Waco Wedding

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

Nicolas & Kayla | Bohemian Garden Wedding | Gathering Oaks Retreat, Crawford, Texas

A bride and groom embrace with the Texas sunset behind them during their spring wedding day at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Crawford, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com

Easter weekend was the most gorgeous spring weekend you could ask for, and the perfect weekend for Nicolas & Kayla’s wedding celebration!

When we arrived at Gathering Oaks Retreat we found Kayla in the La Casita cottage, getting her makeup done by Callee Kelly. This cottage is the cutest bridal suite! And the big windows and large mirror made for some beautiful portraits of Kayla getting into her dress.

Kayla picked out her dress from Georgio’s Bridal - a gorgeous, fitted gown, complete with intricate lace detail on the bodice and train. She looked stunning! Her daughter, Aubree, agreed, and it was adorable watching Aubree admire Kayla in her dress all day.

Before the ceremony began, we had to take pictures of the beautiful work Kathy Thorman with Before I Do had done. Her hanging baskets filled with soft purple and white roses, and a touch of macrame fringe, hanging from the arbor completed the bohemian garden vibe for the ceremony. All the tables were decorated with spring blossoms and lanterns, and the bridal bouquet Kathy made Kayla was so beautiful it brought Kayla to tears.

While it’s always fun to admire the hard work our wedding vendor friends put into such beautiful weddings, our favorite part of our Sweethearts’ wedding days is still noticing all the special little moments that happen. And being there to photograph them.

We’ll never forget how in awe Aubree was of how beautiful her mom and dad looked on their wedding day. Nor how much love Nicolas & Kayla had for Aubree so obviously on their faces whenever they looked at her.

Nicolas & Kayla wrote their own vows to one another, and Nicolas even wrote vows to Aubree and shared them with her during the ceremony. It’s little moments like those that are such an honor to photograph

We still laugh about how Aubree learned to count like Jason- “1, 2, 3, cheese!” -during all the family portraits, and how she even stood beside him directing her grandparents and aunts and uncles in photos. Kayla emailed us later to say Aubree had been playing photo shoot with her dolls since the wedding day, so we’re looking forward to seeing her work in the future!

And when we snuck these Sweethearts out of their reception for some sunset pictures, we were able to photograph them with a Texas sunset in the sky and a field of cows behind them. It’s the perfect image for them to hang on their wall in their new home in Alabama and remember the magical place in Texas where all their family and friends came together to watch them begin their life together.

Purple and white roses hang in wooden holders from the arbor for a spring garden wedding at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Crawford, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride taps her father’s shoulder and he turns around to see her in her wedding dress for the first time | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride hugs her father before her wedding ceremony at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride poses with her flower girl daughter before her bohemian garden wedding ceremony in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A groom cries as his flower girl daughter walks down the aisle before her mom | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
Groom cries as his bride walks down the aisle at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom have their daughter be their flower girl for their wedding day | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride holds her groom’s head and looks into his eyes while they dance during their wedding reception at Gathering Oaks Retreat | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom swing on a tree swing in a field on their wedding day at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Crawford, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A groom gives his young daughter a bite after he cuts the cake with his bride | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A groom dances with his young daughter during his wedding reception at Gathering Oaks Retreat | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom leave their reception under a tunnel of sparklers at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com
A bride and groom kiss under a tunnel of sparklers at the end of their wedding day | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Nicolas & Kayla,

The only thing more beautiful than your wedding day is the love you share between you…and with Aubree. We pray for many more years of whiskey in mugs, loving glances at one another, and a close bond between you. We hope Alabama feels like home because you are all there together.

Love, J&M

A bride and groom look out over a field as the sunsets in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography | www.jasonandmelaina.com

Wedding Professionals who made this beautiful wedding possible-

Venue | Gathering Oaks Retreat

Planner & Florals & Decor | Kathy Thorman of Before I Do Waco

Caterer & Cake | Bestyett Catering

DJ | DJ Kris with a K

Hair & Make up | Callee Kelly

Bridal Gown | Georgio’s Bridal

Michael & Gabrielle | Whimsical Warehouse Wedding | Crawford, Texas

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Every time we’ve been with Michael & Gabrielle, it’s been so fun! Remember their engagement session with their 4 cute puppies? Whenever they’ve told us about their wedding day, it was filled with so many fun details we couldn’t wait to see it all come together. And on April 6th, driving through an intense thunderstorm, we were so excited to finally be heading to their fun wedding day!

Michael & Gabrielle chose the historic Amsler Building as their wedding venue. This hidden gem in Crawford, Texas is such a cool spot to have a wedding. With its soaring ceilings, upper balcony, and expansive wood floor, the Amsler gave this whimsical wedding a cool warehouse vibe.

Speaking of whimsical, Gabrielle outdid herself with her wedding details! Her love of gnomes was on full display, with so many gnome figurines placed throughout the reception. She had her unicorn pinata, and even a fun unicorn detail added to her cake by the talented Kimberly from All Sugar’d Up.

Instead of a guest book, Michael & Gabrielle had guests sign vintage Christmas ornaments so they could remember their guests every year when they put up their Christmas tree. And instead of flower girls, there were bubble girls, who filled the aisle with bubble when Gabrielle came down the aisle.

To top it all off, Gabrielle handmade every single flower, from her bouquet to Michael’s boutonniere to the table decor, from books, buttons and pieces of fabric left over from the handmade quilt her mother-in-law made them. All of these whimsical details came together in such a fun way, highlighting the fun and joy Michael & Gabrielle bring with them wherever they go.

But the decor wasn’t the only joyful elements of this wedding. There were so many little moments that stand out too. Seeing Gabrielle’s close friends be her right-hand women all day, helping in every way possible, really showed how much love and support this couple has. When it was time for their first touch, Michael surprised Gabrielle with a hand-written letter, and it was so sweet to stand back and watch her read his loving words to her on their wedding day.

When Gabrielle came down the aisle escorted by her father, all the bubble girls began firing their motorized bubble guns. They filled the aisle, and in that moment Michael & Gabrielle began to smile and laugh at one another.

Another joyful moment was the rain that had been looming overhead most of the day cleared up beautifully just in time to head down the road to Tonkawa Falls for some portraits with the bride and groom. We love sneaking our couples away during the reception to have a moment of quiet, just the two of them, on their wedding day. So we were all so happy the weather allowed us to have that moment surrounded by the beauty of Tonkawa Falls.

And at the end of the night, one of the sweetest, most joyful moments we’ve witnessed at a wedding happened. Michael & Gabrielle had their last dance before leaving the reception. As they danced, their family and friends gathered in a circle around them, blowing bubbles. Seeing this couple in love, surrounded by the love of their support system, and bubbles, was the perfect ending to such a fun and whimsical wedding day.

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Dear Michael & Gabrielle,

Your wedding day was full of so much fun and joy! Seeing the love you share between you, and all your family and friends, was beautiful. May you have many years ahead of you full of red crayons, unicorns, gnomes, bubbles, love, fun and joy!

Love, J&M

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