The Ultimate Dinner Party Inspired Wedding
August 26, 2016
Southwest
Al FrescoOutdoor WeddingsHotels + Resorts Weddings
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!
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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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