Desert Bridal Portraits | Scottsdale, Arizona Wedding Photographer

A little back story about me! I grew up in a military family so I am "from" so many places. One of these places is sunny Arizona! I moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University and began my teaching career there as well. Upon meeting my now husband I left Arizona to move to Virginia. However, I am lucky enough to be able to return to Arizona a few times each year. Last year during the heat of the summer, I talked this gorgeous lady into modeling at one of my favorite locations. I would love to start shooting one or two weddings a year in Arizona, or even doing some elopements. I am typically in Arizona in January or February and again in June. However, for a wedding I can travel anytime of the year at no additional travel costs!!

For this desert bridal session I found a sweet model who put up with a little walk to get to our location, and very high temperatures to make this shoot work. I packed this amazing dress by White Dress by Greta Kay in my suitcase all the way from VA just for this shoot. I also had an online consultation from my favorite florist, The Faded Poppy to help make my own bouquet using local flowers and greenery! These mountains are part of the Papago Park trails. There is over a 1 mile hike from the parking lot to the amphitheater where I wanted to take bridal portraits (we took a little short cut). I love the red rocks of Arizona in contrast with the green cactus and the gorgeous sunsets! As we were leaving the session there was even a drum circle at the bottom of the mountain, too bad we were too hot to stay and listen, well that and we were chasing the sunset across the street at the time!

A little about the dress by designer, Greta Kay. This dress is a fit and flare style featuring our Paisley lace and leather straps. It can be customized with different leather strap colors or jewelry straps of pearl or precious stones.

50's Inspired Styled Wedding | Staunton Wedding Photographer

This session highlights so many things that I love about photography! First, I love all things vintage! I love the outdoors and shooting near water because the light is amazing. I also love working with and supporting local vendors which is really what a styled shoot is all about. Take a look at this gorgeous styled wedding that was featured on Glamour and Grace!

I met with Liz from Gaie Lea to discuss putting together a styled shoot that showed how beautiful her venue is during all seasons. This shoot was actually done during the fall but it would also be the perfect spring or summer wedding concept.  We both wanted to focus on the 1950’s which is when the venue was built. We wanted to highlight the use of family heirlooms and using items from your mother’s wedding. I decided a casual picnic theme would be perfect by the water, but still keeping a sense of elegance and formality from the 50’s. We stayed very true to the era in terms of wardrobe, hair, and make up. We used all original 1950’s family heirlooms for the styling, most of which belonged to the venue owner’s own mother and grandmother.  Other vintage props were supplied by Valley Heirlooms.

Sara Kite from The Faded Poppy styled the shoot. She always find the most amazing vintage pieces and did such a great job combining them with the family pieces we borrowed from Gaie Lea. Sara, and her adorable puppy Charley (seen below) designed the perfect tablescape and reception setting. Sara has such a creative eye and can work with any vision. Sara also created the retro inspired bouquet. This petite bouquet comprised of a soft palette mix of locally sourced blooms including cream mums, peach roses, white limonium and fresh sage & thyme sourced from Gaie Lea's herb garden.

We had a team of three doing the hair and makeup. They matched the true style of the 1950's so perfectly. Omar De Leon Molina owner of Omar's Hair Salon did a wonderful job styling our models hair. The before and after was simply amazing. Veronica Vargas from Glamorous Makeup and Hair by Judith Veronica did a beautiful job defining the look with the glamorous red lips and minimal, but bold, Sophia Lauren eyes. Make up was such an iconic part of 1950's fashion and Veronica portrayed that perfectly. 

The wedding dress, named  Betty, was custom designed by wedding dress designer Greta Kay. The dress is fashioned with a sweetheart neckline and full tea length skirt. It features hand-beaded alencon lace on tulle. The shoes which can be found at White Dress by Greta Kay were the perfect accessory to this dress.

 I decided I didn’t want to use a traditional cake so I decided to use pies which were very popular in the 50’s and went along with the picnic theme. Paris Cake Co. supplied pies in two sizes and they were both beautiful and delicious!

For jewelry I visited the new owners of H.L. Lang & Co.,  a jewelry store that carries estate and other fine jewelry. They owner and her mother chose original 1950’s pieces that were perfect for the shoot. They chose a red colored stone for the engagement ring, graduated pearls, and a beautiful pin. This theme was so much fun to plan to see through. Everyone involved had so much fun researching the era and finding fun ways to incorporate traditions and era specific details.

Photographer: Christy McKee Photography

Venue: Gaie Lea Staunton, VA

Styling: Sara Kite, The Faded Popppy

Florals: The Faded Poppy

Wedding dress, shoes, and wardrobe styling: White Dress by Greta kay

Jewelry: H.L. Lang & Co

Pies: Paris Cake Company!

Vintage Rentals: Valley Heirlooms

Hair: Omar’s Hair Salon (no current web page)

Make Up: Veronica Vargas