Vanessa + Andreas | Rancho Santa Maria Polo Club | El Paso, TX

Vanessa and Andreas’ wedding celebration at the Rancho Santa Maria Polo Club was such a fun experience. Vanessa is a Texas girl who was swept off her feet by German named Andreas. They fell in love during a motorcycle road trip and moved all the way to Berlin, Germany.

I was so thrilled to photograph this union. You couldn’t really call it a wedding it was more of a celebration of their union surrounded by the couple’s friends and family in Texas. Vanessa’s mother, Anette, did an amazing job of planning the whole celebration since the bride was in another country!

A couple things stand out in my mind about this day that I’ll never forget. One was having the beautiful Indian motorcycle get stuck in the sand on the banks of the Rio Grande as we were attempting to take the couple’s portraits. Poor Andi, was so done before the pictures even began. But fear not! We had a couple guys from the farm come help push the bike out of the sand and we settled on the dirt road for pictures. It was so El Paso!

We took some gorgeous portraits of these newlyweds. As a photographer, I just love photographing in the desert. The soft pastel colors of the sand and desert plants just translate so beautifully in portraits.

The couple was so effortless together. They balance each other. Vanessa looked elegant in her lace, long sleeve, fitted wedding dress. Her black curls swept up into an effortless up do. Andi was looking handsome in his blue jacket, straight-leg jeans and silver belt buckle. Of course, they both wore boots. Very modern Texan.

We arrived back at the ranch for cocktail hour before the ceremony would get underway. Yellow-orange Margaritas, sat on a table to greet guests as they arrived. Guests mixed and mingled under the patio and the tent as the mariachi band played in to the golden hour.

Before anyone had arrived at the ranch, I was able to watch the Shaman, his wife, grand daughter and friend set up the intricate ceremony setting. Every item had a meaning at the ceremony. From the archway that they walked through to the deerskin that laid at their feet. But don’t ask me these meanings!

As the ceremony began, guests were seated. They didn’t have a wedding party, but the family and friends closest to the couple lined up to make their way through the arch way. Before each person entered the ceremony, they were cleansed by the Shaman. After passing through the archway, they formed a circle around the couple.

Sage burned in the air as the Shaman gave his blessing to the new husband and wife in front of a cute little chapel under a beautiful tree. Their hands were wrapped in special cloths. And before the first kiss, Vanessa and Andi signified their union by drinking wine out of a special vase together, which honestly looked pretty difficult, but somehow, they did it without spilling any!

The party kicked off with the first attempt of lighting the colorful lanterns, but the El Paso wind crashed that party quickly. It actually turned out to be a good thing they held off till later in the evening, because the second thing that I’ll never forget from this day were the hordes and I mean hordes of mosquitos that came out of the ground while guests were trying to light their lanterns. It was something out of a survival show. Fortunately, we all survived. I’m sure this is one part of the day Andi and Vanessa would hope to forget, but it does make a good story!

As the sun faded out, so did the mosquitos. Guests were finally able to enjoy dinner and be entertained by the groom’s fantastic speech of how he and Vanessa met and fell in love.

It was a saga of epic proportions to say the least and the groom had everyone captivated with his tale. Guests laughed at his endeavor of how he would attempt to acquire the bride’s father’s permission to take his daughter out and cried over his tales of how the two bonded over a love of music on the back of a motorcycle.

The party was kicked off with the first dance shared between husband and wife and then the rest of the guests joined in on the fun! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, good dancing is in the water in El Paso. All the guests had an absolute blast dancing and partying the night away.

And we finally got to send off those paper lanterns! The wind finally calmed down, so guests grabbed their lighters and sent off their blessings to the new couple into the night sky.

The last thing I’ll never forget at this wedding was the fire dancers from Odd Lab! YESSSS! These guys were so cool and put on an awesome show for the bride, groom and guests. The four guys each took turns doing different routines with the flaming balls of fire swinging around them! At the end, they further impressed by climbing onto each other shoulders with the fire. It was a wonderful way to end the night. Guests were wowed, I was wowed. It was definitely a wedding celebration I’ll never forget!

Cheers to Vanessa and Andreas!

 

Now, enjoy these picture from this awesome day!

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See the rest of the photos from Vanessa and Andreas’ wedding here.

Valerie + Andy | Castle Ballroom | El Paso

Valerie and Andy are the sweetest couple who shared a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Shalom Christian Church in El Paso, Texas surrounded by their friends and family.

Valerie started her day at Xtremes Salon along with her sister and mother. They had a chill morning as the stylists pampered the ladies for the special day ahead. Valerie’s long dark hair was curled and her make up carefully applied. She’s a natural beauty who looked stunning after Ana, the stylist, had finished. Her sister, Brenda, and their mother, Lucy, posed for a cute picture under the hair dryers before we headed to Valerie’s house to step into her dress and add the finishing touches.

The bride’s mother helped her get dressed and pinned her “something old” to her dress for safe keeping. Valerie looked stunning in her wedding dress. The dress was unique with beautiful lace overlay and layers soft tulle fell to the floor. The silver beaded belt added a little bling to the already beautiful dress.

When she was dressed and ready her father, Jerry, got the see her for the first time. These are always such special moments. I love to see the dad’s reaction to seeing their daughters for the first time in their wedding dresses. It never disappoints!

It was a rainy wedding day for Valerie and Andy, but that didn’t stop them from having a beautiful celebration. We arrived at the Shalom Christian Church and everything was set up and ready for the vows to be exchanged. The handsome groom beamed as he waited for his bride to join him at the altar. The bride made her way down the aisle to meet Andy. They walked hand in hand up to the stage where the minister lead a God-filled ceremony. Andy and Val’s relationship is one that is centered around Jesus and their church family. They have strong family and church family realtionships that will be ready to lend support whenever its needed.

After the ceremony the rain was still falling in Fabens. So, we had to get creative with the photo locations. We decided on The Fountains because we knew it wouldn’t be muddy! So we could keep the brides dress as clean as possible. This place actually worked out really well and miraculously it was not raining when we started shooting!

Later in the evening, wedding party and guests began arriving to the Castle Ballroom in El Paso. The room was beautifully decorated to kick off the celebration for these newly weds! I was super impressed with the milk and cookie bar that was the bride’s brilliant idea. They had all kinds of cookies and every kind of milk in cute little glasses! It was a lot of fun for both the kids and the adults at the party.

After dinner was served, the DJ turned up the music and the party kicked off with the first dance for the new husband and wife. Both the bride and groom shared special dances with their parents. Afterwards, the guests had a blast dancing and partying the night away. Everyone you and old was on the dance floor! El Paso really does now how to party.

Take a look at some of my faves from Val and Andy’s day!

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Shalom Christian Church | Fabens, TX

 

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The Fountains | El Paso, TX

 

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Castle Ballroom | El Paso, TX

 

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The Milk + Cookie Bar

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Vendors:

Venues: Shalom Christian Church, Castle Ballroom
Hair & Make Up: Xtremes West Salon, Ana
Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal, Vera Wang, White Collection
Florist: Angie’s Flowers
Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
Cakes: The Cake Lady, Irma Holder
DJ: DJ Munchies (Luis)
Milk & Cookie Bar: Elegance by Susy

 

Steph & Stephen Sneak Peek

I’m a little behind on posting this sneak peek, so there a few more images in here than I would normally share. This was a wonderful and unique wedding at the International Museum of Art in El Paso. It had all the art deco touches that I’m obsessed with plus some really cool science nods in the decor! Please enjoy a few of my favorites from Stephanie and Stephen’s wedding.

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Elyse’s Maternity Session

I’ve known this girl all my life. She’s like a little sister to me.

We photographed Elyse’s maternity session in the creek that she, her sister’s and I all played in as kids. I have so many special memories of mud pies, rain boots sloshing through this creek and catching anything that swam, crawled or slithered past us.

I photographed her maternity session on an early march morning session in Georgia. Elyse and Hunter are now parents to a precious baby boy named Ledger and I can’t wait to meet him!

Enjoy some of my faves from Elyse’s maternity session.

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www.jessjonesphotos.com

Jess + Andrew

[Sings]
Who’s that girl??
Who’s that girl?

It’s Jess!
And Andrew!

I’ve been watching some New Girl lately. Can you tell?

Anyway, these two couldn’t be more perfect.

I finally met Jess Riviera after months of chatting online and through mutual friends. When I met her I felt like I already knew her. We chatted immediately like old friends. She’s a little spitfire and a real joy to be around. And really beautiful with that gorgeous red hair! She’s also a fellow photographer who does stunning work!  So, I definitely felt the pressure when she asked me to take the photos!

Her handsome hubs Andrew, was due back from a 9 month deployment and she asked me to capture it for them. Jess had the cutest gold balloons that said “Kiss Me” and wore the cutest outfit to reunite with her man. She wore and black and white polka dot flare skirt, a floppy suede hat and booties.

It was a pretty chilly February night at Fort Bliss. The families waited anxiously outside for their men and women in uniform. The army band was playing classic U.S. of A. tunes as we watched the plane land.

This part seemed like it took forever! But finally, Andrew and the rest of the soldiers filed out of the plane. They lined up and marched past their families outside in the waiting area. Jess proudly held up her “kiss me” balloons and guess what? It worked! (No real surprise there!) As Andrew marched past, he leaned in a gave her a quick kiss before heading inside!

Once back inside, we had to wait some more for the guys to get their luggage squared away before they could actually hug their families. This final wait was totally worth it. It always is.

The last obstacle before Jess and Andrew could reunite was a metal roll up door. The guys lined up outside, the smoke machine fired up, the music began to play. As the anticipation built to its peak, we hear a couple of bangs on the metal door that separated the soldiers from their loved ones. The door was raised and they marched through the smoke in formation to the large waiting area.

As soon as the soldiers were released to their families, Jess runs through the crowd of people and leaps into Andrew’s arms. He spins her around, they kiss and hug each other for a few minutes after 9 long months. They are so in love it just radiates from both of them.

After all the anticipation, it was a pretty quick reunion. Both eager to get back home, Jess and Andrew, make their way through the crowds to grab his stuff so they could return to their regularly scheduled lives.

Although, these homecomings happen frequently and after doing a couple of them you start to get the routine, but they’re always emotional. Even for me to watch. I get chills just thinking about the love between Jess and Andrew and seeing her jump into his arms.

The late hours and rescheduling were all worth it, in the end, to see they smiles and the love between families.

So, Andrew, a huge welcome home to you! Thank you for your service! And to Jess, I loved meeting you and getting to know you a little. You had me listening to gangster rap on the way home!

I’m so happy that you trusted me to photograph this monumental moment in your relationship. Wishing you guys a happy time reuniting and many more years of happiness in your marriage!

PS-Thank you to all the troops, especially my own, Ernie Manin, (who’s deployed at the moment) for sacrificing and fighting for our freedom at home. I know that not everything you do is always recognized, but it’s appreciated.

Enjoy this sweet reunion.

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Happily Everafter.

 

 

Sooo, I did this cool thing.

I did this thing last week. And it was a lot of fun.

I went on a museum tour.

But it wasn’t your grandmother’s museum tour, it was a BADASS museum tour! We hacked the El Paso Museum of Art. The company is called Museum Hack and they put the fun and shenanigans back into museums. They had a pop-up tour at the El Paso Museum of Art. It was a blast!

I had been meaning to get to one of the museums in El Paso, but never got around to it. Fortunately, I got the best way to visit for the first time.

We met Zak and Kate in the front of The El Paso Museum of Art. They were very welcoming and bubbly. They seemed like they’d known us for years. Once everyone had arrived, Zak and Kate gave us a run down of the tour. Naturally, being in El Paso, it would be centered on Mexican history. Which is great, because it’s something that I don’t know a whole lot about after living in this border city for two years.

We set off on foot to the first location outside the museum. It was an Aztec sundial gazebo that Zak and Kate pointed out to us. It’s something I don’t think I’ve ever noticed. Sitting under it, they explained a brief history of the Aztecs. They brought us chocolate and fart jokes. Yep. Zak showed us an ancient drawing of one of the first fart jokes. And with that, the museum hack had officially begun!

We toured past the Chihuahua’s stadium where they told us about ancient brutal Mayan sporting events. Where the losers heads were chopped off (could have been the winners, because Mayans love a good human sacrifice! It was actually considered an honor.) The group continued on past some really cool murals which are painted all over El Paso. We stopped at one in particular and learned the difference between mezcal and tequila. Tequila is the bougie cousin of mezcal, because it’s made from ONLY the blue agave plant  – and can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and in small parts of four other states in Mexico. Mezcal is made from any agave plant and can be produced anywhere. #funfactstoknowandtell

Once we got into the museum, Zak and Kate gave us a brief drunk (or buzzed) history that they created on their tablet. It was a good little synopsis of Mexican history. We continued upstairs and toured several of the exhibits. One in particular that stood out to me was the Mexican-American artist, Manuel Acosta. Acosta was born into a poor family living in Chihuahua, Mexico. He later served in the United States Air Force. He went on to study sculpture and painting at various universities one being the now UTEP (at the time it was the College of Mines and Metallurgy). He met his death in 1989 when a subject he was painting bludgeoned him to death with a lead pipe. WTF.

So, now a lot of his paintings are locked up due to legal matters, including the painting of his killer!

Probably my favorite part of the museum hack was the scavenger hunt. They gave us a list of clues and we had to go through the museum and find the art pieces they described. It was pretty challenging, but that made it a lot of fun.

We got little prizes at the end of the scavenger hunt. I got a little cute plastic dinosaur, but I have no picture to show for it because my dog chewed it up about an hour after I got home from the tour. 😦

This was a really fun activity and I’m really glad that I went. Our tour guides, Zak and Kate, were an absolute delight. They’re very smart and have an ability to make history relatable and interesting to everyone.

If you’re in DC, San Francisco (Kate’s home museum), Chicago or NYC (Zak’s home museum) definitely add this to your “to-do” list. Don’t have plans to visit these cities? Take a look at the museums near you, there just maybe a Museum Hack pop-up coming soon!

Want more local things to do in El Paso? Also, check out Annie’s Adventures!

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Manuel Acosta painting.

 

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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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Watch me whip…watch me nay nay.

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This year’s boudoir marathon is…

Shhhh!!! A secret…for now.

Ok, what I am keeping under wraps is the theme. I’ve never done a themed boudoir marathon and I’m so pumped about this one. It’s going to be in a historic El Paso location that I’ve had my eyeballs on for quite some time. This particular building is full of history and I think its going to be a swingin’ good time!

The last marathon we did was at the very cool and trendy Hotel Indigo. 8 stunning ladies trusted me to take some beautiful pictures and give them a fabulous experience. We all had a blast playing dress up with sequins and furs, drinking wine and listening to our favorite tunes. They walked away feeling like the rockstars that they are.

This time around, I’m opening up JUST 6 spots, because I want to make sure I give each woman the attention they deserve! That you deserve.

Once you arrive, we’ll pick out your first outfit and you’ll begin hair and make up with our pro. We’ll chat and sip some wine while you’re getting prepped. We’ll make you feel like you’ve know us for years, so you’ll be totally comfortable in your skin. And don’t worry about not being a “model”. We’re posing pros, so there’s no need to worry about not knowing what to do in front of the camera! I will pose you down to your finger tips. We’ll go through a series of easy and beautiful poses and you’ll be Ahhhh-mazed when I give you a sneak peek at the back of the camera. Your confidence will soar!

Yes, that’s You in the camera looking unbelievable. 😉20161212_170152

I don’t know where you are in your life right now, but you came across this blog post and you’ve been wanting to feel that fire and that spark in your soul again then you need this experience. It’s something you won’t soon forget. These are photographs that you can look back on when your 80 and say, “Damn. Look at me. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I’m a hottie.” And as you close your album a smile spreads across your face at those fond memories of the day you said yes to yourself.

I’m only going to open up 6 spots, so don’t wait to decide if this is the right time.

You came across this post, you opened it, because you were curious. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe this is something you’ve been wanting to do for awhile. When’s the last time you did something for you?

Its time to mark your calendars, because my next El Paso Boudoir Marathon will be on January 14 & 15th! (Just in time to get your goodies for V-day!)

XOXO,
Jess

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(None of these ladies are models.)

Remember…January 14th & 15th!
Ready to Book now? Click Here

 

 

Peter + Latoya

I met Peter and Latoya at the Corner Bakery in El Paso, Texas. It was a busy trip for the two of them, because Latoya was living out of town at the time and they had to get in as much wedding planning as they could while she was here. Latoya had a bubbly personality and Peter seemed genuine and professional. They were pretty opposite, but they complemented each other well. We talked about some of the wedding details and their expectations of their big day. At the end of the meeting they had decided to book me!

After the meeting, Latoya and I would text and chat while she was living in Virginia. She really became like a friend to me not just a client. While she was living in Virginia for work she would text me just to say hi and check in. I was still fairly new to El Paso, so it was nice to be able to talk to a friend every now and then.

Peter is a successful realtor in El Paso working for Keller Williams Realty. He spent several years serving his country in the US Army and now gives back to fellow veterans looking to buy and sell their homes. So, if you’re reading this and you’re in the military and you’re looking to buy or sell a home call my boy, Peter Huerta! (#shamelessplug) (I don’t know if that $50 bonus referral is still on the table, Peter…Peter?)

Alrighty, flash forward to the wedding day, I met Latoya and her bridesmaids at the Anointed Hands Salon in El Paso. Everyone was already getting their hair done. The bride was in the chair getting her hair curled and her crystal tiara placed just right by the owner, Stephanie. Latoya seemed chill and relaxed and had a fun laughing and joking with her bridesmaids.

I headed to the Abundant Living Faith Center where the ceremony would take place. Peter was there with his groomsmen, son, Isaiah as well as Latoya’s son, Allen. They all joked and took turns jabbing each other as they put their purple vests on to prepare for the ceremony.

Shortly after, the bride and all the bridesmaids had arrived and began applying their make up and getting into their purple dresses. The cute little flower girls played games and ran around the church playing tag.

It was finally time for Latoya to show her mother and bridesmaids the finish product. Latoya stepped out of the dressing room as her bridesmaids, mother and sister gasped at the gorgeous bride. Latoya’s dress fit her like a glove. The Alfred Angelo dress was a unique silver color with a crystal rhinestone belt. Silver accents were everywhere including her chrome fingernails!

The ceremony room was lit up with purple, pink and blue stage lights. White light strands hung over head. Peter nervously walked into the ceremony area with pastor, Jared Neiman. They waited and exchanged a couple words on stage as they waited for the wedding party to enter. Allen, Latoya’s son, would walk her into the ceremony and give her away. Sha’Vonne Williams sang soulfully as the ceremony began.

The wedding party entered couple by couple and everyone stood as the gorgeous bride finally entered. Allen looked handsome in his fitted suit and was so proud to walk his mom down the aisle. Peter looked lovingly at Latoya as he waited to take her hand at the altar.

Peter helped Latoya up the stairs to meet him and the pastor. The pastor gave a quick sermon about marriage and then began the exchanging of vows. They shared a prayer, took communion to signify their unity in marriage and in God. As they exchanged rings the pastor made a special note of the gorgeous rings. Latoya proudly flashed her bling to her friends and family. Peter did a great job picking that out!

Pastor Jared pronounced the couple husband and wife and they shared their first kiss as husband and wife. Peter and Latoya turned walked hand in hand out of the sanctuary where they waited for friends and family.

Friends and family poured into the gathering room to share their blessings with the newly weds.

After everyone had greeted the couple we went outside and finished up all the wedding party and family photos. The church windows made a cool modern backdrop. After the pictures at the church, everyone headed to the groom’s parent’s house for a gathering.

I met back up with the couple just in time for some gorgeous sunset photos. I scouted out a place and had Peter and Latoya meet me there on the way to the dinner at Mi Piaci Italian Restaurant. I found an empty lot with a view of the mountains. The sun gave us some gorgeous light as I photographed the newly weds. They held hands, kissed and danced in the El Paso sunset.

The couple opted for a small intimate reception dinner with just close family and friends. The dinner took place in the upstairs party room of Mi Piaci. There were two long tables on each side of the dimly lit room. Candles and flowers decorated the tables. Peter and Latoya shared a smaller table to themselves in between the two long tables. Their wedding cake sat on a stand on the raised area above the couple. The cake was a unique separated three tiered cake where each section sat on a different cake platform. The beautiful cake was decorated with purple flowers on top to match the bridesmaids dresses.

What really made the reception, were the memorable toasts from friends and family. Peter’s groomsmen (who were fellow veterans) shared stories both happy and emotional of the times they had shared and the trials they each had gone through together. In those moments, I realize how loved Peter and Latoya were and how much THEY loved their friends and family. Peter has gone out of his way to help his friends when they needed it the most and they were beyond grateful. The stories from each person who shared stories at the reception left the whole room with teary eyes.

Peter and Latoya put put  a huge emphasis on keeping God at the center of their marriage and that was felt throughout the day. I’m wishing you both many happy years of marriage!

So, without further ado I give you Peter and Latoya’s wedding day! 🙂

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