Guys, it has been a LONG time since I have thought about prom. I never went to my prom because I was working a show, but I always photographed my friends! 7 years later, I went back to prom season and things are so much different. Horses are now involved?! Jake and Alissa celebrated their prom with a pre-prom session at the McCormick Research Institute and it was a dream come true.
While photographing at show at Osceola Arts (coincidence or fate??), I received a message from Jake’s mom, Terry. Our favorite wedding planner, Emily, had referred her to us and she was looking for a photographer for a pre-prom session. I hadn’t thought about prom in forever, but I’m always up for something different! Terry mentioned that the session would take at a local barn and horses would be involved. Prom dresses and HORSES?? Sign me up. You can’t have a dreamier prom than with horses!
I met the family out at the McCormick Research Institute that Saturday. Jake was putting on his final touches in the office as I arrived, so Terry showed me around the venue. The McCormick Research Institute was a dream location of mine. It is right across the street from Lake Runnymede and I had always admired the location. With a huge barn and vast fields for the horses, it was the perfect setting. The sun always shined beautifully through the trees.
Alissa arrived with her family in a stunning jeweled teal gown. They were the cutest couple and matched perfectly. Jake put on Alissa’s corsage and she carefully pinned on his boutonnière (with some additional help because those things are not simple!). The couple danced their way through the barn, loved on the gorgeous horses in the field, and snuggled up on Jake’s truck (which he restored on his own)! After a few family photos, Jake and Alissa took off in his truck on their way to Harmony High School’s prom at Hollywood Studios.
Before I let you go, I have to tell you about this amazing program. While showing be around the venue, Terry explained to me what they did at the McCormick Research Institute. The organization started by providing equine-assisted activities and therapy for people with life-threatening illnesses and disabilities. The organization grew to include ongoing mental, physical, and emotional therapies. In 2011, collaboration started with the University of Central Florida to create the Heroes and Horses program which serves veterans struggling with PTSD.
Under the new name, The McCormick Research Institute encompasses Heavenly Hooves, Heroes and Horses, as well as education and research programs. Terry volunteers at the institute during her free time and is helping make great strides with the program! Want to volunteer? Head over to their website to learn more!
Now, check out Jake and Alissa’s pre-prom session!