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The Ultimate Dinner Party Inspired Wedding

This celebration right here is a wedding that speaks directly to my heart. Reason being? This perfect pair decided to buck tradition and only incorporate what felt natural to them, and for that I say KUDOS. With Rachel Solomon Photography behind the lens, their intimate celebration proves that you can in fact have it all (and them some), while staying true to who you are. See it all in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Al Fresco

From The Bride…We talked for years about eloping in lieu of a traditional wedding. Bora Bora, Sydney, London, and many others were considered while we dreamt about a capricious time where we could have one of our most meaningful days all to ourselves. We didn’t fancy the idea of having a bridal party, overpaying for just about everything, spending time with people we didn’t truly know, being the center of attention, or even dancing (that’s right, we’re a non-dancing couple). But we could never pull the trigger and actually book the trip of a lifetime that would have excluded our dearest family and friends.

After six years of going around and around about when and where and how to elope, we decided to have a traditional wedding that broke all the traditions we don’t care for. We had a small wedding with just 54 guests, and every single one of them was important to us. We skipped the grand entrance, the first dance, and the bouquet toss simply because those options didn’t appeal to us. In fact, we didn’t have any dancing at all. We wanted our reception to feel like a late-night garden dinner. So we opted out of the traditional ballroom setting in favor of the great outdoors. My sister was the maid of honor and there was no best man. Kyle felt that asking someone to take on the role would be burdensome and annoying, so he didn’t. He just joked that Pip, one of our cats, was asked but declined the role. We arranged for everything we wanted and left out everything we didn’t. The only thing missing was our five cats…sort of.

Kyle is a true cat lover. He’s always kind to them and they bring him so much happiness. I knew I had to incorporate our cats into the wedding but did not want it to be cheesy. Kyle is from the South, Tennessee to be exact, so I thought a surprise groom’s cake was my best chance. I did some research and found an incredibly talented confectionary artist- seriously that is what she is. Haley Carins with Heartsweet Cakes spoke with me for hours about the concept. I wanted the cake to be modern and masculine and show off our cats. Amounting to everything I asked for and more, it served as desert, three dimensional art, entertainment, and a sentimental reminder of our everyday life together.

We incorporated some personal touches to add meaningful nuances where we could. During the ceremony, we each poured soil from our home states (Tennessee and Massachusetts) into a mock orange plant that was later planted in our yard in Phoenix. As a nod to the fact that we almost opted out of having the wedding, we included a city in fine print at the bottom of all eight table markers, each one identifying a different city we considered eloping to. Our one and only DIY dabble consisted of many handmade and hand strung hearts that hung on the back of our reception chairs (I have a picture of Kyle working on the project in his underwear that I think is so sweet and cute).

The colors of the wedding were ivory, varying purples, a touch of mocha, and lots of green. Kyle’s favorite color is green so I wanted to make sure our design embraced that. Natural colors are so beautiful so we brought green in through the lawn, plants, cacti, floral arrangements, and eucalyptus garlands flowing down the aisle and two king’s tables. Mocha came from varying exposed wood pieces and the purples came from peonies, lilacs, button daisies, dahlias and anemones. We did not want to distract from the scenery and warmth of the venue, which has special history and meaning for our relationship. We wanted the feel to be airy yet elegant and clean but still romantic. It was breathtaking.

My favorite moment happened during dinner. It was dark, the heaters were on, Crave by MTNS was playing, and the scent of orange blossom was in the air when we noticed that birds were flying back and forth overhead. It brought me back to 2010 when we took our first vacation together. We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale and noticed the birds flying over the lawn from the patio at Talavera while at dinner. At that moment, six years ago, I secretly wished we would someday be married there. And we were.

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Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Coordination: Some Like It Classic - Wedding & Event Design | Floral Design: Carte Blanche Design | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: Minted | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: Cartier | Makeup: June Pearl Beauty | Hair: Joey's Hair Couture | Calligraphy: The Pretty Paperie Shop | Groom's Attire: The Clotherie | Ceremony Music: VeeRonna Ragone | Venue: Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis | Bridal Boutique: Lillian Lottie Couture | Bride's Earrings: Mikimoto | Cufflinks: Cartier | Groom's Cake: Heartsweet Cakes | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals Phoenix | Signage: The Pretty Paperie Shop

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Proof That the Desert Is the New It Wedding Venue

In the name of love, how incredibly GOOD is this desert wedding? I mean, it shouldn’t come as any real surprise seeing as it’s straight from the talented lens of Rachel Solomon, but factor in one crazy chic couple *hello – just look at this gown* and some La Tavola Fine Linen Rental and you’ve got yourself one b-e-a-u-tiful party. See it all in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Rustic Venue
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride…Caleb and I met when I started working at the hospital he had worked at for about seven years. Caleb led the tour of the hospital during orientation and if I’m being honest, I paid more attention to how cute Caleb was than the various stops along the tour. About five months later, Caleb and I started dating and we both quickly knew that we’d found the person we were going to marry.

Caleb and I actually picked the venue and date for our wedding before we were engaged. As someone who plans events for a living, I knew that wedding venues book quickly and I didn’t want to waste any time. After looking at a few venues, Caleb and I happened upon Desert Foothills while looking at The Knot’s “Real Weddings.” I immediately made an appointment for Caleb and I to see the space and upon walking into the completely bare barn that is Desert Foothills, I knew this was where we were going to get married.

Because Desert Foothills is a completely open space in which you can pretty much do anything, I knew we would need a lot of help! Caleb and I chose to work with Rachael Dufresne of Imoni Events to plan our wedding and it was by far the best decision we made during the entire wedding planning process. Rachael had an amazing ability to take all our ideas and turn them into reality. Rachael took our love of wine and created a winery themed wedding that took me right to our favorite wineries in Napa. I truly felt as though Caleb and I had our dream wedding and I can’t be more grateful to Rachael and our long list of vendors for their hard work and creativity to make us feel so special.

One thing I learned during the wedding planning process was the power of meeting with vendors before choosing to work with them. I fell in love with two photographers solely based on the work on their websites. After meeting with both photographers in person, I knew that Rachel Solomon would be the photographer for our wedding. I absolutely loved her work but most importantly I “clicked” with her and felt comfortable with her capturing the most important day of my life. After learning this lesson with picking our photographer, I kept that in mind as we continued to choose other vendors for our wedding.

The day of our wedding came faster and faster as each month and week passed by. It was a beautiful morning and I couldn’t have been happier when I woke up to blue skies and sunshine. However, as the bridesmaids and I were getting our hair and makeup done by Emily Hughes and Brenna Heater, gray clouds started rolling in. As Caleb and I began to do our First Look, the wind picked up and little droplets of rain began to fall on my shoulders. This certainly could have taken a turn for the worse but I actually grew to love this wind and rain. To me, this signified that we could withstand the rough winds that will inevitably come our way throughout our life together. Although it sounds cheesy, I like to think that those were the first rough winds of our marriage, probably the easiest winds we will experience, but we did it. And, not to mention those winds made for some amazing pictures!

After taking pictures outside the venue, Caleb and I walked into the barn for the first time and I was completely awe struck by how beautifully everything had come together. Our colors, gold, blush, cream and a hint of navy, blended beautifully from the navy ribbon on the bridesmaids’ bouquets to the cream and blush flowers draping over the wine barrels at the front of the aisle. Randi of Carte Blanche Floral took what little vision I had for our flowers and created a beautiful backdrop for our wedding. Randi even built a cross for the altar and a wine rack that we will place in the foyer of our first home. The linens from La Tavola brought the room together while the round Kings tables kept that rustic and elegant atmosphere we were wanting to share with our families and friends.

Our wedding featured delicious food from Dennis at Cater Phoenix. Dennis worked with Caleb and I to create stations with some of our favorite foods: mac and cheese, tacos, and onion rings! Our cake from Heartsweet Cakes was devoured in minutes and I can certainly understand why as Hayley’s bourbon chocolate cake is something you only get once in a lifetime!

Finally, the beauty is in the small details and I couldn’t have been more amazed by the work of Jacki from Foil and Ink and Jesse Jo Stanton at Freed Hands for creating our invitations and day of paper products respectively. Jacki certainly had Caleb’s stamp of approval as she was able to include the one thing he wanted most, a wax seal. He was more than happy to help address invitations if it meant being able to use the wax seal!

Looking back, I can truly say that our wedding was so much more than we had envisioned. I am overcome with a sense of immense gratitude for the vendors, family and friends that put in so much work and love to make this day special for Caleb and I. We certainly could not have done this alone and they truly deserve all the credit.

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Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Cinematography: Something New Media | Event Planning: Imoni Events | Floral Design: Carte Blanche Design | Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca | Cake: Heartsweet Cakes | Invitations: Foil And Ink | Catering: Cater Phoenix | Makeup: Brenna Heater | Hair: Emily Hughes | Band: Sapphire Sky | Transportation: Ollie The Trolley | Venue: Desert Foothills | Beer Burro: Haulin' Ass Productions | Bridal Boutique: Schaffers Bridal | Draping: Quest Drape | Hand Lettering + Signage: Freed Hands | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Mariachi: Mariachi Fiesta Valle del Sol | Rentals: Glamour And Woods

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Saturday Morning Movie: Bicycles + Sparklers = One Sweet Wedding

When life gets tough and you can’t turn that downward spiral upside down, what are you to do? We’ve all been there and when it happens, you gotta grab a guaranteed fix. For me, that comes in the form of fabulous (and happy tear-inducing) wedding clips. And this one delivers. From the written vows to the tandem bicycle sparkler entrance, Carl S. Miller Wedding Films captured magic – sit back and enjoy!

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Colors
Seasons
Winter
Styles
Al Fresco

From Carl S. Miller Wedding Films… I’ve known the Bride, Noel, for a number of years and so I was ecstatic when she asked me to film her marriage to Dan. The day and preparations began in their new home in the historic barrio district of Tucson, Arizona. The architectural lines within were a visual delight, and I tried to incorporate aspects of their home as a metaphor for their relationship: new home, new marriage, new life together. Saguaro National Park provided a breathtaking vista of mountains and cacti as the backdrop for their Southwestern ceremony. Their event designer and florist, Atelier de LaFleur, did a phenomenal job with the chuppah and floral arrangements to provide an aesthetic and color palette to complement the desert landscape. The celebration continued at the Tucson Museum of Modern Art, where the festivities were started by Noel and Dan’s jaw-dropping tandem bicycle sparkler entrance. Now that’s original. Their film is designed to not only show the beauty and elegance of their day, but to highlight the many subtleties that make their relationship unique to them.

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Photography: Keith and Melissa Photographers | Cinematography: Carl S. Miller Wedding Films | Event Design: Atelier De LaFleur | Floral Design: Atelier De LaFleur | Cake: Sugar Song Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Joshua Tree National Park | Reception Venue: MOCA | Catering: The Coronet | DJ: John Hislop | Band: Naim Amor | Bridal Boutique: J Bridal Boutique

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here