Category Archives: Weddings

The bride… the groom… and crazy aunt Zelma. Read about it all right here.

Donna and Brian’s Best of the Best Wedding (by Scott & Breanna)

When Donna and Brian got engaged, they knew exactly what they wanted for their wedding… why, the best of the best of course!!

Who doesn’t want that?! But Donna and Brian not only wanted it for their wedding, they actually succeeded in pulling it off! Nothing about this wedding was done half way or just enough. Every little detail from the decor to the dinner, was done with absolute perfection and made this wedding one to remember!

First things first… the DRESS! Donna’s dress was gorgeous!!! It couldn’t have been more perfect for her!

But what are the best of the best details without a background that’s the best of the best to match?! That’s where The Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club come in! This is our second wedding there (see our first here) and both times we have been floored by the beauty of this wedding venue!

I mean, how can you top that view?! But the view isn’t the only thing Superstition has… they also have… you guessed it… the best of the best team working there! The events manager, Tracy, is around making sure everything has what they need and that everyone is getting the most out of the venue as possible! Thanks, Tracy!

But the amount of great people involved in this wedding doesn’t stop there! For one, NoBox Films was an incredible team for us to work with and we were thrilled to get to spend the day with two people as awesome as this team is! As I said… the best of the best for every piece of this wedding including the behind the scenes people, like NoBox, that were helping to make it all happen!

And then there was Cara from A Day to Cherish Weddings and Celebrations, who was so amazing that I don’t even know where to begin!!! Let’s just say that Cara was MORE than a little on top of pulling off every detail from big to small to make the vision that Donna and Brian had in their heads come to life!

Whenever I see good planners at work, I’m just absolutely amazed at all they do… all at once of course… and how well they do it all! And Cara of course… is the best of the best at doing all of that and more! Cara, you did such an incredible job at this wedding and you impressed me over and over again from the planning that went into it before, to your organized and talented work the day of. We couldn’t have been happier having you to work with on this wedding!

Out of all the best of the best things about this wedding, my absolute favorite part was watching Donna and Brian interact with their kids. You see, this wedding was an extra special one in that it was about joining more than just two people together, it was about joining a family together.

Donna and Brian did such an incredible job incorporating their kids. They did everything from making them a part of the bridal party, to dancing with them and it was absolutely beautiful to watch them being a part of such an important event together.

So to Donna and Brian, you did it! You planned one of the most absolutely perfect weddings ever! It had everything from beauty in the details to beauty in the relationships and it was a complete wonder to witness. Thanks so much for choosing us to be a part of such a special time in your lives! Congratulations!

 

 

Erin and Zack’s Wedding Worth Stealing (by Josh & Kelley)

Erin and Zack’s wedding convinced me (Kelley) that I need to do my wedding all over again. Seriously, even Josh said that if we could go back in time and have a wedding “re-do”, we would use Erin and Zack’s wedding as our inspiration.

I fully agree, if I could go back, I would likely copy everything… Down to the last pumpkin and sparkle covered detail.

(Linens by La Tavola Linen)

Okay, that might be considered “stealing” rather than using a wedding as “inspiration”, but I think I’m okay with that. It was too beautiful to happen just one time.

I honestly did love every detail of Erin and Zack’s special day. From the time of year, (oh the magic of a fall wedding), to the decor (there can’t be anything better than pumpkins, fall leaves, AND sparkles).

And we can’t forget the fact that they chose an absolutely fabulous location! Josh and I always love shooting weddings at The Clayton on the Park. It’s such a clean, sleek, and modern venue with enormous amounts of beautiful natural light, and a staff that will do just about anything to make sure your event is fantastic and above your expectations in every way.

Add in the fact that The Clayton is tucked into the area around the Scottsdale Civic Center and Old Town Scottsdale, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a perfect wedding location.

You can bet that we took full advantage of this on Erin and Zack’s wedding day. We wandered around and found more than enough beautiful places to capture a few memories.

One of my favorite captured memories is the one below. While we were strolling around and taking photos, a woman walked by with a couple of miniature horses and asked if Erin and Zack would like a photo with them. Without a second thought, these two grabbed the horses’ lead ropes and introduced themselves to their newest (and likely their hairiest) wedding guests.

The horses were wandering around and eating the bushes. It was definitely a moment to remember!

All of this, and I still haven’t told you one of my favorite parts about Erin and Zack’s wedding. It was 100% a family affair.

Erin and Zack’s daughter, Parker was the flower girl.

(I LOVE Parker’s face in this photo! Everyone had a good chuckle as her dad helped her perform her flower girl duty and walk down the aisle. This definitely captures a REAL flower girl moment.)

And Erin’s brother was the officiant during the ceremony.

In addition to the father/daughter and mother/son dances, the bride and groom also opted to do a sibling dance. I cannot tell a lie, watching Erin dance with her brother (and Zack dance with his sister) to, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” totally had me tearing up. It was the epitome of sweetness.

It was pretty obvious throughout the entire day that family is something that’s really important to Zack and Erin, and we enjoyed watching them all celebrate together!

Erin and Zack, thank you so much for letting us be a part of your amazing wedding day! We had a blast with both of you (and your wonderful family). We want to wish you the best in your new marriage!

Oh, and if you two see your exact same wedding on this blog again in a few years under the title “Josh and Kelley Renew Their Vows”, don’t be surprised.

Click to see the rest of Erin and Zack’s Wedding Worth Stealing.

Ashley and JT: Wedding photos for OUR wedding photographer! (by Scott & Breanna)

We all know that Starbucks is a great company, but let’s review the reasons why again. The benefits are the biggest reason. You get health care, tuition money, a free bag of coffee each week, stock options, a wedding photographer, and a spouse.

Wait, what?! That’s what working at Starbucks did for JT and Ashley anyways! And it did close to that for me (Breanna) as well since it got me pretty much everything but the spouse part!

Now that you’re thoroughly confused, let’s back up. JT, Ashley, and I all met when we were baristas at Starbucks. This meeting eventually led to JT being MY wedding photographer…


(yep, that’s Scottie and me 7 years ago!)

… Ashley and JT getting married…


…and Scottie and I being THEIR wedding photographers! Crazy isn’t it?! And here we were thinking we just worked there for the discount!
JT and I have known each other for awhile now and we’ve been through a lot together. Everything from angry customers throwing frappuchinos on our drive through window, to jointly getting rid of a crazy stalker I had, to job changes, to starting our own companies, to running the Phoenix SMUG group together for awhile, to being a major part of each other’s weddings!

Scottie and Ashley fit into many of those adventures as well, which means we’re all a pretty great team at this point! And there was so much at JT and Ashley’s wedding to prove that!

(Scottie made sure to get a photo of the guys praying before the ceremony (above) because he loved the one JT got of that moment (below) at OUR wedding!)

(This is one of our all time favorite photos from our wedding, thanks JT!).

We’ve been around them long enough that we know all the dirt on them and can share it all here!

Well, we would do that if there actually was any real dirt to share! Since there isn’t any of that to tell you about, I’ll tell you some of the other stuff I know about them!

For one, they both LOOOOOVE their wine! So much in fact that they dream of owning their own winery one day! For guest favors, the groom and his dad MADE their own wine!

So getting married at Still Waters Vineyards couldn’t have been a more appropriate choice for them!

The second thing that you need to know about them is that they have a fourth love (outside of each other and wine) and that is their dog, Napa.

In fact, a major influence in what Paso Robles vineyard they chose to do their wedding at was which one would allow Napa to be a part of the ceremony and reception!

One thing I don’t have to tell you about them, (because you can see it for yourselves) is that they both have a love of details!


When we talked to them about what was most important about their wedding, they said all the things we expected to hear like family, friends, Starbucks Coffee, Napa, wine, etc. But beyond that they went on and on about how incredibly excited they were about the details of their wedding! And you can see why!
The table settings, dessert table, sign in table, card box, yard games… I could go on and on about every single little detail that Ashley and JT spent time and energy on to make their wedding incredible!

There were even vintage cameras lying around alongside vintage photos of their family members to represent the love of photography they share. Not only that, but we actually got photos of JT photographing his own wedding!

(I think this photo resulted in the one of Napa alone that I showed earlier on!)

(camera cufflinks, how awesome is that?!)

There were also some behind the scenes details that not all the guests may have known about. Especially when it comes to jewelry exchanging because there was a lot more of that going on than just the ring exchange that was seen at the alter.

At the rehearsal dinner, Ashley’s family gave JT a bracelet that matches the one that each of them wear everyday of their lives, which was a wonderful way to welcome him into the family!

(JT, his mom, and Ashley’s mom watching Ashley and her dad dance together, so sweet!).

And on the day of the wedding, Ashley’s mom gave her a ring that is over 125+ years old and that every generation of her family has worn going back to her great, great grandmother.

Obviously this wedding was incredibly special to Scottie and I. Not only was it full circle, with us being able to shoot our wedding photographer’s wedding 7 years after he shot ours… and not only was it between 2 amazing people who are a great couple and whom we love dearly… but the most special part about this wedding to us was seeing how happy JT and Ashley were that day.

As I said, I’ve known them for awhile (over 10 years now?), and throughout all that time, I have never seen either one with a bigger smile on their face than they had on their wedding day. Ashley was positively overflowing with joy.

She was giggly, glowing, giddy, and all other G words that describe joy! She was just thrilled and laughing the entire weekend. The only thing that rivaled Ashley’s level of joy was JT’s level of joy. It was incredible to watch them just falling to pieces in laughter and hugs together! So beautiful!
Besides the history between us, the love and joy between JT and Ashley, the beauty of the wedding and the relationships involved, there was one other thing that was extremely exciting to Scottie and I…. we got to be “Guestographers”!!! In case none of you have ever heard that term (that I just made up) that means JT and Ashley treated us like both guests AND photographers!

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

Which is the best of both worlds in my opinion, because we got to enjoy the normal and wonderful parts of our job as well as the normal and wonderful parts of being a wedding guest!  Not only did we get to eat a great dinner on an actual real table (a family table too) instead of eating PB & J’s on top of empty boxes shoved inside of a storage closet; but we got to participate in the activities; capture the moments in pictures; tell everyone what to do (at least during photo time!); and even get our very own guest bags, favors, and place cards!

I think I enjoyed eating my guest bag Snickers, drinking my guest bag water, and planning what to carry inside of my guest bag when I got home, WAY more than any person should! I also showed my place card artichoke to WAY more people than actually cared about it!;-)

Since this was such an incredible and memorable experience for us, we came up with a full on list of things to thank JT and Ashley for.

JT and Ashley, thank you for:

1. Giving us better accommodations that what we gave JT to stay in at our own wedding.
2. Giving us our very own guest bag/artichoke/wine bottle favor.
3. Taking us to our very first wine tastings!
4. Considering our opinions even though you’re wedding photo experts.
5. Being fun to work with.
6. Seating us next to the dessert table.
7. Playing a game of bags with us (and letting us win)!
8. Crying, hugging, and thanking us when you saw some of your pictures.
9. Letting us drink at your wedding.
10. Choosing us to be the ones with you, capturing this amazing day.

We love you guys, and couldn’t be happier for you!

Click to see the rest of the photos from JT and Ashley’s very special day here.

Shanya and Clarence’s Wedding: style with a sense of humor (by Scott & Breanna)

One of my very favorite things about the weddings we go to is seeing how couples decide to make them their own. I love how the unique things about each couple and what’s important to them, shows up over and over again at a wedding in both small and big ways. Which is why I was a BIG fan of Shanya and Clarence’s wedding.

From day one they knew they wanted their wedding to reflect their own personal style as well as to be a huge celebration that was tons of fun for everyone!

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

Shanya and Clarence had guests from literally all over the world coming, I heard it mentioned that they had someone there from almost all of the 50 states in the US… not to mention from so many other countries. This was like a dream come true for Shanya and Clarence. It’s so hard to have your loved ones scattered out so far… so to have them all under one roof at the same time, is the best kind of mind blow there is.

Out of all the things they were excited for about their wedding, it seemed to me (Breanna) that having all their loved ones together at the same time was the thing that was making them jump up and down in anticipation the most.

That being the case, they were going to party their little hearts out and make this a trip their guests would NEVER forget. So that’s exactly what they did. And a party wouldn’t be a party to Shanya and Clarence if they weren’t able to be their true selves. And in my opinion, their true selves are hilarious!

In fact, it seemed like every person at this wedding had a fantastic sense of humor! Even the person who is typically the most solemn of all, the officiant, was cracking jokes that I even heard people laughing about long after the ceremony ended!

Even their vows of all things, both from the bride and the groom, contained the perfect amount of humor mixed with sentiment that had people laughing with tears in their eyes and huge smiles on their faces the entire time.

Apparently Shanya learned her public speaking skills from the best because her father’s speech that night was also one of the most memorable ones I’ve heard, that had the exact same perfect combination of humor and emotion that Shanya displayed in her vows at the alter.

The thing about the humor that I heard that day was that it wasn’t just people with good timing, or facial expressions, or whatever it is that makes people funny, it was people who were being purely genuine.

The number one thing I saw at Shanya and Clarence’s wedding was people who were real. They weren’t afraid of being vulnerable, messing up in front of people, or wearing their hearts on their sleeves. They were all joyfully connected to one another, and they weren’t afraid to show it.

From that sheer wedding day joy and lack of care about what people thought of them, came the true humor that expressed what was really going on in their heads on the kind of whirlwind and crazy day that a wedding is! It was beautiful and I loved that about this group of people.

Besides the great sense of humor that I witnessed that day, my other favorite way that Shanya and Clarence made this their own was through their unique style. By style I mean STYLE.

Everything from their transportation (Ollie the Trolley for the bridal party and double decker buses for the guests)…

….to the way they honored Clarence’s Filipino and their shared Sri Lankan traditions (the chord and veil ceremony, lighting of the lamp as they entered the reception, and having sponsors for the wedding)…

… to their incredibly detailed and well thought out decor…

… EVERY piece of their wedding reflected their own unique style and showed that this couple REALLY knows how to throw a party.

If you haven’t noticed by now, this wedding had details with a capital D. Every little thing involved in their wedding was there for a reason.

If you’ve ever planned a wedding or an event of any kind, you know that there aren’t magical little wedding elves that go around setting everything up when your back is turned…. well actually there are but we here in the real world call them “wedding planners”. Actually we call them “GOOD wedding planners”, because the kind that really make it happen as good as if magical elves are doing it are hard to find.

Fortunately, Shanya and Clarence were aware of both the significance and the rarity of this magical creature, so they looked high and low (past the gum drop forest and the Lucky Charms Leprechaun) until they found the best planner in the land… Ashley Gain from Ashley Gain Weddings and Events and her incredible, some would say “magical”, team.

You hear rumors that they’re there on the wedding day, but all you actually see are streaks of pink, and the affects of their work. As one thing after another happens flawlessly through out the night, you wonder “how is the happening”?! Someone tells you, “oh, Ashley Gain is here” and that’s when you know that planners as good as her really do exist.

Ashley’s work and Shanya and Clarence’s visions for the greatest party of their lives were so big that they leaked out of the first party and crept into another! In other words, after their grand reception ended (that was fully successful in fulfilling their dreams for an incredible party I might add), the group headed over to another room at the Montelucia Resort and Spa,  to continue on with an after party!

Unfortunately for Scottie and myself, our time was up and we headed home to get some much needed sleep after such an eventful day. But Josh (one of our other photographers), was more than happy to take over and get the chance to be a part of such a memorable wedding!

So I don’t have much info about what actually happened at the after party, but I do know that the pictures speak for themselves and make me wish I had been there to see it myself!

Now I’ve told you more than you ever knew there was to know about Shanya and Clarence’s wedding but I still haven’t told you much about THEM! As you can imagine from all you’ve seen by now, Shanya and Clarence are pretty amazing people!

Not just because they have an absolutely incredible story about how they are both Sri Lankan and randomly found each other and fell in love in New York City (if you ever meet them you have to ask for the long version of that story!), but because they just ARE wonderful people!

And because it seems to me, that them joining together is going to do nothing more than make everything that is beautiful about them, grow even stronger!

I hope you guys stay in touch so that we get to see how the two of you grow and change for the better together! Congratulations, we’re so happy for you!

Click to see the rest of Shanya and Clarence’s Wedding with style and a sense of humor (you can see photos from the rehearsal dinner and photobooth there as well!).

 

Michelle and Derek's Surprise Wedding (by Scott & Breanna)

OK I’ll admit it, the title of this post was a bit misleading. Sorry I tricked you. It just so happened that was the shortest way to word what I was trying to say AND I knew it would make you want to read it.  But I’m glad it worked and that you’re here because you’re going to be so happy you came once you see how incredible Michelle and Derek’s wedding was! These pictures will make up for my swindling, I promise!

The real reason I titled this post like I did is because everyone involved in this wedding was crazy about surprises! Good thing too, because if someone loves surprises and the person they are surprising doesn’t, bad things can happen! Luckily all the surprises at this wedding were very welcomed and only good things came from them!

Of course you had the normal wedding day surprises, like the groom seeing the bride in her dress for the first time during the reveal moment, the bride seeing what all the ideas in her head really look like when they’re all put together, and it’s always a surprise to see just how drunk uncle Benny can get (just kidding, I don’t even know if they have an uncle Benny, but if they do…so sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you)!

But aside from the regular surprises, there were some really special and unique ones as well! For one, no one expected the cake design to actually match the bride’s dress! The cake was INCREDIBLE and it captured the guests’ attention all night! Every time I looked over, there were people standing around it. And it was more than just stunning, the cake was also sentimental too since Michelle’s grandmother’s brooch put the perfect finishing sparkle on it.

The special thoughtful details that were included in this wedding (like the brooch on the cake) were a surprise in general to us all. There were so many adorable things like the black and white lollipop table cards…

…photos of loved ones who had passed on were hanging on Michelle’s bouquet so she could feel like they were there with her…

…and the general beauty of their wedding venue, Inspirador, that tied all the special little details together, shocked and awed us all.

But the guests weren’t the only ones experiencing surprises on this day. The bride received a couple herself… but don’t worry, they were the kinds of surprises that a bride WANTS to get on her wedding day!

One big surprise in general came from her dad. He knew Michelle would be beyond thrilled to have a mariachi band at her wedding so he secretly hired one to come serenade her at dinner! Michelle was floored and moved to tears by her dad’s thoughtful gift.

But her father’s surprises didn’t end there! In his Father of the Bride speech he brought out props, along with a very special gift to help him give a meaningful speech that was complete with wisdom he wanted to pass on to his daughter and her new husband. Another tearful moment courtesy of her dad’s love of surprises and his daughter!

It’s a good thing Michelle was raised by a man who loves surprises because he prepared her for the new man in her life, who loves them just as much as her father does! The surprise that best showcased Derek’s talent for the unexpected was when the groomsmen spontaneously performed an elaborate choreographed dance, that the groom at first pretended to know nothing about, but jumped in like a pro and showed that it was his plan all along.

To give you an idea of how amazing this dance was I’ll tell you that it was done to a Justin Timberlake song, involved roses, and led straight into the garter removal in the slickest way possible. Good job guys, we were thoroughly impressed!

But unknown to Derek, Michelle had a surprise up her sleeve as well! After their very impressive cake was cut, ANOTHER cake was brought out that was just for Derek! This groom’s cake was based on the video game Minecraft. Derek was SO excited about this surprise.

I have to say, that with the amount of surprising going on at this wedding, I don’t think any of it would’ve worked out as well as it did without someone who was very organized, not only knowing all about the surprises, but executing them all while the couple relaxed and enjoyed their day. Lucky for them, Michelle and Derek realized this was the case so they found a wedding planner who was the best of the best and who was fully capable to make their day that was full of the complicated secrets that surprises bring, come off without a hitch.

They hired Shannon Smith from Sassy Soirees, and if their smooth and beautiful wedding day was any indication, I’m sure they’re very happy they did! As always, Shannon winds and unwinds all the complicated details and pieces that have to flow together into one smooth string, and she did it in a way that seemed completely effortless and allowed the couple to just sail through their day as all the beautiful and wonderful pieces of it just “magically”happened all around them.

Good choice guys, because Shannon, you really do blow me away with your mad wedding skillz every time! By the way, Shannon’s husband, Mark, was also the caterer and whoa… all I can say is that Michelle and Derek have incredible decision making skills and know how to choose the best every time!

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

As you can see by their very thoughtful and customized back and forth surprising, Derek and Michelle know each other well! I’m sure their marriage will be full of fun, wonderful and unexpected surprises… some planned for one another and some that neither one of them expect!

We absolutely loved working with them, and not just because they gave us an incredible abundance of photography time…

…or because they were so excited about photos that they planned time for some cool and experimental night shots…

…well OK, those things DID make us like them even more! But we loved working with them because as you can see by all their well thought out surprises, they are such incredibly thoughtful people.

They treated us like good friends who just happened to have cameras in our hands (even though we didn’t know them before they hired us), They also took great care of us and made sure we had everything we needed both from them in order for us to do our best, as well just what we needed to be comfortable and happy ourselves on the wedding day!

It was so great to be a part of such a beautiful event that not only was happening between two people who were so obviously perfect for one another, but that was also happening between two people we loved spending time with!

So thank you, Derek and Michelle, for letting the wonderful things that make so many of your friends and family love you so much, spill over onto us. Your day was a wonderful experience for us and the only thing about it that makes us more excited about the pictures we got, is the fact that the two of you will get to spend the rest of your lives together as a result of it! Congratulations!

Click to see more photos from Michelle and Derek’s Surprise Wedding.