Martha Stewart Weddings!

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So beyond thrilled to announce we made it into Martha Stewart weddings! This wedding was a dream to work on, and I’m so thrilled its been see all over! To see the feature in Martha click HERE. To see the whole wedding as published on Style Me Pretty last year click HERE. 

Thanks to the amazing vendors: The glamorous “goldie” dress from Sarah Seven, the gorgeous bouquets, tables and floral halos by Butterfly Petals and glam details planned and hand crafted by Hello Gem.  You ladies are amazing! 

 

Koko Crater Botanical Garden Bridal Shoot

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After moving to lush, green Hawaii after living in the desert I craved seeing cactus (crazy when you live in Hawaii, right?). On Oahu, at the base of an enormous volcanic crater lies a dry almost desert where cactus grows rampant. When I first saw this beautiful cactus garden, I knew I had to create a shoot here that blended my Arizona roots with Oahu’s gorgeous, natural setting. I knew that Hawaii’s very well know Passion Roots floral team would be the ones to understand this vision, and they jumped on board. The created a super unique bouquet of lush succulents, cactus, and of course some local floral from the islands. The bouquet and table centerpiece was an exact representation of the shoot, flowy, unique, green and oh so Hawaii- with a touch of cactus.

The bride wore a gorgeous flowing dress that caught the wind perfectly, from Love and Lace Hawaii, a local bridal boutique. Hair and makeup by Blush Beauty Styling, was simple, and natural. The shoot, all located on Koko Crater which has a unique rock formation of layered ash, creates amazing designs in the natural rock, which is then set agains none other- than the Pacific ocean. Our invitations, from Minted blended that gorgeous blue ocean, with the natural rock layers perfectly.

This shoot was such a blast to shoot both creatively, and aesthetically. With gorgeous backdrops at every turn, and so much cactus to draw inspiration from and talented- all female vendor crew, it was easily one of my favorites to date.

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Vendors:
 
Hair & Makeup: 
Blush Beauty Styling 
Instagram: blushbeautystyling
Floral/ Candles/ Linens (tabletop and bouquet): Passion Roots
Instagram: passionroots
 
Stationary/ Invites: Minted.com
Instagram: minted
 
Wedding dress: Love & Lace Hawaii
Instagram: loveandlacehi
 
Brides Jewelry: Avenue Boutique
Instagram: avenueboutiquetucson
 
Photography: Elizabeth McDonnell Photography 
Instagram: emcdonnellphotography

 

 

Arizona Desert Wedding at Poppy Kitchen

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I can not say enough kind things about this sweet couple. Every time I think about their wedding at Poppy Kitchen (La Paloma) I get a little teary. Maybe it was because I was 5 months pregnant, or because it was my last official Arizona wedding, as a Tucson resident. Or maybe it was just because these two are some of the most amazingly kind, generous, and loving people I have ever photographed. They made my job look easy. Effortless in love, calm, relaxed and of so much fun- my last Arizona wedding before we moved last year was one I won’t forget. When it came time for the speeches, tons of guests stood up to talk about the couple- recanting stories of love, generosity and good times with these two. Their wedding was the first I have been to that literally felt like they just invited a bunch of family and friends to dinner. It was that relaxed, that fun, and OH SO DELICIOUS. When I asked them what was the part they were most excited about at our pre wedding consultation- I remember the bride just saying: “…the food and the people.” And you could tell.  I have to say, the details were just as delicious. With the most amazing bouquet I have seen from Atelier de La Fleur and a dress from Anthropology’s  BHLDN line, and the bridal portraits in the Saguaro grove- this wedding was just as fun to shoot as it is to look at. Enjoy friends!

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This was the most amazing bouquet I have eve seen! huge, gorgeous, full of succulents, and amazing cacti. When the bride first saw it, she immediately said OMG (with teary eyes) this was worth EVERY PENNY. Amazing job La Fluer! You ladies are incredible. Emily & Brian- Bride & Groom (154 of 544) copy

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First look, and in a Saguaro grove…YES.

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Emily & Brian- Reception (390 of 489) copyEmily and Brian, thank you both for you sweet selves, for being oh so patient, and for being just so gash darn CUTE. Love you both, congrats again!

 

 

Erica & Tanner: North Shore Oahu

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I have to say, my first official Hawaii wedding was one of my absolute favorites to date. The couple; embodying everything you possibly can about ‘Aloha’, were equal parts relaxed, fun and amazing gorgeous. Its a photographers dream.  I ‘re-met’ the bride and her now, husband, when my family and I  first moved to Oahu last summer. Scared, confused and out of place these two swept us up like Ohana and made us feel welcome, and at ease in a strange new place. They taught us everything from; how to  do a beach day right, and even how to properly eradicate centipedes. (Side note: YIKES) I can not say enough kind words about these two- which made shooting this wedding EXTRA special for me.

The bride selected a real dream team of vendors from her gorgeous Joelle Perry custom gown to excentuate her growing bump, to the amazing hair and make up by Marian Melanie to the bouquet and event planning by Alana Madrid Florals & Events. The event took place at the Hawaii Polo club- a  huge open field surrounded by beautiful trees, and butting up agains that amazing Hawaii ocean. The bride and groom, who are naturally photogenic, were so fun to take photos of. They also had the benefit of being 20 weeks pregnant, which added a whole other element of beauty and fun to their story line. It also made the ceremony, on of my favorites to date!  I hope you enjoy going over their wedding as much as I did taking the photos. Cheers friends! Erica & Tanner Submission Blog6

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Wedding Day Details

Dress: Joelle Perry Wedding  

Hair & Makeup: Mariah Melanie

Florals & Even Planning: Alana Madrid Florals & Events

Location: Hawaii Polo Club 

Lead Photographer: Elizabeth McDonnell Photography

Second Shooter: Amber Schyne 

Mary & Tommy: Tubac Golf Resort & Spa

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Mary & Tommy are one of those couples you dream about working with. Creative, laid back, stylish, and FUN. Every vendor I worked with remarked on how amazing they were to work with and how incredibly creative the bride was. The bride, a designer by trade (and by nature), was a true DIY bride. Everything from the hand stamped table runners, the hand painted table numbers on wood blocks (that she built), and the custom invitations- not only coordinated perfectly, but were one of a kind designs by the bride herself. Not wanting to be a ‘typical bride’ the classically beautiful bride choose to wear a bright blue Mara Hoffman gown with hand beading in every color imaginable. The dress was perfect against the all white spanish stuccoed venue, the Tubac Golf Resort. The flowers, created by the talent at Butterfly Petals, were a mix of bright color and texture- ranging from hot pink peonies to the textural proedia. The couple swapped out the typical dessert table, for a dressed up cookie spread with hand baked cookies made both by Sugar Sweet Bakery, and the Mother of the Groom. A Philadelphia tradition that came from the grooms side. It was clear that each and ever detail of the wedding was not only incredibly all thought through, but perfectly executed…right down to the donkey that attended the cocktail hour.
For photos, we used the natural spanish architecture of the venue along with all the creative details made by the bride to create a colorful story board that reflected the bride and grooms style. The bright colors, the spanish ranch style venue, and the hand crafted details made this wedding truly one of a kind. The wedding was shot with a mix of digital photography and film that was mixed together to create a unique look for the couple. This wedding was a true dream to work on and I am so excited to share them!
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Vendors:

Venue: Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
Photographer: Elizabeth McDonnell Photography
Second Shooter: Kelsey Shirley Photography
Florals: Butterfly Petals
Brides Dress: Mara Hoffman
​Bridal ​Shoes: Halogen
Bridesmaids Dresses: BCBG
Suit: H & M
DJ/ Band: Hans Hutchison
Bridesmaids Gifts: Avenue boutique
Dessert/ Cookies: Sugar Sweet Bakery
Invitations: Handmade by Bride
Equipment used:
Canon 5D Mark iii
Canon 6D
Contax 645
Lenses Used:
50mm 1.2 Canon
24-70 2.8 L Canon
50mm 1.4 Canon
80mm Zeiss
From the bride: We have friends from all of the country and the world, so we knew we wanted to get married where we could spend the whole weekend together. With a family home in the small artist community of Tubac, Arizona, we quickly zeroed in on getting married at the Tubac Resort.
Everything we did was dedicated to trying to create as many opportunities to catch up with all of our loved ones. The entire guest list was traveling in for the wedding, so guests arrived to welcome packets full of area recommendations and an itinerary of activities over the entire weekend. For four days straight, we had parties and celebrations- from a pool party to Whiskey Western Night, and finally the ceremony and reception! And, as a designer and maker, I had handmade details at all of them.
It was beautifully exhausting to plan, but worth every moment. By the morning of the wedding, I was already so tired that I worried I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day….Like, I literally broke down. I had been planning and making and imagining this day for a whole year and I was so tired from the three parties we had already had I couldn’t imagine having another HUGE party! But, it ended up being the most perfect end to a magical weekend. And, my very favorite day of the whole weekend.
For the ceremony, the chapel is so beautiful that we tried to keep the ceremony decor very simple. Our florists made some amazing succulent walls and our dear friend Johanna was the officiate. Johanna wove the most amazing story of our life together- filled with deep love, dedication, yet very goofy and full of laughter. I don’t think I have seen so many people laughing and crying at the same time!
For the reception, we were focused on having a great party! We had a surprise guest to kick-off the reception- a little Burro named Bunny. Through wedding planning, my mom had become obsessed with us having a burro, so we finally gave in! Thank goodness we did, because he was a huge hit!
For the look and feel of the reception, I wanted to the rustic beauty of the resort to be the star. I chose natural and muted tones and handmade the southwest inspired table runners, table markers, and signage. And, my florist created those amazingly colorful southwest arrangements. For dessert, we went the cookie table route! Tommy is from Pittsburgh, so we wanted to include the Pittsburgh tradition of a cookie table. With so many people traveling we relied on a bakery to make the cookies, but we did have a couple of family and friends who baked cookies per the Pittsburgh tradition! We collected all the platters from family and friends.
We didn’t do many of the wedding traditions, but my sisters surprised me with a full performance of the Sisters song for their speech. It was absolutely incredible!
Overall, it was such an amazing experience. Looking back on the wedding, Tommy and I are so grateful that we were able to spend so much time with all the people that we love throughout the weekend. Bringing all the connections in your life together is incredibly special.

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More to come, but as I continue to edit my little tush off from my spring weddings, I had to share just a few gems! Love this sweet couple and their beautiful wedding. Cheers to the week friends! XO

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Amazing bouquet by: La Fleur

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Dress by: BHLDN

Flowers by: La Fleur

Tommy & Mary: Engagement Session

EMcDonnell Photography (3 of 101)Tommy and Mary are one of those couples you can just hang out with. After their session I found myself driving home feeling bummed the session was over. This weekend will be this couples wedding in Tabac, AZ and I can not wait! Not just because the bride is a designer, and has amazing style, and because they have hired a real live donkey to pose for photos after the ceremony- but because they are both so fun and sweet and easy going. I can not way to work with them again!

For this session, we started in the Barrio- taking photos at old historic buildings. Next we traveled up into the mountains and took photos in a field I had found a few weeks prior. Just as the sun was setting the clouds parted and we got some great sun-filled shots. The field has also just sprouted some tall grasses and white flowers which really added to the session. Tommy and Mary- thank you both for being so wonderful, and sweet (and willing to drive all over) see you soon!  Cheers.

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Patagonia Styled Shoot with LaFleur Events & Floral

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It’s not everyday that you get to work with some of the best creatives in the business, but this styled shoot was just that day. Working with an all-female, Tucson-local cast–including the likes of Avenue Boutique (clothing, jewlery, and styling), Studio 110 (hair and make up), and the ladies of LaFleur (floral and event styling)–I had nothing but beautiful, amazing and creative elements to photograph. From the florals, to the produce, to the beautifully arranged tables and hand selected decor, Colleen and her team at LaFleur really blew me away with their creations.   When I approached Colleen and LaFleur about doing a styled shoot, they were not only willing, but excited and helped craft an unforgettable scene at a location that is near and dear to my heart. The location for the styled shoot was a ranch in the San Rafael Valley, where my Dad, and his three siblings grew up. A place that, after deciding  to pack up her life as she knew it in Chicago for a new life with my grandfather,  took my grandmother’s breath away the first and last time she saw it. A bit outside of Tucson, Arizona, near the town of Patagonia, lies the San Rafael Valley–quiet, still, open, majestic. With its endless ranch scenes and picturesque views in all directions, the valley was the perfect backdrop for our local farm to table inspired shoot.

Soon after my meeting with Colleen at LaFleur, Alexis (owner) from Avenue Boutique and Vanessa (owner) from Studio 110, jumped onboard and started coming up with concepts to make the shoot truly unforgettable. Alexis designed and made the bride’s dress, which she also sells in her shop here in Tucson. She also made the bridesmaids’ dresses, along with all the gorgeous jewelry in the shoot. Naturally, she had her hand in styling the groom and even the guests. Vanessa and her crew at Studio 110 came up with the hair and make-up concepts, making the bride and bridesmaids all look natural and beautiful. She also cleaned up the groom, preserving his natural and effortless look.  Next came the amazing team of local entrepreneurs/food artisans who gave our local ranch/produce inspired shoot just what it needed. Donations spanned several amazing vendors, including Sleeping Frog Farm (local, organic produce), DelBac Whiskey (handcrafted Tucson whiskey), Borderlands Brewery (local handcrafted beers), and Time Market (handmade, stone oven breads and local wines).

The result of this dream team effort was truly stunning and one of the best shoots I have ever been able to be a part. I am forever grateful to our team for their inspiration, their quality of work, and their creative genius. A special thank you also goes out to our beautiful models who were part professionals/ part friends and ALL volunteers. You guys are not only beautiful but so fun and so kind!  Special thanks as well to my amazing second shooter, Kelsey Shirley, for her continued support in this crazy business and her talent (also note her BEAUTIFUL daughter as our flower girl). Finally, a whole-hearted thank you to my family and close friends who left work early on a Wednesday and drove over two hours to be a part of this shoot–modeling, encouraging, and helping.  A special thanks to my cousin, Blue, who scouted this location with me and our two babies, while reminiscing about our grandmother, and proving endless amounts of directions for myself and others. You are the most fun, Blue, and without you we would have been lost LITERALLY.

I am so lucky to have such amazing support.

Enjoy the photos!

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Vendors:

Flowers/Styling/ Design: LaFleur Plantscapes & Events 
 
Lead Photographer: Elizabeth McDonnell Photography 
 
Second Photographer/ second shooter: Kelsey Shirley Photography
 
​Fresh organic vegetables/ herbs/ produce​: Sleeping Frog Farm 
 
Clothing styling/ wardrobe/ Brides custom made dress/ Jewelry: Avenue Boutique
Hair & Makeup design: Studio 110
 
Cake: Sugar Song Cakes (Lori) 
 
Stationary/ Menu/ Invites/ Placecards: DeFilippis Designs 
 
Handmade Local Whisky: Whisky DelBac
 
Hancrafted Local Beer: Dragoon Brewery 
 
Local Bread: Time Market
 
Local Wine: Arizona Stronghold & Pillsbury wine company 
Purchased at Time Market
 
Handcrafted Olive Oil: Queen Creek Olive Mill

 For questions email us at: info@elizabethmcdonnellphotography.com

Aloha bound.

14 weeks

I am so excited/ nervous/ anxious to announce that Elizabeth McDonnell Photography will be expanding to Hawaii! In June my family and I will be packing up and heading out of the desert for sun, sand, and pineapple! I say we are expanding because I will still be coming back to Arizona quite often to snap weddings, and family sessions as well as see friends and family. Please still send your inquiries, and recommendations my way as I embark on this fun new chapter! Mahalo.