Ocala Backyard Wedding

I met Desire and Gina for the first time at a Panera Bread with the intentions of chatting for about thirty minutes to discuss wedding packages and then going on our way. That was not how the meeting unfolded, we were there for a couple of hours! We had so much fun just chatting like old friends about all sorts of subjects. We all knew then, that this was the perfect fit.

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Desire had to fight to get me to agree to meet even. Before we had a chance to meet I had another couple swoop in and book their date. Desire knew though, that we needed to give each other a chance. After much discussion, my other couple was happy to allow my associate to join their event while I attended Desire and Gina’s meeting. It really was one of those stars aligning moments!

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I loved running back and forth between these two beautiful ladies’ rooms while they were getting ready. Everything about this wedding was handmade, designed, and family oriented.

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We decided to do a first look with each of their mothers. Tissues in hand we tried to prepare for the emotional outpouring of love that was about to unfold. Everyone was crying, I was crying, they were crying, onlookers who didn’t know what they were walking into were crying!

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It was a perfect day for this beautiful backyard wedding. Overcast, breezy and the perfect temperature! check out the cloud filled blue skies!

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The look on Gina’s face as she saw her amazing bride walking down the aisle said it all. These two were so ready to be married, they were both so excited and fearless.

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The ceremony was amazing, they read each other their handwritten vows, were bound by the things they love, and then jumped the broom. The broom was lovingly handmade by a close friend.

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After some portraits and fun. We headed to the reception under a big beautiful white tent in the front yard. Dancing, eating, and sparklers to follow, this was a fun night.

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Florida Marsh Engagement

One awesome thing about Florida is the diversity of landscapes. If one is so inclined, they could find themselves deep among moss-covered oaks with branches seeming to span for miles. Besides the obvious deep blue beaches that surround us, we have lily pad carpeted marshes surrounded by cypress trees and winding mangrove mazes through hundreds of miles of flats. The challenge is to pull yourself away from the obvious locations and seek out these Florida secrets.

Courtney and Kyle did just that. They knew exactly what they wanted and I was more than happy to go along with the plan. Courtney found the Emerald Marsh Conservation Area then Kyle went to investigate and decide if it’ll fit what they were looking for. I think they couldn’t have picked a better location, it was perfect!

This was really a fun session! We started out down on a pier overlooking the marsh under an overcast sky that at first concerned us. As usual, I only gave a little direction as to what I wanted them to do and allowed them to work through the poses naturally by being themselves. This isn’t always the best approach, depending on the couple, but Courtney and Kyle did great. They spent most of the session laughing and being goofy which allowed for those great shots that say “we are in love and having fun”. There were a few moments of concern when we thought someone might be going swimming..

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A Barn Celebration

One amazing thing about wedding shows is that sometimes you can win some awesome prizes! That is exactly what happened for Amanda and Justin. They won four free hours of wedding coverage at the Red Barn in Bushnell. This worked out perfectly for Amanda since she had a family friend photographing her ceremony and only needed help documenting her reception.

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We started our coverage with the wedding party introductions, the official start to the party! These two were ready to celebrate.

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I always enjoy the first dance, their first chance to take a moment and look into each other’s eyes.

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Another favorite moment during the reception is listening to the fun and crazy stories during the toasts. Then it was time to dance, eat, and play games. You can always trust the kids to get the party started.

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Okay,  this one requires some explanation. I am so proud of Justin for pulling this during the garter dance. Not only a rubber chicken, but I think he found a pair of fuzzy handcuffs under there too! He had Amanda and the crowd hysterical with laughter.

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A grand exit is always a favorite opportunity of mine. I prefer using the natural light of the sparklers over using flash, creating this film style, ambient glow.

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Another great film styled shot is the ambient light of the hanging lights. This type of photo requires a bit of planning and coaching but is well worth the time. If you look closely you can see the stars overhead.

Venue: https://www.facebook.com/TheRedBarnatBushnellLLC/

DJ: Matt Gray

Up the Creek Sunset Wedding

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Marie and Rob were such a fun and lively couple. Marie’s bridal party had come from all over the country to join her on her big day. They started the day with matching PJs and champagne. They got ready for the wedding in the beautiful historic house at Up the Creek Farms in Malabar Fl.

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The girls all wore different dresses of the same color. Once they were dressed they all helped Marie with her final touches. We took this photo out on the second-floor porch of the house that stays hidden away from the ceremony yard.

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This beautiful home boasts wonderful chandeliers, large mirrors, and classic warm atmosphere. We snapped this shot of Marie as she descended to the main floor for photos with her bridesmaids before the big moment!

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Up the Creek Farms has a beautiful ceremony yard covered by large oak trees and carpeted with very bright green grass with an area for the ceremony laid with pavers and white benches. This area is fantastic for portraits, even during the height of the day, the shade from the trees created a beautiful backdrop.

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Marie and Rob were married under the big oaks with big smiles on their faces.

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The ceremony was short and sweet, full of love and excitement. They were ready to celebrate, but first, more pictures!

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Working with this group was chaos but in such a fun way. I found myself holding someone’s cup of mac n cheese, feeling like I was trying to orchestrate a herd of cats lol. The photos that came from such fun were priceless.

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This venue is full of great for photos everywhere you turn. The sun sets just behind a big oak next to the boathouse they hold the receptions in. They also have a winding creek along the back side of the property!

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Once the photos were over it was time for the grand entrance.. which Rob did not disappoint…

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They went right into their first dance. Rob was clearly overwhelmed by getting to dance with his new wife.

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The shenanigans that followed throughout the night only got more ridiculous. Like the fact that somehow the roles were reversed for the garter and bouquet match up.

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Everyone loves the big group shots!

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Wedding Under the Christmas Lights

This particular wedding was one I have been looking forward to for quite some time. I had the pleasure of meeting Clint, Heather, and Caden for their engagement session last year. You may remember the blog of their engagement session that included the most adorable little man, their son Caden.

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Heather and Clint decided to get married in one of the prettiest towns during one of the prettiest times of year for this town, Mt Dora’s Donnelly Park is extensively decorated in holiday lights for the season and offers a cute historic building for events perfect for an intimate wedding.

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Heather and Clint decided to do a “first look” before their ceremony so that they could enjoy their day together instead of hiding from one another. There is no way to substitute the reaction a man gets from seeing the love of his life in her wedding dress for the first time!

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As you can see, Heather was stunning in her blush and beaded princess gown. This dress couldn’t have been more fitting for her, it was as if someone took a look at her soul and made this dress as a result.

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DSC_0727bTheir ceremony was short and sweet. It was brought inside last minute due to the extreme cold, which we Floridians almost never see. Even with the short notice, family and friends were able to make all the necessary adjustments for Heather to walk down the aisle in a cozy 70degree room. They included Caden in the ceremony, he got to ring a bell, also joining hands together as a family instead of just a couple.

 

After the ceremony, we took to the street to capture the happy newlyweds under the amazing Christmas lights. One of my favorite activities is to bring my newlyweds out in the world all dressed up so that they can see the excitement from complete strangers. Beeping, yelling, high fives.. just so much fun.

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After all of the fun outside we headed back to the party to celebrate their family and eat cake. After I got home from this wedding I quickly added some of my favorite shots of the night to Facebook for Clint and Heather to share with friends.

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Head over to WeddingWire to see what Heather and other brides and grooms have said about their experience with DR Photography LLC.

 

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