Hi and welcome to my online home! I am a photographer located in Phoenix, Arizona. I'm married to my wonderful hubby, Jon, and we have 7 fur babies: Kitty Amazing, Baby Kitty, Petunia, and China, our cats, Hank and Seymour, our dogs, and Junichiro, our hedgehog. Admittedly, Junichiro is more of a spiky baby than a fur baby. I love travel, nutella, donuts, cupcakes, (okay just bring me all the carbs alright?), reading, green tea, soccer, dancing, and soft pillow cases. I love having you, I hope you stay awhile.
Where do I even start with these two? My heart overflows with love for them! They have such an incredible story that really is an inspiration. They met in 8th grade, where Melanie lovingly recalls that she could not stand Chris, but she had this strange feeling she was going to end up married to someone just like him. Well fast forward to the middle of high school when they start dating (and we got to recreate their awesome prom pose during their wedding portraits)! Keep fast forwarding as they attended college together at Penn State where Chris (and his many very, very tall groomsmen) played basketball, and Melanie studied to become a zoologist. And then Melanie landed her dream job as as zoologist at the Phoenix Zoo, so they took a leap of faith and ventured away from their families out to the desert.
Mesa Country Club in Mesa, Arizona, was a gorgeous venue! The ceremony was set up on a golf tee that was up on a hill overlooking all over the golf club. And as I set up the dress to take detailed shots, I had to shoo off some golfers who inquired if I was having a ghost wedding (so clever! LOL). Melanie was an absolute vision in her tiered dress. I am completely and utterly obsessed.
My favorite part before the ceremony was when Melanie had a first look with her Dad. His emotion at seeing his beautiful daughter in her gown and at receiving a handkerchief she had made for him was so moving. Next time, I’m bringing my own handkerchief! (also anyone else have no idea how to spell that word?)
But the look on Chris’s face when he saw Melanie for the first time was incredible. During the time I’ve spent with these two over the last few months, I can attest to how much they love each other. And you know that is true because they have been through all of life’s ups and downs together: growing up, finding yourself, graduating high school, graduating college, first jobs, and moving across the country together. And their love has never faltered. As a side note, they also have the two cutest fur puppy babies!
Portraits had me with hearts exploding from my eyes as we wandered out into the desert near Papago Park just as the sunset. And we had quite the time as I had to drive in reverse through the park as I missed the zoo entrance. I really did miss my calling as a race car driver, in my humble opinion.
Traveling to the reception at the Phoenix Zoo was particularly exciting for me because I love the zoo, and guess what! We got to ride the train to the reception site! A private train ride, might I add, where we got to say good evening to the resident lion who was confused why we were out so late.
As the reception unfolded, each moment was better than the last. Then the toasts were wonderful as Melanie’s Dad detailed how he never doubted that Chris will be able to fill his shoes and take care of his baby girl (where did I put that handkerchief again?). Then, Chris and Melanie got the ultimate surprise when Melanie’s Father’s best friend and his wife gave them the honeymoon of a lifetime: a trip to Costa Rica! Btw, I’m available for honeymoon photography travel in case anyone is wondering…. 😀
You two are such amazing people, and I can’t wait to see how your lives unfold. I had so much fun hanging out with you both, and Melanie, if you ever need a zoo assistant, I’d like to submit my application!
Ceremony: Mesa Country Club
Reception: Phoenix Zoo
Dress: The Dress Bridal Boutique
Dress Designer: Miss Stella York
Flowers: Blissful Blooms
Hair and Makeup: The Pampered Pinkie
Caterer and Desserts: Andrews BBQ