I’d been eagerly anticipating Rachelle and Stephen’s wedding for ages. If you recall, Rachelle and Stephen won an engagement session from a giveaway I did on A Practical Wedding. How could you not fall in love with a couple who asks if they can do a “regular” engagement shoot and then don costumes and a wig (and a fake wooden finger!) and pretend to be Margot and Richie from The Royal Tenenbaums? As we stood outside the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, we chatted about their wedding — a Sunday afternoon, light snacks but big cake, affair (with wine and beer) — and I was smitten. Luckily they felt the same way about me and chose me to photograph their wedding. I’m so honored and pleased to share this with you.

      Rachelle and Stephen were married on a warm June afternoon. Time and time again I was reminded of how lucky I was to be a part of the “VIP crowd” (as Rachelle called it). I was with the bride while she got ready, witnessed the couple’s amazingly heartfelt first look that had me in tears as I shot frame after frame, and spent time with them photographing their final last dance while the rest of the guests prepared for the send-off. You’d think a Sunday afternoon wedding crowd would be pretty tame, but this group danced and screamed and danced some more, and threw rose petals merrily at the married couple as they climbed into a Saint Arnold’s tie-dyed Bentley. You heard me correctly.

      just married couple flinging bouquet in joybride getting ready through windowbride mimic painting heirloom handkerchiefhomemade silk flower bouquetsblue wedding shoes perched on bed edgewedding jewelry macro austin wedding photographereuro acting as a two-pence austin wedding photographytaping coin to the bottom of shoe good luck wedding traditioncassini dress detail wedding gownclassic and modern dress shot wedding gown austin photographergroom playing foosball before wedding daygroom applying boutonniere austin wedding photographygroom checks reflection in mirror austin wedding photographerheartfelt first look nose kiss smiling bride romantic momentblack and white bride and groom holding handshomemade wedding centerpieces ribbon silk flowers wooden numberssilk flowers ribbon centerpieces handmade wall-e and eve wedding cake toppers wedding welcome table inspiration flowers guestbookwedding reception welcome portrait austinwhite knots for same-sex marriage support photo wedding receptionmacro diamond wedding ring shotblack and white grandmother granddaughter getting ready for weddingcomposition in front of window grandmother granddaughter groom austin wedding photographysilhouetted bride groom portrait austin wedding photographerbride groom sitting holding handsbride solitary contemplation before wedding ceremony begins americanabride walking single down the aisle austin wedding photographygroom waits in anticipation of bride wedding daybride and groom smile as they exchange rings austin wedding photographerclassic bridal headshot austin bride photographysmiling bride photographbride groom backlit warm sun portraits austinhandmade wedding programsoff-camera flash reception cake feeding cake cutting photolaughing bride enjoying her receptionblack and white first dance wedding receptionfirst dance silly giggle bride groom austin wedding photographyguests dancing wedding reception austin wedding photographerwedding guest getting excited about a song austin photographerguest and grandma spinning dancing wedding photographyguest and bride dancing wedding photographerenergetic wedding crowd gets into the spirit of things mother of groom dance austin weddingsnight at the roxbury reference wedding dancebro hug austin wedding photographerguys hug wedding reception friendshipYMCA done classy at austin weddingfinal dance austin wedding photographywedding rose petal sendoffblack and white kiss car sendoff wedding

      Second photographer: Emily Grenader
      Venue: Butler’s Courtyard
      Dress: Oleg Cassini
      Cake: Cakes by Jula
      DJ: MAD Productions
      Catering: Robinette and Company
      Florist: the bride (silk flowers)
      Hair/makeup: Adorne Artistry
      Officiant: Minister Lynn Turner


      1) that cake is EPIC and 2) your photography is EPIC.

      Wow, looks great! You’re the real thing, Elissa! :)

      And I heart your second photographer.

      Beautiful images Elissa!

      love the jewel/dress details

      So much personality in these pics! Great job!!

      Beautiful set and the coolest cake topper I’ve ever seen!!

      A wonderful mix of emotion and detail. A lovely wedding captured perfectly.

      Love the one of her sitting by the picture. Lovely set io images

      What a cool wedding!! :) You really rocked it, great work!

      Haha, the reception shots are so fun and full of energy, love them!

      Love that shot of the bride in front of that portrait in the wall. And that cake topper…how adorable! Well done!

      such a gorgeous wedding, great details and tons of fun! you did a beautiful job documenting the entire thing!

      Awesome wedding. The little Wall-e is brilliant!

      What a fun and gorgeous day! Love their portraits together.

      So gorgeous! The portraits are all amazingly beautiful!

      Everything about this wedding is awesome. The cake, the car, the venue is beautiful, the couple looks like so much fun. Also, love the lighting in the reception shots. Great work!

      Is that a Wall-e cake cos it’s freaking awesome!
      They make me want to be their friends!

      Awesome! Very beautiful work, girly.

      A tie dyed rolls, that’s a nice touch. Wonderful work capturing it all!

      Great set! Well done, Elissa. Well done.