Kamren & Mike | Botanical Garden & Juliet Wedding

Rainy creative portraits in Austin

As the wedding day crept closer, the rain that had been teasing Austin all week finally focused its energy to drop a torrential downpour right when Kamren and Mike were planning to say their vows amidst the roses at Zilker Botanical Gardens. They switched to a covered pavilion at first; then, realizing it would be worse than expected, chose the only enclosed building, the Garden Center. By the time I arrived, rivulets of water sluiced down my windshield; the normally bustling park only had the cars for the wedding party in its lot.

But no matter. This was perfect: we had the entire gardens to ourselves. After a quick, beautiful ceremony (officiated by Spike), the rain quieted down a little bit. The couple’s family moved ahead to Juliet Ristorante and Kamren sacrificed the hem of her coral wedding dress for photos. All of Austin was quiet; the pedestrian bridge, which is normally full of joggers and dog-walkers, was ours for the taking. And Juliet — a space I’d been wanting to take photos inside for ages (look at that décor!) — was open to our discretion.

These two came all the way from LA to get married; their families are from New York, they’d always wanted to visit Austin, so they chose Austin as a destination spot. Luckily, the rest of the weather was beautiful for their trip, and I think we made a once-in-a-lifetime set of photos for their wedding pictures.

Rainy day elopement at Zilker Botanical Garden Black and white portraits by Elissa RSpring wedding portraits at Zilker Botanical GardenAustin elopement photographerIntimate wedding portraits Colorful elopement photos Zilker garden ring photo downtown Austin elopement photos Juliet Ristorante Austin private dining room wedding celebration at Austin area restaurant Couple cutting the cake at their small reception Intimate wedding reception at Juliet Restaurant Creative elopement photographerBeautiful lighting and surroundings at Julietjuliet restaurant austin elopement

Featured in The Knot Texas

austin wedding featured

I’m super excited to share that Bruce and José’s W Austin Wedding (see the blog post here) is featured in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of The Knot Texas, on newsstands May 21.

Kristin & Zhiyi | International Wedding at 5226 Elm

Typically when I share wedding stories on this blog, I talk about the couple and their day, and it’s a lovely (albeit contained) post. But I feel as though I have to go further back for this particular story — and it’s a bit more personal this time, too. Four years ago, I walked into a neighborhood jewelry store to get extra links from a new watch removed. When an associate asked me how to spell my name to put me into their customer records, there was another young woman working behind the counter — well, studying me, really, like we’d gone to elementary school together — who interjected with, “Elissa R? The photographer?”

“That’s me,” I said, wondering if we’d met before.

“I’m Kristin!” the young woman said, jumping up from her seat. “I love your work! I’m not engaged yet, but I’m totally going to call you when I am!”

It was amazingly flattering, to say the least, and the first time anything like that has ever happened to me! I stopped by that jewelry store often, to window-shop and to drape my hands in diamonds while Kristin and her new rescue dog Lola (the sweetest pitbull who sat quietly in a corner of the store) kept me company, and I learned that Kristin had been dating her boyfriend Zhiyi for a while. When the couple moved to Amsterdam, taking Lola with them, I was pretty bummed: I really thought that I would never see them again, outside of social media.

Lo, several years later, Kristin popped up in my inbox: “I’m engaged!” she said. “I’m ready to hire you for my wedding in Houston.”

And what a wedding! Kristin and Zhiyi had had a wedding in China a few months before the Houston one, so this was a little more subdued, but still tremendously gorgeous. They had a double-happiness backdrop custom-made and set up at the altar; the wedding was a smorgasbord of deep, rich colors, including Kristin’s bouquet and lanterns strewn throughout. It was a lovely, overcast afternoon wedding with Dutch stroopwafel and sausage served for brunch, and I’m so, so happy that I was able to be a part of Kristin and Zhiyi’s Houston wedding.

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Credits: 5226 Elm Events; Hedrick’s Catering and Events; Secret Floral Garden; Village Bakery; New Olympic Bakery; L’atelier de Art On It; SpeedPro Sugar Land (custom backdrop); engagement ring designed by the bride’s sister and executed by Varna