Last Stand Ranch | A Relaxed Country Wedding | Sonoita, Arizona

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He, a former border patrol officer and she, a firefighter--both Aaron & Brittany were no-nonsense kind of quiet people who kept things simple and casual and low-key. When we arrived the girls were getting the last few touches taken care of by the MUAH finesse of I do Hair and Makeup Team from Tucson. The sun was bright and the wind was legit so we braced / paced ourselves hoping it would let up. Brittany was incredibly composed and as soon as she saw Aaron, both seemed to be able to breath. There were little nods to their special favorites throughout the day. Country and equestrian nuances, wide open plains, outdoor games, a wildflower-laced bouquet and a personalized burlap handkerchief for Shelby, the Dog of Honor. Here are a few highlights from their day!

VENDORS

Venue: Last Stand Guest Ranch // Photography: Laura K Moore Photography // Videography: Max Cunningham // Wedding Gown: Davids Bridal // Bride and Groom's Boots: Boot Barn // Hair & Makeup: I Do Hair & Makeup Artistry // Flowers: Country Couture Flowers // Catering: Rusty Truck BBQ // Beers on Tap: Sentinel Peak Brewery // Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes // DJ: Retro Radio DJ 

The Last Stand Ranch was perfect staging grounds for their country / western wedding. There were wide open plains with whispy clouds and bloomin' desert flowers. Family ebbed and flowed amid their wedding day responsibilities and the first look was staged up above the hubbub overlooking the property. Wedding party soon joined the fun and the prelude was in full swing.

A few choice details brought in personal elements that were particularly special to the bride--her father's handmade wooden arbor with a few western additives gilded with fresh flowers from Country Couture Flowers were a particular centerpiece. Also, last minute Brittany was brave enough to enter the ceremony riding her horse Gus--an added detail that kept Aaron on his toes despite his fiance's equine proficiency.  The ceremony was short but that kiss was legit and moved straight down the aisle and into a precious sunset portrait time. The breathing space was welcome and Aaron and Brittany seemed to breath and enjoy eachother while getting ready for the remainder of the two-steppin'/barnyard evening of celebration.

Saguaro Buttes Peach & Peonies | Alex + Kirstie's Spring Garden Wedding | Tucson, Arizona

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We have wrapped up our Spring Weddings for 2017! Spring in the desert has us breathless each and every season. It's just so stinkin' perfect. Kirstie had wonderful aesthetic taste and Alex's vision for their wedding day was a treat to develop.

We were going for was a great outdoor party. Neither one of us wanted the proceedings to be too formal, and we wanted to focus on making it a fun night to remember! Of course, the original, half-joke half-serious theme we tossed around was “beer garden,” which I think captures the atmosphere we wanted to create – laid back and lighthearted. - Alex

 Their fresh garden wedding was complete with bright pops of peach, subtle sage, modern understated design at one of Tucson's hidden gems of a wedding venue. The staging provided a modest, classy garden pallet that was free and lively -- matched only by the bride and groom's effervescent enthusiasm and sincere joy in each other, family and freinds! Mollee Fitzgerald with POM Events nailed the look with the help of flower director Katie Mclain and her florist team at Posh Petals. Saguaro Buttes was a perfect backdrop for the fresh, relaxed but classy vibe -- a venue tucked away on the east side of Tucson; a hidden oasis set in the middle of a mesquite grove and up against the Rincon Mountains. 

Our personal favorite part of the whole day was how each little section of the day was filled with authentic joy. Alex and Kirstie just make each other laugh and love and their friends were so excited for them! And their unabashed joy in each other--Alex's face and embrace during the first look nearly made me lose it, ceremony vows were both witty and sincere and moving, portraits with family were hilarious, sunset sweetheart time was jaw-dropping gorgeous and the party down in the twinkle-light gilded garden was sheer fun! Here are a few highlights and Kirstie & Alex's review at the end :)

VENDOR TEAM

Venue: Saguaro Buttes // Wedding Planner & Day of Coordinator: P.O.M Events // Photography: Laura K Moore Photography // Videography: Black Sheep Filmworks // Make-Up & Hair: I Do Hair & Makeup // Dress: Lulus Bridal Boutique // Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew // Shoes:  // Bridal Party Gifts: Anthropologie // Food: Edge Catering // Cake: Sugar Song // String Musicians: Aracelli Strings LLC 

Alex's reaction during their first look was, hands down, my favorite part of the day...he just melted into her with awe and joy and held her so hard. We were able to capture nearly ALL the fun and classy portraits with wedding party and family before the wedding. The couple were eager to just have natural and authentic time enjoying their family and capturing images that were casual but classy and beautiful and REAL. 

The couple wrote vows for each other that had people laughing and crying equally hard.

After the ceremony we were able to slip away for some golden hour sunset portraits and breathing space. This time is our most favorite time of the day... the light was lovely, the weather was perfect, vows had been made and the party awaited...

and then the party.... SO much laughter and fun!  

Our experience with Laura was absolutely fantastic. From start to finish, I felt like we were in the best hands possible. It was great to know we didn’t have to worry about pictures, or our photographer understanding us – LKM just got what we were trying to accomplish, and helped us make the most out of our vision! I felt like there were many times LKM knew what we wanted more than we did, and it really helped to have LKM share her experience from other weddings to help us make the most of our photos. I am SO SO SO SO SO happy with how the photos turn out – I must look at them at least once a month, and they capture all the moments that are so important to me.If you want a photographer you can trust to capture your image, vision, and hopes for your wedding day… look no further than Laura K Moore Photography! - Official Review from Alex & Kirstie

Oh! Here is the highlight cinematography reel by Black Sheep Filmworks! Enjoy! 

Unique Wedding Rehearsal Dinner on a Paddle Boat | Taylor Falls, Minnesota Wedding | The "Day Before" Session

Caleb and Heidi's rehearsal dinner go down as hands-down, the most jaw-droppingly scenic. :) Uniquely so, the soon-to-be-weds decided to book Taylor Falls Scenic Boat Tours and treat their close friends and family to their favorite meal (thanksgiving themed!) on an incredibly beautiful June summer day while playing couple trivia, swapping memories,  enjoying their college and missionary kid reunions. The evening was glowy and the joy and eager anticipation ofthe next day's promises were palpable....

bahaha. found this fun "behind the scenes" gem being excited about being on a river, in the mountains, with a bunch of missionary kid friends on a boat called "The Princess" and wondering which state I was in :) 

Turkey Hill Farm Engagement Session | Portland, Maine | Chris + Megan

Chris & Megan are getting married tomorrow! Makayla and I flew into Boston last night and drove up to Portland Maine this afternoon to meet up with the soon-to-be-weds to grab a sweetheart session to just connect and laugh and diffuse and help get them familiar with direction and posing and not posing and just enjoying each other in front of the camera. And... before we even started Makayla and I just looked at each other and nodded, "they are going to be PERFECTLY FINE tomorrow..." :D 

Arizona Inn Modern Wedding Inspiration | 5 Ways to Bring in Class, Color and Life to your Arizona Wedding

This wedding styled shoot was a dream to shoot at Tucson's ever-loved wedding venue, Arizona Inn.  Our goal was to nail a look and pallet that strayed from the neutral typical desert tones and REALLY put COLOR on display!  We had promised wedding blogs SWOONED and AISLE SOCIETY that we would hold off on releasing this highlight reel until they featured the shoot! (shout out to the publishers for being so gracious and complimentary. they also provide some near wedding inspiration in case you need some help!)

So here is one of the most amazing pallets of color, textures, gown and southwestern uniqueness that we have ever shot in Tucson! Here are a few key wedding planning notes to pocket if you adore class, color and a fresh spin on a desert wedding...

5 WAYS TO BRING IN CLASS, COLOR AND LIFE TO YOUR ARIZONA WEDDING...

(1) YOUR PLANNER SHOULD BE A MAGICIAN. Or something close.... With the coordinating prowess of Meagan with Meagan Crain Event Planning, we found ourselves navigating details and elements that were delicious. Meagan orchestrated the entire vibe of the shoot and pulled together a team of wonder-people. She particularly was keen on bringing elements that offered nods to southwest culture (i.e. cigars and tequila toasts instead of traditional champagne and flute glasses). RECAP NOTE: If style and vision for aesthetic are important to you...hire a planner who has a vision and the tenacity to pull the necessary strings and make things happen!

(2) PLANTS. COLORS. COPPER. OH MY. When Jara of Urban Stems showed up with a TRUCK LOAD of punchy pink floral with bougainvillea, peonies, ranunculus, garden roses and pops of delicate air plants accented with copper touches (i.e. Arizona's state metal) we stopped in our tracks and jaws gaped open! Brie Dumais Designs nailed these original wood invitations and water color design accents that brought a super fresh but textile element.  In case you are looking for a graphic and paper designer for your wedding invitations, programs, signage, LIFE in general, Brie is the SHIZ. RECAP NOTE: Think outside of the box and pay attention to the native plant life as well as the colors and textures of the venue.

(3) BE PAMPERED. BE BOLD. BE TAKEN CARE OF AND WHERE IT WELL... MUAH team at Heather Van Houten along with the incredible gown ( ***drool***) by Tucson's stellar bridal gown shop J Bridal created this understated-yet-drool-worthy bridal look. Red lips plus a stark white hourglass gown with intricate lace and framed with poppy peonies... 

(4) SET A STAGE AND PICK AN ACCENT. Setting the stage for a dinner party is one thing. Doing so with cohesive elements that compliment the setting and the vibe and care for details is another. Meagan chose cobalt blue to be the accent that freckled our punchy pinks and native sage colors. Frostings & Ultrapom were both wonderful companies who hooked us up with design elements for staging! They provide rental elements like furniture and seating to further execute a "look" that is refined and swoon-worthy. Sweet Creations laced a classic white tiered cake with gold flecks and eucalyptus details! 

(5) LOVE EACH OTHER WITH ALL THAT IS IN YOU. Granted this was a styled shoot, but our models were married in real life and it made the ebb and flow of this whole styled shoot incredible. Dudes, be strong. Girls, stand tall and breath with poise. Love and be loved. Look, laugh, pause...and love some more. All of it. Be as free as the burst of light from behind the alter below and the dancing petals thrown by people who love you. LEAN INTO your wedding day with as much eager joy as you can muster....and then let others help you muster even more. :) 

Does this inspire you? Share and leave some love below? Compliment the vendors noted below for the work and art they produce...they are worthy of applause! :) | LKM

// VENDOR LIST //

Flowers: Urban Stems // Hair & Makeup: Heather Van Houten // Wedding Gown: J.Bridal Boutique (designer Wtoo) // Bridesmaid Gown: BHLDN // Suits: Brooks Brothers // Paper Products  / Invites: Brie Dumais Designs // Cake: Sweet Creations // Planning & Design: Meagan Crain Event Planning & Design // Furniture: Frostings Event Design & Rentals // Misc. Rentals: Ultrapom

Spring in the Desert | A Glowy Engagement Session at Douglas Springs Trailhead | Tucson, AZ

The desert comes alive in April and when Delaney specifically said she wanted COLOR... i knew we had to plan their engagement pictures in the Tucson spring season. 

Our main focus in their engagement session was to simply get acquainted with each other and comfortable in front of my camera.  We dodged the gnats and aimed to learn posture and posing...posing that begs romance NOT awkwardness (can i get an amen?) 

An airman and blonde bombshell in the middle of a springtime desert....Delaney and Rickey's engagement session was as bright and easy as their laughter. Such a joy to get to know them, attempt some romance, capture a little bit of flirt and joy and frankly...Ricky, your fear of being awkward is SHOT DOWN mister. Frankly, your strength and tenderness with Delaney was effortless and I am over the moon with the way you leaned in and loved each other. Thanks for letting me get up and personal with you guys and capture some of the special. - LKM

Cancer Survivor Brannon + Amy | Lifestyle Love Story Session

If ever there was a love story... 

Shooting pictures in the home of these cancer warriors was  a whole crazy reorientation to love-story-telling. Brannon was diagnosed with cancer and Amy has been by his side relentlessly. People deal with fear so differently. Grief. Bad BAD news. More fear... I talked a bit with Amy about how she has dealt with the fear and pain. She has opened up the door to her home and the private spaces of this journey since the beginning and continues to share so much of the pieces , news and nuances with their surrounding community. Being in their home to shoot a piece of their very "real and authentic NOW" was beautiful. They literally LAUGH constantly. In fact... my favorite part was learning about Amy's inhaler. Her friends say that "it wasn't an authentically GREAT time unless Amy has to whip out the inhaler." .... apparently, we #nailedit. :D

The tuesday after our shoot, Brannon was going in for his LAST chemo treatment! Amy was a baller and made a sign. 

Brannon is a HUGE mountain biker. It actually took me off guard when we went outside to just do something "normal" and they whipped out their bikes and he did some wheelies and you could see him sit strong, comfortable and in his element. Right before wrapping things up and heading back inside I asked them to just take a moment to love each other a little bit--smack dab in the middle of a street that has been their neighborhood in the last lacing flickers of an Arizonan sunset.

I am so so honored to have been allowed into Brannon & Amy's home and their private spaces during this intense journey. Their support for each other is deep and beautiful; brave and withstanding. Thank you for sharing this part of the raw and rugged--that there is laughter even with pain and fear! B & A, you are so deeply loved and fiercely supported through this crazy time! - LKM

Post note from Brannon + Amy

We can not even express how much we appreciate your interest in Brannon's story and his fight against this vicious disease. You have captured something we can't explain. The magic that B and I feel when we are together is obvious in each photo! Thank you so much for giving us this gift. You are incredibly talented and kind. We love your work and we love you!  Thank you! - The Mamulas

A good reason to break blog silence...

I am breaking my blog silence with a vulnerable mushy birthday ode and a particularly personal love story :) Today my husband turns 35 and as ALL birthdays should be  celebrated WELL, this week is gonna be a good one!

This summer we had a two part family portrait session experience with the fabulous Meredith Amadee Photography. (check her out. she is wonderful, relaxed, loves the authentic and brings out the special :D). This session is fun snapshot of our season. We are city folk learning to be desert rats with an edge. We are falling in love with the craziness that is Tucson and the people that are our church home and the unconventional routine and rhythm that is our normal currently.

We have hunkered down, planted roots, leaned into community and looked toward the future intently. We have been asking questions about "what next"-- "where do we want to grow here in Tucson?" "what do we love?" "what are we passionate about?"...And the single most important and desperately poignant answer has been a mile ahead of all others....EACH OTHER.

I am patiently, loyally, absolutely his. Marriage morphs and fuzzy stuff ebbs and flows and we felt the current HARD and we clung to each other. In the privacy of our home and in the tension of our assessive conversations and growing pains, my head has turned more towards him. The horizon is usually my foremost gaze, but when the race with your best friend hits the hard patches, I realized how much i wanted to stick next to him as I run. WE run. Together. 

Oh best friend and only lover ever--you are mine and I am yours and I celebrate you. The simplicity of this is what keeps me tethered to home--to contentment, zeal for our family and a deep passionate longing to grow, still more, with you.

Bring on more desert romance baby. This is OUR love story and i am THRILLED to laugh, love, twirl and make-out among the cactaii many, many more times. :)

P.S. Thank you Meredith, for this incredible treasure of a session. :) you caught the silly, the sexy, the sassy, and the still. :) It was perfect! Love you! And AnaLia...for her magic with makeup. I felt like a movie star :) 

Wyatt + Hilary | Spring Blush & Creme Wedding | Part 2

(To see PART ONE of Wyatt + Hilary's Arizona Wedding, Go HERE.)

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I had heard from wedding coordinator, Meagan Crain of MC Events AZ, that the details and setting were gonna make our heart swoon a little bit. This is one of those weddings where I showed up to green rolling courtyard of Tucson's hidden wedding venue, La Mariposa, and had a sharp inhale. My eyes got wide. There were sparkly tableclothes set with wooden place settings and classy rustic carved numbers. Their wedding cake was paired with an anniversary cake for their grandparents--celebrating THEIR anniversary on the same day. 

Wyatt + Hilary were a gracious bride and groom. They were eager to get married and deferred so many timeline and organizational pieces so that we could really cover a plethora of moments and get such a wide, diverse story. Their first look moment made me cry. (oh the way they diffused and were so excited about eachother!) Their wedding party was jovial and attentive. Their family was so complimentary. Their friends were crazy. The food was delicious. The toasts were meaningful. And their dance floor rocked. -- Especially when you see what the bride tossed instead of a bouquet as a prank. So. Much. Fun.

Thank you so much for letting us be your storytelling, memory-keeping, sparkler-dodging wedding photographers Wyatt & Hilary! It was a joy to be part of this season with you two!

// VENDORS //

Wedding Coordinator: Meagan Crain of MC EVENTS AZ // Photographer: Laura K Moore Photography {LKM STUDIOS} // Ceremony Venue: Corpus Christi Catholic Church // Reception Venue: La Mariposa // Scottsdale Wedding Gown Boutique: Marie Gallery // Bridal Hair & Makeup: Gadabout // Bridesmaids Dress: J Crew // Flower Girl Dress: Nordstrom // Groomsmen Suits: Mens Warehouse // Cake: Cakes by Genevieve // Florist: Urban Stems Designs

Wyatt + Hilary | Spring Desert Wedding | Shades of Pink & Happy Part One

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We are excited to share this desert spring wedding in the eastside foothills of Tucson Arizona. Blush and creme were soft against her satin and the polished aesthetic of Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Huge peonies were graced with eucalytpus leaves and set against brick and blue skies and whispy clowds. It was a beautiful desert spring day and the shades of pink, class and happiness were rich and effortless.

Here are a few highlights! 

// VENDORS //

Wedding Coordinator: Meagan Crain of MC EVENTS AZ // Photographer: Laura K Moore Photography {LKM STUDIOS} // Ceremony Venue: Corpus Christi Catholic Church // Reception Venue: La Mariposa // Scottsdale Wedding Gown Boutique: Marie Gallery // Bridal Hair & Makeup: Gadabout // Bridesmaids Dress: J Crew // Flower Girl Dress: Nordstrom // Groomsmen Suits: Mens Warehouse // Cake: Cakes by Genevieve // Florist: Urban Stems Designs

More highlights coming soon! Tomorrow we will be sharing Part 2!