New Promises Amid Old World Charm
Melinna and Joshua are THAT couple.
The couple where it only takes one look to see how much they are in love. The couple who compliment one another. Cherish one another. Laugh together. Work together. The couple who look sooooo adorably cute together. All of the sappy one liners, and mushy love songs.
They are just that good: Together.
When Melinna contacted me about capturing her wedding, we immediately clicked. Through the two year planning phase, she would often text, or check in just to say hello. She has this amazing spirit, and upbeat personality which is contagious; you can’t help but smile when you are around her. And Joshua? He is just as kind, with the most generous heart. He has just graduated from College with his photography degree, so we often geek out together speaking photography gear talk. (I am a hugger. And every time I see them, they both greet me with a big hug and a smile.)
They had this vision for their wedding day. One of old world charm with a Southern twist, and found just what they were looking for in Mixon Farms.
Mixon Farms is a hidden gem located in Bradenton, Florida. The venue is a working Citrus Orchard, with picturesque groves of oranges waiting to be explored. A beautiful white gazebo beckons guests to relax in it’s shade, bordered by a large koi pond with fountain and lighting. Garden paths tempt you to take a leisurely stroll amid meticulously maintained flower beds, or into their butterfly garden.
A large covered Pavilion awaits to shelter guests, adorned with beautiful, hanging chandeliers. Antique blue doors form the perfect backdrop for photo opportunities, beside functioning as a divider between the Pavilion and service building.
On the day of their wedding, we arrived early to be greeted by Mixon Farm’s wedding coordinator, Sherri McFarland. In all my year’s working in the industry, I have never met a nicer, or more efficient coordinator. (Whatever we needed, Sherri was already on it or happy to provide. Bonus points for her continuous smile)
Melinna and her squad moved into the bridal suite to begin preparations for the Big Day. A vintage cart held fresh fruit, pastries and Mimosa’s for plenty of toasting. Pampering began with hair and make-up provided by Dolled Up Brides. Amid music and laughter, Melinna calmly waited, knowing she would soon be marrying her true love–Joshua. Once all the bridesmaids were ready, it was Melinna’s turn to get dressed in her classic, ivory gown with the assistance of her Mother, and Maid of Honor and Sister, Merrily. In a private moment, with just the three of them, Melinna stepped into her gown. My heart always catches when I witness this moment. The knowing and love in the Mother’s eyes, seeing her little girl in her wedding gown for the first time. The bond between sisters. The eternal, unconditional love. Gone is all sibling rivalry. Any squabbles or sisterly jab. In this moment, there is only an outpouring of love so strong, its tangible.
The bride did her grand reveal to the rest of her girls,and was immediately surrounded. Tears, laughter and some inappropriate jokes followed, but then I witnessed something amazing. Each woman gathered around the bride, and placed a hand upon her. Merrily led a prayer for her health, happiness and marriage. This prayer circle lifted the air in the small room, immediately filling it with peace and calmness.
While Melinna and the girls were finishing up, the guys moved into the Groom’s suite. Joshua and his crew wore classic Navy suits, with burgundy accents. They even channeled their inner superpower’s, each man sporting a pair of “Super hero” socks after their favorite Marvel character. Joshua’s mom spent a quiet moment with him alone, pinning on his boutonniere and offering well wishes.
The couple even wore matching Converse!
Side note: (While shooting the details images, a butterfly followed me around, and kept landing nearby. I snapped this image as Joshua’s Grandmother had just passed; and she loved butterflies. He knew she was there watching him marry his love.)
Countdown to the Ceremony
As guests gathered for the ceremony, a rainstorm blew in. Since the ceremony was scheduled to be held outdoors in front of the grand gazebo, we held our breath; and stalled. Luckily, the storm lasted only a few moments, and we jumped into high gear drying all the chairs for the guests. Talk about moving quickly! Within minutes, all the seats were filled awaiting the Big Moment.
Joshua and his groomsmen took their place at the alter, as the bridal procession began. Emotional tears fell from his eyes, upon seeing Melinna for the first time. The couple exchanged personal vows in front of family and friends, and finished off their “I do’s” with a sweeping kiss that brought laughter to us all.
The reception was held outside, under the large Pavilion and catered by A Fresh Connection Catering.
Music and laughter echoed through the air courtesy of TLS Entertainment who kept the party goers moving with tune after tune.
He included a little wedding surprise into the night with a hilarious “Barbie Doll” game of “Who does it best”. (I think Melinna won this one Josh)
Cheers and well wishes rang out during their Grand exit. As guests lined the walkway sparklers in hand, illuminating the path towards their new life as Husband and Wife.
I am truly honored to know these two remarkable people, and consider it a privilege to have captured their Wedding Day. I would also like to give a round of applause for the staff at Mixon Farms; your service and attention to detail was flawless and exceptional.
Melinna & Joshua, I wish you all the happiness one heart can hold; and many, many years of Cross-Fit circuits.
Venue: Mixon Farms Bradenton, Florida
DJ/Entertainment: TLS Entertainment
Table Decor: Whimsical Wire Wedding
Catering: A Fresh Connection
Sparklers: Wedding Sparkler Outlet
Hair & Make-Up: Dolled Up Brides