You may be thinking, “wait, I thought this blog was about Texas?!” No worries, friend! This Texas story starts a year ago in the beautiful, small town of Pierz, Minnesota. I had flown up in May to shoot Sam and Emily’s wedding, and when the big day finally arrived, a girl named Melanie tumbled in with the rest of the bridesmaids. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow! What a beautiful and sweet girl. Maybe one day I’ll get to shoot HER wedding!” Fast-forward several months later and Melanie has a ring on her finger and is calling me up to fly to Dallas. Woohoo! Wish granted!
You’d better believe I started counting down the days as soon as Dallas was in the calendar. When the weekend finally arrived, I was practically bouncing off the walls! I had gradually gotten to know Melanie and her fiancé, Andrew, over the course of several phone calls, and I knew after our very first giggle-filled conversation that this was an AMAZING couple! So I packed my bags, boarded the plane, and eagerly looked forward to seeing them face to face. I arrived in Dallas a couple evenings before the wedding, and was immediately swept away to stay with Mel’s childhood friends (a special thanks to my wonderful hosts!). The first day was filled with visiting one of my brides from a few years ago, exploring a bit of the area, and meeting everyone at the rehearsal dinner. I don’t think I have laughed THAT hard in a long time! Then, at long last, July 14th dawned and the time had come to get married!
I drove to Melanie’s house in the early afternoon, where her and her eight bridesmaids were putting on makeup and discussing the pros and cons of taking a nap before the ceremony. The house cat, Sophie, was curled up on the bed, enjoying the view of the bustling bridesmaids. Slowly but surely, hair was pinned, makeup was applied, and Melanie slipped on her wedding dress. The girls fawned over her as every bride deserves, and before we knew it, the time had come to leave! We arrived at Ashton Gardens and immediately prepared for the first look. Andrew and Melanie could hardly wait to see each other after so many hours of patiently waiting! They stood on a quiet little path and Andrew turned around to lay eyes on his bride. He could NOT contain his joy! They hugged, kissed, and then began to dance around like little kids. Time to get married!
The bright chapel soon filled up with friends and family. The bridal party made their way down the aisle, and then a hush came over the crowd as the musicians played Yellow by Coldplay from the balcony above. The doors opened to reveal Melanie and her beaming father! Soon enough, vows were given, rings were exchanged, and the two were finally husband and wife! At LAST! The guests and bridal party made their way to the reception soon after. The room was filled with sparkling glass, pops of red, and glowing candlelight. After a wonderful dinner, it was time for toasts! Five different loved ones spoke, causing uproarious laughter as well as tears of thankfulness and joy. After that, Melanie performed a ballet-inspired waltz with her father, and Andrew led his mother in their own special dance. The rest of the party was filled with dancing, donuts, and a participatory version of the Shoe Game! As the evening started to close, guests made their way outside as Andrew and Melanie stayed for one last dance in the empty hall, swaying together as “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers played around them. Then the time came to depart. They dashed through an aisle of waving sparklers, loaded into their get-away car, and drove off to the cheers of their loved ones.
The next day I made my way home to Florida. I could hardly stop smiling as I recalled the festivities from the day before! How can I describe the joy that rests on such a celebration? Hearts are so full, the future is so bright, and the love everyone has for each other seems to physically fill up the room. These are the moments I live for and these are the people who bless me more than I could ever hope to bless them. 😊
Please enjoy Melanie and Andrew’s wedding story!
Special shout out to these amazing vendors!
Venue: Ashton Gardens
Planner/Coordinator: Brook Epstein
Second Shooter: Le Vie Photography
Hair Stylist: Chanel Abeyta
Makeup Artist: Emily Dittmer
Videographer: Curtis Wise
Florist/Decor Designer: Richard Porter
DJ: Toast Entertainment
Caterer: Ashton Gardens
Cake Designer: Mad Batter Bakery
Dress Maker: David’s Bridal