Category Archives: Weddings

These weddings were photographed by the founders and owners of Radiant Photography, Scott & Breanna Chanson

Shanya and Clarence’s Wedding: style with a sense of humor (by Scott & Breanna)

One of my very favorite things about the weddings we go to is seeing how couples decide to make them their own. I love how the unique things about each couple and what’s important to them, shows up over and over again at a wedding in both small and big ways. Which is why I was a BIG fan of Shanya and Clarence’s wedding.

From day one they knew they wanted their wedding to reflect their own personal style as well as to be a huge celebration that was tons of fun for everyone!

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Shanya and Clarence had guests from literally all over the world coming, I heard it mentioned that they had someone there from almost all of the 50 states in the US… not to mention from so many other countries. This was like a dream come true for Shanya and Clarence. It’s so hard to have your loved ones scattered out so far… so to have them all under one roof at the same time, is the best kind of mind blow there is.

Out of all the things they were excited for about their wedding, it seemed to me (Breanna) that having all their loved ones together at the same time was the thing that was making them jump up and down in anticipation the most.

That being the case, they were going to party their little hearts out and make this a trip their guests would NEVER forget. So that’s exactly what they did. And a party wouldn’t be a party to Shanya and Clarence if they weren’t able to be their true selves. And in my opinion, their true selves are hilarious!

In fact, it seemed like every person at this wedding had a fantastic sense of humor! Even the person who is typically the most solemn of all, the officiant, was cracking jokes that I even heard people laughing about long after the ceremony ended!

Even their vows of all things, both from the bride and the groom, contained the perfect amount of humor mixed with sentiment that had people laughing with tears in their eyes and huge smiles on their faces the entire time.

Apparently Shanya learned her public speaking skills from the best because her father’s speech that night was also one of the most memorable ones I’ve heard, that had the exact same perfect combination of humor and emotion that Shanya displayed in her vows at the alter.

The thing about the humor that I heard that day was that it wasn’t just people with good timing, or facial expressions, or whatever it is that makes people funny, it was people who were being purely genuine.

The number one thing I saw at Shanya and Clarence’s wedding was people who were real. They weren’t afraid of being vulnerable, messing up in front of people, or wearing their hearts on their sleeves. They were all joyfully connected to one another, and they weren’t afraid to show it.

From that sheer wedding day joy and lack of care about what people thought of them, came the true humor that expressed what was really going on in their heads on the kind of whirlwind and crazy day that a wedding is! It was beautiful and I loved that about this group of people.

Besides the great sense of humor that I witnessed that day, my other favorite way that Shanya and Clarence made this their own was through their unique style. By style I mean STYLE.

Everything from their transportation (Ollie the Trolley for the bridal party and double decker buses for the guests)…

….to the way they honored Clarence’s Filipino and their shared Sri Lankan traditions (the chord and veil ceremony, lighting of the lamp as they entered the reception, and having sponsors for the wedding)…

… to their incredibly detailed and well thought out decor…

… EVERY piece of their wedding reflected their own unique style and showed that this couple REALLY knows how to throw a party.

If you haven’t noticed by now, this wedding had details with a capital D. Every little thing involved in their wedding was there for a reason.

If you’ve ever planned a wedding or an event of any kind, you know that there aren’t magical little wedding elves that go around setting everything up when your back is turned…. well actually there are but we here in the real world call them “wedding planners”. Actually we call them “GOOD wedding planners”, because the kind that really make it happen as good as if magical elves are doing it are hard to find.

Fortunately, Shanya and Clarence were aware of both the significance and the rarity of this magical creature, so they looked high and low (past the gum drop forest and the Lucky Charms Leprechaun) until they found the best planner in the land… Ashley Gain from Ashley Gain Weddings and Events and her incredible, some would say “magical”, team.

You hear rumors that they’re there on the wedding day, but all you actually see are streaks of pink, and the affects of their work. As one thing after another happens flawlessly through out the night, you wonder “how is the happening”?! Someone tells you, “oh, Ashley Gain is here” and that’s when you know that planners as good as her really do exist.

Ashley’s work and Shanya and Clarence’s visions for the greatest party of their lives were so big that they leaked out of the first party and crept into another! In other words, after their grand reception ended (that was fully successful in fulfilling their dreams for an incredible party I might add), the group headed over to another room at the Montelucia Resort and Spa,  to continue on with an after party!

Unfortunately for Scottie and myself, our time was up and we headed home to get some much needed sleep after such an eventful day. But Josh (one of our other photographers), was more than happy to take over and get the chance to be a part of such a memorable wedding!

So I don’t have much info about what actually happened at the after party, but I do know that the pictures speak for themselves and make me wish I had been there to see it myself!

Now I’ve told you more than you ever knew there was to know about Shanya and Clarence’s wedding but I still haven’t told you much about THEM! As you can imagine from all you’ve seen by now, Shanya and Clarence are pretty amazing people!

Not just because they have an absolutely incredible story about how they are both Sri Lankan and randomly found each other and fell in love in New York City (if you ever meet them you have to ask for the long version of that story!), but because they just ARE wonderful people!

And because it seems to me, that them joining together is going to do nothing more than make everything that is beautiful about them, grow even stronger!

I hope you guys stay in touch so that we get to see how the two of you grow and change for the better together! Congratulations, we’re so happy for you!

Click to see the rest of Shanya and Clarence’s Wedding with style and a sense of humor (you can see photos from the rehearsal dinner and photobooth there as well!).

 

Michelle and Derek's Surprise Wedding (by Scott & Breanna)

OK I’ll admit it, the title of this post was a bit misleading. Sorry I tricked you. It just so happened that was the shortest way to word what I was trying to say AND I knew it would make you want to read it.  But I’m glad it worked and that you’re here because you’re going to be so happy you came once you see how incredible Michelle and Derek’s wedding was! These pictures will make up for my swindling, I promise!

The real reason I titled this post like I did is because everyone involved in this wedding was crazy about surprises! Good thing too, because if someone loves surprises and the person they are surprising doesn’t, bad things can happen! Luckily all the surprises at this wedding were very welcomed and only good things came from them!

Of course you had the normal wedding day surprises, like the groom seeing the bride in her dress for the first time during the reveal moment, the bride seeing what all the ideas in her head really look like when they’re all put together, and it’s always a surprise to see just how drunk uncle Benny can get (just kidding, I don’t even know if they have an uncle Benny, but if they do…so sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you)!

But aside from the regular surprises, there were some really special and unique ones as well! For one, no one expected the cake design to actually match the bride’s dress! The cake was INCREDIBLE and it captured the guests’ attention all night! Every time I looked over, there were people standing around it. And it was more than just stunning, the cake was also sentimental too since Michelle’s grandmother’s brooch put the perfect finishing sparkle on it.

The special thoughtful details that were included in this wedding (like the brooch on the cake) were a surprise in general to us all. There were so many adorable things like the black and white lollipop table cards…

…photos of loved ones who had passed on were hanging on Michelle’s bouquet so she could feel like they were there with her…

…and the general beauty of their wedding venue, Inspirador, that tied all the special little details together, shocked and awed us all.

But the guests weren’t the only ones experiencing surprises on this day. The bride received a couple herself… but don’t worry, they were the kinds of surprises that a bride WANTS to get on her wedding day!

One big surprise in general came from her dad. He knew Michelle would be beyond thrilled to have a mariachi band at her wedding so he secretly hired one to come serenade her at dinner! Michelle was floored and moved to tears by her dad’s thoughtful gift.

But her father’s surprises didn’t end there! In his Father of the Bride speech he brought out props, along with a very special gift to help him give a meaningful speech that was complete with wisdom he wanted to pass on to his daughter and her new husband. Another tearful moment courtesy of her dad’s love of surprises and his daughter!

It’s a good thing Michelle was raised by a man who loves surprises because he prepared her for the new man in her life, who loves them just as much as her father does! The surprise that best showcased Derek’s talent for the unexpected was when the groomsmen spontaneously performed an elaborate choreographed dance, that the groom at first pretended to know nothing about, but jumped in like a pro and showed that it was his plan all along.

To give you an idea of how amazing this dance was I’ll tell you that it was done to a Justin Timberlake song, involved roses, and led straight into the garter removal in the slickest way possible. Good job guys, we were thoroughly impressed!

But unknown to Derek, Michelle had a surprise up her sleeve as well! After their very impressive cake was cut, ANOTHER cake was brought out that was just for Derek! This groom’s cake was based on the video game Minecraft. Derek was SO excited about this surprise.

I have to say, that with the amount of surprising going on at this wedding, I don’t think any of it would’ve worked out as well as it did without someone who was very organized, not only knowing all about the surprises, but executing them all while the couple relaxed and enjoyed their day. Lucky for them, Michelle and Derek realized this was the case so they found a wedding planner who was the best of the best and who was fully capable to make their day that was full of the complicated secrets that surprises bring, come off without a hitch.

They hired Shannon Smith from Sassy Soirees, and if their smooth and beautiful wedding day was any indication, I’m sure they’re very happy they did! As always, Shannon winds and unwinds all the complicated details and pieces that have to flow together into one smooth string, and she did it in a way that seemed completely effortless and allowed the couple to just sail through their day as all the beautiful and wonderful pieces of it just “magically”happened all around them.

Good choice guys, because Shannon, you really do blow me away with your mad wedding skillz every time! By the way, Shannon’s husband, Mark, was also the caterer and whoa… all I can say is that Michelle and Derek have incredible decision making skills and know how to choose the best every time!

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As you can see by their very thoughtful and customized back and forth surprising, Derek and Michelle know each other well! I’m sure their marriage will be full of fun, wonderful and unexpected surprises… some planned for one another and some that neither one of them expect!

We absolutely loved working with them, and not just because they gave us an incredible abundance of photography time…

…or because they were so excited about photos that they planned time for some cool and experimental night shots…

…well OK, those things DID make us like them even more! But we loved working with them because as you can see by all their well thought out surprises, they are such incredibly thoughtful people.

They treated us like good friends who just happened to have cameras in our hands (even though we didn’t know them before they hired us), They also took great care of us and made sure we had everything we needed both from them in order for us to do our best, as well just what we needed to be comfortable and happy ourselves on the wedding day!

It was so great to be a part of such a beautiful event that not only was happening between two people who were so obviously perfect for one another, but that was also happening between two people we loved spending time with!

So thank you, Derek and Michelle, for letting the wonderful things that make so many of your friends and family love you so much, spill over onto us. Your day was a wonderful experience for us and the only thing about it that makes us more excited about the pictures we got, is the fact that the two of you will get to spend the rest of your lives together as a result of it! Congratulations!

Click to see more photos from Michelle and Derek’s Surprise Wedding.

 

 

Ashlee and Jason and their elegantly rustic wedding (by Scott & Breanna)

Hometown Elegance. Vintage charm. Ranch beauty. All of these were working titles I had all lined up for this blog about Ashlee and Jason’s wedding. Of course in the end I went ahead and used a sort of made up word (elegantly? is that really a word?) as is my typical stylishish.:-)

As you check out the photos, you’ll instantly see why I had such a hard time nailing down the perfect title… there’s just so many ways to describe the crazy beauty that this wedding had!

(Jason, as he anxiously waits to see his bride for the first time that day during their reveal moment!)

For starters, Ashlee and Jason got married at Tubac Golf Resort and Spa. Unless you remember the last wedding we shot in Tubac, I’m betting you didn’t even know there was such a place as Tubac, AZ. I lived the first 28 years of my life in AZ and didn’t know that existed until a few years ago!

But now that we’ve found out what a great wedding location Tubac is, we’re never looking back. I mean, on what other golf course can you find cattle just roaming around? And where else can you get married in historical buildings (including an incredibly cool chapel) that are rumored to have ghosts in them!? Only in Tubac, AZ of course!

Ashlee and Jason went with the vintage theme… as well as completely contradicted it! Ashlee chose some of my all time favorite bridesmaid dresses for her girls to wear that were so creamy beautiful that they were quite risky considering the dirty, I mean “rustic” feel around them! Such a worthwhile risk though because just look at the contrast these dresses provide with the background around them! Gorgeous!

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Of course Ashlee’s dress was incredible as well! I found out later that my favorite part of the dress (the brooch and ribbon) were additions that Ashlee and her mom made to the dress… good call I’d say! They just make the dress, don’t you think!?

As I mentioned in the final title, the feel of this wedding was elegant, elegant, elegant. But of course because the elegance was set up with the rustic background, it had the perfect level of elegance without being too stuffy. Classy and chill elegance is what it ended up being. Enough to be stunning yet fun, gorgeous yet personable.

And of course there was plenty of fun there!

The lantern send off that night was one of my favorite fun AND elegant moments!

(time elapsed photo of the lantern send off)

If you can’t tell already…. I loved the overall feel that Ashlee and Jason were able to pull off by combining all that Tubac had to offer with their own personal style.

It was all such a perfect combination. Which reminds me a lot of 2 people I know…. hmmm…. who was that again?! Oh yes, Ashlee and Jason themselves!

Like their wedding, these 2 are the perfect complimenting team! We’re so happy you two found each other. We hope the rest of your marriage is as beautiful as your wedding was! Congratulations you two!!!

Click to see the rest of Ashlee and Jason’s elegantly rustic wedding here.

Fawn and John’s real unreal wedding (by Scott & Breanna)

Wow. Just wow is what I said when I heard about all the different aspects that were going to be a part of Fawn and John’s wedding at Condor’s Nest Ranch in Pala, California.

Let me get this straight, your venue has an old barn…

…a very retro trailer…

…old trucks…

…farm animals…

…a green house…

…rickety old store fronts…

…an incredible view…

…a vintage pool area..

 

…and a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright?

 

Um, I don’t believe you.

That’s just too perfect. Even as I’m looking through the photos again now, I have to pinch myself so I know I’m not dreaming.

Luckily I decided to believe that Fawn and John weren’t pathological liars and were in fact telling the truth, because as you can see I would’ve been eating my words had I argued that such a perfectly vintage and adorable wedding location couldn’t possibly be in existence.

Condor Nest Ranch is definitely a real place, even though you feel like you’re in a dream world when you’re there. Everything moves in slow motion (so you know exactly how significant the moment is), the light is just a bit more glowy to make it feel like a dream from a 90′s TV show, and the people there laugh just a little bit hard and for a little bit longer than in reality (but not in a creepy way).

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But of course that’s how it felt, it was Fawn and John’s wedding after all! At such an incredibly amazing event, there’s no room for reality!

Not only was the location a product of fairy dust, but the details themselves looked like they were designed with a little help from a fairy godmother… or at least someone with a few spells for mixing perfection and burlap up their sleeve!

As you can see, it was incredible!

Despite the perfection of this wedding, Fawn wasn’t putting in unnecessary stress to make it that way. She was cool as a cucumber as she wandered through the real version of that dreamy world she’d pulled out of her head.

John and Fawn never panicked, freaked out, or any of those scary terms that are often associated with wedding days.

They just hugged, laughed, and danced through it all. It was so wonderful to watch them as they truly enjoyed every single second on their wedding day.

Fawn and John, we can’t tell you how excited we are to see a couple as obviously perfect for each other as you guys are, get married on such an incredible day.

Your wedding was beautiful, your joy was contagious, and the amount of love that your family and friends have for you was evident everywhere. Bottom line, both you and your wedding rocked. Rock on love birds.

Click to see the rest of the photos from Fawn and John’s real unreal wedding day. (photobooth pictures are there too!).

Amanda and Javier and their wedding day “Amandiers” (by Scott & Breanna)

If I had to choose, I’d have to say that my favorite thing about Amanda and Javier’s wedding was that they made it their own.

Sure, they had some typical traditional stuff in there, but it was mixed in with just the perfect amount of personal flair to make it classy, yet fun and unique. In fact, I’ll call all the details in this wedding that show off their unique style, “Amandiers”!

The traditional part consisted of having the wedding in a BEEEAUTIFUL location at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort!

The only thing that ALMOST ruined it was the dust storm that tore through right after the ceremony (narrow miss… phew!).

(The sunset through the dust and the mountains half hidden by the dust rolling through… crazy!)

The location was a stunning venue with equally magnificent views to go along with it (when it wasn’t covered with dust that is!).

As far as the unique parts (Amandiers) in this wedding go… let’s start with the groomsmen’s shoes!

Javier comes from a wrestling sort of lifestyle.

He lives and breathes it in fact. And his shoe choice for the guys made that plain and clear! Definitely some of the most unique man shoes we’ve seen at a wedding yet, I loved it!

Not to be outdone, the girls put their own spin on their bridesmaid gear by throwing in a little parasol action to brighten up the photos. Love!

(Amanda and Javier also handed out parasols and sunglasses to the guests to protect them from the burning AZ sun during the ceremony!

Another of my favorite Amandiers was a photo idea that Amanda emailed me about weeks before the wedding so I could plan it into our photo time and that was this bar photo with all the girls taking shots!

What better way to showcase you hanging out with all your friends on your wedding day than to show you living life and having fun together?!

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Some of the Amandiers were incredibly sweet and sentimental.

For example, the activity left on the guests tables was a great idea! Each table number represented a year in the couple’s marriage and each guest at the table was to fill out a letter that the couple would read on the anniversary year that corresponded to their table number!

So on Amanda and Javier’s 5th anniversary they would read all the letters written by table 5! Such a great idea and I’m jealous that I’m not reading letters every year from my own wedding guests!

On top of the table activity, the guests had another fun thing to play with and that was the Wedding Snap app. Have you seen this? Basically, instead of having little disposable cameras at every table, there’s a card with instructions to download an app so that all the wedding pics you take on your smart phone, can be added to the app so the couple can have them all. So genius!

This little clever wedding day find was courtesy of Shannon Smith with Sassy Soirees Wedding and Event Planning. Shannon was the mastermind that brought all these little Amandiers together into one smoothly running wedding day.

She did such a great job enacting the couple’s vision while adding in her own expertise and ideas (like the app). Shannon, you’re a pro and I can’t believe how perfectly you coordinated this wedding while being six and a half months pregnant! SUCH talent… and stamina!;-)

And about the reception… oh the reception! Talk about an incredible party! Drinks were flowing, the band was rocking, the dance floor was full, and both the couple and their guests were having the time of their lives!

And in typical Amandier style, the fun was mixed in perfectly with the sentimental.

(I LOVE this photo of Amanda and her dad dancing while her mom and company are huddled together watching through tears!).

(Another great daddy/daughter moment was when he looked high and low to find her after the ceremony so he could give her this hug).

Midway through the reception, Amanda and Javier presented Amanda’s parents with a very special gift that had been planned long ago. In honor of her parent’s wedding anniversary, the bride and groom presented them with an exact replica of the top layer of their own wedding cake!

It was such a special moment filled with tears and heart felt speeches. After that perfect moment, the dancing resumed and the joyful celebration continued on and on as the couple’s happiness grew with every moment that passed. What an amazing day!

Amanda and Javier… what a WONDERFUL wedding you had! We had so much fun and were incredibly happy to get to be a part of it all! Congratulations and may your celebrations together always be as happy as this one was!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Amanda and Javier’s joyful wedding.