Real Couples // An Intimate Southwestern Love Celebration: Emily + Billy

Emily and Billy met when Emily got hired at the restaurant where he managed the kitchen. She asked him out a week before she moved out of state. They wanted their wedding to be about celebrating with the people they actually love and live life with, rather than an obligatory and stressful party. They spent the morning of their wedding showing parents and grandparents around the Grand Canyon, then held their intimate 30-person ceremony that evening at Chapel of the Holy Dove, a small shack outside of Flagstaff, AZ with no electricity or water. Their decorations were all borrowed, thrifted or homemade. The money they saved went to helping friends with plane tickets and their European honeymoon. The ceremony itself was hand-crafted by the couple together to exclude gender-specific language and many of the traditional, symbolically problematic elements of weddings, such as the giving away of the bride and the permission to kiss. Emily, being an incredible spoken word poet, recited her vows as a ten part poem that had everyone in tears, blown away by the beautiful honesty and sincerity of her words. When it seemed the ceremony didn't know to follow after such moving vows, Billy began snapping like a beat poet, which perfectly broke the tension and got everyone laughing again. They have no regrets about choosing not to have a big and elaborate wedding. Emily and Billy currently reside in Nashville, TN with their two cats Lewis and Lucy.

Photos and Words by Evan and Laura Fait


In 2005, Emily introduced Evan and Laura, and they became high school sweethearts two years later. Evan introduced Laura to photography, a passion that continued in both of them even after their break up. While Evan was traveling the United States shooting architectural & commercial photography, Laura began training as a wedding and portrait photographer. The two stayed friends over the years, with Evan encouraging Laura to pursue a career in photography. When Laura needed help with a wedding in 2013, Evan agreed to offer his skills. Something about being around a wedding and each other rekindled the old romance. They each knew there was no one they would rather have by their side, so they combined their skills and passions to create a powerful and unique wedding photography team. Together they enjoy comic books, video games, playing with their alaskan malamute mix Balto, and cooking. They plan to wed in late 2016, a ceremony which Emily has graciously agreed to officiate.