It’s incredible how much can change in one week.
I wrote a blog for this wedding over a week ago, before things went down in Texas. Of course as a “creative” mind, I didn’t add the media to it yet, so couldn’t post it.
Then Hurricane Harvey hit.
We had vacationed around Houston this summer and spent time downtown- loving the city life and being shown around by friends. Areas that are now in the news.
I can’t imagine.
I can’t imagine being evacuated.
Let’s be real. I can’t even handle when my dog gets sick on my rug.
Homes are being gutted. Possessions ruined.
Sure makes it hard to think of anything to complain about during a hard day, right.
I grew up in South Florida and have lived through countless hurricanes. It was more a way of life for us. My family was lucky enough to only have the extreme power outages, tree and property damage, and minor flooding in our city when the storms left.
Nothing like what hit Houston.
With everything that’s happening- I thought we could still use a little positive reading. Bittersweet to be reading back through this now as I’m about to post- but I also decided not to rephrase anything about the beauty that surrounds Houston. I am nothing but hopeful that Texas can get the help it needs to restore the incredible city.
Thankful right now for those donating, and especially thankful for the teams of first responders leaving their own homes, families and lives to help rescue and rebuild.
So here we go:
As a wedding photographer who loves to travel- I have seen my share of wedding venues. Each weekend I feel like I have guests saying “you must shoot out here a lot, right? It’s so pretty!”
More often than not my answer is: “Nope, first time here!”
Honestly there is a very short list of venues that I have shot at more than once. And I like it that way. There are just so many gorgeous wedding venues tucked away along the hill country here outside of Austin- I could shoot at a new venue every week in Texas alone.
This venue- Madera Estates– was hiding in Conroe, Texas.
I had not even heard of Conroe until this year. To be fair, I haven’t heard of plenty of Texas cities that everyone else knows and loves. Conroe is north of Houston- where I had already shot a beautiful rooftop wedding, and I was itching to go back! Both spots are about three hours away from where we are in Austin.
It was perfect timing to shoot a wedding there for the first time, too. My entire family drove in to Conroe to spend the week off together. Our vacation spot was literally right down the road that same week. (So was Starbucks, so I was set!)
I was able to check out Madera Estates the day before the wedding- and it got me pumped to start their day.
And yeah- I even put it up on my insta- story. If you haven’t been following all your favorite people on instagram go now. Search someone. You can probably see what they are doing right now by just clicking on that little circle that is their profile photo.
Or amazing??? Depends on who you follow.
I have a love/hate relationship with all social media. But I try every day to make it a little more positive… so there’s that.
Right when you walked through the doors at Madera Estates, there was romance.
They chose a perfect setting for every detail that lead their guests through the entryway. Photos of their loved ones who are no longer with us, photos of their own love story together, and even a chance for their guests to take a photo of themselves and leave a Polaroid with a note in lieu of a guestbook.
Katie & Austin didn’t want to see each other before she walked down the aisle, but they still wanted to spend a moment together. So we put a barrier between them so they could still talk to each other before things got going.
It was sweet to be able to hear that they were talking so calmly to each other.. probably because there had been yoga on both their schedules which now I’m pretty sure I should try.
As the sun started to dip behind the trees, the processional started and it led that romantic feeling straight from the entrance halls and into the air of the courtyard. The mothers each filled a goblet with wine as the ceremony started.
When Katie and Austin finally did see each other, you saw it happen. They were so in tune during the ceremony and everyone celebrated the moment they became man and wife.
From there we made some magic. The moon was already up as we walked around the forest directly behind the ceremony spot. I always enjoy letting a couple spend a moment to take it all in. The night always goes by so fast and you don’t always get another chance.
They announced the wedding party and went into their first dance. I’ll let you scroll down and see the sweetness. You can also go look at that groom’s cake!
Yeah. Look. at. that.
That was a surprise from the bride to her man and I just love little stuff like that. Especially when it’s something that is so awesome to photograph, obviously.
My girl Sarah gave the Maid of Honor toast and I still can’t figure out how she looked like a knockout being so preggo! After the toasts, phenomenal dinner, and cake cutting- they did the anniversary dance. It is one of my favorite moment photos from this one when the grandparents are dancing and you can see the newlyweds cheering them on.
The dance floor was literally packed solid until the very end of the night. The bride and groom waited for the room to clear and had one last dance together. I have only seen that one other time and I wish more couples would have one more song just for the two of them.
Like I said- you rarely get to stop and breathe in the whirlwind of your wedding day- it’s nice to make sure it goes into your timeline.
You can see from their exit that they made sure to not only celebrate- but to thank the family and friends that are dearest to them for helping them get down the aisle.
You can also tell I loved their get away car.
Many congrats to you guys on your epic journey together!
Wedding Venue: Madera Estates Wedding Venue Conroe, Texas
Houston Hair & Makeup: Sunkissed & Madeup
Houston Florist: College Park Florals