Tucson

Andrew + Shayla | Tucson Engagement Session

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They fell in love in starbucks... i sat for hours almost every day working while they met and loved and fell more and more for each other. my husband was his boss. she made my espresso and the distance between patron and server decreased. i would hear of their integrity. their passion. their frugal discipline and good questions. they bought a house. they are prepping for a wedding. he encourages lawson even after he is no longer boss... when 2 humans get in front of your lens and the invested sense of "wow, they are such a gift. to each other. to me. to my husband. to the world." - // Andrew + Shayla are getting married in Tucson in August and their sweet little engagement session in Tucson barrio’s flower garden was a little ray of golden sunshine. Here are a few highlights.

Michael + Juliana | Mt Lemmon Mountain Wedding | Tucson, Arizona

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When Michael reached out with his unconventional wedding idea up on Mt Lemmon staged on Inspiration Ridge — a special spot for them—we were eager to say yes. There were few frills or extra details for this one. I listened to their priorities and heard their deep desire for simplicity. I knew the spot they loved up on Mt. Lemmon and that killer view and we decided to “hook em up” and create a customized “elopement-kinda” storytelling photography package of sorts. Below are our favorite highlights! (Oh and fun note—> their wedding was also featured over on Zion Bride yesterday! So fun to see the unconventional ideas of simplicity resonate and shared with other adventurers!)

// VENDORS //

Venue: Inspiration Ridge on Mt. Lemmon // Floral Designer: Posh Petals // MUAH: I Do Hair & MakeUp Artistry (Raemie Makeup) // Dress: J Bridal Boutique // Officiant: Catalina Foothills Church

Prep time was at Loews Ventana Canyon and all guests had been given an arrival time “or forever hold their peace.” Without phone reception, it was a bit of a ‘hail mary’ move but Micahel + Juliana were resolved and confidant that everything would be fine and if anything — they were gettin’ married and that was the point. Nerves aside — most guests arrived in time and were set and ready on Inspiration Ridge. Bubbles were staged, ring bearers were strapped, flower girls were gilded, high heels were removed (they had been warned) and Michael’s face— OH MY WORD—when he saw her for the first time….

I'm very goofy and she is more serious so hopefully you can capture some of those moments of my goofiness and her serious looks she gives me while she tries to hold back a smile :p - Michael, groom

As guests made their way to the cupcake picnic, M + J lingered on the ridge for a sweet series of cuddles and epic valley-backed breath-taking portraits :)

After portraits the newlyweds made their way to the guests and casually shared in treats and hugs and more casual family portraits.

REVIEW FROM THE BRIDE:

LKM is so much fun to work with, she takes the time to listen and really cares, it is so obvious. It felt like a best friend was shooting our wedding with how much she cared and how excited she was. I’ve never been comfortable having my picture taken and was nervous for our engagement shoot. Right away I could tell how much she cared, her excitement and fun personality put me at ease right away- I felt like I’ve know her for years! For our engagement and our wedding she went completely above and beyond our expectations, not to mention everyone at our wedding was asking about our photographer because they wanted to use her! Our photos are so unique and something we will treasure forever, I could not imagine our wedding without her. ~ Juliana, Bride

Michael & Juliana, being part of this slice of your adventurous spirit was a treat and an inspiration to us. Thank you for including us and letting us trapse and laugh and love and be so thrillingly authentic and unconventional :) We will be in touch! | LKM & CO

// VENDORS //

Venue: Inspiration Ridge on Mt. Lemmon // Floral Designer: Posh Petals // MUAH: I Do Hair & MakeUp Artistry (Raemie Makeup) // Dress: J Bridal Boutique // Officiant: Catalina Foothills Church

Honey Bee State Park | Lace & Saguaros | Tucson Engagement Session

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Sometimes sunlight just says, “yo—i get you. i got you. here let me lay down this syrupy honey goodness while you shoot.” Plus Casey & Katlyn were great at simply loving eachother…okay actually CASEY gave me a run for my money and insisted I NOT give him cheesy directions or do funny stuff. I looked at him and said, “dude….just love her. and if THAT feels weird laugh and it will LOOK affectionate whether you like it or not.” It was a quick mini session and we lingered for a little traipsing around in our completely inappropriately clad feet for desert treading.

But this photo location is actually called Honey Bee State Park and considering how delightfully golden the sunsets are as they dip over the little mini valley — i say it is adequately named.

Desert Engagement Session | Palo Verde Trees + Prickly Pears w/ a Splash of Wine

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Krista & Spencer flew in from San Francisco for the weekend to get their Tucson desert fix, visit their wedding venue at La Mariposa Resort and grab a few lovely sunbeam embraces during their engagement session in northeast Tucson. We had a few wardrobe changes and Sulamita Pacifica, a local event stylist, offered to contribute a few elements and the couple agreed. Enjoy the picnic in the desert. And to see Spencer + Krista's wedding highlights, go HERE!

Tim + Jenna | Deserty Lovin' and a Fiesty Dancer | Tanque Verde Guest Ranch Engagement Session

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Tim & Jenna were from Tucson but lived in Phoenix and were getting married in Cancun. They had seen some of our wedding pictures styled by Margarita Potts via her instagram feed with her team at I Do Hair & Makeup Artistry and reached out for prices and a quote for the whole shibang: storytelling in Tucson and following them to Cancun.....we coulnd't say "yes please" fast enough. :) 

Jenna cared most about being natural, clean light, real emotion and bright colors. She liked light and liked wine and she knew how to strut some heals like a gazelle across the jagged rocks of the Sonoran desert (hats off lady). Tim...well, he was skeptical. An email following the session read, "Tim just told me...wow! that was actually kind of fun and way better than i expected." (*laughing*... #nailed it. I'll go for "kinda fun" from any tough cookie who'd rather be chill than posed or passed off as a schmuck. I get you sir. I don't want you lookin' schmuckly either.) 

So they drove to Tucson, grabbed a room at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch and I met them there to talk wedding details, frolick about in the desert, drink some wine, navigate a few sweetheart moments, get them comfortable with my style -- expressing their affection-- (not difficult) and got to know each other. Here are a few highlights! :)

(P.S. we are sharing highlights from their destination wedding in Cancun tomorrow on the blog! Stop back by!)

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! 

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

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 :)