Category Archives: Weddings

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

Christen and Jay’s Log Cabin Wedding to Remember

Christen and Jay’s wedding was a very special one for us.

We didn’t know Christen at all before we met with her about shooting her wedding and by the time we left our very first meeting with her, we felt like we’d known her forever.

We definitely have a lot in common and have many shared passions, including our work with the Princess Program which you may remember from past blogs.  In fact, after that first meeting, we had a chance to watch Christen work with the Princess Program’s teen foster girls at one of their events that we photographed and let me tell you, both Scottie and I had tears in our eyes watching Christen work her magic helping these hardened girls soften up so they could have the night of their lives.

No matter how difficult, hurt, or shy the teen girl was that she was interacting with, Christen could get her to come out of her shell within minutes and it was like watching a miracle happen.  When we left that event, we both felt so lucky that we were going to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing girl.  Her love for people and her ability to connect to people from all walks of life is one of the many things that we love about Christen.

(As you can see, her parents -in the pics above and below- definitely played a major part in teaching her how to love).

Over the time that we worked with her while planning her wedding, our love for Christen grew with each interaction we had.  So much so that when we finally got around to meeting Jay (who wasn’t living in the same city during the time of the wedding planning) on the wedding day, both Scottie and I were pretty skeptical that there could be a guy in this world who was good enough for Christen.

We definitely felt protective of her and neither of us realized we felt this way until we actually met him and noticed how surprised we were when we discovered that he was perfect for Christen and we liked him a ton immediately!

As their wedding day drew on, we found ourselves liking him more and more and our initial assumptions about him were confirmed… he really is an amazing guy and he actually is good enough for the wonderful Christen! 🙂

(You can tell he’s a good guy because he voluntarily rubs her feet for her!).

Every speech made about him, every embrace from one of her family members to him, told us that we weren’t the only ones in the room who felt this way.

Not only was this couple themselves super important to us, but their wedding itself had a lot of significance for us because it reminded us SO much of our own wedding!  Christen and Jay really love the outdoors and when Christen first emailed me, she was looking for venue suggestions of places that had trees.

Considering Phoenix is a desert, she was obviously having a hard time in this quest so I suggested that she do what we did and head up to the forest in Northern, AZ to have a sort of destination wedding (since Christen is originally from South Africa, for many of her family and friends this really was a major destination wedding either way!)!

She loved the idea and soon after, they found the perfect place in Heber, AZ.  It’s a personal vacation home for a family that Jay knows and it’s called the Legacy Lodge.

The Lodge was built in Canada and then all 21,000 square feet of it was transported to Arizona using 20 semi trucks to do it! It has survived fire and flood and continues to be a respite for the family who built it, as well as a place that they are kind enough to share with friends like Christen and Jay.  You can read about the Legacy Lodge here, there’s some very interesting tradition tied to it!

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

I have to say, there is just something about a mountain destination wedding that feels like no other kind of wedding to me.

Everyone is relaxed and in vacation mode, plus they’ve spent several days together and have already had a great time and made tons of new memories together.

There’s just an overall feel of relaxation and calmness amongst the guests at a mountain wedding, which are not exactly the first words you typically think of when you think weddings!

It’s a good thing that this was a relaxed wedding by the way, because you really have to be chill when the entire schedule gets changed around to accommodate for rain (which Christen handled very well by the way and everything ended up working out great!).

(Getting a little nervous as she looked out at the looming clouds… and all the people she was about to walk in front of!).

(Look at those rain clouds! We were able to pop out while the rain stopped for just a few minutes to get these outdoor shots!).

We picked up on this chill vibe as soon as we arrived at the lodge property and with the beautiful scenic view of pine trees and a lake, combined with the comforting smell of a wood cabin, Scottie and I immediately felt like we were transported back to June 4, 2005 on our own wedding day.

We felt at home.

Everything from the scenery, the attitude, the homemade details, to the fresh scent of pine made us feel sentimental and inspired.

We LOVED it!

Adding to our homey/comfortable feel, was the fact that we got to work with a wedding planner we’ve worked with many times before, Margie Walinski at Party Presentations (who did a fabulous job making this beautiful wedding happen by the way!).

(The little flower girl was smiling up at them like that throughout the entire ceremony! So cute!).

We were also surprised to find that our good friend Jay Worsley, from Everly Films, was hired last minute to be the videographer!  See the wedding video trailer here to get even more of the experience from this wedding day!

The entire wedding was beautiful and covered with personal touches!

There was even a little bit of South African food to top it all off and give us a taste of Christen’s homeland!

It seems to me that when you realize that you are better with someone than you are by yourself, you know you’re doing the right thing by getting married and I can definitely say I believe this is true for Christen and Jay.

They truly are the perfect team and I think their mutual love for people will prove stronger with them working together as a married couple than it would be if they continued on with their lives as separate individuals.

Thanks to the both of you for being such amazing, incredible people and for giving us the opportunity to work with you! We couldn’t have hoped to work with a better couple on a better wedding!  Thanks so much!  We can’t wait for you to see the pictures from your UNIQUE SESSION that we shot of the two of you the day after your wedding… I think you’re going to absolutely love them- we do!!  Coming soon!

Click to see the rest of Christen and Jay’s Mountain Wedding Photos.

Cute Couple Overload… Stephanie and Garrison’s Wedding

Stephanie and Garrison have quite a history with Radiant, so we were beyond stoked when they called us and asked us to be a part of the biggest day of their lives!

To make a long story short, it wasn’t until after we’d already established a relationship with both Stephanie’s family and Garrison’s family, as well as shot one wedding for each, that we found out that my mom went to school with one of each of their parents!

So of course, this means that Stephanie’s dad and Garrison’s mom also went to school together.  They did, but that’s not even how Stephanie and Garrison met! Their story’s even cuter than that!

Here’s how it happened… Stephanie took a job dog sitting next door to Garrison’s parent’s house. Apparently, the neighbor had previously informed Garrison that a really pretty girl was next door that he might want to find a way to meet… so he  took  the advice and did just that.

(Good thing he did too… I mean, just look at her!).

Garrison threw a frisbee over the wall on “accident” and had to go knock on the door to meet Stephanie and “get the frisbee”.  Genius isn’t it?!

It definitely worked and they spent the rest of her dog sitting experience that summer hanging out together.  It wasn’t until down the road that they figured out that their parents not only went to high school together, but were actually neighbors!  And of course considering that Stephanie and Garrison met being neighbors… this story just couldn’t get any more adorable!

As I mentioned, this was not the first Radiant wedding for either Stephanie or Garrison’s family. Before we shot their wedding, we had also photographed weddings for both Garrison’s sister and Stephanie’s sister!

So there were three couples at this wedding who are related who’s wedding we’ve been a part of.  How awesome is that?!

(Here are the three Radiant couples! The couple on the left, also has a baby but he was sleeping when we took this.)

So a chance to work with two of our favorite families again at the same wedding… in July in Phoenix when it’s 112 degrees outside… totally worth it. At least it wasn’t the day before which hit a record setting 118 degrees Fahrenheit!

I can’t even explain to you how much I love seeing two incredible families join together like this!  You should’ve SEEN that party on the dance floor.  Oh yes, everyone in both of those families knows how to have a good time and when you put that many fun people in one room together, you’re going to have one fantastic party!

(Stephanie’s sister and her husband entertaining the newly weds!).

I seriously was smiling during the entire reception because it was so much fun watching all these wonderful people that I care so much about having fun together and busting a move while celebrating such a beautiful thing as a wedding together.

As if these two families could get any cooler, I noticed one major thing at this wedding that really stood out to me and spoke volumes about the quality of these families.  All the in-laws for all the kids in these two families were present at this wedding.  That means that when one of the kids in either Stephanie or Garrison’s families gets married, their entire family adopts their new family in as one of their own.  Of course that’s what’s supposed to happen when two people get married, but how often does it really?  I thought that said a lot about these people!

(Garrison’s dad prepping the get away car with his son-in-law).

Now that I’ve gone on and on about their families, let me tell you about Stephanie and Garrison themselves!

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

When I remember them on their wedding day, the first thing I think of is how freaking adorable they were together!

It didn’t matter what chaos was going on or what pressing matters there were for them to attend to, when they were together, nothing else mattered and all else faded into the background.

I was so glad they chose to do a reveal moment and see one another before the ceremony because as soon as they were together, the stresses of the day just seemed to melt off their shoulders… which is exactly how a wedding day should be.

I don’t think there’s anything you could say to convince me that these two aren’t madly and completely in love.

I think they had love coming out of their pores!  Along with the sweat that 117 inevitably brings!

To sum up…this perfect wedding day included a beautiful venue (if you haven’t been to The Clayton on the Park yet, put that on your to do list because it’s a must see!), 2 lovely families, a rocking party, and a head over heels in love couple… what more could you ask for on a wedding day?!

Stephanie and Garrison, thank you oh so very much for letting us into your lives on this special day and for being as wonderful to each other as you are. Just being around you two together makes me happy!  We love you both and we wish you the best!  Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of Stephanie and Garrison’s wedding photos (and the photobooth pictures!)!

Dash and Morgan’s “Best of the Best” Wedding

There is only one way I could even consider describing Dash and Morgan’s wedding and that is to say that it was “the best of the best”.

I mean that whole heartedly in every single way.  All that was involved fit this description…from the decorations, to their friends and family, to the vendors (if I do say so myself!), to the actual party.

Every single part of this wedding was exceptional in every single way.  Let me see if I can even begin to describe the majestic awesomeness that was this wedding!

So lets just start with the obvious… it was freaking beautiful, okay?!

The details…

… the ceremony…

(You can’t beat a ring bearer running full speed down the aisle towards his mom!).

(I love how Dash is looking at his mom in this picture!).

… the location…

(Pictured above is part of the cocktail hour set up… and also a showcase of future purchases I plan on making for my home. Consider this photo my Christmas list.).


… and OF COURSE, the bride!

I mean, just look, look, look at Morgan’s dress!!!

I (Breanna) got so excited when I saw it that I might have peed myself a little.  Layers and layers of elegant fabric, flowers, ruffles, and cream colored accents…. this is the stuff that girly dreamland fantasies are made of!

I felt like I was 5 years old again and seeing Cinderella at Disneyland for the first time-  I almost fainted out of girly overload every time that fabric swished and twirled around her.

(The accessories to go with the dress).

Of course the dress was just like one in a million of the beautiful details at the wedding.  I can’t even begin to describe all that was there that day, you really need to go look at the entire collection of photos from the day to get the full affect.

Remember the “best of the best” phrase?  Well not only does it describe the look of all the beautiful details there that day, but also the quality of the hard workers that made those things happen.

I have to start off by mentioning that we were so excited to have Josh and Kelley Johnson be a part of photographing this wedding with us!

(I can’t get enough of this pic that Josh and Kelley took, it looks like heaven for stemware!).

You might remember that they helped out on my cousin’s wedding so we could chill for the reception with my family, and now they are back for round two with Radiant on this wedding!

(Remind me to ask Josh and Kelley next time I see them if they have magical powers.  How else could they get photos this amazing?!).

They helped turn Scottie and my limited human potential (meaning we can’t be everywhere at once!) into… well, not quite complete omnipresence, but a lot closer to it!  They were at all the places we weren’t to make sure that every little beautiful detail of this wedding was captured and not a second was missed!

(Another couple of Josh and Kelley masterpieces!).

We were once again blown away by their mad skillz both as photographers and as professionals and we were so very very thankful we had them there to help us!

(I’m so jealous that I didn’t take these photos myself!).

Thanks guys! 🙂

Amina Michele and her team from “Some Like it Classic” were the designers of this wedding and my hats are off to them all as well.

Granted, Amina had an amazing support team surrounding her, but she still did the work of like 10 people all on her own and she did it with perfection and precision.

It was so fun to talk to Morgan about the things she was looking forward to about her wedding day and then to hear it from the perspective of Amina who was helping to make it all happen.

(Morgan’s reaction at the first sight of the cake she’d been dreaming about!).

Amina was almost as excited as Morgan was about all the bits and pieces she was working on, you can definitely tell this is her art and that she prides herself (rightly so) immensely on her work.

The more I talked to the two of them prior to the wedding, the more excited I got too! And the more I watched the details unfold, the more I admired Amina for her outstanding abilities and for the love and value she placed on the work she was doing… and the people she was doing it all for.

Amina and the Some Like it Classic team were only a piece of the behind the scenes work, so if you’re looking for wedding vendors yourself and want to know who some of the  pros at this wedding were, send me an email and I’ll get you the info… because I am convinced that all the vendors we worked with on this day were all the “best of the best” in their fields.  They had to be to make this day look, feel, and flow so perfectly!

Not to beat the “best of the best” thing into the ground, but there is still another major aspect to this wedding that fit this phrase to a T and that is the friends and family of Dash and Morgan.

(Her dad watching as his little girl prepares to walk down the aisle).

(Family dance party time!).


Of course we fell in love with Dash and Morgan during our first meeting with them, so we should’ve automatically assumed that their friends would be wonderful as well.  However, we were still stunned by just how amazing the people Dash and Morgan surround themselves with actually are!

When Scottie and I got married we referred to our bridal party as “The Dream Team” since we felt like it was all the best people in the world brought together in one group for one weekend… what couldn’t they do?!  But I have to say that Dash and Morgan’s dream team does give ours a run for it’s money!

We first noticed this when we were doing photos of the bridal party.  You have to envision the scene here… you have about 20 people (which is a large enough number to make it very difficult to get complete focus from everyone), who only got a few hours of sleep the night before, standing around outside in 95 degree heat (in direct sun for most of it),  and half of these people are wearing black tuxes.

I will just say from my past experience, this is not the makings of a smooth running bridal party portrait time.  The pressure was on us to make it speedy while ensuring that no one passed out on us or started throwing punches in the midst of a heat induced nervous breakdown- we were definitely a little worried.

(Good thing nothing came to blows because I think those rings could do some damage!).

But as we had groomsmen asking us if they were doing things right, everyone standing quietly and listening to directions, and people walking into the sun without complaining in the least, we realized we had a miracle on our hands.

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

Well, at least that was our first thought, but we soon realized that Dash and Morgan just have amazing friends!!!

Instead of causing us problems, the bridal party members were asking us if we needed anything and being truly helpful and considerate towards us!

They were so amazing that in her speech during the reception, Morgan actually thanked the groomsmen in particular (since you know, they tend to be the “endearing troublemakers” of a bridal party group) for being so wonderful and helpful throughout the wedding process.

I agree with her completely and want to send out a BIIIIGGGG hug to all of Morgan and Dash’s bridal party for not only being easy to work with during a stressful situation, but for actually treating us like a part of the group rather than as “those people who make me do stuff when I don’t want to”.

I think we still had the baffled deer in the headlights look after dealing with such a kind bridal party as we walked into the reception only to find EVEN MORE wonderful people waiting inside the reception tent!

As soon as the music came on, I froze on the middle of the dance floor with my jaw hanging open (not the safest place to be really) because I was utterly stunned by the sheer amount of people that poured around me and began to boogie like it was both the first and last party of their lives.

I don’t think I have ever seen such a huge group of so many fun people in my life!!!

Of course this amount of boisterous energy, unconcealed joy, and gregarious laughter kept our cameras up to our faces all night long!  We couldn’t have stopped shooting if we wanted to because every single second was a new hilarious moment, and every single shot was of a new person causing the crowd to cheer.

It seriously was one of the most incredible parties I’ve ever been to and I was at WORK this whole time, I can’t imagine how it was for the guests!  It was for sure the party to end all parties… and it couldn’t have been more perfect for Morgan and Dash.

Morgan and Dash, I know I stressed how amazing all your friends and family are, but I want to make sure I say how much Scottie and I love you two as well!

We had such an amazing time working with you guys, you welcomed us in as friends right away and made us feel a total part of this wedding as if we were guests rather than “hired help”. 😉  Thank you guys so much for your friendship and for including us in this incredible moment in your lives.

Our excitement about your wedding grew and grew as we got to know you better and realized that we were going to come out of all of this with two new friends!

We were so psyched and honored that you picked us to handle something so important to you and we hope that you are even happier than you thought was possible with your wedding, the photos from it, and your lifetime together!

We can’t wait to see where life takes you… and we’re glad we at least know that it’s going to bring you to visit us in Los Angeles this summer to get your Unique Session done!  We’re excited to see the two of you (and Morgan’s dress) again then! 🙂

Click to see the rest of the photos from Dash and Morgan’s “Best of the Best” Wedding.

 

Molly and John’s wedding… rebellion to the end.

When I think of Molly and John’s wedding I think of freedom… freedom from rules really.  The thing I loved most about Molly and John’s wedding is that they threw out all the do’s and don’ts to a wedding and they just did whatever they wanted!  Complete and utter freedom!

If something made sense to them, or fit their style really well… why not?!  If something was unusual but they thought it would be fun… why not?!  They just did everything the way they wanted, no exceptions… and it was exactly the way it should’ve been.

To start with they decided to change up the order of the day a bit.  This means, not only that they had a reveal moment and saw one another before the wedding…

… but that they actually had their cocktail hour before the ceremony, and they were a part of it rather than off taking pictures!

Oh and get this, for the cocktail hour Molly had all her bridesmaids each change into the bridesmaid’s dress that Molly had to wear in their weddings! Genius isn’t it?!

Molly herself changed into a super cute white cocktail dress.  How did she figure out the trick to getting to wear 2 wedding dresses?!  I wasn’t kidding when I said she was a genius!

Since the girls were changing for the cocktail hour, the guys figured they’d better follow suit… so they changed into tuxedo t-shirts… so awesome!

Like I said, we’re talking very non-traditional here!

After the cocktail hour, the girls changed back into the dresses that Molly had picked out for them to wear for HER wedding and the groomsmen changed back into their tuxes with their Chuck Taylor’s and all.

(I love the shaving moment!).

Even the little ringbearer got dressed in his tux…

…who was none other than Molly and John’s dog, Wrigley!

(I love how the tiny flower girl is trying to reign him in like he’s a ginormous out of control monster or something).

By the way, the bridal party consisted of one “dude of honor” and one “best chick” which means there was a guy standing on Molly’s side and a girl standing on John’s side.

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

The ceremony was performed by a friend they work at the hospital with, who was once ordained to do a patient’s wedding and has married many of the hospital workers ever since.

During the ceremony, she presented them with a circle of friends to represent the spirit of the Southwest (which was a major theme of their entire wedding weekend).

And instead of lighting a unity candle, they sealed a box with their favorite wine and notes from all the guests that they will open on their one year anniversary.  Great idea, isn’t it?!

True to the rest of the wedding, the ceremony itself was very fun and fitting for Molly and John.

After the ceremony, we grabbed a few photos of the AMAZING sunset Molly and John were blessed with that day…

(Gotta have that cactus in their to fit the Southwestern theme!).

…as well as pics of their stylin’ shoes (or at least of one of Molly’s 3 pairs that day!).

We made our way over to the reception (which was a pool area that had been transferred into a perfect party zone), where Molly and John were greeted by all their friends and family who were excited to be there and ready to have a good time!

And they were not disappointed…

…the reception was the perfect end to their day.

Molly and John we loved loved loved your wedding and we loved loved loved working with you guys!

I especially love that you made your wedding fit you so well and that you weren’t afraid to challenge the norm do things differently… you’re a couple after our own hearts!

We love you guys and we wish you all the best!

Click to see the rest of Molly and John’s rule breaking wedding.

Tonia and Jay’s wedding was soooo THEM!

I don’t know if I give enough public credit to our couples for how well they plan their weddings.

If you haven’t had a wedding yourself yet, I guarantee you that no matter how prepared you are for it, you will still be totally shocked by how much time, energy, thought, and let’s not forget money of course- go into wedding planning.  I’ve now had my own wedding and been to hundreds of others and it STILL surprises me how difficult the planning can be!

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

I say all this because I want to make sure I take the time to give mad props to both Tonia and Jay, as well as their wedding planner, Sandy Walker from In Awe Weddings and Events, for the incredible job they did making their wedding uniquely them.

Let me first tell you a little bit about Tonia and Jay so that you can get a better feel for how well their wedding fit their personalities.

Tonia and Jay are both in the medical field and are currently living in Indiana.  Their families are spread out all over the country so instead of choosing one family hometown or the other for their wedding, they decided to throw caution to the wind and choose an entirely different place for their big event so that it would be a great vacation for everyone involved.  Sedona, Arizona was their destination location of choice, and good thing too because the location (at L’auberge de Sedona) was spectacular!

When I think of Tonia and Jay, the first thing that comes to my mind is F-U-N.  These two have the best dry sense of humor ever and they’re like the perfect comedic duo when joined together!

I could just sit back and listen to their little snippets of conversation while watching them interact together and be totally entertained for hours!

They love to laugh together, and if I’ve learned anything from sitting through hundreds of speeches at weddings related to marriage and love, it’s that laughter is one of the main ingredients for a successful and happy marriage… so  if all those well-wishers were speaking the truth, I’d say they’re all set to have a great time for the rest of their lives!

Which brings me to the part about how their wedding fit their personalities.  Tonia and Jay, with the help of Sandy, were able to create this perfect mesh of elegance and fun.  It started with their wedding ceremony where the pastor read the vows they had written to one another… and those turned out to be some of my favorite vows of all time.

Again, it fit so well as the perfect blend of funny, yet beautiful and quite sentimental.  They both wrote about living real life with one another and how much they love all the little “peccadilloes” about one another (to quote Robin Williams in “Good Will Hunting”).

On top of those great vows, they also had another reading that blew my mind with it’s amazingness!  They combined pieces of about love from each of their favorite sources into one reading and it flowed together so incredibly perfectly that I actually asked them for a copy of it!

Apparently, they had a hard time choosing just one source to be read at their wedding, so they just went ahead and picked them all!  It was such a cool idea that just reflects again, how many personal touches went into this wedding!

To top off the personality of the ceremony, Jay’s mom had a song written especially for the happy couple and then she sang it to them herself during the ceremony… how cool is that?!  What an amazing wedding present!  Also, what a great way to get every single person within a mile radius to shed a tear!

And now on to Sandy’s part in all of this… Sandy is the kind of planner who listens to the dreams and visions of her clients and then figures out how to make them happen.  This works out amazingly well because it allows the couple to focus on the fairytale/fun side of the wedding and then leaves all the harrowing details and hard work in hands that are experienced and capable of pulling them off without a hitch.

I’m totally convinced that Tonia and Jay enjoyed their wedding 10 times more than they would’ve had they been trying to do Sandy’s job themselves.

They were able to cast their vision and then catch their breaths as they walked onto their wedding site to see everything they had envisioned actually come to life in a way that seemed to just happen magically (of course that magic actually came from the magician otherwise known as Sandy).

So when they look back on their wedding, they remember the beauty, fun, elegance, and relationships more than the stress, worry, frustration, etc., etc. that Sandy was able to take off their shoulders.

And now about the reception.  If you were a guest, wondering if you were in the right place, you seriously only had to walk in for like 2.5 seconds to know that this reception was definitely for Tonia and Jay.  There were so many details that reminded you of them.  The most noticeable was that there was pizza on everyone’s plate.

Yep, you heard me right… they served pizza at their wedding reception.  Though I’m sure Tonia and Jay got some interesting reactions when they first told people about their culinary plans, but they held firm to their love of gourmet pizza and I think all their very full and satisfied guests were happy they did in the end!

Other noticeable aspect of the reception were the table names.

They were all named after various movies that Tonia and Jay loved and all the name cards included quotes from the movie (which is why I put in a movie quote above… that’s called “foreshadowing”.  Admit it, you’re impressed with my literary ninja skills).

There was another card with a quote on it that was placed near the guest book to tell guests that in lieu of favors, Tonia and Jay were donating to the humane society.  I have to mention that part because the quote on that card was such a great one: ” Getting a dog is like getting married. It teaches you to be less self-centered, to accept sudden, surprising outbursts of affection, and not to be upset by a few scratches on your car”.- Will Stanton.

Alright, I could go on and on about all the personal touches to Jay and Tonia’s wedding but I’ll stop there and let you see the rest for yourself in the photos!

Click here to see the rest of the photos from Tonia and Jay’s wedding!

Congratulations Tonia and Jay, we are so happy for you guys and we are so happy that you are so happy together!  Keep laughing and enjoy the rest of your lives together!  Thanks so much for giving us the honor of being a part of this great day in the story your lives together.  We loved every second of it!