December 13, 2017
When I arrived to photograph Morgan and Dereck’s Sunken Gardens wedding, I knew it was going to be a good day. Morgan was so relaxed, just spending the morning with her best friend, Kristen. Being friends for over 20 years, they were chatting as if it was any other day. Morgan had her hair and makeup done while Christmas movies played in the background. Morgan was such a calm, low key bride. You couldn’t help but feel relaxed around her. To top it off, she looked absolutely stunning! Morgan wore a strapless gown with a tulle overlay. In her hair, she had a floral clip. Her bouquet was filled with garden roses and greenery.
I met Dereck when I arrived at Sunken Gardens and was welcomed with the most genuine smile! He was so, so excited that this day was finally here, and couldn’t wait to marry the love of his life. His kindness and thoughtfulness wrapped around me like a warm hug.
Dereck and Morgan had their first look near the entrance of Sunken Gardens. It was such a sweet moment to watch these two embrace for the first time on their wedding day. After their first look, we made our way throughout the garden, capturing portraits of these two along the way. They loved Sunken Gardens for the tropical feel it provided – the palm trees, the large leaves, and the oasis type feel. It is such a gem in St. Pete!
Their ceremony was held on the wedding lawn. They had an intimate wedding, with only 60 guests. Dereck wrote the entire wedding ceremony, and it was so touching. The words that were shared were powerful and filled with respect. All of their guests clapped as Morgan and Dereck were proclaimed husband and wife!
The wedding reception was held outside under string lights (be still my heart!). It looked like a dream! Guests found their seats thanks to an acrylic seating chart. The tables were set with beautiful centerpieces that looked so natural.
I’ll never forget the speech that Dereck made that night. He explained how he and Morgan met many years ago, but didn’t start dating right away. And he instantly knew she was special, and from that point, he continued to compare all other women to “Morgan” – as she became his gold standard. He hoped that one day he would find a “Morgan” of his own. Well, he did. And now he has his Morgan as his wife, to stand by his side for the rest of his life.
Dereck and Morgan, thank you for welcoming me with open arms on your day. It was an absolute honor and privilege to document this beginning of your story together. You two are the kindest and sweetest! I feel so grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know you. Congratulations to you both!
Venue: Sunken Gardens // Seating Chart and Planning: Palm Trees to Peonies // Hair and Makeup: The Hair and Makeup Gypsy // DJ: Breezin Entertainment // Dress shop: Tradesy // Dress Designer: Stella York // Veil: Melinda Rose Design // Florist: Wonderland Floral Art // Getting Ready Location: Hyatt Place St. Petersburg // Caterer: Milan Catering // Cake: Mazzaros // Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab //