Bok Tower Gardens Engagement Session - Lauren & Jonathan

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It’s no secret that Bok Tower Gardens is one of our favorite places to photograph sessions at. And really, it’s quite obvious why. Bok Tower is one of the most beautiful spots here in Central Florida. Mix that with a seriously gorgeous couple, and magic was bound to ensue.

Part of what we love so much about Bok Tower is the sheer variety of locations to make beautiful photographs. One of our favorite spots is in the large field at sunset with the tower in the background. It’s like the field is on fire, and it is so awesome to see. Pictures truly do not do it justice.

Lauren and Jonathan were seriously the best to work with! They were so gigly and smiley the whole time, which makes our job so very easy. Working with couples that are so apparently in love is one of my favorite things about what we do. Not to mention, it’s also a ton of fun! Who wouldn’t want to be around contagiously happy people all the time?

Have I mentioned how cool these two were? After their session, we headed over to Dunkin Donuts for some coffee and donuts because, why not? I love it when Miguel and I can just hang out with our couples, and it feels like we’re friends. Keep in mind, your photographer is going to be with you all day long on your wedding day. Make sure it’s someone you enjoy being around!

Those of you who have been following us for a while might be aware that Miguel is totally in love with wine. On his 21st birthday, we had wine, if that tells you anything. So, when Jonathan told us that he was a certified sommelier, we thought that was the coolest thing in the world! Lauren and Jonathan even brought a little something along to celebrate that part of Jonathan’s personality. Check it out in the photos below!

Lauren and Jonathan, thank you for trusting us to photograph the love you two share. We are honored to be a part of your lives, and we cannot wait to celebrate with you at Bella Collina next year!

Disney Springs Surprise Proposal - Tim & Faith

When Tim first reached out to Miguel to let him know he was going to propose to Faith, we were so excited! We’re good friends with Tim, and we were so happy for him to take this step. Faith doesn’t live in town, and so planning this surprise proposal was a little stressful, but oh so worth it.

Photographing a proposal is always a little nerve-wracking because you never know if the soon-to-be-proposed-to person is going to notice a photographer hovering around with a giant camera. Thankfully, Disney is full of tourists with cameras, so we fit right in without being suspicious. At least I hope so.

Tim proposed to Faith right in front of Blaze Pizza, which is where they had their first date. Now, if you haven’t been to Blaze Pizza before, you need to remedy that immediately. It is SO GOOD. But I digress. The whole time we were waiting for the two love birds to show up, the little area we had decided on was empty. Then, just as Time texted us to get into position, I had to kick several people out just in time. A few stayed in the shadows to watch the proposal I told them was about to happen.

She said yes! Congratulations Tim & Faith! Miguel and I are so happy for you, and we can’t wait for your wedding next year. We wish you two a lifetime of love and happiness. Thank you for trusting us to capture this incredibly special moment.

Club Lake Plantation Wedding - Kate & Andrew - Apopka, Florida

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As his gorgeous bride walked up to aisle to marry him, Andrew wiped away more than one tear from his eyes. Kate looked absolutely stunning in her sexy gown, and I’m sure Andrew was thinking to himself that he was the luckiest guy in the whole world. Andrew said many times during the getting ready process that he would not cry. Really, we think he was trying to convince himself.

Kate chose to do a first look with her father, and it was the sweetest moment! As a huge daddy’s girl myself, I may or may not have been holding back tears of my own as I hid my face behind the camera during this moment. Dad’s reaction was so special. You’ll be able to see it for yourself in the video at the end of this post. I just love moments like these! They really make a wedding day so memorable.

After the first look with Kate and dad, it was time for the first touch between bride and groom. A first look is not for every couple, and that’s ok! The first touch is a super romantic and tender moment that still preserves the surprise of seeing the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle.

The ceremony area at Club Lake Plantation is definitely on my top 5 list of favorite ceremony spots in Central Florida! Those oaks! The pews! That arbor! Everything about it is perfect. It’s no secret that I love outdoor weddings, and this is one of the most naturally beautiful spots. It makes my heart so happy inside!

The aisle moment. The most anticipated moment of any wedding day. The moment when the rest of the world falls away, and the bride and groom only have eyes for each other. This is definitely my favorite part of a wedding day. Of course, I say that of many parts of the wedding day, but I just love weddings! Remember how I said earlier that Andrew said he wasn’t going to cry? Yeah, he definitely cried. The bridesmaids cried. The parents cried. I cried…

When it came time for the unity ceremony, Kate and Andrew chose to do something I’d never seen before. Instead of a unity candle, a sand ceremony, or a unity cross, Kate and Andrew made a unity cocktail! It was so fun, and definitely something that was perfect for them! I love it when my couples infuse their personalities into their wedding day! The day is, after all, all about them.

And they’re married. YAY! Now it’s time for some portraits. These are the photos that end up on the walls of your home. The photos that end up your profile picture on Facebook. The photos you will show your children and grandchildren.

After portraits, it’s time for the reception. Let the party begin! Kate had SO MUCH FUN on the dance floor, and that makes me so happy! Truly my favorite thing about weddings is that they are filled with so much joy! Kate and Andrew had smiles on their faces the whole night, and their joy was palpable throughout the room.

Kate and her dad did a special choreographed father daughter dance. They danced it wonderfully, and everyone was in awe. After their dance came the mother son dance. As a mother to two little boys myself, I was definitely ugly crying behind my camera as Rascal Flats My Wish played for their dance.

If all of our couples could do a special exit, that would be great. I love the finality it brings to the end of the night, and it’s a great way to send the newlyweds off in style.

Kate and Andrew, thank you for trusting us to capture your wedding day. We had an amazing time, and we wish you two all the happiness in the world!

Haus 820 Wedding Inspiration - Lakeland, Florida

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At the beginning of this summer, Miguel said something to me that absolutely terrified me. He said that he wanted to photograph THREE styled shoots this summer! We love doing styled shoots because they are a GREAT way to work with and get to know other vendors that we might not typically get a chance to work with. They’re also an excellent way to stretch our creative muscles. However, they can also be a ton of work, especially for the main person organizing it. So, when Miguel said he wanted to do three over a short period of time, I was just as much nervous as excited.

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Once Miguel convinced me that doing three styled shoot over the summer was a good idea, I put together a few idea boards and posted them to my personal Facebook. Within a couple of hours, we had FOUR styled shoots almost completely planned! I LOVE that we got to work with so many new to us and incredibly talented vendors this summer!!!

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This particular shoot was born out of an awesome collaboration project by Every Last Detail. Lauren, the owner at ELD, wanted to create an awesome mega shoot with a ton of her vendors, and we were lucky enough to be able to participate. It was such an honor to be chosen for this shoot, and I had a blast doing it. Check out it’s feature on Every Last Detail here.

The theme for this shoot was a Citrus inspired Italian wedding (something you might see again later). I just love all the fun, vibrant colors!

Vendor Team:

Venue: Haus 820

Planner: Just Save The Date

Flowers: The Flower Studio

Rentals: Rentals by RW Events

Cake: Everything Cake

Balloon Garland: Paper Goat Post

Tabletop Rentals: Treasury Rentals

Stationery: Blush Paper Co

Hair & Makeup: Michele Renee The Studio

Gown & Accessories: The Bridal Finery

Signage & Place Cards: Chic Sign Designs

Linens: BBJ Linens

8 Best Engagement Session Locations in Central Florida

The sunshine state may be known for oranges and beaches, but it has so much more to offer! Here in Central Florida, there are tons of gorgeous locations for your engagement session. Whether you want a natural or an urban backdrop, there’s the perfect spot for you. These are just a few of our favorites (and yes, they include beaches and oranges!).

1) Bok Tower Gardens

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Bok Tower Gardens is located in Lake Wales, Florida. It’s a bit of a drive for most of our clients, but it is TOTALLY worth it! We love this location because it has so much variety, and the lighting is just superb. There is a gorgeous old bell tower (hence the name), orange groves, beautiful gardens, and open fields. Whatever your engagement session style, Bok Tower Gardens has a place for you.

Something to note about Bok Tower Gardens is that they close at 6:00 PM. For this reason, Bok Tower is better photographed in the late fall, winter, and early spring when the sun sets a little earlier. There are also a few days throughout the year with extended hours.

To see more from this gorgeous engagement session, click here.

2) Lake Runnymede Conservation Area

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This is probably the location we are at most often, and it’s not hard to see why! Lake Runnymede is filled with giant majestic oaks draped with tons of Spanish Moss. When the light hits it just right, it’s a truly magical sight. Lake Runnymede also has a few open fields for a different feel. This spot is great for nature lovers who want a break from city life.

Lake Runnymede Conservation Area is truly a wild and natural park. This is part of its incredible beauty, but there are a few things to consider. There are bugs and snakes, and so proper precautions should be taken if you choose this location.

To see more from this Lake Runnymede engagement session, click here. And check out another session here.

3) Rollins College

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For those who want a little more architecture in their photos, Rollins College is a great choice. Located in Winter Park, it’s pretty central to most places in Orlando. This makes it fairly easy to get to. The old buildings on campus are all beautiful and make gorgeous backdrops. Rollins College is also a great option for rainy days because there are tons of beautiful coverings and passageways to escape the storms if rescheduling your session is not an option.

If you’re interested in Rollins College for your engagement session, then please to be considerate to the students that call the college home. Also be aware that it may be difficult to find parking on campus.

The rest of this Rollins College engagement session can be seen here!

4) Cypress Grove Estate House

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Ah, Cypress Grove Estate House. One of my favorite places in all of Orlando. This is truly a dream venue for couples, and it makes a gorgeous backdrop for engagement photos as well. The manicured gardens, that golden light, and the oak lined path are all highlights of this stunning location. Cypress Grove is perfect for couples who want that old Florida vibe.

While Cypress Grove Estate House may be in a public park, it is important to note that it is still a hugely popular wedding venue. For this reason, if you’re interested in having your session here, it should be scheduled for a weekday. If there is a wedding on the premises, you will not be allowed admission to the house grounds.

Check out the rest of this Cypress Grove Estate House session here.

5) The Beach

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Perhaps what Florida is most known for, the beach is always a great option for your engagement photos! The beach offers a simple and plain background that really allows your love and chemistry to shine and take center stage. At the same time, the beach is beautiful in its own right and offers a calm serenity to your images.

There are gorgeous beached all around the state. This particular session took place in New Smyrna Beach on the East coast of Florida. Something to consider when choosing a beach for your session is whether you want the sun setting on the water or not.

The rest of this beach engagement session can be found here.

6) Rock Springs at Kelly Park

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One of Central Florida’s most beautiful hidden gems, Rock Springs at Kelly Park is a gorgeous little paradise in Apopka, Florida. The head of the springs is a stunning area that has crystal clear water and tropical foliage. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, the water is only about three feet deep in some spots, so some in the water shots are totally doable.

Rock Springs at Kelly Park is an INCREDIBLY popular swimming destination in the summer. The park often reaches capacity early on in the morning and will not admit any more people after this point, even on week days. For this reason, we only schedule sessions here at park open (8:00 AM).

More from this Rock Springs engagement session here.

7) Church Street - Downtown Orlando

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For couples who want a more urban flair, Church Street in Downtown Orlando is a great option. There’s lots of cool architecture, awesome walls, and a ton of variety. Plus, taking a stroll over to nearby Lake Eola park is super easy and offers some more natural elements. It really is the best of both worlds.

Check out the rest of this Downtown Orlando engagement session here!

8) Celebration, Florida

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Much like Downtown Orlando, Downtown Celebration has a lot to offer. We spent most of this particular session in the park just on the other side of Market Street, but there are lots of cool alleyways and buildings around Celebration too! It’s like a cute little All-American town from the 1950’s, and it makes a great spot for photos.

Want to see more from this Downtown Celebration engagement session? Click here :)

Are you ready to book your own engagement session? Click here to reach out!

So which of these locations is your favorite? Or do you have a favorite we didn’t mention? Let us know!