Stephen & Ariel | Star Wars Wedding | The Palladium in Waco, Texas

A bride dressed as a Jedi Knight and her groom, dressed as a Sith Lord, embrace holding lightsabers down a darkened alley in downtown Waco, Texas  - Jason & Melaina Photography -

Man, oh man, we’ve been so excited to share Stephen & Ariel’s wedding day on the blog! Remember these Sweethearts and their love of Star Wars? It was so fun to photograph their engagement session with their custom made lightsabers. But their wedding was on another level!

There were so many custom made pieces Stephen & Ariel made as part of their wedding decor. They built the blast doors that served as the ceremony background (and made for a really cool backdrop for formal portraits). Every table had a unique centerpiece of a scene from Star Wars displayed as a diorama in glass jars. The bar area was set up to look like a space cantina, and the photo booth area was a custom built replica of the trash compactor from A New Hope.

The Star Wars details weren’t limited to decor, though. These Sweethearts went all out in their outfits for their wedding day too. Stephen & Ariel wore custom made outfits to dress as Revan & Bastila, characters from the Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic series. Everyone in the bridal party, including Stephen & Ariel’s family, dressed up as jedis and siths and characters from the Star Wars movies. The bridal party, bride and groom, carried lightsabers. And the Sweethearts were even married by Darth Vader!

This awesome wedding may have looked a little different than a traditional wedding you’d see on wedding blogs, but it still had so many little wedding day moments that are what make wedding days so special.

There was all the bridal party getting ready at Ariel’s parents’ home, getting their jedi outfits just right. There was Stephen & Ariel seeing one another for the first time on their wedding day, all smiles in their excitement to get married. There was Ariel’s sister, her parents, Stephen’s family, and all their friends, there in costumes to support them and celebrate their love.

There was sneaking these Sweethearts out of the reception for some sunset portraits. And though we may get a little stares from on-lookers when we take a bride and groom down Austin Avenue, we’ve never really had people walk up and ask us what Stephen & Ariel were doing. And there was the excitement of their exit, with everyone cheering on the newlyweds as they ran under a colorful tunnel of lightsabers.

A bride and groom, dressed as Star Wars characters, see each other for the first time before their ceremony - Star Wars Wedding in downtown Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography
A Jedi Knight bride and her Sith Lord groom pose in front of the blast doors at their Star Wars wedding in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
The bridal party poses in front of blast doors dressed as Sith Lords and Jedi Knights - Star Wars  Wedding  at The Palladium - Jason & Melaina Photography -
The groom watches his Jedi Knight bride come down the aisle, escorted by her Han Solo dressed father, at their Star Wars wedding in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
Star Wars wedding ceremony on May the 4th at The Palladium in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography
Star Wars wedding details for the reception at The Palladium in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography -
A bride, dressed as a Jedi Knight, and her groom, dressed as a Sith Lord, pose together in downtown Waco on their May 4th wedding day - Jason & Melaina Photography -
A couple poses in a downtown Waco alley with their lightsabers on their May 4th Star Wars wedding - Jason & Melaina Photography -
A bride and groom, dressed as Star Wars characters, kiss under a lightsaber tunnel as they leave their May 4th wedding reception - The Palladium at Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography

Dear Stephen & Ariel,

Your wedding was definitely a day to never forget! All the years of planning and preparation paid off for such a magical day. We hope the love and joy you felt for one another and from all your loved ones stay with you for many more years to come.

Love, J&M


The awesome wedding vendors who helped bring Stephen & Ariel’s Star Wars’ vision to life-

Venue | The Palladium

Caterer | Blanek’s

Cake | Kakes by Kat

DJ | PhilDoesIt

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 |

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 |
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 |
A bride hugs her father before her wedding ceremony at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography |
A bride poses with her flower girl daughter before her bohemian garden wedding ceremony in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography |
A groom cries as his flower girl daughter walks down the aisle before her mom | Jason & Melaina Photography |
Groom cries as his bride walks down the aisle at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography |
A bride and groom have their daughter be their flower girl for their wedding day | Jason & Melaina Photography |
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 |
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 |
A groom gives his young daughter a bite after he cuts the cake with his bride | Jason & Melaina Photography |
A groom dances with his young daughter during his wedding reception at Gathering Oaks Retreat | Jason & Melaina Photography |
A bride and groom leave their reception under a tunnel of sparklers at Gathering Oaks Retreat in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography |
A bride and groom kiss under a tunnel of sparklers at the end of their wedding day | Jason & Melaina Photography |

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 |

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


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.


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


Did you love Michael & Gabrielle’s wedding day blog? You may like these other posts too!