Janelle + Luke // #McLooneyWedding | Backyard Albuquerque Elopement | Downtown Contemporary Art Studio | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Janelle + Luke // #McLooneyWedding | Backyard Albuquerque Elopement | Downtown Contemporary Art Studio | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Photographing the #McLooneyWedding aka Janelle and Luke’s epic Albuquerque Elopement was seriously out of this world amazing. PSA! Janelle and Luke’s love story is a JUICY story!

Janelle and Luke met through a mutual group of friends. They were both invited to drive up to the Sandia Crest in Albuquerque, New Mexico and drink. Janelle was in their friends' house waiting for everyone to arrive, eating some chips and salsa, looking like a bum, thinking it was going to be another chill night. Luke walked in with his friend and saw Janelle stuffing her face. Luke said that Janelle looked like she was enjoying herself and that he likes a girl that can eat.... ;) 

At the Sandia Crest, Luke and his friend were hitting on Janelle (sounds awkward, but at the time it was awesome for Janelle, LOL.) On the drive back the three of them were all sitting in the back. They BOTH decided to put their arm around Janelle to let her basically pick one of them. They were all laughing and cracking jokes and then 'Something About a Truck' by Kip Moore played on the radio. Luke with all his heart started belting it out and started whispering sweet nothings in Janelle’s ear, and then began to LICK & KISS HER EAR! Janelle said, “As weird and as crazy as he was I really liked it….LOL!” and the rest is history. <3

Something that defines Janelle and Luke is that they are “equally crazy and weird”. All of their stories are pretty funny because they were always drunk the first year they were dating. In the case of the #McLooneys, I find that old saying true. 

“Alcohol. Because no great story ever started with a salad.” Especially when the love story is as incredible as this one. 

When it came to the proposal story, it is even more epic. Janelle told me, 

“Luke was away at training and came home for break to visit me and his family. The night before (Saturday) he said the airport lost his luggage so he had to get up in the morning to go get it. (On Sunday) We were getting brunch with my family and then going to a graduation party, so the day was planned out and was going to be busy. At brunch my parents were acting super weird. My dad hugged me for the first time in a long time (he's not a hugger) and told Luke and I to take his truck to the graduation party. We took the truck and drove out to Santa fe for the grad party. Luke suggested we take the back mountain road to the crest for old times sake. We drove up the long winding roads listening to music. Of course he had to play 'Something About a Truck' because he considered it "our song." There was a couple inches of snow at the top (it was the middle of December) and it was completely untouched. I jokingly told him that he'd have to carry me if he wanted us to go out there, which he did. He grabbed our little mexi blanket, threw me on his back, and trudged through the snow. We stopped where we got drunk with our friends the night we met. He started talking about life and brought up that he went to my parents house that morning to talk to them. I was mad and confused to why the heck he would do that and why he didn't get his luggage. He pulled me in and started fumbling around in his jacket and saying some sweet stuff. (He said a bunch of cute stuff, ya know? But in the moment who really remembers what they actually say haha.) Then he got down and asked! It was awesome, emotional, and pretty unexpected. I almost knocked it out of his hand when I went to give him a kiss (NOW THAT WOULD'VE BEEN A STORY.)  We made out and laughed for a minute then realized it the temperature dropped immensely so we left and went to go celebrate! 

Come to find out that's why my parents were acting weird that morning at brunch. He asked my dad for permission to marry me <3”

When I asked Janelle how she knew Luke was “the one” for her, she replied:

“Once you get put through the ringer with college, the military, and long distance and you love each other even more than before, is when you know that shit is real!”

If you could describe Janelle + Luke’s wedding in 2 words, they would be:

Simple and Romantic.

Janelle and Luke exchanged their vows and promised each other forever during a beautiful ceremony at her parents house in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They got married under the gazebo that Janelle and her family built together. If Janelle and Luke could have worn sweats and a t-shirt to get hitched in, they totally would've. BUT! Luke being able to wear his uniform was extremely special to them because they are only allowed to wear his dress blues for special occasions. And of course, Janelle just wanted to look good for herself, her fam, and her man!

When it came to the wedding decor, simplicity was key. Janelle was planning on only having a bouquet, but her mom did all the decorating. With a light blue color palette, Janelle’s mother showed me her how some things that are so simple like flowers and material can make a huge difference!

After their intimate ceremony, Janelle and Luke made it official by signing their marriage license (and toasting to their new marriage with a few shots of Jameson!). We then headed to the Downtown Contemporary Art Studio in the downtown area of Albuquerque, New Mexico to take some wedding party portraits as well as bride and groom wedding photos. 

All Janelle and Luke truly needed was each other, their families, a couple of their closest friends and let’s not forget their adorable fur babies.

This is their friend that also hit on Janelle, LOL.&nbsp;

This is their friend that also hit on Janelle, LOL. 


After their wedding portraits, the McLooney’s and their families had a celebratory dinner at Trombino’s followed by wedding cake from Whole Foods (whatchu know about Whole Foods best cake everrrr!)

The reason Janelle and Luke are the McLooneys is that people used to call Janelle’s family the “Looney Luceros” because “we are crazy, haha.” Changing her name was really hard for Janelle because being a Lucero was who she was as a person. So calling herself a McLooney (Looney Lucero + McCarthy) is keeping a little piece of her old self in her new life! 

I asked Janelle to share some wedding advice and inspiration for brides and grooms to be. Here’s what she had to say. <3

What was your absolute favorite part of the day?

"At dinner with the family I was sitting next to my best friend/MOH and Luke was over talking to his dad. I just looked at him smiling and in my head I couldn't stop thinking "THAT"S YO MAN." It gave me butterflies and a just a comfortable feeling inside.”

What was the biggest challenge you faced in planning your wedding?

“Him being in the military you literally never know anything. We never could set a date or plan anything because the military doesn't ever let you do what you want. That's why we decided to keep it simple, then we can have a party in a couple years on the beach!”

What one moment will last with you both forever?

“Saying our vows! Who knew reciting a bunch of words can impact your life so much. We have our vows printed out and framed on our wall. They are literally words to live by.”

How did you tame your wedding day nerves?

Making inappropriate jokes and laughing helped immensely.

Tell me what you made for your wedding! How was your experience putting your personal stamp on your event? Would you do it again?

Doing it yourself gives you the validation that "I did that" (in this case my mom did.)
It means more when people compliment on it (I know my mom loved it.)
It may be hard work, but knowing that your day is truly yours is worth it!

What was your biggest surprise on your wedding day?

Seeing Luke in his dress blues! I've only seen him wear them once and damn he looked good!
and my mom doing all she did to plan for it.

What advice would you give to future brides for their wedding day?

Enjoy yourself!
Don't worry about all the little details. 
Trust that things will go as planned and if the don't just forget about it. It's not about the picture perfect pinterest day, it's about beginning your life with the perfect person!

What advice would you give to future grooms for their wedding day?

PDA sucks, but today is the day you should be all up on your bride!

What are you most excited for as your relationship grows?

Seeing where our lives will take us <3

Your favorite photo and why?

I loved them all! But, one of my faves is me hugging and kissing Luke. It shows our relationship so perfectly.

What photography-related advice would you offer to other couples?

Trust the photographer, talk to them, and most importantly listen!


The McCarthy wedding was truly an unforgettable experience. #ItTakesALooneyToLoveALooney and I couldn’t be happier for Janelle and Luke! I hope you guys enjoy this beautiful Downtown Albuquerque Elopement! :)

Wedding #DreamTeam aka Vendors:

Florist: Trader Joe’s

Cake/Dessert: Whole Foods

Catering: Trombino’s

Wedding Dress: Lulu’s (Janelle highly recommends!)

Bridesmaids Dress: Forever21

Bride’s Shoes: JCPenney’s

Jewelry/Rings: Helzberg Diamonds


Jasper K Photography, Albuquerque Wedding Photographer

Albuquerque Elopement Photographer