Sparkling, Spirited Vail Wedding

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When Laura & Scott approached me to photograph their fall wedding, I was elated. Only the year before, Laura’s brother Erik and sister-in-law Maeve had celebrated their own winter wedding in Chicago- and I’d enjoyed every minute of planning and photographing such a special night. One of my favorite things about what I do is the opportunity to see the same families continually grow with each new celebration and landmark in life. Then I read further down in the email- Laura & Scott were planning their wedding in Vail, Colorado, where Laura grew up making happy family memories and where she and Scott had vacationed while they were dating. They went on to explain that the most important part of their vision for their wedding photographs was to “capture real moments, candids in an elevated style.”

Photographer’s. Dream. Come. True.

Laura & Scott’s family and friends came to the mountains with excitement and an eagerness to celebrate. The energy from their guests, from the ceremony to the cocktail hour to the dance floor is unmatched. A great deal of credit is due to planners Kelly Karli Weddings & Events for facilitating with ease the details and moving parts of the wedding’s events, freeing the photography team to focus solely on capturing moments and creating memories. (Yes, even if you’re an incredibly capable, detail-oriented, organizational maven- YES, you should still hire a wedding planner.)

In the highlights below, you’ll find: the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, a custom clear-top tent, a silent disco complete with headphones for all guests to rave and dance into the late-late night hours, beautiful candid photographs of speeches and dances and conversations and tears and laughter. All the things that make a wedding wonderful. Thank you!

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Bohemian Desert Elopement

The desert to me is a place of peace and calm: quiet, still, but not empty. The air is never dead but filters through the canyons, washes and hills. The colors shift dramatically as the sun cycles through the sky, allowing for a variety of aesthetic appeal.

I grew up in Las Vegas, in the Mojave Desert, which is hot and dry, full of cholla and yellow-green yuccas. I love it for its red and yellow sandstone cliffs and rough, hardbitten beauty. There's a minimalism that is challenging and oh so striking.

When I visited the Sonoran Desert just outside of the Phoenix/Scottsdale area last year, I fell head over heels for the comparative lusciousness and blue-greens of the landscape. I couldn't get over the comparatively soft, subtle color palette. I knew I had to come back and do a styled bridal shoot in the spring to showcase these magical lavenders, pinks, greys, greens and blues...

So I did, and here we are!

This shoot showcases talented Arizona (and one Montana!) artists and designers as well as lovely model, Jadyn Walden.

Wedding Dress: Created by bespoke designer Lana Gerimovich of Ali's Fashion Design

The bohemian wedding dress in this shoot is a truly one-of-a-kind made with exclusively battenburg lace. It is a seamless lace dress, especially stitched to reveal no seams anywhere. The technique used creates the illusion that the dress is created out of one unending piece of lace, when in reality the dress has been crafted on a mannequin from several pieces of lace shaped to fit the form perfectly. Lana Gerimovich works from several locations of Ali's Fashion Design in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area.

Hair & Makeup: True Goddess Hair

I am grateful to owner Athena for creating a look for Jadyn that emulates the fine art bridal style: truly natural, easy grace. Makeup artists and hair stylists are the unsung heroes of photography- these photographs wouldn't be what they are without her expertise.

Silk Flower Crown: Theresa Bear       

Montana native Teà and I connected via Instagram after I discovered her work with silk florals AND her photography. She lives and works to empower and uplift the female spirit with love and beauty and her craft is an inspiration.

Florals: sourced from Paradise Valley Florist

Jewelry: H&M and Francesca's

You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations – – –
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do – – – determined to save
the only life you could save.

The Journey, Mary Oliver