I'm back in Phoenix having some great memories from my two weeks in the Bay area. Michelle and Brent were married Thursday in Half Moon Bay. Brent is a farmer in Iowa and Michelle, originally from Arizona, has moved there to be with him. So this was a destination wedding for them.

This wedding was so special to me and here's why. If I wasn't already born into an amazing family, this is the family I would want to adopt me:
From L to R: David, Becky, Stephen, Martha, Michelle, Brent, Sarah & Aaron. Stephen and Martha have the three girls as daughters and the boys all married into the family. I met Becky and Stephen first on a trip to Israel with APU back in 1998. Becky attended APU as a freshman that year along with David, who she was dating at the time. I was a senior and in choir with David so I got to know them both separately. Besides getting along great we had Arizona in common as our home state. So after college when we all moved back, we continued to hang out and I got to know the whole clan. Becky and Sarah both managed to get married without me as their photographer so I feel blessed that I was able to shoot Michelle's wedding.

I keep telling the girls in this family that they need to start an event planning business. I think of myself as organized and detail-oriented but these guys make me look like a mess. More importantly, they are all super-kind and love each other like crazy. I always feel so blessed in their presence. And to top off this list of amazing qualities, they are the most photo-crazy family I've ever met. So they definitely made my job easy and fun.

Ok, on to the wedding day. Here's Michelle's dress along with four brightly colored sashes that the bridesmaids wore. I loved the bright colors they used:
Getting ready fun:
How cute is Michelle with those dimples?
The bright flowers:
Some sweet moments between Michelle and her mom just before the ceremony:
The ceremony took place at The Hasting's House--this little garden behind a house on Miramar Beach. It was the perfect setting for an intimate wedding--the guests numbered 11-- only Brent and Michelle's immediate families.
I loved how they were holding each others hands:
Michelle and Brent both wrote their own vows and both struggled through them:
This was one of my favorite moments during the ceremony--the family gathered around them and prayed.
After the ceremony we spent some time in the garden getting some great portraits:
Then we headed down to a very windy, cold beach for more portraits. Here's the whole crew:
The girls:
And more with the cute couple:
Next we headed to Pasta Moon for a five course dinner complete with wine, toasts, and cheesecake for dessert:
There are so many more great photos from this day. To see more--click here for a slideshow!

Even though Michelle & Brent included only their families in their weddings, they are still planning to celebrate with all their friends. They have two big receptions planned in Arizona and Iowa. Unfortunately I'm not available to cover the Iowa reception but you will see more from their Arizona reception in September! I think this is such a great way to do things for couples who want the intimacy of a small destination wedding but also want to include their many friends and family as well. Definitely something to think about for you brides to be out there!

Thanks Michelle & Brent! Have so much fun on your honeymoon in Iceland!

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