I met David and Elissa nearly a year ago at Trade Craft coffee. They had found me online and I liked them as soon as I met them. They both loved music. David had played in a band that toured around the country and Elissa once upon a time worked in Vegas! After talking to them for a few minutes about their wedding, I knew it was going to be saweeet.
I arrived at the hotel to find the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready for the big day. Fortunately, all of Elissa’s friends have some sort of make up/hair styling skills! Elissa was getting her long locks braided and curled as I arrived. Bridesmaids were in varying stages of applying makeup and getting their hair done. Elissa’s make up was a rockstar shade of pinky-orange on her lids and a dark red lip.
I went to grab her dress and shoes to go photograph out of the room and I was thrilled when I discovered it was pink! This gorgeous dress was a beautiful shade of blush with black appliqué details around the bodice. The back laced up with black ribbons.
The gorgeous bouquets arrived and I took them out to the pool for their photoshoot. They were made of gorgeous pink roses and white hydrangeas.
Elissa truly looked one of a kind when she stepped into her dress. Her mother and sister helped lace her up.
I found David and his boys upstairs having some beers and discussing the big day. They were also reading the instructions on the pocket square manual. 🙂 I made them all pile on the bed and take a picture. I think they loved it.
Everyone headed to the Desert Botanical Gardens for the ceremony. It was a warm sunny day in El Paso. The ceremony area was a covered patio and surrounded by native plants to El Paso. Friends and family filed in and waited for the bride to enter. David waited nervously at the altar for Elissa. This sweet guy teared up as the stunning bride was escorted down the aisle by her father. A huge smile spread over Elissa’s face as she saw David for the first time.
The couple’s close friend, DJ officiated the ceremony. He surprised Elissa with a special edition of her favorite book, Alice in Wonderland. The first time she saw the gift was when he presented it at the altar to read his notes for the ceremony. The ceremony was short and sweet. They exchanged vows and took part in a hand wrapping tradition to bind the couple together. They shared their first kiss as newly weds and threw up the rock symbol as they enthusiastically made their way back down the aisle hand in hand.
After the ceremony we headed back to the hotel to load up on the Dryft Party Bus. The white bus pulled up to the hotel and this little old lady with white hair steps out. She’s wearing and leopard print shirt, white pants and lavender lipstick. She is grandmother goals.
It was an old school bus painted white and decked out with stripper poles, club lights and a Michael Jackson video on repeat! The wedding party blasted music, danced and drank beer. We headed to our first stop at Memorial Park to take some pictures of the wedding party.
Our next stop was Tom Lea Park overlooking downtown El Paso where I took photos of the new husband and wife. I couldn’t take just typical pictures of these two though. A couple months before the ceremony I suggested to Elissa that we use some smoke bombs to make their pictures Epic and that’s what we did. We made some epic smoke bomb wedding photos.
It was time to head to Selarom Ballroom to get the party started. The sun was setting and casting a gorgeous light through the windows of the ballroom. The tables were decorated with crystal skulls…yasss! Pink and black guitar picks that said “David picks Elissa” were sprinkled on the tables. The three tiered cake was a conglomeration of ribbons and white chocolate skulls that smelled ahhhmazing.
David and Elissa shared their sweet first dance. They seemed calm in each others arms and a sense of “we finally did it” hung between them. As sweet as their first dance was, the real surprise came in the form of the daddy/daughter dance. The wedding day was the first day that I had met Elissa’s dad. Just knowing him briefly, he seemed to be a quiet man, who seemed like a real guy’s guy. I found him hanging out with David and the groomsmen earlier in the day. He got around with the help of a walker and oxygen. Having said that, you would think the first dance would have been a slow side to side sway between father and daughter. Nope. Wrong.
It did start out with a sweet back and forth sway to Butterfly Kisses which always makes me cry, but suddenly made a 180 about thirty seconds in to Elvis’ Blue Suede Shoes and they started twisting and boogying on the dance floor. They really rocked out when Turn Down for What Remix kicked in. The grins and surprise from everyone in the room said it all. He had the time of his life dancing with his daughter. There weren’t many dry eyes in the room after that dance.
The wedding party looked like they had a blast dancing. I’ve been saying everyone in El Paso has the “good dancer” genes. Guests took turns in the photo booth wearing funny hats and masks. The bride and groom even had a chocolate fountain that looked absolutely divine. People were lined up to the back wall to get a little chocolate fountain action.
The bride and groom had the bouquet and garter toss, but not before David tried the garter on his head. #weddingtrophy
The dollar bills started flying when all the guests jumped in line to pay for a dance with the bride and groom. I think they racked up enough cash to enjoy several good honeymoon dinners. 🙂
It was such a pleasure to be able to photograph this wedding. David and Elissa are great people and are so perfect for each other. There is just a sense of calm when they’re in each other’s presence. I loved photographing this unique wedding and I want to wish these newly weds a very happy life long marriage!
Cheers (to the Chews!)
Enjoy this snippet of photographs from the Chew’s wedding day.
Watch me whip…watch me nay nay.