Casa Monica Wedding - Gina & Spencer

This wedding had a lot of firsts for me. First time rain had postponed a wedding (fortunately only by 15 min. That's Florida for you!), first time cannons were going off every minute during a ceremony, and definitely the first time a musket firing historical reenactment marched right past a wedding!  
Gina and Spencer had such a gracious, fun loving attitude the whole time, and certainly weren't going to be distracted from each other. And despite being interrupted, Spencer's sweet vows had all of us crying. Anyone else tear up when the groom cries? I think it's almost a requirement!
Their reception at the Casa Monica hotel was so happy and fun, with gorgeous flowers from Thicket Floral Design. The hardest part was keeping myself from jumping in that pool. ;) Congratulations, Spencer and Gina!

casa-monica-hotel-st-augustine-florida.jpg
lace-illusion-wedding-dress-st-augustine.jpg
bride-bridesmaids-downtown-st-augustine.jpg
bride-bridesmaids-crossing-street-st-augustine.jpg
pena-peck-house-wedding-gina-spencer.jpg
guitarist-wedding-musician-pena-peck-house.jpg
bright-tropical-ceremony-florals.jpg
rainy-wedding-day-pena-peck-house.jpg
groom-seeing-his-bride-pena-peck-house.jpg
wedding-ceremony-pena-peck-house-st-augustine.jpg
historical-reenactment-during-wedding-ceremony-st-augustine.jpg
bride-and-groom-laughing-during-ceremony-pena-peck.jpg
pena-peck-house-wedding-gina-spencer.jpg
couple-kissing-at-st-augustine-wedding-gina-spencer.jpg
happy-couple-walking-after-just-being-married-pena-peck.jpg
st-augustine-wedding-photographer-gina-spencer.jpg
st-augustine-wedding-photographer-gina-spencer-2.jpg
groom-helping-bride-with-flowers-st-augustine.jpg
happy-couple-bright-bouquet-blue-suit-st-augustine.jpg
casa-monica-pool-reception-st-augustine.jpg
simple-cake-bright-florals-st-augustine-wedding.jpg
mr-and-mrs-sign-at-reception-casa-monica.jpg
bride-and-groom-crossing-street-st-augustine-florida.jpg
couple-kissing-st-augustine-wedding-historic-building.jpg
poolside-reception-casa-monica-st-augustine.jpg
bright-tropical-flowers-florida-wedding-reception.jpg
casa-monica-wedding-reception-guests-st-augustine.jpg
groom-and-bride-talking-with-wedding-guests-st-augustine.jpg
Bride-wearing-grooms-coat-st-augustine-wedding.jpg
bride-and-groom-talking-to-wedding-guests-casa-monica-BW.jpg
bride-and-groom-first-dance-casa-monica.jpg
casa-monica-nighttime-wedding-reception-pool.jpg
bride-dancing-st-augustine-wedding-reception.jpg
casa-monica-reception-tent-gina-spencer.jpg
guests-dancing-at-casa-monica-wedding-reception.jpg
E_M_Anderson_Rausch_Wedding-759.jpg
palm-tree-and-cafe-lights-at-night-casa-monica.jpg
vintage-getaway-car-casa-monica-wedding.jpg
st-augustine-wedding-sparkler-exit.jpg

Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Ceremony Venue: Pena Peck House
Reception Venue: Casa Monica Resort and Spa
Florals: Thicket Floral Design
Coordinating: Coastal Coordinating
Dress: Love Bridal Boutique
 

Don't Let Your Wedding Stress You Out

If there's anything you should be afraid of, it's NOT your own wedding! I have talked to SO many brides who are just stressed out of their minds. The blogs tell them how to have a wedding. Their family tells them. Their friends who got married last year tell them. Even random strangers have opinions on how they should get married. 

So as someone who's been around a LOT of weddings, let me give you a few tips on how to keep your wedding planning happy and stress free. ;) 

Jacksonville-wedding-Ribault-Club-no-stress.jpg

Pick Your Top 3

Unless you have an unlimited budget, you simply can't have it all. But that is NOT a bad thing! When you can't have everything, you're forced to decide what's truly important to you. Then what you are able to really focus your money and energies on, you appreciate so much more. 

Before you start buying, reserving, and booking, sit down and decide what the top three aspects of your wedding are. For me personally, it was the photographer (yeah, shocker I know!), the dress, and the flowers. My budget went in that order too. Anything outside of that, I made sure was the more budget option, DIY-ed or just skipped.

Get Help

On your wedding day, you should not be the point person for anything. I repeat, NO ONE SHOULD BRING ANY PROBLEMS TO YOU ON YOUR WEDDING DAY! Your only job is being blissfully happy and enjoying every moment. So whether it's a bridesmaid, mother, friend, or hired coordinator, you need to have a person that knows everything (you can even give them a binder with the info from all your vendors) so that any questions or problems that may come up are directed to them and not you. Seriously. Just get some help. ;) 

It's Literally About You

The whole point of a wedding is to celebrate 2 people coming together in marriage for the rest of their lives. So if a celebration to you and your fiance feels like an elegant, candlelit dinner for 30 of your closest friends and family, do that. If it's fun food trucks and dancing under the stars with 300 people, then do that! If it's just the two of you eloping in the jungles of Puerto Rico, do that (and take me with you!) 

florida-beach-elopement-Ormond-Beach.jpg

Use Inspiration Sparingly

There are so many articles on wedding blogs telling you everything that you NEED to have, that everything is crucial to your wedding, but they have to. Their advertisers sell everything wedding related under the sun and they won't be too happy if the blog suddenly tells brides that all they need to get married is a marriage license. So while blogs, pinterest, instagram, magazines, etc. can be super helpful at finding inspiration for your own priorities, don't let it shift them or make you suddenly feel unhappy that you can't have a gigantic wall of peonies, an elopement to Iceland or a celebrity DJ at your reception.  Use inspiration, don't let it use you.

Don't Compare

When did we suddenly start a wedding competition? If comparison is the thief of joy, then it has NO place at our weddings! There are so many unique people and circumstances around each wedding that there is no possible reason to compare them. What matters is that you are in love and have a beautiful moment promising that love to each other! I've had people ask me what my 'best wedding' was, and I honestly didn't know what to say. Is there some ranking criteria that I'm not aware of? Does whoever get the most instagram likes win? Why on earth would you want to make something as beautiful, and meaningful as a wedding be part of some bizarre popularity contest? Ok, I'm off of my soapbox now. But seriously, guys, it's NOT a competition!

What Really Matters

When my grandparents got married, it was a little bit spur of the moment. My grandpa was about to be deployed during WWII and they decided to get married before he left. My grandma bought a white dress, wore it to a few dances before her wedding (such a little rebel!), and they were married at a friend's home and had cake afterwards. The only photo from their wedding (see below) was actually from their honeymoon. No one took a single photo of their wedding. (Insert all my wedding photographer nightmares here!)

My grandparents on their honeymoon

Though they did regret not having any photos, the point is that for a wedding, all you need is to get married. My grandparents' wedding would be almost shocking in modern america, though it was pretty much the norm in their time. They were happily married for over 50 years, so I think that counts as proof that all you need is each other.

As fun and beautiful as all the invitations, decorations, photography, dresses, and flowers are, you don't need them.  All you need is love, commitment to your marriage, and to enjoy your wedding day as the exciting start of all that! #DontStressOut

Kate K. - Downtown St Augustine

I have so many to do lists! Work lists, home lists, kids lists, exercise lists. My lists have lists! Maybe it's because once you put something on a list you feel more productive, even if it takes you 6 months to check it off. Photographing Kate has been on my list for a long time but we finally did it! She is not only a total babe, but such a trooper, meeting me at the Castillo De San Marcos at sunrise, looking totally fresh and rested, unlike myself. lol It's interesting to photograph a place that is so familiar to me but at a different time of day than usual. St Augustine really felt different that early in the morning, hushed and regal, but not too regal for band t-shirts and baby frog catching. ;) 

water-ripples-at-sun-rise-st-augustine.jpg
woman-and-palm-tree-at-sunrise.jpg
woman-and-water-double-exposure-st-augustine.jpg
woman-in-tan-dress-at-sunrise.jpg
woman-sitting-at-st-augustine-fort.jpg
woman-walking-at-castillo-de-san-marcos-sunrise.jpg
st-augustine-editorial-photographer-kate.jpg
woman-doing-peace-signs-castillo-de-san-marcos.jpg
woman-in-pink-floyd-shirt.jpg
woman-smiling-holding-tiny-frog.jpg
woman-sitting-on-wall-castillo-de-san-marcos.jpg
castillo-de-san-marcos-coquina-wall.jpg
st-augustine-hair-flip-1.jpg
st-augustine-hair-flip-2.jpg
woman-smiling-brick-wall-st-augustine.jpg
palm-tree-downtown-st-augustine.jpg
lifestyle-photographer-st-augustine-kate-3.jpg
woman-in-pink-floyd-shirt-st-augustine.jpg

Lindsey & Chris - New Smyrna Engagement Session

Lots of times when I'm photographing couples, the guy doesn't talk much at first. He's pleasant and easy to work with but definitely quieter than her. Whether he ends up being a talker or not, the way he looks at her speaks VOLUMES. Oh man!!! The quiet smile, twinkling eyes every time he looks at her! He put a ring on it and he's not looking back. That's the way it was with Lindsey and Chris. I love getting to hide behind my camera and see those sweet looks, the way they can't take their eyes off each other. Romance, romance, ROMANCE, and these two have it in spades!! 

man-and-woman-kissing-in-the-sun.jpg
beach-boardwalk-signs-at-ponce-inlet.jpg
jacksonville-engagment-photographer-Lindsey-and-chris.jpg
engaged-couple-at-new-smyrna-beach.jpg
double-exposure-new-smyrna-beach-engagement-session.jpg
palmetto-leaves-at-new-smyrna-beach.jpg
couple-sitting-on-bench-ponce-inlet.jpg
smiling-couple-cuddling-at-new-smyrna-beach.jpg
boardwalk-at-ponce-inlet-florida.jpg
beach-engagement-session-with-rainbow-dress.jpg
new-smyrna-beach-engagement-lindsey-and-chris.jpg
couple-cuddling-under-palm-tree.jpg
couple-kissing-at-ponce-inlet-beach.jpg
engaged-couple-in-ponce-inlet-forest.jpg
new-smyrna-engagement-session-e-m-anderson-photography.jpg
couple-walking-holding-hands-in-the-woods.jpg
couple-kissing-in-the-woods-new-smyrna-beach.jpg