Texas Wedding Photographer

Marco & Heather | Texas Wedding at Moon River Ranch | Satin, Texas

A cowboy and his bride look into one another’s eyes outside of Moon River Ranch on their wedding day | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com

Photographing weddings at Moon River Ranch is one of our favorite things. Not just because the venue itself is gorgeous (which it is). But because of the camp-like atmosphere the venue brings to our Sweethearts weddings.

We know that a Moon River Ranch wedding is going to bring together the bride and groom’s families and friends for multiple days, and give them opportunities to bond together over playing in the pool, skeet shooting, yard games, hay rides, and all the wedding activities. So on the wedding day, it’s like there’s one big happy family all celebrating the couple together. That makes for a magical start to a marriage, and Marco & Heather’s wedding was no exception.

Marco & Heather are one of the sweetest, most genuine couples we’ve met. So it was no surprise their families and friends were just as lovely. When we arrived at Moon River on their wedding day, May 25th, Heather was with her bridesmaids getting hair and make up done. I (Melaina) photographed them as they told stories of European vacations, and laughed over shared memories together. Jason went to join Marco and his groomsmen shooting skeet, and photographed them as they had a friendly competition and joked around.

When all the girls were ready, we snuck them outside to get some portraits of Heather and her girls, making sure Marco was not going to see her. Then, when it was time for Marco and his guy’s portraits, Heather requested we take all the guys and get a photo in front of the smoker with a Texas flag. Marco was the only one that lives in the US, with his groomsmen being brothers and cousins from Italy, or a close friend from Ireland by way of Canada. To see all these guys in their cowboy hats, bolos, jeans, and boots was a quite a Texas moment, and Heather wanted to make sure it was documented.

Marco & Heather wanted to see each other before their ceremony, but they wanted it to be a special, private moment between them. So we brought them into the chapel for a romantic first look. After this special moment, it was time to get ready for the ceremony, and party on into the night.

There were so many special, little moments throughout Marco & Heather’s wedding day. Seeing Heather walked down the aisle by both her grandfathers was a very sentimental moment. As was seeing her brother ring the church bell when she and Marco were pronounced husband & wife. Seeing the love these Sweethearts have for one another, written all over their faces when they were sharing their personal vows.

Sneaking them out of their reception to photograph them at sunset under an expansive Texas sky. Watching them open and pour the largest bottle of champagne we’ve seen, brought to Texas by Marco’s father especially for his wedding day. Hearing Marco & Heather’s best friends and siblings share heartfelt toasts. Watching them and all their family and friends dance the night away, building memories that will last a lifetime.

And then at the end of the night, Marco & Heather ran through a tunnel of loved ones, holding high sparklers, as they started their new life together.

The welcome sign at Moon River Ranch | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A groom sees his bride for the first time on their wedding day inside the chapel at Moon River Ranch | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom walk hand-in-hand out of the chapel at Moon River Ranch in Satin, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
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A bride and groom smile at one another with an expansive Texas sky behind them on their wedding day at Moon River Ranch | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A groom kisses his bride outside their wedding reception at Moon River Ranch | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A just married couple walks hand-in-hand down a dirt road outside their wedding reception at Moon River Ranch | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
Groomsmen pour champagne on an unsuspecting groom during a wedding reception at Moon River Ranch | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride kisses her husband under the glow of sparklers as they leave their wedding reception at Moon River Ranch | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A groom and his bride run through a tunnel of their loved ones holding up sparklers as they leave their wedding reception at Moon River Ranch | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Marco & Heather,

Your wedding was a complete joy and so full of love, just like you two. We pray the memories of this day stay in your heart forever. And that the joy and love continue everyday for years and years to come.

Love, J&M

A bride and groom face one another in the center of a dirt road, surrounded by fields at their Moon River Ranch wedding | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com

These awesome wedding professionals helped make Marco & Heather’s wedding day magical!

Venue | Moon River Ranch

Florals | Wolfe’s, assembled on site by bride’s friend, Mandy Anderson

Caterers | Rio Brazos Cuisine (for most of weekend), Ringtail BBQ (wedding dinner)

Baker | HEB

Bridal Gown | JoAnn’s Bridal

Hair | Erin Sterling

Makeup | Diana Marie Makeup Artistry

Band | H.O.T. Road Gang

Venue transportation | Texas Golf Karts

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

Stephen & Ariel | Star Wars Engagement Portraits | Waco, Texas

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We met Stephen & Ariel way back in January 2018 when they were starting to plan their May 2019 wedding. Why were they waiting 17 months for their wedding? Well, when you have such a passion for Star Wars, Saturday, May 4th, 2019 is the perfect day to get married!

Star Wars has always been a part of Stephen & Ariel’s story. Both of them are fans of the Star Wars story, and we mean the whole story! In fact, their favorite characters are actually characters outside of the movies that we had never heard of. Their true devotion to the Star Was universe, though, began when Ariel was gifted a Storm trooper outfit from a co-worker. Stephen got his own Sith outfit, and the two of them began to volunteer with the 501st  Legion. The 501st is an international organization that specializes in accurate costumes of the dark side force in the Star Wars universe, as well as charity work throughout the world. They call themselves “the bad guys doing good.” Volunteering for charity work around central Texas with the 501st is one of Stephen & Ariel’s favorite things to do together.

With Star Wars being such an important element to who they are as a couple, of course Star Wars continues to be a part of their wedding journey. Stephen actually proposed to Ariel using a R2D2 and gave her an R2D2 inspired ring for his proposal. And when we began planning their engagement photo session with them, we knew it wasn’t going to be a typical session. Our goal is to always tell the story of our #JandMSweethearts, especially in the engagement session. We’re way more interested in recreating a favorite date night activity or visiting the place of the proposal. So when Ariel said they’d like to bring the light sabers they were having custom-made for their wedding day, we knew engagement photos with light sabers was going to be a new thing for us.

We’re so glad Ariel & Stephen wanted their session to include the light sabers, and that we even postponed the session to make sure the light sabers would be there in time! We had so much fun setting up light saber duels, and the other people at Lover’s Leap in Cameron Park were definitely interested in what we were doing. But we think our favorite moments were placing Stephen & Ariel on a tucked-away trail Ariel’s sister, Elyse, wanted to try. We got to really see their love for Star Wars, but more importantly, their love for one another.

After having such a fun Star Wars themed engagement session, we can’t wait to share how epic their Star Wars wedding is going to be. We won’t share any details here now since some of the cool stuff they’re having is a surprise, but we can’t wait for May the 4th to get here!

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Dear Stephen & Ariel,

We had so much fun hanging out with you again and seeing all your cool moves during your engagement session! We hope the playful and fun spirit you have as a couple continues to grow with you as you grow together. Can’t wait to see you on May the 4th!

Love, J&M

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