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Updated: Sep 7, 2022

When I first began this business 5 years ago, I was so excited to finally get started. I had taken the courses, I had bought an entry-level camera, I had all new editing software, and for my first ever real session, I had the most perfect models. Now here I am in 2022 on a plane back from the desert after shooting the most epic wedding I’ll probably ever have the privilege of capturing at the incredible Under Canvas Moab. My equipment is a bit more updated than it was for my first session, but my models are just as perfect.

I wish I could go back to that session in 2017 and tap myself on the shoulder, show her these images, and tell her how incredible her photography journey will be. That the excitement never wears off. Then I would walk over to my beautiful best friend who so generously let me practice my newfound skills on her little family that day and tell her that her dream wedding was absolutely everything she ever hoped for and so much more.

If you’re a little confused, let me explain:

Mine and Josh’s best friends, Megan and Devin, got married in 2014 after Devin joined the Coast Guard. Their ceremony was small and rushed, with only their parents in attendance. They’ve since traveled the country together and built the most beautiful family. Happiness is all their marriage is, but even so, they still felt like something was missing. They never got the opportunity to celebrate their marriage with the people they love most. Megan never got to go try on countless dresses. Devin never got to share a first dance with his mother. Cutting the cake? Didn’t happen. A getaway car? More like a nonstop flight to Texas so Devin could begin his duties.

So 8 years later, Mr. and Mrs. Richey decided they would fill that void in the form of a destination vow renewal like you’ve never, ever, ever seen before.

Right slap-dab in the middle of the Moab, Utah desert, they invited their closest family and friends along for a three-day celebration. Their dream venue, Under Canvas Moab, is essentially a hotel, except instead of rooms, guests were invited to stay in their own tents. Yes, tents. We were full-on glamping, people. Our tent, let me emphasize, tent, had a king-size bed, a porch, a shower, sink, and toilet, a wood-burning stove, and plenty of room to sit and relax. In a tent. Now I can pretend I'm a bonafide camper.

Our adventure began with one incredible welcome. Megan and Devin treated their guests to a cookout. Complete with amazing food, live music, s’mores, and not one, but two “game shows”. We all had fun watching the “Not So Newlywed” game where Megan and Devin completed against a seasoned couple, married for 53 years, and another just starting their relationship. Then the bridesmaids and groomsmen took front stage as they competed to see who knew the bride or groom the best. The entire night was live entertainment at its finest.

We all headed back to our tents, exhausted from laughing so much, and prepared for the next day. Sunrise came early, and we headed out to Arches National Park to shoot the sweetest ever first look. I’ve done several first looks with couples on their wedding days, and I’m pretty much guaranteed to cry at every one, but seeing Devin tear up and try to shake off the nerves as he waited to see his already wife…Nicholas Sparks couldn’t even make this stuff up.

Then we trekked down the Park Avenue Trail to take bride and groom portraits that I’m very sure I’ll never get over. I looked down at my watch and 3 hours had passed. It was really and truly a morning of photography dreams.

The rest of the day was a whirlwind. Wedding days are always that way and I love it. The rush never gets old, but I’ve never experienced the rush quite like this before. You see, not only was I privileged enough to take these images for Megan and Devin, I also had the absolute honor of standing beside Megan as she said her vows, again. It was no doubt the most challenging and most rewarding wedding I've ever done.

There are a million different things I could say about this couple, but I can't really think of anything better to say than my Matron of Honor speech:

Megan and I have been friends for a while.

Our story begins way back when we were

ballerinas and soccer players. There have

been way too many sleepovers and outings,

trips and adventures, late nights and early

mornings together. There were times our

teachers just called us “Maggen” because we

were always together.

So I guess that’s why it was kind of a shock

when Megan told me right after we

graduated that she was packing up and

following Devin, for better or worse.

Have you guys seen the movie Inside Out? Do

you know about core memories? The first

time I ever saw that movie I was actually in

Texas visiting Megan and Devin, and I told

Josh, “I have those. I have core memories.”

There are a few different moments in my life

that I can close my eyes and be right back into

those moments. Moments that are so etched

in my mind that I can instantly remember

every detail.

One of my core memories took place in

August 2014. Megan came over for me to

do her hair. This really wasn’t an unusual

occurrence, I couldn’t even begin to tell you

how many times I had braided or curled those

thick blonde locks, but this time was different

because Megan brought a white dress with


When we had finalized her head to 2014

perfection, she smiled, turned around, and

gave me a hug. And it’s those few moments

that I’ll remember forever. I remember as I

was holding her, I thought, “I wonder when I’ll

do her hair again. I wonder when I’ll see her


And when we finally broke the hug, she pulled

her face away from me and I saw tears in her

eyes. She looked at me, smiled, and took in a

big, deep breath, then headed out the door.

I didn’t really know what exactly would

happen after that hug, but I knew her life

would never ever be the same.

Switching gears a bit to the first time I met

Devin. We weren’t ballerinas or soccer

players, we were actually already in high

school. Josh and I went to his Aunt Pat’s for

the weekend.

If you all didn’t know, Devin’s dad Blaine is

married to Anna who is also Josh’s aunt.

So Blaine and Anna came down for the

weekend too and Blaine brought his son,

Devin. And the first time I laid eyes on him,

Josh was getting mad because this scrawny,

little boy with a really scrappy haircut was

absolutely schooling him at driveway


Josh told me not to say that part because it

“isn’t true”, but this is my memory, not his.

So anyway, a couple hours later, it was just

me, Josh, and Devin in the living room, and I

decided to try and make small talk, so I said,

“So...what grade are you in?”

And poor Devin was like, “Um, I think we’re all

in the same grade.”

And I was completely taken aback and

embarrassed and I don’t think we talked again

the rest of the weekend.

Fast forward a couple months to when school

started and Devin sat down in my Calculus

class and he had to have grown a foot and he

was like buff and his hair was all short and

trim and I was like, “Devin?!”

And every. single. girl. was all about him. Every

one was like, “Did you see the new guy?!”

And I was like, “Who? Devin? Pssh, yeah I

know Devin. Devin and I go waaaaay back.”

Well, I don’t know if he knew it because he had

just had his glow up, but Devin literally could

have handpicked any girl in the school, except

me of course because I was already in love.

He could have had anyone, but he didn’t.

Now I said he could’ve had any girl except me,

but that’s not entirely true, the only other girl

who wasn’t interested in him was Megan.

Because she was in a relationship, in which

she wasn’t happy anyway, but it was just too

much work and took too long to restart a new


Thankfully we were all able to talk some sense

into her and here we all are almost a decade


And what an amazing time it has been. I’m so

thankful that that hug we shared wasn’t even

close to our last. I’m thankful for all of the

memories we’ve made since then.

You two are such a light in our lives and you

bring us balance.

You all are adventurous and spontaneous and

so much fun and Josh and I are all boring and

comfy and we just sit in one spot in our little

routines waiting for you all to get back.

I’m so happy, though, that you forced us along

for this adventure. We are so happy to

celebrate you tonight. You are amazing people

who were clearly made for each other.

I love watching the two of you ebb and flow

through life together. You’re always each

other’s biggest supporters. I’ve listened to

both of you talk about the other one when

they’re not around, and it’s nothing but

respect and genuine love for each other.

Even when you’re fighting, its just so stinkin

cute and funny because neither one of you

can stay mad long and you usually just end up

all giggly about it.

And in 40 years when we’re all looking back on

this day, I know that you will be the absolute

sweetest old couple on the planet with a

lifetime full of pictures and moments and

beautiful core memories that you all share


Megan and Devin, I love you both, I love your

children, and it’s truly an honor to stand next

to you today. I pray God continues to bless

your marriage, and I have every bit of

confidence that He will because you two

always put Him first.

You guys, thank you. Just thank you for trusting me with this. I know your hearts were so invested in this adventure and I'm so grateful just to have been a part of it.

I'm SO EXCITED to introduce, in image form, the then, now, and forever: Mr. & Mrs. Richey

Photographer: Maggie Turner, Things Are Lovely Photography

Planning & Design - Gatherist, Emmily

Planning assistant - Gatherist, Haylee

Bridesmaids Gowns: Various, Baltic Born

Florals: Twisted Rose

Hair & Makeup: Tyna Harbold

Music - John Sherrell, Guitar

Paper Goods/Signage - Martello Co., Stephanie Hammer

Linen Rental - Nuage Design

Tabletop Rentals: Wild Event Studio

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