I could feel the excitement in Sandra’s words when she reached out to me about photographing her son’s outdoor wedding in Sierra Vista. She told me, “It’s a military wedding, short notice, but would love for him to have professional pictures!” This hit so close to home for me!
Mike and I got engaged while traveling in New Zealand (I’ll link that blog series below!) and had a small courthouse ceremony two weeks later with only 5 guests. Two weeks after we said “I do” he deployed to Iraq for 9 months. It was a little chaotic, but we were so happy to be married. My only regret is that the only photos we have are a few cell phone ones. As a photographer you think I would’ve known better!
One year later, after he had come home, we had a vow renewal so that we could celebrate with our extended friends and family. It was perfect and we still remember how much of a blast we had. I made sure that we had professional photos that time! I look at the canvas print hanging up on our wall every day and I’m so grateful to have that beautiful image of us.
Vanessa and Vincent’s wedding day was set to take place 5 days from the first email I got from Sandra. FIVE DAYS! I knew they were all overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done, so I worked quickly to get everything in place.
When I first started chatting with Sandra about her son’s wedding, she said they had picked a local park for the ceremony location. Now please don’t think I’m ragging on public parks! But this park in particular is right off of one of the busiest streets here in Sierra Vista. And because we’re in the desert, trees aren’t super plentiful to seclude the park. Traffic and commercial buildings are very nearby. I just knew in my heart that I could find a more private, quieter option for Vanessa and Vincent’s ceremony.
After getting them officially booked with me, I went out and drove around to three different potential locations for their outdoor wedding in Sierra Vista. One location was beautiful and shaded but required a little bit of a walk to get to. The family was on a tight timeline for the day and I wanted to use our time together wisely. I swung by the park the couple had initially picked out, as well. In case they weren’t excited about other options, I made sure that I had a plan for a ceremony at the park. I kept my fingers crossed as I sent them pictures that they would fall in love with the last spot I had picked out for them… and they did!
I was so pumped for the location we had chosen for their wedding day, but the photographer in me was a tad nervous! Vanessa and Vincent had already reserved the judge to officiate the ceremony and the time couldn’t be changed. We would be outdoors at one of the harshest times of day from a lighting perspective. The possibility of shade was almost non-existent. Vanessa and Vincent’s families were so happy for these two and I wanted to deliver some amazing photos for them to remember the day. The pressure was on!
Vanessa and Vincent got ready at a local hotel close to their reception. I stopped by to grab a few quick Getting Ready photos of the two of them.
We then drove out to their ceremony location. I found a small patch of shade for Vincent to stand in as he waited to see his bride for the first time.
I was so honored to be among Vanessa and Vincent’s closest friends and family. After some family formals, it was time to take Vanessa and Vincent’s first portraits as HUSBAND & WIFE!
I was completely floored when Vanessa told me that she bought her wedding dress online. It looked like it was made for her!
Sandra is beyond proud of her son. He’s her first child to be married, too! Thank you so much for your service, Vincent.
After portraits we made quick drive over to a local restaurant where Vincent, Vanessa, and their families were ready to relax and enjoy each other’s company. But first, CAKE!
These two were full of smiles the entire day!
Congratulations Vincent and Vanessa and thank you again for letting me be a part of such a special moment in your lives together! I know that military life can be stressful, but it’s so much easier when you have an incredible love for one another like you two share.
See more gorgeous Arizona weddings that I’ve captured HERE!
Want to re-live Mike and I’s trip to New Zealand? Check out this quick blog series:
Christy Hunter is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Tucson, Arizona.
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