the dress

It is all about the details in the dresses from this years wedding fashions. Lots of full and flowing skirts. Beautiful beading stitched by hand. Luscious lace and incredible shapes. I am really loving how sleeves have come back in style. Those styles are complete with some of the most ornate lace work. Designers have done an incredible job making sleeves look elegant and not like your grandmothers dated wedding dress. They are fashionable and stunning. We put together a short film showcasing all of the beautiful dresses from this past wedding season from designers like Hayley Paige, Badgley Mischka and Sherri Hill. Our brides sure looked beautiful as they floated down the aisle. Some of our favorite bridal stores to find these fashions include: Uptown Bridal, Mariee Bridal, Brilliant Bridal,

the shoes

A fabulous dress isn’t complete unless you put it with the perfect pair of shoes. What I love about the wedding fashions for 2019 is that it isn’t all about high heels anymore. You can have a gorgeous wedding shoe be a flat or even a low heel. You will notice all of the details and sparkle that make a shoe both sexy and stunning. Designers have found a way to make these styles flattering and even super cute!! You will absolutely love these shoes from some of the most spectacular designers out there including: Jimmy Choo, Badgley Mischka, TOMS and Manolo Blahnik.

Seeing a brides personal style displayed is one of my favorite parts of a wedding day. I love the confidence she exudes when she slips into her dress and sees herself in it for the first time. On that day she knows she is beautiful and she owns it. She feels at her very best and it comes across in both her photos and wedding film.

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Many couples have the dilemma of whether or not to do a First Look on the day of their wedding. I am actually a great person to ask because I don’t have a dog in this fight. You will definitely have an incredible film whether you do one or not. However I have some thoughts on it for sure… Let me break it down for you…

First Lets Start With What Is A First Look…

A First Look is when you see your soon to be spouse before the actual wedding ceremony. Your Photographer finds a fantastic well lit location and stages your First Look to get your reactions when you see each other for the first time. Then you spend the next hour or so taking your photos together as a couple. As the Ceremony time approaches you separate and go get ready with final touches before you greet each other down the aisle again.

Why Do A First Look

First of all it helps with your timeline. If you get your First Look done and the majority of your couples photo session done before the Ceremony it allows for you to take family photos and be done. It allows for you not to fall into a time crunch with photos.

Once the sun is going down we are chasing the light. If you don’t do a First Look we have a very limited amount of time for couples photo session. Which means we can’t move you around the property as much and be as creative because we are up against the clock and the setting sun. It truly allows your Photographer to be at their best creatively when they aren’t rushed.

First Looks are very private and emotional and make for some of the best footage from the entire day. Your Photographer and Cinematographer shoot it from a distance so it is a moment just for the two of you and it is beautiful.

First Looks get rid of some of the nerves… There is a lot of pressure to see your spouse at the end of the aisle with 100+ pairs of eyes on you. When you do a First Look you get out some of those nerves and jitters. It has a real calming effect. I promise he or she will still look as good at the end of the aisle even though you saw them just a few hours before.

Doing a First Look allows you to attend your Cocktail Hour. If you are wanting to enjoy Cocktails with your family and friends then doing a First Look allows for that. If you don’t do a First Look you will be wrapping your photos just in time for your Grand Entrance.

Check out Alexandra and Charlie’s First Look

Wedding Planner: Impact Events // Venue: The Sanctuary // Photographer: Keith + Melissa // Florist: Avant Garde Studios // Cake: A Bake Shop // Rentals: Bright Event Rentals

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One of my favorite things about what I do besides filming at gorgeous properties like Troon North is learning about a couples love story… How they met and how they fell in love. Melissa said that she would never forget the moment she saw Mason for the first time… that he stopped her in her tracks…

Troon North, White dress, bow tie, black tux, photo

Their Love Story

They met online as most busy working professionals do these days and when she came walking into the bar where they agreed to meet for the first time Mason was immediately drawn to her radiant smile. And to this day that is what he loves most about her, is her smile and that she is always happy. When I spoke to her on the phone the first time about her wedding film I just knew we had to film their wedding. Her energy was contagious and I could just tell she was head over heels in love. They both talk about in their wedding film the adventures they have together and how much fun they have when they are with one another. So it was no surprise that the proposal happened at an arcade when they were playing their favorite arcade game Down The Clown.

Troon North, bridal party, white flowers, photo

The joy and love these two feel for each other is contagious. I couldn’t help but get choked up when I watched their film for the first time. Below is my favorite photo from their wedding images. I love that it is them looking off into the sunset. It looks like they are about to conquer the world. The best part is that they are going to conquer it together!!

Troon North, sunset, desert, cocktail hour, photo

Melissa and Mason we wish you the very best in your life together and are so honored you chose Serendipity to document your love!!

Venue: Troon North Country Club

Wedding Planner: Meant 2 Be Events

Photographer: Amanda Cromer Photography

Florist: Chasing Bliss Design

DJ: SKM Entertainment

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So many of our couples have never hired a videographer before so it can be a bit overwhelming as you shop around. Wedding Videographers all offer pretty much the same options but often times call them different things. I’d like to demystify the terminology for you to help educate you on the process and hopefully make it a bit easier on our couples as they shop around for wedding filmmakers.

Wedding Movie Trailer

A Wedding Movie Trailer is a teaser film. It is just like what you see when you go to the movies when you watch the coming attractions. It is meant to to draw you in and make you want to see the Feature Film when it comes out. It is generally a couple of minutes in length and will have lots of the “Wow”, “Shazam”, “Eye Candy” shots that leave you wanting to see more.

Feature Film or Highlight Film

A Feature Film or Highlight Film is a summary of your wedding day. It is all of the major events from your wedding day summarized into a customized story. Serendipity films have lots of audio in them so you can hear what was said and what people were feeling that day. Some companies do more of a music video with limited audio in it. Feature Films or Highlight Films are edited to music.

Documentary Style Film

A Documentary Style Film is a specific part of your wedding day edited in its entirety. For example a Ceremony Documentary Style Film is your entire Ceremony edited from beginning to end. How that is different from a Feature Film is the Feature Film is only going to have snippets from your Ceremony. The Documentary Style Film is your entire Ceremony. Most companies will offer many options for Documentary Style Films including a Ceremony, Documentary Style Film, Toast Documentary Style Film or First Dances Documentary Style Film.

Raw Footage

Raw Footage is all of the footage from the wedding day. But it is unedited, it is Raw.

Interactive Menu

This is how Serendipity delivers a wedding film. It looks like a DVD but it is not the clunky technology that is a DVD. It is a cloud based technology with each film being downloadable and easily able to be shared. It is the new latest and greatest in wedding film delivery technology. DVD’s and USB’s are a dying technology.

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Only 50% of couples hire a videographer for their wedding day and I am often baffled how in all the years I have been doing this that that statistic hasn’t shifted much… especially with the invention of social media, You Tube and entire shows are dedicated to videos on the internet. There is a reason Instagram started allowing 15 second videos, then Stories on their platform and has recently introduced IGTV to feature longer videos and why Facebook years ago allowed embedding of videos and more recently live videos. Video is the reason some people have careers with some You Tubers making millions of dollars now… Video is where its at… Think about what the first thing you look at online is when reading an article or consuming your media. Is it an article?? Or do you watch the video… Yet couples often times still see a wedding film as either a luxury or an item they will add at the end if budget allows. Sadness… Tear… So I am going to give you my very best pitch on why every couple should have a wedding film.

How often do you have every person that you love in one room together…

That moment needs to be documented… The love, the laughter, the emotions. It is one of the happiest days of your life and those around you are there sharing in that celebration. That celebration needs to be documented. Who is apart of your wedding day may not be in your life 10 years from now. Life happens… parents and grandparents get older. You can’t take for granted that those that are at your wedding will be with us forever. Take advantage of this moment to be able to remember it and celebrate it with your family and children you may have one day.

Photos and Video go hand and hand…

Of course you are going to have a Photographer. But a Photographer catches moments, snapshots. What a Wedding Film will give you is the sound from the day, the emotion in real moving moments. They go hand in hand. A Wedding Film allows you to see your wedding day in a totally different medium. We document your day so differently than a Photographer and show you often times totally different moments you didn’t know existed. I have never had someone say that they had too many memories of their wedding day by hiring a Photographer and Videographer.

Video is just so easy these days…

With how easy it is to upload and share videos online why would you not have a wedding film?? You can send it to all of your family and friends who attended and to those that didn’t. So more people can share in the memories!!

Wedding Videos are not what they used to be…

Now they are films… Customized stories of your wedding day that are both cinematic and emotional. They are interesting and they draw you in. They are something you will enjoy watching for years to come.

I promise you’ll watch it…

Some people say they will never watch it… I disagree… They watch it at the minimum on their wedding anniversary. But more importantly don’t you just want to have it… just in case… for that day when you do decide to watch it. I wouldn’t want to feel the regret of wishing I had something that I never could do over or get back. That panic would be awful.

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I absolutely adore a fusion wedding. I love seeing two people fall in love and bring each of their cultures together and “marry” them so to speak. Indian fusion weddings are my absolute favorite!! Indian weddings are by far the most symbolic of any wedding that we film. They are generally 3 days in length and have the most dynamic and colorful ceremonies and celebrations leading up to the actual wedding. From the couple having attire that they had custom made in India to the extensive floral to the groom coming in on a horse. Yes you read that right… a horse. I love it all!!!

This wedding was a fusion of Hindu Indian from the bride and Hispanic culture and tradition from the groom. They opted for a traditional Catholic Ceremony and Reception on day 1 and then moved on to the Hindu Indian traditions on days 2 and 3.

One of the other favorite parts of my job is hearing each couples love stories and how they met. You would think that every couple has this dreamy love story straight out of a Nicholas Sparks book but most couples are the exact opposite with their love stories stemming from awkward moments and mixed signals. Here is this couples love story…

Bride’s Story…. During the first week of pharmacy school, my friends and I were going through countless lectures on what to expect and how to be professional when this handsome, tall asparagus caught my eye. We saw each other and spoke briefly a couple of times, but it wasn’t until he sold me a red velvet, oreo crusted cupcake with a hair in it that really kicked things off. We would text each other, but me being my awkward self our interactions were… lets just say interesting. It wasn’t until our first date that I ran out of the car with a quick “Thanks, bye!” did Saul really know what he was getting himself into. We shared many laughs, adventures, awkward moments and through it all I found the mac to my cheese.

I met this beautiful gal in Pharmacy school. I was presenting to her class during their orientation. I was expecting wide eyed students since they are brand new to the program, but I never expected to run into “the one.” Our interactions were brief at first, but her beauty and charm kept drawing me back. I think we were both a little timid in the beginning, but the underlying chemistry was undeniable. I remember taking her back to her place after our first date, and she literally ran out of the car and into her house without saying goodbye. I thought the date went well, but I had my doubts after her track & field stint. Luckily for me, she was just being shy. The next few dates went better and with each passing moment I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life together. I love everything about her.

And now the Proposal… The groom made reservations for a private dinner at Quiessence at the Farm at South Mountain. This is where the relationship got it’s full fledged start. 

He had the hostess at Quiessence pretend as if they didn’t have
reservations. This was a hard sell because the restaurant had plenty of open
seats, so saying we didn’t have a reservation and they couldn’t accommodate us took some improv. The hostess said there was a private event that was starting in 30 minutes and thus they couldn’t give away their seats. Good on the spot thinking. This set the stage for Saul to lure Reema next to the rutabagas, where a rose petal path lead the couple to the private candle lit dinner. It was here that sparklers and a corny speech ensued to lead up to the proposal.

This wedding took a village to come together. This beauty would not have been possible without this incredible team of vendors:

Venue: Hyatt Gainey Ranch // Wedding Planner: Some Like It Classic // Photographer: Ushna Khan Photography // DJ: Hyper Productions // Florist: Lux Florist // Linens: La Tavola // Makeup: Makiaj // Dress Designer: Martina Liana

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When a couple cries when they see their wedding film then we know we have done our job and done it well… As filmmakers we want authentic and meaningful moments that happen organically. We don’t want to stage moments. We want them to be real, true and meaningful. But we also want to invoke emotion on a wedding day because there is nothing better than watching a sentimental love story of a couples most perfect day. I want to share some moments we have documented on a wedding day that help create authentically emotional moments so that your wedding film can be as memorable as possible.

Hire A Wedding Planner…

Hiring a wedding planner is worth its weight in gold… It allows you to come into your wedding day knowing all of the details are handled… and if they aren’t the Planner will take care of it. The more relaxed you are on your wedding day the more you will be present and truly in the moment. It allows you to truly absorb the moments shared with your family and friends without worrying about the little things. You can focus on the day and relax if you hire a Planner to facilitate your vision. A Planner also helps create an element of surprise because often times couples opt to do a grand reveal of the reception or haven’t seen spaces being set. So we are there to capture your reactions when you see those spaces for the first time and it makes for the best footage to see smiles and tears of joy.

Do Bride And Groom Interviews

Bride and Groom interviews are exclusive to Serendipity. No one else in town does them. They are our absolute favorite part of your wedding film. This is where we sit each of you down and interview you separately about how you fell in love, what you love about one another, what the proposal was like and what you are most excited for on the wedding day. This is some of the most raw and intentional footage of the day and makes for an incredible memory years from now when you look back at your wedding film.

Do 3 Types Of First Looks…

A First Look With Your Bridal Party

This is all the rage right now… You line up all your girls and they all turn around at the same time to see you in your wedding gown. We position our cameras to get their reaction to seeing you for the first time. It is awesome… There are smiles and tears and lots of “You look sooooooo beautiful”!! I mean who doesn’t want to hear that in their wedding film…

A First Look With Your Dad

I adore a First Look with your Father… It is soooooo emotional. Something about daddy seeing his baby all grown up and getting married… A dads reaction to his daughter in her dress is priceless and generally involves a lot of tears. And who doesn’t love to see grown men cry. This moment is right out of a Hallmark movie…

A First Look With Your Partner

These are mainstream these days, a First Look with your partner but they are my FAVORITE moments of a wedding film. So much anticipation and emotion. I love the reaction and sweet kisses and tender moments a First Look creates. It makes for some of the most sentimental footage of the wedding day.

Write Your Own Vows

Nothing makes you a blubbering mess more than writing personal vows. Those inside jokes or innermost thoughts about your love bring on the waterworks. While the ugly cry isn’t super pretty it is emotional and real and needs to be documented as such.

Choose Your Toasters Wisely

Who gives a Toast at your wedding is a VERY important decision. If you pick the wrong person the Toasts can take a turn to terrible town really quick… and remember these moments are on video… FOREVER… So you want to choose wisely… Choose someone who is first and foremost articulate and well spoken. Choose someone that you have a history with but will only share appropriate parts of your history together with the crowd… Don’t make it open mic night. Limit the Toasts to a few meaningful speeches rather that a slew of “Congratulations we love you guys”. And finally pick someone who is not going to life their entire Toast from the internet. Someone who will take the time to write something meaningful and sentimental.

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I am going to start this blog post out with a quote I heard years ago that stuck with me and is so unbelievably true…

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten”.

Photos By Andrew Jade Photography

I write this post after a string of inquiries I have gotten as of late that had couples budgeting way too low for a wedding film. I read today on The Knot that the average amount a couple spent on their videographer in 2017 was $1912. I about threw up… Now I am not a fan of “national averages”… There are too many factors to consider for that to be an accurate amount to spend. But judging by the inquiries I have been getting lately for couples wanting a quality wedding film for $1500 the information is out there somewhere that this budget is doable… I am here to tell you that in Phoenix Arizona it is not… Not for a quality wedding film at least. When we started in 2005 we started at $1500 and that was 15 years ago… I would like to the think my sector of the wedding industry has increased pricing even if you are a new videographer on the scene. When planning a wedding you don’t know what you don’t know. As vendors it is our responsibility to help guide you and educate you about wedding world. Let me break it all down for you…

You Get What You Pay For

With a wedding film no words have ever been truer… Can you get a wedding film for $1500??? Probably… But will you be happy with the finished product and experience… The only two things that you get at the end of this momentous day is your photos and your wedding film. Do you really think it is wise to invest minimally in the one thing you get to preserve this day in your life history? And for $1500 do you think you will get an amazing experience? Be serviced properly? Have your entire day documented? Get the deliverables you are wanting? And at what level of experience… Generally in this price point you are getting a weekend warrior or a newbie… Again is it wise to take a chance on a lack of experience with your wedding day? Point blank… the more you invest the better your experience and finished film will be.

What Exactly Are You Paying For

Often times what videographers do and how we do it are unbelievably downgraded… “What’s the big deal… You show up, you hit record and then you edit it… I have an iPhone, I have iMovie… It’s not that big of a deal”. What we do is far more complicated that that… First let’s start out with our equipment. We have to have far more cameras and far more lenses and far more equipment than your Photographer does. We also have to have cinematic tools like sliders, drones and Osmos. All things that create those pretty cinematic and moving shots our couples love so much. All of that equipment costs… a lot… and we constantly have to upgrade it… Then there is the wedding day… We have two cinematographers to document this blessed event. Labor isn’t free… Then there is the bulk of what you are paying for… our editing time, our creativity and our filmmaking expertise. We use professional editing programs that they edit Hollywood films on. It takes an average of 40 hours to complete a fabulous wedding film. That doesn’t include our time meeting with you, prepping for your wedding or wrapping up the details of revisions to your film once we’ve shown it to you. All and all it is a lot of time to create wedding day masterpieces… and our time isn’t free nor should it be cheap.

So What Should You Expect To Pay For A Fabulous Wedding Film

To be direct… For a fabulous wedding film??? Nothing less than a minimum of $3500 in Phoenix. For something more simplified, music video style with less deliverables and less hours of cinematography on your wedding day you can get by with a $2300-$3000 investment. Truthfully anything under $2500 I would ask A LOT of questions and look long and hard at the work. If video is not a priority to you in your budget then you can choose to invest less. However I caution you… You need to think about how much you will have wished you had invested 10 years from now when maybe your grandparents are no longer with you or heaven forbid your parents or other family or friends. You will never regret an investment in your memories. But you will significantly regret it if you choose not to invest appropriately.

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Choosing a wedding venue can be one of the hardest decisions you make when it comes to your wedding. A wedding venue sets the tone for the type of event you are going to have. And so many decisions about the event itself are hinged on this one decision. It can be so stressful. We are going to show you some of our favorite wedding venues in Arizona and tell you what we love about them. But first here are some tips on how to choose the perfect venue for your wedding.

In This Case Size Matters:

The amount of people you are planning at your wedding determines the number of venue options you have… Having over 150 people at your wedding basically limits you to 5 properties in town. So think long and hard about that guest list because having over 150 may mean you are limiting yourself to resorts with larger ballrooms.

What’s Your Wedding Style?

Next you have to determine what your wedding style is… Are you going to for a garden wedding? Do you want the whole barn look? Are you a contemporary clean lines couple? So many choices… Determining your vibe will help you narrow down your options.

Where Are Your Guests Coming From?

Next you need to think about where your guests are coming from… Is everyone local or do you have a lot of out oft owners. Local guests open your venue options to places other than resorts. If you have a lot of out of towners then you need to think about accommodations. Having it at a resort or near a resort would be important to accommodate those traveling to your wedding.

And Then There Is The Money…

Weddings aren’t cheap… In fact it’s a billion dollar industry. Every couple has a budget they are generally working within. So that has to come into play when you are selecting your venue. Most resorts have what is called a food and beverage minimum that you have to meet. Meaning a certain level of spending of food and beverage to even have the event there. During peak season it can be even higher than the average minimum. Other types of venues don’t have a food and beverage minimum but they have a total cost or fee for having an event there. Often those venues are a flat fee but then you need to hire a caterer to provide food and a bartender to take care of the drinks.

So Many Choices… Let’s Take A Look At Some Of Our Favorites.

The Four Seasons

I mean come on… Who doesn’t want “The Four Seasons” to be listed on their wedding invitation. This property is stunning… It is quiet, tucked into the desert, and away from the hustle and the bustle of the city. We love that it has multiple ceremony sites and the option to have your reception indoors or outdoors. We have seen it done both ways!! It also has accommodations for your guests with lots of activities for them if they come in for a weekend. Plus its a Four Seasons so the service and food are incredible.

El Chorro Lodge

El Chorro Lodge is rich in Arizona history. It dates back to 1934 when it used to be a girls school. It was renovated in 2009 and has quickly become one of the valleys premier wedding venues known for its exquisite food, most especially its sticky buns and Paradise Valley exclusivity. Its got an incredible lawn for your Ceremony and a fabulous patio for cocktails complete with a fireplace. The ballroom is a blank canvas that can work for any color palette. It is a one stop shop for your vendors. Since it is not a hue resort it is really easy to navigate and move guests about. Its backdrop is Mummy Mountain, the backside of Camelback Mountain.

The Sanctuary

The name speaks for itself. This resort built into the back of Mummy Mountain is just that… A Sanctuary. It is quiet and peaceful with only one wedding per day allowed there. Perfect for the couple looking for that contemporary, sleek and clean lines look for their wedding. It has some of the most picturesque locations for photos. You can choose from the Praying Monk as your backdrop, Mummy Mountain or Paradise Valley down below. The sunsets are absolutely incredible and can be enjoyed by your guests during cocktail hour.

The Royal Palms

If you are wanting a garden wedding this is your venue. It has one of the most private and lush gardens in all the valley to say “I Do”. The Allegria Garden at The Royal Palms is spectacular. Nestled in the property its lush foliage makes for a wedding that could come right out of a storybook. The garden is gorgeous but the grounds themselves make for the perfect backdrop for photos with lots of nooks and crannies to sneak away with your partner to get some romantic snapshots.

Mountain Shadows

Mountain Shadows is the valleys newest luxury resort and property. Its backdrop is Camelback Mountain with a sprawling lawn looking up at the mountain. It’s stunning. It also has an awesome rooftop patio for your cocktail hour. The design of this resort is very contemporary and chic. Lots of white so it’s crisp.

The Paseo

The whole get married in a barn thing is big right now… And do we have the barn for you… But it is “barn chic”… The Paseo… It has an incredible view of the Superstition Mountains and the location is in the desert so the photo session will have that classic Arizona look. The reception site is “barn” so to speak but classy barn. It is a blank canvas so you can do whatever you want with the space. It will come out looking just like the barn wedding you designed on your Pinterest board!!

L’Auberge De Sedona

The red rocks… I can pretty much just end this post with that. Oh L’Auberge… views of the red rocks or be creekside… You can have both… You don’t have to choose!! Lots of couples want a destination wedding and you only have to drive 2 hours north to get that!! Your guests will love it because the event becomes a weekend affair. Your photo session will be a stunner if you choose Sedona as your destination location.

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Scott and Whitney met at a bowling alley through mutual friends. After dating for a while, Scott planned a trip to Sedona. He proposed to Whitney at the Enchantment Resort off the cliff of a Vortex! How cool is that!?

Fast forward to their wedding day and my goodness was it a fairytale! If you put anything in the hands of Kayla with Some Like It Classic, you will end up with your dream wedding (Like this one we captured last Spring!) No doubt! But my goodness did she out do herself on this one! From the full floral arch during ceremony, to the stage lined with gorgeous floral arrangements, and the cutest lounge furniture set up in reception. It all came together so beautifully for over 400 guests! I just kept saying “WOW!” all day in disbelief that this was real life.

The bridesmaids rocked these gorgeous gold Sherri Hill gowns, while the groomsmen were in classic black and white tuxes. We started the day at The Phoenician to capture the details and ladies getting ready. Then later that morning we made our way to the Gilbert Temple. My, is this temple a sight! When they made their exit they were surrounded by so many people who loved them, it was such an overwhelming feeling to be there. Later that afternoon we met back The Phoenician to capture their ring ceremony that was led by Whitney’s father. He had such great marriage advice and sweet messages to share.

It was such a pleasure to capture Scott and Whitney’s day. The connection between these two was so natural and their love and laughter was contagious. Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Dinsdale! We wish you all the love and happiness in the world!

Vendors: Photographer: Elyse Hall Photography // Videographer: Serendipity Cinematography // Venue: The Phoenician + The Gilbert Temple // Planning + Design: Kayla with Some Like It Classic // Florist: The Flower Studio // Entertainment: The JJ’s Band // Invitations: Idieh Design // Dress: Custom Sherri Hill

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