I've known Philip since we were kids, when he pushed me off a sand dune for teasing my brother. We became fast friends, and the Campbell clan quickly became my adventure family, as we spent Springs and Winters backpacking through Florida's forgotten wildernesses- Payne's Prairie, San Felasco and canoe camping in the Thousand Island region of the Everglades. 

When I found out Felipe was getting married to the tall, stunning Dominican girl who backpacked through Payne's Prairie with us a few years ago, and wanted me to photograph the wedding I was not only ridiculously excited, I felt incredibly honored to have such a special role that day.. 

After a humid Florida summer morning, they prepared for the day at their homes in Gainesville before heading over to the Baughman Center in the heart of the UF campus- which rises from the live oak trees around it like a dream of gothic arches and warm wood construction. I'm convinced it was dreamed up by the very same elvish architects who crafted Lothlorien. The skies finally cleared, and Anais walked down the aisle upon rose petals scattered by her sister and nephews.  They were married by Philip's aunt in the soft blue dusk of the day to the sounds of piano, djembe drums and Bob Marley played on a carved harp by Philip's talented uncle. 

They celebrated their reception at the Hippodrome basement in the center of town, where they danced a fiery Bachata and shared delicious caribbean inspired fare with their guests.  The highlight of the night was seeing the look on Philip's face when Anais surprised him with a live performance of his favorite local DJ! Not to mention seeing their two families- from aunts, nephews and even grandma dancing one joyous celebration of live and love! 

It was an event I'll never forget- and I wish these two happy trails on their new journey together. 

 

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