always been

But I never set out to be a photographer. I was (and still am!) going to be a writer. And then as I worked toward that writing goal, someone put a camera in my hand and asked me to try telling stories with something besides words. So with an English nerd's love for character and tone, a romantic's love for poignant beauty, and a realist's love for imperfection, I dove in.

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always been a

That was back in 2010.

Since that time, photography has changed much of my life. It's brought me some of my dearest friends. It's reshaped the way my husband Danny and I view serving others. It has even literally taken me around the world. One thing that hasn't changed: my soul-stirring desire to tell stories that feel so real you're sure you knew them before you heard them. Or saw them. It's my privilege to tell those stories for my clients, and for the generations of their families still to come.

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Nneka + Bobby – A Winter Park Farmers Market Wedding | Orlando Florida Wedding Photographers

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

They stood on the covered platform, hand-in-hand — their guests behind them, their pastor in front of them.  Their past behind them, their future inviting them with open arms. Nneka and Bobby had just committed their lives to one another and were about to recommit their lives to Jesus in Holy Communion. Which was exactly when the train whistle drowned out the pastor’s words. Nneka glanced at Bobby, then tossed her head back with an eye-roll. “I checked the train schedule!” she half-lamented, half-laughed to the ceiling overhead. But even a train rumbling by, less than twenty yards from the altar, couldn’t come close to drowning out the love and happiness in this wonderful couple’s voices as they said they did and they will and danced down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs.

Nneka and Bobby, we were so honored to be a part of your lovely and lovingly-crafted wedding earlier this month. We were so happy to witness your community and family come together around you two. And we were pretty fond of all your sweet details, too.Her Toms featured her “something blue,” while the Bible that carried the rings — the Bible her late father had brought home from the Holy Land to Nneka’s mother — was her “something old.”And Nneka — I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bride look so striking and regal. Stunning.Meanwhile, across town, Bobby got ready with a little help from his daughter, Sanaiya.Want to hear one of the sweetest things a groom could ever do on his wedding day?. After Bobby was all spiffied up and ready to go to his wedding, Danny asked him if there were any more photographs he particularly wanted before they left. After a moment, Bobby nodded and left to get something. He came back into the room with the leather journal Danny and I had sent to the two of them. Bobby told Danny that he and Nneka write letters to each other in it, so he wanted to write a letter to his bride on their wedding day. Then he sat down. And he wrote to her.Outside, it was a rainy, dreary day — but neither Nneka nor Bobby wanted to let that stop them from having their first look in the rose garden in Winter Park, a stretch of the downtown strip that they’d walked together so many times before. They had had some serious issues arise in the twenty-four hours leading up to their wedding, and that threw the day’s schedule off track, so their first look took place only half an hour before their wedding ceremony at the Winter Park Farmer’s Market. But Bobby was calm and collected as he waited for his bride. Nneka was composed and smiling as she readied herself to finally meet her groom. So then she did.Amazing, you two. There were puddles all over the ground, so Nneka couldn’t let her skirt down, and a fine mist of rain settled on her glasses, and she got goosebumps in her sleeveless gown that hadn’t been designed to keep her warm on a chilly January afternoon. But Nneka just kept smiling at Bobby. Bobby couldn’t stop smiling back.After about fifteen minutes in the drizzly rain, we hurried back to the Farmers Market for their ceremony. The Winter Park Farmers Market is one of the neatest venues I’ve ever seen: It used to be an old train depot. Nneka and Bobby’s reception was inside, framed by brick walls and sliding wooden doors where cargo was unloaded from trains in the olden days. But first came their their heart-felt, Christ-centered ceremony on the outdoor platform.Nneka’s mother had had to go to the emergency room the morning of the wedding and wasn’t able to get to the ceremony. But thanks to technology, she was there.And this is the part where the train whistle blew and Nneka began laughing helplessly as she prepared herself for a wedding ceremony against the backdrop of a train a mere fifty feet away. I have to say, it’s definitely a unique wedding ceremony backdrop!Married! And Nneka and Bobby couldn’t have been any happier about it as they danced back down the aisle to their friends’ rendition of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey.” Then they slipped away to enjoy their newlywed status by themselves for a bit . . . at Starbucks!Then it was back to the Winter Park Farmers Market for their wedding reception, which was so beautifully and lovingly designed, just like a picnic at a farmers market might look. Nneka sewed the cheery table runners herself — and plans to someday turn them into baby blankets for their future children. There was fruit everywhere, and the flowers looked fresh from the market — not even fully opened, and arranged in perfectly mismatched jars and bottles by the couples’ friends.The best word I can come up with to describe this reception is “charming.” Wasn’t it perfect?! But wait — you haven’t seen the cookie bar yet, courtesy of Nneka and Bobby’s friends Tom and Leah (who had also whipped up the great cupcakes for their mutual friends Jennifer and Cheddy’s wedding last May).And then there was the cutest cake topper ever. It was Nneka and Bobby!Outside, the mocktail hour was wrapping up, with the couple’s favorite kettle corn vendors dishing out one of Nneka and Bobby’s favorite treats. Then the guests headed inside to kick off the party!Just after dinner, Nneka’s mother arrived to finally get to be a part of her daughter’s wedding day!

As if that weren’t enough to tug at your heartstrings — Nneka led Bobby up to the front of the room, pulled up a chair for him, and took the microphone to serenade him.Then the party really kicked into gear, with NuVibe — with Nneka’s brother on the keyboard and her sister-in-law performing vocals — breezing through standards and classic rock and recent hits, keeping everyone on the dance floor. I am not exaggerating when I say they were awesome!
Recognize Jennifer and Cheddy in the next picture?! We couldn’t believe it had already been seven months since their wedding!The party came to a rousing finale and Nneka and Bobby drove off into their new life together in Indiana, where Bobby is working on his Ph.D — but you can see more in their slideshow.
Nneka and Bobby, we were so privileged to be a part of your wonderful celebration! Thank you so much for trusting us with your wedding day. We know your marriage is going to be an amazing one that will bless many more people than just the two of you, and we look forward to seeing you when you’re back in Florida!

~ Laura

Venue: Winter Park Farmers Market
Bride’s Gown and Veil: David’s Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Toms
Bride’s Hair and Makeup: Krystal Frazier
Groom’s Tuxedo: Men’s Wearhouse
Catering: 4Rivers Smokehouse
Cookies: Made by friends Tom and Leah
Flowers, place settings and table runners: DIY by the bride and friends
Band: NuVibe

  1. […] the beginning of 2013, we photographed Nneka and Bobby’s wedding, when they were about to begin their life together in Indiana. Last week, I saw them again when […]

  2. […] credits and sources : vintage camera, dress, bible and rings, library card box, handkerchief and postcard invitations, vintage photos, diamante heels, colour […]

  3. Amber Lynn Dorn says:

    This wedding was fantastic! I loved the invitations and the cake topper! I need a pair of those TOMS! Great job, Laura and Danny!

  4. Jenn says:

    Can you tell me where they chose to get ready?

  5. Aunt Ada says:

    I am so honored to have been a part of your Best Day Ever!. As your beloved pictures of that awesome day revived my spirit once again, I am reminded that God is eternally pleased.

    Aunt Ada

  6. Yvonne Charron Ingram says:

    So awesome!

  7. Shanese Rivera says:

    I just love the story. You guys look amazing!

  8. Nathan Selikoff says:

    Absolutely beautiful photos. You all did a great job capturing Robert Wells and Nneka Wells on their BEST DAY EVER.

  9. Daria Wells says:

    Completely teary-eyed looking at these photos. What an amazing couple on an amazing day, Chris and I are so happy for you both Xoxo

  10. Debra Creighton says:

    I am so happy for you Nneka. Waiting and praying was worth it.

  11. Rachel says:

    So beautiful! Congrats!

  12. Krystal Frazier says:

    This is a lovely collection of images from an even more lovely day! Thanks for sharing. :o)

  13. Robert Wells says:

    This is an awesome blog! Thanks so much Laura and Danny!

  14. admin says:

    Jenni, absolutely! These aren’t sized optimally for Facebook though, so if you shoot me a quick email, I’ll send you the one you want sized just right. 🙂 I can’t wait to deliver the rest to Nneka + Bobby in their PASS gallery soon!

  15. Jenni says:

    I want to update my cover photo with our awesome dancing shots. Is that allowed?

  16. Jenni says:

    What a fun and special day! Love the candid shots 🙂

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