Arizona Biltmore Wedding
January 13, 2014
Classic WeddingsEstate WeddingsSummer Weddings
When two seventh grade sweeties grow up and tie the knot, we get all sorts of giddy. But when that wedding just so happens to be shot through the lens of Callaway Gable? Well, you know we're in for a serious treat. Get lost in every inch of pretty in the full gallery right here.
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From the Bride... Only in hindsight have I truly come to appreciate our wedding. Looking back, I marvel at how everything came together. I'm happy to share the story of our wedding not because we did everything right, but because in the end, by focusing on our love and our loved ones, with a little luck and a lot of help, we enjoyed a day more beautiful than we ever imagined.

I guess you could say we fell in love in seventh grade. (I decided in English class that he was the nicest boy I had ever met, and he said I was the prettiest). After more than a decade spent side-by-side, after high school and college, studying abroad and traveling to 36 countries together, we knew we would be together until the end. Dan consulted my father, who was a luxury jeweler for many years, and they designed the most beautiful vintage engagement ring. Needless to say, I said yes!

Wedding planning coincided with my stress of applying to Ph.D. programs, determining on which side of the country to live, and some difficult family circumstances. At first, I insisted on being married in Los Angeles near the beach. After booking our vendors and spending six months preparing for a Southern California wedding, we re-evaluated what was important to us. We realized that we wanted our wedding to be more about our families and friends than about a particular destination. So we started over and re-planned our entire wedding to be in Phoenix, where we both grew up, near all of our family and friends. Fortunately, our dream photographers, the insanely talented Callaway Gable, agreed to relocate with us!

Every summer throughout my childhood my dad took my siblings and me to stay at the Arizona Biltmore for a kind of local stay-cation. When we decided to be married in Phoenix, my dad finally admitted to me that he had always dreamed of seeing his little girl marry in the same place we shared so many childhood memories. Not only did the Biltmore's art deco style fit our elegant vintage theme, but it was such a special place for the whole family. We were thrilled to use the opportunity of our wedding to host a four-day, Fourth-of-July wedding party for all 200 of our guests. From a private fireworks show, to a speakeasy rehearsal party, an elegant reception to a day-after pool party, we enjoyed a celebration of a lifetime.

Initially, I was worried that by choosing a resort as our venue, we were destined to have a cookie-cutter wedding. As a result, we were inspired to infuse every element of our wedding with our personalities and interests. We love books, travel, wine, and all things art deco. We chose our colors (seafoam, blush, eucalyptus, and gold) from Botticelli’s Venus on the Half Shell, one of our favorite works of art from our time in Florence. With the help of our families, we collected antique books – one for each guest – to create unique invitation suites, which doubled as keepsake gifts. Dan gave antique pocket watches to each of his groomsmen as gifts, which they wore on our wedding day. Instead of a ring pillow, we used my great-great grandmother’s Bible and tied our rings to it with lace. We turned our wine cork collection into a giant logo of our initials for the cocktail hour bar. Instead of a guest book, we asked our loved ones to sign an awesome globe, which has become a central feature in our new home together. For our cigar bar, we made custom matchboxes from old bullet casings. And my father surprised us and spent months designing custom Frank Lloyd Wright Arizona Biltmore keepsake boxes as a gift for each guest.

Our wedding would have been nothing without our incredible team of vendors, many of whom have since become our friends. After showing him our invitations, John at Flora Bella immediately understood our vintage vision and brought it to life in a way we could only imagine with candelabra, babies breath, and more books. Ella from Classic Cakes created a lovely dessert table, complete with my favorite French macarons; the Hamptons Band segued from jazz standards into a 12-piece dance party band to keep our guests on the floor all night. And Callaway Gable captured all of the memories we will pass on to our children and their children and their children so that they too will believe in love.