Three years ago, when Ken I approached Tlaquepaque management about creating an annual Dia de los Muertos ( Day of the Dead ) festival, we never dreamed it would take off like it did. Well…. actually, yes we did. We just didn’t know it would do it so quickly. With the generous and enthusiastic support of Tlaquepaque, Dia de los Muertos is off and running, destined to be one of Sedona’s most popular public events. Ken and I and our fabulous staff are pleased to see our vision come to fruition.
It is gratifying and emotional to see so many people comforted by reminiscing, honoring and talking about their deceased loved ones, and at the same time, having so much fun with their friends and families. It was wonderful to hear all the stories. To think that we were, and are, a part of bringing this lovely celebration about is quite moving for us personally.
Not wanting to stop there, last year, Show Stoppers originally came up the idea of staging a Day of the Dead wedding shoot during the 2011 Dia de los Muertos celebration. Last year’s shoot was beautiful, becoming the precursor for this year’s elaborate shoot.
For this year’s festivities, we wanted to create an event within an event and have the entire project documented with jaw-dropping photography that told a story. There were several goals to achieve. We needed to capture the ethnicity of the event and the incredible visual backdrop of the Tlaquepaque property. We wanted to feel palatable excitement, energy, joy and emotion, all in one body of work that would dazzle. The decor naturally needed to be up front and center. To be sure, particularly for the wedding segment, we wanted romance, sexy and edgy to be the theme throughout. Thus was born this year’s Frida Kahlo inspired wedding. As you are about to see, everything came together with all the cultural ethnicity, romance, sensuality and excitement we had been looking for all along.
Show Stoppers knew exactly the photographers that would be the perfect fit. We hoped that we could get them and were thrilled when we did. We know you are going to be dazzled by these truly remarkable images by the incredibly talented artists at Sierra Blanco Photography. Kevin and Tina came on board without question and gave un unwavering support from the beginning. We especially appreciated them working diligently into the wee hours of the mornings to get these images edited in only two short weeks, especially when they had so much on their plate already. Welcome to Dia de los Muertos 2012, primera parte!
Photography: Sierra Blanco Photography
Models: Patricia Vega and Scott Lopez Haagh
Officiant: Reverend Andrew Murphy / Heart of Sedona Weddings
Floral / lighting / styling / planning /decor: Events By Show Stoppers
Hair and Make-Up: Patricia Vega
Jewelry: Nectar Design
Videography: Sedona Sounds and Video
Murals: Tracey Downes / Events By Show Stoppers
Cake: Sedona Cake Couture
Our models, Patricia Vega and husband Scott Lopez Haagh, were unbelievably professional and totally into it. Patricia, one of the popular artists at the Sedona Wedding Studio, did her own hair and makeup.
Patricia begins the transformation into a stunning Frida Kahlo inspired bride. Once her make-up was complete, it was time for Show Stoppers’ designer, Marla Fay, to begin attaching the floral head piece that has become synonymous with the Frida Kahlo style.
With her crown of flowers finished, it was time for our model to slip into her charming dress to complete the classic Frida Kahlo look.
A few final adjustments to her hair and wardrobe and Patricia is ready to begin.
I wanted to do something really different. I had recently seen an old movie about the life of Vincent Van Gogh called, ” Lust for Life” starring Kirk Douglas. I was intrigued by a scene where Van Gogh placed candles around the brim of his hat in order to see his canvas at night. Likewise, I have always been captivated by images of children in old Flemish prints, wearing Christmas holiday crowns of holly and mistletoe with lit candles. Patricia was a trooper and fearlessly let me experiment.
It became quite evident as this first shot unfolded that we were creating something very special and were in for an incredible shoot with the perfect team.
The bridal room at Tlaquepaque was perfect for this lovely image of our couple.
We love this image of the flowers and candles reflecting in the mirror. The vibrant colors of the dahlias glowed like precious translucent jewels in the candlelight.
Not only did Ken select the charming dress for Patricia (from one of his importer sources) but he designed a splendid bouquet that was absolutely right on. These two images are exactly what we were looking for. We just love these superb shots.
What can we say? In these simply thrilling images, Patricia Vega IS Frida.
Our brutally handsome model, Scott Lopez Haagh, really got into his role. The camera loved Scott’s beautifully clear, grey-green eyes, chiseled lips and cleft chin.
We put Scott in a black vest and black leather pants with an old Navajo medicine-man squash blossom necklace. Leather wrist braids, a patterned scarf and a playful top hat finished his look.
Scott wanted a shot with a cigar. This cool image is so much fun and a favorite of all who see it. One comment described them as rock stars.
We love the stylized, almost cliche’ nature of this image.
Show Stoppers’ designer, Andres Barron, made this beautiful garland of hand-made ribbon flowers that adorned the cross in the Tlaquepaque Chapel courtyard. As the story goes, Andres used to make and sell paper flowers in the town square of his home town in Mexico… a talent that comes in handy.
Now, the time came for the actual ceremony in the famous Tlaquepaque Chapel
The chapels we have seen in Mexico are often decorated with a childlike charm and innocence. We wanted the same feel for our shoot. Nothing was used but colorful ribbon streamers and small crepe paper wreaths that we hung under the light fixtures. With a little amber up lighting, the decoration was complete.
We love these candid shots during the rehearsal. Everyone had such a great time working together as a team.
Reverend Andrew Murphy, Heart of Sedona Weddings, rehearses the couple and goes over important last minute details. Reverend Andrew conducted the ceremony in Spanish, with videography by Bobby Russell of Sedona Sounds and Video.
Reverend Andrew insisted that we have rings so Ken and I used our rings for the rehearsal.
Ken’s late father passed down the beautiful old art deco ring. The diamond still shines.
While the couple finished rehearsing their vows, we laid down the lush red rose petal carpet.
With a few more moments of rehearsal and candles lit, we were ready to seat the guests.
The guests were seated and the ceremony began.
Reverend Andrew Murphy’s moving ceremony was almost musical in the lovely Spanish language.
A crowd of people gathered at the door trying the see and hear the couple say their vows.
Many of the guests were in their festival costumes and face paint.
One of the wedding attendants peeks around Patricia.
The ceremony was filled with love, emotion and laughter.
Scott prepares to put the ring on Patricia’s finger to the delight of the onlooking guests.
Another attendant in waiting listens to the ceremony.
We love this black and white image of one of the attendants helping Patricia with her bouquet. There is such subtlety and starkness in the same image. We love the faint shadows of ribbon on the wall.
These characters we so much fun and added the perfect touch.
The ceremony concluded and then came the moment everyone was waiting for…
…. the kiss in a shower of rose petals.
Our happy couple, Patricia and Scott, left the chapel with whistles, applause and showers of petals.
The wedding party.
This is one of our favorite shots of Patricia and Scott in a private moment in the empty Chapel. The figures in the mural are so dimensional, they seem to come alive. Part two will be posted in the next day or so. Please come back and see more incredible images of this exciting shoot.