This Sedona Golf Resort wedding was an absolutely stunning start to summer here in Arizona! When I asked Bailey and Christy why they chose the Sedona Golf Resort as their wedding venue, Christy said, “Everything in Sedona is BEAUTIFUL, but the golf resort had the perfect views!” And she’s not wrong there. The Sedona Golf Resort provides a stunning panoramic view of the iconic red rock landscape. If you’re looking for a Sedona wedding venue, it should definitely be at the top of your short list; it really is an amazing place to get married!
The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort was a super convenient getting ready location for everyone. It’s only about a 2 minute drive from the hotel to the golf resort; you could even walk between the two venues if you want! Christy’s hotel room was full of energy when I walked in. Her bridesmaids were sitting on the couch, all wearing matching floral robes. Christy was sitting in the hot seat with Samantha (Santor Beauty), the final one of the group to get all dolled up with professional makeup. I hadn’t seen Christy since her and Bailey’s engagement session over a year and a half ago. She got up from her seat and gave me a big hug, smiling ear-to-ear. This girl was so excited!
She had all of her bridal details on the entryway table. The items that she had collected for me to photograph during this part of the day were a perfect reflection of Christy as a bride: simple and elegant.
Bailey’s older brother Lucas didn’t think he would be able to make it to the wedding. About 3 days before the big day, however, he got permission from the military to head out for the celebration. Seeing him help Bailey into his suit just had an extra special feeling to it!
A special moment of this Sedona Golf Resort wedding that stands out in my mind is Bailey and Christy’s First Look together. Before Christy got into her wedding dress, I had walked around The Ridge to find a private First Look location that had great light and a nice background. I snapped a few quick photos on my phone and showed them to Christy, letting her know my favorite of the three options and why. Luckily, she was also a fan of my top pick! I left my second shooter with Christy and I left to go meet up with Bailey.
I knocked on the door and Bailey greeted with me such a big grin! I asked him if he was ready to go see his bride and you could see the nervous butterflies immediately take hold. I walked with Bailey to the shady spot in the trees I picked out– not far from his hotel room. A couple minutes later, Christy walked across the parking lot behind him, sharing that same nervous and excited energy. I told them both to take as much time as they wanted and to just enjoy this moment together– especially since it’s one of the few parts of the wedding day that they’d be alone.
Christy took a few steps forward and then asked Bailey to turn around. As soon as Bailey took in the full picture of Christy in her wedding dress, the tears broke lose.
When I asked Christy about what made her fall in love with her dress, she had such a sweet ‘I found the dress’ story: “I had originally thought I wanted such a plain dress. My sister was actually the one who begged me to try this one on. There is SO much detail. Lace, beads, everything. I would have never imagined myself in it. But the second I stepped in front of the mirror I truly had to catch my breath.” Well, I think Bailey had to catch his breath, too. Ugh, this is why I will ALWAYS encourage my couples to have a First Look moment together!
The next big group of photos that we needed to accomplish before the ceremony were bridal party portraits and family portraits. I looked all over the immediate areas near their hotel rooms at The Ridge and I honestly couldn’t find a space that I would recommend. I needed the sun to be behind everyone while also ensuring there were no distractions in the background (like all the guests’ cars) and, of course, maintaining a high quality of light on faces.
Rather than spend more time at the hotel desperately trying to find a good location (and possibly finding nothing), I told the bride and groom that we should go ahead and drive over to the golf resort. As soon as I got out of the car, I quickly walked around the clubhouse area. As I turned the corner, I knew I found the perfect place. Light was shining in through the trees and there was nothing but a few golfers on the green behind them.
There was one catch though. It meant that I would be shooting across the street, exercising patience with passing cars, speaking louder so my couple could hear me, using a step ladder to get on the right elevation across from them, and using a longer and heavier lens. Would it be more work than shooting at another spot that didn’t check off all my location requirements? Absolutely. But my gut told me this location would be worth it in the end. I’m so happy that I chose this spot!
While choosing the color palette for their wedding, Christy and Bailey wanted to consider the vibe of Sedona. The goal was to have their colors complement the warm tones of the red rock and the muted greens of the desert brush. The cool gray suits worn by the guys paired with the light blue bridesmaid dresses and Christy’s blush bridal bouquet looked so lovely all together.
Even though they just saw each other a few minutes before, Bailey still couldn’t help but tear up again as Christy walked down the aisle with her dad wearing her long cathedral veil.
Bailey got some retribution when Christy started crying during their personal vow readings. So sweet!
Bailey’s mom Vicki followed closely behind with the happy tears.
Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Marko!!!
Ok, so I have to brag on the staff at the Sedona Golf Resort really quickly. I’ve photographed a lot of weddings. I’ve visited numerous wedding venues. And I have NEVER seen a venue bring out a round of drinks and appetizers to the bridal party. We took a quick cheers photo to commemorate this fun moment!
After their ceremony, we jumped in my car and went for a short drive to a nearby hiking area. Christy and Bailey got to have their sunset portraits out among the Sedona red rock.
After driving back from sunset portraits, Christy and Bailey made their entrance into the wedding reception hosted at the golf resort’s clubhouse. They immediately went into their first dance together. Christy said she was really looking forward to it: “Our song that we chose means so much to us. We are both awkward and can’t dance, but still… it’ll be perfect.”
The guests got a gorgeous Sedona view before the sun went down as they watched Bailey and Christy!
After dinner, the Maid of Honor (Erin) and the Best Man (Lucas) gave some pretty epic toasts! Lucas stopped his watch at the precise moment during the ceremony when Bailey and Christy kissed and then gifted it to them during his speech. Erin wrote a poem all about Bailey and Christy’s relationship bringing her bestie to tears. What thoughtful wedding keepsakes!
Time to cut the cake and fuel up for more dancing!
A couple of days after I returned home from this destination wedding in Sedona, I posted a few sneak peeks from Christy and Bailey’s wedding ceremony. Within just a few minutes of posting, Christy commented saying, “Oh my! These are absolutely incredible! Thank you so so much. I can’t wait to see the rest!!!” Well Christy, this is still just a fraction of the photos coming your way, but I hope this story of your wedding day takes your breath away even more than before 😉 Thank you both so so much for asking me to travel with you to Sedona!
For their honeymoon, they’ll be relaxing on the beaches of Hilton Head Island among the swaying palm trees.
Wedding Venue | Sedona Golf Resort
Getting Ready Venue | The Ridge
Dress Shop | Matina’s Bridal (based in Beachwood, Ohio)
Tanning Services | Bronzed and Turquoise
Invitation Designer | Magnetstreet
Florist | Bliss Floral
Hair Stylist | Sarai Micah
Makeup Artists | Bride: Samantha Santor, Bridesmaids: Hellianna Verrett
DJ | Dana with Entertain This!
Cake Artist | Sedona Bakery
Groom’s and Groomsmen Attire | Men’s Wearhouse
Bridesmaids’ Dresses | Azazie
Jeweler | Anello Jewelry
Caterer | Sedona Golf Resort
Anyone else who provided special details you incorporated into your day:
Christy Hunter is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Seattle, Washington.
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