Category Archives: Weddings

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

Brenna and Nate’s wedding had it all… and then some!

Somehow Brenna and Nate found a way to squeeze in every single thing they wanted into their big day.

That whole “have your cake and eat it too” thing… well I’d say they conquered that phrase.  This wedding had it all!  They have a church with a special place in their heart (where Nate’s dad was a pastor for many years) so they wanted to have their ceremony there.

But they also wanted a reception venue that was able to capture their style and give off the overall feel that they wanted… so they found Tre Bella!

Which is perfect because Tre Bella definitely has a stylized, urban setting that looks great in photos!

So they had their modern venue, but they also wanted some sunset shots.

So we took pictures around Tre Bella and then headed over to some railroad tracks with wide open sky behind it so that they got both!  You see what I mean?  This wedding had it all… and then some!

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Their ceremony in the church was so fitting for them because they found ways to incorporate so many of their loved ones into it.

Nate has a band in town (Seconds to Breathe)…

(with this guy)

…and is really into the music scene, so obviously music was an important part of the wedding to him.

Luckily he has quite a few talented friends and when it came time to choose who was going to play the music while they walked down the aisle, he knew the perfect person… his childhood friend, Matt Weddle, who now plays with Obadiah Parker (Scottie has been into his music for awhile so he was excited).

Nate is not the only one with talented friends… Brenna was crowned Miss Arizona USA in 2006…

…so through her pageants, she has met all kinds of talented girls who were able to incorporate some of their gifts into her wedding (we LOVED working with the pageant girls by the way, they’re definitely comfortable in front of the camera, which makes our job easy!).

Brenna had 2 of her bridesmaids perform a song during their communion time in the ceremony (one played piano while the other sang) and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!

Here are a few more shots of this incredibly talented bridal party!

Friends aren’t the only ones who got to be involved in Brenna and Nate’s ceremony, but Nate’s dad had the great privilege of marrying them.  I can’t imagine what that’s like (since I’ve never done it myself!) but I can imagine it’s everything from emotional to challenging, to very very fun… and Nate’s dad pulled it all together into a fantastic ceremony.

Great job to everyone involved in the ceremony part of Brenna and Nate’s wedding… we thought it was perfect!

After the ceremony we headed back to Tre Bella… with a little stop at the railroad tracks at sunset in between!

Shooting weddings at Tre Bella is so much fun!  They have a totally different look than most of the venues around town and it really forces us to think differently about how we shoot and get creative… which is a good thing!

I’ve been in Tre Bella several times and every time I step into it’s white walled glory, I’m stunned.

I mean, that room is just perfect… every single little thing fits in with the decor and it is so well done.  Everything from the hardwood floors to the chandelier on the ceiling comes together in just the right way to create a really modern/elegant effect.

So of course we made sure to get not only the railroad shots around that area… … but to spend a good deal of time inside Tre Bella itself!

Really though, when working with Nate and Brenna it doesn’t matter where you’re shooting.  Those 2 are so much fun!  I would call them goofy but… well, yeah I’d just call them goofy! 😉

It’s pretty impressive when a girl can make a ton of funny faces at her groom and still look beautiful!  Brenna’s got the beauty pageant look, but she’s also an actress… so she’s got a fun personality that’s big enough to hold up her massive amounts of beauty as well!

Of course Nate loves to have fun as much as Brenna does, but he’s also mastered the cool band guy look… so which ever direction they decide to go for a photo, it’s always going to look great!

After we ran out of time for photos (we weren’t about to stop early since we were having so much fun with the two of them!), we headed over to release Brenna and Nate into the arms of all their family and friends at their party… and the real fun began!

Brenna and Nate, thank you so much for letting us be a part of this great event in your life.  We really did love working with you, not just because you’re easy to photograph, but because you are both such great people!

You guys deserve the best of everything and we wish you luck in all that you do!  Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Brenna and Nate’s perfectly wonderful wedding day!

Melissa and Josh in wedded bliss!

This wedding was definitely a first for us.

It was the first time that the bride could shut off all the sprinklers around the entire golf course with a single phone call…

…the first time we walked up to a golf cart and the groom said, “not that one, the batteries are about to go”…

…the first time a bunch of the country club employees were out strutting their stuff on the dance floor…

…and the first time we got to shoot a reception in the “Members Only Club”.

Why all the special privileges?

Because both the bride and the groom work at Ancala Country Club where they got married.

We always get to feel somewhat like VIP’s since we’re part of the exclusive club of people who are at a location to be a part of a wedding… but this one felt like we had our VIP pass along with a special gold sticker on it or something!

Everything and everyone at Ancala bowed before the precious day that was Melissa and Josh’s wedding.  Of course they didn’t have to do this, but everyone loves this couple so much that it was only natural to treat them with a level of holy reverence on their big day!

This day had another special significance for us as well… we got to work with one of our favorite people!  Dawn Candrea (who used to coordinate weddings at Ancala and has since moved over to Arrowhead Country Club) came back over to her old stomping ground to help out her past co-worker and good friend, Melissa. We had a great time working with our old friend, Dawn, and getting the chance to meet the new girl, Jennifer,  at Ancala on the same day!

(Here is Melissa- with her dad and Dawn- getting ready to walk down the aisle …when she first saw the surprise her groom had waiting for her…)(…that’s right, he got her a beautiful horse drawn carriage to take her to and from the ceremony!)

(It was such a thoughtful gift and she loved it!).

Of course Ancala wouldn’t be the same without that beautiful sunset that dazzles in the wide open space that lies just in front of the mountains.

Melissa and Josh meticulously planned the schedule in a way that fit in the sunset shots perfectly because they were fully aware of the potential we have to capture it there!

And capture it we did… the sunset did not disappoint that day!

It was the perfect backdrop to a perfect wedding!

One thing we didn’t expect from this wedding was for Melissa and Josh’s guests to light up the dance floor the way they did.  Those people were glued there!

They danced and danced on that floor until I thought their legs were going to fall off!

(Click to tag yourself in some of the photos on Facebook!).

It was great watching everyone there have an absolutely fabulous time!

Thank you Melissa and Josh for being so easy to work with and for picking us (out of all the photographers you’ve seen shooting at Ancala!) to have the honor of being there for your special day!

We loved getting to know you guys throughout this whole wedding process and we hope you stay in touch and let us know what exciting things await you in your future!


Click to see the rest of Melissa and Josh’s wedding photos.

Kazoos, Ninja Turtles, pinwheels, and goblins… Meg and Mark’s wedding story

We knew as soon as Meg and Mark booked us, that this was not going to be an ordinary wedding.  Meg and Mark both have very unique styles that they show off proudly so we couldn’t wait to see what their big day was going to look like!

For starters, they didn’t rent a very typical wedding venue.  They had the entire event at The Paisley Violin Cafe in downtown Phoenix.

This is not your average cafe’, it has a few distinct features that bring a unique charm to it…. mainly their beautiful back porch, which is where the ceremony was held.

Meg and Mark added to the cafe’s quirky charm by bringing in somewhere between 50-100 handmade (by Meg) pinwheels that were all individually crafted to each look a little bit different.  They were beautiful!

So beautiful in fact that I was dreaming about decorating my house with them right when Meg told me I should take all the left over ones home!

My other favorite detail from their wedding was the STUNNING bouquet that Meg’s mom made her.

It was a combination of tons of antique jewelry and oh WOW, did it shine!!  It was such a perfect fit for Meg!

Meg and Mark went nontraditional for their actual ceremony as well.  Meg’s cousin, Monica, said a few words, prayed, and read a few passages from the Bible before she gracefully stepped down and let Meg and Mark run the rest of their ceremony themselves.

They each asked if the other was willing to devote their life to love, handed one another some rings, kissed, and promptly put kazoos in their mouths to provide their own exit music (with the help of the groomsmen)!

One of the groomsmen, Mike, got himself ordained so that the could sign the paperwork that night to make it all official.

The ceremony ended exactly at 10:10am on 10/10/10.  So I took a picture of the time and date (all 10’s in a row) on the back of Scottie’s camera.

After a brunch reception, Meg and Mark took a break and went over to check into their hotel and prepare to head back over to their “Costume Party Wedding Reception Extravaganza-a-a-a-a” later that night!  That’s right…. reception #2 was a costume party.  How awesome is that?!  Scottie and I went home for a little R&R ourselves before heading over to meet Meg and Mark for a little photo session before the reception.

As luck would have it, just as we began picture time, an ice cream truck drove by!  So yet again, Meg and Mark found a creative way to make their wedding pictures unique.

(This is definitely our first wedding photo that we can attach the words “teenage mutant ninja turtle” to in anyway… let alone to say that the groom was eating one!)

We also had the good fortune of being in Downtown Phoenix where there are interesting features all around!  A little spray paint here… a few bums there (no, we didn’t take any pictures with them!)… it’s Phoenix, dressed in it’s wedding day best!

I don’t even think I need to mention how spectacular the costume party was… but of course I will anyways!  People were ALL decked out!  I’m not sure if their friends are really dedicated to Meg and Mark or just really loyal to Halloween itself, but either way they were in the spirit!

We brought The Radiant Photobooth along with our normal props (and a bunch of Meg’s mixed in) but in this situation, props are hardly even needed!

(click here to like our page so you can tag yourself in the photobooth pictures on Facebook!)

The food was great, the band (What Laura Says) was amazing…

…and all the people were very VERY happy…

…a perfect party.

Meg and Mark, I’m so glad you guys put the time and energy into finding creative ways to showcase your personalities on your wedding day. It was all sooo you!

I loved watching who you are as a couple, take shape in such an experiential way… the location, decorations, music, activities, food, people… all of it felt like it morphed itself into a walking picture of who Meg and Mark are together…. so cool!

Thanks for inviting us to be there… as guests and as photographers… you couldn’t have been easier for us to work with and we couldn’t have been happier to do it for you. 🙂

Congratulations on your new statuses as married people… we love you both!

Click to see the rest of Meg and Mark’s photos here (photobooth pics are also up and available for purchase here).

Bethany and Mike’s dream wedding in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

The more Bethany and Mike searched for their perfect Arizona wedding venue, the more frustrated they became.  When they finally found the place they wanted only to later learn that it was going bankrupt, they said, “screw it, we’re going to Mexico”!

So while choosing Playa Del Carmen, Mexico as the location for their destination wedding came to fruition as a result of frustration… it ended up being just the kind of place they were looking for all along!

Playa Del Carmen weddings

When most people think Mexico, they don’t think trendy restaurants or a worldwide hub for all the coolest people around… but that’s exactly what Playa Del Carmen is!

And since Bethany wanted something more on the modern side, this proved to be the perfect place!

Bethany and Mike got married at the Blue Cacao Beach Club (right on the beach of course!)…

…and had their reception at the bar/restaurant area they have there that overlooks the ocean.

American photographer playa del carmen

This place was SOOO Bethany!  The perfectly placed lights around the pool, the paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and the waterfall wall (as I call it) to lay the backdrop for the room…

…it all looked so much like the way Bethany had described her dream wedding to me.

Part of her dream was to have her dad perform the ceremony, and that was another piece that came true!

Scottie and I had the pleasure of hanging out with Bethany’s parents for a bit before the wedding and we had to fight off the tears that came as her dad and her mom (who didn’t hide the tears) described their love for Mike and their happiness about Bethany’s choice to marry him.

We’re used to hearing couples gush about how much they love one another, but it was a rare gift to get to hear it from the parent’s side as well!

Knowing that this was an event that was not only uniting 2 people but also bringing an entire family closer together, made us even more excited that we had the privilege of capturing these memories for them.

Playa Del Carmen Destination weddingcreative destination wedding photographer

Our thoughts on this were confirmed when Bethany’s brother’s speech included a piece about how Mike has had a great influence on his life already.  (By the way, how could anyone not love Mike?  It seemed like every room we entered while everyone was getting ready for the ceremony, was adorned with flower arrangements Mike had gifted people with on his wedding day!).

(This is one of the best family photos we’ve ever taken and the coolness of it had very little to do with us!).

I think it’s safe to say that all the guests loved the whole wedding experience almost as much as Bethany and Mike and their families did!

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

A girl in a thong walking behind the alter just as the wedding began, and a guy in a speedo running behind us while the ceremony was going are both wedding memories that none of their fun loving guests are soon to forget!

(Speedo man came back around after the ceremony ended, just in time to get this photo… I’m a little disappointed that the yellow racing stripes on the side of the speedo aren’t showing in this picture).

(We did get some pictures of the bridesmaids without speedo man as well!).Destination wedding photographercreative beach wedding photographyBethany and Mike know their group of friends well, so they made sure everything was set up to allow their guests to relax and dance the night away at the reception!

Ever heard the term “dancing machine”?

Well that can be applied to basically every person at their reception.  We got some freaking cool dancing pictures, despite the difficulty we had holding our cameras still while we were laughing so hard at some of these stellar moves!

We were positive that it was going to be one of these moves that was going to take someone into the pool and we were so bummed when we found out that it happened after we had already left!  Oh well, I’m sure everyone took a mental picture of that one (click).

This party had it all.

A beautiful setting, great food and drinks, fantastic decorations, family and friends hanging out together, dancing machines, and a very happy newly married couple… it doesn’t get any better than that!

Thank you Bethany and Mike for inviting us to this incredibly moment in your lives.

We are so happy we got to be a part of it!

We absolutely loved everything and we are beyond excited to watch you guys build your new life together.  Congratulations!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Bethany and Mike’s big day!

P.S. If you’ve never seen Bethany swimming in a wedding dress before, then make sure you keep an eye out for the photos from her Unique Session that will be coming soon!

Katy & Shaun’s Wedding day… as amazing as you’d expect and more!

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’s not charging travel fees for any 2011 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!)