Real Weddings/Rustic Weddings

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweetheart Blush Wedding Dress)

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 5

Today’s casual & sweet Sedona wedding is a blast from the past for me. Studying photo in Northern Arizona, I always imagined how beautiful a wedding in the red rocks of Oak Creek Canyon would be. Krystina and Bob’s wedding seemed effortless, taking advantage of the surrounding beauty and complementing those clay colors with their own stylish attire.

Krystina’s dress, in particular, flowed beautifully against the red cliffs and jade colored succulents. Slightly blushed hued, Julia’s photos show how perfect the tulle blends with the scenery. Not only was her BHLDN dream gown budget-friendly, but Krystina found the dress being resold from another bride online (who never even wore it!) for half the price.

Everything about this wedding said “relaxed fun” – from the breezy, flowy dressses, to the DIY flowers, the joyous first look to the perfectly curated Spotify dance party that had everyone up on their feet. Sometimes we get bogged down with the details that we can forget what fun the day can be – and Krystina and Bob’s day seemed to be a blast.

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 15
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 22

Our Love Story

Long story short, our exes actually introduced us at a show we were all at, and a few weeks later, they both broke up with us at the exact same time. Bob had the impulse to reach out on Facebook while I was on tour with a Broadway show and he was in NYC (we are both actors). With all the parallels of what we were going through, we became very close penpals.

Neither of us thought much of it, but then we started writing back and forth more frequently and then texting and then chatting on the phone for hours. Finally, on a break from tour six months later, we met up in NYC and the minute we embraced, we knew we were always meant to find each other. Life at that moment finally became crystal clear. The rest is history.

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 17
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 10
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 11

The Proposal

I was doing a show in La Jolla, CA and Bob was coming to visit me and see the show. I was crazy busy in the thick of previews, and after my show that night, he said, “Let’s go down to the shore and get a drink” and I thought, “That sounds amazing, I need a breather.”

We parked the car and Bob said “Hey, let’s take a walk along the ocean” and I was like, “…ok…” (my wheels started turning and I immediately got nerves). We walked and talked and were just holding hands and I talked myself out of anything I thought was gonna happen at this point. We see this gazebo in the distance and Bob says “Ooh, let’s go over there.”

We went into the gazebo with the sound of the ocean in the background and he held me and started saying sweet things, and my heart was pounding. Then, he got down on one knee and I started sobbing and it was the greatest moment of my life. He told me both sets of parents were waiting for us at their hotel with champagne and food – it was truly THE BEST.

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 1

The Dress & Attire

When I thought about what to wear, the first thing I thought of was comfort. I wanted to feel like a princess, but be as comfy as possible. My budget was super important to me, and that was spending as little money as possible!

Trying on dresses for me was tough because I’m an actor. I’ve worn gorgeous dresses and big heels for red carpet events and honestly, I didn’t want to feel like I was going to an event for my wedding. I was relieved to find BHLDN – it was the perfect place to make this dream come true! The dress I wore, Calla, was free and flowy and fit me like a glove. When I tried it on for the first time I felt so beautiful and comfortable to dance and jump around day and night! Plus, it was on-budget – only $600, then I found it online being sold by a bride that never wore it for $300!

So my dress, paired with sparkly Kate Spade Keds (the best decision I have ever made was not wearing heels. I ran around all day happy as a clam) was everything I could have ever hoped for in how I wanted to look and feel on my wedding day.

When it came to Bob’s look, we consulted with my sister who is a stylist and decided that blue was the perfect color to pop him out from the red rocks. J Crew has gorgeous suits, and our tailor Jenny made his suit look right out of a magazine.

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 16
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 2

Favorite Moments

The whole day was beyond epic and truly perfect. But our favorite moment of the day, was actually before it all started. We decided to wake up super early to have a special moment just the two of us before the madness began.

At 6 am we woke up and took a hike to a vortex in the red rocks. We found a spot overlooking the city and the unreal scenery and just sat together. We mediated and breathed together and just took a moment to really let it all sink in. We’ll never forget that moment.

And also, our first look and taking photos with our family and bridal party before the ceremony. Engaged couples, we highly recommend first looks. There was something so special about seeing each other and having fun before the ceremony. It was so private and special and then, taking pics with our friends got us so amped for the wedding. It took all jitters and nerves away because we were surrounded by every we loved, and made it feel less serious.

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 6
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 20
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 27

The Venue & Wedding Style

Our vision was all about simplicity and ease. When we started planning our wedding out goal was to do it with as little stress as possible. Both of us are pretty chill people and the last thing we wanted was to get mixed up in thinking this had to be a stressful process. And we did it! You can do it with no stress! Just don’t get stressed!

We wanted the guests at our wedding to feel relaxed and happy. We went with simple, rustic decor and put a lot of thought into each and every detail.

Also, where we got married was important. We both knew we wanted to get married outside, and myself being from Arizona, we both thought Sedona was the perfect place. We both have had incredible experiences there and it is known for being a spiritual place full of positive vibes and vortexes – what could be better than that?

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 7

The Ceremony

We looked at all the wedding traditions and decided with each one what it meant to us and if we wanted to go traditional or not. We did a little of both. The most important thing to us was our ceremony. We spent the most time on that because we wrote the entire thing together.

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 9
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 26
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 25

The DIY Details

DIY was a big thing for us because we just did not want to spend our entire life savings on this wedding. Our biggest DIY money savers were the flowers and the DJ.

When it came to music, we knew one thing: everyone dancing was vital. However, we had a very specific idea of what kind of music we wanted to be played and not played. So we worked our butts off to create the best Spotify playlist ever, and let me tell you, it was the best decision ever. All 98 guests were on their feet dancing the entire night. We had a mix of funk, oldies, swing, and top 40’s that couldn’t keep anyone from jumping to their feet. We meticulously planned it, to the minute, so we never ran out of music, and had a family friend run it in case anything went wrong.

The flowers were a great way to save some serious money. We ended up ordering mason jars on Amazon and wrapping them in twine. We ordered all of our flowers from Sams Club and built centerpieces with our friends the night before the wedding. It turned out spectacular and cost us $350! We had more flowers than we knew what to do with and it looked gorgeous.

Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 21
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 24
Casual Sedona Red Rocks Wedding (With A Sweet Blush Wedding Dress) | Julia Kinnunen Photography 8

Advice to Other Couples

Don’t sweat the small stuff, no one cares. Have fun. Don’t stress it’s just a day. Wear flats. Do whatever you want, there are no rules. So many brides online in the forums will make you think you are insane for wanting to change it up and that is absurd. It is your day. So make it special to you both and personal and do it your own way. We did, and it was the best day of our lives by far. It was perfect because it was literally everything we could have ever dreamed of.

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