Lexi & Bryan | Summer 2012

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Lexi and I met during my sophomore (her freshman) year of college. We got to know each other throughout the fall and by the second semester were spending a ton of time together. We both loved dancing, quirky movies and baking. We spent our Saturdays crafting and exploring Manhattan. Since that year in the residence halls we have been able to keep and grow our friendship-- what a gift! When Lexi met Bryan I could {insert cliche statement}------>  immediately tell that something was different.  He was a Florida boy so I of course already loved him ;-) Their story is fairly simple but full of genuine love. They made the trips between Kansas and Florida for over a year before Bryan asked Lexi to be his wife.

I was so honored to have the opportunity to travel to Anna Maria Island, Florida for their August 4th, 2012 wedding. Travel and Florida are two of my very most favorite things in the whole world and getting to do both while being present for their wedding was just amazing. It was a busy weekend full of unexpected  scenarios that were made better with beach-made french toast and sand between our toes. From being able to walk from the beach house to their wedding site to hunting for sea turtles along the shore line after their reception--it was perfect.

Lexi was seriously stunning. I almost froze behind the camera during her hair & makeup appointment because I was so taken aback!

I loved the gifts Lexi and Bryan gave each other just hours before their wedding. The anticipation was so exciting!

Bryan and his best friend Josh had been totally calm despite some of the changes that had popped up throughout the morning. When we arrived at the beach house they said "we are ready to go!" I was thankful for their Godly spirits throughout the day-- Lexi is blessed!

 

Suddenly, after the flurry of the morning, both Bryan and Lexi were ready for their first look. I travel to Tampa quite frequently and had the chance to scope out a first look location during my last visit in February. It was surreal to actually see them walking towards one another...

No words for the raw emotion of their first look. It is one of my favorite behind-the-camera moments I've ever experienced!

One of the beautiful parts of getting married on a beach is that people tend to be super awesome and clear space for you to make your wedding images. Also, they might offer you a cold one from their beach cooler {ha ha!} After Lexi and Bryan's first-look we explored Holmes Beach and we truly had the place to ourselves....

The other great thing about beach weddings? There are bound to be adorable beachside storefronts around to shade you from the sun and provide some fun colored backdrops {my favorite!} We hit the jackpot in Anna Maria Island with iconic Adirondack chairs and a fabulous, vintage "lounge" right around the corner from the beach. We walked barefoot from spot to spot--it was amazing!

Before we knew it we were hopping in our getaway car {special thanks to my Tampa love, Ashley for all of her help during this weekend!} and heading to the ceremony beach. It was almost time! Bryan and Lexi hadn't seen their family yet. It was great to arrive and see everyone barefoot and ready to go ;-)

If you're not in love with this couple/location yet 1. you might be crazy and 2. the ceremony will surely make your heart skip a few beats. It was intimate and drenched in Florida sunshine. The waves crashed in the background and beach goers stood and looked on as Lexi  & Bryan said "I do".

Before I could find my balance after running around in the sand for thirty minutes, they were MARRIED! It was so surreal for me, I can't imagine how they felt :-D

I followed Lexi & Bryan down to the water for a few "holy cow we are husband and wife as of 30 seconds ago" pictures. Soon after, their wedding guests followed.

When guests were seated for the wedding they were each asked to pick a seashell and hold onto it until after the ceremony. While at the water's edge, I counted down the group to toss their shells into the ocean with a wish for Lexi and Bryan. It was a really neat moment!

And ta-da! As Lexi and Bryan said while standing near the water "let's go have some FUN". We packed-up and drove to Bradenton for their reception at the Manatee Club.

All of the food at their reception was made by family right down to their snickerdoodle and chocolate cupcakes. YUM!

We missed Florida's sunset with travel from the ceremony but I was bound and determined to make some dramatic bridal portraits for Lexi and Bryan. The dark skies and mossy trees outside of their reception space ended up being the perfect setting...

Before we knew it the night was quieting down and it was time to toast the newlyweds a final time. What an incredible day!

Lexi & Bryan,

Thank you so much for trusting me with your day. Traveling 3,000 + plus miles was more than worth it to be there! You know I love ya and wish you only the best-- marriage is seriously awesome. Seriously.

in His love,

Laura