In the weeks before their wedding, Liza and Aj had a first look together at Cactus and Tropicals in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since they would soon be married in Red Butte Gardens Arboretum, the greenhouse was very fitting for a similar vibe that still offered quite a bit of variety. We started with a first look near the colorful potted plants until their family brought their dogs for some quick family portraits of the four of them. Their dogs had darling floral collars made by the talented Mayflowers Floral Design (something I highly recommend if your pups are in the wedding) and they did so well by their side. It’s becoming a common trend for couples to bring their dogs to their weddings and portrait sessions and it’s something we’ve really grown to love. They’re part of your family too, why not bring all your loved ones to celebrate with you?
A few weeks before their Moab wedding I met Rachel and James at the Great Salt Lake for pre-wedding portraits. She had two separate gowns for her wedding day, both with completely different styles. She went for a gorgeous boho look for these with her reception gown and it was absolutely gorgeous. It was a nice chance for some variety and to let her hair down and have a completely different look from the wedding. I’ll always love when couples opt to take portraits before or after the wedding day.
About a week before their wedding, I had the chance to photograph Sheerin and Austin experience their first look in the exact same place they’d soon be married. The day was pretty unforgettable with heavy rainstorms just beforehand and blue skies emerging right as we met together on the grounds. Because of the weather though we had almost the entire grounds to ourselves with hardly any onlookers or crowds. These two were able to enjoy their first look in front of the Salt Lake City Temple as privately as we could dream of which was amazing. I really enjoyed how they prioritized their time to really enjoy their first look, slow things down and create some quality portraits in their favorite spots free of any rush or stress. This free’d up time on their wedding day allowing them to be with loved ones more and experience the day without hours of portraits. If you’re considering a first look, day after session, or completely taking your wedding portraits on another date then I strongly recommend it.
One of my favorite moments during our time together happened toward the end. They wanted some candid portraits in Austin’s Cadillac so we pulled up on the hillside overlooking the Salt Lake City Temple and surrounding area, they hopped on the back and cozied up together watching the sunset. Then afterward they invited me to take a drive with them downtown before taking me to my car and riding off together. Words pretty much fail me to describe just how fun loving these two are to not only each other but everyone around them. They truly made me feel like more than just their photographer in those moments, and it’s a feeling I’ll always appreciate. They’re genuinely good people and I’m already thrilled to share their wedding here soon.
The evening we photographed Nicole’s bridals in the Albion Basin wildflowers was incredible. Not only is she stunning, especially with her cathedral veil flowing around her and she’s covered for miles in flowers. But it was nice to slow things down and have some time dedicated to creating nice portraiture of her solo.
Many couples choose to have bridals or formals taken before their wedding day for multiple reasons. Since Nicole was getting married in the densely wooded Millcreek Canyon just a couple of weeks later, she wanted to take advantage of Abion Basin while the flowers were in bloom. This took some pressure off of the wedding day so we could focus on her and her now husband, Taylor, solo. But it also gave her so much variety visually in her portraits. If this is something that’s important to you, whether you have these portraits taken with your significant other or solo, I highly recommend it. It can be such a great way to become more comfortable in front of the camera and treat yourself to some gorgeous portraiture.
I’m so glad we had the chance to come up here and spend this time together. Nicole brought her mother and maid of honor, both of which were incredible to help with her gown and be her constant cheerleaders and supports. The evening was gorgeous and I’m thrilled with how the imagery came together.
Photography: Elisha Braithwaite | Location: Albion Basin in Little Cottonwood Canyon | Gown: The Bride’s Shop