Category Archives: Weddings

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

Amanda and AJ’s creative detail galore wedding!

When Amanda emailed me to tell me that the bridesmaid dress she’d sewn herself had been stolen in it’s UPS box of her bridesmaid’s front porch (yes, that really happened!!!), I thought, “that’s it, Amanda’s going to give up on all her stunning and elaborate DIY wedding details”.

Nope, I was wrong. She re-made the dress weeks before the wedding, and continued on with joy as she completed her wedding decor in her own creative style. Nothing could keep this girl down!

 

This wedding had so many incredibly special details that the full list of them would take up this entire blog! So I’ll just go ahead and give you the highlights so you can have just a taste of how thoughtful and magnificent all the details and events at this wedding really were!

As I mentioned, Amanda HAND MADE all her bridesmaids’ dresses… as well as her flower girls’ dresses!!!

(LOVE the heart shaped braids the flower girls had!!!!).

Yes, that IS talent folks!!! She even made one bridesmaid’s dress twice- thanks to the thievery situation!

She made vintage brooch bouquets for herself and her bridesmaids.

Which all had their own special pins in them to represent each girl. Amanda’s had a camera since she’s an amazing photographer!

She also made  boutonnieres out of vintage jewelry for the dudes.

(To tag yourself in some of the photos, like our Facebook page).

And that was just the beginning of the handmade world at this wedding!

Aside from hand made there were plenty of other details that were very special to Amanda and AJ. TOM’S shoes being one of the biggest ones! All the girls from flower girls to bride to grandma, wore glittery Tom’s!

And Amanda’s served as dual purpose to cover her need for “something blue” as well! Amanda also wore a necklace that her dad gave to her mom on their first date!!! Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?!

As for the rest of her jewelry… Amanda had to actually get her ears pierced so she could wear the stunning Coach earrings that she found and fell in love with!

This wedding was about more than just details though, it was about the people involved.

(The flower girls showing how much they love their grandpa. This is one of my favorite pictures of all time!).

(Even all the mushy love stuff isn’t always enough to entertain a flower girl during a ceremony, so at times she has to take it upon herself to keep things fun!).

Amanda and AJ thought of every clever way in the book to involve their family and friends in their big day as much as possible.

Amanda’s mom and grandma made the wedding cake, they had a friend perform their ceremony, and Amanda’s cousin did all kinds of special (and wonderful I might add) musical performances.

And last but not least, one of my favorite parts was when Amanda’s grandfather serenaded us all with a couple of beautiful Italian songs during the reception.

It was a time to remember for all!

Amanda and AJ, you guys have been some of the most awesome clients we’ve ever had. Both you and your families have been a huge blessing to us throughout this process and there’s nothing you guys could do to make us love you more!

(I love how Amanda’s mom is looking at her in this picture. So happy!).

You’ve all meant the world to us and done so much to build us up and support us in all that we do. Thanks for being such amazing people and for letting some of that amazingness leak on over to us.

You guys are the best!

Congrats to you both, you so deserve a happily ever after!

Click to see the rest of Amanda and AJ’s creative detail galore wedding!

Christine and Marc’s high expectation exceeding wedding

A wedding for one of our biggest fans, huh? That’s pretty exciting, but also quite a challenge!

Christine has been following Radiant’s work since day one. Which means she’s seen everything we’ve ever done and knows exactly what to expect from Radiant photos!

Not to mention she’s been dreaming about having Radiant at her wedding since that first day we showed up with cameras slung around our necks. She even sent an email to us only a couple of hours after getting engaged to start checking dates that we were available!

To say that she had high expectations for the day we showed up at HER wedding with camera’s slung around our necks, would be an understatement!

Luckily, those high expectations didn’t phase us though… I mean how could it?! It was CHRISTINE’S wedding. Scottie and I have been friends with Christine since before we were even friends with each other so we’ve been to a lot of parties and a lot of weddings with her and every time we left one of those events, we’d say the same thing. “I can’t wait until Christine gets married… her wedding is going to be SOOOOO much fun!!”

Whenever I’d show up to a wedding that Christine was at, I knew I was going to get to do some dancing that night! That’s because Christine always closes out the dance floor, which means she’d be around for at least a little bit of time once I got off the clock, so I always got to dance to at least one song with her. And dancing with Christine on just one song even is enough fun to last you a week!

So though she had high expectations for us, I’d say we returned the favor by having high expectations ourselves for how great her wedding would be! And we were not disappointed!

The venue they chose was a piece of private property owned by Marc’s good friends and Christine knew it was where she wanted to get married the first time she ever saw it! I can see why!  The place was a perfect fit for them and very different from what you typically find in Phoenix!

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

The wedding day and the photography on the wedding day were not the only things trying to meet a pretty high bar. We also had some pretty high expectations placed on the guy Christine was choosing to marry, and on that end… we were a little disappointed.

JUST KIDDING MARC!!!

That’s totally not true!

(I love this picture of him waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle!).

Before we had actually met Marc, we’d heard nothing but good reviews from some of the toughest critics like Christine’s sister and brother and law who love Christine dearly and want only the best for her.

Everyone we talked to about the impending matrimony said something to the extent of, “oh yeah, he’s the one and there’s no doubt about it. Also, they seriously need to get their PDA in check!”.

Ha ha, they are in love and they don’t care who knows it!

Once we met Marc, we confirmed that all the rumors about how amazing he is are true and then proceeded to enjoy watching them interact and be madly in love on their wedding day!

 

It seriously was such a beautiful day that we were so happy we got to be a part of!

It was also fun to work alongside so many of our friends that we’ve worked with over the years like Ivy from “The Garage by Ivy” who did all the stunning flowers…

…and Jay and Chelsea from Everly Films who did all the videography (see Christine and Marc’s wedding video here). Add to that our favorite wedding guest becoming the bride and we were all one big wedding family reunion!

Thanks to Christine and Marc for bringing us in on something so special to the two of them.

We can’t even tell you how excited we are for you guys! Major congratulations to you both! We love you!

Click to see the rest of Christine and Marc’s wedding photos here.

Maricela and Russell Dance their way to marital bliss!

Ballroom Dancing. Those will forever be the two words that I associate with Maricela and Russell’s Arizona Biltmore wedding.

Sure I could add on Christmas time, St. Mary’s Basillica, or ’57 Chevy. But even with all those amazing options, I think I’m going to stick with ballroom dancing… you’ll see why.

(Russell’s face the first time he saw her that day! I LOOOOVE this picture!).

Maricela and Russell got married right after Christmas, and taught me a lesson in just how amazing a post-Christmas wedding could be (not that I really had any doubts before)! The benefit of a post-Christmas wedding? Free decorations of course!

(Like all the Christmas shinys they got in this picture!!).

Just stepping foot into both St. Mary’s Basillica (where they said their vows) and the Arizona Biltmore (where they threw the party) were quite memorable moments in themselves.

St. Mary’s had absolutely stunning red poinsettias scattered all around, with glowing Christmas trees outlining the edges. It was the perfect compliment to the magnificent gold decor that is a staple of elegance in the Basillica.

The Biltmore was like the equivalent of Comicon for Christmas freaks! It was a magical fantasy land for the cookie eating- deck the halling- Christmas crazy – Rudolph fan.

They had everything, including a massive gingerbread house display (co-created by professional bakers AND architects of course!), a train set running around ANOTHER gingerbread village, and a larger than life Christmas tree proudly glittering on the front lawn.

You name the red and green Santa fanfare item, and they had it (except snow, they definitely didn’t have snow).

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

And of course the deep reds and golds that Maricela and Russell displayed before their guests in the Grand Ballroom for her reception just complimented the Christmas wonderland sitting just outside the ballroom doors magnificently!

By the way, MUCHO credito goes to the wonderful Daniel Duran (from Duran Events LLC) and his assistant, Alyssa, for their mad skillz in wedding design, planning, and carrying very fragile things around in a very quick manner (a plus for any wedding coordinator).

They did a fabulous job pulling together all the people, places, and things that made this wedding what it was. Bravo guys… and thanks for being some of our favorite people ever.

Now, about the ’57 Chevy. I don’t think I really need to explain why that will always remind me of this wedding, just look!

If you’ve been following Radiant for long, you know that it is my (Breanna’s) calling in life to get the perfect shoe shot (well not really, let’s hope there’s something a little more substantial than that in my destiny!), and thanks to Maricela and Russell’s great taste in transportation, I just may have achieved all my hopes and dreams in this one shot!

PERFECT isn’t it?!?! Shiny, ruffles, silver, classic car, bling, Jimmy Choo, red toenails, bokeh background lights… sigh.

And now about the ballroom dancing…

What better way to commemorate such a special occasion of joining two people together than through your family’s favorite past time?! Provided your family’s favorite past time isn’t cage fighting or turtle racing that is (yes, turtle racing is a real thing).

Maricela, along with her mother, father, and brother, are all competitive ballroom dancers! Yes, for real! When it comes to bonding family activities, this family has the corner on the unique activities market! Instead of their only family togetherness time being gathered around a meal at the dining room table, this family glams it up, puts on their dancing shoes and dances out a production of Peter Pan (ballroom style) together! Oh wait, you’re telling me every family does that? Where have I been?!

To kick off the dancing entertainment at the reception, Maricela and her bridesmaids performed an AWESOME choreographed dance, that led right into a series of ballroom dances performed by both Maricela and Russell’s family members… finished off with a grand finale by the guests of honor themselves.

(Yes, that’s how you get to wear TWO wedding dresses… just make one of them a ballroom dancing gown!)

Once the more professional dancers finished their routines… the other professional dancers, known as “the wedding guests” began their routines.

I say that because I don’t know if I have ever seen a group of people more naturally gifted at dancing than the people at this wedding!

It must be genetic or something (or maybe it was the ballroom dancing lesson all the guests participated in earlier in the night!) because I swear that every single person of all ages on that dance floor throughout the night seemed to instinctively know how to “drop it like it’s hot”!

(I just put this picture in because this baby’s so adorable and it makes me laugh every time!).

Needless to say, it was an incredibly fun party that was the perfect compliment to the incredibly beautiful ceremony and perfect December day. Congratulations Maricela and Russell, for not only having a fantastic wedding, but for finding your other half and getting started on your happily ever after!

Click to see the rest of Maricela and Russell’s wedding photos here.

(If you like this Radiant wedding and would like to see more or tag yourself in a photo, follow us on Facebook!).

 

 

 

Mareah and Greyson and their joyful wedding day!

If it’s at all possible to see past Greyson and Mareah’s stunning eyes, you will see the magnificent love that lies behind them.

This couple is absolutely perfect for one another! Greyson’s sister and brother-in-law (Chris and Jillian, a past Radiant couple) even spent time telling Scottie and myself about how perfect this pair is for one another.

They just fit like a glove and it seems that everyone around them agrees!

Mareah and Greyson decided to go pretty unique with many things about their wedding, right down to their Coffee shop wedding location!

Janey’s Coffeehouse in Cave Creek was more than happy to host this couple and all their smiling friends and family as their vows were exchanged and the party commenced!

(I LOVE how happy Mareah looks in this picture!).

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I heard they were doing everything at a coffee shop, but I was pleasantly surprised by how charming and beautiful everything turned out!

(Speaking of beautiful, can you BELIEVE how beautiful Mareah is?! She looks absolutely breathtaking!!!!).

All the details were rustic and put together so perfectly!

Cara Morrison and her team at A Day to Cherish Weddings and Celebrations did a great job pulling things together and working out all the unique logistics of working in such a unique location.

Cara’s team did such an excellent job and we were so grateful to have them there to help free us up from scheduling worries so we could focus on what we do best… capturing the moments and telling the story of this great couple and their wonderful day!

Speaking of the couple’s story… it’s definitely a love story.

Everything from the letters the couple exchanged at the beginning of the day…

…to their ecstatic reveal moment…

…to their joyful sparkler exit…

…just screamed how happy they were to be experiencing all of this together, and how excited they were about living life together like this for the rest of their lives.

Just beautiful!

Thanks Mareah and Greyson for allowing us to be a part of such a special event in your lives and for being so much fun to just sit back and watch as you interacted together! We couldn’t be happier for you guys and we wish you all the best.

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

Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of Mareah and Greyson’s joyful wedding day!

 

 

Megan and Derek’s Uber Spectacular, Ultra Creative Wedding

Uh oh, Megan and Derek. I’ve found out your secret.  Everyone who’s ever met this couple is going to want to hear this because I know you’ve all wondered how so much creativity can all be bundled up inside of such a small space between 2 people.  Well now I know….

I think they live their life like it’s a Mad Lib.

Here’s how I think they planned their wedding….

Megan and Derek are (adjective)___ Fun____. At Megan and Derek’s wedding there should be a (noun)___parachute____, a (noun)___ritz cracker can____, and a (noun)___fishnet glove_____.

(Yep! They really brought in an elementary school style parachute for their bridal party to play with for pictures!).

(You’ll have to keep reading to find out what some of this stuff is all about!).

Ah ha! You guys thought you were so clever and that no one would know your secret! But the Mad Lib response card you included with your wedding invitation (and then hung all together at the wedding) was a big risk and it gave you away.

Now we can all be as clever, creative, and unique as Megan and Derek!  See, here’s my attempt!!

Megan and Derek’s wedding was (adjective) ___ creative___. My favorite part about Megan and Derek’s wedding was the (noun)___ ticketbooth____, the (adjective or verb) ___love___, the (noun)___ bows____, and the (noun)___ records____.

(Guests had tickets to tell them what table to sit at, and of course there was a ticket booth to go with them!).

(AMAZZZZIIING bow cake -complete with records at the base! And they had record pendants hanging around all over the place! Not to mention the record place settings in the photo below).

OK maybe Mad Libs aren’t the secret to the height of creativity. My life may not run on Mad Libs, but it does run on lists.  So here’s a list of my very favorite things about Megan and Derek’s wedding.

1. The relationship between Megan and Derek. After leaving this wedding, it’s completely obvious that the decorations are the thing to talk about. However, even mink bow ties and neon green feather boas (you’ll see) can’t distract you from the even more apparent love that exists between Megan and Derek.

Cute isn’t the word, beautiful isn’t the word, swoony isn’t the word (and may not actually be a word at all), and dreamy isn’t the word.  All of those words put together is the word to describe Megan and Derek’s love, so let’s call it Cueatoomy.

Megan and Derek were just in sheer bliss the entire time they were in one another’s presence.

Joyful smiles, adorable giggles, and giant squeezes abounded between these two (sorry Derek, I’ll try to give you a more manly description next time… but still, I prefer seeing this in love side of you on your wedding day anyways).

This is the kind of couple that I’d be willing to shoot 100 times over again. So even if you guys decide to renew your vows 20 + times, we’ll be there in our Sunday best, ready and waiting, at each event.

Apparently, Megan and Derek would be cool with us shooting them that often as well.

One of my favorite things that has EVER in the history of Facebook, shown up on Radiant’s Facebook wall, is what Megan posted the day after their wedding. It’s typed up version of a real life conversation between Megan’s mom and the couple:

Mom: “What was your favorite part yesterday?”


M+D: “Taking pictures by ourselves with Scottie and Breanna after the ceremony.” (real life honest answer) We can not thank you enough guys…we had the most wonderful time with you! Thanks again, your “bonus” client;)

Awww, thanks guys! (sniffle, happy tear).

2. The couple’s good attitude. Weddings are no joke. And the stress that comes with them is no laughing matter either! But Megan didn’t believe that and she just laughed off everything with her adorable little smile and simple shrug of her mink clad shoulders.

At one point someone tried to flip Megan’s curl under and Megan just said, “is my hair being ornery? Oh well, that’s just how it is”. My ears did a double take when I heard that… did I really just hear a bride decide not to be upset when her hair didn’t look the way it was supposed to?!?

That was her attitude the entire day, well at least from every moment after she saw Derek and calmed down (as always, thank God for the reveal moment!).

When something wasn’t perfect, she just basically said, “oh well, I’m having fun anyways so obviously it’s not really a big deal!”.

Derek followed suite and decided to just kick back and fully soak in every moment of the day and the site of his beautiful bride. Awesome guys, I’m so glad you were both truly able to enjoy your wedding day together.

3. The relationship between family members.  You know me, I’m the one sobbing during speeches, and trying to hold it together during the special dances.  The beautiful parts of family relationships that show up at weddings is what always gets to me… I love it. So watching Megan and her dad cuddle together before she walked down the aisle and then whispering little secrets to one another as they made the trek towards the guests who were waiting to see the bride for the first time, turned me from a “professional photographer” to a “weepy mess” very quickly.

They were like that all day (thanks a lot guys, it’s not fun having to run to the bathroom to try to salvage what’s left of your mascara multiple times throughout the day!!).

At least I wasn’t alone in there. When two families have such deep and meaningful relationships, you just have to expect a madhouse of make-up fixers crowding up the bathroom mirrors!

(This was one of my all time favorite wedding moments. Just before it was time to walk down the aisle, Megan decided she needed one last sing-a-long to Beyonce’s ” Single Ladies”. The ipod was cranked, the dancing and singing began, and within seconds Megan’s grandma was up dancing with her and the two of them finished out a little performance together that might seriously rival Beyonce’s. It was AWESOME and an ever so memorable moment!).

5. The photobooth style reception.  Who doesn’t love a good photobooth?  Megan and Derek love it so much that they decided to take it as far as they could… they made their entire reception one giant photobooth!!!!

Each table had a theme and many of the themes fit with the prop sitting on each chair at that table.  For example, the Elvis table had big gold rimmed glasses (classic Elvis look), the Michael Jackson had a single glove, and the Jimmy Buffet table had flower leis for each guest to don.

4. The creative decor. And this is the part you’ve all been waiting for… all the little (and big) things that were interlaced between every single event and moment at Megan and Derek’s ultra creative wedding… the decorations.

(Of course having your wedding at a place as beautiful as The Silverleaf Club DOES help all the decorations look just that much better!).

I laugh when I think about the event designer (Ara from Rock Paper Scissors Events in New York) getting her first call from Megan and Derek that probably sounded something like this…

“So we’re thinking we want our colors to be black and white… oh and also multi-colored….

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

…Theme? Oh yes, for the theme we were thinking mink…

(Megan’s dad is a mink farmer -hence the mink bowties and shawl)!

…no wait, it should be music…

…no wait, it should be vintage…

…no- I know, the theme should be a photobooth with tacky accessories for all the guests to wear… but in a way that looks classy…

(I love this photo because it totally sums up the entire day… very stylish, very fun, and very emotional).

…How about we make the theme be… all of that together? But in the perfect way that makes it look like it fits together?!”

I’m not sure if that’s what Megan and Derek initially described, but that’s what Ara somehow managed to pull off with her crazy magic spells… or whatever the key is to HER creativity!

This couple and Ara together is what I like to call the perfect creative explosion. Seriously, when they combine you just get a burst of creative energy that shoots out beauty, style, and a king’s crown, or railroad conductor hat here or there.

And actually, after watching Ara work and seeing what incredible masterpieces she’s able to pull out of her head… I’m pretty confident that she creates incredible, awe-inspiring, wedding design every single weekend! I don’t think she has a creativity bone in her body actually… because she keeps giving it all away to her brides!!!

(Thumb print guest book… how great is that?!)

So if you’re in the wedding planning mode, remember Ara! Phoenix is sort of her second home so she’s always psyched to have work to do out in good ole’ AZ since she’s out here so much anyways!

Now you know why figuring out where Megan and Derek’s creativity comes from is such an important thing to find out… because who doesn’t want even just a little of that amazingness that makes them who they are!

These two are the perfect team and I think they are the kind of couple who will be even better when combined together as a couple, than they ever were as separate, single individuals.

Congratulations guys, I can’t wait to see what sort of amazing things you do together as a married couple!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Megan and Derek’s Uber Spectacular, creative wedding!