Windmill Winery Lake House Wedding Florence, AZ

Jun 14, 2019

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
When Harry Met Sally

What if I told you that your proposal would be the best and worst day of your life… would you believe me? This wedding was by far one of the most emotional weddings to date. A bride who almost lost her father, a mother who went from the excitement of her daughter getting engaged to a turn of events, and caring for her husband. To a groom fighting for our country as a Marine, and not present for the planning. To a family that stepped in and helped plan and execute a dream wedding for their future daughter and law and son!

The Story

It was Christmas Eve, Will was home and ready to spend the holidays with his family and girlfriend! He had a secret plan and he was ready to execute this special moment that would end the year on a high for him and his soon to be finance’. As he got down on one knee with Gillian’s family present, he opened the box and asked the questions “Gillian, Will you marry me?” At least that’s what he thinks he said and that’s what she thinks she heard. Really it was the pounding in his chest that echoed to his ears, that had him on autopilot. This man fights for our country and shoots very loud machine guns, this had no comparison to that!


The one word he had been dying to hear, and scared to death to not hear. For the bride’s parents, this was exciting, their youngest and last baby would be getting married. Like any bride the planning started immediately. Her and her mom went to Pinterest and thought of all the things different and unique she would want her day to consist of. The feeling, the atmosphere, the experience, everything she envisioned she pinned, and left her fiance’ to go share the news with his parents.

What seemed to be just a sore leg, Mrs B (the brides mom), helped her husband climb the stairs and get into bed. The day had been filled with stuff to do and she just took it as he was tired, worn out, and needed emotional rest. Or so she thought, four hours after her daughter said Yes, after an emotional high, she would be met with tragedy. It happened so fast, the slurred speech coming from her husbands lips, to his face starting to droop she knew immediately what this was and called 911. The moments after that were a blur, the emotions after that were numbing. Her husband had suffered a stroke, and the future was now unknown.

Wedding’s are suppose to be happy exciting times for families. Times to come together to celebrate, life and love, and future for two souls. So I want to turn this story into a happy one, one that will focus on the positives of Will + Gillian’s story. Their date was set, the planning began, and what was seeming to be fate, everything just fell into place. We met Gillian at the bridal show in January, she instantly fell in love with the emotion in our photos. Knowing everything was needing to be planned quickly she feared we wouldn’t be available for their 4 months of planning until the big day. We met with her mom that next week, Gillian was visiting Will, and we immediately knew we were meant to capture these memories for them.

March 30, 2019

The day they said I do…

(Be sure to make it to the bottom where you can read from the Bride’s Perspective on planning her special day)

See your wedding doesn’t have to be this checklist you go down. You don’t have to do what society has deemed traditional. Make it your own and your style will shine through. At the end of the day, once the food has been eaten, and your guests are gone… all you have left is your images. These memories are ones we want you to look at and remember real emotion, authentic expressions, and genuine moments in them. So if you want to do something specific on your day DO IT! It’s your day after all! 

-XOXO Dana 

from the bride 

I envisioned my wedding very small and intimate, almost an elopement. I get stressed out fairly easily and didn’t want the headache of a large wedding… Well, my husband and in laws saw something more and told me I would regret it if I didn’t  go a little bigger than that.  So instead we planned a large wedding in 3 months! I definitely had my doubts but now that it’s all over I can say without a doubt it was the best day of my life. 

My color palette was originally planned all around the color sienna orange.  It was something different and new. I started to see how monochromatic everything was getting and wanted to add something in. My maid of honor ended up trying on this patterned dress and we started to pull off other colors from that. 

I envisioned a fusion of boho chic, elegant and timeless. I really wanted it to stand out as something original and not at all “Pinterest”y. 

I made my own lavender lemon soaps, table numbers and signs. My mom and mom in-law decorated the venue with tons of little homemade details. But my favorite part was planning all the music for the ceremony! I chose all my favorite Beatles instrumentals.

It sounds cliche but my favorite moment was walking down the aisle to my now hubby. I had tunnel vision and couldn’t even hear my instrumental of Lucy in the sky with diamonds. Seeing the look on his face after my carriage surprise was just amazing. Having my mom by my side on that very important walk was very special as well. 

One of my top priorities for this wedding was that the flowers had to be over the top and wildflower designs did not disappoint. In fact they were the talk of the wedding. They were definitely my style! She made everything look organic. 

One piece of advice I’d give to brides would be to go with the flow and let everyone involved add something to your wedding. It was so special seeing both sides of our families put in details. Almost symbolic of us all joining together as a new family. It all came together so nicely. I loved looking around and being able to see that person in the details. 

My wedding gown was from David’s bridal. I had worked there while I was planning everything so I had already seen all the dresses. When this Oleg Cassini came in, I immediately called dibs! I am in love with this dress! It was so elegant and timeless. It had 3D flower decals and beautiful layers of different laces. The bottom layer was a light silver blue. I had a belt sewn on to add my own personal touch! It’s now in my preservation kit box so I can look at it whenever and I don’t have to worry about it yellowing! 

I originally wanted a “naked cake” I’m not a big fan of frosting. After looking for inspiration I realized quickly that every bride wanted that. I decided to go a different route. Instead I chose a white frosting 3 tier cake with gold dripping down each layer. I had them add some candied oranges to carry my colors to the cake. My florist added some beautiful flowers to it as well. I’m really glad I decided to do something a little more unique.

We decided to make our favors our selves. We made lavender lemon soaps! It was a really fun craft night with my mom and mother in law. We drank some wine and laughed while we hand made them! My guests loved them! 

My favorite hand crafted thing we made would have to have been my table numbers. I saw an inspiration picture of sea glass table numbers. Knowing that was out of the budget I tried to think of something we could do. We bought plexiglas and some sea glass paint by Martha Stewart! They turned out super cute and I don’t think anyone knew they were plastic till they felt them.

– G

wedding vendor team

Caterer: M’s Avenue Grill

Flowers: Wildflower Designs By Elise

Dress: David’s Bridal

Dj: Ellagant Entertainment Dj m-cat

Grooms apparel: Men’s Warehouse

Makeup artist: Allie Deatherage

Hair stylist: Chelsea Litchfield

Cake: Piece Of Cake AZ

Your wedding day is that it’s your day! It’s not a checklist of things you have to do in order to have the best marriage. Marriage is work, your wedding is the start to that promise to each other. We love to capture the real emotion, authentic moments, and genuine expressions for each unique wedding we shoot. It’s tailored to you, to your family, and friends. 

tell us about your day!

After we collect a few short details of what you are dreaming up, we will reach out to get everything started. We take on a maximum of 10 wedding per year.

dana and joe jumping - phoenix arizona wedding photographers

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[email protected]

(661) 483-6469

Phoenix, AZ

office hours

Mon - Fri | 9am - 5pm

Sat | Appointment Only

Sun | Closed

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