Central Texas Wedding Photographer

Justin & Tiffany | Belton Lake Engagement Portraits | Belton, Texas

A couple embraces at the Belton Lake Dam while the sun sets over the lake behind them - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Justin & Tiffany have been friends since middle school, and in a relationship for 7 years. They even work together, with Tiffany working as an admin and Justin working at a mechanic at a local shop in town. To say they’ve spent a lot of their life together is an understatement. We love hearing stories like Justin & Tiffany’s, of Sweethearts who have a hard time remembering a time in their lives when they weren’t best friends.

Both Justin & Tiffany enjoy the outdoors and being outside in nature. When they have some free time, they’ll drive to the beach, or go hunting, or spend time on their boat. But one of their favorite things to do together is to go fishing, often going fishing near Belton Lake Dam.

Belton Lake Dam is a special place for these Sweethearts and one of their favorite spots to visit on dates. One special date night at the Dam- after they had climbed down the rocks and gotten closer to the lake, with the sun set turning the sky orange- Justin pulled out a ring and asked Tiffany to marry him. She said yes.

To mark the occasion, they added a gold lock to the fence at the Belton Lake Dam’s lookout. They wrote their initials and the date, and then placed the lock on the fence along with all the other locks left behind by couples before them.

When it came time to pick the location for their engagement session, keeping things in Belton and using the sunset at Belton Lake Dam was a no-brainer. We started at a creek in a nearby park, and dodged the other Beltonians who were fishing, wading in the water, or having their own photo shoot. Then, just in time for sunset, we hiked down the rocks at Belton Lake Dam and made our way to where Justin proposed to Tiffany.

We love being able to capture some romantic engagement pictures on the exact spot where the proposal happened. Because we like to think that years later, our Sweethearts can show their grandchildren pictures of the exact spot where Grandpa proposed to Grandma, and smile at one another as their grandkids say “Awww” and exclaim how young Grandpa and Grandma look.

A woman leans her head on her fiance’s shoulder and he smiles down at her during their engagement photo session in Belton, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple embraces and puts their foreheads together as the sun sets over the lake behind them - Engagement Photos in Belton, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Justin & Tiffany,

Y’all are such an adorable couple, and it’s obvious you’re each other’s best friend. We know you have many years of date nights fishing ahead of you. We can’t wait to be with you again in September when you start the next chapter of your love story!

Love, J&M

A couple kisses at Belton Lake Dam while the sunset turns the sky orange behind them over the lake - Belton, Texas Engagement session - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Hayden & Samantha | Disney-Inspired Wedding at The Barn at 5 S Ranch | Central Texas

Bride & Groom hold each other as the sun sets behind them - Disney wedding at The Barn at 5 S Ranch - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Hayden & Samantha’s Disney-inspired wedding was such a fun and beautiful day! From the beautiful weather (which isn’t always a guarantee for December weddings!), to the beautiful details, to all the beautiful moments, everything came together perfectly for this Disney princess and her Prince Charming (or Captain America!).

While it wasn’t over-the-top Disney, a person with a keen eye would notice all the subtle Disney nods these two Disney fans had on their wedding day. There were hidden Mickeys throughout the day, including Samantha’s nail art, socks and garter, the bride’s cake, and even a fun ring shot. There was Disney font on the bridesmaids’ hangers and the ring box. Every bridesmaid was given a specific Disney princess pin to adorn her bouquet, with Samantha having Rapunzel as her chosen princess on her bouquet. Even the fellas got in on the Disney action, with each groomsmen wearing a Marvel superhero pin on his lapel and a coordinating shirt under his tux. Hayden’s hero of choice was Captain America, not only for his lapel pin and undershirt but even his groom’s cake was Captain America’s shield.

But checking out hidden MIckeys wasn’t the only thing to notice at this beautiful wedding. Samantha’s mother has a knack for creating beautiful spaces, and every area from the cake table, to the Sweetheart table, to the vignettes outside the reception hall showed off her talents. And it was all brought together beautifully by the table decor, complete with lanterns, fresh flowers, and individual sprigs of fresh juniper for each place setting. The Barn at 5 S Ranch is already such a gorgeous space, with its vaulted ceilings with white, string lights and it’s large, sliding barn doors. But Hayden & Samantha, and Samantha’s mom’s team, really brought the venue to life with all their details!

It’s neat to see how each of our Sweetheart couples choose the details that make up their wedding day, and when we walk into each space we see how perfectly the details showcase the couple. But while we love seeing the details, it’s all the little moments of the day that we’re really excited to see and photograph. And Hayden & Samantha’s wedding was full of these little moments.

Samantha didn’t want to have a first look with Hayden, but she did want to have one with her dad. When the door slid open and her dad saw her in her gown for the first time, it was so touching to see his eyes well up with proud tears. In fact, seeing Samantha, her mom and her dad tear up together was such a sweet moment to witness, because we knew this was going to be the last time it was just them three.

Even though Hayden & Samantha didn’t have a first look, they still wanted to connect before their ceremony and opted to have a “first touch.” They held hands around the sliding door in the bridal suite, and talked about how excited they were to get married. During this moment, Hayden gave Samantha a journal full of letters he had been writing her during their relationship. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as she read through the precious gift.

And while there were so many other great moments throughout the day, the one we had been waiting for was Hayden’s reaction to seeing Samantha for the first time in her dress. We knew from our bridal portrait session with her how excited she was to see his reaction, and we couldn’t wait either. So when the curtains opened to reveal Samantha and her dad walking down the aisle, it was so touching to watch Hayden’s face as he saw his bride. He was a range of emotions, from smiles to tears to trying to hold it together. Seeing his reaction made all the hiding of Samantha in her dress worth it.

Sunny December wedding at The Barn at 5 S Ranch in Thrall, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Bride and groom leave their reception with a wildflower toss - Disney-inspired wedding at The Barn at 5 S Ranch - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com


Dear Hayden & Samantha,

Your wedding day was magical, full of love and joy! We hope you remember how it felt, remember all the little moments that added up to a once-in-a-lifetime day for a once-in-a-lifetime love. And we can think of no better blessing for your marriage than to say, “…and they lived happily ever after.”

Love, J&M

Bride and groom laugh together in the sunset light of golden hour - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Venue | The Barn at 5 S Ranch

Decor | Darling Decor and More

Florals | Family members, flowers from Sams Club

Gown | JoAnn’s Bridal

Hair & Makeup | Lexie Hill

DJ | Robby Cavazos


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Charles & Alex | Brazos Bluffs Ranch Engagement Portrait Session | Waco, Texas

A couple smiles at one another during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com

Stories of how couples meet never get old to us. Every time we meet with our future J&M Sweethearts over a coffee or ice cream double-date, we ask them to tell us their story because we love hearing them! (And sharing them with y'all!)

We’ve known Alex for a few years as the violinist for our church’s worship team. But when we were eating Steel City Pops with her and Charles and she shared they had met at Jiu Jitsu class, we were a little surprised. We didn’t even realize Alex was into Jiu Jitsu! Alex wanted to try something new so she enrolled in the class, and the instructor often paired her up with a fellow classmate, Charles. Week after week, Charles & Alex partnered up to learn new techniques in class, and it wasn’t long before these two realized something more than jiu jitsu was happening here.

Alex’s desire to try something new, like jiu jitsu class, finds it’s match in Charles. When we asked them how they’d spend an unexpected free day together, their response was to try something new! A new restaurant, a new store, a new recipe in the kitchen, it didn’t matter. They were up for giving something new a try.

Which is why it didn’t surprise us at all when Charles called us one evening to ask if we’d be willing to switch our scheduled engagement portraits session with them because he had planned a fun date for Alex’s birthday. Alex had wanted to try out horseback riding, so Charles planned a date at Brazos Bluffs Ranch for them to ride horses along the Brazos River. (Brownie points for that future hubby right there!)

So on a Saturday morning we drove out to Brazos Bluffs Ranch, a part of Homestead Heritage here in Waco, Texas, to photograph Charles & Alex on their adventure of trying something new. We explored the area a little bit and scouted out some locations, and then settled ourselves in our spot at the end of the trail to photograph Charles & Alex returning from their hour-long ride. Soon enough we heard the sound of horse hooves on the trail, and Alex & Charles appeared, smiling and enjoying themselves.

And the smiling didn’t stop. Throughout the entire session, these two couldn’t stop smiling at one another. We’d offer some coaching to place them in a natural pose for a portrait, and they’d quickly only have eyes for one another. Alex was often looking up at Charles smiling, or Charles would look over at Alex and smile at her.  We love when our Sweethearts openly show their love for one another in their sessions, and we do everything we can to make this a natural process for them. So it was so sweet to see how these two expressed their love by looking deeply into one another’s eyes and smiling so happily. And we think it made for some pretty romantic engagement portraits too.

A couple rides horses together during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple rides horses together during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple walks hand-in-hand during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
Charles & Alex pet a pony during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple embraces under a sunlit tree during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple embraces near a wooden fence during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
Charles & Alex pose on the deck overlooking the Brazos River during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Charles & Alex,

It was so fun joining y'all for your horseback riding adventure! (And thanks for letting us know this option exists in Waco!) Your love for one another comes across effortlessly, and we pray you guys have decades ahead of you filled with smiles. 3 1/2 weeks until your wedding day!!

Love, J&M

Charles & Alex pose on the deck overlooking the Brazos River during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com

See more of our engagement photography below!