June 13, 2020
I have the sweetest Mt Graham Wedding to share with you! Do you remember my sister in law Abby and her fiance Jacob from their gorgeous Sonoran Desert Engagement Session?! Well Abby and Jacob were married last week up near the top of Mt Graham at a Columbine Cabin, and it was absolutely beautiful! When we pulled into town the day before it was 110 degrees, so driving up for a wedding in the high 60’s/low 70’s was so refreshing! It was such a beautiful family wedding and experience!
Abby and Jacob opted to have their First Look and Bridal Portraits done the evening before their wedding to free up time on the wedding day. Abby just so happens to luck out and have two professional photographers as sisters-in-law, so Kate Mower and I got to team up for the First Look on the grounds at Eastern Arizona College, where these two met while attending school!
After Jacob and Abby hugged, kissed, giggled, and talked for a bit, it was time for bridals! Kate shot lead for the Bridal Session and I got to work the secondary angles. It is always fun to shoot second and to find the less obvious angles and interactions! Kate is editing up her GORGEOUS shots that she took that night, but sent over a few to edit up here for the gallery, so below you’ll find a mix of my second angles and a few of the primary angles from Kate!
For being an Arizona photographer, I sure get to shoot in the clouds a lot! It always takes a different thought process than shooting in direct sun, but I think I love shooting in clouds and sun equally! Especially if you have good textured clouds like we did that night!
Abby is a sucker for these “almost kissing” shots…and they really nail them every single time!
We finished out the night getting shots as the temple lights came on and glowed in the background. For having been 110 when we drove into town, the storm that blew over sure dropped the temperature and made for some beautiful clouds!
Jacob’s mother and step-dad were married on Mt Graham, so when Jacob and Abby were discussing locations, that was a fast contender for the top idea. With a family friend giving them use of their mountaintop cabin, the idea was gold!
For her florals and decor Abby wanted coral and turquoise desert inspired decor. I was able to help her put together her bouquet and wearable florals and Jacob’s family built and brought up a beautiful arch that his sisters decorated. They have the magic touch! I can’t wait for you to see the flowers she made, foraged, and put together!
The cabin acted as the staging and changing ground for everyone, so it took some patience and sharing space, but it was so neat to see everyone so happy and so good about the space and pitching in with what was going on.
I loved the wood stacked there under the stairs!
Jacob was so careful to get his details on just right and loved telling me how a friend from his mission in Arkansas had taught him how to get a tie the right length on the first try every time! I’m going to have to get him to teach me so that I can help groomsmen at future weddings (it always takes me a few tries)!
Abby and her parents drove up together and we had time for a few quick details shots with her coral shoes before it was time to slip into her dress.
When I asked Abby what her dreams were for her wedding bouquet, she sent me over the colors and some ideas, along with three inspiration photos. Included in some of the inspiration bouquets was a King Protea flower. I’d never seen a King Protea in real life, but I had seen plenty of bouquet photos that included proteas and was intrigued by them.
When I did the initial search for the flowers for Abby’s bouquet, I couldn’t find a King Protea that could ship in time (yay quarantine mail). At first I just brushed it off, but my brain wouldn’t let that flower go. I had to find one. I HAD TO! Abby hadn’t requested the flower specifically, but for some reason I just really felt like it would complete the bouquet.
Thankfully a floral friend gave me the perfect tip and I found a King Protea that could arrive on time through Afloral. I was so excited when it arrived! It was huge and beautiful! It was slightly more purple than I anticipated, but a quick wash with coral craft paint and it blended in perfectly with Abby’s colors.
That same day that the King Protea arrived in the mail, I happened to pull up a photo that Kathleen, Abby’s mom, had sent over. This photo:
This is the envelope that brought over the diamond from Africa to Kathleen so they could have it set (remember that story from Abby’s engagement blog post?!).
I did a double take when I looked at the stamps! There on the stamps was the reason I felt the need for the King Protea in Abby’s bouquet! I hadn’t made the conscious connection before, but I absolutely love that my unconscious brain was tying things together and adding extra meaning in to Abby’s bouquet. I LOVE anytime a detail adds in extra meaning in anyway to a wedding or session! Just another layer of special every time you see the photos down the road!
These moments between Abby and Kathleen were really sweet. You could feel the emotion softly building as the final details went into place.
Abby met her dad on the side of the cabin to stay out of view and to have a moment there with Kerry. It was so sweet to see the love and pride in his eyes for his baby girl!
For the photography Kate and I swapped roles from the day before. I shot lead for the ceremony and mountain portraits and she took the role of the second shooter. It really was fun to see how we each work and how to bring our skills together to capture the day for Jacob and Abby.
All the nieces and nephews were invited to be “flower children”. They were all so dang cute!! When Darrow and Ione ran out of flowers in their basket Darrow was a little concerned…apparently we forgot to explain what happened at that point. “Hey! Hey! I ran out of flowers! We need some more!” It was very much a Darrow moment!
Emotions were high as Abby made her way up the aisle. I love this shot Kate got of Abby’s face as she saw the emotion in Jacob’s face. They were so connected and excited!
Jacob’s Dad and sisters provided music for the processional and as a special musical number during the ceremony. It was beautiful! I loved hearing the notes fill the forest.
Okay, are you ready for the decor and florals from his sisters?! They found yucca blossoms on the way up and foraged some to use. And you know me…I love meaning in details! So having New Mexico’s state flower in the arrangements of a wedding for a New Mexico girl was extra fun and special!
I couldn’t believe how well the cake made it from Safeway up Mt Graham for the wedding! It was beautiful and perfect for the family gathering!
After Abby and Jacob cut the cake and we all got dessert, we hopped over for 30 minutes of quick wedding day portraits.
Jacob and Abby, we’re so extremely happy and excited for you two! Your wedding day was beautiful in how everything looked but even more in how it all felt. You two make such a strong, confident, and beautiful couple. We love you and can’t wait to see you next time and continue celebrating with you!
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Marquette LaRee and Kate Mower
DECOR: Handmade, foraged, and arranged by Jacob’s sisters and family
BRIDAL FLORALS: Made with faux florals from Hobby Lobby, Magnolia, and Afloral
A huge thank you to the Weech family for use of their Cabin!
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This is the place where I get to share photos from sessions with amazing people, like you, tips for a smooth wedding, our family "Wilderness Mowers" adventures in frugal living and exploring where we live, and plenty of fun and real life. Start scrolling or click a category on the side to dive in!
I LOVE this!!! Thank you for the details in your photos AND narrative 🙂 Everything about this wedding was perfect <3 I almost feel like I was there.
You are sure welcome Aunt Tami! I try to take photos and describe it so that loved ones who couldn’t be there can feel just like you said, like you feel you almost were there! So glad you enjoyed these!
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