There’s something special about photographing a friends wedding. Beyond that, a friend who is an admirable photographer. There’s no greater compliment than that. When Jarrod and Amanda reached out to photographer their Ethereal Open Air Resort Wedding, the answer was easy. Of course!

Aside from the fact that these two are our friends, they are incredibly good people. Being around them is always a joy. Their love is apparent in everything they do. And you truly never grow tired of how silly they are.

Jarrod and Amanda’s history stretches back to the good ‘ole college days. They met at the University of Arizona at a Christmas Party. Jarrod, came dressed in his best, as an elf. This is a moment they still share with others as a found beginning of their love. Fast-forward 5-years, Jarrod is down on one-knee vowing his love forever.

Funny enough, the first time Jarrod and I ever met each other was at the Heck Yea photography retreat hosted in Joshua Tree. Jarrod and I were assigned to be roommates and we hit it right off from the start. It was the most wonderful news that after becoming photo buddies and fast friends that Jarrod and Amanda asked if I would photograph their wedding for them. It seemed very fitting that to document their engagement we headed back to J Tree to make it official with an desert engagement session.

I met with Amanda and her bridesmaids in the bridal suite of Ethereal Resort. This room was right out of a fairytale. It was filled with lots of natural light, had beautifully delicate details throughout, and had the coolest swinging bed suspended from the ceiling. After everyone was dressed Amanda and I headed out to meet Jarrod at the Redwood tree house for the first look. After kisses, hugs, and a few tears we met up with the bridal party for portraits. The bridesmaids wore a variation of floor length blush dresses and the groomsmen donned navy suits.

Before the ceremony began the family greeted us outside of the church for photos. Once the guests began arriving from the shuttles Amanda and Jarrod were whisked away to hide while everyone took their places. The church glowed from all of the candlelight that could be seen from the outside. The Dainty Lion designed a beautiful floral backdrop that hung behind the altar. As Amanda walked down the aisle she was accompanied by a live performance from Kelley Jakle (ass seen in Pitch Perfect). After vows were exchanged, and a kiss was shared, Jarrod and Amanda were offically husband and wife!

Guests then proceeded out to the main lawn where cocktail hour was being held. Jarrod and Amanda pulled out all of the stops for their guests. They had giant beer pong, corn hole, and even a vintage Volkswagen van photo booth for everyone to enjoy.

As the sun faded away, and the day turned into night, the guests were escorted to the reception. A gorgeous al fresco dining experience awaited them. Communal tables were adorned with florals and candles. Marketplace lighting elegantly draped over the tables providing a beautiful combination with the candles.

Their friends and family shared heartfelt, and quite hilarious, speeches. Sharing fond moments of the couple and past life experiences brought joy to everyone. There wasn’t a single person without a smile on their face. This was the exact wedding I envisioned they’d have.

After an unbelievable dinner, we made our way to the dessert table. Filled with treats from Sweet Cheeks and a beautiful wedding cake. The cake was cut and treats were enjoyed by all. Que, dancing!

Keep scrolling to see more images from this gorgeous Ethereal Open Air Resort wedding.

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Photography | Alex W Photography
Florals | The Dainty Lion
Hairstylist | Blush & Adore
MUA | 77 Cosmetics
Cake | Sweet Cheeks
Rentals | Events by Lift
Print Rentals | Four Things Paper
Venue | Ethereal Open Air Resort
DJ | San Diego Party Time DJ’s
Video | Stockham Media
Vocals | Kelley Jakle
Photo Bus | SD Photo Bus
Bride’s Heels | Badgley Mischka
Ring Box | The Mrs. Box
Film | Negative Lab

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