October 13, 2023
John and Brianna’s October Wedding at Cabins on Strawberry Hill was nothing short of incredible. I knew it would be, but it exceeded even my expectations!
The team of vendors was amazing, the decor was perfect, the weather was to die for, but even more than that the people who had gathered together to celebrate a truly outstanding couple were top notch. The air of celebration, togetherness, and love was so strong all day. You couldn’t help be feel uplifted, happy, and loved just by being there. When a couple brings together 150+ people and it feels like that the whole time, you know you’re working with some pretty special people!
John and Brianna inquired about wedding photography a month after my Mom died in 2021. I was torn, but told them this: ”In this grief process of losing my Mom last month I’m finding days and weeks where I’m not sure I want to continue in business, and days where I’m all in and excited to push forward. I don’t want to book a fabulous couple, like you guys, and then not be able to be my best and give the experience that is so deserved by each of my clients. I am hoping that by April I will have learned to better process this grief and to be totally sure that I’m all in, because you don’t deserve anything less!”
They went ahead and booked a consultation and decided they wanted to wait the 7ish months until I could give them an answer about booking. My heart exploded into a million pieces.
Luckily it didn’t take 7 months before this was part of the email I sent their way, “I’ve been thinking about you two a lot the past few months and especially so this past week. My husband, Cameron, and I talked about the business and your wedding quite a bit last night and decided that we don’t see any reason to delay offering a contract at this point. We are so extremely grateful for the grace and space you gave to me as I worked through the suffocating part of my grieving process. If you guys are still interested in moving forward with booking your wedding photography with me, I am ready when you are!”
And they booked! I cried (let’s be honest, I cried at EVERYTHING then, even beyond more normal Enneagram 4 crying).
John and Brianna have been golden to work with the last two years. They are sweet, sincere, hard working, full of joy, and they add so much goodness to the world around them. They have a spot in my heart forever and ever!
You ready to be shocked? Those boots? Their TOMS! I had no idea that Toms made boots. Anyone that found out was surprised. Here, let me help your google search…these are the Everly Bootie. You’re welcome!
Brianna’s Mom and Sister helped her into her dress, while Brianna’s mother-in-law came in to help her with the necklace she was wearing. The necklace had been a gift to John’s mom by her late husband, and she had passed it on to Brianna. It added such a beautiful layer of emotion to the day!
I love Daddy Daughter First Looks. Love love love them! His reaction was so sweet and took even himself by surprise.
Brianna had a special tie for him with a photo of the two of them sewn into the underside. He was so proud to show it off!
Every few minutes a cheer would echo down the row of cabins and we’d all smile. The groomsmen were having a blast together! They all gathered in one of the cabins for final prep and helping each other with ties, and made quite the party out of it.
John and Brianna’s fur baby, Addie, had spent the night with Brianna but chilled with the guys during prep. She got lots of love and attention all morning!
Before John’s pocket Bout was delivered to him, Brianna took a moment to write him a sweet note to read and so he could carry her words with him all day.
I think Mother Son First Looks need to become a thing. Let’s start making that a thing.
I love the moment when they finally are together, the nerves melt away, and the day ramps up. It’s a fun transition in the day!
Something that just doesn’t translate into the photos well is the way Brianna’s dress shone in the sunlight. The under-layer of her skirt and train had the sequins, with the soft tulle and lace layer over the top. It gave such a soft sparkle look to the dress that was enchanting!
Friends from college, friends from junior high, sisters, brothers, etc. This was an incredibly tight knit wedding party. They had such a great time together all day!
We of course had to grab a portrait of John and Brianna with Addie too before the ceremony began!
A seat was saved for John’s Dad who passed away when John was 12. It was a touching detail!
John and Brianna had a Tree Planting Ceremony as part of their reception. They had jars of various soils from the different places that held meaning in their lives and relationship. It’s like a love fern but ramped up a thousand! It was beautiful.
Immediately following their ceremony, we slipped out to the golden lit forest for sunset photos together while Cocktail Hour got started. They were so at ease yet full of excited energy. Their chemistry is so sweet and natural together. It was a beautiful time there with them!
The Ramada is beautiful all on its own, but then Stasha adds her magic touch to it and my jaw always drops!
The Grazing Table was impeccable and delicious!
Every glass had a unique charm around the stem, and every guest went home with a glass. It was a huge hit!!
When you have an October Wedding at Cabins on Strawberry Hill, you never know if it’s going to be toasty warm, freezing cold, or perfect. It ended up being PERFECT with a slight chill creeping in at night
These phones are popping up at weddings lately and are so fun! You pick up the phone and leave a message for the Bride and Groom to listen to later.
John and Brianna had a sweet and slow first dance, followed by a fun swing dance number together! When they moved to Flagstaff from Chicago, they found a swing dance group that met in the plaza and decided to go as a way to get to know their new town. It was so fun to see both the slow dance and the swing dance!
OK, want to know something fun about these two shots (the one above and the one below)? Just by chance they were taken at the exact same moment by myself and my second shooter. It’s fun to see the two different views of the exact same point of time.
John’s parents surprised them with a special song, written specifically for them be a Nashville artist. It was beautiful!
In lieu of a dollar dance, John and Brianna instead let their guests vote who would get the cake in the face. The jar (and Venmo) with the most money in it at the end meant that person got cake smashed in their face.
I loved the moment when the totals were tallied up. There was a very clear and definite winner. By over $500!! Ready to see who takes the cake?
This was hilarious and SO MUCH FUN!
Some weddings it takes some time and coaching to get people out dancing and to stay out dancing. That was definitely NOT the case this time! The floor was full of people and the most fun energy. It was a blast!
Brianna and John, you guys had my heart from the very first email. Your patience, love, and goodness touched me deeply early on and I’ve loved every minute of working with you these past two years. It’s been my deepest honor to get to help capture this page of your love story. The world is a better place because you two are in it. Thank you for your goodness and love!
VENUE: Cabins on Strawberry Hill
HMUAs: Something Beautiful Styles
DJ: Impact DJS
DRESS DESIGNER: Jenica by Madi Lane
DRESS BOUTIQUE: Luv Bridal
FLORIST: Jars & Lace
PLANNER & DECOR: Jars & Lace
CAKE: Kendra’s Country Bakery
CATERING: Super Edible Events
BARTENDER: Sunflower Trailers
VIDEOGRAPHER: Lifeworks Cinema
PHOTOGRAPHER: Marquette LaRee
SECOND SHOOTER: Mikaela Durfee Photography
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