Brooke and I met nearly 18 months ago, at the very beginning stage of the planning process for her Up The Creek Farms wedding; from the moment we met, I knew that Brooke was a special person – she was just one of those people that you easily become friends with. Brooke and her (NOW HUSBAND) Jake have been living in South Carolina for close to two years now but came back down to Central Florida to celebrate their next chapter as Mr. and Mrs. at the STUNNING Orlando area wedding venue, Up The Creek Farms. The venue, located in the Melbourne area (about an hour East of Orlando), boasts an incredibly romantic ceremony spot under a massive canopy of oak trees, nestled closely to the small winding river on the property. On either side of the ceremony spot are the reception hall and the Decklan House, where both the bride and groom got ready for the big day. Brooke and her five bridesmaids got ready on the top level, far away from the eyesight of the boys.
Just below the girls, the guys enjoyed spacious accommodations on the second and first floors of the house with comfortable lounge areas and easy access to the sweet outdoors. We always like to take some pre-ceremony shots with the guys before they get all suited up, and I must say, it’s always a good time and plenty of laughs! Continuing on with the trend of custom grooms suits, Jake had his suit customized to have American flags as the design on the inside and tied it all together with a slick blue bowtie and American flag socks.
Brooke and Jake wanted to keep their wedding day traditional and see each other for the first time down the aisle, but they took me up on a recommendation to consider incorporating the first touch into their timeline; a first touch allows the soon to be newlyweds a moment to reach out and physically feel the presence of their partner, a moment to reflect on what’s about to happen, and a final chance to say ALL THE THINGS (or exchange a little gift) before the “I DO”. But most importantly, I have noticed that this tiny moment, these 5 stolen minutes of privacy, bring all of the comforts in the world to both parties and always seem to quell even the loudest anxieties.
After a nice deep breath, everyone was ready to jump into the best part of the day: the ceremony under the canopy of trees! The location was so naturally beautiful it is a total minimalists dream! The couple did a mixture of benches and chairs and the area very easily accommodated their 100 guests. One of my favorite moments of the day was the smile that broke out across Jake’s face when he got a look at his bride coming down the aisle, and then the tears of joy they experienced together.
The black and white photo featured above was another favorite moment – Brooke and Jake had just said “I do!”, walked back down the aisle together, and once they had stepped away from the crowd of onlookers, Brooke was completely overcome with emotion. Jake, seeing this, calmed her with soft sweet kisses on her cheek. There’s something about the pent up emotion on Brooke’s face just absolutely moves me.
After the ceremony, I whisked the couple away for their portraits and finally had an opportunity to explore the grounds and I wasn’t disappointed. There are so many unique backdrops we could have taken photos of for hours! Getting to photograph Brooke and Jake together is a special experience because they are just like peanut butter and jelly – they go together perfectly. Jake’s sense of humor kept us all rolling in laughter and Brooke’s laid back attitude made their portrait time an absolute breeze. For giggles, here’s a little behind the scenes of how I got that reflection shot!
The formal party looked absolutely AMAZING in their mix and match bridesmaids dresses (all six had different dresses and colors) that paired beautifully with the groomsmen’s black suits. The metallic and sequin dresses added a special SPARKLE to the crew while the floral patterned dress added just the right element of texture. To maximize the portrait time AFTER the ceremony, we were sure to take bridesmaids and groomsmen portraits BEFORE the ceremony, leaving only the group portraits for afterward (meaning the formal party gets to enjoy cocktail hour, hey-yo!).
The reception was held in the barn at Up The Creek Farms, which was decorated with stunning chandeliers, drapery, and simple greens atop a mixture of classic wooden tables and farm tables and matching wooden chairs. The immaculate artwork that was the newlywed’s wedding cake was one of the most unique designs I have ever seen – and it tasted just. as. good. Brooke and Jake had the brilliant idea to send everyone home with a box of to-go cake and we are unashamed to admit that we demolished ours because it was soooo delicious. The jams from Liquid Entertainment kept everyone dancing all night long until it was time for the sparkler exit.
A HUGE THANK YOU to all the vendors who helped make Brooke and Jake’s wedding day so special:
Orlando Wedding Photographer: Sara Ozim, SO Photography
Venue: Up The Creek Farms
Cake: Bakers Cottage Cakes
Entertainment: Liquid Entertainment
Videographer: Pear and Thorn
Catering: 4 Rivers
Hair and Make Up: Before The Aisle
Photo Booth: Party Shots Orlando