The day before the wedding I began my trek from Northern Arizona to Southern New Mexico (because just about any distance would be worth traveling to get to shoot with and for Erin, owner of Sunshine Picture Project
). What normally would be a 6 hour drive turned into 11 hours! This was one of my first trips with just me and two kids-Ione was 4 1/2 months at the time. Between pit stops for feedings and changings, and weather the trip got slower and slower. Finally I pulled into Lordsburg to make my last leg of the trip to find the freeway closed. The kids were both crying. So I pulled into the land of happiness and golden arches to wait it out. Right then a truck pulled up next to me. The windows rolled down and it was my grandparents! They knew I was travelling, that I was running way behind, and that the freeway was closed. My phone had lost battery and they hadn’t been able to reach me, so they started canvassing the little town, trying to guess where I’d hole up waiting for the road to open.
Grandma helped carry the kids in, and got them fed just in time for the weather to mellow out and the road to open again (that neck of the woods experienced some horrific dust storms over the summer). It was such a blessing to have them show up and sure made me feel loved!
It was stressful at the time, but it gave me a lot of thinking time as well. I thought about weddings, about my job as a photographer, about my job as a 2nd shooter, and why I even was driving that far to come 2nd shoot a wedding.
It’s because of family. Family is everything. Marriage is the beginning of a family. Marriage is the cornerstone of a happy and successful family. I take pictures because perhaps on a hard day, one of my clients can look at their wedding photos and remember the joy and commitment they promised that day. Perhaps when everything seems impossible my clients can look at their family photos and feel thankful for these people that stick by them no matter what. I do this because photographs carry emotion, and if I can add any strength to a marriage or family, I’m all over it!
Ashley and Jason’s wedding in Las Cruces was stunning in every detail. Erin had worked so hard with them to coordinate times for the perfect light for the ceremony, the type of hotel room for the men to get ready in so it would have enough light, the place for the First Look, all of it. She poured her heart and soul into that wedding and into the couple, and it was so neat to watch her relationship with them and to see how everyone’s hard work all pulled together. It was absolutely gorgeous!
I got to start the day capturing the details of the groomsmen, which is always fun! I got to the suite and all the details were there laid out and waiting for me, from the freshly cleaned boots, to the crisply pressed pants, and the polished watch.
I learned something that day. I need to learn how to tie a tie! Jason pulled up a YouTube video to figure out what he needed to do since neither of us knew! Where would we be without YouTube?!
Once the groom and his groomsmen were ready we headed over to the house where the bride and the rest of the bridal party were preparing. Such a gorgeous place out in Mesilla! I loved all the trees and the nearby fields and orchards!
Ashley’s dress was exquisite! It looked like it was made for her.
First Looks are always fun, and the first one of the day was when the Mother of the Groom saw Ashley for the first time. And her face said it all!
While the rest of the bridal party finished up preparations, we slipped over to a nearby orchard for Jason and Ashley’s First Look. They were nervous as most are, but that all slipped away when Jason turned around and saw his bride. They were so sweet!
Jason’s groomsmen was a fun loving mix of family and friends. They were all such good sports and so good to Jason and Ashley all day.
And they came up with their own ideas…
Aren’t these bridesmaids gorgeous?! They were all so sweet and fun!
And then it was time! We all drove up to the Alameda House for the ceremony and reception. It was all so gorgeous and light. Such a perfect evening for a wedding. No wind, not too hot, and gorgeous Southern New Mexico Light!
The vows were heartfelt and moving. Sometimes I wonder why there aren’t any kleenex boxes stashed through the audience. 😉
The reception area was decorated simply, but it was absolutely gorgeous. I loved every detail. Especially the one really orange rose. Can’t ever get enough orange. 🙂
They had Biscochitos and Mexican Wedding Cookies at each table. You don’t get more New Mexico Wedding than that!
And the orange rose. My heart was happy!
I’d never seen a cake like theirs, decorated with the balls of fondant, but I LOVED it! It was so classy and different.
And then it was time to get the party started! The new Mr. & Mrs. Rouse came around the corner to cheering and whistles and dancing children.
I loved that Jason and Ashley completely trusted Erin. She suggested sneaking out of dinner for a quick sunset portrait set and they were excited and eager for it. They were just so cute and romantic!
I loved getting to go be a part of this wedding. Shooting with Erin is absolutely amazing.
She is so organized, creative, friendly, and intuitive. It was truly my treat to get to go and spend the day with her, Ashley & Jason, and everyone at the wedding. The whole experience was well worth the previous nights trip down. I’d do it again in fact. Because days like this one was are just fabulous!