Mike & Rachel

Donohue Family | Lifestyle Family Photography | Waco Wedding & Family Photographer

baby boy in crib | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes some of our 2015 J&M Sweethearts asking us to take portraits of their new little one and us saying, "YES, PLEASE!!!"

mom feeding baby on couch | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

We had the privilege of photographing Mike & Rachel's gorgeous and so fun wedding at the Horseshoe Bay Resort in Horseshoe Bay, Texas in the summer of 2015. (See their seriously awesome wedding reception where they were the lead singers of the reception band here.) They were such a loving couple and we continued to keep in touch long after their wedding. Fast forward to 2016, and we found ourselves congratulating them on their first little one!

One day our phone rang and Rachel was on the other end. She asked if we'd be available and interested in photographing her and Mike and their new son, as well as Mike's daughters. Of course we were! We discussed some options for the family portrait session and decided an in-home lifestyle session would be perfect. And so last week, I (Melaina) drove out to their beautiful home in China Spring to photograph the new addition to their family.

Mom feeding baby while Dad drinks coffee | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Photographing a family in their home, documenting what real life looks like in this particular chapter of your family's love story, is one of my favorite things to do. There's just something about having those moments recorded, to look back and see your home, to see the nursery your baby slept in, to see a photograph documenting the countless hours you spent feeding and rocking your baby on the couch or in the rocking chair. It tells the story of your family for years to come, and serves as a memorial to help you remember with clarity this time in life. 

I wish there was a better word than neat to describe it, but it just is so neat that we were there to photograph the day Mike & Rachel said, "I do," and now we were able to go into their home and photograph this next chapter in their Sweetheart Story. And what better way to document little KP's first Christmas than with images of his family decorating their Christmas tree?  

Mom, dad and baby snuggle on the couch | Lifestyle Family Session in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family poses on couch | Lifestyle Family Session in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family decorates Christmas tree | Lifestyle Family Session in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family decorates Christmas tree | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family decorating Christmas tree | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds new baby by Christmas tree | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby lays on homemade quilt | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds baby son | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds baby | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds 2 month old baby | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby son in crib | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Mom dresses crying baby | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Mom snuggles infant son | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Mom kisses baby son | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Thank you, Mike & Rachel, for the honor of being in your presence once again, documenting your love story!

 

Mike & Rachel | Horsehoe Bay Resort Wedding

Remember Rachel, our fun-loving, warm-hearted, bling-and-blue loving bride? The one, who along with her fiance Mike, have infectious energy and warmth-giving smiles?

Well, get ready to hear all about their wedding day.

When I think on this wedding, there are so many things I want to tell you. Like how we had never been to the Horseshoe Bay Resort before and when Jason and I walked out to see the venue the morning of the wedding day, my jaw dropped. I took my phone out and instagrammed the empty ceremony site, captioning it "Our office for today," and so many people liked and commented about how beautiful it was. When we met with Rachel previously she had told us she picked Horseshoe Bay Resort as her wedding venue before she was ever engaged, based simply on how beautiful she thought it was when she attended a work Christmas party there one year. After seeing it with my own eyes, I completely understood how she decided on her wedding venue long before it was needed.

I want to tell you how Mike and Rachel did something fun and unique in that Mike's three beautiful daughters served as his "groomsmaids," and Rachel's two brothers and her best friend served as her "bridesmen." There was something so sweet in seeing these three girls standing up beside their daddy on his wedding day, and when Rachel's best friend gave his toast as the official "man of honor," it was clear that of course he was the perfect choice of who should be standing up beside Rachel as she married Mike.

I want to tell you how there was so much love shared between everyone in this wedding, between Rachel and her soon-to-be-official daughters, between Mike and Rachel's brothers, between close friends and extended family, that it was honestly hard to distinguish the different "sides" at this wedding. There's a popular sign often displayed at weddings, "Today two families become one, so pick a seat not a side." Everyone at Mike and Rachel's wedding already got that memo it seemed, because all day long it felt like we were with one very large, loving family that included anyone Mike and Rachel had ever meet. And every single person there loved Mike and Rachel, and just wanted to be a part of their love story.

And last, but definitely not least, I want to tell you about their wedding reception. I mentioned previously how Mike and Rachel are in the Texas Heatwave band. All there band-mates attended their wedding, but then also played the reception. And it made for such a memorably fun reception unlike anything we've ever experienced. Earlier in the day, Jason and I were tasked with getting Rachel to "show us the wedding ceremony site" and to keep her there so she wouldn't accidentally overhear Mike rehearsing the song he was to sing to her that evening. And when it was time to sing to his new bride, Mike confidently took the mic and sang to Rachel while they danced, backed by his own band who loved this couple so much.

Rachel had adorned her cordless mic with pink jewels, and it was something to behold seeing the bride weaving her way through a dance floor of her closest friends and family while belting out the likes of Lady Gaga into a blinged-out mic. The dance floor was constantly full and the music was amazing, because the bride and groom and their band kept the party going until the last possible moment.

And when it was all said and done, and Mike and Rachel ran through the sparkler-waving throng of their loved ones seeing them off onto their honeymoon, Jason and I felt like we had just been at such an amazing party with such a loving group of people we gushed about how much fun we had all the way to our hotel.

Congratulations once again, Mike and Rachel. Thank you so much for letting us be a fly on the wall of your amazing wedding story.