Waco

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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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 - www.jasonandmelaina.com

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 - www.jasonandmelaina.com
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 - www.jasonandmelaina.com
A large oak tree stands over a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony in Cameron Park in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
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 - www.jasonandmelaina.com
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 - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Jonathan & Jennah | Christmas Themed Engagement Portraits | Waco, Texas

Couple pose in middle of street at sunset for their engagement portraits in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

It’s always fun when we have a connection with a couple before we even work with them!

2 ½ years ago, we photographed Jennah’s brother TJ’s wedding to his bride, Holley. We got to know Jennah too since she was one of Holley’s bridesmaids, and we connected again when she came to help TJ & Holley’s son laugh when we photographed him in the bluebonnets this past year. So when Jennah reached out to us to say she had found her forever Sweetheart and was planning her wedding, we were so happy to get to work with another member of the Goedeke family!

Jonathan asked Jennah to marry him this summer while on vacation with her family. As they started wedding planning, Jennah’s mom thought it would be so fun to have a Christmas wedding. But being a school teacher Jennah didn’t think she’d have enough time to plan a December wedding once school started. She and Jonathan chose July 2019 for their wedding, but still wanted to keep a Christmas vibe. So Christmas in July became the theme of their wedding! And with such a great theme, we knew it’d be fun to have their engagement portrait session during Christmas break to tie it all together.

So Jonathan & Jennah met us the Friday before Christmas for some engagement portraits right before sunset. Jennah had a vision for her and Jonathan wrapped in Christmas lights near a barn wall, so we chose the Carleen Bright Arboretum as our first stop. It felt full circle, because the Arboretum was TJ & Holley’s wedding venue and where we first met Jennah in 2016. It was neat to meet back at that location, this time for Jennah’s portraits with her groom-to-be.

We got some great portraits of them wrapped in Christmas lights (which by the way, get really warm when wrapped on your body!) and then headed to Woodway Park. Waco doesn’t exactly provide a winter wonderland and there was no snow for their session, but we really liked how the trees resembled Christmas trees. They were the perfect backdrop for the session, and made for a great place to hang Jenna’s ring on their cute ornament.

Photographing Jonathan & Jennah for their engagement portraits was a fun way to get ready for Christmas, and we can’t wait to feel all Christmas-y with them again at their wedding in July!

Couple wrapped up in white Christmas lights for engagement portraits - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Couple holds one another in field of tall grass - Waco, Texas
Sunset engagement portraits in a field of dry grass - Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple sits beside road with sunset behind them during engagement portraits - Jason & Melaina Photography
A close up of a bride-to-be’s diamond solitaire engagement ring during her engagement portraits - Jason & Melaina Photography
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography, Waco Texas
Groom carries his fiance on his back while she laughs during their engagement portraits in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Jonathan & Jennah,

We are so excited to have you two as Sweethearts! We hope your first Christmas together as fiances was wonderful, and that you are looking forward to all the Christmases together to come!

Love, J&M

Couple holds Christmas ornament with their wedding date for their save the date - Jason & Melaina Photography