Ryan + Caroline | The Woodlands at Sweetwater Brewing Co. | Buckhead, GA

Before the special wedding celebration at the sweetwater brewing company in Buckhead, caroline and Ryan met at CSU.

I remember the night at the Tap when she squealed because Ryan had walked into the bar with his friends. She had had a crush on him for awhile. We were hanging out after a shift together at Houlihans. This must have been before her nursing program, because she was actually out with us to have fun. 😉

Caroline and I became good friends while at Houlihans during our restaurant days. We’ve had some fun times together. We’ve listened to music together in the hot Tennessee sun at Bonnaroo. We’ve ruined through all her dresses too find the most flapper-esque styles, so we could have a 20s themed photoshoot with our other friend Gaby. We traveled to Cozumel where we went scuba diving and kissed tiny baby monkeys (which was probably a bad idea, but we survived).

Since then she’s become this incredibly determined and driven woman. She knows what she wants and shes not going to let anyone get in her way of her plans…except Ryan. 😉

Ryan and Caroline seem to have one of those relationships that makes it easy to love one another.

They lift each other up.

They cheer on the others accomplishments. They inspire one another.

I’m so happy that my friend has found that in Ryan. They are both beautiful and genuine people and their wedding day was nothing short of authentic.

The ceremony was held at the Sweetwater Brewing Company in Buckhead.

But let’s rewind a bit to the time I arrived at the wedding an hour early. I was feeling good ready for the day. Found a great parking spot. Paid for said parking spot. Only to walk into the lobby to discover there was more than one ac hotel in the atlanta area and I was NOT at the correct one…CUE THE PANIC!

Luckily, my second shooter, Jason and I, made it to the correct hotel with enough time to get all the shots we needed! Phew! But let me tell you that no wedding ever goes without some sort of panic, but it always works out in the end.

Fast forward to the ceremony. Ryan and his groomsmen were hanging out in the upstairs area of the brewery. Beers in hand. This was an amazing place for a wedding. There was a stack of sweetwater cans on the counter that were stacked like a three tiered wedding cake.

The girls were in a empty room with amazing light on the other side of the bar. They were busy helping Caroline get into her stunning dress. Her mother held her veil and helped fasten her dress. I mean, it would hard to find a more beautiful bride than Caroline.

She shared a first look with her dad who is a pretty quiet man, but full of love and pride for his daughter. She read him a sweet letter before he walked her down the aisle.

While I was going back through these photos after the wedding, I got so emotional thinking about all the authentic moments of joy that were shared throughout the day between friends, family and especially between Ryan and Caroline. I’m getting emotional now thinking back on them! The photos were beautiful but there’s an authentic emotion that was captured in them that brings me so much joy.

The ceremony was unique. They music they played was amazing. The grooms brother, Gerald, officiated the ceremony. He did a great job. He made people laughed and shared Gods word. The special part of the ceremony was where they washed each others feet. The River played during this portion and couldn’t have been a more perfect song choice. It’s a beautiful and powerful song.

The newlyweds shared their “I dos”.

I took the couple out to take their portraits before they could go in and party. They were enjoying the moment of calm in all the craziness that was about the the reception.

The wedding party lined up to enter the reception. The crowd cheered and clapped as each member was announced into the party. Last, but def not least, The Branches entered the reception. They jumped right into their first dance to a Work S

 

ong by one of my favorite bands, Hozier.

Instead of a cake, they had their own beer brewed by sweetwater. They tapped the keg instead of cutting the cake which was so awesome! Future reference: Stand back when kegs are being tapped!

The rest of the night was where everyone could party and let loose! This was a dancing crowd and they were awesome. Looked like everyone was really having a blast! Even the photographers. 😂

The night was coming to a close and like many couples these two had to run through a corridor of friends and family holding sparklers to bring the night to a close. This is always such a fun moment to capture. Caroline and Ryan’s exit was no different they left their wedding on cloud 9 and were whisked anyway to their honeymoon in Columbia.

I was so thrilled and honored to photograph this wedding. Happy to call these two friends. I know you guys will be just fine. Cheers to a lifetime of happiness!

Check out the photos from The Branch’s day!

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The Vendors:

Venue: The Woodlands at Sweetwater

Hotel: AC Hotels

Dress: Long story… 

Bridesmaid dresses: Shop Revelry 

Tuxes: Black Tux

Coordinators: Stella Harper Events [Erin Stapleton]

DJ: DJ Byrd Dillonb33@yahoo.com

Florist: Stems Atlanta

Hair and makeup: Candace Davis icon_stylist2012@yahoo.com

Videographer: Rusticus Films

 

Ashley + John Wade | River Mill Event Center | Columbus, GA

Ashley and John Wade Ginn shared a fabulous wedding celebration at the one and only River Mill Event Center in Columbus, GA.

This whole celebration was laid back and The Ginn’s just wanted to have a good time and I think they nailed it! Ashley had two dresses for her celebration. The one she wore to her actual wedding in Las Vegas and her awesome comfy hi-lo party dress that she danced the night away in. This bride was stunning in both dresses.

Ashley’s beautiful sister and mother helped the bride get laced up into her formal dress and placed her veil perfectly.

The huge industrial style windows at the River Mill are always the perfect backdrop with the gorgeous light that they provide. I’m a such a huge fan of the old historic look and love when I can mix the old and new elements in one photo.

John Wade and Ashley met me in the garden for their portraits under the setting sun and the ethereal spanish moss that hangs from the trees in the River Mill Garden. They laughed and danced while I photographed. They both were totally chill and ready to party. Ashley’s gorgeous jewel toned bouquet was created by the talented B. Anderson Florals who never seems to disappoint us with her talents.

The whole family joined us in the garden for portraits and the beauty queen grandmother’s showed us all how to pose to create those flattering curves!

The time had come to get the party started. The ballroom was beautifully decorated with string lights over head and flowing white fabric. B. Anderson floral designs were on every table. She chose some really beautiful evergreen foilage paired with deep magenta toned flowers. The tables had some awesome brass candelabras and vases that lended a cool antique vintage vibe.

The Carson Hand Band totally killed it with their music and had the whole guest list on the dance floor.

The newly-weds shared an anniversary dance with all the couples in attendance and were left dancing with longest married couple in the room, John Wades’ Grandparents, with over 60+ years of marriage! How amazing is that?! Something to be celebrated for sure!

Guest mingled and snacked on the delicious food that was prepared by Jamie Keating. It all looked amazing! Oh and they had a deconstructed smore’s bar! #dead

I totally loved photographing this celebration of marriage and loved seeing tons of familiar faces. It was definitely a Harris County reunion!

Here’s to The Ginn’s! Wishing you guys many many happy years!

DILLY DILLY! 😉


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The Fab Vendors:

Venue: River Mill Event Center
Florals: B. Anderson Florals
Band: Carson Hand

Lance + Kristi | Flint River home | Thomaston, GA

Kristi and Lance shared a fairy tale wedding at a secluded home of a family friend along the Flint River in Thomaston, GA. It was one of those places deep in the Georgia woods where you’re not sure if you’re at the right place. The wood cabin was nestled in the trees on the bank of the Flint River.

The yard was beautifully decorated with big light strands that criss crossed over the farm house style tables that were decorated with beautiful green garland and long wooden candle holders. The decor created the perfect forest wedding vibe.

The bride, her mother, sister and daughter, Talley and friend Dayna were upstairs getting their hair and make-up ready for the day. Family and friends gathered at the home helping with final prepping of food and finishing touches on the ceremony area.

Lance, his father, and Lance’s two sons, Rhett and Wyatt, were getting dressed down stairs. Lance and his dad helped the boys get their little suits and ties on. And upstairs, Lance showed me a couple of his best tips for fabulous wedding day hair. I believe the key is “low and slow” ie. Low heat, slow power. I could be wrong. Ask Lance. He has great hair.

The first look was approaching. I took the groom out to the river bank to wait for his bride to come down. I could see his nervous excitement waiting to see Kristi for the first time in her beautiful lace wedding gown. Kristi walked down the hill towards Lance who was facing the river. She tapped him on the shoulder and the look on their faces was pure joy. It was so sweet to see how happy they make each other.

Then the fire ants happened! We had a little WTF moment when Kristi had stepped into some ants. But her groom helped her dust them off and no brides were harmed during the photoshoot. We continued to take the rest of their wedding portraits as the rain clouds started rolling in. We all sprinted back up to the house at the first sign of rain drops.

It was still raining as guests were arriving. The bride was visibly bummed. I was so hoping the rain would let up in time for the ceremony. Miraculously, about ten minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start, the clouds started parting. This is not the first time this has happened at a wedding I’ve photographed, and it always seems like a miracle to me. It gives me chills thinking about the perfect timing and the perfect lighting that followed.

There was still fog hanging in the air throughout the trees. When the clouds parted this amazing warm glow enveloped the ceremony. Lance walked down the aisle with Rhett and Wyatt in each hand. The flower girl, Talley, left a trail of petals for her mother. They all waited for the beautiful bride to make her way down to the ceremony escorted by both her step-father from the house and then father who walked her the rest of the way down the aisle to meet her groom.

The short and sweet ceremony was officiated by a family friend. The couple read each other their vows through tears and laughs. They exchanged rings and shared that sweet first kiss after being pronounced man and wife.

The guests gathered round the homemade beer taps, cheese and charcuterie table. The string lights overhead made the wedding seem like a magical forest wedding. Guests mingled and chatted over dinner. The bride’s sister, gave a really sweet toast to the newlyweds and then read their father’s speech as he looked on. A couple of the groom’s friends said a few words and cracked some jokes to the new couple. Everyone could agree on how happy the two of them were together and were all thrilled to have them together.

Kristi and Lance shared their first dance as husband and wife to Chris Stapleton’s “More of You”. Then both shared a special dance with each other’s children. The band played to get the party kicked off and everyone was on the dance floor having a blast. The new siblings had run off to play some music of their own as they hijacked the drums from the band during their break.

It was time to cut the cake and as all the kids gathered round trying to get the first piece. The couple exchanges bites…nicely.

One of the bride’s friends, Katilynn, had a little fun on stage as she sang an amazing version of “Me and Bobby Mcghee” while everyone danced and sang along.

The full moon emerged from the trees and it was time to take their final exit of the night. Instead of sparklers the guests tossed lavender as they ran through the hall of people. And it smelled ahhh-mazing!

Kristi and Lance dance the night away with their closest friends and family. I’m so happy to have shared the day with these two. Wishing them a lifetime of happiness!

Here’s a peek inside their special day!

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The fabulous vendors:
Venue: Family friend’s home

Hair and Make up: Katherine Benson
Dress: BHLDN
Bridesmaids dresses: David’s Bridal
Cake: Sent From Heaven Sweets
Florist: Branches
Band: Loose Change

 

Ansley + Stuart | Dunaway Gardens | Newnan, GA

Ansley and Stuart’s Scottish wedding at Dunaway Gardens was to die for! The details of this wedding were like nothing I’ve ever photographed! The bride wore a rose gold lace gown, the groom and groomsmen dressed in kilts, the ladies wore beautiful crimson, and the venue looked like a secret garden. They even had a drummer and a bagpiper.

I first met Ansley years ago when she modeled for a fun T-shirt shoot. She’s sassy, quirky and so cute! We had a lot of fun that day. We lost touch a bit between there, so I was thrilled when she asked me to photograph her wedding!

Arriving at the venue, I was blown away by the beauty of Dunaway Gardens. It was a lush estate covered in moss and ivy. It was established by stage star, Hetty James Dunaway. The gardens were an oasis for the performing arts and a favorite retreat for celebrities of the time including Walt Disney! To read more about the history of Dunaway find their history here.

Ansley and Stuart got ready at a nearby hotel in Newnan. The guys had a chill morning sipping on scotch whisky. The girls sipped champagne across the hall as they prepped hair and make-up.

Ansley, alters wedding dresses for a living, so she made some final touches to her dress on the beautiful porch of the bridal cabin at Dunaway. Her mother helped her into her gorgeous dress. The brides added some final touches. Before the ceremony, the bride pinned on her mother and grandmother’s tartans.

The ceremony was held in a beautiful outdoor stone amphitheater. The steps are carpeted with green moss and its surrounded by trees. It was an unbelievable spot and the overcast day made it even more Scottish.

As the ceremony started, the couples’ friends sang a beautiful Scottish song to precede the ceremony. Stuart entered with his groomsmen in tow dressed their kilts. He held back tears, as he watched Ansley make her way down the large stone steps, escorted by her father. Her mother joined them at the bottom of the steps and the both gave her away to her groom.

The ceremony itself was full of wonderful Scottish traditions. Instead of a candle or sand jar they had a hand fasting ceremony to signify their union. Their long-time theater friend officiated the ceremony. He wrapped their hands and gave a blessing for their new marriage. To close the ceremony, the groom pinned his family tartan on the bride’s dress. They shared a sweet kiss and then invited the whole family for a group picture before leaving the ceremony. And when I say the whole family, I mean the WHOLE family! It was super cool to see everyone together in one picture.

After the ceremony concluded the bagpiper and his drummer wife, lead the guests in a traditional processional to the reception to begin the party!

While the guests were making their way to the reception area, I photographed the fabulous wedding party. They are pretty much all thespians, which made for some very awesome pictures. Personality was shining through for sure!

I took the bride and groom down to the lower garden for their portraits. They wandered around the stunning lower garden at Dunaway. So, in love and ready to celebrate! There was a wishing well in the garden, so the two of them made a wish and tossed the penny into the water.

I can’t get over how Stuart looks at Ansley. Ladies, find you someone who looks at you the way that Stuart looks at Ansley. Talk about Prince Charming.

We made our way to the reception and quickly cut the poor cake that was starting to melt in the unseasonably late Georgia heat and humidity. Figures! The simple white cake was adorned with gorgeous fall flowers.

The reception kicked off with the first dance between husband and wife to Sweet Annie by the Zac Brown band. (Fun fact: Anything by Zac Brown makes me cry like a baby!) They were beautiful to watch as they twirled around the dance floor in each other’s arms. Ansley danced with her father to a special song that was actually written by her dad’s great aunt. Stuart shared a sweet dance with his mother who looked gorgeous in her long blue dress.

The rest of the guests kicked off the party and seriously danced the night away. I loved that Ansley and Stuart let loose and really enjoyed their night. The Dj was awesome and kept the party pumping. There was one special song dedicated to Ansley from her childhood girlfriends that also speaks to my heart. If you a female who grew up performing with your friends in the living room, I’m sure you’re going to know this one! Its called Lady Marmalade from the movie Moulin Rouge. That song takes me back to sleep overs and sing-a-longs with my best friends!

The wedding was so much fun! I had a blast photographing it.

PS: Since photographing this wedding, I have some special news, Ansley and Stuart are already expecting their first little one! Yayy!! Can’t wait to see those precious pictures!

Wishing the Spears, a long & happy marriage!

#notafullpickle #onlyaspears


The fabulous vendors:
Venue: Dunaway Gardens
Event Coordinator: Elizabeth Stephenson with Table 6 Productions
Dress: Oleg Cassini for David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids dresses: David’s Bridal
Kilts/Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse and Atlanta Kilt Rental
Cake: Kathryn Spears
Bag Piper/ Drummer: Tom Crawford
Videographer: http://www.lensheadmedia.com/


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El Paso International Museum of Art | Stephanie + Stephen

Stephanie and Stephen had such a amazing and intimate wedding at the International Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas. Take a look at some of my favorite images from their day.

Meeting the future Wattys

Stephanie and Stephen are both doctors who have been transplanted to El Paso.  Stephanie has a Phd in Art History and Stephen is a medical doctor, so these two are quite a team! They have been dating since college and they decided to tie the knot in El Paso. I was so thrilled to meet them. I just felt good vibes immediately when we sat down at Trade Craft for coffee. They also let me know that one of the groomsmen was also from Georgia like me! Even further evidence that this was going to be a great wedding fit!

Foilage Salon

I met Stephanie and the bridesmaids at the Foilage Salon in El Paso. They all laughed and chatted in various stages of hair and make up. The styilists worked on styling applying make up to the ladies to prep them for a day full of photos.

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El Paso International Art Museum

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Internation Museum of Art in El Paso

Stephanie’s theme for the wedding was art deco style which I love! The little touches from her rhinestone shoes to her finger waved hair were just perfect.

The three tiered art deco style cake was made by her talented mother and I cannot rave enough about it. The details were everything and it was delicious! If I ever get married, I’m seriously calling her mom for this cake!

The ceremony and reception area was decorated with beakers, test tubes, old science and history books and other science things that I don’t remember from chemistry class! I loved photographing them. What a unique way to decorate a wedding. I loved all the little touches representing both their passions and personalities that they thought to include.

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Bridal Details

Stephanie’s dress fit her like a glove. She looked so glamorous when everything finally came together. The bridesmaids dressed were all different shades of gold and added a beautiful texture and color to the bridal party line up.

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Prepping the Bride

 

 

Stephanie’s mother helped her make a few final touches to her bouquet by added her family’s heirloom jewelry. The bridesmaids gathered all around Stephanie to get her looking perfect before she met her groom.

Stephen and his groomsmen dressed handsomely in traditional black suits pinned with white roses dipped in gold glitter. The were all ready to go when they arrived at the venue for the ceremony.

Before the ceremony began, Stepanie opted for a first look with her father who looked so happy to see his beautiful daughter all glammed up and ready to walk down the aisle.

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Guests rose from their seats as the bride and her father appeared at the top of the steps. Escorted by her father down the steps of the museum, she met her groom as he beamed at her from the altar. They had a sweet and emotional ceremony. They both wiped away tears as they read their vows to one another. They exchanged rings and kisses and were pronounced husband and wife. They seemed to skip back down the aisle as they made their way outside for the pictures.

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Husband and wife ventured around the museum with me as I photographed them enjoying each other’s company in the after ceremony glow.

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The new husband and wife rejoined their guests the same way Stephanie had entered the ceremony. Hand in hand they made their way down the stairs to greet their eagerly awaiting family and friends. They held their sweet first dance to Shining Star by The Manhattans. They both looked so happy and relieved to enjoy the party!

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Beautiful toasts were made by the maid of honor, best man and the bride’s father. The bride’s father handed a special lock and key to the groom that he held onto for Stephanie for this special day. Details like that special token from her father made this whole day so special.

The guests and newly weds mixed and mingled and shared blesssings and well wishes. When it was time to part for the day, the guests lined up outside of the museum steps with bubbles in hand.

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As the guests starting blowing their bubbles and the Wattys ran hand in hand through the bubbles grinning from ear to ear.

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And they were off to their Hawaiian honeymoon!

Wishing this awesome couple a life time of happiness!


 

Makeup and Hair: Foliage Hair Salon and Day Spa
Venue: The International Museum of Art
Cake Artist: My Sister’s Bakery (Mother of the bride: Debbie Strauss)
Wedding Dress: Absolute Bridal (Midland, Texas) Essence of Australia
Bridesmaid Dresses: Lulu’s Fashion Lounge
Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
Catering: Around the World Catering
Officiant: Minister Barbara Perez

The Kidd’s

I wish every wedding could be like the “breeze” this one was. I’d say the hard part was that five-hour drive to Odessa! The day I drove up to Odessa for Jacey and Oliva’s wedding there was a huge thunderstorm in El Paso when I was trying to leave. The streets were flooded to the point where I wasn’t sure if I should drive through them or not! There were ice plates (whatever those are…) on the highway. Cars were backed up for miles! It took me about an hour just to get out of El Paso and on my way to Odessa. I really picked the perfect time to try to get out of town.

I arrived in Odessa really late at night and I immediately crashed in my hotel. I finally got to actually see the town the next morning and the first thing I noticed were the oil pumps bobbing up and down. They look like little dinosaurs to me bobbing their heads up and down.

Festivities started early Saturday morning. I met Olivia and her beautiful bridesmaids at Charm salon. Olivia was getting her hair done when I arrived. She looked pretty chill. Her bridesmaids were scattered around the salon. Some were having their make-up applied, some were getting their hair braided and the others were chatting and waiting for their turn. They had some delicious-looking donuts to snack on and lots of coffee!

I photographed the bride’s gorgeous dress at the salon along with her cowboy boots that she’d wear under her dress.

I headed to the church to photograph the groom getting prepped. I first met the groom’s mother Ronnie who was beyond helpful showing me around the church and giving me a bit of the day’s rundown. Ronnie also helped me coordinate all the family groups for family photos for which I’m very grateful!

We went to find Jacey in one of the church’s back hallways. What I found was a big goofball! Jacey was joking and had everyone laughing as soon as I arrived.

I photographed the groom with his groomsmen (and groomswoman) out in front of the church. They all wore a beautiful shade of gray with purple accents and of course cowboy boots. They went back to resume their card game.

The bride arrived at the church with her bridesmaids in tow. She scrambled upstairs to the room where she would step into her dress. It took two bridesmaids working together to fasten all those buttons. The dress was stunning and fit Olivia like a glove. She did a little jig when she saw herself in the mirror for the first time.

The bride’s mom met her in the hallway while we were taking bridal pictures. She marveled at her beautiful daughter in her wedding dress.

It was just about time for the ceremony and I found Jacey and his parents down in the back hallway saying a prayer before he’d meet Olivia at the altar. Guests were filing into the sanctuary. Jacey entered with the pastor and beamed as he waited for Olivia to walk down the aisle. The violinist played and the guests rose to watched Olivia as she was escorted by her father down the stairs and up the aisle to meet her groom. Jacey grinned from ear to ear as he saw Olivia for the first time walking towards him.

Her father kissed her on the cheek and took his seat after he gave the bride away. The ceremony began and the pastor led the two lovebirds through the marriage vows. Olivia and Jacey said their I do’s and sealed their new union with a sweet kiss. They turned to face the crowd and sauntered back down the aisle hand in hand.

The newlyweds entered the reception and the groom’s father opened the dinner with a prayer. The guests dined on some delicious looking BBQ with all the fixings with some sweet tea and lemonade to wash it down. Dinner definitely had me dreaming of Georgia.

After dinner, the bride and the groom shared their first dance. Followed by Olivia’s dance with her father and Jacey’s dance with his mother. The bride and groom made their way around the room greeting guests and hearing their blessings on the new couple.

Olivia and Jacey each smashed cake in each other’s faces and then tossed the bouquet and garter to some eager catchers.

The Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech battle it out in the background of the reception. I mean, we’re in true football country. Fortunately, for Olivia, the Texans won! Maybe next year, Jacey?

The reception didn’t exactly end with the bubble exit, but it fits better in line with the story that way. 🙂

Here are the highlights from The Kidd’s big day.

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Venue: Golf Course Road Church of Christ
Dress: University Bridals and Formals 
Hair and makeup: Charm Beauty Salon
Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse 
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Flowers: Donna Kidd (flowerlady12@hotmail.com)
Cake: Liz White ((575) 631 – 1708)

Check out the whole wedding gallery here.

David + Elissa

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.

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