SUBMIT WEDDING
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You’ll Never Believe This Wedding Wasn’t Their Original Plan

Melissa and David originally planned a destination wedding, but these two scrapped everything when their family needed the date pushed UP! In less than a month (you read right!) Melissa put together a day that looked so perfect you’d swear she spent a year planning. From the intricate Ketubah to the bride’s vintage fur handbag, Charity Maurer Photography captured it all to share in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Al Fresco

From Charity Maurer PhotographyMelissa and David share so much in common, their culture, their faith, and their love of family. Originally planning a destination wedding, these two scrapped everything when their family needed the date pushed up by over half a year! In less than a month Melissa put together a day that looked so perfect you’d swear she spent a year planning. In the shade of iconic Camelback Mountain, these two were wed at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa, in Phoenix, Arizona. Combining their rich cultural heritage and their love of celebration, the details of the day were perfectly curated: from the intricate Ketubah to the bride’s vintage fur handbag, these two lovebirds thought of everything. But at the end of the day, amidst all the beauty and style, Melissa and David’s love was the most memorable. From the moments captured in their first look to their first dance as husband and wife, these two share a deep bond, and it was an honor to capture their decision to make it last forever.

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Photography: Charity Maurer Photography | Dress: Carolina Herrera | Cake: Royal Palms Resort and Spa | Hair & Makeup: Kiana | DJ: Birkett Entertainment | Venue: Royal Palms Resort and Spa

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A Wedding That Nailed the “Desert Chic” Look

You know what I love about this couple? They broke all the rules and had what I’m deeming the Coolest. Wedding. Ever. They let the Scottsdale desert play backdrop to an untraditional “I do” complete with color, whimsy, and of course, a killer taco truck. Let you hair down and head straight to the gallery from Paul Von Rieter.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Al Fresco

From The Bride…Since the moment we got engaged (full disclosure since before we got engaged), I knew I wanted a desert wedding. I was raised in Scottsdale and we take many trips to Palm Springs so it was the perfect theme. I planned the wedding myself with the help of my mom and 2 sisters. The most important thing to us was that we threw a fun party where everyone could let their hair down and have a good time! I used the same mentality with most of the planning. I told my bridesmaids to pick out whatever dress they wanted as long as it was navy and lace. Since everyone in my party is so different and two of them are new moms I wanted each of them to feel beautiful walking down the aisle and you can’t do that with a cookie-cutter bridesmaids dress. None of them chose a traditional dress and I loved it!

We did almost everything ourselves from making mason jar candles to my dad building a dance floor out of reclaimed wood. We planted cacti in tins 6 months before the wedding so the flowers would bloom in time for the reception. I created the sangria recipes from scratch, our friends were tasked with taste testing whenever they came over! We used traditional serape blankets for our guests to sit on at the ceremony site as well as made our programs into fans so they could stay cool in the Arizona sun! I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of “Today” by The Smashing Pumpkins and my dad officiated. We dedicated the sweets table to my Grandmother who passed two weeks before the wedding, which was my favorite detail from the day. We decided on a taco truck and a great salsa bar so our guests could eat dinner whenever they wanted- it paired so perfectly with the kind of reception we wanted to have- a big party! Our cake was a wedding gift from my mom’s best friend!

We decided against most of the traditional reception activities. We didn’t do a bouquet or garter toss (in fact, I didn’t even wear one). Instead of doing the chicken dance and Y.M.C.A we chose a really fun mix of current and retro dance songs. My mom tells me that still 6 months later her friends are talking about what a fun party we threw! Mission accomplished.

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Photography: Paul Von Rieter | Floral Design: Hoot And Holler | Floral Design: Bethanne Outcalt | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Bethanne Outcalt | Ceremony Venue: Desert Botanical Garden | Reception Venue: At Home | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nordstroms | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew | Hair:Ashley Lynn Dienst | Groom’s Attire: Top Man | Groomsmen Attire: Top Man | Photography – Assistance:Carmen Santorelli Photography | Programs: Rebekah Disch Design | Signage + Favors: Revelry Social

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This Intimate Wedding Will Tug Right At Your Heartsrings

Sometimes, the best things come in small packages. Case in point? This intimate Phoenix wedding. From the handwritten notes for each guest to the wine ceremony featuring a bottle bought by the Bride’s parents when she was born to use on her wedding day,  this wedding is all kinds of special. And it only gets better from there. Get all the feels, thanks to Michael + Anna Costa Photography, in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride…Tony and I met when we were least expecting it. I was living in Phoenix at the time, and Tony in LA. One summer weekend a friend and I decided to take a road trip to LA for a college friend’s 30th birthday. I hadn’t seen our friend in ten years, so I was really excited to reconnect. She invited her new boyfriend to her birthday party, along with his two roommates. One of those roommates was Tony.

If you told me that day I was going to marry Tony, I wouldn’t have believed you. He made up a story about being a racecar driver, which I did not find amusing. But by the end of the night he dropped the racecar driver act, and I got to know a very complex, intelligent, and caring man. I was smitten. We all stayed the night at the party, and when I woke up the next day Tony had already left. Naturally, rather than asking anyone for Tony’s number, I social media stalked him.

After I found him I decided to take the risk and reach out. We met up in San Diego a couple months later for our first date and started a long distance relationship after that, which was made possible thanks to our Southwest Airlines credit cards. Our reward miles carried us back and forth for a while until I was ready to take the plunge and move to LA. Once in LA, Tony and I spent a lot of time double-dating with my college friend and Tony’s roommate. And we proudly stood by their side as they married each other a year later.

We were going for a hike down to the beach after work, so I put on my gym clothes- not cute lululemon gym clothes either. I didn’t bother re-applying my morning’s smudged makeup or brushing my hair- why would I??

I’m a planner, so I was talking to Tony about what we were going to have for dinner that night- a frozen pizza and roasted vegetables. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t seem as excited about this as me. I had no idea he was nervously checking his pocket every two seconds making sure the ring was still there. We watched the sunset together and he was noticeably irritated by another couple that was walking close by. I joked with him that it wasn’t our private beach, and to stop being so cranky. After the couple had passed and we were all alone, Tony got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was holding the most beautiful ring I had ever seen and trying to comprehend what was happening. Before I said “YES!” I must have said, “Is this really happening?” twenty times. We celebrated afterwards at a resort on the ocean cliffs with champagne and an amazing dinner that put my frozen pizza to shame. It was the best night of my life, knowing that I was going to get to be his partner forever.

I worked for a catering company in college, so I’ve been behind the scenes in more weddings than I can count. In my experience, the best weddings were small, intimate, and laid-back. I wanted every detail to be unique to us as a couple, and to stay true to the boho-vintage-romantic style that we were going for. This meant a small wedding with just family and close friends in a beautiful, unique setting that was both relaxed and elegant. Oh, and all on a tight budget.

Tony and I had moved to Denver since getting engaged, but all of our family and friends were spread across Arizona and California. I did a Google images search for romantic wedding venues, and much to my surprise I found everything I was looking for at a rustic venue in Phoenix. To save money and more easily secure vendors, we chose to get married on a Thursday.

Planning the wedding from Denver was not easy. I shipped all of the decorations and things for the ceremony and reception to my mom in Tucson, who rented a van and lugged it all up to the venue the day before the wedding. We couldn’t have done it without her!

I think we made it pretty difficult on ourselves by not going with anything ‘out of the box,’ but we really wanted to tailor things to our style. What I’m most proud of is Tony’s fully-custom ensemble. We put together his outfit piece by piece with a very specific look in mind. And we had fun with it too. We went to the custom clothier together and designed the suit and shirt, and even met with a tie maker to create his bowtie (we went to four fabric stores!). It seems crazy, but looking back on the pictures we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. If you have a really specific vision for something, you don’t need to limit yourself to what you see online. It might be a lot of work, but you can get creative!

I felt strangely calm when the day came. You really do feel surrounded by love, like you have an army of people around you ready to take down anything in your way. My Grandmother gave me her mother’s white and blue handkerchief as my something borrowed, old, and blue. I also wore my Great-grandmother’s ring and used her broach in my bouquet. It felt comforting knowing a part of her was with me that day.

Having a small wedding allowed us to do a lot of things that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. We wrote notes to all of our guests, telling them how much we loved them and what it meant to have them there with us. We sealed them in matching little envelopes and stamped their names and table numbers on the front and clipped them to twine strung in a big tree at the entrance, doubling as seating assignments. Our guests loved that special little touch.

My favorite part of our wedding was the ceremony. Instead of trying to rush through it to get to a party at the end, I made a point to slow down and enjoy each moment of becoming husband and wife. My mom and dad walked me down the aisle to “It’s Over” by one of our favorite bands, Civil Twilight. Weeks earlier, we met the band at one of their shows and told them we were using their song in our wedding. The lead singer was so excited. He explained the meaning of the song as surrendering yourself to someone who you love so much that every time you look at them, it’s over, you’re powerless.

Our brother-in-law officiated our wedding and added the perfect mix of humor and touching emotion. We decided to do a wine ceremony, which was a lot of fun. We used a bottle of wine that my parents bought when I was born and saved for my wedding day. Our family and wedding party poured the wine we would drink into a ceramic chalice that my parents drank out of on their wedding day.

We sealed a bottle of wine and little love letters our guests wrote us into a wooden box that Tony made, and promised to open everything on our anniversary in five years. We took turns reciting the vows we wrote to each other, and I remember everything else fading into the background. It was beautiful.

The reception was full of surprises. Tony’s brother gave a very sweet speech that all of the sudden turned into a singing performance by he and his sisters. And then my friends got up and did the exact same thing! They had also written a hilariously clever song and performed it for us, not knowing about Tony’s brother’s plans. We laughed so hard we couldn’t feel our faces!

My advice to other brides comes from my Grandmother, who eloped when she married my Grandfather; they’ll be celebrating their 59th anniversary this month. You don’t need a big, fancy, expensive wedding to have a successful marriage. What’s important is to do what’s right for the two of you-whatever that is. Know that everyone will have an opinion about everything, but this day is for you and your future husband, and that’s what matters.

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Photography: Michael + Anna Costa Photography | Floral Design: Fluert Floral Art | Cake: Sassy's Bakery | Invitations: Poptastic Bride | Jewelry: BHLDN | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Catering: Gadzooks | Makeup: Stephanie Neiheisel | Hair: Paige Weir | DJ: Ramma Jamma DJ | Bow Tie: HIM Clothing | Venue: Jenny Busby, Whispering Tree Ranch | Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Decor: BHLDN | Flower Confetti Pops: Thimblepress | Groomsmens’ Ties: The Tie Bar | Groom’s Attire: Ratio Clothing | Photo Booth: Clear Choice Photo Booth | Photography Assistance: Drew Brashler Photography | Table Numbers + Signage: Remember November Inc

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