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Thong & Amber’s Wedding Day at Hillard Mansion (Jacksonville, FL Wedding Photography)

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My cousin Thong married the love of his life, Amber, three weeks ago in Florida and I was so honored to be there to capture their special day.

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They got married on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Hillard Mansion which is about 30 minutes outside of Jacksonville, FL, my hometown. I moved to Sacramento, CA 8 years ago when I graduated from college. I go back once or twice a year to Jacksonville to visit my family who still lives there. Honestly, I was surprised when Amber inquired and booked me for her wedding a year ago.

If you remember, May 2014 (last year) was when I shot my very first wedding as the main photographer. Before that, I was second shooting for others but have never handled a wedding on my own before. I wasn’t sure if Amber booked me because she felt obligated since we’re family so I had to ask. To be relief, she said she booked me after researching 6 photographers. I was her favorite choice for style and the wedding package I proposed gave her the most value. I felt so relieved and flattered to be given the opportunity since I was still a small potato in a world of fancy french fries.

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On their wedding day, my husband Henry who is my second shooter, photographed the guys as they were getting ready while I took care of the ladies.

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Amber and Thong have 2 girls together and they are soooo adorable. Sophia, the younger one, won’t leave Grandma and Grandpa’s side while Kaylie wants to be a big girl and dressed herself for her mama’s big day.jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansion 3Thong & Amber-_-31jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansion 5

The awesome thing about Hillard Mansion is that they dedicate the whole main house to the bride and groom. The guys have the entire first floor to themselves while the girls get the whole upstairs space. The AC worked great and there was plenty of room for the bridesmaids, the flower girls, the hair stylist and make up artist to work out of.
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Instead of the veil, Amber opted for the birdcage. It looked oh-so-gorgeous on her. And her make up artist did an excellent job with her as well. She looked so glam but so natural. Since there was a large mirror, I couldn’t resist doing some sassy reflection shots of the beautiful bride.Thong & Amber-_-125

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It was so sweet that her Mom was there to help Amber completes her look.Thong & Amber-_-131Thong & Amber-_-136Thong & Amber-_-138Thong & Amber-_-148Meanwhile, the guests have arrived.Thong & Amber-_-139Thong & Amber-_-144jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansion 10

Final touches to her daughter’s dress then it’s SHOW TIME!

Here’s Thong and his Mom as she walked him down the aisle.

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Her bouquet was made from pages of the Twilight book and their wedding rings were placed in a Twilight book as well. As you can tell, Amber loves Twilight and Hello Kitty.jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansion 8jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansion 9Thong & Amber-_-153

Here’s Amber and Uncle Walt as he walked her down the aisle:Thong & Amber-_-197Thong & Amber-_-203Thong & Amber-_-204Thong & Amber-_-205Thong & Amber-_-210Thong & Amber-_-213Thong & Amber-_-216Thong & Amber-_-218Thong & Amber-_-233Thong & Amber-_-236Thong & Amber-_-238Thong & Amber-_-242Thong & Amber-_-243Thong & Amber-_-244Thong & Amber-_-245Thong & Amber-_-248Thong & Amber-_-257

Thong’s vow was emotional and serious. When it was time for Amber to read her vow, Thong kept staring at her, too distracted by her sexy shoulders. (hahaha…) No! Amber had something on her neck and he couldn’t let it go until she told him to just pick it off. It was so cute and it made everyone laugh so hard.
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This is probably one of my favorite images from their ceremony. I loved how Thong was looking at her, still emotional by the way his eyes looked and there’s Amber. She looked so kind as she curiously looked up at her husband.Thong & Amber-_-273Thong & Amber-_-277Thong & Amber-_-278

Then the magical moment came they were announced as husband and wife. So Thong, you may kiss your bride:Thong & Amber-_-280Thong & Amber-_-281Thong & Amber-_-282Thong & Amber-_-285Thong & Amber-_-289

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Looked how happy everyone was for them.
Thong’s Mom cracked me up in this photo below:Thong & Amber-_-322Thong & Amber-_-323Thong & Amber-_-326Thong & Amber-_-328

Thong’s aunts and uncles came in from out of town. My Aunt asked me prior to the ceremony to make sure I get a picture of everyone since it is rare for everyone to be together like this.

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Now that the family photos are done, it’s time for some fun bridal party photos. The nice thing about having a second shooter is that when we’re not taking group photos, I take photos of the girls while Henry take care of the guys. This way we make sure we get photos of everyone in the least amount of time.Thong & Amber-_-336bridal party jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansion 2bridal party jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansionThong & Amber-_-338Thong & Amber-_-354Thong & Amber-_-376Thong & Amber-_-340Thong & Amber-_-360Thong & Amber-_-379bridal party jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansion 3Thong & Amber-_-381Thong & Amber-_-404Thong & Amber-_-410Thong & Amber-_-343Thong & Amber-_-412

Once the group photos are done, the bridal party got released so they can enjoy the remaining cocktail hour. Meanwhile, I stole the bride and groom so we can take some bridal portraits at the back of the property.bride and groom jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansionThong & Amber-_-418Thong & Amber-_-422

There’s this tunnel lined with vines at the back of the property. It looked so cool that we had to get a bunch of pretty moments with the gorgeous backdrop. It looked so pretty it almost looked unreal.Thong & Amber-_-428Thong & Amber-_-430Thong & Amber-_-432Thong & Amber-_-434Thong & Amber-_-437Thong & Amber-_-440

The neighbors to the back of Hillard Mansion has some trailers hanging around so I took advantage of them to create these minimal shots. I love how it looked completely different from the tunnel that we just walked through, even though they’re only 30 ft away from each other. The silver on silver looked perfect together, wouldn’t you say?

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THE WEDDING RECEPTION:Thong & Amber-_-479Thong & Amber-_-480Thong & Amber-_-484Thong & Amber-_-489

Thong’s Dad greeting and thanking all the relatives for coming.jacksonville florida wedding reception photography hillard mansion

Yumm, look at all the food catered by Hao Wah:Thong & Amber-_-505hao wah wedding catering tampa floridaThong & Amber-_-502

Thong’s cousin sang “Love Story” by Taylor Swift:

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Amber’s niece gave her maid of honor speech:
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Then Tony, the best man gave his speech. It was so awesome that I recorded it. Enjoy:Thong & Amber-_-554

After the speech and toast, the bride and groom went around the tables to greet and thank all the guests for coming:

Thong & Amber-_-506Thong & Amber-_-512Thong & Amber-_-532Thong & Amber-_-534Then they moved outside for the first dance. Amber and Thong actually took dancing lessons in preparation for this moment:
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Look at everyone else’s reaction when he dipped her: C-L-A-S-S-I-CThong & Amber-_-595PARTY TIME:
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Out of nowhere, Frozen’s “Let it go” came on and this happened. Not only did the young girls went crazy, the grown men got into it and stole the show as well.

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Time for the garter toss and the bouquet toss:
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Since a guy caught it, Amber had to re-do the bouquet toss.

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Funny enough, a little girl caught it this time around. LOL..

But Amber didn’t mind. She was just so happy. Isn’t she so gorgeous and cute? She was posing for her friends who wanted pictures on their phones so I snapped a few as well before we headed back inside to cut the cake.beautiful bride jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansionThong & Amber-_-699Thong & Amber-_-700Thong & Amber-_-26Thong & Amber-_-27Thong & Amber-_-22Thong & Amber-_-23Thong & Amber-_-705Thong & Amber-_-708cutting cake fighting jacksonville florida wedding photography hillard mansionThong & Amber-_-730Before we left, I stole them aside to get some photos in her second dress at the front of the mansion. Don’t you love how emotional these kissing photos on the stairs came out?
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And of course I am a sucker for candid laughing photos like these.What a great way to wrap up this joyful day. Thong & Amber-_-766Thong & Amber-_-746

To Amber and Thong, congratulations on your marriage. Henry and I are so happy for you. Thank you for believing in and trusting us to capture your big day. We wish you nothing but sunshine and happiness for years to come. Cheers to a perfect beginning!

To everyone that read this post, thank you so much for following along. I hope you loved all the beautiful moments capture. It brings me so much joy to be able to create priceless memories like these for couples in love.

Please feel free to share this post and these photos with your family and friends. If you or someone you know is looking for a wedding or portrait photographer, please call/text me at 904-887-3162 or email me at We are based in Sacramento, CA and are available for travel to anywhere in the U.S. and abroad.

I am also on Instagram & Facebook so be sure to swing by, like my page and to say hi. Don’t forgot to subscribe to this blog so you’ll be notified as soon as I post new work.

Thank you again for your support. I hope we’ll get a chance to work together soon

Tra |  WEDDING, WOMEN & CHILDREN Photographer
Located in Sacramento, CA.
FUN, VIBRANT & TIMELESS  |  Call/text me at 904-887-3162

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