Oct 24, 2017

Tad and Jen’s Gila Valley Wedding

All day, friends and family came up to me as I shot and would grin. “Aren’t they amazing together?!” “Jen is the sweetest person I know, I’m so happy for her.” “That’s love right there. That’s love!” “I couldn’t have picked anyone better for either of them.” Tad and Jen make such an amazing team. There is such peace and confidence that radiates from them when they are together. And the way everyone talks about them, rallies around them, and wants to be with them is just evidence of the sweet influence these two have on the world around them. Their Gila Valley Wedding was perfect from start to finish, and I am so honored that I got to be there in the sphere of their influence on such a special and sweet day!

The day started at the Comfort Inn where everyone was staying. Bride, Groom, Family, and Friends. It was actually really fun to juggle timing around so that Tad didn’t see the dress or Jen, and so that everything was in place. While the final touches were done on Jen’s hair and makeup, I took the dress out for some shots and found the perfect little couch!

Jen’s sister put the bouquet together for her, and it was beautiful! I loved the way they wrapped it, and those roses were intoxicating. They smelled SOOOOO good!!!

It was fun to walk into the room and see Joni doing the hair for the girls! She and I went to a year of high school together in Animas! She did such a beautiful job!!

Finally it was time for the show to start! With Discovery Park as the backdrop, you really can’t go wrong! We got Jen in place and then snapped a few photos of her. This was Tad’s first view of his gorgeous bride!

I love Tad and Jen’s quiet strength. They melt into each other and you can feel the peace and comfort emanating from them. They were calm and completely happy.

The golden Arizona sun was streaming in the open barn, making everything glow and shine for the ceremony. Man I love this time of year in Southern Arizona!!

The Layton Barn, nestled in the cotton fields, was the perfect setting! The building is simple and unassuming, which is just how I like ’em! The open sides let in the soft autumn breeze and the view of the mountain across the fields really was second to none. Amy from Freckle Barn, a friend of the Dryden family, provided signs and decor to add the perfect touch to the barn and I fell in love with it all immediately when I drove up!

How pretty is that cotton wreath?!?! With cotton being one of the 5 C’s of Arizona (especially in the Gila Valley, it’s such a staple crop there), and with the fields ready to harvest, I loved seeing that wreath! It was the perfect touch.

This sign cracked everyone up!

I’ve come to the realization that I LOVE photographing the wedding decor and desserts. And this wedding was a gold mine! The Freckle Barn decor and the scrumptious cupcakes by Cakes with TLC were the perfect complement to each other. As soon as the cupcakes started being set up, the table was swarmed. I had to work fast as kids stood salivating, waiting for their chance to rush in and get the flavor they wanted. Not only are these cupcakes gorgeous, but they taste SO good!!! And the Butter Pecan cake made by Jennifer’s Mom? Perfect. It all meshed together just right!

See?! Isn’t that barn fun?!

As the sun sank behind Mount Graham, we had to step out for one last fast set of portraits in that desert glow!


Tad and Jen, your wedding was absolutely magical! It was such a special treat to get to work with both of you, to get to know you, and to get to be there with your dear friends and family. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat! You two make my heart happy!

Vendors and Creative Team:

Bridal Boutique: A Dressy Occasion
Decor: Freckle Barn
Cupcakes: Cakes with TLC
Hair Stylist: Joni Hatch
Make up Artist: Callie Streeter
Getting Ready Location: Comfort Inn, Thatcher
First Look Location: Discovery Park Campus
Venue: Layton Barn, Solomon, AZ
Table Linens: Tina Gonzales

If you enjoyed this Gila Valley Wedding, you might also enjoy…

John and Lorraine’s Mint and Peach Gila Valley Wedding

Philip and Jordan’s Rustic Wine and Gold DIY Gila Valley Wedding

Caleb and Audrey’s Gila Valley Wedding at the LDS Temple

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Ashley Ziegler

    October 24th, 2017 at 8:28 am

    She looks so pretty!! 🙂

  2. Becky Buhr

    October 26th, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Beautiful. It was fun to see a couple of my signs in your pictures.