Riley and James

Salt Lake City, Utah



Photography | Lisa Gemperline Photography | @lisagempphotography

Location | The Great Salt Lake

Floral Designer | Jimmy’s Flower Layton

From the Photographer

Riley and Jim were set to get married in a white 1800 mansion but they had to postpone the wedding until the end of June. Riley knew right away that she didn’t want a white wedding dress and when she found this red beauty it was a keeper. Her flowers were gorgeous, her veil was a DIY because she couldn’t find the color she wanted. A blue cameo was added to the bouquet as something blue. It belonged to Rileys Grandmother.


The locations we chose was an amazing place for her bridals. While many couples are getting married quickly or eloping, they are hoping to have their dream wedding. in a few months. This shoot was a favorite with it’s Red Dress, Unique Location, Gorgeous Couple, Perfect Night, Meaningful Details and Lots of Love and Emotion.

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette?

Our wedding was heavily influenced by our unique aesthetic. We both like edgier, spookier gothic things. We planned our wedding loosely around the theme ’till death do us part.’ Our color pallet is red, black, and gold. We are both devout Christians and wanted to focus on God on our wedding day. We chose to do this by taking, setting aside some time for prayer before the wedding, communion together during our ceremony, we used three Christian worship songs that were important to us in our ceremony, and having our guests highlight verses for us in our family bible.


Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

We added some more dramatic elements to keep up with our theme. We chose some tall black tapered candles and gold accents. We also added some more creative touches like small white bird skulls I made from a silicone mold and a pair taxidermy mice dressed as a bride and groom.


What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

We used a garland of greenery across the tables with flowers added in and our tapered candles. In the bouquets we chose some interesting textural elements like black thistles and dark purple scabiosa flowers. The bouquets are wrapped in gold silk ribbon and on mine I have a cameo pin that my great grandfather bought for my great grandmother in Vatican City as my something old.


Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

We hired a musician to play some of our favorite worship songs during our ceremony. We also personalized what traditions we wanted to observe. We chose not to do a garter toss or conventional throw bouquet. Instead we decided to hand a flower out to each single woman.

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

I really spent a long time cultivating my look for the wedding. I knew a white dress did not fit my personality. I tossed around ideas for a few different colors but as soon as a tried on my scarlet red wedding dress I fell in love. I made my veil out of blush tulle when I couldn’t find a veil I loved. I also wore gold mismatched studs and a gold threaded earring through two piercings on one ear. My ring was another important part of the look. I wanted something unique. I chose a pear shaped grey diamond for the center stone with a halo of white diamonds, and a crown wedding band.My fiancĂ© looks amazing in his black suit with a black skinny tie and red pocket square. My one request was that he leave his beautiful blonde hair down.


How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

We met in high school when I moved to the school Jim was attending. We went on a couple dates but stayed good friends. Then during the summer after my sophomore year we spent almost every day together and became the very best of friends and eventually fell in love. The hard part was that I had to go back to school after the summer. We were in a long distance relationship waiting patiently for me to finish school so I could come home. Jim proposed on graduation day. I didn’t see it coming at all.Both of our families were traveling to come to my graduation. We joked about telling them we were eloping as a joke during the luncheon after graduation. When we stood up to play our prank Jim proposed instead.


What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

We were forced to postpone our wedding because of the Corona virus. It was a painful conclusion to come to, but it was our only choice. We didn’t want to put anyone at risk. Luckily we have plenty of experience waiting. We spent two years in a long distance relationship, and a year long engagement. Jim patiently waited for me through a Christian mission trip and a study abroad. At this point the most anticipated part is just standing before God, and all our loved ones and committing our lives together.


Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

Keep your eyes on what really matters! The wedding planning process was incredibly stressful and frustrating for me, especially when we were forced to postpone our wedding. But, I just tried to stay focused on what was important. My future husband and I committing our lives to serving God and each other.