Cale & Katie: Tanque Verde Ranch Desert Wedding

November 16, 2015  •  4 Comments

I can't believe that we are already in the second to last month of 2015! I was literally about to start this post off talking about how "New to Kelsey Shirley Photography this year (2015) is the addition of weddings!" I was going to talk about how fun that is going to be and that I couldn't wait for the new challenge... Turns out I have (almost) a year of weddings under my belt! It HAS been a blast and I HAVE learned a ton BUT it definitely doesn't feel like it has been a year! I can not believe I haven't blogged a wedding yet!  <--- It is completely believable that I haven't blogged a wedding yet, but, it is also kind of a shame because I have shot some really beautiful weddings, with really talented vendors, and so many GORGEOUS brides (grooms too, you're all beautiful too!) :) 

I will try to go back and blog some of my other weddings from this year so please keep checking back! In the mean time, Katie & Cale's wedding in the desert will be my very first wedding blog! :) Enjoy!


I am not exactly sure if Katie & Cale's wedding could be considered a destination wedding or not. The couple traveled from Chicago to host their closest family and friends to a weekend at a guest ranch in the Tucson, Arizona desert. The ranch, however, happened to be the Tanque Verde Ranch, owned and operated by Cale's parents! The groom grew up running all over the property which made this venue (already one of my favorites in Tucson) the absolute best backdrop for this wedding! It was more than just a pretty venue, it was so special! It was the coolest mix of destination and backyard wedding! This WAS Cale's backyard as a kid. I am pretty sure we even drove past his old treehouse! All of the attendees 9and even the Bride & Groom) were on vacation though, having a blast, and enjoying the guest ranch which also gave the evening a destination wedding vibe!

When I received the Diva Gone Domestic invitation in the mail, I kind of went nuts. I think I texted a photo of the invite to a few of my friends in the industry to brag playfully rub it in that my upcoming wedding was going to be THIS cute! I love how all the details of this wedding came together. The venue is nestled in the Sonoran Desert and does a great job embracing the unique beauty of the desert. The flowers were colorful and perfectly whispy! If you look closely at the bouquet you will see one of my favorite details of the wedding, Katie had kale incorporated into her flowers as a quirky tribute to her husband, Cale!  Katie looked stunning in her dress that fit her like a glove and the blush bridesmaids dresses that they each picked out themselves were gorgeous and their hair and makeup was flawless!  


I absolutley LOVE first looks for both sappy and practical reasons! It is nice that I get to control the location (the light) so that their first look is captured in a beautiful location with great even light! I also love that the bride and groom get a private moment to really look each other over, take it in, and tell each other how amazing they look! The traditional first look is always sweet too but I really like that a private first look allows for the bride and groom to soak up that moment! 

Everything was well planned out and executed perfectly from the hair and makeup, to the flowers, to the flow of the venue, to the mariachis (and later a great live band), to the weather :). I just want to say a quick thank you to all of the vendors for making my job a little easier. You all did amazing work! Congratulations Katie & Cale! 

Venue: Tanque Verde Ranch

Flowers: Mayfield Florist

Engagement Ring: A. Jaffe

Dress: Hayley Paige

Hair: Jay Eklund

Makeup & Lashes: Amanda Lesmes

Invites: Diva Gone Domestic


AMAZING! Beautiful work!
This wedding!!!! Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for including us in this post! These photos are gorgeous and what a magical day!!!! Xoxo!
Katie Cote(non-registered)
Kelsey- I'm probably starting to bug you with my shower of compliments but again, THANK YOU for capturing the most memorable moments of my life. I have a big smile on my face the entire time! You were a joy to work with and I just cannot believe how beautiful the photos are. I told you he first time I talked to you how I am obsessed with your photography style and I'm not alone; all of my guests agree! Your photos will be around forever, thank you again!!!!!!!
Awesome pictures. You really captured the emotion on that most perfect wedding day!
You did a great job
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