a casa feliz wedding – winter park florida
It’s always an honor to travel to any wedding. This particular wedding was so special for many reasons… I’m going to get real personal here and explain why. October 20th 2017 I shot my last wedding before undergoing the scariest surgery of my life. Brain surgery to remove a tumor at the center of my brain, and I had no idea what the future would hold for me. I heard someone ask the question the other day “Do you have a particular memory that you would want to relive, and could you put a price on that… if so how much would that memory cost to you?” I swallowed and thought of this exact time. October 22 2017… 3 days before surgery it was my last day home with my children, husband, and mother. I remember the exact moment, our youngest at the time, was just shy of 10 months he was standing on the edge of the couch and he was trying to take some big boy steps… slowly he let go, trusting that if he fell I would be there to catch him, and like that he let go, gathered his balance and took a step toward me… falling into my arms and just hugged me. I still get choked up by this memory! I squeezed him, smelled his baby smell, and held back the tears that were stinging at the back of my eyes. Would this be the last memory I had with him? Would this be the only time I would see him walk? I’m thankful for the memories I’ve made since this day.. but that one will always be held tightly in my brain. What would I pay for this memory again? For that feeling of NOW… for the grasp of hope….? I can’t even begin to put a number on it.
This wedding was potentially my last but is also where I met Teagan, the Maid of Honor of our beautiful bride. I immediately just fell in love with her… all her girls really! Teagan and I connected on an emotional level, and two years later when she got engaged she called me up and asked the big question ” Will you photograph my wedding?”… YES 1000s times YES… and I can’t wait to celebrate with her and her family again. But wait where the heck does THIS wedding come into play??? The wedding below on this blog… the one in Winterpark Florida … let’s just say it’s a family affair, and boy oh boy was I jumping for joy when I got the second call .. Tanya … Teagans sister was also getting MARRIED… shut the front flipping door. Two weddings same year… both on opposite sides of the U.S., there was no question we had to be at both.
April was beautiful… the weather was warm, but so was the love. So many family and friends came far and wide to celebrate Tanya and Andrew. High School sweet hearts, officially tying the knot. My favorite part of there day was how relaxed everyone was. There was no rush, no desire to make the day anything other than what it turned out to be. She stopped as people arrived admiring her beauty and hugged each guest with such intentionality… I could feel it through my camera. These were HER people, and this was a moment that I know she will remember for the rest of her life. A life altering memory, that will always bring back a flood of emotions and hopefully a smile to her face.
There was no hesitation when they both got engaged, they knew images were one of the most important factors of their day. This is what we try to convey over and over to all of our couples. You get one shot… one wedding day… one moment and many memories to be captured. What is that day worth to you? It’s not about checking off a planning to do list… venue (check) cake (check) wedding photographer (check).. it may seem like that, and to some degree yes… but don’t let it be just that. YOU have the ultimate say… YOU get to choose how you remember your day.
So without further ado we present Tanya + Andrew and their beautiful Casa Feliz Wedding in Winter Park Florida!
Meet Mr + Mrs Bethke
When did you guys meet?
“We met our junior year in high school!
Who said I love your first?
“Oh that was totally Andrew hahahah”
Where did he propose?
“Andrew proposed in Epcot, Italy. I had been trying to help a kid catch lizards and Andrew had drank half way around the world which admittedly, is unlike him. Andrew told Tanya they should take a picture and while a picture was taken, Andrew proposed.”
What was your style and vision for your wedding?
“Colors were blue and pink. We were going for a whimsical/romantic style.”
What unique elements did you have at your wedding?
“We made decorations out of old book pages including, centerpieces, boutonnieres, corsages, garland and flower crown. We also included nods to our favorite book series, Lord of the Rings. We made our wedding cake and bouquets. Everything was made by ourselves and our friends and family. Our coordinator brought our vision together.”
What was your favorite moment?
“Our first look, exchanging our vows, being dipped during our first dance, having our cake, the entire day was everything we were hoping for and more. It’s hard to pick only one moment. It was surreal how wonderful everything was. It was one of the happiest days of our lives and an incredible start of a new chapter for us”
Wedding- Tell us about your, flowers, gown, your favors, your cake…all the details!
“The Worst Man, Lauren Bethke, brought flowers we all worked on arranging them. My gown and veil were found at The Collection Bridal in Winter Park. Andrew’s suit was custom made at Men’s Wearhouse. Our cake was made by Brittany Silva and put together by the bride. Our favors were custom wooden bookmarks with one of our favorite quotes. Jay Liquid DJ’d our wedding. Monica Ann Cullen, owner of As You Wish, coordinated our wedding and made everything we brought her make sense. She was incredible and we can’t say enough about her.”
What is one piece of advice you would give to another couple on their wedding day?
“Enjoy yourselves. Bask in the presence of your partner and let yourself get swept up in all of the little moments. If you do, Dana and Joe will capture that beauty. Seeing the photos they captured at our wedding is overwhelming. It’s incredible what they were able to do. So, enjoy your day.”
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