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Nara & Drew’s Historic Riverside Wedding | Intimate Backyard Wedding | Jacksonville, FL

Nara and Drew’s small, private wedding was set in their backyard in historic Riverside, Jacksonville, Fl. They renovated their backyard just for their wedding and added a beautiful paver patio. Nara and Drew live in a Riverside Avondale Preservation home meaning that their house is one of the officially preserved historic structures in the area. Including their cute home in the formal portraits was a must! Riverside has so many homes rich in character and this house is no exception. Nara even said that inside of the master closet is a bullhorn! Apparently this is what passed as home security in the early 1900s, haha! There were also these super handy rails around the top of each room used for hanging pictures so that you don’t have to drill holes and you can adjust the height of the hanging art to wherever you need it to be. Why don’t all houses have that?! Okay, enough about their super cool house (can you tell I love houses/architecture?) and on to the main subjects of this blog!

Keeping in step with this low-key wedding we decided to start with a first look in front of the house. I absolutely love doing first looks, I feel like they give my couples a moment to just be together and soak in the most important reason for the day amidst the chaos that inevitably happens on wedding days. After the first look we drove down to Riverside Park for the formal portraits where we found a beautiful peach tree in bloom. The pink flowers went perfectly with their wedding colors of blush and navy so of course we had to stop for some pictures. With help from some family we also brought a tandem bicycle to the park for some super cute photos! Drew and Nara ride their tandem bike throughout Riverside on the regular so it was fitting that we include it. I love all of my couples but Nara and Drew are one of the silliest I have had the pleasure to work with. If you haven’t visited Riverside Park before then you’ve never seen the giant winged statue that is the local landmark. Drew decided that there was a resemblance and recreated this iconic figure for me. I’ll be sure to use it as my main portfolio image from now on ; )

Another very important part of the day was Nara and Drew’s dog, Monaco! Monaco walked Nara down the aisle during the ceremony and was also in their formal portraits. He easily stole the show during their big day and loved interacting with all of the guests. I learned that Monaco’s fantastic afro is all the work of Nara who does the grooming herself! I wish I could groom my cat into amazing hairstyles but I don’t think he would appreciate it…

One of my former couples (from one of my very first weddings!) referred Nara and Drew to me and I am so glad that they did. I had so much fun getting to know them, meeting Monaco, and getting to be a part of such a fun, special day!

Peep their wedding preview below!


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Last but not least…


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My name is Jessica and I am the dreamer behind Jessica Lauren Photography! When I’m not behind the camera I love spending time with my dog hiking the beautiful Florida trails, out on my paddle board in our local springs, or getting some quality time with my husband while we explore local events. I have actual cravings for the ocean when it’s been too long since my last beach day. I roller skate – not in-line skate, I mean the old school quad skates! I have a deep love for all things J.R.R. Tolkien and my #1 wish is to travel to New Zealand one day!