Elegant + Organic Al Fresco Arizona Wedding
Photographed by Rachel Solomon, this fall wedding, planned in only eight weeks, was full of succulents, ranunculuses, roses, peonies and lamb's ear.
This first pic? It's totally stealing the show. The light, the dress's silhouette, and that veil. But keep on scrolling because our wedding crush continues to grow with each pic by Rachel Solomon. The icing on the cake? The whole shindig was planned in only eight weeks. So we bow down to this beautiful Bride and Outstanding Occasions, because you guys made magic happen - see it all in our Vault right here!
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From the Bride... John and I are high school sweethearts from the suburbs of Minneapolis, going on 10 years together. He proposed in August of 2015 at my family’s cabin on Flathead Lake, Montana. It was an unforgettable day!

Once we started talking locations and dates for the wedding, we thought a shorter engagement would be just enough time to plan our dream wedding in Rio Verde, Arizona - a place that is very special to John’s family and a place we vacation frequently. We had decided May of 2016 would perfect.

A day before we put deposits down for the wedding, we found out some unexpected news... that we were expecting! May 2016 went from being our wedding month to the month our baby would be born. John and I talked through our options for the wedding and we decided we still wanted to plan our dream wedding, but move it up to November 14th, 2015. We had eight weeks to plan our dream destination wedding and I don’t know how we pulled it off, but it was the most memorable, amazing day of my entire life.

We had around 150 of our closest family and friends all from out of town make the last minute trip to Arizona to be with us on our special day. That was the most important thing to us. As long as the people we loved the most were there, everything else could’ve gone wrong, and it would’ve been okay!

(Funny side note…my dress didn’t zip three days before the wedding so we had to overnight the size up and it got there the day before and fit perfectly!)

The cool thing about our wedding was that it felt so much like us, and I think it’s because we had to make quick decisions without second guessing. We had the most amazing wedding planner who we were in contact with almost every single day for eight weeks before the wedding. Without her, nothing would’ve been possible. When we showed up to the ranch on our big day, we were beyond amazed with the transformation of the place. It went from being just a simple, old, rustic ranch to a beautiful, unique and stunning venue.

The other most important things to us were to get a great photographer and an awesome DJ. I don’t know how we were so lucky to get Rachel as our photographer with such a short window of time before the wedding, but we were so lucky to have such a talented and wonderful person with us on our big day. We are so happy we have these photos to show our children and grandchildren someday. Eric from the DJ Firm made the trip to AZ from Chicago for our wedding and we are so glad he did. In my opinion it is hard to find a DJ that keeps everyone on the dance floor all night… and that he did!

From Outstanding Occasions... After getting to know a bit about the couple and their vision for their wedding day, Outstanding Occasions designed the wedding to be simply elegant with rustic touches. The color palette was soft and neutral, incorporating cream, ivory, blush, and pale grey with accents of gold and dark green.

The wedding day began with a rustic statement, as guests were led to the Rio Verde Ranch by grey-stained, wood directional signs with hand lettering and calligraphy by Freed Hands. Once there, they were in for a treat. The ceremony played off the natural beauty of the Rio Verde Ranch. A birch arch was placed on the large grassy area at the Ranch and was accented in each of its corners with large floral sprays in ivory, champagne and blush, including white hydrangea, Majolica spray roses, Sahara Roses, blush stock blossom, Queen Anne’s Lace and Silver Dollar eucalyptus leaf, with succulents tucked into the floral. The aisle was dusted with ivory rose petals and wood vineyard chairs provided elegant guest seating. Natalie and her bridesmaids carried hand-tied, loose, ivory bouquets with touches of blush, greenery and succulents, wrapped in antique white ribbon.

After the ceremony, guests followed a dirt path lined with large rustic lanterns to cocktail hour. Guests left their “Advice and Well Wishes for the Bride and Groom” on ivory, silver and green cards which they placed in an antique wooden bucket hanging from the Ranch’s existing wishing well. The wishing well was accented with a green garland.

To bring in another rustic element, Outstanding Occasions arranged square ivory escort cards by Vee Creative on a tall wood palette wall with flowing green garland and hanging ivory ribbon. Hand passed hors d’oeuvres by M Catering, an abundance of heaters, fun lawn games including giant Jenga and corn hole, and bluegrass music by Arizona Folk Ensemble kept guests happy and entertained.

For dinner, guests returned to the large grassy area at the Ranch where a mixture of round tables draped with Tuscany Natural linen and dark wood Descanso tables were surrounded by brightly shining Portofino lights. An abundance of candlelight and lush floral by Lux Florist provided an aura of elegance to this dinner under the stars.

To end the spectacular night, guests headed back to the cookout area where The DJ Firm kicked up the party! John and Natalie sure do know how to party - they flew in The DJ Firm all the way from Chicago to entertain their guests. In addition to the lively music, guests posed for photos in the photo, enjoyed scrumptious desserts including mini cupcakes and macarons, and devoured late night pizza.

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Peruse more inspiring Arizona weddings here!