Category Archives: Weddings

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

Lee and Suzanne’s wedding on Top of the Rock!

The main goal of Lee and Suzanne’s wedding (other than for them to be joined as husband and wife!) was to have a great time with their friends and family. 

So they planned an intimate morning wedding at The Buttes Resort

…and had a brunch reception (complete with an awesome chocolate fountain) at Top of the Rock Restaurant there. Top of the Rock has a special place in my heart because it is where I wanted to go to every year for my birthday dinner when I was a little kid.  My parents were always confused why I wanted to go to a fancy place instead of  somewhere for kids.  One year they finally asked me and I said it was because the door handles there are made out of rocks!  We started going to Chucky Cheese after that.

And let me tell you, they definitely succeeded in their goal to have a great time with family and friends!  It was so fun watching them interact with their loved ones before the ceremony, during family portraits, and at the reception.

Well, especially at the reception I should say!  I’ve never seen people get down and dance so hard during the afternoon before!  I’m sure a good part of that had to do with their AH-MAZING DJ, Chad, from All American DJ.  We’ve worked with him on more than a few weddings and every time he is super professional, fun (but not obnoxious), and he gets the party going with some great activities, all while managing to keep the attention on the right people and off of himself…. perfect.  He was a success, yet again, at this wedding where everyone was on their feet most of the time.

Lee and Suzanne had taken dance lessons for their wedding (we got some shots of them practicing at their engagement session), and by the looks of it, you would think the rest of their guests had been taking classes with them all along as well!  The father/daughter dance was particularly one of our favorites since they did a really fun song (I believe it was “Another One Bites the Dust”) and just had a blast with it (that’s the pic on the left above)! Of course the mother son dance gave it a run for it’s money since it was totally beautiful and full of genuine emotion.

Lee & Suzanne, we were very proud of you on your first dance as well… your lessons paid off!

Somehow Lee and Suzanne had enough time to plan, not only a really fun reception, but also to add in some beautiful details as well!  Here’s a few shots of the little things that made up the bigger picture of their wedding day…

(Just a minor detail there… it’s only the marriage license!):-)

And here’s a few more of my favorite pics of the happy couple!

Congratulations Lee and Suzanne!!  We’re glad your wedding was a success in all ways and we wish you all the best!  Click to see the rest of Lee and Suzanne’s Top of the Rock wedding photos!

Melanie and Derek, Rain or Shine!

When Melanie and Derek were planning their destination wedding in Phoenix, Arizona, I’m sure they didn’t picture it quite the way it turned out!  When the time finally came, their family and friends packed their bags and headed for the sunshine.  Unfortunately…. their search for the sun was in vain!  When they arrived in “the Valley of the Sun” they found nothing but gray skies and people hiding under umbrellas!

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Melanie and Derek picked McCormick Ranch Golf Club for their big day.  When it was time, we all ran out onto the golf course and finished the ceremony as quick as we could to beat the rain that was headed our way. It started sprinkling as we began and just as we finished it started really coming down. melanie_derek_bc0285

(If you look closely in the pic above, you can see the rain falling).

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When the ceremony was over, we piled as many people as we could into the 2 golf carts we had and the rest of the guests ran back to the reception room while covering their heads and trying to keep warm at the same time!

melanie_derek_sc0418(Here’s the mad dash).

melanie_derek_bc0389Scottie and I were able to cover our cameras just enough to save them (even though Scottie had to stop shooting for about 20 minutes while his camera dried out)!

Fortunately, Melanie and Derek are incredibly fun people and they were just having a blast through all of this!  I personally thought it was really fun and I was relieved to find that the bride and groom agreed with me!

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melanie_derek_sc0365(thankfully their family and friends are just as much fun as they are)!

While the rain made our job slightly more difficult, the wind decided to be on our side for once (thanks to Melanie’s decision to go with a cathedral veil)!

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(We were happy Melanie decided to have some fun playing with her veil in the wind).

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We spent the rest of the night inside, not counting the few minutes that rushed outside to catch the sunset just as the rain stopped.  We ended up being very glad we attempted that mad maneuver of trying to beat the weather because we’re pretty happy with the results!

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Once we were inside we got a chance to ogle the unbelievable flowers they had there… that her mom arranged!  We couldn’t stop taking pictures of them!

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These cupcakes held their own as well!

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We watched their beautiful first dance…

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….and then spent the majority of our night following Melanie around while she played with the kids she used to nanny for.

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She LOVES these kids and it was really fun to watch her dance, color (they had a craft table to entertain the kids), and just play around with them in general.

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The kids felt so special that they got to hang out with the bride all night!  It was awesome.

Here are the rest of my favorites from the day (click here to see the rest of the photos as well)…

melanie_derek_sc0009melanie_derek_sc0187melanie_derek_bc0200melanie_derek_bc0065melanie_derek_bc0219(There I go again with all my shoe shots).

Melanie and Derek, we had a blast at your wedding and we’re so glad we got to hang out with such fun people!  We loved your chill attitude and your desire to not worry about anything so you could just have a great time on your wedding day.  You seemed successful in that and we hope you enjoyed your wedding day even more than you expected to!

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Click to see the rest of Melanie and Derek’s Scottsdale wedding photos!

Congratulations Katie & Lawrence!

This was definitely a wedding to remember!  Katie put so much time and attention into planning her dream wedding and I think it came out just perfectly (I hope she would agree).  However, she and Lawrence had quite a few little mishaps that reared their ugly heads in the weeks preceding the wedding, and they handled them with style!0048

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The biggest issue being that Lawrence broke his ankle right before the wedding!  I have to say I was very proud of how he handled it the day of!  He did as much as he could from posing for pictures to dancing a tiny bit and he never complained once!  He just put down his crutches and did what needed to be done as if it were no big deal!

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The weather was making everyone very nervous as well since it was predicted to be cold and rainy and both the ceremony and reception were outdoors.  All the worries turned out to be in vain because the sky cleared and it ended up being a beautiful day! (Click to see the rest of the photos from this beautiful day!)

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I want to give a ton of credit to Katie for how unbelievably beautiful, cute, and personal everything at her wedding was.  Katie LOVED planning her wedding and all the incredible amount of detail that she put into it really showed through when all was said and done!

0069(This is a fortune Katie got over a year ago and she saved it just so she could get this exact picture on her wedding day! Now THAT’S detail… and one eerily accurate fortune cookie!)

00021(Katie bought this paper just to get this picture with the date in it!).

I was also impressed by all the things she either made by hand or had specially made!  Everything from the flower girl’s outfit to the guest favors (Jones soda bottles with one of the engagement photos we took of them on the label).

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Everything looked BE-AUTIFUL!  Of course it didn’t look quite as beautiful as the bride did (because lets face it, nothing could look as good as she did)!

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Katie, you did an amazing job on every single little thing that was a part of your wedding and I really enjoyed following you via Facebook on this big wedding planning journey.  It was so fun reading all about the highs and lows that go along with such a life changing event and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it all!

0065(More of the details that made Katie’s wedding beautiful).

00031(I’m so impressed with these shoes!  She matched them perfectly with the lime green that was in the rest of the wedding and then added the bling herself!  Anytime someone adds bling to something, I’m a fan!  Good thinking, Katie!).

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(We couldn’t miss an opportunity to get a shot of these shoes!).

One thing I really loved, was how personal all the little touches were.  Lawrence is a police officer, so they decided to play that up and make it a big part of their wedding!  Though I loved all the beautiful, sentimental little things that were at the wedding, my favorite wedding detail was the one with a sense of humor… the Mr. Potato Head decked out in his cop gear in the center of a donut cake!  It was hilarious!

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Some of the police officers were on duty and couldn’t make it to the wedding, so they decided to fly their helicopter over and yell congratulations over the loud speaker!  That was a first for us at a wedding! And that wasn’t the only time cops showed up at this wedding…

Katie’s parents surprised her with a fireworks show during the reception!

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However, some of the neighbors nearby interpreted the loud booms as gun shots and called the police!  When the cops arrived, we all thought they were there to congratulate their co-worker on his wedding day.  It was quite a confusing moment… the cops were confused because everyone was just saying hi rather than asking why they were there, and everyone else was confused as to why they were there once they found out they didn’t know Lawrence.  And when gun shots were brought up, the confusion only grew!  It didn’t take long for everyone to figure it out and start laughing about it though!

I want to say a special thanks to Carrie at Stonecreek Golf Club in Phoenix.  Carrie is in charge of the special events at Stonecreek and she was so wonderful to work with on this wedding!  She’s the perfect balance of fun, friendly, and professional. She makes you feel like you’re her best friend but when things call for it, she quickly steps it up a notch and takes charge of the situation.  Not only is Carrie one of our favorite people to work with, but Stonecreek couldn’t be a better location for a wedding!

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It’s a stunning golf course with the Camelback Mountains and Squaw Peak as the backdrop.  The outdoor covered reception area is set up so that it can be tailored well to each individual wedding (and of course Carrie will work to help figure out what that means for each unique couple)!  We recommend that anyone planning a wedding considers Stonecreek Golf Club as the place to have it!

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This wedding really was a blast!  With all the great decor, the interesting events, and this great couple… how could it be called anything other than perfect?!

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Thank you so much Katie and Lawrence!  You are both awesome people and we had a great time working with you.  Lawrence, seriously thank you for humoring us as we moved you around and posed you despite the pain you were probably in…we felt so bad and we were tempted to say, “ah, forget pictures, you just go sit on the couch and relax!” but I think your bride might have killed us and rightfully so! ;-).  Thank you so much for allowing us into your lives during such a momentous time for you. We’ve really loved getting to know you and we wish you the best!  We hope you LOVED your wedding day and that you are enjoying your first Christmas as husband and wife! We’ll stay in touch with you for sure!

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Click to see the rest of Katie and Lawrence’s wedding photos!

Mike and Emily’s super unique, unbelievably beautiful wedding day!

Can you be officially considered “destination” photographers if you’ve only shot weddings in the 2 states closest to yours?  We’ll say yes since it makes us sound so much cooler.  So I now declare that we are destination photographers!  When Mike and Emily called us to shoot their wedding on the beach in San Diego, I think all it took was a look between Scottie and I to know that we’d be willing to let them name our firstborn for a chance to hang out in California with them.

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Good thing they wanted us there too so they just signed our normal contract (which said nothing about our firstborn) and many months later, we found ourselves sitting on the beach, watching the sunset, and talking about the wedding we were excited to shoot the next day!

One of my favorite things about going to as many weddings as we do is how much you can learn about a couple just by observing the details of their wedding.  Some people love a big production and are very detail oriented, some just want to spend as much time as possible with their family and friends, while others just want it to be over so they can finally be married!  Of course our favorites are the ones who really care about their photos (and Mike and Emily definitely fall into that category)!  :-)  Emily also had tons and tons of little details that meant a lot to her…everything from sentimental keepsakes to various personalized gifts for the guests.  Every little thing had their personal touch on it, and that includes the guests lips since they handed out keepsake lip balm alongside the individual coffee packets, bubbles, and scented soaps that their guests took home.  Her family had some amazing little things to give to her that day as well!  Her mom saved her baby bonnet so she could turn it into a handkerchief for Emily’s wedding day, so of course she carried it with her! She also carried the same little white Bible that generations of women in her family before carried on their wedding day. It has all their names and wedding dates written in the inside cover.  It was so cool to get to hear the story behind these special wedding day details as well as many others that were present that day!

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(The Bible and the handkerchief… this might actually be the other handkerchief she had that day.  The one her grandmother bought for her years ago in hopes that she would use it on her wedding day.  It’s so awesome how much everyone looked forward to and planned for Emily’s big day, even from when she was young.  What a loving family!).

Their ceremony was unbelievably beautiful and they picked the perfect wedding colors to set off the colors in the ocean.  Our little photographer hearts skipped a beat when we saw the set up! Suzan M. Florals did an INCREDIBLE job on the flowers.  She went above and beyond the call of duty!  You can tell once you’ve seen her work that she’s one of those people who sees her work as more than just a job… it’s definitely her art and her work has the integrity of a true artist. She sees everything she does as a gift to the couple and she puts her heart into her work accordingly.  She was also so cute to see on the wedding day, she was SO excited for Mike and Emily. :-)  I talked to Emily about Suzan afterwards and she had the same rave reviews as me!

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And of course to make it better the actual ceremony was beautiful as well and full of tears (with a few laughs thrown in for good measure too… some on purpose, some due to the unexpected events that important moments in life always seem to spring on you)!

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The reception had an unusual touch to it as well!  They opted to only do the major dances (first dance, father daughter, mother son) and then brought  in an improv comedy team to provide the entertainment that is usually provided at weddings by drunken guests attempting to do the electric slide!  The comedy team was a hit and they had every guest at the wedding laughing uproariously… definitely memories that everyone took home with them!

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After their brunch reception ended, all the guests went back to their hotels rooms to change and rest a bit before the big bonfire on the beach that night! That’s the benefit of a destination wedding… all your guests have nothing better to do but stick around and party with you for as long as you want (NOW do I sound like a real destination wedding photographer?)!  I actually can say that from experience because our wedding was destination and it was the same thing… we just got to party with our friends and family all weekend!  We got married in a small town where everything closed at 8pm so our guests didn’t really have a choice!

It was really fun for us to get spend that much time with Mike and Emily as well as their guests.  We got to know everyone really well and we totally love that because it’s a really big deal to spend 8 hours with someone on the most important day of their life, but hanging out with them for a few days in a row is even more amazing!  Mike and Emily treated us as guests, not as random, distant photographers.  They invited us to the bonfire that night to hang out with everyone (as well as capture a few photo ops!), thanks for inviting us guys, we had a blast and it meant a lot to us to get to hang out with you more!

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This was truly an amazing, unique, fun, beautiful, and emotional time all wrapped up into one wedding!

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Mike and Emily, you guys did a great job planning your wedding (it was seriously WONDERFUL) and thanks for spending all the time you did with us… especially during that long, exhausting Unique Session we did the day after your wedding.  You’re both great sports! :-)  Check out the blog about our Unique Session adventure with Mike and Emily… and I do mean ADVENTURE!  Here’s a little sneak peak at one of the photos from it  just to whet your appetite a little bit!

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Click to see all of Mike and Emily’s San Diego wedding photographs!

Alyssa & Dan (Radiant beauty, Radiant relationships, and Radiant love)

There’s no way to write this blog without just gushing about how Alyssa and Dan and are both wonderful, amazing, beautiful people!  They are two of the most authentic, thankful, gentle, and all around loving people you will ever meet.  When we met with them we were absolutely enthralled with them.  We spent hours just hanging out and laughing with them at our meeting after we went through all the businessy stuff.00110015

Of course they won us over pretty quickly as they talked about their passion for our photos and their love of Radiant as a company.  How can you not like someone who goes on and on about how amazing you are?! ;-)  Lady Bird Johnson said, “Art is the window to man’s soul. Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world; nor could the world see the man within”.  So when someone sees and understands who we are just by looking at our photos, it creates an instant connection between us and them.  And that’s what we felt when we first met Alyssa and Dan.  We love, LOVE what we do so we pour our hearts into the photos by investing tons of our thoughts, time, and attention into the people we work with.  We realize we are being trusted with a very valuable, one-time only task and we take that seriously.  This is more than just a job to us… it’s a trusting relationship, it’s our passion, and it’s our way of showing love to others.

00210022(It was very important to Alyssa that we got a shot of Dan’s face when he first saw her… now I know why she wanted that picture so bad!)

All that to say, most people just think we take pictures and that’s all.  So when we met Alyssa and Dan, who not only understand what we’re trying to do, but cling to it and feel exactly everything we feel while we’re creating our art… we fell in love.   When we looked at them we saw people who care about beauty, relationships, and love (Radiant’s 3 core values) as much as we do!

0006(Beauty… Alyssa’s choice to have this unbelievable bouquet made by “The Garage by Ivy”  is a testament to her appreciation for true artistic beauty.  Seriously all the flowers at the wedding were amazing!)

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(Relationships… their friends at the wedding were all fantastic people who really loved Alyssa and Dan, which is a testament to how much Alyssa and Dan value those people and relationships).


0329(Love… Alyssa and Dan both put their heart into the community around them.  This is a photo of Alyssa with all the high school girls she invests her time into mentoring, and that’s a testament to how much Alyssa and Dan value loving others by giving back to the people around them).

Enough with the serious, this wedding was a ton of fun so it’s only appropriate that the blog matches the wedding!  I’ll start with the groomsmen.  Let me just tell you that I felt like such a moron trying to take pictures while I was busting up laughing every 5 seconds.  These guys were hysterical!  Thanks to all the groomsmen who decided to have a good attitude about picture time and to make it more fun for us too!

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0019(Don’t worry, they weren’t actually gambling for the rings!)

0044(The guys weren’t the only fun ones at this wedding… the girls totally kept me entertained the entire time! They even had me come out and dance with them a little at the end of the reception!)

Not to be outdone, the kids at this wedding were totally hilarious as well!  I’ve got tons of pictures of them in my blog about kids at weddings if you want to see photos of them!

I think I’ve rambled and gushed enough now, and I really just want to show you some more of my favorites from this wedding (after you finish reading, click here to see the rest of the photos from their wedding)!

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Alyssa and Dan… you guys were both so amazing to us and you treated us wonderfully.  We are very thankful you chose us for such an important task and we absolutely LOVED working with you.  Thank you for being so genuine and so caring towards us.  Congratulations and we hope to see plenty more of you in the future!

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Click to see more photos from Alyssa and Dan’s beautiful Scottsdale, AZ wedding!