We have been so anxious about this wedding! We’ve gotten to know Beth & Mark pretty well over the past few months and just can’t get enough of them! They are so much fun to be around that we had TWO engagement sessions with them! We shot their first engagement session at the Jacksonville Zoo, where they were married this past weekend. Then on Valentine’s weekend we headed out to Destin where Mark is currently stationed for a playful, romantic shoot on the beach! Seeing them together, it is undeniable that they are very deeply in love with one another!
Before the ceremony, Beth & Mark decided to do a “first look” in the new Asian Gardens at the zoo. A lot of couples don’t want to see one another until the bride walks down the aisle, and I can respect tradition, but I think a first look is so much more personal and intimate. It’s much more relaxed and you can really take in the moment because you don’t have an audience there (except for two super awesome photographers capturing the moment! LOL!). I love the series of first look photos below. Beth waited among the bamboo, peeking out to see when Mark was in place. Mark waited on the bridge with his backed turned away. Beth walked down the path (heart racing with anticipation, I’m sure) up to the bridge and slowly creeped over to Mark. She hesitated a moment, perhaps to catch her breath because her heart stopped beating, and gently touched Mark on the back. Then you see Mark’s face light up with a warm smile as he turns around to see his bride. Sigh… it’s so sweet and romantic because it’s just about the bride and groom!
The ceremony took place at sunset. All of the guests boarded the train to head over to the ceremony site. There two peacocks wandering around, as if they knew a wedding was about to take place. There were comments about the peacocks being part of the ceremony and how cool it would be if they stayed around for it. In the middle of the ceremony, as Beth & Mark were saying their vows, the two peacocks strolled right behind them. You couldn’t have timed it better if they were trained! It was quite a sight!
Following the ceremony, guests were entertained with carousel rides and a visit with the giraffes! How many people can say they had a carousel and giraffes at their wedding?! This was definitely unique! The evening concluded with a beautiful reception near the Jaguar exhibit. It was a magical evening, and I’m sure one that Beth & Mark and all of their friends and family will never forget! I think this wedding at the Jacksonville Zoo might just be my favorite one yet! It will be hard to top!!
Congratulations, Beth & Mark! We know you will be very happy together and will be filled with love and laughter throughout your lives! We will miss you when you move to Spain! I think we may need to come visit you… ; )