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  • Writer's picturerachel leintz

desert elegance

Laurel and Justin actually found me on Facebook! Gotta love my fellow millennials : ) When she first reached out, I found out that they were actually based in Chicago and that their wedding at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch would be a destination wedding for most of their friends and family.

The couple flew out to meet vendors and get a feel for the Valley a few months later. I met them at the Cartel Coffee shop in Scottsdale and loved how prepared Laurel was! I found out later that planning and attention to detail are a specialty of hers : ) so really, it wasn’t a surprise that their wedding was perfectly designed as a blend of elegance and whimsy.

When I arrived on the big day and started to shoot the bridal prep, everyone was so calm! The girls were having a blast as Laurel stepped into a stunning lace gown. The guys relaxed in a suite a few rooms away while dressing in modern grey suits, with coral ties and succulent boutonnieres! Everyone was all smiles and laughs before they headed over to the ceremony location.

Laurel and Justin were married at the St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, a few minutes away from the resort. Not only is the interior of the church breathtaking (richly colored stain glass windows, marble pulpits, etc.), but the organizers and staff are super nice and accommodating for photographers. I could move around and get unique perspectives during the mass and was even given access to the second floor balcony to capture a stunning wide-angle shot of the entire congregation.

For the reception, we headed back to the resort, where Amy Mancuso and Cactus Flower transformed the reception lawn into a beautiful, elegant space; filled with succulents, pale blooms, and tastefully placed candles. My favorite detail was the dream catchers Laurel had placed over the entrance to the lawn. It added a quaint, Bohemian feel to their elegant desert gala!

I whisked the couple and the bridal party all around the resort, catching my favorite candid moments of laughter and smiles and also creating some ethereal shots of Laurel in all her bridal glory!

The entire evening was filled with heartfelt speeches, dancing, and glow sticks! All in all, Laurel and Justin managed to create a timeless, yet unique celebration for all of their friends and family.

Bravo to the newly weds! Your wedding was absolutely spectacular, and I hope you cherish the stunning images you created for all the happy years to come!

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