Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

     
15
Mar
Tucson Engagement Session: Aleesia and Mark’s Incredible Love Story
categories: Engagements, Meet Our People, Photography, Wedding Inspiration

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Aleesia and Mark’s story is one of incredible love and commitment so we’re just going to let them tell you the story and we’ll accompany it with some gorgeous Tucson engagement session pictures taken by Elite Circle photographer Scott Rice Photography. We usually ask questions about dating, and the proposal and other “couple” things like that but when you read their story, you’ll see why we skipped right over those…

Love at First Sight and One Heck of a Journey

Mark and I met by total chance when he decided to “friend request” me, of all places, on Facebook. We had a number of mutual friends and just shared a few innocent conversations back and forth before becoming literally inseparable in late-July of 2014. As hokey as it sounds, once we met, it was love at first sight for the both of us, which was very unique given both of our pasts with relationships and what we had experienced so far. We had both pretty much written off that true love might not exist, and then when we both least expected it, it hit us like a brick wall. Mark has two sweet little boys from a previous marriage whom I fell in love with instantly, and without any doubt in my mind knew that I would take them in as my own and we would love them unconditionally and raise them together. They call me “Mama,” which warms my heart to no end. Almost immediately we moved in together and eventually got our own place.

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We were together just shy of three months when Mark decided to take me skydiving for my birthday. This was something I had always wanted to do and had only mentioned it a few times. Little did I know that he’s a man who actually listens and pays attention to detail. It was October 20, 2014, and the next thing I remember we were on our way to Eloy for a once in a lifetime adventure…jumping out of a perfectly good airplane at 13,000 ft. That ride up was the final carefree adventure we would have in our, at that point in time, short relationship so far. The jump was amazing and I enjoyed every minute of it, however, it started to get very interesting once we landed. From the moment we touched down on the ground I lost all recollection of anything from that point in time for about the next 11 days. This is where Mark comes in to tell the story…

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At first, she was just very light-headed and dizzy. She had a tough time walking at first, but I figured that was some motion sickness because to be totally honest, I was feeling a little nauseous myself the first few minutes after landing; but hers wasn’t getting any better. As time passed on she was getting more and more sick and started to become disoriented with not knowing where we were at or what we were doing there. This is when my “red flags” started going up. Being a firefighter and paramedic for 10 years, at that time, I did a couple of quick checks and things were only getting worse. It got to the point where the entire left side of her body wasn’t functioning properly, she couldn’t walk at all, and had become completely disoriented and disconnected from reality. I thought she was having a stroke or an aneurysm at this point so I picked her up, scooped her into the truck, and rushed her to UMC back in Tucson. To make a long story short, they thought she was having a stroke as well, but after tons of tests they determined she had a large mass on the right side of her brain as well as a vertebral artery dissection on that same side. The next 11 days in the hospital were a miserable blur for her, but she’s the toughest woman I’ve ever met and did it with grace. Now, back to Aleesia…

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I spent the next few weeks out of the hospital getting regular brain scans and check-ups because they didn’t remove it in that first 11-day stint due to wanting other things to heal first. The docs kept monitoring the tumor and it initially looked benign in all the imaging, but as time went on my symptoms were getting worse and the characteristics of the tumor were changing so drastically to the point that the neurosurgeon “called it” and scheduled my surgery right away. Come December 2, 2014, I was laying on the surgical table having my brain operated on for about four hours. The surgery was a success due to the most incredible work by the most meticulous neurosurgeon. Dr. Thomas Norton is truly a saint in our eyes for what he did and how compassionate of care he gave my family and I in all of this. When I was in recovery, it was the following night when Dr. Norton delivered the news that changed our lives forever. He looked at us both and said how sorry he was to tell us, but pathology reports the tumor as cancer. Not only cancer, but also the most aggressive and deadly cancer someone can have in their brain—Grade IV astrocytoma (aka glioblastoma). Needless to say Mark and I were both heartbroken and shocked at the news and just held each other. Now it was on to the next phase of this journey.

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This is where I learned that no matter what happened, Mark was going to be by my side. He proposed to me on December 17, 2014, when I had just started my chemo and radiation therapy. Little did I know that he had bought the ring prior to our skydive in October and was planning on originally doing it sometime that week. Needless to say, our plans got a little bit altered that day. He had shown such love, dedication, and commitment to helping me through everything and never left my side for a single moment throughout either hospital stay. He slept on the uncomfortable hospital room chairs and neither my family nor his could pull him away from me, even for a single night. We could hardly make him go to the cafeteria for a few minutes to eat. He saw me go through the worst thing I had ever had to do in my life—aggressive chemo and radiation therapy while still recovering from brain surgery. He saw me lose almost all of my hair and was there to console me through all of it. He saw me so physically ill all of the time and couldn’t get out of bed some days and he still loved me like the day we met. He never missed an appointment. He was taking care of me day in and day out, no matter what it was. He withdrew from school for the rest of the year to take care of me and do as much independent research as possible to make sure we were doing everything we could to try and beat this. This was a major thing because his withdrawal from school meant giving up a life-long career goal in which he had been working unimaginably hard for when we met, which was also time-sensitive in order to attain. This was his last shot at that goal and he gave it up in a heartbeat for me, which I still can’t believe and I can’t thank him enough for all the sacrifices he has made.

For being in a new relationship and having all of this happen, I was positive no one in their right mind would possibly want to stay with me and endure this stressful life; but he never waivered or had to even think about it. He told me that he knew since the moment we met he would be by my side through thick and thin, and man did he mean it. I couldn’t be more blessed to have such an angel of a man in my life who is also my best friend, my one true love and soul mate. It has been well over a year now since this journey began and our love has done nothing but grow stronger and more intense each passing day. Scans are still stable at this point and we pray it stays this way, but the reality is it’s a waiting game and can come back at any time. We don’t know what the future holds, but we embrace the present and all the positive around us and are hopeful that a long happy life together is in the cards.

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P.S. – This is Mark now. I just want to say, that no matter how sick she was or how awful she felt, she was always the most amazing partner and mother to our two little boys. I can’t imagine the headaches she’s had and how terrible she’s felt, but that didn’t stop her from taking care of all of us as well. She would still make herself get up and keep up on the house, make sure me and the boys were fed, had clean clothes and a nice place to call home, and even that they got their homework done every night. This is a REAL woman and quite frankly the strongest woman I’ve ever known of. She says a lot of sweet things about me above, but honestly I consider myself to be the luckiest man for having her in mine and our boy’s lives. I can’t picture my life without her, and I really REALLY hope I never have to, but I do know that I will love her forever no matter what.

P.P.S. Mark and Aleesia, we love you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Congratulations (in advance) on the wedding!

All photos: Scott Rice Photography

Tucson Bride & Groom, your Tucson wedding magazine

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1
Mar
Real Tucson Wedding | A Classic Black and White Wedding
categories: fabulous reception sites, For Your Ceremony, Photography, Real Weddings, Reception ideas, Wedding Inspiration

Tucson Bride and Groom_Black and white wedding_Amanda Rockafellow Photography (1)

Callie and Jacob had a classic black and white wedding at Tucson’s beautiful Loews Ventana Canyon Resort; the couple’s outdoor nuptials were during the evening surrounded by glowing candles and beneath a brilliantly lit tree. They’re a modern classic couple- from their wedding attire to their reception decor, everything is thoughtfully elegant.

Callie recalls: Our wedding was the perfect combination of classic tradition and sleek modernity…I wore a Grace Kelly inspired custom white lace gown with long sleeves, a detachable cathedral train belted at the waist and white lace head piece with a veil. Jacob wore a classic black Hugo Boss tuxedo with suspenders.

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A Classic Black and White Wedding Ceremony: We opted for simplicity with sincere intimacy.  The officiant was the my (the bride’s) cousin who was ordained specifically for the wedding.  The vows were incredibly personal as they written by us and my cousin.  A best friend of ours delivered a reading (a passage from the book the Alchemist about love being the language that all the world speaks), and western musician and long-time family friend Brenn Hill, sang “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton during the ceremony.

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A Classic Black and White Wedding Reception: We started the reception with our first dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” performed by Brenn Hill. The father-daughter dance followed with a song called “Daddy’s Last Waltz” written and performed by Brenn Hill.

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We did not have any “wedding colors” – only classic black and white. We accented our invitations, menus, and programs with gold. The reception was held outside under bistro lights. The tables were a mix of ivory linen and bare wood farmhouse tables adorned with glass candle sticks and clusters of white, ivory and blush flowers, and contemporary acrylic ghost chairs for seating. We also brought in tall trees, and flowering shrubs for the reception. The pots were decorated with white and ivory taffeta and were placed in and among all of the dinner tables.

The dance floor was covered with a specially made gold arbor strung with white lights and was flanked by tufted couches, acrylic coffee tables, and candle light.

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We served family style Mediterranean cuisine and also had a dessert bar with a variety of mouth-watering selections (prickly pear mousse with pistachios, orange scented anise crème brûlée, red velvet mini cupcakes, chocolate buttercream mini cupcakes, and walnut baklava); the evening weather was more beautiful than we ever thought possible, so our guests lingered outside with cocktails and dessert under the lights well into the early morning

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How cute is Callie’s 2nd dress for the evening? We love that she changed into this flirty little number!

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Professionals Who Help You Wed in Style

Wedding Venue, Catering, Cake: Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Photographer: Amanda Rockafellow Photography

Makeup and Hair: Margarita GoDiva’s I Do Hair & Makeup Artistry

Explore our complete list of Elite Circle members Tucson-Wedding-Vendors_Tucson-Bride-and-Groom_Tucson-Wedding-Magazine_Elite-Circle-vendors_2015_Blogthinline

Wedding Planner, Florist: Atelier de LaFleur :: Gown: Lillian Lottie Couture

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Congratulations Callie and Jacob and thank you for sharing your beautiful black and white wedding with us!

Tucson Bride & Groom, your Tucson wedding magazine
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26
Jan
Real Tucson Wedding: Betsy and Myles’ Lord of the Rings Wedding
categories: Bridal Fashions, fabulous reception sites, Floral Inspiration, Photography, Real Weddings, Reception ideas, Wedding Inspiration

Tucson bride and groom_tucson wedding_yellow_Chris Richards Photography (1)

It’s not often that a couple decides to plan a Lord of the Rings wedding but for those that do, they have a ton of fun with it! Betsy and Myles actually included elements of Lord of the Rings AND The Hobbit throughout their wedding day and the result was a day full of memorable fun and meaningful moments.

Colors: Navy Blue & Yellow

As a way to connect with my familial legacy, I carried a handkerchief that belonged to my great-grandmother Edna, and which was carried by my paternal grandmother, my mom, and my aunt on each of their respective wedding days. It was a small detail, but made me feel especially close to those wonderful women in my life.

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Lord of the Rings Wedding Stationery Detail: The couple’s Save the Dates, designed and hand-drawn by Brie Dumais Designs, featured the Doors of Durin and the invitations included hand-drawn lanterns and branches to continue the whimsical feel without being too “themey” (save the dates and invites not professionally photographed).

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3 Words: fun, intimate, and loving

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Favorite Moment: Both Myles and I had the same favorite moment, but from opposite points of view; for me, it was stepping into the courtyard and seeing his eyes light up as I walked down the aisle, while for Myles, it was seeing me step into view and immediately giving him a huge smile. (A very close second was being announced as “Myles and Betsy Berry” for the first time as we entered the reception, and knowing that the hard parts — all the planning and preparation — had paid off, and now we just got to celebrate with our friends and family.

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Lord of the Rings Wedding Ceremony Details: Our ceremony music came from Howard Shore’s score for The Lord of the Rings films. My father read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, an evocative poem on true love and a nod to the work I am doing as a PhD student in English literature.  Our recessional was particularly special, as our DJ mixed two of our favorite songs from the score in order to give us an exuberant, triumphal exit.

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Lord of the Rings Wedding Reception Detail: Tables at the reception were named after locations in Middle Earth

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Rather than a wedding cake, we had gelato, which was great for a warm June evening. The gelato was served out of an adorable rolling cart, which fit in well with the general ambiance. Our reception continued the upbeat experience of our ceremony.

There was a great variety of music, though it was at Myles’ and my request heavy on Motown and soul hits from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. These timeless songs encouraged guests of all ages to keep dancing all night, and we all had a great time. I can’t imagine any other way to have celebrated the beginning of my marriage to my fellow nerd, adventurer, and partner in crime!

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Any surprises or things you would change? I think one of the biggest surprises to both of us was how anxious we both got on the day of. The pre-wedding jitters are so real! We both knew for sure that this was what we wanted, and couldn’t wait to be married, but we got very anxious about the event itself anyway. I think it sort of struck both of us how important this day was, and how much work we had put into making it just right for us, and so we both started wondering if something was going to wrong, if people were going to hate our ceremony or our music, and it really got to us. We both just loved every aspect of our wedding so much that we knew we’d take it very personally if guests didn’t love it. Luckily, everyone did enjoy it, and even cheered when they recognized the triumphant music from Lord of the Rings. So, if I could change one thing, I’d want my day-of jitters to be soothed — no wasting the lead-up to the ceremony with my stomach in knots!

 

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Professionals Who Help You Wed in Style
Ceremony and Reception Location: Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
FloralPosh Petals
Entertainment: Satyr Entertainment
Invitations and Paper Products: Brie Dumais Designs

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Wedding Planner: M.C. Events :: Gelato: Frost Gelato :: Tuxedo: Jos. A. Bank :: Hair and Makeup: Gadabout Salon

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Congratulations Betsy and Myles and thank you for sharing your beautiful Lord of the Rings wedding with us!
 
Tucson Bride & Groom, your Tucson wedding magazine
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15
Dec
Tucson Wedding Magazine: Tucson Bride & Groom’s Winter Spring Issue!
categories: Bridal Fashions, For Your Ceremony, Grooms, Health and Beauty, Photography, Videography, Wedding Inspiration

For our Winter Spring Tucson wedding magazine cover, we went with a look that’s edgy, modern and sexy. There’s no doubt in our minds that it’s going to be a big hit! This is just the beginning of your wedding planning fun:

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Thank you to these talented Elite Circle vendors who helped create our Winter Spring cover:

Location:
Frostings Event Design & Rentals

Concept stylist, decor:
Frostings Event Design & Rentals

Photographer:
She.we Studio

Videography:
She.we Studio

Floral design:
Villa Feliz Flowers

Hair styling and Makeup artist:
Margarita Go Diva’s I Do Hair & Makeup Artistry

Gown:
GiGi Bridal Boutique

Groom attire:
Tuxedos on Broadway

Jewelry:
Ambassador Diamond Jewelers

Models:
Amy and Brian of The Agency Arizona

You can pick up your complimentary copy of the Tucson Bride & Groom Winter Spring issue- the only Tucson wedding magazine you need to plan your wedding- at these establishments (if you don’t live in the Tucson area and would like a copy, there are instructions for ordering your copy on that page as well).

Tucson Bride & Groom, your Tucson wedding magazine 

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