Sedona Engagement With Marina + Matt

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Here we are, already in March, and I can hardly believe my best friend is getting married in New York in just three weeks!

Marina and I met in our college days. We shared a room in Orange County. After a few short weeks we quickly became like sisters, even to the point of stealing each other’s clothes! I moved up to San Francisco about a year later for about ten months (my version of an extended vacation). When I returned to Southern California I found myself back in Temecula Wine Country where I grew up, and Marina had moved to LA (two hours north of me). Though we’ve been miles apart since we moved out from that little apartment in Huntington Beach, we’ve always found a way to make each other a priority in life. She would come fly to the Bay Area to adventure the city with me, and when I was back home I’d always make time to stop and visit her too. Last year I got married and she was such a huge supporter of all of my planning. Now it’s her turn, and I’m so lucky to be such a big part of it for her!

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Now let me introduce you to Matt. When I first met him, he reminded me so much of my oldest brother – quiet yet confident, incredibly talented though very humble, and oh, yes, teasing me like a little sister. Now that he’s been in Marina’s life for over five years, he really feels like an older brother. And yes, the teasing has gotten worse!

I do have to take credit for them being together now. If it wasn’t for me, Marina never would have gone on that first date. They had met a good while prior to sitting down for dinner, and Marina called me on her way to meet him me nervously saying, “I’m not sure about this guy. I barely remember him!” I urged her to just try it. My words exactly: “This could be your future husband!” Not too far into their date, she snuck off to the restroom with her phone and texted me how handsome and charming he was! That was the end of that.

You’re welcome Matt!

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Since then, they’ve traveled to what seems every corner of the country by airplanes, road trips, and hikes. For their honeymoon, they’re spending a month in Europe (can you say jealous!?). His proposal was one of the most extravagant I’ve seen yet. He rented out a private theatre and tricked her into thinking she was seeing an exclusive viewing of Minions before it released. When she arrived, the seats were full of their closest friends and family and the premiere that night was an hour long (and really exceptional) film he made of all of their adventures – hiking, major sports games, road trips, and more. Did I mention he is a special effects producer in LA?!

Adventuring the earth and hiking is their thing – Sedona being one of their frequent visits to see family and the incredible red rocks in the area. When Marina brought up the idea of going out to Arizona for their engagement shoot, I knew it would be perfect! After all of these years of her going out there with Matt and posting photos on Facebook of their amazing Arizona hikes, I couldn’t think of anything more fitting to represent part of who they are as a couple.

Justin and I road tripped with them all the way there, and my sweet husband even second shot with me. He is getting so good at photography, I’m afraid he might be my boss soon! We scouted the first day we got in and found five different backdrops within a two mile radius, so we decided to use them all! It normally doesn’t work out this perfectly, but we got so much variety in such a short time. It felt effortless.

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The yellow trees were our first stop, and they added such a pretty pop of color with her forest green Nicole Miller gown from Rent The Runway. Before heading to our next destination we stopped at the erie trees; I feel like they are so Marina and Matt! I mean, they are getting married in a cemetery. Erie is their thing.

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Matt with his impeccable taste made sure to wear these great shoes. I’m always a sucker for great groom shoes!

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This image below is one of my favorite captures of the day… there is just something so authentically perfect about the in-between moments.

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One very special part of their lives we had to incorporate was their love for their furry babies – Oscar and Mokey! Did I mention we road tripped to AZ together? If you haven’t put two and two together yet, that included four adults, several packed bags, and two little dogs on our laps for eight hours in a small four door car. It was an adventure we’ll never forget (and a typical thing Marina and I would endure for the sake of good memories!). Our poor men got dragged along for the ride!

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As the sun began to set we had two more little spots to get in – Huckaby Trail and the famous Sedona Canyons. You best believe I was saving the canyons for that last five minutes of heavenly sunset! We went to the trail first and incorporated cactus in the mix. Again, so fitting for Marina’s gown!

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And how gorgeous is this ring?!

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Marina did an outfit change for the final setting (my favorite). An ivory gown dipped in gold by Marchesta Notte on Rent The Runway with a rose gold shawl and the perfect necklace to accessorize.

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This view! I just about died and went to heaven climbing up these rocks to see this view. Shooting there was a dream. Sedona is definitely a destination I’ll be visiting again, and Justin loved it too!

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Soon they’ll be getting married in Brooklyn at a jaw-droopingly beautiful chapel that sits right in the famous Green-Wood in Brooklyn. Marina will be wearing a dress by one of my favorite designers – BHDLN by Anthropologie. Their reception will be intimate and perfect at the cutest little restaurant in the area! I can’t wait to share all about it after our trip.

For now, it’s back to planning for us. Best friend duties call! If you loved this session, I invite you to Pin away! It deserves all the glory, because these two are so inspiring. I’m lucky to call them such good friends.

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