Category Archives: Weddings

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

Dash and Morgan’s “Best of the Best” Wedding

There is only one way I could even consider describing Dash and Morgan’s wedding and that is to say that it was “the best of the best”.

I mean that whole heartedly in every single way.  All that was involved fit this description…from the decorations, to their friends and family, to the vendors (if I do say so myself!), to the actual party.

Every single part of this wedding was exceptional in every single way.  Let me see if I can even begin to describe the majestic awesomeness that was this wedding!

So lets just start with the obvious… it was freaking beautiful, okay?!

The details…

… the ceremony…

(You can’t beat a ring bearer running full speed down the aisle towards his mom!).

(I love how Dash is looking at his mom in this picture!).

… the location…

(Pictured above is part of the cocktail hour set up… and also a showcase of future purchases I plan on making for my home. Consider this photo my Christmas list.).


… and OF COURSE, the bride!

I mean, just look, look, look at Morgan’s dress!!!

I (Breanna) got so excited when I saw it that I might have peed myself a little.  Layers and layers of elegant fabric, flowers, ruffles, and cream colored accents…. this is the stuff that girly dreamland fantasies are made of!

I felt like I was 5 years old again and seeing Cinderella at Disneyland for the first time-  I almost fainted out of girly overload every time that fabric swished and twirled around her.

(The accessories to go with the dress).

Of course the dress was just like one in a million of the beautiful details at the wedding.  I can’t even begin to describe all that was there that day, you really need to go look at the entire collection of photos from the day to get the full affect.

Remember the “best of the best” phrase?  Well not only does it describe the look of all the beautiful details there that day, but also the quality of the hard workers that made those things happen.

I have to start off by mentioning that we were so excited to have Josh and Kelley Johnson be a part of photographing this wedding with us!

(I can’t get enough of this pic that Josh and Kelley took, it looks like heaven for stemware!).

You might remember that they helped out on my cousin’s wedding so we could chill for the reception with my family, and now they are back for round two with Radiant on this wedding!

(Remind me to ask Josh and Kelley next time I see them if they have magical powers.  How else could they get photos this amazing?!).

They helped turn Scottie and my limited human potential (meaning we can’t be everywhere at once!) into… well, not quite complete omnipresence, but a lot closer to it!  They were at all the places we weren’t to make sure that every little beautiful detail of this wedding was captured and not a second was missed!

(Another couple of Josh and Kelley masterpieces!).

We were once again blown away by their mad skillz both as photographers and as professionals and we were so very very thankful we had them there to help us!

(I’m so jealous that I didn’t take these photos myself!).

Thanks guys!:-)

Amina Michele and her team from “Some Like it Classic” were the designers of this wedding and my hats are off to them all as well.

Granted, Amina had an amazing support team surrounding her, but she still did the work of like 10 people all on her own and she did it with perfection and precision.

It was so fun to talk to Morgan about the things she was looking forward to about her wedding day and then to hear it from the perspective of Amina who was helping to make it all happen.

(Morgan’s reaction at the first sight of the cake she’d been dreaming about!).

Amina was almost as excited as Morgan was about all the bits and pieces she was working on, you can definitely tell this is her art and that she prides herself (rightly so) immensely on her work.

The more I talked to the two of them prior to the wedding, the more excited I got too! And the more I watched the details unfold, the more I admired Amina for her outstanding abilities and for the love and value she placed on the work she was doing… and the people she was doing it all for.

Amina and the Some Like it Classic team were only a piece of the behind the scenes work, so if you’re looking for wedding vendors yourself and want to know who some of the  pros at this wedding were, send me an email and I’ll get you the info… because I am convinced that all the vendors we worked with on this day were all the “best of the best” in their fields.  They had to be to make this day look, feel, and flow so perfectly!

Not to beat the “best of the best” thing into the ground, but there is still another major aspect to this wedding that fit this phrase to a T and that is the friends and family of Dash and Morgan.

(Her dad watching as his little girl prepares to walk down the aisle).

(Family dance party time!).


Of course we fell in love with Dash and Morgan during our first meeting with them, so we should’ve automatically assumed that their friends would be wonderful as well.  However, we were still stunned by just how amazing the people Dash and Morgan surround themselves with actually are!

When Scottie and I got married we referred to our bridal party as “The Dream Team” since we felt like it was all the best people in the world brought together in one group for one weekend… what couldn’t they do?!  But I have to say that Dash and Morgan’s dream team does give ours a run for it’s money!

We first noticed this when we were doing photos of the bridal party.  You have to envision the scene here… you have about 20 people (which is a large enough number to make it very difficult to get complete focus from everyone), who only got a few hours of sleep the night before, standing around outside in 95 degree heat (in direct sun for most of it),  and half of these people are wearing black tuxes.

I will just say from my past experience, this is not the makings of a smooth running bridal party portrait time.  The pressure was on us to make it speedy while ensuring that no one passed out on us or started throwing punches in the midst of a heat induced nervous breakdown- we were definitely a little worried.

(Good thing nothing came to blows because I think those rings could do some damage!).

But as we had groomsmen asking us if they were doing things right, everyone standing quietly and listening to directions, and people walking into the sun without complaining in the least, we realized we had a miracle on our hands.

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

Well, at least that was our first thought, but we soon realized that Dash and Morgan just have amazing friends!!!

Instead of causing us problems, the bridal party members were asking us if we needed anything and being truly helpful and considerate towards us!

They were so amazing that in her speech during the reception, Morgan actually thanked the groomsmen in particular (since you know, they tend to be the “endearing troublemakers” of a bridal party group) for being so wonderful and helpful throughout the wedding process.

I agree with her completely and want to send out a BIIIIGGGG hug to all of Morgan and Dash’s bridal party for not only being easy to work with during a stressful situation, but for actually treating us like a part of the group rather than as “those people who make me do stuff when I don’t want to”.

I think we still had the baffled deer in the headlights look after dealing with such a kind bridal party as we walked into the reception only to find EVEN MORE wonderful people waiting inside the reception tent!

As soon as the music came on, I froze on the middle of the dance floor with my jaw hanging open (not the safest place to be really) because I was utterly stunned by the sheer amount of people that poured around me and began to boogie like it was both the first and last party of their lives.

I don’t think I have ever seen such a huge group of so many fun people in my life!!!

Of course this amount of boisterous energy, unconcealed joy, and gregarious laughter kept our cameras up to our faces all night long!  We couldn’t have stopped shooting if we wanted to because every single second was a new hilarious moment, and every single shot was of a new person causing the crowd to cheer.

It seriously was one of the most incredible parties I’ve ever been to and I was at WORK this whole time, I can’t imagine how it was for the guests!  It was for sure the party to end all parties… and it couldn’t have been more perfect for Morgan and Dash.

Morgan and Dash, I know I stressed how amazing all your friends and family are, but I want to make sure I say how much Scottie and I love you two as well!

We had such an amazing time working with you guys, you welcomed us in as friends right away and made us feel a total part of this wedding as if we were guests rather than “hired help”. ;-)  Thank you guys so much for your friendship and for including us in this incredible moment in your lives.

Our excitement about your wedding grew and grew as we got to know you better and realized that we were going to come out of all of this with two new friends!

We were so psyched and honored that you picked us to handle something so important to you and we hope that you are even happier than you thought was possible with your wedding, the photos from it, and your lifetime together!

We can’t wait to see where life takes you… and we’re glad we at least know that it’s going to bring you to visit us in Los Angeles this summer to get your Unique Session done!  We’re excited to see the two of you (and Morgan’s dress) again then!:-)

Click to see the rest of the photos from Dash and Morgan’s “Best of the Best” Wedding.

 

Molly and John’s wedding… rebellion to the end.

When I think of Molly and John’s wedding I think of freedom… freedom from rules really.  The thing I loved most about Molly and John’s wedding is that they threw out all the do’s and don’ts to a wedding and they just did whatever they wanted!  Complete and utter freedom!

If something made sense to them, or fit their style really well… why not?!  If something was unusual but they thought it would be fun… why not?!  They just did everything the way they wanted, no exceptions… and it was exactly the way it should’ve been.

To start with they decided to change up the order of the day a bit.  This means, not only that they had a reveal moment and saw one another before the wedding…

… but that they actually had their cocktail hour before the ceremony, and they were a part of it rather than off taking pictures!

Oh and get this, for the cocktail hour Molly had all her bridesmaids each change into the bridesmaid’s dress that Molly had to wear in their weddings! Genius isn’t it?!

Molly herself changed into a super cute white cocktail dress.  How did she figure out the trick to getting to wear 2 wedding dresses?!  I wasn’t kidding when I said she was a genius!

Since the girls were changing for the cocktail hour, the guys figured they’d better follow suit… so they changed into tuxedo t-shirts… so awesome!

Like I said, we’re talking very non-traditional here!

After the cocktail hour, the girls changed back into the dresses that Molly had picked out for them to wear for HER wedding and the groomsmen changed back into their tuxes with their Chuck Taylor’s and all.

(I love the shaving moment!).

Even the little ringbearer got dressed in his tux…

…who was none other than Molly and John’s dog, Wrigley!

(I love how the tiny flower girl is trying to reign him in like he’s a ginormous out of control monster or something).

By the way, the bridal party consisted of one “dude of honor” and one “best chick” which means there was a guy standing on Molly’s side and a girl standing on John’s side.

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

The ceremony was performed by a friend they work at the hospital with, who was once ordained to do a patient’s wedding and has married many of the hospital workers ever since.

During the ceremony, she presented them with a circle of friends to represent the spirit of the Southwest (which was a major theme of their entire wedding weekend).

And instead of lighting a unity candle, they sealed a box with their favorite wine and notes from all the guests that they will open on their one year anniversary.  Great idea, isn’t it?!

True to the rest of the wedding, the ceremony itself was very fun and fitting for Molly and John.

After the ceremony, we grabbed a few photos of the AMAZING sunset Molly and John were blessed with that day…

(Gotta have that cactus in their to fit the Southwestern theme!).

…as well as pics of their stylin’ shoes (or at least of one of Molly’s 3 pairs that day!).

We made our way over to the reception (which was a pool area that had been transferred into a perfect party zone), where Molly and John were greeted by all their friends and family who were excited to be there and ready to have a good time!

And they were not disappointed…

…the reception was the perfect end to their day.

Molly and John we loved loved loved your wedding and we loved loved loved working with you guys!

I especially love that you made your wedding fit you so well and that you weren’t afraid to challenge the norm do things differently… you’re a couple after our own hearts!

We love you guys and we wish you all the best!

Click to see the rest of Molly and John’s rule breaking wedding.

Tonia and Jay’s wedding was soooo THEM!

I don’t know if I give enough public credit to our couples for how well they plan their weddings.

If you haven’t had a wedding yourself yet, I guarantee you that no matter how prepared you are for it, you will still be totally shocked by how much time, energy, thought, and let’s not forget money of course- go into wedding planning.  I’ve now had my own wedding and been to hundreds of others and it STILL surprises me how difficult the planning can be!

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

I say all this because I want to make sure I take the time to give mad props to both Tonia and Jay, as well as their wedding planner, Sandy Walker from In Awe Weddings and Events, for the incredible job they did making their wedding uniquely them.

Let me first tell you a little bit about Tonia and Jay so that you can get a better feel for how well their wedding fit their personalities.

Tonia and Jay are both in the medical field and are currently living in Indiana.  Their families are spread out all over the country so instead of choosing one family hometown or the other for their wedding, they decided to throw caution to the wind and choose an entirely different place for their big event so that it would be a great vacation for everyone involved.  Sedona, Arizona was their destination location of choice, and good thing too because the location (at L’auberge de Sedona) was spectacular!

When I think of Tonia and Jay, the first thing that comes to my mind is F-U-N.  These two have the best dry sense of humor ever and they’re like the perfect comedic duo when joined together!

I could just sit back and listen to their little snippets of conversation while watching them interact together and be totally entertained for hours!

They love to laugh together, and if I’ve learned anything from sitting through hundreds of speeches at weddings related to marriage and love, it’s that laughter is one of the main ingredients for a successful and happy marriage… so  if all those well-wishers were speaking the truth, I’d say they’re all set to have a great time for the rest of their lives!

Which brings me to the part about how their wedding fit their personalities.  Tonia and Jay, with the help of Sandy, were able to create this perfect mesh of elegance and fun.  It started with their wedding ceremony where the pastor read the vows they had written to one another… and those turned out to be some of my favorite vows of all time.

Again, it fit so well as the perfect blend of funny, yet beautiful and quite sentimental.  They both wrote about living real life with one another and how much they love all the little “peccadilloes” about one another (to quote Robin Williams in “Good Will Hunting”).

On top of those great vows, they also had another reading that blew my mind with it’s amazingness!  They combined pieces of about love from each of their favorite sources into one reading and it flowed together so incredibly perfectly that I actually asked them for a copy of it!

Apparently, they had a hard time choosing just one source to be read at their wedding, so they just went ahead and picked them all!  It was such a cool idea that just reflects again, how many personal touches went into this wedding!

To top off the personality of the ceremony, Jay’s mom had a song written especially for the happy couple and then she sang it to them herself during the ceremony… how cool is that?!  What an amazing wedding present!  Also, what a great way to get every single person within a mile radius to shed a tear!

And now on to Sandy’s part in all of this… Sandy is the kind of planner who listens to the dreams and visions of her clients and then figures out how to make them happen.  This works out amazingly well because it allows the couple to focus on the fairytale/fun side of the wedding and then leaves all the harrowing details and hard work in hands that are experienced and capable of pulling them off without a hitch.

I’m totally convinced that Tonia and Jay enjoyed their wedding 10 times more than they would’ve had they been trying to do Sandy’s job themselves.

They were able to cast their vision and then catch their breaths as they walked onto their wedding site to see everything they had envisioned actually come to life in a way that seemed to just happen magically (of course that magic actually came from the magician otherwise known as Sandy).

So when they look back on their wedding, they remember the beauty, fun, elegance, and relationships more than the stress, worry, frustration, etc., etc. that Sandy was able to take off their shoulders.

And now about the reception.  If you were a guest, wondering if you were in the right place, you seriously only had to walk in for like 2.5 seconds to know that this reception was definitely for Tonia and Jay.  There were so many details that reminded you of them.  The most noticeable was that there was pizza on everyone’s plate.

Yep, you heard me right… they served pizza at their wedding reception.  Though I’m sure Tonia and Jay got some interesting reactions when they first told people about their culinary plans, but they held firm to their love of gourmet pizza and I think all their very full and satisfied guests were happy they did in the end!

Other noticeable aspect of the reception were the table names.

They were all named after various movies that Tonia and Jay loved and all the name cards included quotes from the movie (which is why I put in a movie quote above… that’s called “foreshadowing”.  Admit it, you’re impressed with my literary ninja skills).

There was another card with a quote on it that was placed near the guest book to tell guests that in lieu of favors, Tonia and Jay were donating to the humane society.  I have to mention that part because the quote on that card was such a great one: ” Getting a dog is like getting married. It teaches you to be less self-centered, to accept sudden, surprising outbursts of affection, and not to be upset by a few scratches on your car”.- Will Stanton.

Alright, I could go on and on about all the personal touches to Jay and Tonia’s wedding but I’ll stop there and let you see the rest for yourself in the photos!

Click here to see the rest of the photos from Tonia and Jay’s wedding!

Congratulations Tonia and Jay, we are so happy for you guys and we are so happy that you are so happy together!  Keep laughing and enjoy the rest of your lives together!  Thanks so much for giving us the honor of being a part of this great day in the story your lives together.  We loved every second of it!

Maureen and Matt’s cute, classy, clever, Catholic Wedding.

Maureen, I can’t believe you’re married now!!!!

During our days of stressing about tests, traveling around the country with choir, and spending lunch breaks at that ghetto Mexican food place with the crazy loud mariachi music…. the idea of you getting married seemed so far off.

And now it’s here! Not only is it here, but it’s already happened!

Maureen and I (Breanna) were friends in High School.  We met our first week of Freshman year and saw each other almost every day after that for the next four years.  We experienced so much of life and growing up together during those times, so to be a part of another major milestone in her life was something I was so thrilled to do!

When Maureen called me and asked if we would photograph her wedding, I think I spent at least the next hour telling Scottie all about how amazing she is. Not only was I excited because Maureen’s amazing and I was getting to shoot a good friend’s wedding, but I was also psyched because Maureen is a HUGE Radiant fan as well!

She is constantly spreading our name all over Facebook and gushing over her favorite sessions that we’ve shot.

(Unbelievable color choices, Maureen… it’s absolutely stunning!).

So when you combine all those factors together, you could see why I was so excited for this wedding that I could barely contain myself!

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

Once Maureen and Matt did hire us for their wedding we got spend a little more time with the two of them up at Matt’s parents cabin where we shot their engagement photos.  I am very happy to say that I ended up deeming him very worthy of the marvelous Maureen!

So now you add a great groom onto this great event and my excitement grows even MORE!

(Here he is during their reveal moment, getting prepared to turn around and see his beautiful bride for the first time on their wedding day!).

So the big day finally arrived and it was so totally beautiful and so totally fitting for Maureen and Matt.  The ceremony took place at Maureen’s church…

…which was a very important factor to her and which I know made the entire wedding all the more special to her.

The reception was at Regency Gardens in Mesa and it was such a Unique place!  It was very “Disney, meets greenery, meets weddings”!

It had the perfect combination of being welcoming and mysterious, adorable and elegant.

It had white lights everywhere so it had me for sure!

It has also had plenty of the ladies to go around so it got this kid for sure too!  Ha ha!

(Ha ha ha, I’m still laughing about that photo above!)

(I love this shot of the longest married couple in the room with the shortest married couple in the room standing in the background).

Maureen and Matt added their own personal touches to the already very magical place.  Their reception was focused around the thing that they love doing together the most, and the thing that brought them together one memorable day…. traveling!

My mom makes fun of me for saying the word “amazing” too much, but can I just say that their wedding cake was AMAZING!!!!

It was the cutest thing ever with the little people and the little pieces of their travel memories together! So cute I could cry!

They also had travel post cards so their guests could write them personal messages on the back. So fitting for this couple!

Maureen and Matt, Scottie and I both loved being a part of this wedding with you guys and we are so grateful to have people as amazing as you in our lives.

I’m so glad that your wedding was so wonderful for you and we wish you all the best together and hope to see you lots from here on out!

Congrats!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Maureen and Matt’s cute, classy, clever, Catholic wedding.

Jeff and Laura’s wedding: a family affair

A wedding day is an entirely different experience for me (Breanna) when I’ve done each of the following with the groom…

1. Built a fort that in my mind rivaled the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse (though it was really like 2 planks of wood haphazardly nailed together with a dried up Christmas tree as the back wall…obviously it was the best fort ever.)

2. Played and pretended everything from house, restaurant, under water tea party (he was too nice to ever refuse an invitation from me and his little sister), office, cops and robbers, mermaids (don’t worry, I’m sure he was a “merman” or a crab or something), school, and over 1,000 rounds of Marco Polo and TV tag.

3. Created, directed, designed, and performed- in front of an audience- a full rendition of the Nutcracker Suite (costumes and everything) though none of the participants involved knew anything about ballet.  If I remember correctly, we did a great job of skipping, rolling, crawling on all fours, and sword fighting, all with pajamas and capes on…. you know, typical ballet stuff. We have a video of it somewhere, though I believe my dad got bored and turned the camera off after the first 10 minutes.

So as you probably can tell by now, Jeff and I grew up together.

He’s my 1st cousin and 3rd brother.  Meaning, he was my cousin who was around enough that he was like another brother of mine.  Oh and in case you were wondering whatever became of our fire hazard fort, the next generation of kids in our family somehow convinced everyone that a rotting Christmas tree wasn’t good enough for their fort and were able to enlist adult help (including my carpentery master of a husband) to make a full on real tree house! Kids these days… so spoiled!!  Since when is a molding fort with a bee hive next door not a good place for kids to play?!

As you can see, Jeff and I had a ton of fun growing up together.  The coolest part of this whole story is that Laura is way more fun than Jeff.

Just kidding, but they are at least even!  So now, the fun continues as we live our adult lives!  We’ve already made Laura perform in front of audience when we put on a family dance party one night to teach the next generation of kids how it’s done… and she totally stole the show!

She plays dress up really well too… if you haven’t seen their AH-MAAAAAZING retro airplane engagement session, you HAVE to check it out, she looks incredible (you do too, Jeff!)!!  I haven’t gotten to invite her to an underwater tea party yet, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it will happen one day.  In other words, she fits right in with our family!

I’m totally serious about that.  I love Laura and I was so so so happy when Jeff called to tell me he was going to marry her and make her stick around with us!

Due to their fun loving spirits, Jeff and Laura had only one condition to us being their wedding photographers… we weren’t allowed to do it if we couldn’t have fun while doing it!

It was really important to them that we enjoyed their wedding and didn’t view it as work.  Scottie and I both knew that we would enjoy the wedding more if we were shooting it… but we’ve also really missed getting to be a part of the celebration rather than just onlookers.  So our solution was that Scottie and I would shoot everything  that happened before the reception…

…and at that point, we’d turn over the photography responsibilities to other photographers we hired while we partied it up as guests!

So that’s exactly what we did!  In other words, all the awesome reception photos you see here- like the one above and below- are not ones either Scottie or I can take credit for!

Scottie and I love shooting weddings for people we already know well because it’s so fun feeling like we’re such a part of something so huge in the lives of people we care about.  It’s also so fun hanging out in the getting ready rooms with our friends!

Not to mention, it’s nice to be working with a couple who’s so comfortable with us.

It’s just fun all around!

So true to our word, Scottie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves during the reveal moment…

(Ha ha, we could see both of them, but they weren’t allowed to see each other yet!).

…posed photo time…

…at the ceremony…

…and throughout everything in between!

(Praying).

Then we lifted all the responsibility from our own shoulders and passed it to Josh and Kelley Johnson while Scottie and I hit the dance floor!

(Look it’s us! We’re actually dancing at a wedding AND in a photo!!!).

Josh and Kelley are another married photography team in the Phoenix area (who also happen to be freaking cool people!!) and we’ve been semi/sort of mentoring for awhile now.  When we came up with the idea to have someone else shoot the reception, we immediately knew that Josh and Kelley were the people for the job!  And they did not disappoint!

They both have a phenomenal artistic eye, they excel at capturing real emotion, and they are hyper aware of everything going on around them at all times so they’re ready with less than a moment’s notice to catch anything that happens in front of their cameras!

This is not the only Radiant wedding that Josh and Kelley will be in on, so stay tuned for more from them in the future!

As you can see, Jeff and Laura’s wedding was amazing from beginning to end!  It was a fabulous day, everything went smoothly and there was just an overall feeling of joy in the air.

It couldn’t have been better.

Congratulations Jeff and Laura, I’m so glad the day was so great for the two of you and I’m so excited to have one of the coolest girls around as the new addition to our family.

(Another amazing Josh and Kelley creation… do you know how hard it is to get a good sparkler picture?!  Awesome job guys!).

Click to see the rest of the photos from Jeff and Laura’s wedding.