Live, from our cover shoot

Even though it's only April 1st, we are already shooting the August/September cover of Modern Bride. It's hard to believe we're working on our end-of-summer issue. (But, then, you know what it's like to plan ahead for something!) We're in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the beautiful Sanctuary Resort & Spa nestled against majestic Camelback Mountain. We like choosing places where we can imagine a bride actually getting married or honeymooning. This resort is known for its spectacular views of the mountains, and the early morning light here bounces off them and turns them the most glorious colors.

This morning we got up at 5am to be ready to shoot at 6am. Our poor model, Amanda, had to be up at 4am to start hair and makeup so she would be camera-ready for those first rays of the day. We asked ourselves the perennial question: Hair up or hair down? With her long locks it didn't take us long to decide that leaving her hair down would be the most beautiful and modern. Then we began to play with hair jewelry, hair bands and veils. The fun of a photo shoot is that we can change her look many, many times. (Sorry, girls, you only get to choose one look for your day!)

Our first shot was at the pool with a great view of the mountains as the backdrop. Amanda looked fabulous—the sun just made her face glow. Any bride would be happy to have this kind of lighting on her wedding day...but I doubt many would want to get up at 4am to make it happen. No matter—sunset is just as amazing and a whole lot warmer. The perfect time for a wedding ceremony here! Early mornings are a little chillier than we expected (everyone's in sweaters and coats except our model who's in strapless), but the gorgeous shots we are getting for the cover are well worth it. It's all done so we can bring you the prettiest cover picture possible.

And now, back to shooting. We're going to change the dress... — Antonia van der Meer, Editor-in-Chief, Modern Bride

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