Joy....absolute pure joy. These are the only words I can use to describe Kathryn & Paul's Cocoa Beach elopement ceremony. From Kathryn's first email on the morning of their marriage telling me today was already a great day to Paul's unstoppable smile before, during, and after the vows, I could tell these two had found their forever in each other and couldn't wait to get on with it.
I first met Rosaleen five months ago via a phone call from Kansas where she and her fiancee are attending school. She and Frank were planning a long distance wedding here in Tampa at the incredibly stately St. Paul Catholic Church followed by a red and gold holiday inspired reception at the gracious Spartan Manor in New Port Richey.
Rosaleen and Frank met at the University of Kansas and knew within a short few months they belonged together. And so began the wedding planning in Tampa. They managed to juggle going to school and planning a flawless,family centered event full of laughter, good wishes, and killer dance moves. It was such a joy to be chosen to document the day!
After several months of emailing back and forth, I finally had the pleasure of meeting Desiree & Jon on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at the Florida Southern College Landing here in Lakeland. Desiree had requested old books, an old blanket, and a family photo of everybody (including the family pets) in matching Christmas sweaters for their engagement session. Yes, yes, and even more yes to all of the above. So loved trying to make their requests a reality!
Desiree & Jon- I cannot wait to be a part of your celebration in June! Thank you so much for choosing me to capture the memories of your special day! As a thank you, if we can get 18 comments on this blog post (there's that number 8 for you!), I will add an extra hour of photography on to your wedding day.
With Regards- CBlackwell
These two....where do I start? Have you ever heard that phrase "those two wild and crazy kids?" That explains Carrie & Jordan in all their wonderful, happy, include-everybody, always making somebody smile way, pretty much exactly. Their wedding was built with the love of family and friends. Everything from the big potluck dinner to a special dance for one of their ring bearers at the reception was designed to highlight community and togetherness. Even the list of photos Carrie wanted to capture was a testament to those around the couple and how much they were loved. Thank you allowing me to be apart of your beautiful, music and laughter filled day!
Let's start this off right here with Carrie & Jordan's first look...one of my favorite times of the whole day. Carrie, you looked so amazing walking towards Jordan that he couldn't take his eyes off you....love.
Carrie & Jordan- may your road be filled with all the family and laughter that the two of you hold so dear. Wishing you much joy & happiness on your walk through life together-
On a gorgeous, hot Friday morning in September, I met Mrs. Inez Shepard at Disney's Magic Kingdom for her wish fulfillment from the organization Wish of a Lifetime. Mrs. Shepherd had worked for 15 years in the shipping and receiving department, supplying goods to such places as The Emporium. It was at Disney where she met the love of her life who she was married to for 20 years. Mrs. Shepherd's wish was to visit the park one more time to see all the changes that had taken place in the many years since she had been there. She wished to say hello again to the location that played such an important, happy part of her life. I was blessed to be chosen to tag along and capture these new memories for her.
On a rainy Saturday afternoon, I met Emily & Caleb in Ybor City for their engagement session. The very first thing I noticed was Caleb's courtly way of holding the umbrella for Emily while also keeping a hand out to keep her from stumbling. Reminded me of a scene from Gone With the Wind...so gentlemanly and protective. The second thing I noticed as they got closer was Emily's smile. Emily has one of the prettiest most contagious smiles I've seen. Every time she smiled, Caleb and I had to smile too. And that worked out pretty well for their photos.
I met Carrie & Jordan in between rainstorms at Lake Mirror Promenade this past Saturday. These two made me laugh before I even fired off the first shot. They made me laugh in that comfortable, known-somebody-for-a-long-time kind of way. It was just about enough laughter to chase away the rainy day.
In one of Carrie's first messages to me, she said she was happiest in her Jordan's arms. That soon proved true. She was never very far from those arms and the happy smile was never very far from her face during our time together.
Last year, after dating several months, Bob planned to ask Lonnie to marry him on Christmas day. But after asking Lonnie's visiting mom Cheryl for permission to marry her daughter and then dropping Cheryl back off at her hotel, Bob couldn't wait any longer. As Lonnie & Bob were walking back to the car across the parking lot, Bob told Lonnie he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, forever and ever and then some. Lonnie, not realizing what was going on simply said "deal." Bob instantly dropped to his knee, said "really?", and offered Lonnie her adorable Mickey Mouse engagement ring.
Lonnie and Bob made good on that deal last Saturday. They were married on a rainy, thundering afternoon outside but inside there was nothing but laughter and warm wishes for the happy couple from their surrounding friends and family. Lonnie loves all things Disney and especially the Disney movie Tangled. This was reflected in everything from the flowers in her cascading hair to the quote on the top of their wedding cake. Here is a little journey through the newlywed's "Best Day Ever."
"Walking man walk. Walk on by my door. Well, any other man stops and talks but not the walking man. He's the walking man, born to walk, walk on walking man." James Taylor's Walking Man
"Early in the morning, risin' to the street Light me up that cigarette and I'll strap shoes on my feet." Sublime's What I Got
What I don't have anymore is the cigarettes. What I do have is coffee. And these early morning walks in foreign cities over cobblestone streets and through half deserted municipal gardens. I have an hour of stolen time while my three fellas are still sleeping back in the hotel. An hour of joy and silent discovery. An hour. A lifetime. A life. My life. Traipsing over sidewalks as many women before me have done. Savannah, St. Pete, Chicago. Moving backwards in time reading building cornerstones. Lovely. And then, as the coffee runs out and people begin to appear, turning back to my family, returning with new dreams and a calmness inside, already planning my next walkabout.
It all started with macaroni & cheese.
I met Ashley & Chris this past Saturday at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL for their family session and to find out a little about their story. The two were introduced at a barbecue party by mutual friends. When asked, Chris said one of the first things that attracted him to Ashley was her macaroni & cheese. They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach & Ashley definitely has that figured out!
I met Susan & Paul this past Saturday at Hollis Gardens here in Lakeland. These two are one of the most vivacious couples I've had the pleasure of photographing. They have a presence about them that steals whatever stage they find themselves on. Effortlessly, they fell into perfect position with little direction from me.
2:00 o'clock Friday afternoon, June 26th, Hollis Gardens at Lake Mirror: It was hot. It was drippy wet, ring-your-shirt-out-three-times-in-an-hour hot. And my lovely models, well they did amazing in my vintage,pink styled editorial shoot. Hollis Gardens is a beautiful location for a wedding that the City of Lakeland rents out regularly. Attached are plenty of locations for your wedding reception such as the Magnolia Building, the Peggy Brown Building, or Lake Mirror Tower.
Dress by: David's Bridal , Invitations by PontoMountainPaper on Etsy, Hair & Makeup by Tabbi Brooks of Handmade N Lovin' It
This past May, I was able to be apart of the Fontan's fairy tale wedding at the beautiful Huntington Hills Country Club in Lakeland, Florida. So much joy and happiness in the union of these two. I loved seeing the incorporation of their children into the ceremony when Rafael gave each of the children a necklace to symbolize the family circle and his love. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. Thank you for inviting me into your special day! I hope your Disney honeymoon was outstanding!