Catalina State Park engagement.
Abi and David are like old friends now. I have photographed so many events for their family in this past year – Abi’s brother’s wedding was one of my all time favorite weddings last year and I am so excited to be with Abigail and David at their upcoming wedding in the fall! This perfect spring day was made even better by this gorgeous red flower dress that Abigail picked for their engagement photos. The color just popped out in the desert sunset at Catalina State Park was perfect to show off some of this couples pretty awesome dance moves. I really loved this photo shoot because it showcases some of the best the Arizona desert has to offer in just 60 minutes: starting off with soft golden light and then getting deeper and richer colors as we got closer and closer to sunset . I really had a lot of trouble choosing my favorite photos out of this day – there was so much laughter, dancing in the desert, walking through a wash and just little memories that I hope to carry through to their wedding in a few months.
Oasis at Wild Horse Ranch Wedding
Danielle and Jamie have a romantic classicism that expressed itself in every moment of their beautiful wedding day at Oasis at Wild Horse Ranch in Tucson. Both self described desert rats, they really didn’t have any wish lists for their photos other than a desire for a few pictures out in the desert. Sunny warm spring evenings in Tucson are my favorite and when you add the gorgeous desert background to a wedding where the couple is fun loving and easy going, every moment is absolutely perfect! Jamie’s sister conducted a very personalized wedding ceremony for them and both of their mom’s gave touching toasts during dinner . Every member of their bridal party was a close family member too, so there was an easy flow to all of their photos.. Raynu and Judy at Oasis at Wild Horse Ranch made their usual magic happen for this outdoor dinner – the food was amazing and the courtyard looked gorgeous with white and crystal candelabras, a naked cake and rose petals and flowers scattered throughout. A seriously gorgeous couple inside and out, an amazing location and a beautiful spring evening…..
Agua Linda Farm Wedding
Agua Linda Farm weddings always brings a sense of magic and peace to me – how can a place look so amazing in March when there aren’t even leaves on all the trees yet? Year round beauty plus the magic that Laurel and Stuart bring to every wedding at their farm was there. Kristin and Chris met on a flight from Phoenix to Tucson. He saw this pretty girl coming down the aisle of the plane and couldn’t believe his good luck that she ended up sitting next to him! And Kristin saved her boarding pass from that flight and gave it to Chris on their wedding day at the beautiful Agua Linda Farm in Arizona. A perfect spring day and one of my favorite dessert tables EVER – root beer floats, cookies and cake. Jenn from Soiree Girls had my heart at the setup of that dessert table. Can it seriously get better than that?
Ceremony and Reception at Agua Linda Farm in Amado; Dress by Wtoo Pippin; Hair and Makeup by Heather VanHouten; Wedding Planner was Jenn at Soiree Girls; Caterer was El Charro; Cake and Cookies by The Village Bakehouse
Wedding at Hacienda Del Sol
Christina told me that she and Shane both loved lots of color and definitely wanted an outdoor wedding. The bright colorful gardens, amazing history and Southwestern architecture at Hacienda Del Sol always make me spin all around in delight – it’s always such an amazing place to photograph! And Christine’s bouquet was more than a wow. A mass of lightweight wildflowers all woven around a center that actually featured prickly pear cactus pads and a super small barrel cactus! Most succulent bouquets are very heavy and sometimes cumbersome, but this beautiful and delicate bouquet was very lightweight and easy to carry around all day. A very heartfelt ceremony was held in the outer courtyard at Hacienda Del Sol followed by dinner and dancing in the inner courtyard. The couple incorporated Shane’s job as a Professor in Planetary Science into their wedding decor. The escort cards featured all of the planets in our solar system with each table having a lit up model of that planet. Simple, classic and elegant with some fun features that made their wedding distinctly theirs.
Tanque Verde Guest Ranch engagement photos.
Carolina really wanted an engagement session in the Pacific Northwest. Which was something I thought I couldn’t give her in Southern Arizona – I mean really, this is the land of cactus and dirt! But somehow Carolina prevailed and convinced the entire Southwestern weather system to blow a foggy, cold and rainy day on our previously set engagement photo date. I seriously have no idea how she managed it! We had already planned to meet at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch since I figured at least I could manage some grass and trees. And then I tried to cancel because the day was looking to be super cold and raining. But Carolina brought an umbrella and wore boots – I had on mittens and a warm winter jacket that hardly ever gets any use. The rain was pouring 15 minutes before we met, stopped just for our photos, and then started pouring again as I drove away at the end of our session. This couple sure has some amazing super powers! I was so happy to finally meet Joe who had just finished up a tour of duty in the middle east – this couple click together so naturally and you could really feel the amazing love they have for each other. Here’s to a beautiful 80 degree sunny day for their fall wedding!
Wedding at Stardance in Marana, Arizona
What an amazing way to start the New Year! At 6:55am on New Years Day, I pulled up to Stardance in Marana for Maryam and Keenan’s early morning wedding. It was still dark and I was confused – I usually work nights, so I had no idea what time the sun was actually going to rise. It was cold and it was rainy, but when the sun did come up 30 minutes later, we ended up with some of the most amazing skies I have ever seen in Southern Arizona. Brilliant dramatic light and dark stormy skies. An amazing couple who took advantage of every bit of sunshine before the rain took over again for the next few hours. A touching wedding ceremony that was moved indoors due to weather was followed by a delicious brunch catered by Rincon Market – the Green Chile Egg Casserole, Creme Brule French Toast, and Home Fried Potatoes were amazing! What a perfect way to start a new marriage on the first day of a New Year…..Best wishes to MaryAm and Keenan….
Tubac Golf Resort Wedding
There is something magical and mysterious about the traditionals in a Jewish wedding that just captures my heart. The bedeken, the hoopah, the katubah, the circles, the smashing of the glass…all of these small intricate pieces and events that take place within events that bring so much emotional content to the photos. Dara and Alex’s wedding day was a gorgeous 70 degree December day – a winter wedding delight in Southern Arizona. Tubac Golf Resort was amazingly beautiful as always – lush green grass, fall leaves in December and cows in the pastures peeking looks at the ceremony on the Otero Lawn. Katie from Posh Petals had somehow come up with peonies and anemones in December – I seriously wanted to take this bouquet home with me and keep it forever! The crimson pepper berries perfectly matched Dara’s brushed velvet crimson shoes and added that pop that said ‘December’ to an otherwise warm and sunny day. The flowers might only have been topped by her excitement about the naked cake by Sugar Song Cakes – Dara is a personal chef, so the food this day was super important! Dara is also a blogger who has chronicled her wedding day planning on www.smashingtheglass.com over the past year, while Alex is a physicist who absolutely hates being photographed – so I knew I had a fine line to find between satisfying Dara’s love of weddings and photos while not annoying Alex too much! Hopefully they love the final photographic story of their wedding as much as I did :).
Ceremony and Reception at Tubac Golf Resort in Arizona; Flowers by Posh Petals; Wedding Planning by Jeri Fitzgerald of Celebrations by Design; Cake by Laurie Anderson of Sugar Song Cakes; Music by Hans Hutchinson
Wedding day at The Tucson Botanical Gardens and Borderlands Brewing Company. Wedding planning by Meagan Crain of MC Events; Flowers by Alexis Grace; Caterer was Carte Blanche; Wedding Ceremony was at Tucson Botanical Gardens; Wedding Reception was at Borderlands Brewing Company; DJ was Hans Hutchinson
Modern and hip mixed with some romance and beauty. Victoria and Brad chose to have a simple and classic wedding ceremony at the old barrio gardens in Tucson Botanical Gardens with just their immediate family in attendance. The late fall beauty of the gardens was stunning and to top it off, the Frieda Cahlo exhibit from the New York Botanical Gardens is being shown right now. SO not only was I photographing their wedding at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, but it was as if I was photographing Victoria and Brad’s wedding photos inside of Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s Mexico City gardens themselves! We then moved over to Borderlands Brewing Company to greet a wonderful crowd of family and friends who were there for the fun part of the celebration. No champagne here, but the beer on tap flowed throughout the night. The dinner out on the patio in the center of downtown Tucson, lit by strings of patio lights, candles and uplighting in the trees. I overheard many guests on this non-traditional wedding evening remark that if they could do their entire wedding day all over again, that this is exactly how they would do it….
Venue was Agua Linda Farm in Amado, Arizona
Sometimes I meet a couple and fall absolutely in love with them. I met Baylee and Sam for the first time up on Mount Lemmon for their engagement session. They were camping for the weekend and had dogs, tents, hammocks, a campfire and marshmallows. Not a fake camping scene for the photos – they were camping for real. I just knew that I was going to love photographing their wedding day at Agua Linda Farm! Sam’s dad, Pete Gallen made all the wood boxes for the centerpieces and the amazing photo booth and picture frame wall. The decor was vintage inspired with antique chairs, vintage wallpaper, and an all white flower scheme of peonies, roses and hydrangeas with just touches of greenery. It was one of those magical days where storm clouds were forming over the mountains, but they never came anywhere near us. We just had the distant storm’s benefits of amazing skies and a sunset that I will remember forever. I truly do love this entire family and hope I get to see them again soon!
Ceremony and Reception at Agua Linda Farm in Amado, AZ; Dress from Maya Palace; Caterer was Carte Blanche in Tucson; Hair and Makeup by Bridal by Natalie and Yvette
Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain wedding.
Jen and Travis had a fairytale wedding day at The Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain. Sparking gold and soft pinks with romantic and whimsical floral arrangements. The maid of honor, Jen’s sister, wore a sparkling gold gown that was a perfect compliment to the bridesmaids soft vintage rose colored gowns. The sparkling gold was carried over onto the table runners and plate chargers and offset by the simple white linens and dark wood chiavari chairs at the reception. The brides bouquet was brimming with peonies, hydrangeas, roses, succulents and eucalyptus and the bridesmaids bouquets complimented with soft peach and pink roses set amongst hydrangeas and one bright pop with a crimson dalia in each. Jen is one of the sweetest brides I have ever met and seems to bring a smile to the face of everyone who meets her! This magical day started at the Cottages behind the Gallery Golf Club, with a cottage for each family and one each for the bride and groom. A sweet ceremony officiated by Kristine Bentz was held on the lawn in front of the fountain. Then a whirlwind 30 minutes of photos and a gorgeous sunset that culminated with dinner, dancing, and a sparkler sendoff the the newly married couple. What a beautiful evening!
Ceremony and Reception at The Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain; Dress by Essense of Australia;Flowers by Posh Petals; Hair and Makeup by Ami Cunningham; Video by Black Sheep Filmworks; Wedding Planner was Meagan Crain of MC Events
Agua Linda Farm Wedding in Amado, Arizona.
When people think of farm weddings, they don’t usually think of Southern Arizona. Yet Agua Linda Farm is just that. Stunning views of the mountains, ancient cottonwood and mesquite trees with trunks so wide you can’t wrap your arms around them. Green grass and abundant gardens. Roy and the groomsmen wore blue denim shirts with floral ties, leather suspenders and khaki denim jeans. This combination looked amazing and added to the farm wedding feel. Peach, pink and buttery lemon colored flowers filled jars and vases scattered throughout the farm. And the cake, oh wow the cake! A naked three tier layer cake with a heart shaped prickly pear pad for a cake topper and eucalyptus leaves draped around the base.. All balanced on an old wood whiskey box and set upon an antique wooden table. The warm sunlit September day bounced a beautiful and magical glow off the trees and fields as I walked around the farm with Colleen and Roy. As night fell, the old cottonwood trees out front were uplit up and cast a glow that fell over the entire party all night long. It was the first time I have ever seen those trees lit up and I highly recommend it to future couples getting married there!
Dress by Martin McCrea; Shoes by Toms; Flowers by Mayfield Florist; Caterer was Cow Palace in Amado; Cake by Ambrosia; Ceremony and Reception at Agua Linda Farm, Amado, AZ
Jainali loves horror movies and plays the piano. Her 16th birthday party is coming up next month at The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain and I was able to spent some time getting to know her while taking some portraits for the upcoming big party. Her families home is surrounded by some absolutely breathtaking desert scenery and Jainali was an amazingly good sport about rock climbing and beating our way through the desert brush in her dress and velvet slip on shoes!
Hair and Makeup by Heather VanHouten Makeup and Hair; Event Coordination by Meagan Crain of MC Events of Arizona
A southern Arizona farm wedding with miles of golden grass blowing in the wind, bandanas and palm leaf silverware, an eco friendly ranch theme, sunflowers, mums, mason jars and chili peppers. Maraya and Jon planned an almost off the grid green wedding on the eco friendly Canelo Ranch Project in southern Arizona. This 1800’s historic ranch property is located near Sonoita, Arizona near the end of a lot of winding dirt roads. I was told that if I felt completely lost, I was almost there. And it was true. The ceremony took place on the banks of a creek with hay bales covered in woven Mexican blankets for seating. The dress was casual and the mood was joyous. After the ceremony, the guests headed down a meandering path to an open meadow and a delicious dinner. China had been replaced by eco friendly and compostable plates and cutlery and teal bandana’s for each guest did dual service as both napkins and favors!
Nancy and Cruz’s wedding at the always gorgeous JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson featured bold bright colors and the night time Chicago skyline projected across the ballroom walls. The romantic wedding ceremony held outside on the Ania Terrace and featured a family sand ceremony with Nancy’s son’s, Michael and Damian. A classical black , gold and white color scheme was accented by bright pops of pink and reds. A mariachi band played throughout the cocktail hour and then led the guests from the cocktail hour into the ballroom where they continued to serenade the tables throughout the candlelit dinner with special requests. Then the dj took over and opened the dance floor and tequila bar for an all night party!
Ceremony and Reception at the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass; Dress by Luv Bridal; Shoes by Badgley Mischka; Flowers by Rita’s Floral Designs of Phoenix; Ceremony by Hugo Rodriguez
I photographed a wedding at LaMariposa just as the summer was beginning, and now I begin the fall wedding season with another beautiful wedding day at LaMariposa in Tucson! Sofia and Pedro met in the library at Rutgers University. Their quirky personalities meshed and somehow they muddled through a mixture of Spanish, English and Portuguese and fell in love. Their wedding ceremony combined readings in all three languages and even though the guests came from many different continents, I think it was easy to say that the love in the ceremony was understood by all.
Dress by Alfred Angelo; Flowers by Celebrations by Silvia; Hair and Makeup by I Do Hair and Makeup; Ceremony by Kristine Bentz at Sweetgrass Ceremonies; Ceremony and Reception at LaMariposa in Tucson; Cake by Cakes by Genevieve
Smashing The Glass just shared their awesome blog with me and the article one of my brides, Dara, wrote on selecting her wedding vendors…..it’s so cool to see the inside scoop on why they picked me to photograph their December wedding at Tubac Golf Resort!
“I drove myself a bit bonkers with selecting a photographer. The photos are the only tangible item you’ll have from your wedding day, and this is the number one most important vendor for me. I wanted to look at practically every photographer in the Southern Arizona area, not just the five on Tubac’s list. So, I created a spreadsheet with nearly 50 local photographers, read a thousand reviews, looked at online gallery after online gallery after online gallery, and of course, pricing packages.
From there, I ranked everyone in order from best quality pictures, pricing, responsiveness to my inquiry, etc. I then had five phone interviews, negotiated some prices, and then fell in love with one in particular. After I spoke with Lori on the phone, I knew she had the type of personality that would work best. After all, your photographer is the person you’re going to spend the most time with that day, you want to hire someone you gel with. And, her photos are to die for. I knew I had to have her. She was a bit above my budget, and what I ideally wanted to spend, but I know she’ll be worth every penny.”
You can read Dara’s entire post in selecting her wedding vendors here: http://www.smashingtheglass.com/2016/09/04/real-jewish-brides-selected-wedding-vendors-10-weeks/
I was really worried about Allison and Jim’s first look on Long Beach, Long Island. It was a steamy hot July day at 3pm and I knew all the things that can go wrong with beach photos that early in the day! Waves, sand, blowing wind, melting makeup and hair that goes limp in the humidity…..I’ve seen it all before. Well, none of that happened and Allison and Jim’s first look photos and beach shoot ended up being some of my favorite photos from the entire wedding day! Allison and Jim’s 1st look took place on the boardwalk where Jim had proposed. After some more photos on the beach’s rock jetty , we headed back the few blocks to their home for my second time ever doing cat wedding photos. Again, Allison was charmed as I had vision’s of cat claws ripping a lace dress and black cat hair all over that gorgeous white dress. But again, none of these things happened – they just hung out, wore their bow ties and mellowly posed for their photos. A stunning summer’s eve wedding ceremony was followed by a party that lasted until the small hours of the morning. I hope your Thailand honeymoon adventure is amazing Allison and Jim!
In the sixty days before their wedding date, Ken wrote a note to Jolene every single day and then gave the entire collection of love notes to her on their wedding day. One of the sweetest and most personal of gestures I have ever seen in all the weddings I have photographed. It might also possibly be the first wedding where I was selected based on a spreadsheet of 42 photographers that the groom put together – Ken was one of my most involved groom’s ever! Every note was hit on this wedding, from the gorgeous flowers (how did the Soiree Girls ever get peonies in July?), to the trolley bus transportation to Saint Augustine’s Cathedral, to the confetti cannons after the first dance. We started this hot summer’s day wedding at the gorgeous J.W. Marriot Starr Pass in Tucson, and finished the evening up there – as a matter of fact I’m still talking about the creme brulee I had that night!
The Amazing Vendor Team this day was: Hair and Makeup by Heather VanHouten; Videographer was Carl Miller Films; Lighting and Music by Satyr Entertainment; Photos and Reception was at The J.W.Marriot Starr Pass; Flowers by Soiree Girls; Ceremony at Saint Augustine’s Cathedral in Tucson