Jillian and Bryce’s small, rustic wedding in McAllen, TX was a beautiful mix of elegance and intimacy. Kyle and I walked into the church building, and our jaws dropped. We’ve been to so many weddings and receptions in church buildings before, and it was always so OBVIOUS that it was just a church gym masquerading as a wedding venue. Your eyes are usually drawn to the hardwood floors with basketball court lines painted on it, the off white accordion style dividers between gym sections. But between the lights they strung, the floral arrangements, and the rustic furniture rentals, you didn’t feel like you were in a church gym at all! Jillian and her mom did a stunning job of decorating for the big day!
One of my favorite aspects of these covid-inspired smaller, more intimate weddings, is how focused they are on family. Rather than getting married in the San Antonio LDS Temple, Jillian and Bryce were able to get married in their hometown of McAllen with Jillian’s dad officiating the ceremony. It was super sweet! And because he couldn’t also walk her down the aisle, her brother stood in his place. It was incredibly meaningful and touching.
The wedding ceremony itself was literally less than five minutes long, from beginning to end! I knew that they didn’t have a very long program, but I didn’t realize it was going to go THAT fast! When we realized just how short it was going to be, Kyle and I ran around frantically trying to get pictures of everything and everyone from all sides. It was crazy! This is why it’s always important to have a second shooter! Someone to assist me in capturing each and every moment of your wedding day.
Husband and Wife!
After the ceremony, Jillian and Bryce drove with us to their “special tree” to take their husband and wife portraits. This tree has played such an interesting (and adorable) part to their relationship, from high school sweethearts to beyond! Normally during the course of being someone’s wedding photographer, I get to interact with them multiple times! Their consult, engagement photos, bridal photos, and then the actual wedding day. We get to develop real friendships and relationships. But due to covid and Jillian and Bryce living in Utah for school up until the wedding, I didn’t get the opportunities to get to know them nearly as well as my other couples. So it was really fun to get to visit their special place with them and learn all about their relationship.
Growing up in McAllen, Texas, Jillian would always drive past this tree and think to herself “I want to climb that tree!”(Anyone else a childhood/adulthood tree climber? 🙋♀️). So after she and Bryce met and started hanging out, they decided to climb this tree together. And it sooner became their default date night. “What do you want to do?” “Wanna have pizza out under the tree?” This tree was the backdrop to so many milestones in their relationship, including their first kiss AND even their proposal! So OF COURSE we had to make it a part of their wedding day too! It was the perfect backdrop to their gorgeous husband and wife portraits. It fit in perfectly with their rustic wedding theme!
Drive Through and Family Reception
Due to covid, Jillian and Bryce couldn’t have a normal wedding reception after the ceremony, so instead they had a drive through reception! Bridesmaids and groomsmen stationed along the long line of cars to encourage guests to watch their wedding video, leave gifts, and even take a soft pretzel at the end! (They had this adorable “We tied the knot!” pretzel station at the end of the reception line with individually wrapped pretzels and dipping sauces.)
Once the drive through reception ended, the indoor family reception started. There were no formal speeches or entrances, but the dances were extremely touching and the cake cutting was a blast! Bryce was way nicer to Jillian than Kyle and I were on our own wedding day – he didn’t even try to shove the cake in Jillian’s face!
And the prefect sendoff! Sparklers as you drive off as husband and wife. I’ve always thought sparkler sendoffs were soooo romantic. I always love the chance to capture such a dynamic end to a perfect wedding day! Congratulations, Jillian and Bryce! We are so so happy for you! Your intimate, rustic wedding was absolutely perfect!
Furniture rental – RGV Rustic rentals
Flowers – Southern Roots Flower market
Hair and makeup – @nataliewrob
Cake – @kaitybaked
Intimate Rustic Wedding in McAllen | Jillian + Bryce
October 21, 2020