Real Colorado Wedding: Moriah and Matthew | Air Force Academy Wedding

By Season Hurd | | Comment

Air Force Academy wedding, bride and groom with airplane statue

All photos by A Brilliant Photo


Bride: Moriah – Wedding Photographer and Graphic Designer | Groom: Matthew – Captain, US Air Force
Date: October 3, 2015 | Location: United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs


Full disclosure here – I stalked this wedding. Therefore it is a major victory to have the beautiful Air Force Academy wedding on the blog. When photographers get married, they know what details look great in pictures and what things are overdone. Knowing of the bride, Moriah, from her previous submissions on the blog, I happened upon her wedding photos on social media and fell in love with all of those beautifully orchestrated choices. If I thought she was red-headed perfection before (which I did), I was extra blown away with her in full wedding garb! Her gown fit her like a glove and flattered her shape like crazy. She for real has bling embedded pearl buttons all the way down her back! Placing such a vision with a man in military regalia makes the 6 year old girl in me swoon over the Little Mermaid parallels. (Side note: It was my first movie in a theater and still one of my favorites ever so that is a real compliment.) The Cadet Chapel in all is quirky, colorful glory struck me with awe as a middle schooler when I first attended a service there and still captures my breath today. The artistic touches and Chanel inspired choices of Moriah and Matthew’s wedding make the 16 year old in me reminisce about spending a week in Northern France the summer before. And the fun-loving couple enjoying a well earned entrance into married life speaks to my grown up love of all things wedding. I’m sure for every reader this incredible wedding will evoke all sorts of emotions, memories, and inspirations unique to them. And that, folks, is why weddings are so great for sharing! Congratulations to the happy couple!

The Details:

Being a graphic designer and wedding photographer myself I knew that the details were so important. So I poured a lot of energy into creating a unique look for our wedding. I approached the design like I would any other project and decided to “brand” our wedding complete with “logo” (which I refer to as our monogram) and color palette. (You can view my wedding branding design hereI wanted a very classic glam feel to my wedding and used Coco Chanel as my inspiration. This can be seen in the blush/rose gold with bold black typography. I added oxblood and gold as colors which I felt created a rich and moody palette without being obviously “fall” colors. I love how it all came together.

Because the wedding had so much of my husband in it (being a military wedding at the Air Force Academy) I wanted to incorporate an artistic feel so it would also represent me. I hand painted a design that I then scanned and manipulated on my computer to include our wedding colors. It became a motif that was used through out our wedding day and I thought it nicely complimented our venue. After I designed our wedding brand – which was the look and feel of our wedding – I used that design to create all of the printed pieces, including our save the date, invitation suite, a guest signature poster (instead of a guest book), table numbers, etc. – Moriah

  • As for the soundtrack, the bride elaborates, “We had an organist for our ceremony who played the massive pipe organ in the chapel. For the bridesmaids processional he played Somebody To Love by Queen (Queen is my husband’s favorite band) and for my processional he played Wonderwall by Oasis — they sounded amazing on the organ.”
  • Something Old: Grandmother’s Ring | Something New: Wedding Gown | Something Borrowed: Grandmother’s Ring | Something Blue: Aquamarine Engagement Ring

The Best Part:

My favorite part of the wedding was being surrounded and supported by all of our wonderful friends and family. We felt so loved. My second favorite part was our band. We hired That Eighties Band, an 80s cover band, who I had seen perform before in Denver. They were incredible and added so much energy to our reception. Everyone was dancing — including guests I’d never seen dance before! – Moriah


Venue: US Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel and Falcon Club | Photographer: A Brilliant Photo | Bridal Gown: Matthew Christopher “Vivian” via Little White Dress | Veil: Love Veils & Accessories via Little White Dress | Hair and Makeup: Orchidee Salon and Spa | Rings: Custom via Old Town Goldworks | Cake: Sugarplum Cake Shoppe | Catering: Falcon Club | Floral Design: Avenue Blooms | Stationery: Moriah Riona | Band: That Eighties Band


Custom wedding invitations with pink artwork, Chanel inspired wedding stationery, Moriah Riona Bride's dress on a gold sequin hanger, gold and white wedding details, A Brilliant Photo Vintage wedding details, gold wedding jewelry Red headed bride closeup of makeup application, wedding details with Chanel perfume bottle, A Brilliant Photo Bridal party hanging out before the wedding, Bride and bridesmaids laughing, male bridesmaid Putting on the bride's veil, A Brilliant Photo Bride in a sexy 1920's inspired dress, Real bride in a Matthew Christopher gown, satin tailored wedding gown, Vivian Gown Photo collage of flower girl running or dancing, A Brilliant Photo Flower girls in pink leotards and white tutus with baby's breath crowns Air Force Academy wedding at the Cadet Chapel, Colorado Springs wedding Bride and groom holding hands at the altar, Cadet Chapel wedding Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel wedding in Colorado Springs, wide view of the chapel Bride standing in the doorway, bride and groom in front of the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel, A Brilliant Photo Air Force Academy Wedding, wedding party in front of the Cadet Chapel, Colorado Springs Bride and her attendants in front of the Air Force Cadet Chapel Groom and groomsmen at the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel wedding Real bride in Matthew Christopher Vivian wedding dress, sexy silk wedding gown Bride and groom portraits with a bright red tiled wall at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, A Brilliant Photo Bride laughing as her veil flies in the wind, Red background wedding photos, Matthew Christopher Vivian wedding gown on a real bride Bride taking a photo of the groom, Photographer bride, Air Force captain wedding, Groom in military dress uniform Red headed bride and military groom, Air Force Academy wedding Air Force Academy wedding reception Square tiers wedding cake with lego man hidden, Sugarplum Cake Shoppe Colorado Springs wedding cakes That Eighties Band performing at a Colorado Springs wedding Bride and groom kissing on the dance floor

Bridal Hair Inspiration – Brides in Bloom

By Season Hurd | | Comment

Bridal hairstyle inspiration, brides with flowers in their hair, Moriah Riona Photography, Studio Blooms, Orchidée Salon and Spa

I have a little something different for you today. On the heels of our boho bride and her magical floral crown, here are more great examples of using live flowers to complete your wedding look. Floral hairpieces are not restricted to one type of bride. This beautiful shoot shows us that there is a type of blooming hairstyle for every bride. (And I’m sure the guys could rock a little something too if they want.) Here is the motivation behind the shoot:

Inspired by imagery of whimsical woodland nymphs and the current trend of bridal updos adorned with flowers, I approached two of my favorite Northern Colorado vendors, Orchidee Salon and Spa and Avenue Blooms, to create this Brides In Bloom series. My intent was to create several looks that were highly stylized and artistic, perhaps even a bit “over-the-top.” As a team, our ultimate goal was to provide inspiration to brides-to-be for their own bridal beauty.We had originally wanted to have four different looks. During our initial planning session, while searching for a theme, we decided to use only one color/color family per look. We were so inspired by the thought of each style having its own color that we ultimately decided to create six different looks: orange/yellow, white, pink, purple, green and marsala.Orchidee Salon and Spa developed six unique hairstyles for our photo shoot ranging from loose and airy to intricate updo. The hairstyles worked beautifully with the six distinct floral pieces from Avenue blooms, which included everything from a single bloom to a luscious and overflowing floral crown. Our vendor team agreed upon simple makeup and no jewelry for our models so the focus could remain on the beautiful marriage of hair and bloom. – Moriah Riona


Photography:  Moriah Riona | Floral Design: Avenue Blooms | Hair and Makeup:  Orchidée Salon and Spa


First up we have a more formal style. This bride is looking so soft with angelic makeup and a sideswept updo. The roses and waxflower in her floral hairpiece are classic choices. But the very cool way that her veiling is interwoven in her hair is anything but expected.

Bridal hairstyle, Bridal updo, veil woven into hair, Bride with veil and white flowers in her hair, Moriah Riona Photography, Studio Blooms, Orchidée Salon and Spa


Next up is a full floral crown of purple blooms. A purple-hued lip is a perfect accent to this look. Color is the focal point of this look. The fun turquoise eye makeup and dramatic hairpiece feel very nymph-like. This look is straight out of A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Bridal hair inspiration, bride with a purple floral crown, purple flower hairpiece, Moriah Riona Photography, Studio Blooms, Orchidée Salon and Spa


In contrast to the previous model, this bride is wearing warmer tones of orange and yellow and the flowers are more understated. The star here is really the shape of the hairstyle. A soft twist along the hairline (an informal alternative to a braid) moves into a cascade of flowers. Here, the floral piece feels like a continuation of the hair itself.  Very romantic!

Bride with sideswept hair and flowers woven into her hair, Moriah Riona Photography, Studio Blooms, Orchidée Salon and Spa


In another take on a floral crown (A.K.A. floral headband, floral wreath, etc.), we see a simpler version of the popular trend. This one feels a little more whimsical and much softer with blush hues framing only one side of the face. A high pony tail with wild curls brings the hair away from the face so that the grapevine-style headband is visible beneath the hairline. This look showcases the texture more than color/shape.

Wedding hair inspiration, Bride with a flower headband, Floral crown with a side cluster of flowers, Moriah Riona Photography, Studio Blooms, Orchidée Salon and Spa


The next look is very earthy and organic in shape, texture, and color. The all-green wreath is comprised of seeded eucalyptus. The leaves almost blend into the messy updo with loose strands draping in the back. The subdued nature of this bridal hairpiece simply serves as an accent to the beauty of the model and brings out her striking eyes.

Irish bride with a seeded eucalyptus crown, all green floral crown, Moriah Riona Photography, Studio Blooms, Orchidée Salon and Spa


Finally, a young bride is blushing in soft pink makeup and a large pink chrysanthemum in her hair. A braided band of hair drawn across the hairline creates interest with funky angles and a touch of intricacy; a lovely contrast to the overall softness of this style. The curly wisps of hair hanging on either side of the face, straight braid in the hairline, and exposed shoulders create a natural frame around the bride’s gorgeous natural beauty. Those angles are offset by added height in the hairstyle and the colorful bloom draws the eye upward. Four distinct planes of pink unite the whole look.

Bridal hair inspiration, bridal updo with a large flower, Spider mum in a bride's hair, Moriah Riona Photography, Studio Blooms, Orchidée Salon and Spa

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