Victoria and Adam wanted their New Year’s Eve wedding to look as glitzy and glamorous as Old Hollywood, and to feel as relaxed as a giant party among close friends. So with their shared love of fashion, the couple who calls Italy home, dressed to the nines and were married in Arizona – the place where their relationship first sparked. Jennifer Bowen shared the couple’s vision for capturing all the style and panache designed by Jennifer Thye of Imoni Events, and created timeless photos of their gorgeous celebration at Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain Resort.
The Couple: Victoria and Adam
The Location: 12.31.12 – Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, Paradise Valley, AZ
Junebug: What were your most important goals in planning your wedding?
Victoria and Adam: We wanted to create a glitzy, black-tie wedding on New Years Eve with a vintage/old Hollywood feel. Since we both have an appreciation for fashion, we wanted our guests to get excited about dressing up for the event. We also wanted to create an atmosphere for celebrating. Before getting married, we were together for almost ten years, so we wanted our ceremony and reception to be a giant party that felt elegant, not stuffy.
Junebug: How would you describe your personal wedding style?
Victoria and Adam: Timeless. We wanted our wedding photos to be able to stand the test of time and always be in style.
Junebug: Where did you hold your wedding and reception, and why?
Victoria and Adam: Both our ceremony and reception were held at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Although we lived in Italy at the time of our wedding, we decided to get married in Arizona, as we met here and this is where a large portion of our family and friends still live. The resort is built on Camelback mountain and produces breathtaking views of the surrounding mountainous desert. The whole feel of the property, including the sites simple architecture, compliments the natural beauty of the region. Additionally, since were self-proclaimed foodies, we also chose this venue because of the resorts renowned restaurant. We really wanted to avoid serving sub-par wedding food, so it was important for us to find a venue that could produce high-quality dishes, giving our guests an enjoyable dining experience.
Junebug: What three adjectives describe your wedding best?
Victoria and Adam: Classic, chic, and unforgettable.
Junebug: What were you looking for in a photographer?
Victoria and Adam: We wanted a photographer that could genuinely capture the overall feeling of the day. We really shied away from the overly sappy, contrived images that felt too cookie-cutter. We wanted someone who could produce more editorial and unique-looking images that reflected the actual event, along with our personalities.
Junebug: What specifically drew you to Jennifer Bowen Photography and her imagery?
Victoria and Adam: As soon as we saw Jennifer Bowens work, we knew she was the one! Her images were exactly what we were looking for: timeless, artistic, and elegant. She really knows how to photograph couples in varying spaces, making the most of their environments. Her photos captured our attention and were effortlessly beautiful!
Victoria and Adam: What did you enjoy most about working with your photographer?
Victoria and Adam: We were a little nervous at the beginning of the day, but Jennifer calmed our nerves instantly. She was so sweet, kind, and encouraging that we felt comfortable being ourselves around her, which helped to produce more natural-looking images. During the ceremony and reception, we completely forgot about her, which is the sign of a gifted photographer. She captured so many beautiful images unobtrusively that I’m still not quite sure how she did it! Her photos truly encompassed the magic of our wedding day, and were so grateful we can relive the experience for years to come!
The Photographer: Jennifer Bowen Photography
Junebug: How did you approach this particular wedding and what did you most want to capture during shooting?
Jennifer Bowen: When I met with the couple initially, they shared their vision for the wedding and that they wanted it to have a vintage, old-Hollywood type of vibe and glamour. Adam and Victoria, while Americans, currently live in Italy, and they both have such a great sense of style.
Adam chose a high-end Italian suit for his tuxedo, and Victoria’s wedding gown (that she showed me in the initial meeting) was so unique, and delicate and different than what most brides wear, so their individual styles were a source of inspiration to me. I wanted to capture that old-Hollywood vibe and feeling more than anything, but in my signature natural approach to photography.
We all hit it off immediately, and were all on the same page with what we wanted to capture for their wedding, so it was very inspiring creatively before and during the wedding.
Junebug: Were there any special photographic requests from the couple that made this wedding especially exciting creatively or personally?
Jennifer Bowen: They did ask me to take a photo of them that mimicked a photograph from Victoria’s grandparents wedding day, and I think it came out really cute. Normally it can be challenging to work from requests when you are not seeing the vision that they have, (or it can take you away from your game) but I did understand their vision and thought it was sweet that they wanted to capture that.
Junebug: What was the most fun part of this wedding for you to photograph?
Jennifer Bowen: Capturing the uniqueness of their style, coupled with their fantastic personalities and their easy way with one another, made the entire day a joy. With some couples you have to work harder to illicit the natural expressions that people make and the ease that couples can have with either other, or you have to pose them more because they are very uncomfortable in front of the camera, but Adam and Victoria both have such an easy way about them and were both comfortable with each other and in front of the camera, so there were lots of shots that I loved because I felt like I was really capturing who they are. The fact that her wedding gown and his suit, and many of their details, were unique and different than what I typically photograph was also a source of inspiration and fun. And the fact that it was a New Years Eve wedding, the midnight confetti drop and party atmosphere was really fun as well.
Junebug: How did the locations available to you affect the type of images you shot and how you shot them?
Jennifer Bowen: Sanctuary on Camelback is one of my favorite venues in our town. It is both modern and inspiring architectually in the main parts of the resort, and then up at the top of the resort, overlooking our famous Camelback Mountain with sweeping views of the towns of Paradise Valley and Scottsdale, you get a completely different look and feel, so it always allows me to capture a wider variety of images. It is the resort I have most often photographed weddings at here in town, and I never get bored there.
Junebug: Were there any special locations you were able to choose that made for really great images? (Great light, amazing backgrounds, interesting contrasts, etc)?
Jennifer Bowen: I love the Spa at the resort, and it has this really cool skinny window that allows for some cool shots. Plus the light in there is amazing. It worked perfectly with their style. In fact, there is a shot I took of them in there (the spa foyer) that I normally wouldn’t have ever been inspired to take because it is rather formal looking and posed, but with their styles and the wedding vibe, I felt it worked perfectly and fit the theme. Then after I took it they told me that is one of the most common bridal photos in Italy (the man sitting, the woman standing), so it worked in that sense too.
Thank you Victoria and Adam, and Jennifer Bowen Photography!