Jessica & Colt: An Intimate Garden Wedding in Orlando, FL

Hello everyone! You can see over 90 photos from Colt and Jessica's wedding in this flash slide show. You can click the play button to watch the show (may take a minute to show up). Also, below that in this post you can read about the wedding and my thoughts on some of the images.
Thanks for visiting! -ross.james



Well the time has come... Jessica and Colt have got married!
Over the years of knowing this couple we have come to realize that we have many things in common. One of these things is that we both love to travel! Just nine months ago Colt and Jessica were on a trip to Wyoming when Colt proposed to Jessica near Wapiti, Wyoming. Colt called Melissa and I, told us about his plans to propose, and we ended up documenting the proposal as well as doing an engagement photo shoot around Cody, Wyoming. We posted the results of the engagement here - A Wyoming Proposal.

Colt & Jessica: A Wyoming Proposal

After Colt and Jessica were engaged, they told us that they had to have us shoot their wedding in Florida. So I had started making plans for the trip when we got another call from Jessica. She asked Melissa to be one of her bridesmaids!
So Melissa and I set off for Orlando with my main assistant Jeff.

It all started the day before the wedding with the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. The dinner was at Park Plaza Gardens restaurant in downtown Winter Park. The theme of the whole wedding was trees, so it was fitting that the dinner tables were surrounded by indoor trees :) At the rehearsal, at Harry P. Leu Gardens, we got some great photos of the family and wedding party interacting but I was also able to scout the area for creative angles and some portrait shoot location ideas.

Jessica & Colt: The Day Before

Jessica & Colt: The Day Before

Jessica & Colt: The Day Before

Jessica & Colt: The Day Before

Jessica & Colt: The Day Before

The wedding day morning I started off with the guys and Melissa went with the girls and photographed them as they were all getting ready. But just because Jessica and Colt had insisted on not seeing each other before the ceremony didn't mean that they weren't going to have a some fun that morning leading up to the wedding. We went to breakfast and then hit the race track. Finally, just in time to keep things on track, Colt and the groomsmen got to their changing room.

Jessica & Colt: Getting Ready

Jessica & Colt: Getting Ready

Jessica & Colt: Getting Ready

Jessica & Colt: Getting Ready

I had mentioned that the wedding ceremony was at Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, FL... Gorgeous estate homes, with wrap around porches, and lots of gardens, all overlooking a lake. Jessica's mother walked her down the aisle. It was a peaceful garden ceremony, very romantic and nature inspired.

Jessica & Colt: The Wedding Ceremony

Jessica & Colt: The Wedding Ceremony

Jessica & Colt: The Wedding Ceremony

Jessica & Colt: The Wedding Ceremony

Jessica & Colt: The Wedding Ceremony

One cool spot I had seen the day before was a cluster of bamboo in walking distance from the ceremony. Just after the ceremony we took the bridal party there and setup a little photo shoot. The lighting was a little dull because of the way the sun was shaded by trees behind me, but I wanted to make it work. Jeff, my main assistant, was running back and forth from our new shoot location and where we had all our lighting equipment stashed trying to get everything moved over. Since we were on a very short time allowance, I needed to do this quick and I needed help. It's not very often that a close friend and someone who has been through this before with me happens to be standing around. But that's exactly how it happened! Carlos, whom I photographed with his wife Christy last year in Seattle [click for picture], had drove down from Tallahassee to be at the wedding. He manned my key light (2 speedlights behind an umbrella) which is what made the lighting by the bamboo work. It was even his idea for me to get up in a tree and shoot down on the group which is what led to the motion blurred one below :)

Jessica & Colt: The Bridal Party

Jessica & Colt: The Bridal Party

Jessica & Colt: The Bridal Party

Jessica & Colt: The Bridal Party

Once we left the garden, Melissa, Jeff and I were all back together and we were following the bride and groom to the reception. But before the reception we had 15 minutes at the most to stop and take some photos of Jessica and Colt together. Jessica led us to a spot where an old large tree had it's long branches growing away from the tree along the ground.

Jessica & Colt: The Bride and Groom

Jessica & Colt: The Bride and Groom

And Finally, the Reception was at the Winter Park Farmer's market. It was a very intimate setting with brick walls. Colt loves coffee, so they had an espresso bar, where guests could order a full assortment of lattes and espresso drinks. A very creative idea I must say! A live band was playing "gypsy jazz" while guests danced. A couple hours later all the wedding guests lit sparklers and waved them in the air as Jessica and Colt jumped into their mini cooper and headed off to Ireland for their honeymoon.

Jessica & Colt: The Reception

Jessica & Colt: The Reception

Jessica & Colt: The Reception

Hope you two had a blast!!

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