Thursday, July 28, 2011

Flagstaff Engagement Session Sneak Peek {Caitlin & Ryan}

Here is a sneak peek at Caitlin and Ryan's summer engagement session.  They could not have picked a prettier time to do this shoot, look at all the ferns and wildflowers

The beautiful meadow with the aspen trees and view of the San Francisco Peaks is where the couple will be getting married over labor day weekend. We were pretty excited to see the many  amazing photo possibilities with this location.

Caitlin and Ryan are so in love, they just smiled and giggled the entire shoot.  We are looking forward to September and can't wait to capture their special day!

50's Themed Wedding Feature on One Wed's! {Katie & Jim}

Thank you to Azure Nelson, editor of One Wed's Bridal Blog, for the feature of Katie & Jim's retro 50's themed wedding!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Thornager's on Kiltie Lane - Flagstaff Catering{Taste of Flagstaff}

Thornager's on Kiltie Lane just participated in The Taste of Flagstaff at the High Country Conference Center.  The table was decorated with beautiful and organic Weatherford Juniper.  They served two salmon side dishes that were equally stunning and delicious!

The  Braided Hickory Smoked Salmon was served on a savory waffle crouton and the House Cured Salmon was served with chopstick vegetables on a watermelon radish. Both were spectacular!

Karen and her staff at Thornager's are always professional and a pleasure to work with, not to mention their food is fabulous!  You should definitely keep them in mind for your catering needs!

Summer Engagement Feature on Fab You Bliss! {Kristen & Adam}

Thank you to Stephanie of Fab You Bliss Wedding Blog for this feature of Kristen and Adam's beautiful summer engagement session!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Orpheum Theater Wedding Sneak Peek! {Marci and Eric}

Marci and Eric wanted something a little different for their wedding.  Marci, a criminal defense attorney, and Eric, an accomplished musician, decided on a rock star wedding at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Flagstaff this past Saturday.   Kim Duncan from KD Event Designs did not disappoint with executing the bohemian music festival theme. Every detail about this wedding was impeccable.  From the moment guests walked up to the theater, they were transformed to a music venue turned wedding spectacular.  The outside of the Orpheum had their names on the marquee and adorned with the couples's concert poster of the "Eternity Tour".  The guests picked up "Will Call" tickets to find their seats and were given the chance to snack on popcorn and beverages during the ceremony. 

And the ceremony, well, it was a tearjerker.  Marci and Eric included their children in their wedding, they all stood on stage during the ceremony, and shared in a family hug after the first kiss. There was not a dry eye in the house during the vows!

Before the ceremony, we got to spend a little time downtown Flagstaff to do some photos with the family.  Walker, on the end, is great in front of the camera.  Look for him on screen one day!

Eric wrote a song for Marci, "In Your Eyes" that he performed during the ceremony.  Needless to say, it was beautiful.  All guests received a commemorative CD with his song, and four others that were performed during the ceremony. 

So many more details to follow and the story how Eric's dogs brought them together! :)  We look forward to sharing more of Marci and Eric's Eternity Tour! Congratulations to the bride and groom!

Paying it forward

Do you ever get an unexpected surprise?  Two days ago I was surprised by the thoughtfulness of one of my clients, Madalyn, when her daughter, Amee, made a special delivery to my studio.  Madalyn, in a gesture of sweetness, made this beautiful gift bag for me filled with delightful teas, soaps, honey and even some special hand made treats for my doggies as a thank you for me doing her family photos.  It was one of the sweetest things I've ever received.  I cried when I read the note and was overcome with her thoughfullness.

The gift came to me on one of those days when I was feeling run down and particularly blue.  I had been sitting at my computer for 12+ hour days, and was trying to juggle way to many things in my personal and business life.  And, I was failing at that balance.  It made me think of how gestures, like Madalyn, can truly make a person's day brighter, so I decided to pay it forward.  I hope the recipient of my token of appreciation has a better day just like I did when I got this gift.  I decided to deliver it on Monday, which is usually the day of overwhelming demands.  I hope it brings a smile as big as I had.

I'm still struggling to find that balance, but in the meantime, I hope to spread some cheer. 

All of these items came from her shop in Phoenix, The Southwest Herb Shop.  I can't wait to visit this beautiful healthy boutique next time I'm in the valley.  Thank you so much Madalyn!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

50's Themed Wedding! {Katie & Jim}

This fun, out of the box, theme wedding at Sycamore Springs Guest House in Sedona was designed by the fabulous Kim Duncan at KD Event Designs. Kim did a fantastic job of bringing Katie & Jim's love of the 1950's to life at their outdoor wedding! Just look at all these amazing 50's inspired details!

Katie, along with seamstress Anne Raney-Thomas from Anne's Alterations, designed her 50's themed wedding attire. Anne also designed and created all the cute little bows on her veil and shoes.

Katie & Jim had their ceremony outdoors under gorgeous trees with all the guests in a circle around them. The ceremony was very special.

All the bridesmaids and groomsmen were dressed the part as well. We just love the Fedora's!

The venue property had so many fantastic spots to photograph this beautiful couple.

Katie & Jim took swing dancing lessons before the wedding and were able to show their dancing skills off to all the guests during their first dance as husband and wife! Congratulations again to Katie & Jim!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aspen, Colorado Wedding Sneak Peek{Samantha & Stephen}

I did Samantha and Stephen's engagement session last August, while they were still deciding on where to get married. They tossed a few ideas around, but I was secretly crossing my fingers for the opportunity to photograph in Aspen. It's one of those places I've always wanted to see in my life, and it did not disappoint. Although I do live in a great mountain town of Flagstaff, AZ, nothing really compares to the Rocky Mountains. In the end, Samantha and Stephen choose to have their mountain top wedding at The Little Nell, Aspen Mountain Club. This was one of the most incredible locations we have even been honored to photograph. The views of the rocky mountains from the venue are breathtaking! I remember when Kristen and I got off the gondola and we literally just stood there in awe. Speechless.

Samantha had her three closest girlfriends from different stages of her life as her bridesmaids and the adorable flower girl is the groom's sister. It was so much fun hanging out with them all day, what a great group of ladies! I literally wanted to take that little flower girl home with me as my own. She was adorable! And Samantha, as well as one of the most gorgeous people I know, is also one of the sweetest people that I know. An example is that instead of favors, she donated to a horse rescue group in southern Arizona. We're going to do a trash the dress session with her and her horse, Ollie, who is a rescued Thoroughbred race horse. I cannot wait!

Kristen and I just LOVED Samantha's bouquet! This beautiful bouquet of peonies was created by Dana Micklos from Glamorous Occasions. Simply gorgeous.

Stephen and his groomsmen getting ready to take the gondola up to the wedding site! I should mention that Kristen is EXTREMELY afraid of heights. She was hanging on to the sides of the gondola with a steel grip!

The gorgeous bride in the beautiful sunset glow! She looked absolutely amazing!

Sunsets at 11,000 feet are spectacular. There really are no words to describe it.

Such a beautiful moment captured between Samantha & Stephen. They were so sweet to work with and we're so honored to have been there for them!

Congratulations and thank you Samantha & Stephen! We enjoyed every moment of capturing your amazing day. We hope you had a fantastic honeymoon in Rome! - Melissa & Kristen

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sneak Peek Sedona Golf Resort Wedding {Laura & Mike}

Laura & Mike had an intimate wedding at the Sedona Golf Resort with twenty of their closest family and friends. The entire group traveled from Connecticut to celebrate with the couple.

Laura & Mike dated for 11 years before getting married! They fell in love with Sedona on the many trips they made before deciding that this beautiful location would be the place for them to say I do!

This beautiful and bright summer bouquet was designed by Amy at Bliss Floral.

Laura was glowing all evening! She has such a fantastic smile!

Love this shot on the golf course right before sprinklers went off.

Mike is a golfer so we thought this was an appropriate shot for their beautiful rings.

Laura & Mike's cat Oliver could not make the trip so they brought this adorable picture along!

Congratulations to Laura & Mike!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Speech I Never Gave - {T.C. & Carrie}

It's been a while since I was a bridesmaid, but last month, I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid in two of my dearest friends wedding. I was elated, overwhelmed with love and was absolutely bursting with happiness. For those of you who know me, you know I'm a crier, and I mean the sobbing type with mascara all over my face. It's definitely not pretty. It took everything I had not to burst out in tears during their vows. I kept pinching myself over and over. I'm absolutely amazed that I didn't have myself covered in bruises by the end of the ceremony.

These awesome photographs were taken by my friend and associate, Kristen Carnes. Thank you Kristen to documenting this day so beautifully for two amazing people!

When T.C. told me he was going to propose to Carrie I made a comment to him that I was going to give a speech at his wedding, to somehow convey to him just how happy I was for the both of them, and what joy was in my heart. Yet, when the time came, after the Maid of Honor's and Best Man's speech was completed, I could not. Their words were so perfect, so filled with love, appreciation, and so eloquently spoken, I knew I couldn't even muster one word out of my mouth. So, I let the time pass by.

Now, one month later, I want to complete my promise and humbly offer my speech that was written with love, but never spoken. So here goes...

I met T.C. about ten years ago and our friendship grew easily. He is the kind of guy that you can just pop in and hang out with, enjoy a beer, or talk into a bike ride after work. He's honorable, dependable and one of the sweetest souls out there. One such example is when my dog, Ginger, was diagnosed with cancer and given less than a week to live. T.C. came by my house, sat lovingly on the floor with my pup and gently said his goodbyes. The day she passed, T.C. showed up at my house with a tree. He planted the tree and announced to me that this was a way I could remember her by. In that moment of gentleness, I saw his love and compassion. Now over four years later, when I look at that tree, I remember not only my sweet dog, but also my sweet friend.

Another such example was my wedding day. I choose to get married in Flagstaff... outside in a meadow. Now, we all knew how this was going to end....of course it rained and snowed the week of my wedding making the meadow soggy and a big muddy mess. T.C. knew how important the meadow was to me, he knew this is where I felt most at peace, and I desperately wanted to say my vows under the great open sky, even if snow flakes were falling. So, being the dear friend that he is, T.C. went to the hardware store, bought lots of plywood, and built me a aisle to walk upon.

A couple months after our wedding, T.C. bought a house down the street from Grant and I. We were elated! This meant our best friend would only be seconds from us, 32 seconds to be exact (on a bike). He got two new roommates, named Carrie and Kate, and they moved in.

Fast forward a few months, and T.C. and Carrie were dating. (That story actually involves the plywood from my aisle, and how it became his garage roof with the help of Carrie, but the maid of honor told that story beautifully at the wedding!) I got to know Carrie more and more, and I absolutely fell in love with her. She was just as caring and sweet as T.C., and quite frankly, I adored her.

I should mention that T.C., up until this point, called me the "Chick Whisperer". He would consult me from time to time for sage advice on women, and what to do in a relationship situation. Being that he was solid in his relationship with Carrie, he switched from relationship advise to present purchasing advise. One such day, he was contemplating a present for Carrie for Valentines Day. I suggested the usual...dinner at a nice restaurant, perfume, a nice box of chocolate, roses, etc. I'll never forget when T.C. said, "I'm thinking of getting her an automatic car starter". I remember staring at him and thinking maybe that wasn't such a great, romantic gift, but he proceeded anyhow.

Carrie's birthday is about one month after Valentine's Day, and he came to me once again. "I think I'm going to get Carrie some white leather Reebok's".

Now, by this point, I was deep into my master plan, which was to make Carrie one of my Best Friends Forever, and quite frankly, I thought T.C. was ruining it for me. Surely, he was going to chase off this fantastic girl by giving her such practical gifts. But low and behold, her birthday came, and she pranced proudly over to our house to show us her new awesome shoes.

I knew they were meant to be together when T.C.'s birthday came around in August and Carrie wanted to hide his present in our garage. She had purchased him an air compressor.

I remember exactly the moment when I knew T.C. was in love.

Rewind to when Carrie first moved into T.C.'s house....and T.C. showed up at my door for some Chick Whispering. This time, his question was "Chop (my nickname), I'm thinking about asking Carrie, my roommate, out on a date".

There was a pause from me while I digested this information. I finally replied with, "Well, it can go one of three ways...
  1. You can ask her out, she says "no", and it's awkward for a long time in the house
  2. You can ask her out, she says "yes", you date for a while, it ends and she (and her roommate/best friend) moves out, or
  3. You go out, you fall in love and live happily ever after".
I looked at him and asked, "Do you think it's worth it?".

Now, this is the part that will always stick with me, the moment when I knew my best friend was head over heels in love.

T.C. paused, looked me square in the eye and replied, "Yes, she's definitely worth it".

So, T.C., here's to you not taking my advise, and to a lifetime of love, happiness and really, really practical gifts.

Your best friend forever (to you both!),

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lake Tahoe Wedding Feature on Fab You Bliss {Stephanie & Eugene}

Thank you to Stephanie Elizabeth editor of Fab You Bliss Wedding Blog for featuring Stephanie and Eugene's beautiful Lake Tahoe Wedding.

Stephanie and Eugene's wedding at the Zephyr Cove Resort was such a memorable event in an absolutely stunning location. Here are older posts of their wedding and engagement session!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Flagstaff Engagement Session Sneak Peek {Jules & Thomas}

Congratulations to Jules & Thomas on their engagement! Here is a look into their engagement session that took us from the Flagstaff downtown to a family ranch north of the San Francisco Peaks.

The gorgeous couple was so fun to work with and you can see how in love they are with each other! Jules and Thomas got engaged earlier this year in New Orleans and have decided to make it their wedding location!

Congrats again and enjoy your engagement party!

Melissa & Kristen

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sedona Wedding Feature {Alicia & Kyle}

Look at the wonderful feature on The Charity Wedding of Alicia & Kyle on Style me Pretty wedding blog!

Thank you to Alicia & Kyle for including us in your special day and giving us this amazing opportunity to give back! It was truly inspiring to work with such a fantastic bride and groom and group of vendors that included, KD Event Designs, Glamorous Occasions, Sedona Sweet Arts, Downtown Browne, and Taltos Productions.