Downtown Waco

Elijah & Jessica | Cameron Park Sunset Wedding | Waco, Texas

A bride and groom stand under a large oak tree during their wedding ceremony at Lover’s Leap in Cameron Park, Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -

We kicked off our 2019 wedding season with Elijah & Jessica’s romantic sunset ceremony at Lover’s Leap in Cameron Park. And they were such a fun and beautiful couple to start the year with!

Back in 2012, Jessica was the director for the youth program with Mission Waco and Elijah started volunteering with the youth there. They developed a close friendship while working together, and Elijah got up the nerve to ask Jessica to “hang out” for the 4th of July. It was a wonderful first date, fireworks included, and the two began hanging out more and more. Only 10 days later, Jessica asked Elijah, “So, are we doing this thing or what?” And they became an official couple.

Fast forward to August 9, 2017. Jessica’s friend wanted to take her out for her birthday. But first they needed to stop by the Jubilee Theater at Mission Waco for nostalgia sake. When Jessica walked into the theater, she saw all their close family and friends, and her dad led her to a special seat on the front row. On the screen began to play an animated timeline of her relationship with Elijah. After the film ended, Elijah walked out on stage, got down on one knee and asked Jessica, “So, are we doing this thing, or what?” Jessica said YES! and these two Sweethearts began planning their forever.

Elijah & Jessica found a gorgeous ceremony spot at Lover’s Leap in Cameron Park. Nestled off to the side of the beautiful overlook is this green spot under a large tree, perfect for a golden hour ceremony. The rain from that morning drifted on and by ceremony time, the light and location were so romantic and beautiful , exactly what this couple deserved.

After the ceremony, Elijah & Jessica squeezed in a dramatic mini-session in front of the cliff overlook in Brazos Park East. Then they joined their family and friends at Cultivate 7Twelve for their rocking wedding reception. Watching Jessica dance with both her dad and mom, seeing Elijah dance with his mom, hearing meaningful and fun toasts, and seeing all their close family and friends celebrate their love was the perfect ending to such a wonderful start to a marriage. When we asked Jessica what meant the most to her on their wedding day, she said having a “…moment in time for us to have all of our favorite things in one place to celebrate our love and commitment to each other.” And we couldn’t agree more.

A bride hugs her mom right before her dad walks her down the aisle - outdoor wedding ceremony in Cameron Park, Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
A glimpse over the bride and her father’s shoulder as they start their walk down the aisle - Cameron Park sunset wedding in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
A large oak tree stands over a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony in Cameron Park in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
A groom and his bride embrace in the near dark while back lit dramatically with flash in front of the cliffs by the Brazos River in Waco, Texas - Jason & melaina Photography -
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography, Waco Texas

Dear Elijah & Jessica,

We pray the love you felt from all your family and friends, and the love you felt for one another, on your wedding day will be a memory you carry with you throughout the years. May each anniversary give you a chance to remember these moments and look forward to many more.

Love, J&M

A bride and groom kiss under sparklers outside their reception at Cultivate 7Twelve in downtown Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -

Charlie & Courtney | Classic Wedding at The Hippodrome | Waco, Texas

A groom kisses his bride in front of a vintage Rolls Royce after their downtown Waco, Texas wedding at The Hippodrome - Jason & Melaina Photography -

Charlie & Courtney’s love story is a beautiful tale of meant-to-be moments. Courtney was living in Seattle, WA, when she visited her sister in Austin. She fell in love with Austin, and decided she was going to move there one day. So she worked extra jobs for 2 years in order to make it happen. When she finally arrived in Austin, she got settled into her new place and found a job. A job that another young man named Charlie just happened to be starting at as well. These co-workers became friends, and then it turned into something more. And on December 1st, Charlie & Courtney vowed to spend their lives together…and it all happened because Courtney decided she needed to move to Texas!

These Sweethearts, along with the help of their sisters, planned one of the most gorgeous and classy weddings we’ve seen in Waco! Charlie & Courtney chose The Hippodrome as their wedding venue, and it was the perfect location for their classy and classic wedding. The stage with it’s proscenium arch was a breathtaking spot for their vows. And the modern candle-lit backdrop from Pendley Party only added to the dramatic view.

The dramatic and special details don’t stop there! Courtney’s dress was beautifully classic in the front, but the surprise detail bead work on the back led many of her friends to exclaim in delight when she turned around. Charlie looked dashing in his navy suit, and as a special touch, had their wedding date embroidered into his collar. He wasn’t the only one with special details added to his attire. The flower girls all had bedazzled converse shoes made especially for the occasion!

The details are always fun to plan, and we enjoy seeing how each of our Sweetheart couples make their wedding their own through the details. But our favorite part of the wedding day is seeing all the special and meaningful moments that unfold. And Charlie & Courtney had so many sweet moments!

Both of them wrote meaningful and heartfelt vows to one another. It was so special to hear them tell each other how they’ve changed one another’s lives for the better, and hear them express their feelings for one another.

Their wedding day was also Courtney’s birthday, and while getting her makeup done Courtney said how she always wanted an experience for her birthday rather than a present. So right before it was time to cut the cake, Charlie called Courtney to the middle of the reception and told everyone how he always tried to give her an experience on her birthday. He said he couldn’t think of a better experience than their wedding, and then presented her with a birthday cupcake and had the entire reception sing Happy Birthday to her.

But the surprises didn’t end with the birthday cupcake! Charlie & Courtney’s sisters surprised the couple with a Rolls Royce as their getaway car when leaving the reception. Their sisters had been a huge help in planning such a beautiful wedding for them, and this final surprise was the perfect ending to such a beautiful wedding day!

Dear Charlie & Courtney,

Your wedding was beautiful and so full of love. We loved seeing your faces when you looked at one another, so happy and full of love. We hope you remember those looks, and keep getting them for decades to come!

Love, J&M

Bride & Groom kiss in the back of their Rolls Royce getaway car after their wedding at The Hippodrome, Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -

Venue | The Hippodrome

Backdrop | Pendley Party Productions

Florals | Bloomingals Floral

Coordinator | JW Events

Rolls Royce | Bruce at Knoxville Ranch

Tad & Lauren | Downtown Waco Wedding | Waco, Texas

Classic church wedding at The Chapel at Meyer Center in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -

Tad & Lauren hold a special place in our hearts. God has really blessed us with some amazing Sweetheart couples who become friends and stay in touch long after the wedding day. But Tad & Lauren are different, because we were friends long before the wedding was even a thought. Lauren has been a part of the small group we lead through our church for almost 4 years now. She’s known our daughters since they were toddlers, and we consider her one of our close friends here in Waco.

When Lauren started dating Tad and talking to us about him, we knew this was special. We knew this could be it. We even had conversations together, wondering not if but when Tad & Lauren were going to get married. So when Lauren texted me one night and told me she needed to tell me something, I wondered if this was it. And it was! We were so happy and excited for them! And then when they began planning their wedding and asked us to be their photographers, we were so honored to be a small part of their wedding story.

Tad & Lauren had a short engagement (about 2 ½ months!) but still were able to make a wedding that fully represented them as a couple. Lauren chose to wear her sister’s wedding dress as her own, a sweet sentimental detail to show her connection to her family. Tad & Lauren chose The Chapel at Meyer Center in downtown Waco as their venue. It was the perfect location for the intimate wedding with close family and friends they planned for Thanksgiving weekend. And the afternoon sunlight through the large windows lit the ceremony beautifully! Continuing the intimate wedding day feel, Tad & Lauren kept their wedding party to her sister, his brother, his son and one of Lauren’s close cousins.

After their afternoon ceremony, everyone headed a few blocks over to The Palladium for a fun reception! Guest enjoyed a coffee and ice cream bar from Common Grounds and Heritage Creamery, a tasty hors d’oeuvres spread by Kathy Thorman of Before I Do, and delicious cake by Kakes by Kat. There was dancing, and fun at the photo booth. And after running through a tunnel of ribbons, the couple drove away to their honeymoon in Lauren’s family’s classic red truck!

There are moments at every wedding that are special, but knowing these Sweethearts personally made them even more significant. Watching Tad & Lauren see each other for the first time was sweet, but knowing how much they have prayed for one another, even before knowing each other, made it such a joyous moment. Also, for over a year our small group has been praying for Lauren’s dad, who underwent a successful lung transplant for his health. So to see him walk Lauren down the aisle, and dance with her during the reception, was more than sweet moments between a father and his daughter. They were moments that spoke to the power of prayer and brought thankful tears for the blessing these small moments truly were for Lauren. And taking pictures of Tad & Lauren, with Tad’s son, seeing their little family together, reminded us how God weaves together people’s lives to create beautiful futures.

Tad & Lauren’s Sunday wedding was a beautiful chapter in these Sweethearts love story. And we can’t wait to see where the next chapter takes them!

Bride getting ready at Fixer Upper house in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride getting ready in Fixer Upper house in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride getting into dress for her downtown Waco Texas wedding - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Classic church wedding at The Chapel at Meyer Center in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride’s family before the ceremony at The Chapel at Meyer Center in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Groom poses with his son before classic church wedding at The Chapel at Meyer Center in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride and groom have a first look at The Chapel at Meyer Center in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride, groom, and son tie cross together during wedding ceremony - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride and groom praying at the altar - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride and groom kiss in front of the doors at The Chapel at Meyer Center in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
White buttercream wedding cake with pink roses - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride and groom share a first dance at their downtown Waco reception at The Palladium - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Father-daughter dance at reception at The Palladium - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride and groom pose in front of The Hippodrome in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride and groom with their names on the Hippodrome Marquee in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Bride and groom have ribbon exit out of The Palladium in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -

Dear Tad & Lauren,

Y’all are married!!! We continue to pray blessings on your relationship as you move into married life together. We were honored you wanted us photograph your wedding day, but even more honored to call you friends.

Love, J&M


Check out some of our other recent J&M Wedding stories on the blog below!