Category Archives: Weddings

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

Megan and Mark’s Marvelous Maui Wedding

One day, Megan called and said, “I think we might like you to be our wedding photographers.”

And Breanna (me) replied “sounds great! When and where is the wedding?”

Then Megan said, “Maui”. And Breanna said nothing because she was already home packing her bags for Hawaii.

OK, maybe that’s not exactly how it went down, but it was pretty close!  Whether you’re a guest, a vendor, a parent, or a bridesmaid… when someone tells you that you’re invited to their wedding on Maui, you only have one option for how you react. You don’t hesitate, check your calendar, or ask your girlfriend… you just nod yes immediately and ask them to fork over the RSVP card where you can check “attending” to seal the deal.

OK, again, maybe that’s not exactly what we did, but it was pretty close! We actually decided to do the responsible thing and sit down with Megan and Mark to find out more about their wedding and see if we’d be a good fit for it!

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourselves in some of the photos!).

As soon as we realized that Megan and Mark were such awesome people and that it looked like we were going to be a good addition to their wedding, both Scottie and I let out our breaths that we were surprised to find we’d been holding during the entire meeting.

So to put it mildly, yes, we were excited to go to Hawaii. But not just because the coconuts and luaus were calling our names, but because Hawaii is one of the most gorgeous places for a wedding, which means it’s an absolute dream for wedding photographers!

When Megan and Mark told us they were having their reception at The Four Seasons Resort there, our excitement only grew because we couldn’t wait to see what kind of pictures we’d be able to get out of a place that gorgeous with a couple this stunning!

When we arrived on the wedding day and took in the scenery around us, we immediately knew there was no chance we’d be disappointed!

And when we saw the couple themselves, slow, wide smiles spread across our faces. Megan looked GORGEOUS with her blonde hair pinned perfectly in a way that effortlessly resisted the inevitable Maui afternoon winds…

…and Mark was fully caught up into the day from early on as his groomsmen gave tear jerking speech after tear jerking speech.

(I love this picture with all Mark’s groomsmen having a good time around him while he’s just off in his own little world as he eagerly awaits his bride’s entrance into the ceremony!).

Megan and Mark had a beautiful, traditional Catholic Mass for their ceremony.

And from there they moved on for a little bit of photo opp time with yours truly.

Before I dive head first into the super fantastic party details, I need to point out something. One of the things that impressed me most about this wedding, besides the incredible speeches, super supportive family and friends, and the undeniable loving relationship between the couple themselves, was the fantastic planning that Megan did.

As many of the heartfelt speeches I’ve referred to mentioned, Megan opted to go wedding planner free for this and did everything on her own.

If any of you out there have ever had a destination wedding where you have actual ocean between you and the place you’re getting married at, you know this is quite an impressive feat!

( I LOVED the adorable little “Puggle Pops” and “Purr-fect Pops” made to represent their beloved cat and dog who couldn’t be at the wedding with them! Not to mention the elegant, all white candy bar shown below that was all kinds of stunning!)

 

One of my favorite parts of the day (out of many) was the reaction Megan had when she saw the final product of all her months and months of hard work.

She walked into the empty ballroom to check it out before the guests entered, and you could just tell by how her eyes widened, her hands glided along the backs of the chairs, and her smile grew bigger and bigger, that this was EXACTLY the way she had always dreamed her wedding day would be!

She talked about it multiple times throughout the night because she just couldn’t believe how incredibly perfect all her plans had turned out! She was floating on her perfect wedding high as she stood next to her perfect man who was such a perfect match for her.

It was… perfect.

Oh yeah, and it didn’t take long for the party to go into full swing awesomeness!

(Why yes, that IS the Thriller dance!)

(Why yes, that IS Mark impressing us all with his incredible moves that probably caused him a lot of pain in the morning!).

Megan and Mark, I can’t tell you how much I loved hearing all the stories about you two and your love for each other throughout the many elaborate and tear inducing speeches I heard the weekend of your wedding.

Yes, we’re glad we had the opportunity to go to Hawaii, but even more than that, we really are so glad we got to be a part of a wedding where the couple is as loved and supported as much as you two are…

…and who are even more in love than two people could ask to be on their wedding day.

My favorite speech of the night was your best man, Jay’s, speech. I’m pretty sure it will go down in history as one of the best of all time.

(Jay is one left of Mark in this photo).

I loved it because of the way that he described Mark’s ridiculously high expectations for the girl he was going to marry. Everyone thought he was crazy for maintaining these expectations as the years went by and that girl remained nowhere to be found. Then Jay proceeded to explain how Megan perfectly fulfilled all those expectations to a T in a way that completely astounded everyone and made them eat their words for ever thinking that Mark was asking for too much.

He’d definitely found “the one” and everyone knew it.

You guys are such a wonderful couple and Scottie and I couldn’t be happier for you two. It really was such an honor to be a part of such a beautiful wedding that I know will translate into a beautiful marriage. Congratulations!

Oh but wait! You thought that was all didn’t you?! No way, there’s much more!  That’s right, there’s a whole other photo session that we did with Megan and Mark around the island the day after their wedding… and yes, I’m going to make you wait for it! So be excited, be very excited because there’s nothing better than a day after session with a fantastic couple in the extraordinary world of Maui! Here’s a taste of the session…

… check back later this week for the rest!

Click to see more photos from Megan and Mark’s Marvelous Maui Wedding here.

 

Susanne and Greg’s Colorful Star Wars Wedding

If you would’ve told me it was possible to pull off a Star Wars themed wedding with class, I would’ve laughed in your face.

But it looks like I was indeed wrong as Susanne and Greg managed to do just that!

It was definitely a subtle theme (I mean they weren’t dressed up like Star Troopers saying their vows to one another or anything!). They kept the SW world limited to the table names at the reception…

…the garter (to Greg’s great surprise)…

…the cuff links…

… the music as they entered the reception (another surprise for Greg courtesy of his loving new wife), and the music during the garter toss. Oh and I do believe there was a light saber in the hand of the tiny groom on top of the wedding cake! See? That’s a pretty low key theme, not nearly what you pictured when you read the title I’m sure!

The best part of the theme was that it was used to enhance the rest of the wedding, rather than detract from it (like it would have if they had say… decided to make the bridesmaids wear gold bikinis).

(See, very normal bridesmaids dresses!)

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourself in some of the photos).

They used just enough to represent one of Greg’s all time favorite things in the world (besides the Los Angeles Lakers and the Red Hot Chili Peppers… see their engagement session). Which also happens to be one of the things Susanne has grown to love because she loves her man.

(Seeing each other for the first time that day during the first look).

(Seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony as she walks down the aisle towards him).

Greg has also had his heart turned towards things that Susanne loves… Converse shoes being one of them! Susanne had her pretty teal heels of course…

…but once the formal part of the day was done, they both changed into matching converse to finish out the party with, because Susanne is known for being the Converse Queen! I’m sure Greg never thought in his wildest dreams that the first time he’d ever put on a pair of Converse shoes would be at his wedding!:-)

As you can see, these two really do give a lot to one another and do their best to appreciate not only their similarities (which eHarmony knew they’d have a lot of) but also their differences.

I was already a believer in eHarmony, but since meeting Susanne and Greg I have even more confidence in the match maker! Because seriously, these 2 are absolutely perfect for each other!

Every move they make towards one another makes that more and more obvious even to someone who’s just met them! The people who’ve known them the longest are convinced as well! It seemed like everyone at the wedding, couldn’t be happier for these two.

They’d been through a lot trying to find the “right one”, as I heard tales of during the speeches, and their friends were with them through it all. And once they found each other, their friends didn’t need any convincing that Greg and Susanne were going to be making a great decision in choosing to spend the rest of their lives with one another.

It’s so much fun to be at a wedding where everyone is just so absolutely overjoyed about the match! I think it’s safe to say that these two have the kind of strong support system that will help carry them through anything… what a gift.

And now that they’ve found each other, I think they pretty much have everything they need to have a wonderful life filled with so much joy! They’re just so beautiful to watch together!

Congratulations you two, I meant every word I said about what a great match you are for each other!

I hope to hear that years and years from now, you guys are still as happy together as you were on your wedding day.

I think that’s a reasonable expectation for the two of you! Cheers to a wonderful day today and an even greater tomorrow!!:-)

Click to see the rest of Susanne and Greg’s colorful star wars wedding!

Melissa and Kevin’s Hawaiian wedding in a California vineyard

How does a wedding planner plan her own wedding?

It may sound like an easy job since she does it for a living, but really that makes it much harder for her to have the wedding of her dreams. When you go to weddings every weekend, it’s difficult to find ways to make your own day feel unique and special.

Luckily, Melissa from Let’s Do This! Wedding and Events was up for the challenge! Her wedding day was upon her and she found some incredible ways to make it her own. But before I get into that, let me give you a little bit of Melissa and Kevin’s story because it’s a good one!

Melissa was one of those girls who felt like she had to wait forever for “the one” to come.

It wasn’t always easy for her to believe that she was doing the right thing by waiting  for just the right guy to come along one day. But she was persistent and she stuck to her guns. So when fanny pack wearing (he’s trying to bring them back), messy haired, California boy Kevin came into her life Melissa and her family knew her prayers had been answered and that all her tears, waiting, and frustrations had been well worth it. Because “the one” really had found his way into her life. Even though he had to cross an ocean to do it.

(Melissa and her mom spending time together before the ceremony).

 

One of my favorite moments from Melissa and Kevin’s big day was when Melissa’s bridesmaid sister stood up to give her speech and the first thing she did was turn to Kevin and yell, “WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!”. It was a pretty good question that summed up the anticipation that had led up to this wonderful, glorious wedding day for Melissa when she finally got to marry the man of her dreams!

The rest of the speeches that night followed the honest tone that Melissa’s sister brought to the table… only with a little less yelling involved.

(Tag yourself in some of these photos by liking our Facebook page!).

Everyone in the room was so full of joy and it seemed like people couldn’t even find the words to speak highly enough of these two wonderful people and the beautiful love between them. Tears, tears, and more tears for me and everyone involved that night!

(Yes, I think it’s safe to say that even the tough guys were getting emotional!).

The passion between Melissa and Kevin was undeniable. And who were we to interrupt their great making out moments to get them to walk over there or stand facing a certain direction, etc. Mostly we just let them go at it and tried to make sure we didn’t get any pictures where you could see their tongues!

(Like this kiss under the veil for example… we didn’t even have to stage it, that’s  just the kind of stuff they were doing naturally!).

They were so incredibly happy!

Melissa looked exactly how I pictured her looking on her wedding day.

And though this was my first time meeting Kevin, his love for Melissa was unmistakable as well.

Not only were his tears as he watched her walk down the aisle evidence of this, but also the absolutely incredible vows he spoke to her during the ceremony about growing old together and returning to this tree in the vineyard they got married under with their kids one day, and then again when they have to hobble up to it with their canes.

Ah, I’m getting all misty eyed just thinking about the gist of the speech, and that’s nothing compared to how beautiful it was word for word!

(You can tell by this picture that her vows had the intended effect as well!!!).

As you can see, this is one very expressive group of people!

Their words, actions, behavior… everything, communicated love and joy this day!

(The guys praying before the ceremony).

I was so floored by the quality of the long lasting relationships that Melissa and Kevin have had over their lifetimes.

Their strong and deep friendships say so much about the character of these two kind and caring people. I seriously felt like I was having the honor of being in a room full of some of the greatest people in existence that night.

OK I’m tired of trying not to cry as I write this so let me get on to the details of this wedding that uniquely reflected Melissa and Kevin… only I’m not sure those hold much hope for a tear free explanation either!

(Kevin’s mom doing her Bible reading during the ceremony).

You can’t emotionally detach yourself from a ceremony that includes a foot washing as a symbol of how they will love and serve one another, prayers given by their fathers as a blessing on them, and a presentation of the flags from their countries of heritage to one another’s fathers as a symbol of the respect they have for the different cultures they will be bringing together in this union.

(I love the photo on the left of Melissa’s parents watching their little girl all grown up and getting married! By the way, during the father daughter dance to “My Girl” Melissa kept pretending she was playing basketball like in Father of the Bride! It was so sweet!).

I KNOW! I’m just going to have to give up on my mascara at this point!

As I said, Melissa is a wedding coordinator. What I didn’t say is that she is born and raised, and currently works in, Hawaii!

We first met Melissa when we went over to Oahu for Katy and Shaun’s gorgeous wedding that she did such a great job coordinating, that Scottie and I were fully impressed and determined to work with her one day again. What we didn’t know was how often and soon we’d get to work with her, and that we’d eventually be doing so at her very own wedding!!!

Melissa is from Oahu and Kevin is a recent transplant to that part of the world as well. So while they didn’t choose to get married in Hawaii (which is probably good because I think Melissa would’ve felt like she was working a little more than she should have on her big day) they did choose to bring some of the culture they love into the mix.

By the way, in case you’re wondering where someone who lives in Hawaii goes when they want a destination wedding… the answer is to Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez, California!

So to bring a little piece of aloha to the mainland, Melissa and Kevin started out with exactly what you’d expect, which is beautiful and fragrant leis they had draped over chairs and around necks. They also kicked off their reception with a Hawaiian prayer and welcome. Melissa brought the hula to the party that she worked so very hard to learn as a special surprise for Kevin. She performed it beautifully by the way!

(Kevin watching his love dance with her dad).

One of the coolest representations of Hawaii was the special surprise the generous couple handed out to one very lucky guest! As response cards they had their guests fill out Mad Libs. And from those Mad Libs responses, they chose one person to win a FREE TRIP TO HAWAII!!!!  One of my favorite wedding moments of all time was watching this unsuspecting girl find out she had just one a trip to Hawaii! She was in complete shock. It was definitely the best wedding favor we’ve ever seen a guest walk away with!:-)

As you can tell, there is more story to this wedding than I have time to share. And even more of a story to this fantastic couple that Scottie and I have fallen in love with. Melissa and Kevin, your wedding day was a very special and precious time to us that we were incredibly honored to be a part of.

Seeing your passion for one another, your love for your friends and family, and your incredible ability to give of yourselves to others was such an inspiration to us and one that has left us talking about it ever since. I know you guys have a beautiful future ahead of you and I just hope we continue to find ways for Scottie and I to be blessed enough to be a part of it! We love you both! Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of Melissa and Kevin’s Hawaiian Wedding in a California vineyard.

Amanda and AJ’s creative detail galore wedding!

When Amanda emailed me to tell me that the bridesmaid dress she’d sewn herself had been stolen in it’s UPS box of her bridesmaid’s front porch (yes, that really happened!!!), I thought, “that’s it, Amanda’s going to give up on all her stunning and elaborate DIY wedding details”.

Nope, I was wrong. She re-made the dress weeks before the wedding, and continued on with joy as she completed her wedding decor in her own creative style. Nothing could keep this girl down!

 

This wedding had so many incredibly special details that the full list of them would take up this entire blog! So I’ll just go ahead and give you the highlights so you can have just a taste of how thoughtful and magnificent all the details and events at this wedding really were!

As I mentioned, Amanda HAND MADE all her bridesmaids’ dresses… as well as her flower girls’ dresses!!!

(LOVE the heart shaped braids the flower girls had!!!!).

Yes, that IS talent folks!!! She even made one bridesmaid’s dress twice- thanks to the thievery situation!

She made vintage brooch bouquets for herself and her bridesmaids.

Which all had their own special pins in them to represent each girl. Amanda’s had a camera since she’s an amazing photographer!

She also made  boutonnieres out of vintage jewelry for the dudes.

(To tag yourself in some of the photos, like our Facebook page).

And that was just the beginning of the handmade world at this wedding!

Aside from hand made there were plenty of other details that were very special to Amanda and AJ. TOM’S shoes being one of the biggest ones! All the girls from flower girls to bride to grandma, wore glittery Tom’s!

And Amanda’s served as dual purpose to cover her need for “something blue” as well! Amanda also wore a necklace that her dad gave to her mom on their first date!!! Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?!

As for the rest of her jewelry… Amanda had to actually get her ears pierced so she could wear the stunning Coach earrings that she found and fell in love with!

This wedding was about more than just details though, it was about the people involved.

(The flower girls showing how much they love their grandpa. This is one of my favorite pictures of all time!).

(Even all the mushy love stuff isn’t always enough to entertain a flower girl during a ceremony, so at times she has to take it upon herself to keep things fun!).

Amanda and AJ thought of every clever way in the book to involve their family and friends in their big day as much as possible.

Amanda’s mom and grandma made the wedding cake, they had a friend perform their ceremony, and Amanda’s cousin did all kinds of special (and wonderful I might add) musical performances.

And last but not least, one of my favorite parts was when Amanda’s grandfather serenaded us all with a couple of beautiful Italian songs during the reception.

It was a time to remember for all!

Amanda and AJ, you guys have been some of the most awesome clients we’ve ever had. Both you and your families have been a huge blessing to us throughout this process and there’s nothing you guys could do to make us love you more!

(I love how Amanda’s mom is looking at her in this picture. So happy!).

You’ve all meant the world to us and done so much to build us up and support us in all that we do. Thanks for being such amazing people and for letting some of that amazingness leak on over to us.

You guys are the best!

Congrats to you both, you so deserve a happily ever after!

Click to see the rest of Amanda and AJ’s creative detail galore wedding!

Christine and Marc’s high expectation exceeding wedding

A wedding for one of our biggest fans, huh? That’s pretty exciting, but also quite a challenge!

Christine has been following Radiant’s work since day one. Which means she’s seen everything we’ve ever done and knows exactly what to expect from Radiant photos!

Not to mention she’s been dreaming about having Radiant at her wedding since that first day we showed up with cameras slung around our necks. She even sent an email to us only a couple of hours after getting engaged to start checking dates that we were available!

To say that she had high expectations for the day we showed up at HER wedding with camera’s slung around our necks, would be an understatement!

Luckily, those high expectations didn’t phase us though… I mean how could it?! It was CHRISTINE’S wedding. Scottie and I have been friends with Christine since before we were even friends with each other so we’ve been to a lot of parties and a lot of weddings with her and every time we left one of those events, we’d say the same thing. “I can’t wait until Christine gets married… her wedding is going to be SOOOOO much fun!!”

Whenever I’d show up to a wedding that Christine was at, I knew I was going to get to do some dancing that night! That’s because Christine always closes out the dance floor, which means she’d be around for at least a little bit of time once I got off the clock, so I always got to dance to at least one song with her. And dancing with Christine on just one song even is enough fun to last you a week!

So though she had high expectations for us, I’d say we returned the favor by having high expectations ourselves for how great her wedding would be! And we were not disappointed!

The venue they chose was a piece of private property owned by Marc’s good friends and Christine knew it was where she wanted to get married the first time she ever saw it! I can see why!  The place was a perfect fit for them and very different from what you typically find in Phoenix!

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourself in some of the photos!).

The wedding day and the photography on the wedding day were not the only things trying to meet a pretty high bar. We also had some pretty high expectations placed on the guy Christine was choosing to marry, and on that end… we were a little disappointed.

JUST KIDDING MARC!!!

That’s totally not true!

(I love this picture of him waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle!).

Before we had actually met Marc, we’d heard nothing but good reviews from some of the toughest critics like Christine’s sister and brother and law who love Christine dearly and want only the best for her.

Everyone we talked to about the impending matrimony said something to the extent of, “oh yeah, he’s the one and there’s no doubt about it. Also, they seriously need to get their PDA in check!”.

Ha ha, they are in love and they don’t care who knows it!

Once we met Marc, we confirmed that all the rumors about how amazing he is are true and then proceeded to enjoy watching them interact and be madly in love on their wedding day!

 

It seriously was such a beautiful day that we were so happy we got to be a part of!

It was also fun to work alongside so many of our friends that we’ve worked with over the years like Ivy from “The Garage by Ivy” who did all the stunning flowers…

…and Jay and Chelsea from Everly Films who did all the videography (see Christine and Marc’s wedding video here). Add to that our favorite wedding guest becoming the bride and we were all one big wedding family reunion!

Thanks to Christine and Marc for bringing us in on something so special to the two of them.

We can’t even tell you how excited we are for you guys! Major congratulations to you both! We love you!

Click to see the rest of Christine and Marc’s wedding photos here.