The honor of being chosen to photograph people’s most memorable and intimate moments is most definitely not lost on me, and if it ever is, I fully believe that I will not be working in this the way God has chosen me to. And when Emily asked me to be her photographer a year ago, I was so honored and grateful that they thought of me so highly to include me in their wedding!
I had the joy of meeting Emily about 3 years ago, and really it’s a funny story and probably not a typical wedding photographer meeting story! During my hiatus from photography I was hosting a fit camp in the park near my home. The purpose of this fit camp was to bring women in the community together, but also a space for me to speak into them what I felt God wanted to use me to speak. Each week I’d write up a workout, but pray that God would lead me to speak into these women in a timely manner in their lives. Some of my very best friends have come from this fit camp, and Emily is one of them!
Emily was invited by a mutual friend of hers, and when she started joining us, her sweet little girl Kennedy was just about 3 months old. I remember each week she’d bring her into the park in her stroller and Kennedy would either nap or lay in her stroller while her momma worked out. Each week would go by and we’d spend our Tuesday nights working out, laughing and talking about life. And it’s during that time she met Rob.
I remember when she first started talking about him to the group. That he lived in Tucson, and he was in the army but that he’d be deploying shortly….to Turkey. I remember listening to Emily talk about him week after week and their chats and you could tell she was really starting to like him. Shortly before his deployment, she had planned a trip down to Tucson to meet him and then during his deployment they talked a lot and grew their relationship. And then I remember the day she said to us that she’d been trying to find a new place to live for her and Kennedy and she wasn’t really finding anything around where we all lived that she really wanted to live in and how she thought she’d decided to move to Tucson to be closer to Rob! And that was what she did!
Now, as someone who has moved for love, when you know, you know. And she knew!
And so, in June of 2018, when Rob proposed to Emily and they reached out to me to photograph their wedding I was so excited! Being able to be little pieces of their lives from the beginning of their relationship has been such an honor. And these past, almost 12 months, has been a big blessing into my life for one. Being able to grow closer in friendship with Emily, and Nick being able to grow close in friendship with Rob is my every goal in life. You see, I crave deep and meaningful relationships and Emily and Rob are those kind of people. They laugh at my stupid and corny Napoleon Dynamite jokes, they tease me and hit my sarcasm with sarcasm and we get to share what’s on our hearts or going on in our lives and pray for one another. I am so looking forward to many years of friendship with them!
So now, back to telling the wedding story!
Originally Emily and Rob had planned to get married in Sedona because it’s a special place for them as a couple. We planned their SUNRISE engagement session in Sedona — yes, that means all of us were up before 4am to get ready and drive to Sedona before sunrise — and they were absolute troopers and had so much fun! They found a beautiful AirBnB in Sedona to get married at, complete with a pretty little creek, large trees and a VW bus on the property.
When Emily and I were chatting details around mid January, I had told her that I wanted to plan a day trip up to the property just to scope it all out to see how much light we may have at different parts of the day so we could plan the timeline accordingly and so I asked her to Google the address for me, and when she did she found out that the property was listed for sale. The worst part, is that the owner had not said anything to them about this so I remember the utter shock of hearing her voice tell me this. So, she contacted the owner and sure enough, this was the case. And with just a couple months until their wedding, Emily & Rob went on the hunt for a venue that was still affordable. And that’s when they found Mortimer Farms. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to meet Sharla Mortimer and see the love and heart that she puts into her couples. Mortimer Farms venue “The Oasis” was the perfect backdrop for a woodsy wedding like Rob & Emily were looking for!
So, it looked like things were finally set in place and things were going good! But yet, another snag with just about a month to go, when one of the groomsmen was getting deployed! I said, “so, what do you do now?” and she replied, “find another one!” Enter my husband Nick! Phew! We got that taken care of.
Finally, the week before the wedding was here and they were preparing to head up from Tucson to Prescott for the wedding. And guys, it just begins to get comical. The cake topper smashes and they have to find a new one, someone hacks Rob’s email and cancels his tux rental within 3 days of the wedding (YES, that really happened), when they finally got his tux everything was too small and they had to throw pieces together to build him a new one that fit, Rob’s brother missed his flight and had to catch another one and guys….ROB WAS LEFT AT THE AIRBNB WITH NO CAR TO THE VENUE!
If I can be completely honest, the week of I just had to laugh…and luckily Rob & Emily were laughing too. Emily said to me, “what else can we do at this point but laugh?” Through it all, I have watched these two face these things head on and together, and take them on in stride, and then laugh. I have watched them set goals for their lives together. I have watched them love, honor and respect one another in a way that I don’t see often. I have watched them accept Christ into their lives, and into their marriage. I have watched them work for their marriage, and I have watch them choose to be baptised together on Easter.
I can tell you that I love these two for so many reasons, and I can tell you that sitting here today I can still feel the emotion from their day and from the love that radiates off of them and onto those around them.
Emily and Rob, thank you for allowing me to be such a big piece of your day and do life with you two! I pray that you may always feel God’s peace around you, that you may always know His love is within you, and that you two continue to face life together the way you do now! I can’t wait to continue to watch God move in and bless your lives!
….oh, and if you’ve read all this way wondering if anyone turned around and got Rob from the AirBnB…yes, Emily’s amazing bridesmaid and maid of honor, Sarah & Ashley, took their car keys, drove all the way back and gave them to Rob and he arrived in perfect time! We weren’t even late!
This wooden cross belonged to Emily’s aunt, and the blue earrings were her borrowed and her blue! I loved all the sentimental pieces that were tied in this wedding!
How CUTE are all the guys getting Rob’s dad all ready for the big day?
I have always loved these star dedications and I just loved that Emily put so much thought into this gift for Rob…and little did Emily know was how much thought was put into the gift inside that U of A box she was holding!
Not a dry eye, this gift held such a special place in Emily’s heart! This ring was an exact replica of a ring Emily’s grandmother had given her, but that had then been stolen from her many years ago. When she opened that box and saw it, the memories and emotions came flooding right back!
These cuties had the best first look, as I walked Emily up to Rob, she kept telling me, “so much has happened today and all I want to do is kiss him”.
Family photos are so important, especially capturing the original crew!
The gorgeous venue at Mortimer Farms, the sun was perfection through those old growth trees!
Emily’s brother was the officiant and he made everyone laugh, smile and shed some tears!
Introducing, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Stahl!!
The most fun wedding party ever – Ashley & David, Sarah & Nick, Amy & Jeff.
First dance as husband & wife
And what would be a wedding without some dancing?? Can you tell me what dance this last one is?
Rob & Emily — thank you for choosing me to capture your very wonderful, incredibly gorgeous day! Love you two to bits and pieces!
Thank you’s to:
Venue: Mortimer Farms, Prescott Arizona
Makeup: Beauty by Bobby – Robyn Broom
Hair: Susie Dunaway
Dress: David’s Bridal
Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse
Photography: Caitlin Audrey Photography, second photographer: Susannah Lynn Photography & Assisting: Brianna Marie Photography
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