Jane + Kenny Shirley

Jane and Kenny agreed on forever in the midst of their friends and family on a magical Mexican beach. The amount of emotion and love that filled this time was nothing short of a blessing from God, and a huge wink from Jane's dad in heaven. The day started at sunrise where Jane and I headed down to the beach where she decided to spread some of her fathers ashes in the ocean. She knew it would be so special to place them in a biodegradable box and let them go out to sea, so he would be in the same incredible place where she and her love would say "I Do". (Try imagining a dry eye from me...not!) And boy, did he show up throughout the whole process.

The girls spent the morning laughing, crying, sipping champagne, and wearing gold eye masks as the best time of Janes life unfolded. The hair and makeup team started on Janes airbrushed look and beach pony hair style that would complete her already angel-like appearance. I began putting together detail photos that consisted of invitation suites that resembled passports and luggage tags that Jane designed herself. This along with signature Jo Malone perfume, her grandmothers pearls, and some native greenery I gathered from right outside of the villa. Her dress hung so perfectly against the tropical background it took my breath away. But dang, did it hang much more perfectly on Jane. After she got zipped into the dress and finished putting on her jewelry, one of Janes best girls & role models led the group in an emotional prayer, where I captured the little tears of joy coming down the new brides face. She then FaceTimed her mom who resides in Canada, but couldn't make it because of Covid restrictions. Such a special moment of Mom covering her jaw dropped as she saw her baby girl as a bride. Jane gave her a sweet look of her bouquet, wrapped in grandmas pearls and a 90's photo of Jane and her daddy. Again, dry eyes where?

Funny excerpt: We took it outside for a photo op of Janes bridesmaid helping her zip her dress up, and little did we know that Kenny was headed over on the golf cart for their first touch. My assistant got a text from one of the boys mid-photo that he would be there any minute. Not one second later, we saw his golf cart come around the corner, we yelled, and Jane TOOK OFF! I have never seen a girl move so fast, and thankfully for that her dress glided in the air and never touched the ground...UNTIL she face planted on the slick villa floor with no one to see!!!! I thought I was going to cry for her because she may be injured or have dirtied her dress, but thank the Lord there wasn't a speck on her, and she laughed it off like a champ!

When I walked into the guys getting-ready suite, Kenny was alone in the living room in pure silence writing down the words to Jane that she would read one last time before becoming Mrs. Shirley. He took his time and effort into scribbling onto the branded resort notepad, which I thought was so special, as it represented the precious place where they would be married. The rest of the boys spent the morning snorkeling and at the beach, of course. Strolling into the villa one-by-one, they had a seat at the table to enjoy a few beers, cigars, and card games before they got rushed into their tuxes for portraits. This group of guys were so hilarious but so cooperative the entire day: the best combo for this photo gal!

In the last minutes before the ceremony, Jane rode on a golf cart to the beach gondola with one of her best friends. And Kenny stood at the front, patiently waiting on his girl. When Jane reached the end of the aisle, Kenny went down to meet her and walk her down in place of her daddy. Jane swears that Kenny and her father would've been the best of pals and he hand picked him just for her, and not a soul doesn't believe it. The way that Kenny looks at Jane is something out of a Nicolas Sparks movie. The ceremony concluded with a worship song and everyone joined in as Jane lifted her hands and sung along with the sound of waves hitting the beach. God was so clearly present in every moment.

We took a while after the ceremony to go take photos of just the couple before we joined in at the reception. A long walk across the sand, under the palm trees, and across the jagged rocks. I had never seen anything like this in my life: the landscape that was straight out of dreams and the precious new moments between Jane and Kenny that would only be seen by my eyes looking from the outside in.

The reception was held in a large, palm-covered area that sat between canals of water and string lights hung on every inch. And y'all, what a party! Shots on shots on shots, and dancing 'til the night was old. Everyone in that place has so much love for Kenny & Jane and it was abundantly clear.

Thank you to the Shirleys for allowing me such a blessing to be a part of their lives and their incredible wedding day. I will never forget these moments and hold you two so dear in my heart.

Resort: Grand Palladium Riviera Maya - TRS Yucatan

Florals: Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Weddings

Dress: Whittington Bridal, designed by Calle Blanche

Hair & Makeup: Studio DG Beauty