Monique & Brent – West Palm Beach Marriott – Palm Beach Wedding Photography

On any given Saturday, I love my job. I used to cover crime, courts and the death penalty for a newspaper. I really enjoyed that work as well, but it weighed on me. I spent most of my time in courthouses writing about people who disliked each other so much that they ended up in jail or worse. Now, I spend my workdays with people who are so happy to be together that they invite their closest friends and family to get together, witness their public declarations of love and join them for a big celebration. I get to document all of that joy — the vows, the kiss and the raw emotion, the newlyweds’ first few quiet moments together and the much-less-quiet party afterward, and all the special little touches that they and their families spend months and months working on. Many times, a year or two later, they invite me into their lives again to shoot maternity portraits and then a new baby followed by another baby. It’s tremendous fun and a tremendous honor. Like I said, I love my job.

When I get to do my job for and with friends, that affection impossibly grows even greater. Such was the case when I flew to West Palm Beach for Monique and Brent’s gorgeous wedding. Brent and I have known each other for 11 years — I can hardly believe it to see that number next to my blinking cursor, but it’s true. We met way back in 2000 when I joined the staff of my hometown newspaper. He was a two-year intern in the sports department. I was hired to cover government and then education in Carroll County. I got to know Brent along with all the other 20-something reporters working at The Sun at the time. He claims partial credit for the romance that eventually blossomed between me and his roommate — now my husband — though it’s quite a stretch. (He told Kevin that he’d schedule a lunch for the three of us as a casual introduction. Brent never actually got around to doing that, but Kevin introduced himself and asked me out anyways.) Three years later, Brent was a groomsman in our wedding. And late last month, Kevin returned the favor by serving as a groomsman for Brent and Monique. She is the absolute perfect match for Brent. I couldn’t have been more thrilled when they decided to hire me to photograph their big day.

I knew it was going to be a wonderful weekend from the very first few moments of the rehearsal. I can almost always pick up on the energy of a family right away. And the energy between Monique and Brent’s families couldn’t have been any more fun or harmonious. Together, they planned a beautifully touching ceremony and an uproariously fun reception. In between, the newlyweds and I managed to slip off to the beach for some fun, casual portraits. (Because you can’t get married in Florida, just 2 miles from the ocean, without getting your feet sandy for some photos.)  Here are some of my favorites from the day:

Monique wore a beautiful gown and a super long, pearl-trimmed veil that was *made* by her mom.

What else would a former sports reporter be doing while getting ready for his wedding than watching ESPN?

Brent getting some help with his tie from a super handsome groomsman (aka my hubby).

The bride, looking nothing short of stunning.

Time to get married!

Monique and her father joked at the rehearsal that he would bawl his way down the aisle with her. Despite their best efforts, that’s pretty much how it happened.

Brent and Monique were married in the beautiful Baptist church that he attended through childhood. It’s always so touching when couples are married in a place that really means something special to them.

The vows, personally crafted by this pair of writers.

The rings.

Married! The broom jumping.

JR, the ring bearer, could not have been any cuter.

It looked like it was going to pour just minutes before the ceremony. This would have been bad because Monique and Brent wanted to take all their family photos and their portraits outside. But somehow, the storm clouds just blew away while they were getting married and we were graced with glorious light.

A few quick portraits on the beach.

I adore this next image, particularly because my friend Brent is not typically a big fan of the public displays of affection. But he’s obviously quite smitten with his wife.

A first dance…

… that was interrupted by the most fantastically terrible karaoke that I have ever witnessed in real life. I have seen lots of couples start out with a traditional slow dance only to have the DJ mix things up as they launch into a fast-paced, crazy dance. But this was the first time I had seen a couple break into a karaoke-style serenade to each other. It was the most wonderfully bad version ever of ‘Never Knew Love Like This.’ You can see from the next couple of images how much the guests loved it, joining in on the refrain and applauding wildly.

The bride’s father had some sweet moves of his own!

A handful of fabulous toasts.

Monique and Brent play a lot of softball together. So it was quite charming to see their softball-themed cake topper.

Monique and Brent’s guests hit the dance floor en mass, making for some really fun photos. And I must say, my old Baltimore Sun colleagues sure can boogie!

Love this series. You go, Gerry & Tanika!

One last, sweet kiss.

Monique and Brent, it was a complete joy to work with you and to get to know your families. I hope you enjoy your collection of photos as much as I enjoyed creating them!

Vendor Credits:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

Ceremony: Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in West Palm Beach

Reception and Catering: West Palm Beach Marriott

Bridal attire: Maggie Sottero from Renee’s Bridal in Pensacola

Make-up: Yulante Darling

Groom’s attire: Calvin Klein from Men’s Warehouse

Florist: Rosanna Bell

Cake: Johnson’s Custom Cakes


  1. Tanika Davis

    Beautiful, as always, Jen. Love how your journalism background shines through so well, as your pictures never fail to tell a story.

    1. jennifermcmenamin

      Thanks so much, Tanika! I love my blog for that very reason — it combines my old career with my new one!

  2. Andrea

    Jen! You did a beautiful job. Wish I had known you when I got married!!! So great to meet you at the wedding. You should be so proud of your work! — Andrea


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