Blake and Taylor changed their wedding plans about a million times. First they were going to elope, then they were going to have a big wedding, then they decided to elope again until they finally decided to have a very intimate ceremony with only those very close to them in attendance. They got married at Taylor’s mom’s house in the historic section of Phoenix in a beautiful courtyard surrounded by some of their loved ones.
The wedding location didn’t have a great place for portraits, and Blake and Taylor weren’t really interested in desert scenery so I suggested the Japanese Friendship Gardens as a place for their first look and portraits. The Friendship Gardens is an absolutely gorgeous gem tucked away in downtown Phoenix with a huge koi pond and many plants native to Japan. The catch with the gardens is that it’s only open during the winter and spring because the heat is hard on the plants there so Blake and Taylor’s December wedding was the perfect time of year for the gardens.
Blake and Taylor wanted to do a first look so that they would have some intimacy while seeing each other for the first time in their finery. Blake came over to the gardens with me while Taylor came a few minutes later and waited in the car for me to come get her when the coast was clear. Their first look was so beautiful and touching, you can see just how much these two love each other.
I asked Blake and Taylor each their thoughts about the day and their first look. Blake says, “I was fairly relaxed all day. I was bored. I didn’t really have much to do, it took me about 20 minutes or less to get dressed so i really had nothing to do all day while I waited until I got to see Taylor. I didn’t get to speak to her or anything. Upon arriving at the friendship gardens I was very uncomfortable. I didn’t like that everyone was looking at me because I was in my suit. It felt like I was there for ages while I waited for Taylor. Then I was placed in a position where I couldn’t see anything but apartment blocks and I was standing there for about 10 minutes and I was bored. Still no emotion or nervous at all. I had no idea how I would react and I had no idea how to expect Taylor to look. The moment I turned around I got to see the most beautiful woman in the world standing in front of me and then I realized how lucky I had become in my life that I was about to marry this woman. After a small wave of emotion, I suddenly felt comfortable again. As soon as we were reunited I felt like I could be myself again without a care in the world. I had my partner by my side and all that mattered to me was making her smile and laugh.”
While Taylor remembers, “I was fine the whole day, if anything I was bored. I hated being away from Blake for that long and was just so anxious to see him again. I didn’t get emotional until the very end, when I was all dressed up and my mom handed me earrings (something new) that she bought me. She just gave me this look, it looked like a mix of pride and a little bit of sadness. We both started crying and told each other how much we love each other. A few minutes later when I was on my way to the friendship gardens by myself, I was so excited and nervous. Time seemed to slow down, and a five minute drive seemed like an hour. I was so impatient waiting for Jessica to come get me, all I wanted to do was see Blake, and then finally she was there. I have never felt excitement like this before, I couldn’t stop smiling and I was so happy to see him, even if it was just the back of him. My heart was racing but Blake and I were still being our goofy selves. I wasn’t expecting Blake’s reaction when he saw me for the first time. Blake is not overly emotional and all I was expecting from him was to say I looked beautiful and how happy he was. My expectations were completely blown out of the water. When Blake saw me he instantly broke out in tears, and his reaction brought me to tears. I just kept thinking I get to marry this amazing person and was flooded with so much love in that moment. I kept thinking the whole day about how perfect that moment was. It kind of set the tone for the rest of our ceremony and night. There was lots of laughter, but there were so many tears and its hard for me to put into words why we were crying. For me it was I couldn’t believe how lucky I was, and I had never felt so much love in my life. Just looking at Blake, someone so perfect for me, someone who completely changed my life, it was the happiest moment of my life.”
For Blake and Taylor’s wedding, I loved the mix of so many elements that are so clearly THEM. Taylor’s stunning backless gown seemed as though it was just made for her and she paired it with a combination of new earrings and a borrowed hair pin from her mother that were all meaningful and gorgeous. Blake’s blue suit was elegant without being too formal. They continued to make each other laugh all through photos again as they did in their engagement session, but you can see with the way they look at each other, there is so much love between them. I know that they are off to a great start for a lifetime of happiness together.