Kristian & Carter live in Washington DC and fell in love with Saguaro Lake Ranch’s beautiful Bulldog Mountains at sunset while visiting family in Arizona. They wanted a wedding weekend full of activities and fun with their community, sharing the beauty of the Arizona desert with friends & relatives ranging from the west coast, east coast and all the way from Norway. Saguaro Lake Ranch is the perfect place for a destination wedding weekend- they require you to rent out the ranch for the whole weekend and have cabins onsite for everyone to say at, as well as hotels not far away. You can go horseback riding, have BBQ cookouts and bonfires, go kayaking along the Salt River, hiking, explore Saguaro Lake and go for a tour on The Desert Belle. It’s truly one of my favorite venues in Arizona!
Kristian & Carter had a multi-day wedding extravaganza planned. For the rehearsal dinner, they had lovely barbecue by Frasher’s Smokehouse , toasts & roasts by many of their friends & family, musical performances and a bonfire at the end of the night.They had so many incredibly talented friends and family, including Carter’s sister who is an MC & singer from one of the best Phoenix local wedding bands, Lucky Devils Band. They also had a true Bohemian costume party and their friends went all out!
Everyone’s fear is rain on their wedding day. For all of those type A’s out there, I have terrible news for you- weddings (and life in general) are full of things you can’t control. You can make contingency plans, which I highly recommend and most venues have rain plans, but you can’t control things that you don’t have control over. The day of Kristian & Carter’s wedding, the forecast looked bad, even for this rain loving native Arizonan. I knew Carter in particular would be pretty devastated. The ranch received several inches of rain in a short period of time and some erosion was happening along the dirt areas leading down to the lawn, making the grass muddy and wet. But with their vendor team in place, they had the tent set up, we all watched the forecasts like hawks, and made due with what we had. Part of hiring professional vendors is their ability to adapt to whatever situation happens and be able to problem solve on their feet. The rain stopped for the ceremony, but the grass was too wet to move the ceremony out from under the tents. When things happen that are not according to plan, I’ve seen that more often than not, they turn out better than what you had originally planned in the first place. This was the case with Kristian & Carter! Right before the ceremony, a double rainbow appeared. HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT?? Without the rain, there would have never been that rainbow, doubly meaningful for a same sex LGBTQIA couple. We only had a few moments to grab a shot of them together under the rainbow, but that’s all I needed and the joy was palpable by everyone at the wedding. The rainbow even stayed over the ceremony and the clouds cleared after, giving them a touch of sunset color over the mountains like they wanted. There is ALWAYS a silver lining to non-ideal situations, in my opinion!
After the sunset, the clouds cleared and they had a beautiful starry night with more amazing, emotional and heartfelt toasts, laughter, tears and performances by friends. They introduced their guests to some of my favorite authentic Mexican food- Barrio Queen, which my Hispanic husband & I’s favorite restaurant. Kristian & Carter had one of the most vibrant, heartfelt and beautiful communities surrounding them. Photographing so much joy and emotion is why I am a photographer and it is the biggest honor and privilege.
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