Brett & Raquel’s Modern Coral Sanctuary Wedding

The mountain was glowing pink as the light inched lower behind its peaks, illuminating the familiar faces in the crowd who are not used to this kind of warmth. The bride and groom turned to face their loved ones, and the flowing skirt of her white gown came to life as they walked hand-in-hand to the front row of guests. In each of their hands was a single white rose, signifying promise and gratitude, and he made his way over to her grandparents, who returned his smile 1000 times over. As part of Brett and Raquel’s vows to each other, they were sure to recognize their thankfulness for the people who made this amazing day possible, his parents and her grandparents. As he handed them the single white rose, the reverend explained the meaning of his actions, and how they had wanted to take a moment and cherish the most important people of their lives. As Raquel approached Brett’s parents, his mother’s eyes grew wide, almost in disbelief at the kindness of the gesture. And then I witnessed a sacred moment through my lens that I’m not sure anyone else caught, because it happened so fast. Although the gesture of gratitude from Raquel to Brett’s parents was so genuine, the look in his mother’s eyes reflected an equally powerful amount of thankfulness to Raquel for making her son so incredibly happy. And as Raquel gently cupped his mother’s face, her eyes filled with tears, realizing that she had just gained a daughter more perfect for her son than she could have ever imagined. It truly took my breath away.

From the moment I walked into the getting ready room, I experienced unforgettable little things that made their day so uniquely special. Like how he kissed her after his vows in the middle of the ceremony, laughing, “It’s my wedding, I can do what I want!” Which got me to thinking how more couples shouldn’t be afraid of breaking traditions because that’s how it’s “supposed to be.” Who decided that we can’t break these 100-year-old traditions anyways? If a bride and groom want to see each other before the ceremony, shouldn’t they be able to? If they want to serve grilled cheese sandwiches at their reception, then what’s stopping them? When I met Brett and Raquel months ago at the Some Like It Classic Wedding Design Studio, I knew they were anything but traditional. We had a blast shooting their engagement session at this very same spot, the Sanctuary on Camelback. I loved how Brett toted around his mouth-watering cocktail that day, and made me a little jealous ha! They had been dreaming for their perfect wedding to take place far from their hometown of Chicago, in sunny Arizona, because it will always hold a piece of their hearts. Would it have been easier to plan a wedding close to home, and meet with vendors whenever they wanted to? You bet! But they stuck to their desert dream and made it happen, in a big way. The modern touches to their chic, midnight blue and coral wedding had everyone in attendance buzzing with excitement, me especially. The ceremony overlooked Paradise Valley, which was a huge contribution for their love of this hotel, and the aisle was adorned with floating candles in glass vases, surrounded by different shades of coral and orange rose petals. The floral arrangements were taller than me, and I could smell their sweet perfume the moment I stepped onto the grass. From the sleek chandeliers and mercury candles at the reception, to the dripping crystals and white dance floor (a photographer’s dream), I was in heaven. I can only imagine how they were feeling! Brett and Raquel, I’m so happy for you two and I was so blessed to capture these exciting occasions in your lives. You really made your day your own, and I’m so glad you did. Here’s to many anniversaries in your little desert oasis, where you made the most unforgettable memories, and will make so many more in years to come.

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The Wedding Team

Wedding Design: Some Like It Classic 

Wedding Planning: Whitney Lewis of Some Like It Classic

Bride’s Gown: Fall 2015 Monique Lhuillier

Bride’s Ring: Custom by Groom, Windy City Diamonds

Bride’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo

Ceremony and Reception Location: The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Ceremony Music: The Encore Quartet

Cake Design: La Dolce Pesca

Draping: Quest Drape

Floral Design: LUX Florist

Invitation Design: Custom Design by Bride and Groom

Linens: La Tavola Linens

Catering: The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Groom’s Ring: Custom by Bride, Windy City Diamonds

Groom’s Tuxedo: Theory Bond

Groom’s Shoes: Mercanti Fiorentini

Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist: Sarah Monachos

Officiant: Reverend Rick Bell

DJ: Got You Covered

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