October 16, 2020
I have a treat for you! I’ve been sitting on these bridal images for a few weeks so that I could do the full wedding blog all in one go. Shaun and Bridgette tied the knot this last weekend and now I finally get to share them and their celebrations!
Bridgette wanted someone green with tree lined country roads for the First Look and Bridal photos. In Arizona, those locations are hard to come by and when found they are secrets heavily guarded. Brigette and I spent hours searching Google for possible areas.
Finally I decided to take the kids for a drive to see if we could find something around Payson. One of the last spots we checked out had been a family favorite prior to a big flood that tore the area up. We hadn’t been back out since the flood.
Thank goodness nature is amazing…it had healed up phenomenally. I sent pictures to Bridgette and she decided this was The Spot!
We met up on the Rim where these two changed into their wedding clothes for a first look under the giant forest trees.
Even those Shaun had already caught sight of the dress and even though they drove up from Mesa together before the session, the cute nervous nerves hit just before the First Look. The excitement and tenderness is always so touching and sweet!
I just hung out in the bushes on the sideline, just out of earshot so they could have their privacy. Shaun and Bridgette took a few moments to talk, snuggle, and kiss in the afternoon sun before they were ready for portraits.
These trees were so tall and majestic! It really was the perfect setting for these two.
After a weird cold snap, some of the trees started turning early this year, but most of them have just kinda faded to a confused greenish yellow…not sure what to do now that it’s warm again. But we found the one red maple branch and used the heck out of it!
As we drove down the road to our final destination, I told Shaun and Bridgette that if they say something they loved, we could make a pit stop and get some photos. As we came around a bend with a cut in the road, Bridgette quickly asked if we could stop in front of the red rocks. I’d never stopped for photos there before and was so tickled to be able to do something out of the box.
Part of the draw of the area for Bridgette was the contrast of the glowing light and the dark pine bark. It makes for such a striking setting for sure!
I may or may not have squealed a little when we got to the tree and I saw how they popped in that beautiful glowing light! They are so comfortable together, there is just calm joy and peace about them. This particular spot and light just seemed to suit the whole feeling.
And then of course we couldn’t leave out the creek.
Shaun and Bridgette had hopes to get married in Gilbert at the temple there, but with Covid, the schedule there is hard to get on. When they discovered that Phoenix had two openings the day of their wedding, one in the morning and one in the evening, they grabbed that morning slot!
I drove up to the Temple there just as the sun was hitting the spires. The light was soft, the air was cool, and you could hear the birds singing.
The Temples were closed during the height of quarantine, but have begun a phased opening again. On top of photography never being allowed within these sacred Temples, right now only immediate family are allowed into the ceremonies. So I took the time during the ceremony to wander the grounds and snap some temple shots. I loved following a little family a quail around the paths!
And finally they came out, Mr and Mrs Neil at last!
With restricted time allowed on the Temple grounds after the Sealing, Shaun and Bridgette opted to have family photos done on the grounds and then to move to a public area for their Just Married portraits. I was a little surprised when they said they wanted to hike up a nearby hill! They were so chill about just grabbing flip flops (instead of her heels) and trekking up the trail.
They had so many people smile, give their congratulations, and share a few funny looks at the couple in full wedding regalia heading up the Phoenix hill amid the hikers in shorts and tank tops. These two are just awesome!
Both families went to the Air B&B where the evening reception would be held for a chance to nap, have some brunch, and visit. It was really neat to watch the families all chip in to make the cake, get food out, and get the party started!
Bridgette is a HUGE Crumbl Cookie fan and hits up one of their shops weekly. It was a no brainer to have Crumbl Cookies there at their reception, and let me tell you, they were a hit!
Shaun and Bridgette, thank you so much for inviting us into your day. I loved getting to spend so much time with you two, to meet Bridgette’s family, and to be a part of the celebration. The stories and memories shared at brunch were amazing; you two are just so suited for each other! I can’t wait to see where life takes you and what paths you choose! Sure love you guys!
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