Category Archives: Weddings

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

Marah and Shawn’s Gorgeous Wedding and Unique Session (by Scott & Breanna)

 

Emotions were running high on the morning of Marah and Shawn’s big day! In fact, I’m pretty sure they were feeling the pressure of the words “big day”!

Marah was dancing around, practically stomping her feet in anticipation as she sat getting her hair and makeup done, before putting on her UNBELIEVABLE dress that I (Breanna) fell in love with immediately!

 

(TING Makeup and Hair did all the hair for Marah and the bridal party, check her out!).

Meanwhile, Shawn was pacing the room filled with all sorts of nerves as he awaited the big moment of the big day…

… the ceremony!

Marah and Shawn had their ceremony at the gorgeous Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. With it’s beautiful architecture and surroundings, the Wayfarers Chapel was the perfect representation of the beauty found in Marah and Shawn’s relationship and it proved to be the perfect place for them to profess their love in front of all their friends and family that day.

After the ceremony, the newly married couple traded their nerves for joy as they headed over with all their friends and family to the Trump National Golf Club to dance the night away at their stunningly beautiful reception!

I think I literally lost my breath when I walked into that ballroom! The deep reds and golds combined with the perfect amount of flowers and lighting, created an absolutely killer ambiance that could be rivaled by only that of the ceremony earlier that day!

Since you’ve now seen her breathtaking handiwork, it seems like an appropriate time to introduce Melissa Veenstra from Let’s Do This!, who was the talented hands that brought all the pieces of this elegant puzzle together.

You may remember Melissa from her own wedding that we photographed a few months back! Well she got married and then went quickly back to work to begin investing her heart and energy into making Marah and Shawn’s day as special as her own had been… with many of the same vendors involved as well!

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

I have to say, it was fun to be back together with the old team again! Mainly, with Hoo Films, since we couldn’t have picked a better partner in camera crime for Marah and Shawn’s wedding day! Shannon Avery and her team do incredibly moving work, as they demonstrated at the reception that night while presenting Marah and Shawn’s wonderful love story video that had me scrambling to wipe tears off my camera as I watched it!

I wasn’t the only one with a tear problem, Marah and Shawn’s entire day was filled with all kinds of emotions and special family traditions that left us all in need of more tissues than a huge place like the Trump could even hold!

Marah and Shawn are both of Filipino heritage so they found many touching ways to incorporate their cultural and family heritage into their wedding. During the ceremony, they were given Filipino coins that were borrowed from Marah’s aunt, as a symbol of the wealth that is wished upon them. They also borrowed Marah’s mom’s covering and rope to place over them during a special part of the ceremony to symbolize their new found unity as a married couple. And Shawn used his father’s wedding ring as a way to show honor to his father.

But by far, my favorite personal tradition they held up was having the guests actually pin their money onto the couple during the dollar dance!

Each time someone came up to pay for a dance, they found a new and creative way to attach the cash to the couple! It was so awesome and made for some great photos!

The dollar dance was only a small part of the fun that was had at this party! Everyone was so happy to see Marah and Shawn married, that they laughed, danced and celebrated themselves right into the morning!

Unfortunately for Marah and Shawn, they had an appointment the next day… with us… for more pictures!

Luckily the excitement for their photos easily over ruled their tired bodies from the night before, so Marah put on her reception dress and Shawn laced up his fancy shoes and they headed over to meet us and begin the final aspect of their wedding… the much anticipated Unique Session!

The Unique Session is a photo session after the wedding that gives the bride a chance to wear her dress again and it gives us a chance to be in control of the timing, lighting, etc., etc. to free us up get the very best photos possible! It also enables the couple to have wedding photos taken at a variety of locations so they can squeeze in all the different looks they wish they had time to get on their wedding day!

Scottie and I (Breanna) had spent much of the afternoon driving all up and down the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes, since exploring beautiful places is one of the perks of the job for us! And we found some photo locations that fit the beauty of Marah and Shawn’s wedding perfectly! The only thing we didn’t find were easily accessible sandy beaches, but Marah found a way to get her dress wet regardless!

We were all muttering silent prayers that the waves wouldn’t whisk her away as she clung tightly to the rocks as the powerful waves washed over her. Of course Shawn was standing by ready to swim out and rescue his bride if need be!

Fortunately, Marah’s grip is as strong as her determination for good pictures, and a life guard rescue by her heroic husband was not necessary. Though the risk was well worth it because we all had a lot of fun and got some wonderful pictures out of the entire experience!

Thanks Marah and Shawn for being such wonderful people!

You were both so incredibly kind to us and a breeze to work with. Both Scottie and I found ourselves super excited about your wedding, not just because we knew it would be fun, but because we couldn’t wait to see the two of you again! You are both amazing people and we’re so happy you found each other to enjoy life together with. Congratulations and we hope to see you again soon!

Click to see the rest of Marah and Shawn’s Wedding and Unique Session photos!

 

 

Lesley and Mike’s stylish wedded bliss! (by Scott & Breanna)

This wedding is celebrating one of the best parts about a wedding… STYLE! Just from taking a glance at this wedding you might think, hmm, someone here definitely knows what they’re doing! And you would be correct!

Lesley is an interior designer and her mad skillz definitely found a way to showcase themselves on the wedding day!

For starters, Lesley and Mike chose the perfect venue to fit their style… The Clayton on the Park. It’s one of our favorite venues to shoot at because it provides such an incredible white canvas that allows any special touches the couple add in to really pop! Plus the lighting there is BEEEAUTIFUL! It’s a photographer’s dream!

Lesley and Mike chose to live up this feature by highlighting bling against the modern white backdrop. That’s right, shine, shiny, and the shiniest, that was the look for this wedding.

And if you’ve been following Radiant for very long, you’ll know that means that I (Breanna) am in heaven! The shinier the better has been my motto since I was a kid!

Yes, there was a lot of feminine bling, but there was definitely some man style in the room as well!

Mike added in his own special touch of Converse All Stars (complete with the wedding date), his presidential seal cuff links which highlighted his monogrammed cuff, and his best man even gave him hand made friendship bracelets to wear on the big day!

Not to mention, Lesley had a piece of her dad’s tie sewn into the inside of her wedding dress (left picture below) which was a beautiful tribute to him.

Other little stylish details were found all around throughout the night as well. Things like their gorgeous bling wish tree…

…dessert table (which was an excellent compliment to their themed appetizer stations)…

…and so many other little touches that I could go on all day!

Besides providing a great blank slate for decor, the Clayton also gives you fantastic views through their floor to ceiling windows overlooking Scottsdale Civic Center’s beautiful green ambiance. Of course when selecting their venue, Lesley and Mike picked up on the fact that this is a perfect way to include a little nature into your summer in AZ wedding while keeping guests in the nice cool air conditioned room at the same time!

The other Clayton feature that brings a smile to my face whenever I hear that one of our couple’s is getting married there, is their wonderful and talented coordinator who works there, Carrie Bayless. We’ve been working alongside Carrie for several years now as we’ve all grown and transitioned in our careers and every time we work with her, she seems to get better and better at what she does! If seeing the Clayton itself doesn’t sell you on having your wedding there, meeting Carrie will definitely do the trick, she’s incredible!

Lesley’s designer’s eye also came into play when she was thinking about what might look good in her pictures. Remember, it’s summer in Arizona and 100 plus degrees, so we’re pretty limited in the amount of places we can go outside for photos!

Fortunately Lesley was thinking ahead and she gave us some great ideas for spots to shoot around the Saguaro Hotel next door where the couple and their guests were staying.

The colorful walls around there were such a fantastic contrast to the white walls of the Clayton that we got an entirely different look and we loved it! Thanks Lesley!

And thanks to the bridal party who were willing to walk through the heat in between air conditioned rooms, we appreciate you following us around and not punching us in the faces for it- we know the heat can make a person a little crazed with anger! Thanks for keeping your cool guys, and for finding a way to smile in the midst of the sweat!

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

Another person to thank who helped us set up shots, communicate with everyone, and organize people and details was the coordinator with Serendipity Cinematography We’ve worked with Serendipity before and each time we’ve been thrilled with how well they not only work with us, but help us do our job even better! It’s a fine dance between a photographer and videographer on the big day, and we want to personally thank Serendipity for always doing such an excellent job with that! As you can see, all the people involved came together as a team to pull off this beautiful wedding without a hitch!

(I LOVE this shot of her emotional brother walking an emotional Lesley down the aisle!).

Oh and the guests played their part by partying like it was 1999! The party was definitely rocking and Lesley and Mike seemed to enjoy every ounce of it!

Thanks Lesley and Mike, for being so much fun to work with and for finding that perfect balance of casting your wonderfully creative vision to us while still trusting us to add our own creativity to the mix. We appreciate you putting your time into thinking about the photos as well as putting your trust into us to do our best on them… all of that worked out to help us capture the true beauty behind your relationship and your day. We hope you loved every second of it and that you love the photos just as much!

Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of Lesley and Mike’s stylish wedding photos here!

Becky and Aditya`s long awaited wedding

Friends forever… and then a little bit more than that. And a little bit more than that… and so on and so on until Becky and Aditya found themselves at their wedding day!

They’d always planned to be at one another’s wedding as they met each other’s significant others over the years. But if you had told them they’d be marrying each other, they never would’ve believed you!

They first met in a dorm room at Pomona college and went through all the college experiences side by side (with maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend squeezed in between them from time to time).

They graduated and continued on their merry ways, all the while their friends and family members were scratching their heads wondering why these two weren’t heading out along their merry ways TOGETHER!

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

As fate would have it, Becky and Aditya eventually caught on to the thought that their friends and family had held on to all along and they fell in love.

So about 19 years after they first met and became friends, they said their vows and turned in their friendship bracelets for wedding rings (no, they didn’t really have friendship bracelets, they are not 12).

As you can imagine, such an occasion called for quite a celebration! Best friends getting married is the best kind of party you want to be at! So after their beautiful traditionally Jewish ceremony was over.

Everyone was soon to be found living it up as they partied at the Phoenician in Phoenix, AZ next to some pretty unbelievable decorations!

Becky does letterpress so she handmade all kinds of little pretties that could be seen lying around the place. Throughout the whole wedding, paper replaced a variety of features including centerpiece flowers, guest favors (coasters), and even the contents of the flower girls baskets as they threw paper instead of petals!

Becky and Aditya opted for long tables instead of the typical round look and the resulting centerpieces that cascaded down the lengthy stretch of each table were absolute masterpieces that turned out to be one of my all time favorite reception centerpieces!

On the sides of the room were the ice cream bars (great idea!) that could only be rivaled by the food and drink displays that graced their cocktail hour!

In other words, this wedding had the works! Love, friendship, family…

…elephants on tables…

…the couple lifted up in chairs over the dance floor as they danced the horah…

…family heirlooms (my favorite being a piece her mother’s wedding dress that the bride had sewn inside hers in the shape of a little flower!)…

….and of course absolutely stunning multicolored Saris worn by many!

To Becky and Aditya, you guys had an incredible wedding that we were very honored to be chosen to be a part of. We loved all your family and friends and we couldn’t be happier to see you guys starting off your lives together knowing that you have such a great group of people supporting you.

Congratulations and we hope to see you soon!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Becky and Aditya’s wedding.

 

Ross and Megan’s very sunny and very happy wedding day

When Ross and Megan planned their beautiful springtime wedding that would take place on a stunning golf course

…with their reception completing the night under the stars….

…I’m guessing they didn’t picture it being 103 degrees outside! But that’s what they got… and they just decided to roll with it.

They didn’t let it ruin their day, they just drank a lot of water and made frequent appearances into the most heavily air conditioned rooms they could find. And their bridal party were troopers as well!

Actually it did turn about being OK. They did have a bit of a sweaty ceremony but the beauty of it distracted everyone from their sunburns.

And by the time evening had rolled around the air had started to cool down and their spectacular patio reception turned out to be everything they had dreamed of.

I LOVED these chalkboards that Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club had set up. Megan and Ross transformed into fun decor by writing table numbers as well as using them like you see below!)

If was a beautiful way to finish out Ross and Megan’s perfectly planned wedding that included everything from singing toasts (which actually wasn’t part of Megan’s plan, that was a surprise from her dad)…

… to hand rolled cigars…

…to fireworks.


They had done it. Megan and Ross had braved the heat, planned a perfect wedding, enjoyed their big day to the fullest, and of course… married the loves of their lives.

What more could you ask for out of a wedding?!

I have to take a second to talk about their reveal moment, or “first look”.

The reason is because just as Megan was getting ready to walk down the aisle to get married, she turned to me and said, “Breanna, thank you SO much for convincing us to see each other before the wedding! I don’t know what we were thinking when we were considering not doing it! I’m so much less nervous than I would be otherwise right now and it made our day so much better to have shared more of it together. Thank you!” And then she headed down the aisle to meet her groom, whom she was no less happy to be seeing for the second time that day!

If you’re planning your wedding and you’re still not sure about whether or not you should see one another before the wedding, take a moment to educate yourself about it so you can make an informed decision by reading what Megan read before her wedding, “The Reveal Moment: to have or not to have”.

To Ross and Megan: I really am so incredibly proud of how much you guys decided to chill and forget about the small stuff so you could focus on each other and the relationships surrounding you. I’m especially happy you chose to do that because you guys having fun means that we get to have a ton of fun with you!

We really enjoyed hanging out with you both and being a part of something so incredibly important to you.

Thanks or choosing us and trusting us.

I hope these pictures help you remember this day perfectly for the rest of your lives!

Click to see the rest of Ross and Megan’s Sunny and Happy Wedding day photos.

 

Re-visiting Katy and Shaun’s Hawaiian Wedding Day

In honor of Katy and Shaun’s Hawaiian wedding being featured on Style Me Pretty Destinations today, I’m re-posting the original blog entry about their Sept. 5, 2010 wedding. This is still one of our all time favorite weddings with one of our all time favorite couples. So if you missed this the first time around, today is your lucky day! Click here to see blog posts about Katy and Shaun’s pre-wedding day events, Groom’s dinner ON the USS Missouri battleship, and their trash the dress session the day after the wedding. Or just continue reading here to take a trip down memory lane to their wedding day….

 

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 travels for 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!)