Candace + Mbaxi’s Joyful Wedding at Waverly Waters: Columbus, MS Wedding Photography

I am so excited to share this sunny summer love story with you today! Let me introduce the beautiful bride, Candace. Candace is a photographer (yay for photographers!) and owns her own real estate & architectural photography business (yay for small business owners!) She has an eye for beautiful composition, color, and light. As she shared her vision and plans for her wedding day, I knew we were about to be a part of something very special. I can’t wait to show you the results of her and Mbaxi’s careful planning and loving attention to detail! So without further ado, let’s get on with the pictures! IMG_9975IMG_0338Candace’s day began in a comfortable, sunlit room at the Hyatt. She was excited and happy and as pretty as could be.  I loved her sweet monogrammed robe and pajamas.IMG_0430IMG_0202IMG_0386Candace couldn’t wait to see Mbaxi, who was due to arrive at any minute for their First Look.Pink is joy personified, and the vibrant, playful color of the bridesmaids’ dresses made the room dance with color! IMG_0011IMG_0456IMG_0440Candace has a deep, heartfelt faith in God, and she and her bridesmaids had a quiet moment of prayer before she walked downstairs for her First Look moment with Mbaxi.IMG_0042Now let’s meet Mbaxi! While Candace finished dressing at the Hyatt, the groom and his family relaxed in the comfortable quarters of the Lodge at Waverly Waters. I love this place – it’s quiet, comfortable, secluded, next to a beautiful lake, and it’s definitely a perfect place to enjoy some down time (notice the pool table.)IMG_1152IMG_1148Mbaxi and his family, who are originally from Luanda, Angola, also share a deep faith in God. Jonathan and I enjoyed listening as Mbaxi described his dream of becoming a pastor. Mbaxi’s father, Pastor Francisco Cabral, shepherds a congregation of his own in Florida, and he had the great joy of officiating at his son’s wedding. While Francisco spent a few quiet moments with his son, some of his groomsmen quietly sang praise songs. IMG_0294Mbaxi’s wedding look was on point. He made a very handsome and stylish groom. He belongs on the cover of a magazine!IMG_0287IMG_1120IMG_1153Candace and Mbaxi had a fun, unique idea for their First Look. The groom met his lovely bride at the front door of the Hyatt and then whisked her away for their wedding portraits downtown. If you look closely you can see a few guests peeking out the windows – they were delighted to witness such a special moment!IMG_0523IMG_0064IMG_0068IMG_0585IMG_0600Such a stylish and fun wedding party!IMG_0633Candace & Mbaxi made time for some special portraits with their sweet fur baby Gigi.  IMG_0129IMG_0122IMG_0681Then, Candace and Mbaxi had some time just for themselves. I love how Candace scheduled her photography on this steamy August day – she & Mbaxi had their portraits together and their portraits with their wedding party in the morning, before the heat of the day set in. Then everyone headed back to the hotel and Lodge to rest and freshen up until time for the ceremony at six o’clock. Not only did this timing help everyone beat the heat, it gave us plenty of time to take wonderful portraits like these…IMG_0148IMG_0708IMG_0742IMG_0860IMG_0898IMG_0943IMG_0215-2IMG_1036As time neared for the ceremony, guests followed sweet handmade signs to Waverly Waters, where an ancient pecan tree, decorated with airy fabric and garlands of roses, sheltered a mossy woodland altar.IMG_0355IMG_0320IMG_0315A very special Bible rested on the altar. It belonged to Mbaxi’s father, and the Holy Scripture was printed in two languages – English and Mbaxi’s native tongue, Portuguese.IMG_1225The rustic arbor and pavilion at Waverly Waters was transformed into a sunny, joyful reception venue by Candace’s creative and colorful vision. Her family and friends spent hours making sure each and every bright and lovely detail was in place.IMG_1247IMG_0335IMG_0325IMG_1179IMG_0327As the Suzuki Strings ensemble softly played, friends and family greeted one another and found their places in the shade of the great pecan tree.  IMG_0429I fell in love with this quartet of darling young men in khakis and colorful bow ties!IMG_0449IMG_0453The sacred ceremony was inaugurated with joy by two delightful, excited little dancing girls, who led Candace and her proud daddy to the altar to the happy jingling of their tambourines.IMG_0511IMG_1386IMG_0521-2IMG_0532As the creamy golden light of August slanted through the spreading branches of the tree, Pastor Cabral began the words of the sweet and sacred ceremony, spoken in two languages, English and Portuguese.IMG_1413IMG_0566IMG_1498IMG_1504In a profoundly touching moment, as Mbaxi’s sister sang and his brother strummed the guitar, both sets of parents prayed for their children. I would love this to be part of every wedding ceremony!IMG_0657Then the bride and groom knelt and prayed together. IMG_0647IMG_0644IMG_1519IMG_1524And after the touching exchange of rings and vows, the two became one, and sealed their marriage with their first kiss as husband and wife.IMG_0677IMG_0687IMG_1602After a few quick moments for family photos under the massive old pecan tree, Mbaxi and Candace joyfully entered the arbor for their Reception.IMG_1702IMG_1704Take a look at this GORGEOUS pink ombre naked cake, covered with roses, raspberries, and strawberries! I think if you tried to bake gladness and joy personified, it would look like this cake!IMG_1295After the introductions of the wedding party and the blessing, guests dined on a generous buffet of the bride and groom’s favorite treats, lovingly prepared and served by family and friends. And everywhere you looked, the vibrant shades of pink, orange, and yellow glowed in the shady arbor.IMG_1709IMG_1712IMG_1741As the light turned mellow and cool and evening clouds veiled the sunset, the new Mr. and Mrs. Cabral slipped away for a few tender moments alone before rejoining their celebration.IMG_1803IMG_1785IMG_1798As the day slipped slowly into evening, many hilarious and touching toasts were given…IMG_0798IMG_0799IMG_0809…and in a sweet and thoughtful gesture, the bride and groom surprised Candace’s parents with special gifts to celebrate their 40th anniversary, which they were also celebrating that day.IMG_1840IMG_1869Even the groom and groomsmen’s socks were color coordinated to match the wedding! IMG_1858After a long and happy evening of celebrating under the stars, Mbaxi and Candace dashed through clouds of bubbles to begin their life together as husband and wife.IMG_1949IMG_1952Candace and Mbaxi, your bright & beautiful summer wedding at Waverly Waters was one of the most joyful, tender, and heartfelt ceremonies we have ever been blessed to document.  We’ll never forget how happy you two looked as you celebrated your love under the spreading boughs of the old pecan tree.  We’ll always remember the kindness of your families and their open hearts and hands. We can’t wait to see where life takes you, and we are thankful to have been given the gift of celebrating your love story with you!

{Vendor Love}

Bride’s Getting Ready Venue: Hyatt Place

Groom’s Getting Ready Venue: The Lodge at Waverly Waters

Ceremony Venue: Pavilion and Arbor at Waverly Waters

Bride’s Gown Boutique:Kay’s Kreations, Tupelo, MS

Bridesmaids’ Gowns:  Daisy Formals

Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire:  House of Tux

Bride’s Hair Designer: Ramie Fletcher, 662-889-0032

Bride’s Makeup Artist: Tiffany Ashmore, 662-251-8466

Wedding Coordinator: Joy Bradford, friend of the Bride

Cake Artist: Taylor Massey at Taylor Made Cake, 3451 New Hope Road, Columbus, MS                     662-251-2773

Bouquets, Boutonnieres & Reception Flower Arrangements by: friends and family

Ceremony and Reception Music Provided By: Suzuki Strings Ensemble, led by Diane Ford          email:

Reception Seating Provided By: Big Show Rentals


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