Category Archives: Weddings

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

Bethany and Mike’s dream wedding in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

The more Bethany and Mike searched for their perfect Arizona wedding venue, the more frustrated they became.  When they finally found the place they wanted only to later learn that it was going bankrupt, they said, “screw it, we’re going to Mexico”!

So while choosing Playa Del Carmen, Mexico as the location for their destination wedding came to fruition as a result of frustration… it ended up being just the kind of place they were looking for all along!

Playa Del Carmen weddings

When most people think Mexico, they don’t think trendy restaurants or a worldwide hub for all the coolest people around… but that’s exactly what Playa Del Carmen is!

And since Bethany wanted something more on the modern side, this proved to be the perfect place!

Bethany and Mike got married at the Blue Cacao Beach Club (right on the beach of course!)…

…and had their reception at the bar/restaurant area they have there that overlooks the ocean.

American photographer playa del carmen

This place was SOOO Bethany!  The perfectly placed lights around the pool, the paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and the waterfall wall (as I call it) to lay the backdrop for the room…

…it all looked so much like the way Bethany had described her dream wedding to me.

Part of her dream was to have her dad perform the ceremony, and that was another piece that came true!

Scottie and I had the pleasure of hanging out with Bethany’s parents for a bit before the wedding and we had to fight off the tears that came as her dad and her mom (who didn’t hide the tears) described their love for Mike and their happiness about Bethany’s choice to marry him.

We’re used to hearing couples gush about how much they love one another, but it was a rare gift to get to hear it from the parent’s side as well!

Knowing that this was an event that was not only uniting 2 people but also bringing an entire family closer together, made us even more excited that we had the privilege of capturing these memories for them.

Playa Del Carmen Destination weddingcreative destination wedding photographer

Our thoughts on this were confirmed when Bethany’s brother’s speech included a piece about how Mike has had a great influence on his life already.  (By the way, how could anyone not love Mike?  It seemed like every room we entered while everyone was getting ready for the ceremony, was adorned with flower arrangements Mike had gifted people with on his wedding day!).

(This is one of the best family photos we’ve ever taken and the coolness of it had very little to do with us!).

I think it’s safe to say that all the guests loved the whole wedding experience almost as much as Bethany and Mike and their families did!

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

A girl in a thong walking behind the alter just as the wedding began, and a guy in a speedo running behind us while the ceremony was going are both wedding memories that none of their fun loving guests are soon to forget!

(Speedo man came back around after the ceremony ended, just in time to get this photo… I’m a little disappointed that the yellow racing stripes on the side of the speedo aren’t showing in this picture).

(We did get some pictures of the bridesmaids without speedo man as well!).Destination wedding photographercreative beach wedding photographyBethany and Mike know their group of friends well, so they made sure everything was set up to allow their guests to relax and dance the night away at the reception!

Ever heard the term “dancing machine”?

Well that can be applied to basically every person at their reception.  We got some freaking cool dancing pictures, despite the difficulty we had holding our cameras still while we were laughing so hard at some of these stellar moves!

We were positive that it was going to be one of these moves that was going to take someone into the pool and we were so bummed when we found out that it happened after we had already left!  Oh well, I’m sure everyone took a mental picture of that one (click).

This party had it all.

A beautiful setting, great food and drinks, fantastic decorations, family and friends hanging out together, dancing machines, and a very happy newly married couple… it doesn’t get any better than that!

Thank you Bethany and Mike for inviting us to this incredibly moment in your lives.

We are so happy we got to be a part of it!

We absolutely loved everything and we are beyond excited to watch you guys build your new life together.  Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Bethany and Mike’s big day!

P.S. If you’ve never seen Bethany swimming in a wedding dress before, then make sure you keep an eye out for the photos from her Unique Session that will be coming soon!

Katy & Shaun’s Wedding day… as amazing as you’d expect and more!

You’ve now finished the appetizers I’ve been feeding you about Katy and Shaun’s wedding week and are ready for the main course… the wedding day.

Hawaii fish pond photosaloha wedding photosbest destination wedding photographer

By now you’ve read about Katy and Shaun and you’ve seen the heart they put into planning their wedding week (if you missed all this, read part 1 and part 2) for their friends and family to enjoy so you know to expect nothing short of amazingness, in all it’s glory, on their wedding day.

Oahu wedding photography

And you’d be quite right to expect that.

No beauty was spared, no creative ideas left untouched as Katy and Shaun put all the details into their big day.

Everything from big to small was perfect.

(Instead of flower girls and ring bearers, they had the kids at the wedding hand out leis to the guests as they arrived).

I’m sure some of this perfection came from their perfectly wonderful wedding coordinator, Melissa Laudise with Let’s Do This! Event Planning and Coordinating.  We had heard a ton about Melissa long before it was even time to head to Hawaii.  Katy and Shaun were absolutely thrilled with her… as were we once we got to meet and work with her!  She was so easy to work with and she was the perfect combination of relaxed and organized… in short, we have a professional crush on her.

Her arrangement of all the sentimental and beautiful details that Katy and Shaun wanted included in their wedding was pulled off flawlessly, and she did it all with a casual kind of grace that can only be described as “Hawaiian Class”.

Melissa lives in Hawaii but she’s not charging travel fees for any 2011 weddings!  So no matter where you live, if you still need a coordinator for your wedding day, give her a call!

As you can see, the Kahaluu fishpond that Katy and Shaun got married on, also had a part to play in the beauty of the wedding day. I can’t believe how perfectly this place seemed to fit them.

Hawaiia wedding photographyOahu creative wedding photos

The little house the girls got ready in (one that President Obama stayed in on a visit by the way) was lit up all bright and beautiful and had a chill, down to earth feel…

… sort of like Katy herself!

Doesn’t she just beam?!

I have to say that when Katy put on the wedding dress I absolutely lost my breath for a second!  She somehow managed to still look like herself, but also just like a Hawaiian princess!

I’m not kidding, the entire day I couldn’t get over how beautiful she looked, I’m sure her face radiating happiness the way it was had a lot to do with it!

It was at this house that Katy and Shaun had their reveal moment…

…which they both agreed they were SO glad they did since  it made them feel more like a team as they prepared to walk down the aisle in front of all their family and friends…

…and I’m sure it’s a moment that neither will ever forget.

Since we loved the house so much, we went ahead and did all the group photos around there as well.

(Someone shouted the cue and before I knew what was happening, they’d spelled out “Katy” with their arms!  Ha ha!).

Once it was time for the ceremony, Katy pulled out all the stops by surprising her guests and coming across the lake on a canoe (that was being paddled by 2 of the groomsmen… who are obviously very trusted and have very good balance!).

(He’s eagerly awaiting the arrival of his beautiful bride from across the water).

Since I (Breanna) knew the canoe entrance was coming, that wasn’t the most surprising part of the ceremony to me… what was surprising was how emotional I got throughout the whole thing!  It was one of those times where I was constantly checking the viewer on my camera to make sure the mist from my eyes wasn’t fogging it up.

I just know how excited they were about every single little part of their day since we’ve been talking with them about it for so long now.

During the very first phone call we ever had with them, Katy and Shaun took great care to explain in detail, how much they wanted their wedding to be about joining them together before God and about the great love they shared with each other and with all the people surrounding them.  For as excited as they were about the actual wedding and reception, they were even more excited about the meaning behind it all.

The location of the ceremony and reception couldn’t have been better… with beautiful tents set up for dinner, complete with my dearest decor love… white lights strung across a night sky.

I’ve always dreamed of having the perfect nighttime garden party… and I think Katy and Shaun nailed my own dreams on the head!

The cocktail hour area was stunning as well, with a magnificent view of the lake and couches to sit on while you stare at it and talk to your friends, it was the whole package.

During this chill hanging out time guests were not only munching on amazing appetizers (called Pupus there), but also filling out postcards to mail to Katy and Shaun sporadically once they return home from their honeymoon.

So they can look forward to getting different postcards from their wedding guests for a long time after their wedding day.  How fun is that?!  This idea is courtesy of Melissa’s special touch.

After the cocktail hour and the dinner, we moved onto the toasts.  I heard some of the best speeches I’ve ever heard that night.  Maybe it’s because I’d spent all week getting to know the people who were giving the speeches…

…but I felt like they were incredibly insightful and exceptionally beautiful.  I also heard one of the funniest speeches I’ve ever heard as one of the groomsmen read out loud a letter Shaun wrote him when he was in Jr. High.

It was hilarious and such a great idea!

During the speeches, it started raining.  But don’t worry, instead of taking away from the perfection of the day, it actually made it better!

In Hawaii, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck and Shaun (who lived in Hawaii for awhile growing up) was really hoping they’d get “the blessing”, but he also didn’t want it to spoil any of their plans.  So after the 20 min. of rain we got, he was SO excited that they had some rain but not too much!

(and Scottie was so excited he had the chance to get these amazing nighttime rain shots!).

Pretty soon it was time to start the party!

Katy and Shaun had hired a super talented and very fun band and their guests took full advantage of this excellent dancing music that was there just for them. Everyone jumped right in and the energy that flowed from the band to the guests was very high!  Katy and Shaun’s first dance was amazing too by the way, it was to a very fun and jazzy number and they busted out with some moves I didn’t know they had in them!

Towards the end of the night, the big surprise we’d been waiting for finally came… Shaun and his band got up there to sing a song dedicated to Katy (read about the coolness of their band in this post here).  They sang “Just the Two of Us” (no, not the Will Smith version!) and there is no less cheesy way to describe this song than as a magical moment.  It just was.  The ebb and flow of the musicians, the excitement of their guests, and the happiness of Katy and Shaun made it all more than complete.  It was definitely unforgettable.

(this was taken when everyone was cheering on Shaun and the band… so cool.  Like our Facebook page if you want to tag yourself in some of these photos.).

As the guests cleared out of the wedding, they weren’t too sad that it was over because for many of them it wasn’t!

Katy and Shaun had planned an after party at a local restaurant where they had hired another musician as well.  We spent the night dancing away and laughing and talking with all their fantastic friends.  We don’t have any after party pictures because Katy and Shaun talked us into not bringing our cameras so we could truly relax.  By the end of the night, we were so thankful that we listened to them because we had more fun than I can remember having in a very long time!

(Katy and her mom… about to walk down the aisle together).

(Shaun with is 90+ year old grandmother who was such a trooper and made it to many of the pre-wedding events as well as the wedding!).

(Shaun giving his nephew- also named Shaun- one of the coolest challenges I’ve ever heard).:-)

Actually, this entire experience in Hawaii with Katy and Shaun and their guests is pretty unforgettable.

I can honestly say with confidence that it was one of the best weeks of Scottie and my lives and we are so thankful we got to be a part of it all.  Thank you Katy and Shaun for being the loving, relaxed, gracious, and fun people that you are.

We not only enjoyed all aspects of your wedding week, but we can’t imagine spending it with a better couple.  You both are very unique individuals and we’re so glad that you’ve joined forces to create the beautiful “collective dream” that you are working on.  We love you both and we’re excited to come visit you in CA soon!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Katy and Shaun’s wedding!

(Also click to see pictures of Katy swimming in her wedding dress after the wedding!)

Dave and Sarah forever!

The only thing better than shooting a friend’s wedding is knowing that your friend is marrying the love of his life.

That’s how we felt when we shot Dave and Sarah’s wedding.

Watching Dave and Sarah together was like watching happiness being defined.

They just love each other and there is no doubt about it!

It didn’t take long for Sarah to win the hearts of all Dave’s family and friends…

…we know because we fall into that “we love Sarah” friend category.

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

Did we mention how cute some of Dave’s a fore mentioned family members are?!

(You might recognize the little flower girl from one of my favorite family sessions we’ve ever done!).

I think it’s safe to say that Sarah’s friends love Dave as well!

Dave got to be a part of our wedding so we were so excited to be a part of his!

Looking at this studly man in his fantastic tux, you would never guess that he wore a powder blue suit to our wedding, complete with top hat and cane of course!

Don’t worry, he asked our permission first and we thought it was fitting for our funny friend who we’d chosen to be the master of ceremonies at our wedding reception!

(They had some rocking dance moves out there!).


Realizing that we could never out do the Dumb and Dumber-esque ensemble, Scottie and I opted for our regular wedding photographer attire that is meant to help us blend in with guests… not quite the same goal as a blue tuxedo.


Of course being the fun guy that he is… this wedding included as much laughter and celebration as we expected.


Since Dave sparks smiles from everyone around him, I’m so glad that he married a girl with such a spectacular one!;-)


Sarah’s cute, fun loving spirit is part of what helps her fit right in with Dave and his family.

During the ceremony, her laughter was overflowing as Dave’s dad who was officiating made jokes that only major trekkies would understand!

I can’t end this post without adding in a few more of my favorite photos from the day!


You are both headed for so many great things in your life together and we are so glad we got to be there for the big kickoff that’s getting it all started.  Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Dave and Sarah’s big day!

Kristine and Aaron’s chill, downtown wedding

If you have been following our blog for long, you probably remember a ridiculously good looking couple named Kristine and Aaron (check out their engagement session blog if that isn’t jogging your memory).  Well the time finally came to see how these people could rock it on their wedding day… and rock it they did!

Both of them looked their best (which is better than most of us could even dream of!) and just like in their engagement session, they both adopted that trademark chill attitude that makes them the epitome of a cool couple.

Of course you could expect nothing less but for them to have super cool friends as well… and they did not disappoint! 

We had a lot of fun hanging out with all the bridal party and capturing all the photos of them inside…

(The God is Love sign above their heads is perfection!)

…and outside…

(Fan us on Facebook so you can tag yourselves in some of these photos!)

…but mostly inside because it’s sweaty summertime in Phoenix!

Luckily the old church that they got married in was really cool both inside and outside!

After their official reveal moment…

…we had to get some pictures of the outside of the church because it’s more than just a REALLY cool building…

…it’s also the church that Kristine’s dad is the pastor of.

So he decided to brave the potential emotional breakdown…

…to officiate his daughter’s wedding ceremony.

He made a great decision in my opinion because the ceremony was beautiful!

(They practiced their dip during their engagement session and they had it nailed by the time the ceremony came around!)

I can’t let this blog go by without giving major props to Kristine and Aaron for braving the heat and being troopers for picture time out in it!

We wandered around Roosevelt row in Downtown Phoenix to get some shots in front of the unique fixtures that make the Phoenix art walk (First Fridays) as exciting as it is!

(Once again, good thing they perfected their mad dip skillz!)

Thanks Kristine and Aaron, for letting us drag you around in your wedding clothes, in the heat, and through a not-so-clean part of town (especially since it was the day after the art walk!).

(I, Breanna, think this pic is probably my favorite from the day.  As Scottie would say, “I killed this one”. Ha ha)

I have to say that I was impressed by how adventurous you were… I never once saw that look that brides sometimes give me that says “please Breanna, tell Scottie I am SO not willing to do that” and I was fully expecting it this time around!;-)

I think the trek through dirty downtown was worth it because I absolutely love the pictures we got down there!

Of course I can only say that because thankfully Kristine’s white dress came through the trash and debris unscathed!

After picture adventure hour was over, we had a nice drive to get some time to cool off before the reception.  But that great A/C wasn’t strong enough to pull everyone through the insane dancing that quickly ensued once we arrived!

(This is a great “we have arrived” picture!)

I’ll start by explaining one of my all time favorite wedding dances.  It all started with a regular father/daughter dance, but it ended in a crazy full on Broadway style production!  Kristine’s other already married sisters joined them on a dance floor for a spectacular choreographed dance involving several songs, props, and one very fun family!

I can’t even begin to explain it other than to say that it was absolutely spectacular!  It was also very complicated with lots of details and they pulled it off without a hitch!  Great job guys, that was quite a memorable father/daughter dance!

The rest of the party kept up with the same kind of great energy…

…which is so fun to take pictures of!

Thanks Kristine and Aaron for being so easy to work with (aka chill) and for inviting us to such an awesome party!!

We had a great time, so I can’t imagine how much fun all your guests must have had!!

I’d say the entire day was a huge success.  Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Kristine and Aaron’s chill downtown wedding!

Stacia and Mike’s wedding with style

If you spend X amount of hours watching TLC wedding shows, plus another X amount of hours reading wedding magazines, and you want your wedding to equal Y amount of uniqueness, how do you make that happen when you feel like everything’s already been done?  Well if you really want an answer to this question, I think you should ask Stacia and Mike.

However I don’t think their answer will help you much because really it has everything to do with their sense of style and it’s something that just can’t be taught.

If you’re like me, you’ve met people in your life that make you say “wow, I wish I could pull things off like them”.  Well Stacia and Mike are those people… everything they touch turns to cool.

So you take all that cool…

…add in a gorgeous venue

… a really fun bridal party…

(Fan us on Facebook to tag yourself in some of these photos!)

….a freaking beautiful bride…

(right before he saw her for the first time).

…a studly groom…

(Right after he saw her for the first time).


…and the cutest kid you’ve ever seen…

…you have Stacia and Mike’s wedding (I’ll spare the word problem analogy for this one… no x’s and y’s to confuse us all).

Seriously, you couldn’t find a better threesome anywhere!  And lucky us, we get to be the ones who have the job of communicating who they are to the world!  I hate to brag, but we have such a fun job!  And people like this remind us of that constantly!

So now if you’re wondering about all this coolness that I speak of, try this on for size…

His ring is from Russel Simmons’ jewelry collection…

Everyone in the bridal party wore Converse…

(and Stacia’s polka dot socks definitely topped it off!)

Their lighting and draping was unbelievable (talk to Carrie at Stonecreek Golf Club for details on that and then talk to her about everything else in the world because she’s fun to talk to!)…

And there’s just some things about them that must have been sprinkled with magical cool glitter because you just can’t explain it.  Like, how do you say “cool” with just your mere stance and presence in a room?  I don’t know, but both Stacia and Mike have that down.

(Even during a time when most people would look ridiculous… um, guess what… Mike still looks cool!! I don’t know anyone else who can pull of a frosting glob like that.)


Alright I’m swearing off the word “cool” for the rest of this blog… more like for the rest of this week!  I’ll go for some other adjectives to describe them.  How about… “happy”?!

Yeah, that one works.

I’d say that’s a pretty good description considering their faces in so many of these pictures!

When you see so many photos of two people looking so happy on their wedding day, I think you can safely call the day a success! Thanks Stacia and Mike for letting us be a part of your awesome (like my substitute for the “C” word there?) wedding.

We seriously loved getting to hang out with you, you’re both so much fun to be around.  Thanks for being so considerate of us on a day that was supposed to be all about you.  You made us feel like we were taking pictures at a friends wedding and hanging out at the same time.  We loved it.  The best to you both!

Click to see the rest of Mike and Stacia’s stylized wedding at the ever so fabulous, Stonecreek Golf Club!