spring in Texas

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

Michael & Pamela | Spring Wedding at La Rio Mansion | Belton Wedding Photography

Bride and Groom kiss after wedding at La Rio Mansion

This past Saturday we were able to be with an adorable pair of J&M Sweethearts and photograph their wedding day. (You may remember Michael & Pamela from their engagement session in Belton, Texas.) Michael & Pamela are one of the sweetest, most playful couples we’ve met, and watching their love for one another on their wedding day was such a gift. Though Houston is home for these two, they chose the gorgeous La Rio Mansion in Belton, Texas as the location for their wedding. It is such a beautiful wedding venue in the Waco/Temple/Belton area, and we could not wait to photograph their romantic wedding day there.    

Brides bouquet by HEB Florist for spring wedding at La Rio Mansion

Michael & Pamela planned for their wedding ceremony to be under the large trees at La Rio Mansion. As we joined them for the rehearsal the evening before, we all commented on how wonderful the weather was and hoped the rain would hold off the next day. Well, the weather didn’t cooperate with us, and as Pamela started getting her makeup done on her wedding day the rain began. And the rain stayed with us all day.

Bride gets hair and makeup done by Salons by Karen before her wedding at La Rio Mansion

So as Pamela finished getting ready, the La Rio staff and Pamela and Michael’s family and friends began setting up chairs for the ceremony under the large covered driveway in front of the beautiful, Spanish-style home of La Rio Mansion. Reception tables were moved under tents and covered porches. The bridal party began planning how they would change their processional and where they would stand to accommodate the new location. And before you knew it, everyone and everything was ready to give Michael and Pamela the beautiful wedding of their dreams.

Purple and white wedding invitation suite 
Painted white vase centerpieces, large floral arrangement on top of wine barrel
Bride's bouquet, wedding day shoes, and Grandmother's handkerchief
Bride and bridesmaids in monogrammed robes prior to wedding ceremony
Wedding gown, Alfred Angelo
Mother buttoning up back of her daughter's wedding dress in bridal suite at La Rio Mansion
Mother of the bride and sister help bride finish getting in her wedding gown
Bride stands under covered porch during rain storm at La Rio Mansion
Groom helps his son into his tux, groom's sister pins on his boutonniere
Groom in groom's suite at La Rio Mansion
Bride and bridesmaids together on steps of porch at La Rio Mansion
Bride with parents before wedding ceremony at La Rio Mansion
Groom with groomsmen at La Rio Mansion
Groom and his son, the ring bearer, pose and dab before ceremony
Groom's mother kisses his cheek

Their wedding day may have looked different than they had planned and hoped for, but Michael & Pamela’s wedding was a day full of love. Family and friends drove through the storm, and stood under umbrellas in the rain, to bear witness to the marriage of these two sweethearts. Pamela walked down a different aisle than she had expected, yet Michael was still overcome with emotion seeing his beautiful bride for the first time. And when they danced for the first time as husband and wife, having drops of water fall on their heads from the tent above, they laughed and rejoiced together as their loved ones looked on adoringly.  

Aisle runner which says, "Dad, of all the walks we've taken, I will remember this one forever"
Groom cries seeing his bride come down the aisle at La Rio Mansion
Groom emotional seeing his bride walk down the aisle at La Rio Mansion
Groom's side smiles at bride coming down the aisle with her father
Rainy wedding ceremony under covered driveway at La Rio Mansion in Belton, Texas
Wedding ceremony during rainstorm at La Rio Mansion in Belton, Texas
Bride and groom exchange vows at rainy wedding ceremony at La Rio Mansion
You may now kiss the bride!
Presentation of the bride and groom at wedding ceremony at La Rio Mansion
Bride and groom dance up the aisle as husband and wife
Bridal party cheers on as bride and groom kiss after wedding ceremony at La Rio Mansion
Bride and bridesmaids show off matching temporary tattoos
Bride and groom kiss during portraits after their wedding ceremony
Bride and groom look lovingly into each other's eyes during rainstorm on their wedding day
Bride's cake and groom's cake by Simply Sweet Bakery in Little River Academy, Texas
Bride and groom's first dance during rainy evening reception at La Rio Mansion
Bride and groom laugh and kiss during their first dance
Emotional Father and daughter dance at wedding reception at La Rio Mansion
Groom dances with his mother and then his whole family during reception at La Rio Mansion
Dancing at rainy wedding reception at La Rio Mansion
Guests dance under tents at rainy reception at La Rio Mansion
Children dance in the rain at wedding reception at La Rio Mansion
Bride and groom run through sparkler exit wearing matching "Hubby" and "Wifey" shirts at the end of their La Rio Mansion wedding

Michael & Pamela's wedding day was a perfect example of the true meaning behind all the planning and celebration, the beginning of a lasting marriage. The day looked a little different than what was planned. But the joining of these two sweethearts into a marriage, dear family and friends coming to witness and cheer on this couple as they begin their forever, that is what the wedding day is all about.

Congratulations again Michael & Pamela! We were so honored to share in your wedding day. And we hope these images will help you relive your beautiful wedding day for years to come!


Venue: La Rio Mansion

Rentals: Center Rentals

Hair and Make-up: Salons by Karen

Wedding Officiant: Josh Sandford

Florist: Tammy Mosedale with HEB Florals

DJ: Kyle Heitmiller

Baker: Simply Sweet Bakery

Caterer: Las Casas

Bridal Gown, Bridesmaids, Flower girl dresses: Alfred Angelo

Tuxes: Men's Warehouse

The Murrell Family | Woodway, TX

There's something about a family with lots of boys that I (Melaina) find so intriguing. Growing up, my one younger brother was far outnumbered by his three sisters. He often complained about being in an estrogen-filled house. Jason and I also only have two daughters, so the boy in our house is out-numbered 3 to 1. Being around a family of lots of boys is foreign territory for me.

But it's oh so fun! Their energy is infectious. Their spirits are playful. And they love to move. 

The Murrell family did not disappoint. Their three sons were balls of energy, and you could tell their home was a lively one. In all the fun, though, one of the touching things was to see how they loved on their baby sister. She is in the early stages of walking, and they were eager to help her. They would give her hugs when I was posing them. And even though she may grow up out-numbered, you could just tell she was going to have three older brothers who loved and protected her throughout her life. 

Thank you, Murrell family, for letting me capture this time in your family's life. It was a joy to be with you in the bluebonnets.