Married! Zach & Tessa : Sedona, AZ (Part 1)

I wandered down the stairs around 10 in the morning. As usual, I had slept in a little later than I intended and I was in a hurry to finish getting ready and get to class. I rounded the corner into the kitchen and stopped dead in my tracks. I blinked twice, trying to comprehend what on earth Tessa, my roommate, was doing. I wasn't surprised to see her in the kitchen. She was one of the few girls in our house who actually enjoyed cooking as much as I did, so we spent a lot of time together there. What I didn't understand was why she was making breakfast in a mini skirt and high heels.

She looked up from the stove and, seeing my confused expression, simply said, "Zach's sister is in town, and I want him to think about what a hot wife I'd be in the kitchen." Only Tessa, I thought to myself. I propped myself up on the counter, and we began talking about marriage, future plans and her relationship with Zach. She was sure they were going to get married - she just thought he might need a little bit of skillful persuading. Apparently her amazing cooking skills, hot wardrobe and general sense of adventure worked its magic on Zach, because less than a year later he dropped down to one knee and asked her to spend her life with him.

These two are such a treasure to be around. They are best friends and kindred spirits, who simply enjoy sharing their time with each other. They had spent a lot of time traveling the world together, they share a love of being outside and they understand how incredibly lucky they are to have found each other. To paraphrase a statement from Tessa's vows, "[They're] basically the best couple ever," so when they invited me to document their cliff side wedding celebration in Sedona, Az, I couldn't have been more excited!

OK, I've chatted enough. It's time to get to the pictures! Tessa wore an elegant Maggie Sottero gown which made her look like a Grecian goddess.

Her floral arrangements were designed to look like a collection of wildflowers and were a beautiful addition to their outdoor location.

 

I started out the day hanging out with Tessa and the girls at Raymond Rodriguez salon. You can see the love and admiration that Zach's mom and Tessa's sisters have for her as they watch her get ready.

Tessa has a big, genuine smile just like yours truly! :)

 

 

Tessa was getting more and more nervous as the ceremony approached, so she tried to calm her nerves and distract herself by playing with her garter.

Tessa's younger sister was so excited to be her maid of honor, and I love how happy she looks just to be able to help her sister into her gown.

Zach and Tessa chose to have their wedding ceremony on a cliff side located on top of a winding dirt trail, so they hired a Jeep tour company to carry all of their guests up the mountain. I was in the first Jeep with Zach, so I was able to grab this shot of him looking out over the landscape as he waited for the guests and his lovely bride to arrive.

Just in case you were wondering, this is the view he was looking out over. WOW!

Tessa's face was radiant as she walked down the aisle toward her groom.

Zach's eyes filled with tears when he saw her approach.

 

Her love and admiration for Zach were written all over her face. :)

The ceremony was filled with lots of laughter and tears. You all know I love an emotional ceremony, so I have about a bazillion favorites. Bear with me! I promise you'll love them, too.

 

Why, hello most gorgeous ceremony location EVER. It's nice to meet you.

 

Zach and Tessa invited both of their parents to share words of wisdom during the ceremony. Zach listened intently as his dad shared his words with them, and Tessa cried while listening to her mother's encouraging words.

 

 

The ceremony itself was as intimate as it was tender, and it included less than 40 guests.

I included the following photo for two reasons. 1) I made friends with Shanandoah, Zach and Tessa's minister, and 2) I wanted to show how insane the wind was during the ceremony. It was pretty intense.

 

"I now pronounce you husband and wife..."

"...You may kiss the bride!"

Party time!! You're married! :)

I have a LOT more images to share, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see them. I know, I know, I'm a terrible tease. I just couldn't narrow down my image selection. Enjoy part I, and come back for part II tomorrow!