Hours after their wedding Dawn and Isaac invited loved ones to watch and take part in their Korean Tea Ceremony at the Grand America Hotel. All watched as they showed their love and respect to elders and loved ones, serving tea and hearing heartwarming words of love and wisdom from them. This was easily one of my many favorite parts of the wedding which is why I’ve chosen to share their day in two parts because there’s so much I want you to see. Their day was easily very sacred and special and I enjoyed seeing them celebrate their religion, culture and loved ones. Thanks again for having us so involved in your day and lives you two.
Snow fell heavily in Big Cottonwood Canyon with Dawn and Isaac the other day. Once we made our way through the canyon and arrived to the spot we first took a few moments to admire the weather. Snowflakes grew thicker and heavy, blanketing the mountains surrounding us in moments. They happy embraced the conditions, living in the moment with each other and helping me create some gorgeous portraits of their loving selves. They allowed me to get to know them as a couple along with treated me like a dear friend. I’m so proud of the photographs we created together that evening and can’t wait for you to scroll down and view.
Before you check them out I want to share a few quick words from the email they first sent my way.
We love how candid and honest your photos are, it was like a glimpse into an intimate moment. In short, we’ve somehow managed to find our dream photographer before, well, anything else. But perhaps it makes sense to feel connected to you, another human being, before places or things.
That last line warmed my heart. After spending these few hours with them I’m fairly certain there isn’t a superficial bone in their body. I’m constantly grateful toward those of you who choose to work with me. Your kindness and generosity goes such a long way and makes me grateful to do what I do. Alright that’s enough rambling. Scroll on down and check out this snowy goodness.
Photography: Elisha Braithwaite | Location: Jordan Pines Campground, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
Being around Ellen and Quinn feels like pure happiness. For the first time ever I had the hardest time taking a few serious portraits because they are just so happy and playful together. And you know what? That’s exactly how their first look should be. I genuinely enjoyed every single moment of being around these two. Everything from their teary eyed first look to laughing and tossing the other over their shoulders and spinning around just felt like pure love. Scroll down and check out their smiley selves in one of my favorite corners of the mountains.
A few moments into Natalie and Tyler’s engagement session I found myself completely covered in a swarm of red fire ants. They immediately ran over to brush them away until they were all gone. If that’s not an indication of how kind and caring they are then I don’t know what is, but all I can say is that I genuinely enjoy being around them both. They were loving and close, they were happy and smiley. They were together and in love and it shined through so strongly as I spent these short hours with them.
We went up Big Cottonwood Canyon around the Jordan Pines Campground area to a few of my favorite spots. They kept things easy with one beautiful outfit that perfectly matched their personal style and the mountains surrounding them. If anyone is looking for engagement inspiration then I highly suggest taking some from these two.
Photography: Elisha Braithwaite | Location: Jordan Pines Campground, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
It was a rainy day when Minji and Paul were married at Log Haven in Millcreek Canyon. Days like this will forever be my favorite, when the rain amplifies the lush green trees around us and the smell of damp pine is in the air. The canyon was pretty peaceful and quiet, leaving these two alone to celebrate and be close with loved ones.
They chose to have a late evening wedding followed by dinner and late night dancing. One of my favorite things about them though is how they began the evening with a first look alone together near the lake. The fact that they chose to begin together rather than spend hours on end apart says so much about them and their relationship. They were able to take their time to emotionally connect before jumping into the festivities which set such a lovely tone for the ceremony and rest of the evening. We spent a few moments here before joining loved ones across the road for the ceremony. Loved ones gave readings, family married them, and the evening was easygoing and everything a part should be.
Photography: Elisha Braithwaite & Todd West | Venue: Log Haven, Millcreek Canyon, Utah | Videography: Luke Porter Films | Floral: Corsage Creations and Boutonniere | Catering: Log Haven | Dj: Dj Fayze | Gelato: Sweetaly
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 I explored Antelope Island with Brooke and Keaton left me feeling very fueled for the months to come. They were so happy to run through fields of buffalo together and interact in a way that seemed so effortless between them. Halfway through the session they even watched their mom’s proposal which was a surprise to most everyone involved. I truly had the best time with them and their loved ones and can’t believe many of the creative portraits we were able to create with the light we had to work with. Thank you so, so much you two for spending so much time and sharing how you express your love together.
Jen and Juri and many of their loved ones traveled into Utah with loved ones all the way from San Francisco to Sweden, so they could celebrate their love in the mountains. For the large majority it was their first time visiting Utah which made for an incredible experience. All they wanted for their wedding was for everyone to have a good time creating new memories with them and because of that the entire day couldn’t have been any better. They laughed, cried, and truly showed everyone the best time.
Our favorite moments from the wedding were mostly during the ceremony. They merged their two families by pouring water from here and Sweden into a glass that they both took a drink from. The way they mixed different traditions and made a few of their own was so personal and special.
Photography: Elisha and Todd | Venue & Catering: High West Distillery | Floral: Galleria Floral Studio | Hotel: Park City Peaks Hotel | Transportation: Snow Country Limo | Day of Coordination: Diverse Diva Weddings
The sense of community and love during Peggy and John’s wedding was so strong throughout the entire day. I was amazed by the amount of loved ones who came from all over to share in their love and to support them on such an important moment of their lives. From the moment I walked into the room they were getting ready I was overwhelmed by the amount of kindness shown by everyone. They truly made us feel like a part of their family and community. We can’t thank them enough for it, it meant the world to us.
Peggy and John were married in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the heart of our downtown metropolitan area, and held one hell of a party at the Grand Hall which lasted well past midnight. Although it took everything not to share every single image that we took that day, here’s a lengthy post of our favorite moments.
xo, Elisha and Todd
Photography: Elisha and Todd | Event Planning: FUSE Weddings and Events | Hotel: The Little America Hotel | Ceremony: Holy Trinity Cathedral | Reception Venue: The Grand Hall at The Gateway | Hair/makeup: Jill Marie Makeup, Carissa Deppe | Ceremony Musicians: Flavia Cervino Wood (violinist), Michael Lucarelli (guitar) | Catering: Blended Table, Aristo’s, Theia Mercy’s Desserts | Greek Band: Oneiro | Surprise Musician: Otis Day | Dj: Mike Varanakis/DJ V | Gown: Berta | Cake: Carries Cakes
Loved ones traveled into Utah with Marie and Chase to celebrate with them on our pretty mountainside and every moment of the day was a dream. They chose what is easily one of Utah’s most stunning venues with it’s modern architecture, large outdoor reflective wall and sweeping views of Salt Lake’s foothills. They also had an incredible team of vendors and impeccable taste in aesthetic in the details. Most importantly though it was their love for each other and those who traveled with them that made the day so grand. It was important to them that everyone come together to enjoy new memories in a place they hold so dear and it came together well.
One of my favorite moment happened as they saw one another down the aisle. From their reactions you wouldn’t have guessed they had shared a first look together just hours before. The way they held each others gaze and visibly expressed their happiness felt incredibly special. It was as if they were seeing each other first the first time all over again.
Seeing two people so connected and in love is a truly beautiful thing. We could go on and on but you really ought to experience their day for yourselves. Marie and Chase, we truly can’t thank you enough for having us.
Published in Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom Magazine, Summer/Fall 2017
Selected by The Knot as Utah’s Best Wedding, 2017
Photography: Elisha Braithwaite and Todd West
Wedding Planner: FUSE Weddings & Events
Wedding Venue: Natural History Museum of Utah
Makeup: Lesley Lind
Floral: Orchid Dynasty
Catering: Culinary Crafts
Videography: Chris McClain Productions
Live Band: Gold Standard