Wacotown

Cory & Jackie | Couple's Portraits Session | Waco Wedding Photographer

Couple poses in front of Starry Night wall mural in downtown Waco, Texas

Cory & Jackie are childhood friends of Jason's family, growing up in the same church and attending many youth group events together. Back in 2009, these high school sweethearts became engaged and asked us to take their engagement portraits. We were just starting out as wedding photographers and loved the opportunity to photograph some engagement portraits for friends. Cory & Jackie were one of the first engaged couples we photographed together...and by together I mean Jason took the pictures while I stood there holding our camera bag. I was still learning the ropes of photography way back then!  

We all agreed it would have been awesome if we had been able to photograph their wedding as well. But unfortunately, my family was taking a years-in-the-making vacation to Disney World that summer and we weren't available for Cory & Jackie's wedding. After their wedding, we'd occasionally connect with Cory & Jackie mostly through social media, especially when I began watching the entire Gilmore Girls series last year and Jackie, a Lorelei and Rory fan, would comment her theories and ideas on my MANY Facebook posts about the show.

Then early this spring we received an email from Jackie, asking if we'd be available to do a photo session for them. You see, they were expecting their first baby! And while Jackie wasn't going to be far enough along in her pregnancy for a traditional maternity shoot when they were visiting family in Texas before heading back home to Nashville, TN, she didn't want to miss the opportunity to have portraits taken with us. She wanted to get some portraits of this time in their story, of the final months of it being just the two of them before their sweet little girl arrived in the fall.

So one day we met them in downtown Waco. Jackie had seen the Starry Night mural mentioned online in her searches about things to see in Waco, and thought it would be a perfect backdrop for their portraits. And I couldn't agree more! Starry Night is actually one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings, and I told Jason we needed to take our own portraits in front of this wall too! After spending some time at the mural, we headed to the Carleen Bright Arboretum to use it's beautiful gazebo. See, Jackie had the PERFECT idea for a pregnancy announcement portrait that would make any Gilmore Girls fan squeal. So we set Cory & Jackie up like Rory and Lorelei in the final scene of the Gilmore Girls movie. Jackie and I had to coach Cory through how Lorelei looked when Rory revealed her pregnancy, but in the end he nailed it. And then we finished out their couple's session freezing time on some romantic moments between this husband and wife so years into raising their family they can look back on these portraits and smile.

Husband and wife laugh in front of Starry Night mural in downtown Waco
Husband and wife laugh in front of Starry Night mural in downtown Waco
Wife puts head on husband's shoulder in front of Starry Night mural in downtown Waco
Husband and wife pose in front of Starry Night mural in downtown Waco
Couple recreates final scene of Gilmore Girls movies for pregnancy announcement

"Sweetie?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm pregnant."

Couple embraces in front of rustic barn at Carleen Bright Arboretum in Woodway, Texas
Husband and wife stroll hand-in-hand through the garden at Carleen Bright Arboretum in Woodway, Texas
Couple embraces on bridge, walks hand-in-hand, at Carleen Bright Arboretum
Couple dances in the gazebo at Carleen Bright Arboretum in Woodway, Texas
Couple walks away from camera, hand-in-hand, under string lights at Carleen Bright Arboretum in Woodway, Texas

Cory & Jackie,
Congratulations once again on your little girl! We can't wait to meet her when she comes. We hope y'all enjoy these final months of just the two of you, and we're so excited for this new journey in your story!
Love, J&M

Jason & Anne | Antioch and the Palladium Wedding | Waco Wedding Photographer

We kicked off our 2017 wedding season this month and can think of no better couple to begin this year with than Jason & Anne. (You may remember them from their engagement session along the Brazos River.) Being with Jason and Anne on their wedding day reminded us anew of why we truly hold it an honor to be wedding photographers in Waco, Texas.

Bride and groom embrace under the arch outside Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas

When I (Melaina) joined Anne with her bridesmaids and parents earlier in the day, I saw right away how close knit they were. Anne has a close relationship with her family, who live in Houston and New York. But she and Jason have also created a deep sense of community here in Waco, their “Waco family” if you will. Getting to be a fly on the wall and watch time and again our J&M Sweethearts be surrounded by such caring and supportive families and “families” is a true gift, and Jason & Anne’s wedding was no exception. So we understand the amazing responsibility we have to document all the special moments between these loved ones, providing Jason & Anne with the invaluable gift of images to showcase the love and support they truly have from their families.

Brides earrings, wedding gown, and shoes at Antioch Community Church wedding in Waco, Texas
Flower girl being dressed by mom, Waco, Texas wedding

Jason & Anne chose their church, Antioch Community Church, as the location for their wedding ceremony. This church was the catalyst for their entire relationship after all, because it was through their small group Bible study at Antioch where they first met and began their relationship. Therefore, Antioch was the perfect choice as the location for the beginning of their marriage.  

And so it was at Antioch prior to the ceremony where we were able to capture the tender moments of Anne’s mother helping her put on her wedding day jewelry, including Jason’s grandmother’s diamond earrings specifically given for her to wear in the ceremony in her honor. We were able to document the support of her maid-of-honor and roommate, Faith, who faithfully learned how to lace up Anne’s dress and bustle her train, ensuring Anne looked beautiful and had one less thing to worry about. We were able to be a fly on the wall and capture forever the sweet and holy moment of Anne’s mother, sisters, bridesmaids and dear friends praying over her before the ceremony. And we were able to be there for the tender moment of Anne’s father sharing words of love and pride with his daughter before he walked her down the aisle.

Maid of honor lacing back of bride's wedding dress, bride's mother putting on her bracelet
Bride putting on groom's grandmother's earrings
Bridal party pose outside Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Bride's bouquet, and bride poses with flower girl
Bride with red and white rose bouquet poses outside Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Groom and groomsmen getting prepared for portraits, Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Groom and groomsmen outside Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Bride and groom's "first touch" before their wedding ceremony at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Close up on bride and groom holding hands during "first touch" before wedding ceremony
Bridal party prays over bride prior to ceremony, Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Candid portraits of bride and flower girls prior to ceremony
Bride's father cries while talking with bride before walking her down the aisle
Bride and her father talk while waiting to walk down the aisle, flower girls come down the aisle at Antioch Community Church wedding ceremony
Young flower girls dressed in white dresses with navy bows walk down the aisle
Groom smiles at bride as she walks down the aisle, Antioch Community Church, Waco, Texas
Bridal party and congregation worship during wedding ceremony at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Bride and groom sing worship songs during their wedding ceremony at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Wedding ceremony at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Bride and groom exchange vows, Antioch Community Church, Waco, Texas
Bride and groom take communion at their wedding ceremony at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Wedding Ceremony with bridesmaids in navy dresses and groomsmen in black tuxes
Bride and groom kiss during wedding ceremony at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas
Bride and groom look lovingly at one another as announced husband and wife

The songs of worship sung, the vows proclaimed, and the communion shared during the ceremony were special moments demanding to be preserved both in memory and images. And as the celebration of this marriage moved to the reception at The Palladium in downtown Waco, it was as if the clock sped up and an avalanche of memories and moments began to fall.

Seeing all their family and friends cheering them on as they had their first dance or clamoring for pictures with the happy couple...having Anne walk over to the table of her fellow teachers from Robinson elementary school and see them all cheer for her and exclaim how beautiful she was...hearing the DJ announce Jason & Anne would like a picture with their life group and see so many friends swarm over to them (even if a few had to race over from getting their pieces of wedding cake)...

Bride and groom pose in front of The Palladium in Waco, Texas
white and navy table decor for a wedding reception inside The Palladium in Waco, Texas
White and navy tables with lantern centerpieces inside The Palladium in Waco, Texas
Rings and invitation
Bridal cake with multiple groom's cakes, The Palladium, Waco, Texas
Bride and groom kiss outside The Palladium in Waco, Texas
Bride and House Party outside The Palladium in Waco, Texas
Bride with fellow elementary school teachers
Bride and groom pose with friends
Bride and groom's first dance, The Palladium, Waco, Texas
Bride and groom smile during their first dance, The Palladium, Waco, Texas
Guests slow dance during the reception at The Palladium, Waco, Texas
Parents dance with flower girls at the reception, The Palladium, Waco, Texas
Guests dance at reception, The Palladium, Waco, Texas
Bride tosses her bouquet, The Palladium, Waco, Texas
Bride and groom kiss before leaving their reception, The Palladium, Waco, Texas
Bride and groom exit under rose petals, The Palladium, Waco, Texas
Bride and groom kiss inside their getaway car outside the reception

All of these little moments, all of these images, fully told the story of love on Jason & Anne’s wedding day. Not only the love these two have continually displayed openly for one another, but the love of those they hold dear who are rooting and praying for the journey of marriage these two sweethearts just embarked upon.

Congratulations once again Jason & Anne! We hope you will be able to look through the images from your wedding day to relive the amazing story of love for many years to come!

J&M

Venues: Antioch Community Church & The Palladium

Rentals: RSVP Rentals

Florist: Wolfe Florist

Baker: Sweetness Desserts

Catering: Baked Bliss Bakery

Planner: Janice Whiting

DJ: Luke Whiting

Photography: Jason & Melaina Photography

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To learn more about our J&M Sweethearts and how we tell their love stories, 

Mark & Brittney | Downtown Waco Engagement Session | Waco Wedding Photographer

woman and man smile at one another | alley in downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

We first meet Brittney when we were thrilled to announce her as the winner of a portrait session through our other business, Begin Together. From the moment we began chatting back and forth through messages, it was apparent what a sweet, fun personality she has. It was as if we were talking with a friend already. We determined the best time to photograph their engagement portraits and waited for the calendar to roll on as their wedding day approached.

fiances laugh together | alley in downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

As summer ended and we moved closer to Mark and Brittney's fall wedding date, we began discussing with Brittney what sort of vibe she had in mind for her engagement portraits. She really liked the urban and industrial look of the alleys in downtown Waco, and was a fan of the famous green door on Austin Avenue next to the Hippodrome. Being fans ourselves of downtown Wacotown (just check out our own portraits on our website!), we were thrilled to photograph them there, and meet Mark & Brittney downtown on Labor Day weekend.

engagement portraits | alley in downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

And it was such a fun photography session! We learned how they began dating when they worked together at HEB. We talked of their love for baseball and the Texas Rangers, and how Mark even proposed to Brittney at a Rangers game. We talked of wedding planning, how they are getting married on their anniversary, and what all the bridal party was going to wear. And we made our way around downtown Waco, finding fun alleyways to set up poses in and talking to people who passed by on Austin Avenue, before finishing our session on the Washington Street bridge as the sun set behind us.

couple walks arm in arm | alley in downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
couple walks hand in hand | alley in downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
couple kisses | alley in downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
couple poses at green door | Austin Ave in downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
couple kisses and shows off engagement ring | Austin Ave in downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
couple poses on Washington Street bridge | downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
couple poses on Washington Street bridge | downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
couple looks into each other's eyes | downtown Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Congratulations once again on your engagement and upcoming wedding, Mark & Brittney. It was such a joy working with you and we wish you such happiness in your marriage.