What's New

Sacred Mountain Wedding Julian

sacred mountain wedding

Dana and Conner’s Sacred Mountain Wedding had us swooning from the second we arrived. Hidden among 61 acres of pines and lush open nature resides the most incredible hidden gem, Sacred Mountain Julian. The venue is located just outside of the small town Julian, we stopped in town to grab breakfast before the wedding and can attest that the small town bustle only added more charm to the feel of the wedding day!

Conner and Dana got ready for the big day alongside their closest friends! Dana’s room faced out directly to the courtyard where we could see the red leaves falling and dew dropping from the storm that morning. It was truly serene. Conner’s room was across the home nestled into a lush  spot of the property surrounded by shade and trees where we would later bring the two of them for their first look!

Sacred Mountain Weddings are known for being romantic and whimsical. Conner and Dana’s special day was no exception to this! One of the reasons Conner and Dana actually chose Sacred Mountain was because of the expansive overlook of the city on the ceremony site, something that just can not be beat. The sun sets perfectly over the ceremony site and provided the most breathtaking view for all guests to enjoy and soak in. With their wedding being in the fall the couple opted for decor to fit the season stringing together lights, frosted pinecones and garland. 

Dana shared a tearful first look with her father, and a first feel with Conner moments before stepping down the aisle. A little tip, if you are wanting to ease the pre ceremony nerves but don’t necessarily want to see your partner prior to the ceremony, a first feel is an amazing option. A first feel is great because you can squeeze away those nerves and also exchange vows if you want to do those privately or simply have a sweet sentimental moment together!

After an intimate ceremony surrounded  by family and friends, Dana and Connor took time to soak in their favorite features of the venue. We took advantage of the color changing trees, gorgeous overlook and charming vine covered tree swing. A personal favorite was the balcony overlooking the reception where they were able to look out to guests anxiously waiting for their grand entrance! Dana and Connors Sacred Mountain Wedding ended the same way any great wedding would – kick ass music, choreographed dances from the bride and groom and a bubble exit for Connor to whisk his bride away in!

Venue: https://www.instagram.com/sacredmountainjulian/

If you are a California local and are in need of another incredible venue, check out our recent blog from Lot8 in San Diego! https://charlottefrancisphoto.com/summer-wedding-at-lot-8-san-diego/

Airbnb Elopement | Pinetop, Arizona

airbnb elopement

Airbnb Elopements are officially in in and the 1975 Cabin is the place to do it! Originally Taylor and Daniel were planning a beautiful wedding in the woods of the Pacific Northwest until Covid-19 brought those plans to a crashing halt. Still wanting to incorporate the woodsy feel of Oregon Taylor and Daniel found the perfect Airbnb tucked in a pocket of pines in Pinetop, Arizona. At first glance of the Airbnb you are welcomed with a massive A frame structure and incredible updated modern fixtures throughout the cabin. Between the several rooms for guests to stay and nearby scenic locations to plan your ceremony it is the perfect choice for an Airbnb Elopement!

Taylor began her day surrounded by her sisters and best friends in the downstairs portion of the Airbnb while Daniel got ready upstairs with his groomsmen. They incorporated things like Daniels jewelry that Taylor adores and Taylor’s cheeky converse visible under her slit dress to keep it feeling the most them. Daniel made sure to slip us a note for Taylor as he stepped out of the cabin before heading to the ceremony, which *que the tears* had a drawing he had done of her with a love note. There was no shortage of happy tears for this Airbnb Elopement.

Taylor and Daniel found a hidden meadow filled with pines and flowers for their ceremony space. Guests sat together in the meadow, aisles were lined with fresh flowers and the pair had a copper arch made with dangling floral strings to complete the whimsical feel of their Elopement day. One thing that really stood out was as Taylor walked up the aisle and they faced each other for the first time, they were so overcome with emotion that they just embraced. A rule breaker, yeah yeah. It was one of those moments that you witness and truly understand how much love is really there. They shared captivating hand written vows in front of guests before running down the aisle, I mean running. You could not find a couple happier to finally be married than Taylor and Daniel. 

After the ceremony, we returned to the Airbnb for celebratory shots. How else are you supposed to celebrate? The couple celebrated and embraced friends and family before ending their Airbnb Elopement with an epic champagne pop off the front of the A-frame balcony.

See Taylor and Daniel’s Engagement Session here!

Venue : https://www.instagram.com/getawayframe/?hl=en

DIY Elopement St. Louis

diy wedding details

Jasmine and James Wedding day was the epitome of a DIY Elopement. Last minute, Jasmine and James were forced to make the tough decision between keeping their original wedding date or postponing to 2021, a struggle many other couples have faced over the last few months. The decision came easy to the couple though, they could postpone their party another year but their love? No that could not wait!

Planning a DIY Elopement sounds simple right? Yes and No. In the state of a majority of the United States right now a chunk of businesses are shut down and the uncertainty of places like tailor shops, hair and makeup artists, vendors to cater the event, etc are up in the air. They could be available one moment for couples and then be ordered to shut down the next day. While normally planning a DIY Elopement can be a cinch, these days it takes a bit of prep to make your day stress free!

James and Jasmine made planning their DIY Elopement less of a stress to them by having family and friends assist in the Wedding day duties. Jasmine’s mother spent weeks altering her dress by hand as tailor shops in the area had been closed with no sign of opening anytime soon. James and Jasmine’s mothers spent the days leading up to the wedding arranging florals by hand, setting up the family home for the Elopement and preparing care bags for guests. The care bags included a handmade mask with a sewn heart from Jasmine’s dress material that was left over, some water and utensils for dinner so that any germs would be kept to a minimum. The care bags were such a sweet and thoughtful touch, we could hear guests raving about them all afternoon!

Originally, the pair had planned an incredible wedding at a local art venue in Downtown St. Louis. This was the perfect choice for them as Jasmine is a violin artist and James is a videographer, art plays a huge part in their lives together and they wanted something that represented that in their Wedding day. While Covid-19 may have closed their venue down, the couple was able to snag some gorgeous photos from The Last Hotel that were able to bring the modern artsy feel they wanted. The Last Hotel was filled with elegant modern fixtures and paintings that would make any DIY Elopement a dream.

From The Last Hotel, we ran through the streets of Downtown St. Louis. Jasmine and James actually took their Engagement Photos in downtown as well, the wedding photos here were only fitting! The couple expressed their love for the city and mentioned how important a few shots of the current state of St. Louis would be in their gallery. Masks on, boarded buildings and a Global Pandemic, their love trumps it all. Jasmine and James shared handwritten vows privately in a lush green park downtown before heading to Jasmine’s parents home for an intimate ceremony.

James and Jasmine kept their DIY Elopement sentimental by having their church pastor officiate their ceremony, hiring a fellow violin artist to play as she walked down the aisle and inviting only their closest family and friends. A Facebook live was set to record and play live for guests who wanted to tune in and could not make the day because of the virus. The couple even included time for a short drive by reception where guests could come by and send love or deliver a small gift to the couple. Jasmine and James Elopement shows that you can do it yourself and still have a wonderful wedding.

Planning an Elopement? Read a few tips here!

Dress: https://www.instagram.com/laudaebride/

Eloping During Covid-19

Elopement during covid-19

We’ve compiled a list of ways you can make Eloping during Covid-19 a breeze! First, go ahead and throw out any expectations that your dream day can not happen because of the current state of the world right now. You can have an incredible, out of this world Wedding still while also keeping those around you safe!

Eloping during Covid-19 does not mean you two will run away to some hidden place where no friends or family will witness your special day. I mean, unless that’s what you want, because if that’s the case Adventure Elopements are a dream. I’ll help you plan it! With most states right now the rule of thumb is 50 guests or less. To some, that may push their comfort levels and to others they feel they are eliminating a huge portion of their guests. Whether you have 10 guests or 50, a way to include those guests who are not able to attend is Live Streaming! You are able to stream on Facebook Live and even save the video for yourselves after. We have also seen couples have a relative record via Zoom or call friends and family on FaceTime during the ceremony so that they are still able to take part in the event. Another way you can include guests is a drive by cocktail hour, this way friends can drive by and say congratulations or drop a card off!

Next, you’ll want to plan a spot to take formal photos! If the location you are getting married at is say a backyard of a friend or a random park, maybe there isn’t a ton of picture perfect options. Working with your Photographer you can create a timeline that will allow you to find a special place that’s private to the two of you. Jasmine and James, the couple in the photos here, planned their photos to take place in downtown St. Louis! This was a perfect choice for them as they live in the heart of St. Louis and it’s where their relationship blossomed. Eloping during Covid-19 and a Pandemic, taking photos of the current state of the city around them was extremely important to them. Jasmine and James are a true reflection of how love always wins.

Keep it clean! If you are Eloping during Covid-19 the number one goal is keeping everything sanitized and safe for you and guests. Disposable utensils, pre packaged drinks and a few sanitize stations around the event and you are ready to roll! Skipping buffet style dinner and pre plating is also a huge way you can reduce risk for guests. To top it off, you could even throw the utensils, some sanitizer and a mask into a bag and count that as your wedding favor. Easy, practical and guests will thank you for thinking of them!

Incredible Portland Flowers shown above are from: https://www.instagram.com/wildflower_portland/

Last, there’s the huge question of venues needing to shut down again. If your venue is mandated to shut down but you do not want to wait several months to tie the knot, you have options! Exploring into a huge open meadow for a ceremony, finding a cute Airbnb to host your friends and family or reserving a local lot at a State Park are all amazing options for a last minute Elopement location.

See another Elopement here!

Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona

Spring Wedding in Arizona

For their Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona – Amarah and Egan knew exactly what they wanted to bring their dream day to life. Amarah and Egan stumbled upon this gorgeous modern Airbnb in the heart of Anthem and knew immediately this was it! Decorated with modern fixtures, black accent walls and spacious enough for an entire bridal party to get ready in, this Airbnb was an all around dream!

The day began peacefully as Amarah wrote her vows surrounded by her bridesmaids. Amarah and her bridesmaids wore the most gorgeous silk robes that looked incredible against the bold accent wall in the girls room. In the guest house next door, Amarah’s son got ready with the boys before his first look with mama. It was so special being able to watch Egan get him ready and see the special bond the two of them share through the photographs!

Amarah shared a tearful first look with her bridesmaids before walking down the aisle. Laughter and happy tears were flowing as the bridesmaids embraced her offering last minute words of encouragement and love. Dried pampas tied into their arch, draped florals, minimalistic signage and white rose petals lining the aisles provided the most exquisite setting for Amarah and Egan’s Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona. 

Egan and Amarah shared hand written vows in front of guests during their ceremony. Circling behind their arch, we were able to capture some of their family and friends reactions to their sweet promises as well. Hand written vows are always so special to witness at weddings. A little tip if you are getting married and stressed about vows – write them the day of! Some will say that it is crazy to wait or that it’s bad because it is last minute, but several couples have actually told us they prefer to write their vows the morning of! Writing your vows the day of your wedding is actually much easier because you are so in the moment already that words come easier than they normally would. Another bonus, you get cute photos of you writing your vows too if you wait until the big day!

After the ceremony, Egan and Amarah took advantage of the many incredible locations provided at their Airbnb. A personal favorite was their rooftop balcony that looked out over their reception and guests. Egan and Amarah’s reception was something straight out of your dreams. Elegant, Minimalistic, Modern, this Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona has it all. Lit only by the hanging string lights, they shared an intimate dinner surrounded by friends and family before moving inside for the real party!

VENDORS:

Planner: https://www.instagram.com/yourhappyweddinghelper/

Florals: https://www.instagram.com/anna_day_designs/

Pampas: https://www.instagram.com/houseofpampas/

Wedding Dress: https://www.instagram.com/kleinfeldbridal/

Grooms Suit: https://www.instagram.com/magroclothing/

Groomsmen Suits: https://www.instagram.com/theblacktux/

Bridesmaid Dresses: https://www.instagram.com/showmeyourmumu/

Hair: https://www.instagram.com/emilyy_finn/

Makeup: https://www.instagram.com/makeupbyjsouth/

If you loved Egan and Amarah’s Spring Airbnb Wedding in Arizona, check out a Winter Wedding here!

Winter Wedding at The Paseo | B + A

paseo wedding ceremony

Alan and Brittany’s Winter Wedding at the Paseo was everything you could dream of. Something about saying “I do” in front of Arizona’s incredible Superstition Mountains just can’t be beat. If you are looking for a venue that can completely captivate guests while portraying Arizona’s beauty, The Paseo is the venue for you! 

As soon as Brittany unzipped the dress bags, jaws dropped. They had chosen the most incredible deep green for the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen ties, it was the perfect choice for their Winter Wedding at the Paseo! The green complimented the minimalistic colors they had chosen and totally popped on the bridesmaids leaving everyone in awe!

When it came to decorating their Winter Wedding at the Paseo, Alan and Brittany kept it simple but elegant. Opting for a more modern feel, the couples welcome signs were a gorgeous matte black with gold calligraphy, abundances of white rose petals lined the aisles and they even had a blanket bucket out filled with warm thermals for guests who were chilly during the ceremony.

Brittany got dressed with her mother and sister before a tearful first look with her son followed by bridesmaids. We really loved that Alan’s mother came in to help Brittany too, even putting the lucky wedding penny in her shoe for her! The lucky wedding penny has been a wedding tradition in their family for many years, being able to witness this was so special! Alan spent the afternoon with his groomsmen getting ready before reading a private note from his soon to be bride just minutes before walking down the aisle.

Alan and Brittany’s ceremony was every bit as magical as you’d think. Happy tears and laughter radiated from guests during the couples personal vows. Brittany and Alan made sure to include Brittany’s son in their ceremony wherever possible, it was so important for them to incorporate him anywhere they could! Jax’s sweet face during the ceremony said it all, you could definitely tell that he was feeling the love and so happy for his parents. 

Live music, caramel apples, delicious appetizers and cocktails flowed during cocktail hour. Guests mingled by the Paseo’s warm fireplace as the sun set over the Superstition Mountains. The sun setting over the mountains is incredible in itself, but it was the perfect finish to cocktail hour before inviting guests inside. Behind the Paseo’s large barn doors is pure magic. Hanging greenery, floating candles, fresh florals and a custom neon sign tied together the details of Brittany and Alan’s Winter Wedding at The Paseo.

Upon entering, guests were offered a glass of champagne before being directed to their hand selected seats with the sweetest favors waiting for them. Brittany and Alan had chosen a wood engraved magnet with the Superstition Mountains to share with their guests as favors! Toasts from loved ones, an intimate first dance and a snow send off was the perfect finish to Brittany and Alan’s Winter Wedding at The Paseo.

Check out another Arizona wedding here!

VENDORS:

Venue: https://www.instagram.com/thepaseovenue/

Chandelier & Seating Chart: https://www.instagram.com/laceandabarn/

Rentals/Décor: https://www.instagram.com/materialgirlsweddings/

Floral: https://www.instagram.com/gardengateflowers/

Video: https://www.instagram.com/myeventfilm/

Caramel Apples for cocktail hour: https://www.instagram.com/yo.apples/

Live music for cocktail hour: https://www.instagram.com/jacobmorrisofficial/

DJ: https://www.instagram.com/amanijaeent/

Bridal Boutique: https://www.instagram.com/schaffersbridalaz/

Hair: https://www.instagram.com/taylor_lamb_hair/

Makeup: https://www.instagram.com/createdbeautyco/

Alterations: https://www.instagram.com/tailoredinwhite/

Bar: https://www.instagram.com/ontherocksbartenders/

Flagstaff Engagement Photos | A + T

woodsy engagement photos

Tianna and Alec are high school sweethearts that describe themselves as laid back and all about the fun things in life! When we asked what scenery they envisioned for their session they said they wanted greenery but also LOVED the industrial look, hence why they chose to get married at the Ice House in Spring 2021! Ultimately a location that had both was preferred and dang did these Flagstaff Engagement Photos deliver. 

In Flagstaff you don’t have too look too far to find an open meadow or stretch of pines. We chose this location behind the San Fransisco Peaks because along with having pines that stretch for miles it is also is home to the most incredible little church. Originally, another client of ours had been there and shown us but seeing this hidden gem in person was a whole new level of surreal. As soon as we stepped in, we knew it was the perfect spot to bring Tianna and Alec for their Flagstaff Engagement Photos!

The church appears small outside, almost as though you couldn’t actually walk through the wooden door, but as soon as you open it you are greeted with a large wide open a-frame church looking out to the pines. Tianna and Alec began their session inside of the church, Tianna showing off her black “Mrs.” jean jacket paired with a bolder outfit choice for the couple. The bolder outfit worked so well with the different look we wanted to achieve shooting at the church! 

We took a short hike up the road to grab some dreamy sunset photos in the woods before grabbing the best photo prop ever known – puppies! After some sweet puppy love we ended our session in the meadow. The golden light from the sunset illuminating the long dried grass stems created the most beautiful backdrop to finish Tianna and Alec’s Flagstaff Engagement Photos!

Check out another Flagstaff Engagement Session here!

Oak Creek Canyon Engagement Photos

oak-creek-canyon-engagment-photos

Eric and Lexi, both outdoor enthusiasts, wanted to incorporate natural elements into their session – making Oak Creek Canyon the perfect destination for their engagement photos. Oak Creek Canyon is a river gorge tucked in between the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona. Filled with gorgeous pines, flowing creeks and red rocks at every turn, this location is beautiful every season. These photos took place in early spring but you can truly visit the canyon during any season, it’s magical year round!

Eric and Lexi opted for a sunrise session for their photos. We chose sunrise to have the canyon to ourselves as it’s known to get busier later in the afternoon with hikers. The gorgeous light given at sunrise was an an added bonus! Only a few short minutes into the hike we stumbled upon an abandoned shack surrounded by a meadow of dry grass. We snapped a few photos in front of the shack to get a variety of looks for their gallery before moving to the opposite side of the trail for a more scenic feel. The endless stretch of engraved red rock was the perfect backdrop for Lexi and Eric’s Oak Creek Canyon Engagement Photos. 

A short hike back and we began our descend into the canyon. Oak Creek Canyon is actually often known as The Grand Canyon’s cousin, as it is comparable in beauty but much smaller. Hiking through the canyon could take an entire day. Lexi and Eric opted for a shorter trail that would give us as many scenic options as possible without taking hours to navigate! Hiking back, we observed the remnants of snow from the last storm of the season and icicles hanging from carved edges of red rock providing another stunning photo backdrop. Sedona truly has it all. The sun rose through the staggering pine trees creating the most breathtaking light to conclude Eric and Lexi’s Oak Creek Canyon Engagement Photos. 

We can not wait to capture Eric and Lexi’s gorgeous wedding next fall!

Check out another one of our Northern Arizona Engagement Sessions here!

Summer Wedding at Lot 8 San Diego

first kiss lot 8 wedding

Lot 8 is one of San Diego’s best kept hidden gems when it comes to wedding venues. What was once a simple parking lot now holds the perfect DIY space for couples to curate their own dream wedding! Filled with live succulents, lush greenery, palms overhead and an open ceiling to allow California’s warm sunset’s to illuminate events – Summer weddings at Lot 8 are truly magical. 

Gabe and Sandee chose Lot 8 for their summer wedding for various reasons. Having eloped privately before the big day, they really wanted something that was going to be spacious enough to include all of their closest friends and family while also providing enough room for customization so that Sandee could put her creative mind to work. Sandee did just that and the outcome was incredible! Personal touches like a traveling wagon bar, photo booth and dessert spread were added to tie in their upbeat personalities!