Jeff and Laura’s wedding: a family affair

A wedding day is an entirely different experience for me (Breanna) when I’ve done each of the following with the groom…

1. Built a fort that in my mind rivaled the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse (though it was really like 2 planks of wood haphazardly nailed together with a dried up Christmas tree as the back wall…obviously it was the best fort ever.)

2. Played and pretended everything from house, restaurant, under water tea party (he was too nice to ever refuse an invitation from me and his little sister), office, cops and robbers, mermaids (don’t worry, I’m sure he was a “merman” or a crab or something), school, and over 1,000 rounds of Marco Polo and TV tag.

3. Created, directed, designed, and performed- in front of an audience- a full rendition of the Nutcracker Suite (costumes and everything) though none of the participants involved knew anything about ballet.  If I remember correctly, we did a great job of skipping, rolling, crawling on all fours, and sword fighting, all with pajamas and capes on…. you know, typical ballet stuff. We have a video of it somewhere, though I believe my dad got bored and turned the camera off after the first 10 minutes.

So as you probably can tell by now, Jeff and I grew up together.

He’s my 1st cousin and 3rd brother.  Meaning, he was my cousin who was around enough that he was like another brother of mine.  Oh and in case you were wondering whatever became of our fire hazard fort, the next generation of kids in our family somehow convinced everyone that a rotting Christmas tree wasn’t good enough for their fort and were able to enlist adult help (including my carpentery master of a husband) to make a full on real tree house! Kids these days… so spoiled!!  Since when is a molding fort with a bee hive next door not a good place for kids to play?!

As you can see, Jeff and I had a ton of fun growing up together.  The coolest part of this whole story is that Laura is way more fun than Jeff.

Just kidding, but they are at least even!  So now, the fun continues as we live our adult lives!  We’ve already made Laura perform in front of audience when we put on a family dance party one night to teach the next generation of kids how it’s done… and she totally stole the show!

She plays dress up really well too… if you haven’t seen their AH-MAAAAAZING retro airplane engagement session, you HAVE to check it out, she looks incredible (you do too, Jeff!)!!  I haven’t gotten to invite her to an underwater tea party yet, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it will happen one day.  In other words, she fits right in with our family!

I’m totally serious about that.  I love Laura and I was so so so happy when Jeff called to tell me he was going to marry her and make her stick around with us!

Due to their fun loving spirits, Jeff and Laura had only one condition to us being their wedding photographers… we weren’t allowed to do it if we couldn’t have fun while doing it!

It was really important to them that we enjoyed their wedding and didn’t view it as work.  Scottie and I both knew that we would enjoy the wedding more if we were shooting it… but we’ve also really missed getting to be a part of the celebration rather than just onlookers.  So our solution was that Scottie and I would shoot everything  that happened before the reception…

…and at that point, we’d turn over the photography responsibilities to other photographers we hired while we partied it up as guests!

So that’s exactly what we did!  In other words, all the awesome reception photos you see here- like the one above and below- are not ones either Scottie or I can take credit for!

Scottie and I love shooting weddings for people we already know well because it’s so fun feeling like we’re such a part of something so huge in the lives of people we care about.  It’s also so fun hanging out in the getting ready rooms with our friends!

Not to mention, it’s nice to be working with a couple who’s so comfortable with us.

It’s just fun all around!

So true to our word, Scottie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves during the reveal moment…

(Ha ha, we could see both of them, but they weren’t allowed to see each other yet!).

…posed photo time…

…at the ceremony…

…and throughout everything in between!

(Praying).

Then we lifted all the responsibility from our own shoulders and passed it to Josh and Kelley Johnson while Scottie and I hit the dance floor!

(Look it’s us! We’re actually dancing at a wedding AND in a photo!!!).

Josh and Kelley are another married photography team in the Phoenix area (who also happen to be freaking cool people!!) and we’ve been semi/sort of mentoring for awhile now.  When we came up with the idea to have someone else shoot the reception, we immediately knew that Josh and Kelley were the people for the job!  And they did not disappoint!

They both have a phenomenal artistic eye, they excel at capturing real emotion, and they are hyper aware of everything going on around them at all times so they’re ready with less than a moment’s notice to catch anything that happens in front of their cameras!

This is not the only Radiant wedding that Josh and Kelley will be in on, so stay tuned for more from them in the future!

As you can see, Jeff and Laura’s wedding was amazing from beginning to end!  It was a fabulous day, everything went smoothly and there was just an overall feeling of joy in the air.

It couldn’t have been better.

Congratulations Jeff and Laura, I’m so glad the day was so great for the two of you and I’m so excited to have one of the coolest girls around as the new addition to our family.

(Another amazing Josh and Kelley creation… do you know how hard it is to get a good sparkler picture?!  Awesome job guys!).

Click to see the rest of the photos from Jeff and Laura’s wedding.

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