Thank you for coming back to check out the second post from Cybil + Ambika’s amazing wedding week. I really am trying my best not to inundate you with too many photos — I just have too many favorites from this wedding that it’s hard to hold back. If you missed yesterday’s post go ahead and start there (just trust me on this) and then head on back here to see glimpses of their Christian wedding ceremony and reception.

part v: Christian ceremony

Something I so value about multi-day weddings is how much more in depth I’m able to witness the relationships that matter to my brides and grooms. By the time we got to Saturday it was my third day documenting their families and friendships and of course their Great Dane, Moco. I love that. I love that I love that I love that. I love that I can tell you all of their parents and siblings names because that’s how much time I spent with all of them. Sign me up for all the multi-day weddings, please and thank you. Right now as I prep this post I’m getting all the feels looking at the photos of Ambika’s mom, Bala, helping her get ready — particularly the portrait of them looking out the window together. Literally every time I scroll to that photo my eyes tear up. Juniper and I are soooooooo taking that photo on her wedding day now hahaha. Okay and then there is a photo of Cybil’s mom and dad helping him get ready and Daizy looks up at the camera with that proud momma smile and it just slayyyyyyys me (great capture on that one to my trusty little bro and second shooter, Jacob).  Okay, I’ll stop giving play-by-play commentary now (but I might have to pick back up mid-post, I might not be able to contain myself). AND THEN THERE’S CYBIL’S FACE DURING THE FIRST LOOK OK OK OK OK I’M DONE I’M DONE.

ASIDE: I’m going to tell you the following two facts and then you’ll read them and go yeahyeahyeahcoolcoolcool then when you get to the pictures you’re not going to believe me but it’s TRUE. A friend of Ambika’s made her gorgeous veil and another friend STRAIGHT UP MADE the stained glass ceremony backdrop. STAINED GLASS. I’m going to link to all the vendors again at the bottom of this post too but I just had to tell y’all at the beginning because I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how talented their friends are.

Okay, on to the photos now, I say!

Below Cybil and Ambika are raving to their maid of honor, Melissa, about how beautiful the stained glass she made was for their ceremony is. GUYS, SHE MAAAAADE IT!!!!

Cybil and Ambika wanted to exchange personalized vows in a more private, intimate setting so they shared those after the ceremony, just the two of them.

part VI: reception

It was outfit change then so many heartfelt (and oftentimes hilarious) toasts followed by dancing galore. I am so especially tickled remembering Cybil’s sister, Sharon’s, toast and where she called out Cybil being their mom’s favorite child based off of what was cooked for each of them when they visited home. Daizy’s reaction below was all of us.

Ambika + Cybil, I’m genuinely so sad to be writing the ending to this post because I honestly just like having reasons to reminisce on what a wonderful wedding y’all gave me the gift of being invited into to document. Thank you for this honor and trust. I definitely do not take it for granted. What a privilege to document these moments for y’all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Also — BECAUSE MY LITTLE BROTHERS BOTH TELL ME THAT NO ONE LOOKS AT BLOGS ANYMORE BECAUSE IT’S TOO HARD TO LEAVE INSTAGRAM APPARENTLY (“I want to roll my eyes right now, but the doctor says that if I keep doing it, my ocular muscles might spasm and eject my eyeballs.” – Liz Lemon) — thank you to anyone who went to the great effort of actually looking at this full post. I keep blogging in this Instagram world because I truly believe this is how my work is best viewed. I care about the story. All of it. Not just the single images that will be received best on Instagram. And maybe that makes me old. My brothers tell me it does. They ALSO told me I might as well look up websites in the yellow pages when I try to find things on Google instead of Instagram . . . well, one of them told me that and the other one didn’t know what the yellow pages even were. So.


Wedding coordinator: Electric Karma

Venue: CityPlace Marriott Springwoods Village

Ceremony backdrop: Melissa Graham

Catering: Bombay Brasserie

Cake: Who Made the Cake

DJ: Desi Junction

Reception Decor: Dream Decors

Video: A&A

Bridal Hair and Make-up: Blush and Glow

Henna: Paisley and Swirls

Bridal Veil: L. Viola-Vu

Wedding party hair and make-up: Makeup by Shazia

Welcome into a small portion of Cybil + Ambika’s wedding week in Houston, Texas earlier this year. They got married in late February, right before so much about all our lives changed, so it’s especially interesting to look back on this wedding week full of so many people gathered together from all over the world to share in such a joyous celebration as Cybil and Ambika joined together as family. I’ve chosen to break the wedding up into two separate blog posts since I’ll be attempting to share three days worth of wedding festivities with y’all. So buckle your seatbelts. (That felt like a real “mom” thing to type. But it’s who I am so who am I kidding?) Here we go.

part I: Haldi

Ambika’s family (and friends-like-family) from around the world filled her parents’ living room to kick off the wedding week with a lot of tumeric and a lot of love.

part II: mehendi

That same evening it was time for henna and jaggo! See if you can find Cybil’s name hidden in Ambika’s henna (hint: it’s on the inside of her palm) done by Paisleys and Swirls.

part III: Hindu ceremony

Two first looks (a tear-filled one between Cybil and Ambika and then a second surprise one between Cybil and his pockets hahaha), BARAAT (which is basically like an epic, super-fun people parade of music and dancing to kick off the ceremony — so many GIFS I’m obsessed with from this part of the day) and their first wedding ceremony.

p.s. I always love looking at/documenting the bride and grooms’ family member’s faces on wedding days — there’s so much story/emotion there that I’m delighted by as I look back through these.

part IV: Utsav

Friends and family members perform choreographed dances (like, really good ones) and then it’s dance party central the rest of the night.

Come back next week to view some photos from the final day of Ambika + Cybil’s wedding weekend!

Wedding coordinator: Electric Karma

Venue: CityPlace Marriott Springwoods Village

Catering: Dawaat

DJ: Desi Junction

Decor: Dream Decors

Video: A&A

Bridal Hair and Make-up: Blush and Glow

Wedding party hair and make-up: Makeup by Shazia

2019. Man. A year in review blogpost serves lots of purposes. First, it gets a whole lot of images that would have never seen the light of day (beyond the client galleries/homes of course) onto my blog. Since becoming a mom-of-two my work hours got cut down by about three quarters. I never knew how quickly I could edit until my main editing hours became those I used waking up before the kids woke up, nap time and then the hours after they go to bed. I learned I could be HIGHLY EFFICIENT and honestly do just as thorough an editing job before. If 2015 Jillian could see 2019 Jillian edit she’d be REAL real impressed. But it does mean my blogging time is nearly non-existent. HENCE my massive year in review post that, at the very least, shows you I’m still working 🙂 The second purpose of a year in review blogpost is for me to reflect on the previous year’s weddings and portrait sessions. GOODNESS GRACIOUS so much thankfulness washes over me as I look through these images and think about these souls who’ve entrusted me with something so precious as recording their memories on such special days. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all my clients this past year. Thank you for your trust. Thank you for connecting with me and my work out of the hundredsssss and hundreds of other photographers out there. It means so much to me. If I wasn’t afraid the length of my text would keep you from actually getting to the photo portion of this post I’d keep going. But know, from the bottom of my heart, I am so appreciative of you.

Now on to the photos!

Kicked off 2019 with Connor and Allie’s wedding at The Nest at Ruth Farms. This is one of the *two* full weddings I got up on my blog last year (*Jillian hides in corner in shame*) so if you’d like to see more images from this lovely day feel free to click here for a whole bunch more.

This sweet January babe has just celebrated her FIRST birthday — I can hardly believe it looking at these photos from Sutton’s newborn session.

I love me a family session in homes full of windows and love like the Windle family.

Then came the engagement sessions — I loved each and every one of ’em.

My first time to photograph the lovely Katy was at her bridal session and I knew we were kindred sprits when she started to tear up during her session when I asked her to think about marrying her (now husband) Ryan.

I only did one round of mini sessions in 2019 (after three rounds in 2018) — here were a few of my favorites from that stormy day of sessions at The Lumen Room.

Lily + Nick eloped at the Japanese Gardens and I so enjoyed their quiet little ceremony + wandering the garden together for a bit afterwards.

Katy + Ryan’s got married at the Hall of State in April and a full blogpost from their wedding will be up soon because I have a really hard time narrowing down photos of people as expressive as these two. This first image is Katy’s (now, but at the time very-soon-to-be) step-son’s helping dry her tears after she read the letters + drawings they made for her to read on the morning of the wedding. Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet. More to come from this one.

You’ll note from this teeny preview from Jessica + Sal’s engagement session that I REALLY like photographing these two in a close up hahaha. I just love them so much I couldn’t step further away from them!! (I did, however, put plenty of further back ones in their gallery haha all my favorites just happened to be pretty extreme close ups hahaha).

Oh sweet Katie and Jacob. These two flew me out for their California wedding last May and we kicked off photos with some portraits before their rehearsal dinner.

More portrait sessions — summer engagements, an equestrian shoot (!) and a sunrise newborn session to welcome the third little Vanderpool child.

Aynav + Adam — goodness gracious these two (and their Houston wedding at The Crystal Ballroom) just make me smile.

I had fun at Melanie + Michael’s engagement session playing with shadows and sunset reflections.

No smiles can compete with Lauren and Billy’s smiles, I’m thoroughly convinced. Also that last picture of he and his mom singing through their mother-son dance at the reception is one of my favorites.

Cynthia + Bryan’s June wedding was full of family, mariachi and perhaps my personal favorite detail, her handmade veil from Mexico.

This was my first wedding to photograph at Hidden Waters in Waxahachie and it was such a treat for my first wedding here to be Emily and Trent’s.

You guys, it had been a hot minute since I’d had the joy of documenting a proposal but Casey and Samuel’s at Klyde Warren Park had me feeling all kinds of feelings.

Ahhhhh Ameena + Sahir — it’s almost laughable for me to try and narrow down my favorites from their three-day wedding at The Dallas Renaissance so feel free to check out their full blogposts here, here and here (hey, I told you it was three days!).

In August I had the joy to photograph the lovely Tori at The Lumen Room.

Marion + David were so expressive during their ceremony and I COULD NOT HANDLE the cuteness.

Fun fact: I went straight from Taylor + Ryan’s Dallas engagement session (so. much. fun.) to the hospital to photograph a dear friend’s baby being born. Now THAT is a good day.

Brooke + Gordon on White Rock Lake, what dreams are made of.

Y’all, this is coming to a blog near you REAL soon. The last time I photographed portraits of these two (outside of their wedding day) we hit up the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise and these sunrise portraits for their second anniversary were (IMO) equally as epic. Texas was showin’ OFF that morning.

Tori and Paul — two of the nicest humans around and now they’re married.


Baby Henry, your aunt Jillian lovvvvvvvvvvves you.

It’s just. I have no words. I loved this day. I love shooting at Cliff House. I love Erin + Kevin and all their people (and their pup).

Taylor + Micah were married at Knotting Hill Place and danced the night away under a full moon.

Chelsea + Patrick are TOP NOTCH. I want to shout it again TOP NOTCH!! Their wedding at The Fort Worth Zoo was so beyond fun, like these two. I also always, always love working with Jen Rios Weddings and, fun fact, this was our second wedding together at the zoo!

Isn’t it so nice to see people you knew growing up so HAPPY? Does the soul good. It was a privilege to document this jr-and-high-school-friend of mine marry the love of her life in October.

Okay one of my favorite memories of this day was when the groom couldn’t find parking around their wedding venue (which was at The Dallas Farmer’s market on a Saturday) so he went back to the AirBnB and rode one of those rented scooters to his wedding. Still cracks me up each time I see that photo — I just happened to be scouting for their first look when he pulled up with two of his groomsmen on those scooters and I’m SO glad I was there to document.

Too many favorite parts of Taylor + Ryan’s wedding day to even recount — the super touching toasts and Taylor’s dad barely holding it together during the father-daughter dance are at the top for me.

My last wedding of 2019 and MAN did it end with a BANG with Jessica + Sal’s wedding. There is no way I could possibly condense the beauty of this day into a few images but here’s me trying my best. Cloud Creative Events and Moss Floral went above and beyond on this one.

Oh hey, we moved to South Dakota. Surprise. I’m still shooting DFW weddings (I feel the need to compulsively say that each time I share the SD news with people). This was my very first shoot ever in the snow. I loved getting to document a bit of the Carlin’s pregnancy.

Remember Casey and Samuel? From the proposal up there? Well I ended the year with their December engagement session and it was peachy as all get out.

If you made it to the end of this post *HIGH FIVE* Thank you for caring. For supporting. And for listening to my rambling. I’m ending this year in review with a few of my favorite personal photos from the year featuring YOU GUESSED IT my family. They mean the world to me. And I think that should matter to you, prospective clients. If you know I love and treasure my family then you know that I understand the importance of documenting yours — your first day of your new family on your wedding day, your newborn days, your big-kid running wild days. They matter. And I care a whole big bunch, about my family AND yours.


xoxo Jillian

This is the third and final post from Ameena + Sahir’s beyond lovely wedding weekend at the Dallas Renaissance hotel and in it you’ll see images from their nikkah, khoba khobi and reception. If you missed them, you can catch up on their mehendi and pithi/sangeet in these two previous posts.

Saturday AM: nikkah

We had grand outdoor plans for portraits at the Dallas Arboretum before the nikkah ceremony but the weather had different, indoor plans for us when we woke up to a forecast of rain all morning long. But it just so happens that THIS GIRL loves shooting indoors next to big windows with raindrops on the glass and city views beyond them so we made some moody indoor photo magic.

This was the moment before they walked into their Nikkah ceremony. I wasn’t allowed to photograph during the actual ceremony so we will pick up right as they exited the ceremony, officially marriedddddddddddddd!

Saturday afternoon: Khoba Khobi

Saturday PM: Reception

Okay but we all agree that Ameena is a breathtaking magical princess, yes? I cannot stop thinking that when I look at this next set of portraits.

Ameena’s dad and brother surprised her by bringing her beloved dog to the hotel to greet her on the big day.

Something I thought was so especially special was that Ameena shared her father-daughter dance with not only her dad but her little brother and a whole line of the other male family members who had played a major role in her life, each one taking a short turn dancing with her. Then Sahir shared his mother-son dance with his darling momma as well as both of his sisters and then a line of his family members who were important to him as well. I loved this
is ode to “it takes a village.”

Sunday: farewell lunch

This was (obviously, by the title) the last wedding weekend event. Below you’ll see photos of Ameena’s little brother slyly performing a “magic trick” which involved a group of people lifting Sahir and Ameena off the ground so that Ameena’s family/friends could steal Sahir’s shoes right off his feet. He would then have to negotiate with them to agree on terms of how often he and Ameena would come back to DFW to visit and they drove a pretty hard bargain (spoiler alert: the visit count got pretty high before he got any of his shoes returned hahaha).

You guys, I did it! For the first time in YEARS I blogged an entire multi-day Indian wedding! I so enjoyed telling Ameena + Sahir’s wedding day story through photos not only because they themselves are such ABSOLUTE GEMS OF HUMANS but because getting to document over the course of three days as they were celebrated and surrounded and supported (and, yes, at times also tricked out of footwear) and LOVED in the start of their marriage by all their friends and family is such a joy joy joy to my soul. Thank you, Ameena and Sahir (and all of your family and friends). Thank you for inviting me into your wedding weekend, for treating me with so much genuine warmth and kindness and for trusting me to tell this story for y’all. I have so much love for y’all!

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