Four months ago, I met Casey and Rob in Orlando for their engagement session, which appears here.

Casey and Rob’s big day was the start of the weddings for this 2011 year for me, so I would be lying like crazy if I said I wasn’t nervous. I’m still a new wedding photographer, and getting nervous before every shoot helps me keep from making mistakes. I didn’t eat breakfast-I was running on pure nerves. When I arrived at the hotel, Casey and her bridesmaids were relaxing and we had a GREAT time line figured out with lots of time for photos.

On the day of her engagement photos, Casey had her hair trial, and she wore her hair down. But that was a modification from her wedding day hair, which she decided to wear up, with a sparkly headpiece. This was a great choice, since an up-do kept the wind from ruining her look. And it sure was windy two weeks ago at the Grand Plaza Hotel.

I like these two back to back shots I found on my camera of Casey and her bridesmaid during the getting ready and prep!

The weather was rainy earlier in the morning, but by the time of the ceremony, just wind remained, and Rob remarked that his father was looking down and making sure that their ceremony would be dry and sunny. Rob and his sister and mom are a very close family. When photographing them prior to the ceremony, I could just feel how proud his sister and mom are of him as a newly married man.

There was also the creation of a new family that day as Rob welcomed Casey’s son with open arms. Thanks for lending me one of your favorite toys for this shot, J!

Casey and Rob opted for a first look, which really helps out with the wedding day time line. And doing a first look allows you to get photos as a bride looking your best, before all the tears of the ceremony.

The wind was so strong on the beach that it actually started to tear off Casey’s professionally done lashes after the ceremony! But there were no worries, because we already had plenty of photos done of Casey and Rob prior, so they were able to just get to their reception and party.

Their cake topper with the famous St. Pete sunset.

And it was a great party. I think Rob was singing some Journey at one point! And Casey surprised Rob with a fun garter from Michigan, Rob’s favorite school.

I hope you two had a WONDERFUL week long Caribbean honeymoon and that you enjoy your wedding photos for many years to come. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your big day; it was an honor.

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Tina said: | Mar 26, 2011 - 09:03:14 |

They look so happy! That sunset was beautiful!

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The morning of her wedding, Sherina woke up early-but not in anticipation. Last Saturday, at 7am, Sherina and her sister stood outside their hotel in their pajamas. The fire alarm was blaring inside; it had awoken them, and they rushed to get out. As hotel guests loitered about, Sherina and her trusty maid of honor held the bridal gown aloft. It was the only thing they had grabbed.

It was only a false alarm. Someone was a little too zealous with the waffle maker on the breakfast buffet, I heard, and there was a lot of smoke and no fire-literally.

And unfortunately, Sherina’s hair dresser became very ill and wasn’t able to make the trip from her hometown to the wedding venue. There was no need to worry about the hair; Sherina got a replacement stylist in just minutes.

But driving in to St. Pete Beach, I was worried for a different reason. It was cold for December in Florida. At one point, the dash thermometer read forty-eight degrees. Too cold for the outdoor portraits I had been brainstorming for several weeks…but what was especially worrisome was the thick dense fog. I couldn’t see more than fifteen feet in front of my car.

Fog can be romantic, I reminded myself. And then, boom, it cleared up. And it warmed up! As soon as I pulled into the parking lot of the Don Cesar Resort, the weather became beautiful. There was no fire, no missing hairdresser, and no fog. By the time the ceremony ended and we started our intimate portrait series, the St. Pete Beach sunset light was perfect-just as I had hoped.

Sherina, Eric, and I had met here once before for their engagement session a few months back (the time FLEW!). I love all the ways they incorporated those photos into their wedding day, through their invites, guest book, and sign-in table.

After the few minor snags I mentioned above (every wedding day has them!), we rolled right through. Sherina and Eric are the photographer’s DREAM couple to work with…we rocked the timeline. Heck, Sherina was way, way ahead of schedule, and that never happens. I love her for that.

Sherina was careful not to let Eric see her prior to the wedding, and it paid off, because his face was just priceless as she was escorted down the aisle by her dad.

They also wanted to minimize the number of super formal posed family photos and instead capture the family having fun throughout the night, naturally. The party got fun and crazy; they definitely know how to host a good time!

And Eric and Sherina were down for any poses, any settings, anything. I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve taken some photojournalistic shots in a men’s bathroom! But that’s just the kind of couple they are-laid back and ready for anything.

They are adventurous and not afraid to show their passion for each other.

Nothing spooky happened at the venue this time (it is rumored to be haunted!), and the holiday decorations provided a perfect backdrop for the warm ceremony and reception.

Eric even serenaded Sherina on the dance floor as they twirled for their first dance as husband and wife. DJ Mike Mello with Frank Lebano and Company provided some AMAZING entertainment and a beautiful lighting design that set the holiday scene.

At the end of the night, everyone wished them well and sent them off in the largest shower of bubbles I’ve ever seen. It was a magical, romantic end to a perfect wedding day.

Sherina and Eric, I hope you had an amazing honeymoon. It was truly an honor to work with you; you were one of my very first couples to book and my final 2010 wedding. Thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your big day. Happy holidays to the entire family!

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Anonymous said: | Dec 20, 2010 - 10:12:37 |

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! They are all so good!! Kristen ~ it was a pleasure working w/ you. Sherina definitely picked the perfect photographer. You and your husband were great!

Thanks again,
Bridesmaid in Orange:)

Anonymous said: | Dec 21, 2010 - 06:12:34 |

I love the pics and can't wait to see the rest.
The bridesmaid in red, melissa

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Eric and Sherina are a super laid-back, easygoing couple that laughed along with me throughout their session, even when I asked them to jump around on an outdoor beach bed!

On a hot day, we went over to check out her wedding venue, the Don CeSar resort, over in St. Pete and do her engagement session in the meantime.

I absolutely love the color turquoise in jewelry and I love it when brides wear a dress for their engagement sessions, especially a white dress. (I might be biased because I wore a white dress for my own engagement session). It just adds a little bridal touch.

Sherina told me that she and Eric had both been working out a lot and getting fit, and it definitely shows with their confidence in the photos! 🙂

The Don Cesar is really unique, with a vintage feel to it. The staff couldn’t be nicer, and they were even able to get this outside deck opened up for us where my favorite images from the session came from.

Another thing that was interesting is that the Don CeSar is rumored to be haunted. Sherina and Eric told me about lights mysteriously going on and off on some of the staff. The building even held a morgue at one time. And then we kept not being able to open doors to the outside; several were stuck shut when we tried. Was it something spooky? (Or were they just swollen from the difference between air conditioning and the humid outdoor weather?)

I had such an awesome time with Sherina and Eric and can’t wait until their wedding. I know it is going to be gorgeous!

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