Waco, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom in downtown Waco, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom in downtown Waco, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom in downtown Waco, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Guests watch video from wedding prior to reception, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom enter reception after announced by DJ, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom together in sunset with Waco skyline in background, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom stand together with Waco skyline and sunset behind them, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and her cowboy groom pose stoically outside The Phoenix, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom smile at one another in the light of sunset outside The Phoenix, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom cut cake, Bride and groom in downtown Waco, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom pose by Dallas Stars groom's cake, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
The Grand March, a Czech tradition, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
The Grand March dance, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com 
Bride and groom have first dance, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom have first dance while friends dance around them, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom laugh during first dance as their family dances around them, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and bridal party dance at reception, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
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Bride and groom kiss during sparkler exit outside The Phoenix in Waco, Navy and blush Texas Reception at The Phoenix Ballroom, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Brian & Kendra,

We cannot say enough how much fun and what an honor it was to walk this journey with you guys! Thank you for the experiences on the track and the farm, and thanks for being friends. Your reception was beautiful and Texas and perfectly y'all, and we hope y'all enjoy these images for decades to come. We pray you have a long, happy marriage filled with laughter, music and dancing!

Love, J&M 


Venue | The Phoenix Ballroom

Wedding Coordinator | Lois Ferguson

Rentals | Action Rental Waco

Florals | Donna Roach

DJ | Jim Alvarado with Diamond Productions

Bride's Cake | Veronica Gloeckner, The Cake Lady

Groom's Cakes | All Sugard' Up

Caterer | Eddie Ray's Smokehouse

Hair and Makeup | Robin Dieterich and Kimberly Cutler

Bridal Gown & bridesmaids' dresses | Jo Ann's Bridal


See more of our J&M Wedding Stories on the blog! 

Brian & Kendra | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Texas Wedding Photographer

a couple posed in an open field with a sunset behind them | West, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

When we had our first coffee date with Brian & Kendra, we really enjoyed getting to know them more as a couple. You see, we had worked with Brian previously at different weddings in the Waco, Texas area, where he killed it as the DJ and we served as wedding photographers. But we had only met Kendra very briefly earlier this summer when we were all a part of the wedding team for TJ & Holley. So while we enjoyed our interactions with Brian & Kendra at weddings, we had only ever talked with them in an official wedding vendor professional setting.

But little did we know that only a few days after TJ & Holley’s wedding, Brian was going to take Kendra on a cruise and propose to her on the beautiful white sands of a private island beach in Cozumel. And now instead of being on the wedding vendor side, they would be planning their own wedding.

So when we met with them at Starbuck’s, we “oohed” and “awwed” over the proposal story and Kendra’s gorgeous ring. And in talking with them about their wedding plans we really got to know Brian & Kendra as a couple.

a couple stands in front of a tree | West, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

And it has been so much fun getting to know them.

a couple hugs in front of a tree | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a couple holds each other on front porch steps | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a wood sign with a bride and groom's names and wedding date | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography

First, there was the experience of taking some amazing engagement portraits of them on the racetrack of Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. We rode with Brian & Kendra up to Ft. Worth, and learned all about their ritual of coming to the Speedway twice a year for the two big NASCAR races. Seeing them giddy and in love on the track, acting like two kids in a candy store, was a blast and it really drove home the importance to us of our J&M Sweethearts’ truly showing who they are in their portraits.

an engagement ring held between a groom and bride's cowboy boots | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a couple embraces in front of a barn | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a couple holds each other in front of a steel barn | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography

But Brian & Kendra didn’t just want engagement portraits on a NASCAR race track. They also wanted to have their love story documented on the farm of Brian’s grandmother in West, Texas. From the picturesque white farmhouse to the steel barn to the wide expanse of field with that beautiful Texas sunset lighting up the sky, grandma’s farm was the perfect location to photograph these sweethearts. I mean, what better location could you pick when the bride came to Texas to ride horses with the Baylor Equestrian Team, and the groom used to spend his summers working on farms, and these two met and fell in love because she would always request Randy Rogers when he was DJ-ing at a local dance hall?

a couple embraces in the sunset | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a couple kisses with Texas sunset behind them | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a couple stands in open field | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a couple stands in an open field and kisses | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a couple watch an airplane fly over them | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a couple embraces in front of a John Deere tractor | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography
a couple shows off their Dallas Stars apparel | West, Texas Engagement Portraits | Jason & Melaina Photography

Brian & Kendra, it has been such a blast getting to know you and we have enjoyed EVERY MINUTE of photographing you in your element. Thank you for the introduction to NASCAR and for showing us the gem of your grandmother's farm. We can't wait to celebrate your wedding with you back in Waco next year!

Brian & Kendra | Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photographer

Engagement portraits | Texas Motor Speedway| Jason and Melaina Photography

This engagement portrait session is unlike anything we've done so far. But before I tell you all about what it's like to be on an actual NASCAR racetrack, let me tell you a little about this amazing couple.

Engagement portraits | Texas Motor Speedway| Jason and Melaina Photography

We know Brian through working together at weddings in the central Texas area. Brian is a fellow Waco Wedding Professional, the DJ behind Broken Spoke Entertainment. We've had the privilege of working with him and his team at two different weddings, and each time we are so impressed with his skill as a DJ, his professionalism as a wedding vendor, and just how nice he, his dad and uncle are every time we chat with them. At this past wedding, we were also able to meet Kendra, his then girl-friend, and the organization behind-the-scenes at Broken Spoke Entertainment.  

Brian and Kendra became engaged on a caribbean beach during a recent cruise (seriously, it's such a romantic story), and are in the process of planning a wedding next summer in Ohio, Kendra's home state. But having Texas roots now, they are also having a reception celebration in Texas next year, and asked us to be a part of their wedding celebration here in Texas. We were beyond thrilled and honored, and have really enjoyed getting to know and serve these two. 

When brainstorming some ideas for engagement portraits, Kendra share with us her dream of having an engagement photography session at Texas Motor Speedway. See, Kendra's father is a big NASCAR fan, and Kendra fell in love with the sport as a little girl watching the races with her dad. Her love for NASCAR spread to Brian when they became a couple, and the two of them are avid NASCAR fans. They travel from Waco to Ft. Worth twice a year for the NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway. They have a favorite driver, Matt Kenseth in car #20. They are such fans of car #20 Brian surprised Kendra with an actual panel from the car he bought online after the car was wrecked, and they also own a pair of lug nuts taken from a tire during a race.

Well, Kendra's dream came true, and lucky for all of us, last Saturday we were able to take Brian and Kendra's engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway. After the NASCAR driving experience class finished that evening, the four of us were given the freedom to be in pit road, victory lane, and even the actual start/finish line of one of NASCAR's official courses. 

Now we admit, before Brian and Kendra, we knew very little about NASCAR. But even not knowing a lot, it was an amazing experience being one of 5 people (us 4 plus the track representative who was on hand for security purposes) in this vast arena. We loved having such a unique experience with one of our J&M Sweetheart couples, and were so excited for them to have such a meaningful engagement session as well.

Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
engagement ring | Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography
Engagement portraits at Texas Motor Speedway | Texas Wedding Photography by Jason and Melaina Photography

Brian and Kendra, thank you for the NASCAR education and for such an awesome experience. It's been so much fun being a part of your wedding journey. May you guys have many more races ahead!