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{  Category: Destinations  }

Jimmy + Stephanie – Chicago to Lake Powell Destination Wedding Photographer

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The bride and groom Jimmy + Stephanie are fearless film-makers who head their own wedding videography company called Captured in Frames. Jimmy + Steph are such a power couple of talent, not to mention they are just all around awesome people, we have been recommending CIF to our Chicago clients ever since we watched one of their Same Day Edit videos played during a reception three years ago! After 10+ weddings working together, we have become good friends. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better trip, nor two more fantastic people and truly a perfect match between Steph + Jimmy to be married! Thank you for the unforgettable experience traveling out West with you J+S, your family + friends! If you’re a new guest to our blog and liked our photos… Next watch the video below and experience even more moments from Jimmy + Stephanie Wilderman’s wedding and the incredible trip in beautiful Lake Powell. Filming by Jimmy, Steph, Josh and Jon. Edited by Jimmy + Steph of Captured in Frames.


“This isn’t a typical Miller + Miller Chicago area wedding. We are thrilled to blog photos from Jimmy + Stephanie Wilderman’s destination in Lake Powell. A destination with hiking, exploring, scenic rocky vistas, sunsets, canyons and mountain tops picturesque for capturing wedding photography. Every inch of the 186 mile long Lake Powell bordering the Arizona and Utah state lines, provides for an unforgettable golden sunset at the end of every day.


Our travels took us from Chicago to the Southwest covering 1,600 miles passing over the mountains of Colorado through the yellow aspen trees, through sunshine and deserts of Utah and Zion National Park eventually arriving at the shores of Lake Powell in Page Arizona. Exploring and hiking National Parks with our cameras is one of our favorite vacation activities… as well as Jimmy + Stephanie’s. When J+S asked us about photographing their wedding day in Lake Powell, of course without hesitation a few months later we were packing our gear and heading West for the fabulous destination wedding celebration in the desert. Why choose a destination wedding? Some say skipping town and deciding on a dream destination out of the way allows for the bride + groom to just focus on how much fun they are going to have. Ryan and I choose a destination in the mountains of Nevada outside of Las Vegas for ourselves for that very reason! For this “wanderlust” and adventurous couple, the Southwest holds some of the best memories with each other exploring, camping and hiking in Utah; not to mention Jimmy’s surprise proposal to Steph occurring near Lake Powell, at the summit of Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park. So how did Jimmy + Steph find Lake Powell and decide it was a fit for their destination’s location?


We actually found Lake Powell by accident. Jimmy and I had a week long shoot get cancelled at the last minute (we’re film-makers in St Louis) and we decided to use our spare time to travel. We didn’t know where to go so we flipped a coin: heads north, tails south. As the coin was in the air we both shouted WEST! The next morning we packed a tent, a case of redbull, some extra clothes, and hit the road. We drove all day and into the night. Neither one of us had ever been out west so we really had no idea what we were driving into. It was about 2am when we finally decided that we were too tired to go any further, so we pulled off the road and slept in the car. When we woke up, we were in Moab, Utah. That was a moment that we’ll never forget. It was like waking up on Mars! Surrounded by red rock and towering buttes, we continued on our journey. We spent the day hiking in Arches National Park and driving the scenic UT 12 highway, which is now our favorite road. We arrived at Lake Powell at sunset. It was like something straight out of a movie. We were driving up a slight slope in the road with two enormous buttes on both sides, and it was the most beautiful sunset that I’d ever seen. Then we reached the crest, and sprawled out before us was the bluest lake. Even in the fading sunset, you could see the blue of the water. The next day we found a quiet cove and spent the day swimming and soaking up the sun. It was incredible! That was our first experience with Lake Powell.


Lake Powell was the ‘dream’ destination location that we both wanted but couldn’t imagine as a reality. Eventually we decided to dive in headfirst and make it happen. Having a small, intimate celebration was always a priority for us so a destination worked out great. None of our guests had even heard of Lake Powell so we saw our wedding as an opportunity to share it with them. It was very exciting and rewarding to road-trip with everyone and watch them experience our favorite places for the first time. The week spent out on the lake was very laid-back and relaxing. Some of us hiked, some guests swam, others simply pulled up a chair and turned on the radio, and every night ended around the fire, even the wedding! :) – Steph


The Wilderman wedding journey in Lake Powell began by launching houseboats from The Point at Antelope Point Marina in Page Arizona. “Glamping” (glamorized camping) guests bunked within two houseboats with 6 bedrooms, 3 baths each (which really were glamorous!) Explorative Jimmy + Steph navigated the waterways towards Lake Powell’s Padre Bay in search for the best desolate sandy peninsula or an island to anchor the boats and set up camp for the week. This impromptu waterfront spot was to determine not only our sandy home for the week, it would host a few activities including a night of festivities for the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the waterfront ceremony and outdoor reception all taking place under the night stars. The area’s preservation of a “dark sky” brought an abundance of stars for star gazing (and for many of us, we saw the jaw-dropping milky way set on a dark sky for the first time.)


An outdoor beach wedding reception with a travel theme, Stephanie antiqued before the trip thrifting for vintage grey suitcases, antique cameras, and reception decor that would pack easily and be brought aboard the houseboat. A 15 mile boat ride from the nearest town and harbor, a number of modern conveniences such as hiring a florist were not an option due to choosing the most desolate of beach locations on the Arizona Utah border. With a dry desert climate, Stephanie opted to substitute fresh flowers for paper decor and unique paper bouquets. Creatively handcrafting the long reception table’s burlap runner and paper centerpieces, two bridesmaids and the bride’s paper wedding bouquet, Steph DIY constructed all the florals from atlas map pages and colored paper rich in shades of tan, rust, orange and grey. The rehearsal evening was a set-up day, where friends and family helped to put another DIY project together: a romantic vision of dancing under hanging, stringed lights, criss crossing over the outdoor reception’s sandy dance floor. Symbolic cairn stacked rocks, travel themed items, coupled with elegant touches of white lace, burlap, and pearls surrounded the outdoor reception space. The sun and day shined with vintage elegance, simple decor and colors which blended into the golden rocks. Vintage and bohemian fashion choices, from the bride’s romantic long gown and vine & pearls hairpiece crown, to the groom’s gingham grey and orange colored tie and fashions, J+S’s day was everything that is fabulous about a destination celebration that is 100% about the bride + groom’s personality. We felt honored to be there and a apart of the trip + celebration. Congrats Jimmy + Steph!”


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Jimmy + Stephanie’s Destination Planning Details:
Wedding Theme: Travel with Vintage Suitcases
Flowers: DIY Map and Paper Wedding Bouquets and Boutonnieres by the Bride
Colors: Tan, Orange and Shades of Grey
Waterfront Ceremony and Outdoor Reception: A Desolate Desert Beach on Lake Powell Utah / Arizona

Chicago Destination Wedding Photographers: Miller + Miller
Videographers: Captured In Frames

Houseboat Details: Fully equipped 75′ XTreme HouseBoat 2.5 stories, 6 staterooms, 2.5 baths with slide, rooftop hot tub and much more
Accommodations: Forever Resorts with a harbor launch at Antelope Point Marina in Page Arizona
Bridal Dress Designer: Allure
Dress Shop: Elegant Brides
Bride Flower Crown Hair Accessory: ArsiArt
Bride’s Sandals: Glare by Matisse from Nordstrom
Non-Traditional Groom Attire: Gingham Vintage Fabric, Grey & White Plaid Checkered Express Button Up Shirt and Suspenders
Groom’s Handmade Tie: Orange and Grey Checkered Knotty Tie Co.
Rings: Shane Co.
Caterer: Antelope Point Marina
 Page, AZ
Desserts: S’mores instead of Cake
Marshmallows: Wondermade
First Dance Song: Live Forever by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
Destination Location: Lake Powell


Lake Powell is without a doubt visually “unique” combining scenic nature providing sandy beaches with a contrasting dry desert climate. A one-of-a-kind United States destination, boating through rock canyons carved by the Colorado River navigating the 2,000 miles of shoreline make the lake a popular vacationing spot. 4 hours from Las Vegas Nevada, 3 hours from Sedona Arizona, 4.5 hours from Phoenix / Scottsdale, 2 hours from Zion National Park, 21 hours from St. Louis, 24 hours from Chicago.

Sedona Wedding Photographer | Steve + Veronica Married at Tlaquepaque

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“Steve + Veronica hired us as their destination wedding photographers and we can not wait for our next trip back to Arizona. After our first meeting to discuss S+V’s across the country trip, it wasn’t long that they were thankfully including us in on their Sedona’s Red Rock Country wedding day plans.


We LOVE being hired to travel for destinations to ANY beautiful location around the world. ( But if you didn’t already know this, we chose a similar setting as Steve + Veronica for our our Nevada Red Rock mountain wedding. So we are especially fond of the Southwest region and Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona and the Las Vegas areas. ) With our close family members residing in both the Tucson and Phoenix regions, we are annually out in Arizona and the Las Vegas areas, usually planning at least once a year an escape out West away from Chicago’s cold winter months. Upon our first discussions, we decided while we were in Sedona with Steve + Veronica, to include a day after the wedding, bridal session in the mountains. The extra day of photography allowed the four of us to explore different parks in the area and get a little more creative and artistic styled bridal pictures of the bride + groom. Between the two days of shooting and a collection of photos from the couple’s ceremony, reception and the scenic overlooks around town, we found several picturesque shooting places. Destinations with natural beauty and outdoor shooting spaces some of our favorites. Northern Arizona is one of those. It’s a nature lover’s paradise.


The majestic red rocks, grand cliffside mountain views, meandering creeks, canyons and desert plants, paired with a venue that offered an authentic outdoor terrace for seating, dancing, and outside courtyard spaces to enjoy the clean mountain air and celebrate, all those elements together created the best wedding ambiance ever. Helping to put Steve and Veronica’s vision together was the hired expertise of a Laura Marolakos of Heart of Sedona Weddings. Laura helped the couple narrow down their search for a Sedona reception venue to one of the town’s famous and a authentically-styled Mexican village called Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. We loved Tlaquepaque – what an amazing venue. Surrounded by huge sycamore trees, vine-covered stucco walls, and cobblestone pathways and courtyards, the village is located near the center of Sedona and has the authentic Spanish style decor and historic, architectural details which makes it feels like it has been around for centuries.


A few years ago Steve + Veronica first visited Sedona during a vacation to Phoenix, they came back for second visit, fell in love with the area, and ultimately decided a getaway destination in the mountains would be perfect for them. Veronica said “we wanted to have a small and intimate wedding with only our close family and friends and that is why we decided to go the destination route. We didn’t want to deal with all the stress of a large wedding and we wanted to plans an event different from all others. With the smaller group coming along, we were also able to make the day about us. A favorite moment of the day for Steve was when he first saw my dad and I at the doorway to the chapel. My favorite memory was seeing Steve standing at the alter waiting for me.”


Some guest drove from Chicago through Colorado into Arizona, some arrived by train, others flew in to either Las Vegas or Phoenix before making it into Northern AZ. Friends and family arrived early to visit local tourist spots and also attend Thursday’s event, which was Steve + Veronica’s rehearsal dinner night. We enjoyed S+V’s gracious invitation to come along to dinner to meet everyone. Everyone was discussing how utterly picturesque Sedona was. A perfect destination location with so much to offer. People were talking about trail rides in the Red Rocks, jeep tours, cliff diving, and hiking. Arizona’s mesmerizing Red Rock Country offered an opportunity for the guest’s to either unwind and relax under the desert sun, or the option of more adventurous activities.


Friday was the beautiful, sun shining, wedding day. Tears and sounds of laughter were shared during Veronica and Steve’s intimate chapel ceremony which was in one of the smallest and quaint chapels we had ever seen. Later, festivities took place outdoors on the Patio De Las Campanas at Tlaquepaque. Always a hands down favorite of ours is photographing couple’s outdoor ceremonies and receptions. This location offered the utterly best of those two options. A memorable moment was during the couple’s romantic first dance. As the soft evening sun was setting, a beautiful golden light was casted over the cobblestone outdoor terrace creating a beautiful glow. The amazing soft light was shining on the couple as they danced together for the first time as husband and wife. As the song ended the golden sun was slowly dropping below the mountains, it was picture perfect.


In seeing that it was official and Steve + Veronica were finally married… well naturally the next day Steve and Veronica were glowing with excitement. So getting S+V to get close to each other for some romantic photos was pretty easy. During Saturday’s bridal session, the four of us explored Sedona’s beautiful rock cliffs, forest and desert. We set out to capture unique photos of the the couple around Sedona mixing in a little drama and romance, plus a few more edgy and high-fashion wedding photography styled photos. With a number of Red Rock mountain area scenic spots nearby, we decided on three locations a few miles North of uptown towards the Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon areas, South of town to Bell Rock, and also at a Cathedral Rock viewing vista. Veronica + Steve were looking forward to our artistic ideas, up for hiking, or even getting the dress wet if needed. Thanks S+V in allowing us to get creative with you.


We were SOOO excited to see you officially tie the knot Steve + Veronica and we are thankful you choose the two of us as your photographers. We appreciate your truly sincere hospitality, our new found friendships, and your many invitations to join in on the weekend’s festivities. Best wishes to the two of you and congratulations on your marriage.”


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Steve + Veronica’s vendors + details:
Ceremony Chapel: The Chapel at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
Outdoor Reception + Dancing: Patio De Las Campanas at Tlaquepaque
Planning + Coordination: Laura Marolakos of Heart of Sedona Weddings
Officiant: Reverend Andrew Murphy
Dresses: David’s Bridal
Bridal Hair + Makeup: Patricia Vega of Le Petit Spa de Sedona
Tuxedos: Sedona Tuxedos
Caterer: Heartline Cafe
Cake: Sedona Sweet Arts Bakery
Flowers: Events by Show Stoppers
Ceremony Guitarist: Brian David
DJ: Rafael Rosas of Mobile Magic Sounds
Honeymoon: Cancun Mexico
Rehearsal Dinner: Open Range Grill & Tavern, located in Uptown
Accommodations: Sedona Summit Resort
Illinois Cocktail Party: Westwood Tavern, Schaumburg




♥ Have you decided on your destination’s venue or chosen a picture perfect location yet?
Whether your decision is a ceremony in the mountains, on the coast, a sandy beach, a desolate island or in the desert, we’d love to capture not only your unique day & your celebrating moments, but photos of you as a newly married couple in the picturesque location’s natural environment. Considering a mountain reception, perhaps look into venues in places such as Lake Tahoe, Arizona’s Sedona or Lake Powell, Wyoming’s Jackson Hole, Colorado’s Maroon Bells, Pikes Peak, or Aspen. If you’re planning a waterfront or beach ceremony, you may enjoy browsing through our beach weddings blog images postings too. Whether you decide on a desolate and picturesque island location, or within a popular bustling city location, email us with more information about your plans. We’d love to come along traveling with you.


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