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21
Apr
Desert Botanical Garden Engagement Shoot | Sara & Bobby
categories: Engagement, photography, Wedding Inspiration

Did you know that one of our very favorite wedding venues, Desert Botanical Garden (DBG), is also one of our very favorite engagement session locations? See, we kind of adore our desert plants and terrain and DBG is THE place to get our cactus/mountain/flower fix. Apparently cutie pie couple Sara and Bobby like it too because they chose to have their engagement photos taken there! Explore this Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot with us…

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

So there’s a few reasons we were drawn to Sara and Bobby’s Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot- of course the location is one reason- but do you SEE them? They are seriously the cutest, sweetest, gushiest couple! And then to top it off, their outfits are perfection! We love how the blues and reds pop against the neutral desert color palette. But we know there’s more to Sara and Bobby than their adorableness so we asked them a few questions:

How did you meet? We lived near each other and went to the same high school but never really knew each other. Back in February 2014 my friend Travis invited me, and his brother Geno invited Bobby, to go on a snowboarding trip in Telluride, CO and that’s where we got to know each other.

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

How did Bobby propose? In December 2016 we went on another snowboarding trip in Telluride with Bobby’s family and on our way down a run Bobby pointed out a spot off in the distance and said that’s where we were going to meet up with our group. Being the slowest one on the mountain I was the last one to get there, everyone was sitting so I sat too to catch my breath. Bobby scooted over to me and said, “I got something for you”, pulled out the ring, and asked, “Will you marry me?” It took me a minute to say, “Yes!” because I instantly started crying (happy tears!). Everyone else took pictures of the whole thing and his youngest sister Bailey yelled, “Yay! I get another sister!” He kept the ring for the rest of the day so I wouldn’t lose it in the snow.

The photo of Bobby tucking Sara’s hair behind her ear is one of our very favorites by Elite Circle photographer Fully Alive Photography- it’s a caring and natural gesture that adds a touch of authenticity which we thoroughly enjoy in engagement sessions!

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Tell us about the wedding! Since we met in Telluride and got engaged there, we thought it would only make sense to have the wedding there too! Our date is September 21st, 2017 at San Sophia Overlook. We are most looking forward to spending such a special occasion of our lives with our closest friends and family with the incredible view and scenery that San Sophia has to offer.

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What’s your favorite thing about each other?

Sara: I love that I know he will always be there for me. I sometimes let stress and anxiety get the better of me and he knows exactly what to say to make me feel like everything is going to work out and be okay. I’m always learning from him and he makes me laugh every day. I know I can count on him no matter what.

Bobby: My favorite thing about Sara is that she understands me completely. She is always there to support me with anything that comes up in our lives. I know that no matter what she will always be there for me. I find myself excited every day when I think about how soon she will be my wife.

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How did you choose Tracy/Fully Alive Photography and DBG for your engagement photos? Bobby’s sister Lindsey found Fully Alive Photography at the Phoenix Bridal Expo. With work, school, MRI clinicals and planning the wedding I was feeling a little overwhelmed so for my birthday, Bobby offered to handle setting up engagement photos for me. Tracy teaches photography classes at the Botanical Gardens so she suggested doing our shoot there and that sounded like a perfect idea! The scenery was beautiful and the pictures turned out great. She was easy going and made us feel very comfortable during the whole thing too.

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

We feel like Sara and Bobby just know exactly what to do in front of the camera so if you’re ever not sure how to act during your engagement session, feel free to consult these photos!

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

What’s your ideal date night? Our ideal date night is just to spend time together. But our go-to date night is usually an Asian-fusion restaurant called Tottie’s. He took me there for our first date and we’ve spent a few Valentine’s day dinners there too. Plus he can get his sesame chicken and I can get my sushi fix!

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

We enjoyed getting to know you, Sara and Bobby (and adore your e-session style). Thank you for sharing your Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot with us and congratulations on your upcoming wedding in Colorado!

All photos taken by Elite Circle member Fully Alive Photography at Desert Botanical Garden.

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your complete Arizona wedding magazine and wedding planning resource

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16
Feb
Meet Our Tempe Mission Palms Giveaway Winners!
categories: fabulous reception sites, Giveaways and Contests, Meet Our Friends

When you enter one of our giveaways, you just might get more than you bargained for…case in point, not only did Mitch and Meghan win our Tempe Mission Palms giveaway (valued at $1,250), they also got a mini-photo shoot with Fully Alive Photography’s Tracy Battaglia!

Here’s our winning couple:

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Meghan and Mitch, who met while being inducted as members of the University of Arizona’s Mortar Board Honor Society, have been planning their wedding for almost two years and are thrilled that the actual wedding day is less than 2 months away. The fact that they had time to schedule this shoot with us and look so cute proves that they’re ready!

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Kellie Mendoza from Tempe Mission Palms and our very own Dawn Peterson presented the gift certificate to the couple; Tracy Battaglia of Fully Alive Photography was on site to snap the photos.

Tempe Mission Palms giveaway winners _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona wedding_Fully Alive Photography

The Proposal: In 2015, I wanted to impress Meghan with a surprise proposal. As a result, I conspired with two of Meghan’s best friends, who were living in Raleigh, NC at the time. I made it appear as though these friends had bought Meghan a surprise trip to Raleigh as a birthday present. A day after Meghan arrived, Meghan and her friend toured around Durham while her other friend picked me up from the airport. Meghan watched an Arizona Wildcat basketball game at a local restaurant and then was taken to a bright red bridge in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on the Duke University Campus. While her friend pretended to take Meghan’s picture on the bridge, I came out from the bushes and surprised Meghan by getting down on one knee.

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We are most looking forward to enjoying the day with our close friends and family. Having a two-year engagement has allowed us (mostly Meghan) to be more detailed in wedding planning. Because of this, there is less to worry or fret about during the actual wedding day.

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We love how Phoenix Bride & Groom magazine incorporates real bride and wedding stories. These stories have helped us be more proactive in planning. We also love the recommendations and focus on local vendors. These recommendations have given us a starting place in piecing together our wedding. Finally, we really enjoy the photography!

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From the lush courtyard, to the fountain circle at the hotel’s majestic front entrance, Tempe Mission Palms is the premier venue for hosting romantic wedding ceremonies in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. The central location of the hotel means guests have close access to all that Phoenix and Scottsdale have to offer!

Tempe Mission Palms giveaway winners _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona wedding_Fully Alive Photography

Congratulations Meghan and Mitch and thank you for being fans of Phoenix Bride & Groom!

Wedding Professionals Who Help You Wed in Style

Location: Tempe Mission Palms

Photographer: Fully Alive Photography

Explore our complete list of Elite Circle members

 Click here for our current giveaway

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your complete Arizona wedding magazine and wedding planning resource

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2
Dec
Katie & Marc’s Outdoor Engagement Session in Arizona
categories: Engagement

outdoor engagement session in arizona _phoenix-bride-and-groom_fully-alive-photography_katie-and-marc

Sometimes you hear a couple’s story and you just know they’re extra special. Katie and Marc’s story is one of those stories. Fully Alive Photography, an Elite Circle photographer who seems to have a knack for bringing out the most natural and pure beauty in people, photographed the couple for their outdoor engagement session in Arizona and we love it!

For today’s post, we’re mostly going to let the couple tell their story because we wouldn’t do it justice.

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How did you meet? We met working at Starbucks at Rural and Baseline in Tempe in 2002…there weren’t any sparks at that point. I wasn’t interested in a relationship (much less Marc) because I had my heart set on going overseas to serve people living in poverty and do humanitarian work. As for Marc, he was really content as a single. And while he may have had some interest in me, he knew I wanted to go overseas and he certainly didn’t want to get in the way of that. Before I left the US, Marc gave me his email address so I could send him my newsletters. So for years, our only communication was me sending out mass email newsletters from the Middle East and West Africa. 

I returned to the US in 2013. I knew it would be a difficult transition coming back to the US, but I thought I’d be fine. I had already spent years traveling the world and living in other countries as a single woman. How hard would America be? But I had no idea what I was in for. Marc, on the other hand, knew. He had seen how other people struggled when they came back from serving overseas. So he committed to pray for me—even though we hadn’t seen each other in nearly a decade.

So as I navigated the traumatic terrain of reverse culture shock, heartbreak, and loss over the next year, Marc faithfully prayed for me and emailed me encouragement in the form of written prayers, stories from his life, Bible verses, and links to songs. I can’t tell you how many times I would read one of Marc‘s emails in which he shared just the thing I needed to hear or confirmed just what I was sensing from God. I could tell Marc was special, and that he had a really close relationship with God. And that was attractive. I eventually got up the nerve to email and tell him I was interested in him—romantically—and that if it was mutually, he should do something about it!

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What is your favorite thing about each other? Katie: For me, it’s what I first found attractive in him: his obedience and faithfulness to God. Marc: I most like her capacity to feel deeply.

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Katie and Marc’s Outdoor Engagement Session in Arizona took place at Tempe Center for the Arts and Tempe Town Lake- the couple says the locations represent many things about us: our love for Tempe, music, and modern architecture.

outdoor engagement session in arizona _phoenix-bride-and-groom_fully-alive-photography_katie-and-marc

The Proposal: The couple went out for a fancy meal to celebrate their 2 year anniversary but ended up being stuck for hours on the freeway due to an accident and eating at Chipotle instead (they are having Chipotle cater their wedding as a nod to this special anniversary!) . So, the next day, we met up to walk through a large city park. Marc was determined to find the perfect spot. So for the next two hours, we wandered the park as he insisted we needed to find the right spot to sit down so he could stretch. It was a legitimate excuse. He was recovering from a mild running injury, and I knew he’d been instructed to stretch multiple times a day.

Did I know that a proposal was coming? Well, I did think, Maybe he’ll propose. I knew it was bound to come at some point over the next few months. But honestly, I didn’t think this was the day. So I took his insistence on finding THE right spot as a challenge. After all, my guy is really particular when he knows what he’s looking for. We would most certainly find it. And we did find it. Well, nearly. We sat down in front of a parking lot underneath a dying arbor and he started telling me how thankful he is for me and about how much we had grown over the past two years, and I thought, “Oh, he’s being so sweet for our 2 year anniversary!”

Then, after a pause, he said, “Nope, this isn’t the right spot.” It was true. I was kind of afraid that spiders might start falling from the dead vine above us. So we backtracked about 50 yards to a nearby fountain in the sunshine and THAT was the perfect spot where he simply said, “You want to marry me, right?” “Are you asking me to marry you?” I asked. And he had the biggest smile on his face as he said, “Yes!” and got down on one kneed and formally asked.

Later, he said, “It may not have been very romantic, but I hope it was memorable.” Memorable, yes. And it WAS romantic!

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How did you choose Fully Alive Photography for your outdoor engagement session in Arizona? Choosing Fully Alive Photography was one of our very first decisions in the whole wedding planning process (technically, our first decision was cupcakes; second was deciding on Fully Alive Photography). We had seen a lot of Tracy’s work and we loved her style and artistry. As we’ve gotten to know her, we’ve also seen how naturally she creates beauty and fun all around her. We knew we were hiring the best photographer who would help us relax and have fun during our photo sessions, as well as really capture our personalities as individuals and as a couple.

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Ideal Date Night: Sunset on the patio of Postino’s Annex—me drinking a white wine and Marc eating a bowl of fresh potato chips while listening to a retro playlist.

We love the quiet strength Katie and Marc exude. There’s no frills, no fuss. Just a closeness and love that is sort of…ethereal (the gorgeous glowing sun that Tracy expertly captured doesn’t hurt either!).

outdoor engagement session in arizona _phoenix-bride-and-groom_fully-alive-photography_katie-and-marc

Katie and Marc, our hearts are full- we thank you for sharing your story and photos with us and we wish you much love and happiness on your wedding day (and every day thereafter)!

Outdoor engagement session in Arizona photos taken by: Fully Alive Photography

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your complete Arizona wedding planning resource

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6
Oct
Engaged in Arizona: Kayla and Christopher’s Destination Engagement Session
categories: Engagement, photography, Sedona

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona wedding blog_wedding photographer_engagement session_red rocks_Sedona_Fully Alive Photography (1)

Sedona’s Red Rock Canyon National Park provides the most striking backdrop for weddings and engagements and Kayla and Christopher’s destination session, photographed by Elite Circle photographer Fully Alive Photography, is no exception. You’re going to love the simplicity of the shoot and deep connection the couple has.

How They Met: Kayla and Christopher attended the same high school but somehow didn’t cross paths until after college. Kayla tells us: The night we met we were both out at the same local bar (both sober we might add) and after making eyes at one another (or at least Chris thought so) Chris approached me to reintroduce himself as if we were old friends. We hit it off by talking about kitchen design as Chris was remodeling his kitchen and I just happened to be a kitchen designer. When Chris asked me for my business card and I didn’t have any he “smoothly” had me make him a personal one on a sugar packet which we still have framed in our bedroom today.

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Favorite Things:

Kayla: My favorite thing about Christopher is how strong of a faith he has. Ever since we started dating, we have read daily devotional together. I love that he can laugh at himself and be silly. But what I love most is his passion. His passion for the people he loves is inspiring.

Chris: To pick just one thing I love about Kay is a difficult task, but if I had to choose just one it would be the way that she loves. Kayla is just a people person in so many ways. People are drawn to her and she has true love for them. Whether it’s the awkward person in the room or her family who for her is second to none she just loves them. Kayla has no idea how beautiful she is but when you add that with her fervent love for others she is the entire package.

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The white dress Kayla is wearing was sewn by her grandmother! Kayla explains: The weeks leading up to the engagement shoot, I was looking for an outfit and fell in love with a white dress WITH a train. So I made up my mind then that I had to find one. However, not being able to find anything, I asked my grandma if she could pull something together in less than a week!! After not sewing anything for 30 years, she made the most beautiful dress. The best part was it enabled us to spend time together in the craziness of my wedding planning life. I am so appreciative and thankful for my Grandma’s talent, but more than anything I’m thankful for her love and support.

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How did you choose Fully Alive Photography? Tracy is one of Kayla’s cousin’s best friends and while attending college at Illinois State University she spent a little over a year nannying for Tracy’s son. We were already familiar with the quality of Tracy’s work and so the only question was how we could coordinate the location of the shoot with us being in Illinois and Tracy in Arizona. When the idea was brought up about us meeting Tracy out west we jumped at it and couldn’t be happier with our decision. The best thing about Tracy and Fully-Alive is she truly makes you feel like the most beautiful people in the world while she works with you and her talent with her photography makes you almost start to believe her!

Why Sedona? Umm… mountains?! What’s not to like? Where we are from in southern Illinois there is nothing but vast planes running in every direction you look. We wanted something different that stood out for our photos but would also create an awesome memory at the same time. Our shoot was so amazing and more fun than we could have ever imagined taking photos could be.

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Ideal Date Night: We are both from design backgrounds, Chris studied architecture and Kayla interior design, and we truly love designing together. We recently purchased our first home together and although it didn’t need much work we have had an amazing time bringing our style into each room. It takes a lot of patience and a ton of trial and error but we wouldn’t have it any other way. So our ideal date would be having an amazing dinner out at any number of Italian Restaurants in St. Louis and then shopping for furnishing for our house (ideally on an unlimited budget;)) and bringing them back home and seeing what works best and then carrying our conversation on for hours about the new ideas we have come up with based on new pieces we have found. If we could mix in some mini-golf we always love that too to keep up our competitive edge!

This engagement session proves you don’t have to do anything over the top in your photos to capture the true spirit of who you are as a couple. Congratulations Kayla and Christopher and thank you for sharing your engagement with us!

Photos courtesy of Fully Alive Photography– to see the full blog post and more pictures from this engagement session, click here!

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your complete Arizona wedding planning resource

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