Dene’ and Levi have a lot to celebrate! This sweet young couple graduated from Northern Arizona University on Friday and got married on Sunday. Their beautiful and intimate ceremony was held at Thornager’s on Kiltie Lane. Thornager’s was a perfect spot for them to set up games and enjoy the outdoors with their family and friends. Dene’ added a lot of personal touches to make the wedding have a relaxed and fun feel. They even enlisted their guests to make a light saber arch while they exited the ceremony to the Star Wars theme song. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!
Alterations: Anne’s Alterations
Cake: A Touch of Sugar Bakery
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Thornagers on Kiltie Lane
Floral: Sister of the Groom
Invitations on Etsy: Jack and Ella Paper Press
Photography: Tangled Lilac Photography
Rentals: Classic Party Rental
check out more of Dene & Levi’s wedding on Facebook!
We are almost finished editing this gorgeous couples wedding but could not resist showing you a few of their couple photos. Amy and Rick were such great sports which allowed us to take advantage of this beautiful winter evening at Flagstaff Ranch. Check back soon for the rest of their fabulous wedding!
Ceremony Venue: Flagstaff Christian Fellowship
Reception Venue: Flagstaff Ranch
DJ & Lighting: Downtown Browne Productions
Florist: Sutcliffe Floral
Photography: Melissa Dunstan Photography
A big thank you to Beantown Bride for their feature on Leigh & Preston’s Rockport, MA wedding at Emerson by the Sea! This Boston wedding was absolutely spectacular and was an honor to photograph. Take a look at more of their gorgeous wedding below! ~Melissa and Kristen
This August, I headed to spectacular Rockport, MA to photograph my best friend’s wedding. I’ve known Preston since 1989, when I was at the University of Georgia and he was a ceramic student at Shorter College. He was my then boyfriend’s big brother in a fraternity that they created named “Alpha Lamba Epsilon” (which the abbreviation, by the way, obviously spells out “ale”. This was a joke among the brothers as traditional fraternities were not allowed at their small, very conservative college. They thought they were being really funny by spelling out a code word for “beer”) But, those college stories are for another day and time…
As soon as I met Preston, he was immediately my best friend. Preston was always there for me, always. He took me to the airport on my first ever time on an airplane (yes, I was 25, I know…I’m a late travel bloomer:), and met me when I got off the plane and took me for a cocktail to celebrate. He and I have watched every John Hughes made, probably 100 times each. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve quoted this scene from Weird Science. He introduced me to art and tried to teach me how to appreciate it. (Although I think when we were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art I might have started to go to sleep when he was lecturing me on composition) He was always there when I needed someone to listen to me, someone to encourage me and someone to act silly with. We’ve been to at least six Jimmy Buffet concerts together, visited each other in all the different states we’ve lived in and always, always been each others cheerleader. From day one, even when I was just starting out, he encouraged me to follow my heart and become a photographer. He and I recently laughed at just how bad I was when I first started, but he said to me that he saw just how much I loved it and above all, he wanted me to be happy. And, I suppose, that’s what best friends do, they support one another regardless of the odds.
One thing a lot of people don’t know is that Preston made my engagement ring. One of the reasons that I love my husband so much, is that he’s thoughtful and has always understood my close bond with Preston. Recognizing this, he called up a man he’s only heard stories of, and asked him to design and make my engagement ring. I cannot tell you how much this gesture meant to me, it somehow just can’t be put in words. He came to my wedding as my Brides-Man and stood as witness when I said my vows to Grant on a cold, snowy day. When I asked him to be in my wedding, and if he would feel strange as a bridesmaid, I mean bridesman, he replied, “I’d do anything for you, even wear a dress if you want.” I knew that even though we were joking, I knew deep down he was serious. He would do anything for me.
Preston is a professor at Bridgewater State University now but also finds time to make some beautiful ceramic art pieces. Along the way, he also became a wonderful metal worker. He, of course, made Leigh’s rings with a solitaire diamond surrounded by pink sapphires. Leigh, also being an artist, designed Preston’s ring. I can’t even begin to imagine how artistically gifted their kids will be!
So now that you know a little bit about my friend, fast forward to February 2011 when I got a call that I ultimately knew would come one day. In typical Preston form, he quoted a John Hughes movie, Sixteen Candles, and just said this when I picked up the phone….”Married??!!??“. I immediately knew what had happened. Holy Cow, my best friend was getting married. And, so I responded just like Jake in Sixteen Candles, “Married??” And Preston said, again, “Married!!!!…Gez…!!” It’s a dialogue only best friends can understand. At this point, I had never met Leigh. I had only heard stories about her and watched how my best friend’s eyes would light up when he told me about her. But, it was when they first met when I knew she was going to be The One. Preston called me up and announced he had stopped smoking cigarettes. What!?! I was so happy for him, as I had been hounding him for YEARS to stop. I asked “What changed your mind?” And this response is really what amazed me…”Leigh doesn’t like kissing someone who smokes“. Right then I knew I would like her.
To say I was nervous when I met Leigh would be an understatement. I. Was. Terrified. What if she didn’t like me? What if I messed up the wedding photos? What if I threw up on her shoes? (OK, that probably wasn’t going to happen, but I worry about lots of things…) But, from the moment that I met her I knew why Preston loved her so much. She greeted me with one of those big hugs that I appreciated. It was filled with immediate respect and love. And I loved her from that moment.
Leigh has wonderful style. When I asked Preston what kind of dress she was going to get, all he told me was “She said it would be dramatic“. Now, as a photographer, you never know what this could mean. But, when I walked into her parent’s house, I was floored. I think their kitty loved it as much as I did judging on how he was staring at it. It’s a beautiful Melissa Sweet bustier and skirt. And, it was made for Leigh. She was stunning in this dress. Leigh choose a pallet of pink and black for their day and everything was gorgeous. The flowers, created by artists atThe Sage Florists, were a combination of roses, calla lillies and hydrangeas and they were stunning! I told you that Leigh and Preston were artists and they proved that when they took this design to their cake artist, The Cookie Countess. Details at the reception were delightful. I loved the combination of letterpress escort cards and table markers by Parrot Design Studio. The star gazer lillies were as gorgeous as they smelled. Emerson by the Sea , a lovely historic gem, was once owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and is flocked with beautiful quotes about love and life. What a sweet touch for a wedding!
So, here’s a few photos from their day. It was definitely hard to pick my favorites for the blog, but I hope you enjoy them.
To Preston and Leigh,
Thank you so much for allowing me to be your photographer on your wedding day. I can’t even begin to let you know just how much it meant to me to watch you start your life together. I hope you love the photos half as much as I adore you both. Love and hugs to both of you! ~ Melissa
Kristen and Adam are dear to my heart, in so many ways that I hope this blog post will do it justice. I met Adam in 2003, when he (and his 13 bicycles :)), became my roommate. It was a strange thing, one day someone asked me if I wanted a roommate, and the next week a complete stanger moved into my house. Except, Adam was never a stranger. Do you ever meet someone and you feel like you’ve known them for a 100 years? Well, Adam is definitely that person to me. He was the little brother I never had, but always thought was out there. I remember when I was a little kid, I would ask my mom if I was adopted, over and over. She finally asked why, and I said I wanted to find my other sibling that I thought was “out there”. She laughed, but in all honestly, I really did think that. He and I became best friends quickly and even more quickly, he was family.
When Adam started to date Kristen, I knew even before he did that she was “the One”. She was spunky, smart and loved to laugh….a lot! I just adored her and she quickly became my soul sister. She and I are one of the 4 founders of our invented adult sorority group called “Chippies”, but that’s a whole different story…:) Now, like all little brothers, Adam really started to annoy me when he didn’t know as quickly as I did that she was the One, but a couple of years later, it hit him like a ton of bricks had just fallen from the sky. So, I found myself going to the jewelers with my ‘adopted’ little brother, helping him pick out the perfect setting for his mother’s heirloom diamond.
I was so honored when they asked me to do their engagement photos! We choose this location, a section of the Arizona Trail, because this is where they fell in love, spending hundreds of hours over the years in the outdoors of Flagstaff riding their mountain bikes and hiking with their dogs, Cindy and Sapphire. It was a near perfect day and I really think these photos show their adoration perfectly for one another. As sedona wedding photographers I was so glad to have my good friends at Sierra Blanco Photography (Tina and Angie) photographed their wedding (I was a bridesmaid!!), so check out their wedding photos on their blog. I really do wish someone had videotaped my speech. It was one of my best ones ever, and I don’t mind saying so myself. 🙂
Allison & Tyler, both officers in the US Army, traveled from Georgia and Tennessee to have a very intimate and romantic ceremony at the gorgeous Tlaquepaque chapel. Laura Marolakos from Heart of Sedona Weddings planned the perfect meaningful event for this adorable couple complete with gorgeous flowers from Events by Show Stoppers. We loved the orange and red pallet they chose for her bouquet, it paired so perfectly with the dress blue uniform and the natural environment. Reverend Andrew gave a beautiful and heartfelt ceremony, and we found ourselves tearing up at the very meaning of marriage as they exchanged their vows. Being a military couple has it’s challenges; Allison and Tyler are both stationed at separate Army bases, and they have to travel from Georgia to Tennessee on the weekends and holidays to spend time together. And then, there is always a chance of deployment. In this time of their recent celebration, we hope the military will move them closer together soon. Congrats Allison and Tyler! ~Melissa and Kristen Sedona Wedding Photographers, Tangled Lilac
Wedding Coordinator: Heart of Sedona Weddings
Officiant: Rev. Andrew Murphy
Floral Designer: Show Stoppers
Photography: Melissa Dunstan Photography
On a beautiful September afternoon in Sedona, Wendy and John became husband and wife. Melissa and I felt so honored to be their wedding photographers and capture their amazing wedding. Wendy and Jon were married atop a ridge in Sedona overlooking the red rocks at Sky Ranch Lodge . Can you imagine anything more magical? The couple traveled with their families to this amazing outdoor location for a intimate destination wedding. Wendy had such a gorgeous gown, if fit her perfectly! All of the floral design by Amy at Bliss floral was perfect for this scenic location. Amy used beautiful succulents and proteas to add a very rustic and textural feel.
Ceremony: Sky Ranch Lodge
Reception: Agave of Sedona
Catering: Rosalie’s of Sedona
Floral Design: Bliss Floral
Day of Coordinator: Peak Events
Photography: Melissa Dunstan Photography
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