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This Couple Pulled Together Their Dream Wedding In Two Months!

When the pandemic put this couple’s Hawaii wedding on pause, these lovebirds decided all that mattered was that they wanted to get married. With the help of Christina Williamson, they changed course on their original wedding plans and instead poured all their love into an intimate Arizona affair. A longtime admirer of Ashley Rae Photography and Love Story Films, the mother-of-the-bride reached out and was surprised when they not only agreed but suggested the ever-talented The Wildflower AZ for incredible floral moments! The results are so pretty you would never think there was a change of plans. See all the love unfold in the full gallery.



From the bride… I got engaged to my best friend and we were eager to start planning our wedding. We quickly decided on a date of 10/28/2020 my birthday Maui, Hawaii. Then due to the pandemic, both sides of the family mutually agreed this was probably not the best idea or time to be traveling.



We decided at least we will be married and together that’s all that matters, so in July we started to plan a wedding for 9/4/2020. My mother had told me about a venue called Royal Palms and I immediately fell in love. It was not my original venue in Hawaii but it still had a tropical feel that went along with my dress.



It may not have been our first plan but I wouldn’t change a thing about it . I simply loved every single detail of the day.



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Photography: Ashley Rae Photography | Cinematography: LOVE STORY FILMS | Event Design: Christina Williamson | Event Planning: Christina Williamson | Floral Design: The Wildflower AZ | Dress: Pronovias | Cake: A Bake Shop | Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes | Hair and Makeup: Makiaj Beauty | Groom: Peter Reid | Wedding Venue: Royal Palms Resort | Alterations: Tailored in White | Bride: Faith Reid | Perfume: Creed

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Proof that You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Good Design When You Have Kids

Bridging the gap between gorgeous design and messy children can seem like a mountain not worth climbing. But this home, with its perfect blend of vintage and modern, color and white space, is all the proof you need that said bridge is not only doable, it can actually make your home even more addicting. Using texture, contrast and a perfect marriage of old and new, THELIFESTYLEDCO™ designed a space that will stand both the test of time and the footprint of even the spunkiest of children. Photos by Renna Hoefer.

We’ve worked with this particular client on projects before and when they came to us to design and manage the addition of their primary bedroom and bathroom wing, we couldn’t have been more thrilled!

This family asked for only a few things: high contrast between the space + simple effortless design. Which was made even more important as they would be welcoming their second child just after completion. 

The selection of the canopy bed was one of the first decisions made during the design process to give the space grandeur and a hint of formality. We kept both the wall color and the flooring lightly toned so the contrast could be felt in soft goods like window treatments and bedding.

Moving into the Primary Bathroom, the entry point off of the bedroom required a captivating moment signaling the eye to follow the shape of the space, as a long and lean, but bright space!

We beefed up the size of the quartz countertop with waterfall to the ground on one side for added weight and luxury to the bathroom vanity.

Following our desire to let contrast lead the design in the space, we anchored a black acrylic bathtub just under the corner windows to almost backlight the space!

The shower tile is both playful but symmetrical and brings some of the geometric shapes into this space as well as the Bedroom!

Small details have a huge design impact so everything from the towels hung to the bath side table lended themselves to a modern sensibility with vintage, handmade undertones. 

Our clients love vintage rugs and while they have several collectors pieces throughout their home, we took this opportunity to layer a jute and a geometric hide rug on top of one another to instantly give the space a more modern feel.

The hallway outside the master bedroom was kept fairly simple with oversized black and white family photos and modern gallery lights. 

In this same project, Parker, the soon-to-be big brother, got his own room in a hipster Star wars theme even Luke Skywalker would be proud of!

Our main goal in this space was to loosely follow the theme but also allow for Parker to grow into the space. And big brother not only got his bedroom wishes…he also got his very own baby doll! 

We were so thrilled to collaborate on such a beautiful and inspiring space that created the perfect canvas for this sweet family of four to grow and thrive!

Photography: Rennai Hoefer | Builder: Willsheim Design and Build | Interior Design: THE LifeStyled COMPANY

A Family Affair Backyard Wedding Complete With Bistro Lights and a U Shaped Dining Table

It’s true — home is where the heart is. We thought we’d seen it all when it comes to backyard weddings, but the sheer beauty of this one proved us wrong! This family affair was a nod to togetherness and social bonding. With plenty of warm candlelight, lush florals, and classic china, Tailyr and Sam enjoyed an evening of love, all thanks to the incredible work of Rachael Ellen Events. To match her elevated backyard wedding, Tailyr wore an effortlessly elegant Sarah Seven gown. We’re certain this celebration was truly one for the family album. To see all the pretty details, take a look at the full gallery of gorgeous images, all captured by Mary Claire Photography.

From Rachael Ellen Events… When Tailyr and Sam became engaged, they weren’t sure what their plans would entail but they knew they wanted to create something intimate and social for those who truly mattered most. Their backyard wedding truly was a family affair, with only their nearest and dearest in attendance. The wedding took place at the groom’s family home where they decorated the yard with bistro lights and a U shaped dining table.

We opted for this design as it felt intimate and inclusive. The tables were adorned with ivory linens, classic china and glassware, modern gold flatware, french blue napkins, and dozens of petite garden inspired arrangements. The length of the tables were covered in taper candles and each place setting was adorned with a rough edge wax seal name card created by Ink & Press Co. Our goal with the design was to create something that felt romantic and incredibly special for the small number of guests who were in attendance.

After the sun set, the bride put on a denim jacket with pearl adornments to match the pearls on her Sarah Seven dress. These pearls were also what inspired the cake design! The guests were served Mexican food from the couples local favorite spot and enjoyed pies handmade by the grooms mother. The grooms sister was the photographer, her sister in law the videographer, and the brides cousin the DJ. The brides mother even did the groups hair!

Despite the twists and turns of this year, they truly made this a family affair to remember. The couple, avid Star Wars fans, made their exit through a tunnel of light sabers.

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Written by Lauren Megerdichian and Carly Zumar

Photography: Mary Claire Photography | Cinematography: Kenna Lynn Films | Event Design: Rachael Ellen Events | Event Planning: Rachael Ellen Events | Floral Design: Rachael Ellen Events | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: A Bake Shop | Invitations: Ink & Press Co. | Makeup: Katie Gurley Artistry | Hair: Kasie Noble | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals

Get Ready for Game Day with these Home-Gating Essentials

Whether you’re a diehard football fan or just love an excuse to throw a great at home tailgate, the Football Bettys and Victoria Canada are serving up easy + yummy ideas to add to your game day festivities.  From treats, to sips and accessories too, check out how to add some oomph to your home-gating. Plus the cutest idea for a football centric hostess gift captured by Annie Randall can be found in the VAULT. Don’t forget those masks!

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The Grub

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We love to set up snack stations for our “home gating” parties. Pretzels or popcorn in cute little paper cups allow your guests to snack without leaving the couch! Some other ideas to try…

Salted Beer Football Pretzels
Spicy Caramel Bacon Popcorn
3 Bite Pulled Pork & Biscuits
3 Bite Tacos w/ Avocado Cream
Mini 3 Layer Cakes

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The Cheering Essentials

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This NFL book of referee calls is a fun little addition to the football festivities. And a few more decorative ideas to include in your game watching…

DIY Newspaper Party Poms
Tassel Drink Stirrers
Rating Cards

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Thirst Quenchers

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Wash down all those delicious snacks with your favorite signature cocktail like the Shakedown Shandy. Grab the simple recipe below plus a few other options to sip…

Champagne Beer Jello Shots
Apricot Whiskey Smash
Boozy Lemonade
Classic Moscow Mule

Sack'Um Shandy
prep time
4 Minute/s
cook time
total time
4 Minute/s
Serves 2Ingredients
  • 4oz of Ginga Syrup
  • 1oz of Lemon Juice
  • 1 bottle of Ale Smith IPA (or your favorite IPA)
Instructions
  1. Fill two pint glasses with ice
  2. Divide Ginga Syrup and Lemon Juice between glasses
  3. Top it off with the Ale Smith IPA
  4. Clink glasses and cheer!

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50 Recipes for Game Day
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50 Recipes for Game Day
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Photography: Annie Randall Photography | Event Design: Football Bettys | Event Planning: Victoria Canada Weddings and Events | Make-Up: Linda Wagner | Hair: Salon Red Scottsdale | Artisan Cocktail Mixs: Iconic Cocktail Co. | Beer: Alesmith IPA | Football Shaped Bread: Eat The Ball | Graphic T-shirts: Live Love Gameday | Hostess Gift: Presently Plum | Location: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa Phoenix | Model Talent: Kyle Kriesel | Paper Products: Page And Mason | Resort and Spa: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa Phoenix | Soda Water: Fever-Tree Soda Water | Sparkling Wine: One Hope Wine | Tequila : Casa Migos Tequila

Dreaming of a Tuscan-Inspired Wedding Close to Home? This Scottsdale Venue Is the Perfect Fit!

One look at this gorgeous May wedding day planned by Imoni Events and you’d never guess this Tuscan-style villa is actually stateside in Scottsdale, Arizona! The bride and groom knew right away it was the perfect place to celebrate their “I do’s!” The couple exchanged vows under strings of cafe lights at sunset with views of the desert mountains. Sarah’s Garden created organic floral arrangements and living chandeliers that truly brought this elegant affair to life! Head on over to the full gallery to see every swoon-worthy detail, captured by Rachel Solomon Photography.

From the bride… Alex and I met in September 2011 at a housewarming party and started dating a year later. We got engaged on Cape Cod in December of 2017. Over the past seven years, we’ve traveled to countless places and lived together in three cities: Chicago, Boston and currently New York. I am from Northern Virginia originally and Alex is from Boston. We got to know our wedding destination, Scottsdale, after a number of visits to see Alex’s parents who moved there in 2014. The first time Alex and I saw Silverleaf Club, we knew it was a special place. It’s a beautiful tuscan style villa tucked inside of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona. So naturally when Alex popped the question after 5 years of dating, the stunning venue of Silverleaf quickly became the starting point for planning our wedding. We decided to get married a year and a half later in May 2019 and worked with Regan from Imoni Events to plan our elegant, garden inspired, wedding.

Sarah’s Garden Style helped us to choose lots of lush greenery, as well as white and light pink flowers, to bring our vision to life and to complement the warm tones of the venue. We pulled this theme through every aspect of the wedding, including the custom invitations and welcome bags, which had beautiful hand-painted watercolor florals by Chez La Mariee. The welcome bags included a lot of weekend necessities like “Desert Party Essentials” and a cute cactus sugar cookie from local baker, Ruze Cake House, that said “Love Is Sweet!”

From the beginning to the end, our wedding day was truly a fairy-tale! Alex and I chose to a do a first look before the ceremony. We met in the labyrinth at Silverleaf (a little outdoor oasis tucked behind the clubhouse). We took the time to read each other personal vows, while Rachel Soloman captured every emotion in photos and Storybox Cinema documented on film. It was nice to have a private moment just for us before we officially said “I do!”. I was wearing a stunning chiffon and lace beaded wedding dress by Pronovias. Alex was dressed in a handsome navy blue tux from Hugo Boss. He also had silver golf inspired clinks and a black bow tie, which had a subtle pattern that looked like cactus prickers, as a nod to our surroundings. Both of our rings were designed and made by Oscar Heyman in New York. We lucked out with an incredible May day in Scottsdale and the temperature was perfect for our ceremony which took place at 6pm on the event lawn at Silverleaf. The guest chairs were arranged in a semi circle shape facing the floral arch and the stunning backdrop of the McDowell Mountains. I had a grand entrance which began at the top of stone staircase at the venue. Alex and I had both of our parents walk us down the aisle, which was a very lovely way to incorporate them. The ceremony itself was personal and heartfelt, Ian Templin, who officiated, had both us and our guests laughing and tearing up.

After the ceremony, the Silverleaf staff greeted guests with champagne and rosé to begin the celebrations during cocktail hour. We had Cameron Degurski playing acoustic love songs as the sunset – it was magical. We took a few more photos and then had the opportunity to mingle with our 150 guests who had all traveled from out of town to join us for our destination wedding! The reception began at 7:30pm in both the member courtyard and fountain courtyard. The indoor outdoor reception flowed well as guest dined both under the stars and under chandeliers draped in greenery. The overall aesthetic for the reception was very romantic. We incorporated the same beautiful dusty blue color on Amsale bridesmaid dresses and La Tavola linen tablecloths for the guest tables, which really popped against the desert surroundings. 

The guest tables had a mix of lush floral centerpieces with textural greenery and bud vases, as well as, white candles on silver pillars with glass hurricanes and votives. For the head table, we chose to use two beautiful wood dining tables from Glamour & Woods, with a white runner and lush greenery and floral draping across. We also chose to use a lot of silver accents at the reception, as a playful nod to Silverleaf, and we even had Match Pewter chargers at the head table, which were extra special to us as we registered for the same tableware. We tried to think of every detail, which included adding an olive leaf sprig at each place setting and a customized menu with the guests name in calligraphy on top. The food highlighted the Spring season, and the cake from Ruze Cake House left a bit of surprise – the elegant white three tiered cake was actually funfetti inside! Our first dance was to Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud and we had so much fun in that moment, in front of all of our family and friends, it was pure joy. After that, Desert House Productions kept everyone on the dance floor all night – it was a fantastic party! In addition to speciality cocktails for the bride (Le Fizz) and groom (Moscow Mule) we also had late night bites to keep the party going until 11:30pm, where Semisonic Closing Time and Sheppard Geronimo were the last two songs played. There is not a single thing we would change about the day, it was absolutely perfect!

Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Cinematography: Storybox Cinema | Event Planning: Imoni Events | Floral Design: Sarah's Garden | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Cake: Ruze Cake House | Reception Venue: Silverleaf Country Club | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Makeup: Ashley Doran Makeup | Hair: Pin and Primp | DJ: Desert House Productions | Men's Attire: Hugo Boss | Guitar: Cameron DeGurski | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Paper: Chez La Mariee | Rentals: Glamour And Woods

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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How to Integrate A Pop of Color into Your Wedding Day

One thing I know to be true in my years of curating wedding features… pink and pups are two things you babes love. Without fail, our Instagram account blows up when we put little sweeties like this in the spotlight. But once you are able to come down from the cuteness high—I urge you to soak in this full editorial from Ashley RaeAshley Baumgartner and Bloom + Blueprint, doused in pink—because it’s the perfect blueprint on how to add a “pop of color” into your Big Day design.

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways”. ~Oscar Wilde

Hidden between the lush greens and desert tones of the Royal Palms Resort laid a one-of-a-kind wedding experience. The perfect mix of soft and vivid tones. A high end colorful yet classic experience for the bride, Brittany, to tie the knot with her beau, AJ. Designed by Ashley Rae Photography for our 1:1 mentorship, this styled wedding editorial featured a feminine, ombre effect to appeal to even the most elegant bride. The team wanted to create a design that took classic feminine elements and integrated a pop of color, to show brides that they can add color to their perfect wedding day. More than just an accent of blush here and there.

Bloom and Blueprint created a stunning floral display for the bride and groom’s ceremony and reception backdrop, not to mention the perfect ombre tabletop centerpiece sure to make any bride swoon. The lovely, classic table was adorned with white cross back chairs from Bright Event Rentals that needed a pop of color as well. Chiffon draped off the guests’ seating arrangement, adorned with with an ombre pallet of floating florals. Ombre florals also adorned a beautiful cake by Maeflour Cakes and their champagne flutes.

The bride wore a stunningly classic gown from Schaefer’s Bridal and opted for Hollywood glam, classic-chic look by Kensington Makeup. Combined with her groom’s classic look from The Black Tux and a glam pair of pink Christian Louboutin heels, the two were ready to tie the knot, and cuddle several adorable French Bulldog puppies from Frenchies and Flowers. The puppies, Gigi, Theo and Bri were adorned with blooms from Bloom and Blueprint as they escorted the bride and groom throughout their wedding day. Because the perfect day wouldn’t be complete without puppies!

Photography: Ashley Baumgartner | Event Design: Ashley Rae Photography | Floral Design: Bloom & Blueprint | Cake: Maeflower Cakes | Stationery: Foil And Ink | Makeup: Kensington | Hair & Makeup: Kensington | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Wedding Venue: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa Phoenix | Bridal Gown: Schaffers Bridal | Bride Model: Brittany Brannon | Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints | Groom Model: Kyle Kriesel | Puppies: Frenchies and Flowers | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals

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Soft and Romantic Desert Wedding Inspiration at Royal Palms Resort and Spa

This elegant and romantic desert editorial from Rachael Ellen Events walks you through the process of creating a wedding design that is unique to you. Whether you’re a modern bride with traditional roots or a boho bride with edgy flair – this gorgeous shoot proves that no matter how incompatible your wedding theme and dream location seem to be, there is always a way to bring your vision to life in a thoughtful, cohesive way. To offer up some inspiration, check out these gorgeous photos captured by Ashley Rae from this day, bringing together the rugged desert landscape with classic bridal style.

From Rachael Ellen EventsThis design was inspired by real brides and the process of creating something that is true to their vision, location, and their love. Often these three things don’t necessarily blend, but with intentional details and thoughtful design, you can create not only a beautiful balance but a playful mixed design that is absolutely unique to the couple. In this case, the location was Scottsdale Arizona. This is the desert – the landscape is rugged, it is hot, and it evokes a more exotic feel. Our bride was absolutely timeless and classic. Her color palette was soft, pink, and very traditionally bridal.

Our design was centered around pairing the rugged dessert with this romantic, classic vision. The key to this design was bridging the classic and desert gap with romantic and edgy bridal details. The bride wore a gorgeous Claire Pettibone gown that was equal parts classic and romantic. The beaded, textured lace played off the landscape while the cape and lace created an über classic and romantic look. 

We chose a sleek bridal updo and gorgeous, glowing bridal makeup. Her three ring stone engagement ring was the perfect mix of classic but not too classic. The groom wore a timeless black suit really emphasizing and rooting the classic nature of the design. This handsome look paired next to hers created a regal desert look that felt very unique to them. The day of details played a huge role in the over design success.

The paper goods, designed by Ink & Press Co. Donned a combination of luxe textures and romantic details to pair the desert with the romantic look. Gold foil on handmade paper with a custom floral envelope liner created the perfect compliment to the design. Other favorite paper elements included the art sketch florals as well as the scrolled name cards and boutonniere tags.

We took the envelope liner design and had this applied to the foam on their rosé tower for an unexpected twist on their cocktail hour. The tables-cape was made to look lush and opulent against the muted dessert shades of the resort. Using blush velvet, gold rimmed dinnerware, textured paper goods, romantic candles and garden inspired florals, we created something fit for desert royalty.

Instead of decorating only the bride and grooms chairs, we opted for floral decor on the entire head table. The florals were focused on a romantic, feminine side of the design. We used shades of white, rose, and blush to create dimension in the subtle palette while using textural elements like spring Spirea, Sword Fern and mint to balance the feminine feel of the design. Our bridesmaids held all sweet pea bouquets – one of our favorite 2019 floral trends. This allowed the brides bouquet to really stand out and gave them something soft and understated to hold. Our flower girl wore a simple, classic spray rose crown to complete the classic, timeless section of our design. Overall, this look was all about pairing two things that don’t naturally go together. Desert doesn’t have to mean bohemian – ballroom doesn’t have to mean classic – beach doesn’t have to mean casual! It’s all about creating unique interpretations of the location centered around what makes our clients unique and that will make their love story stand out.

Photography: Ashley Rae Photography | Event Planning: Rachael Ellen Events | Floral Design: Rachael Ellen Events | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Cake: A Bake Shop | Shoes: Bella Belle | Rings: Olive Ave Jewelry | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Hotel : The Royal Palms Resort and Spa Phoenix | Candles: Yummi Candles | Chiffon Ribbon: Paperie & Silk | HMUA: Makeup Artistry by Natalie | Paper Goods: Ink & Press Co. | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Velvet Ribbon: Honey Silks Co. | Vow Book: elmo Paperstories ltd.

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Modern Garden Wedding Inspiration at the Arizona Biltmore

Who says garden weddings have to mean flower crowns, wooden signs and casual flair – been there done that! This modern wedding inspiration from Elyse Hall Photography and Wild One Events is putting a sophisticated spin on that classic garden wedding style. And we’re totally obsessed. From the historic private estate venue to the elegant floral design to a wedding dress that’s the gift that just keeps on giving, take in all the pretty below…

From Wild One EventsThere was a a lot of upfront planning put in to this wedding inspiration shoot between myself, the planner/designer, and Elyse, the shoot’s photographer. Right off the bat we knew we wanted to showcase a tented wedding reception, and the Arizona Biltmore was the perfect location to use as our foundation because of its classic infrastructure. We wanted to take the historical elegance of the Biltmore and infuse that into the details of the shoot. Overall, our main inspiration was making sure it felt as if this was a modern wedding with an elegant “private estate” feel to it, and to showcase what a different tenting can make when applied correctly to a venue to frame a space.

I chose a mild neutral color palette for the linens and soft seating so that it could be paired with the bolder more romantic tones of the florals. I wanted the flowers to not only bring in color but also give the tables visual interest with their organic garden aesthetic. Everything about the floral design added beautify and softened the other design elements. Our lounge furniture selection brought in an understated masculine elegance that was the perfect touch for cocktail hour and helped emphasize the “private estate” feel. The use of the ghost chairs in the ceremony and reception brought in a bit of modern that paired nicely with the venue’s natural surroundings without taking the concept too far, especially when they were set against some of the more classic elements in the reception.

In the back of my mind during planning was also wanting to ensure everything looked cohesive with the beautiful sailcloth tenting. The paper goods and invitation suite that was designed by Roots and Rain Creative were heavily influenced by the architecture and history of the Arizona Biltmore. This hotel is an icon here in Phoenix because of its rich history in our community and its famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The main invitation features a hand drawn sketch by Emma (of Roots and Rain) of the hotel’s main entrance, and the vintage stamps that were collected for the postage feature Frank Lloyd Wright himself as well as other Arizona details. Each of these intentional design elements went in to tell the story of the inspiration for this wedding day.

The cake was one area where we took more of a classic approach in the design but still brought in a modern touch with the height and added gold texture on each layer. The colors from the flowers perfectly reinforced the floral color palette, and the placement of the cake table at the head of the tent was an exciting way to great guests as they entered for the reception. The beautiful Allison Webb gown from Schaffer’s our Bride wore felt like the icing on the cake because it was such a fun and modern spin on a classic ball gown! It played perfectly with the overall inspiration and looked beautiful on our bride. Overall, we felt as if everything came together nicely to tell this modern day love story of our couple.

Photography: Elyse Hall Photography | Floral Design: Wild One Events | Gown: JLM Couture | Cake: Maeflower Cakes | Stationery : Roots And Rain Creative | Shoes: Bella Belle | Hair & Makeup: Hvh Artists | Venue: The Arizona Biltmore | Dress Boutique : Schaffers Bridal | Lounge Furniture: Prim Rentals | Planning & Design: Wild One Events | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Silk Ribbon: Tono Co | Tenting, Rentals, & Linens: Event Rents

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Elegant Desert Wedding Inspiration at Royal Palms Resort and Spa

We are loving this innovative take on desert wedding inspiration that you’ve likely never seen before. Brandy Jackson Photography brought elegance and a fine art feel to one of Arizona’s most sought-after venues, the Royal Palms Resort and Spa – and the result is simply breathtaking. Carte Blanche Design created organic arrangements in neutral hues that truly brought the overall vision to life. Keep on reading to see all the dreamy inspo below!

From Brandy Jackson Photography… I wanted to bring a organic/fine art feeling to the Royal Palms Resort. Often times, living in the desert it can feel very harsh and flat. My main goal for this shoot was to bring an elegant and delicate feeling to one of the most popular wedding venues in Arizona.

I really wanted to design the shoot with high end luxury in mind, even through the scent, adding Jo Malone candles as the votives for a European touch.

My goal was to also focus on just the bride, through her emotions and also through the delicate fine art posing style. She was our perfect bride!

All in all, the design came out exactly like what I had envisioned, thanks to our talented and creative vendor team!

Photographer : Basically Brandy Photography | Floral Design: Carte Blanche Design | Ring : Olive Ave Jewelry | Makeup : Deana Duke | Calligraphy : Ink & Press Co. | Wedding Venue: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa Phoenix | Linen: Silk Willow

Colorful Brunch Wedding Inspiration at The Farm at South Mountain

Spring and summer brides (and grooms), I know you’re out there. Planning away and waiting for the warmer months to arrive. And while it may feel like there’s one too many slices of festive holiday inspiration going around, we’ve got you today—with this fresh, bright and colorful dose of pretty from Leslie D Photography and Konsider It Done. Blooms from Sarah’s Garden, so poppy you could almost eat them, a table set in La Tavola linens, an outdoor ceremony setting graced in golden sun, and so much more.

From the Designers/ Planners, Kris & Tyler Zeman of Konsider It DoneWith the popularity of brunch weddings on the rise, brunch was the leading inspiration behind this shoot. Vibrant and natural colors was the second. For the cost conscious couple, brunch weddings pose the best compromise of on-trend and on-budget. For the same reason brunch weddings have become such a craze, we predict they’ll remain a wedding mainstay for years to come. Because really, who doesn’t love brunch? A pop of color, bubbly, breakfast food, and love! Best served before noon.

From the can-I-drink-them-all cocktails, to the towering crepe cake, and the stunning floral arrangements, we can’t get enough! Bright pinks, oranges, yellows, and greens… A palette inspired by, and then surrounded by delicious foods. No detail was left untouched and Leslie of Leslie D. Photography captured it all perfectly on film.

A local favorite for their farm to table cuisine, The Farm at South Mountain also provided the quintessential oasis in the desert for the shoot. A one of a kind luscious green, botanical ambiance in the middle of the desert – it was the perfect backdrop for the day.

Sarah’s Garden brought the brightest of the bunch, creating eye popping combinations of color that graced the luscious tablescape and a ceremony arch that could have stolen the show.

Set atop the luxurious Nuovo Peach linen from La Tavola, was the original inspiration for the entire design. The new blush Olivia linen, we used for the napkins. You heard that right – the entire design was sprung from the napkin print. Every standout needs the right backdrop, and we couldn’t be happier with how the napkin and the linen support each other in this design.

These days, you don’t need everything to be custom to be extraordinary, and the semi-custom paper in this shoot from Foil & Ink perfectly demonstrates that. We love an option that saves some money, and still includes detail like watercolor and can include gold foil, embossing, and cotton paper. Classy and budget friendly, the winningest of combinations.

With such a bright table, bursting with floral and food, we had to phone a friend for some complementary textures and colors. Both Event Rents and The Confetti Studio answered the call, providing accents in spades. Adding natural elements like wood chargers, breadboards, and bowls, paired with ornate crystal glassware, we kept comfort and classy in harmony. Linen and wooden chairs supported an off-white plate combo featuring stunning detail, flanked by vintage flatware. All in, we can’t picture a more brunch-worthy combination.

Is it even brunch without a good cocktail? Couple of Bartenders doesn’t think so. Matching the colors and textures perfectly, they complimented each seat with a unique cheers-worthy and potent creation.

And the food. Oh the food. Brunch wouldn’t be brunch without more tempting food than one should ever eat. And since this was brunch, we tossed out the traditional cake for a towering stack of ombre colored crepes, by Dessert First by Veronica. “I hate donuts” said no one, so cake donuts and jelly filled donut holes joined the spread, helping ensure no sweet tooth was left behind.

In the end, we found ourselves reflecting on the brunch wedding trend and thinking to ourselves that it’s popular for a reason. Surround by the most quintessential love event (wedding) and the most nom-worthy of foods (brunch), what could go wrong? Cheers to the perfect couple. Weddings & brunch, that is.

Photography: Leslie D Photography | PLANNER: Konsider It Done | FLORIST: Sarah's Garden | DRESS: Schaffers Bridal | BAKERY: Dessert First by Veronica | MAKEUP: Lillian Fogel | HAIR: CHELSEA AT SACHI | VENUE: The Canopy in The Grove at The Farm at South Mountain | BARTENDERS: Couple of Bartenders | DRESS DESIGNER: Watters | INVITE SUITE + PAPER GOODS: Foil And Ink | LINENS: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | MENSWEAR: Nick's Menswear | MODELS: CIANNA DILLOW AND BLAKE ALEXANDER JOHANSSON | RENTALS: Event Rents | TABLEWARE: The Confetti Studio

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Colorful + Whimsical Wedding Done Oh So Right in Phoenix, Arizona!

We’ve noticed that there are a lot of colorful weddings going on in the SW regions of the US. And as much as the all-white or blush and neutral weddings fill our pages, you have to know that we LOVE weddings with brilliant color! Here’s the thing. It can be downright difficult to get the perfect blend of color + energy + ambience from your chosen color palette. The incredibly talented Charity Mauer Photography as well as the passionate team of wedding planners at Some Like It Classic, shared today’s wedding to show you how splendid a color-infused wedding can be. So – get comfy – pull out your reading glasses – pour that last sip of coffee (sub in beverage of choice!). We have a doozy of a recent real wedding from Charity & Kayla that mastered the color wheel at Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. It was SO hard to know how to stop with the images! Head over to the full gallery for more.

From Charity MauerThe perfect recipe for a color-filled wedding can be quite the enigma. Too conservative? Forgettable. Over the top? Garish! But KC, Ben and the incredible Kayla at Some Like It Classic found that elusive balance and executed it perfectly!

Their venue, the Royal Palms Resort, is naturally lush combining the soft greens and blues of desert succulents with the bright pops of red and purple from the geraniums and vincas cultivated by their master gardeners. The pools of crystal blue water reflect sparkles of dappled sunlight making everything in their labyrinth of courtyards shimmer and glow. KC and Ben’s wedding was set amidst this stunning array or colors.

The bougainvillea buds adorning the property seem electrified in the light of the sunset, creating the most beautiful floral backdrops for their romance.

The floral designs from The Flower Studio featured notoriously gorgeous black dahlias (swoon!) scattered amongst peach and orange roses and ranunculus. Blue lupine and sweepings of ferns and other foliage covered the ceremony altar making you feel as though you’d found your way into some forgotten secret garden overgrown with time.

The blue and white chintz tablecloths for their reception dinner paired perfectly with the dusty rose napkins and custom turquoise and fuchsia agate place markers for each guest.

KC’s guests even seemed in on the secret, dressed in gorgeous jewel tones and textured cocktail wear. From the subtle hints of turquoise in her wedding makeup and earrings (she does hail from Texas!), to their custom magenta cocktails, KC and Ben lived their wedding dreams awash in color and beauty. It was a treat to capture such a stunning display on film for this sweet sweet couple!

Photography: Charity Maurer Photography | Wedding Coordinator : Some Like It Classic - Wedding & Event Design | Florist: The Flower Studio | Stationery: Celebrations in Paper | Ceremony Venue: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa Phoenix | Reception Venue: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa Phoenix | DJ: Desert House Productions | Ceremony Music: Michael Land Music | Transportation: AZ Limo | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Photo Booth: Rendezbooth | Rentals: Prim Rentals | Rentals: Event Rents- Phoenix

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This Heavenly Bridal Inspo Shows There’s Beauty in the Ashes

Rackel Gehlsen Weddings + Events and a team of Arizona vendors created this bridal inspiration session, and it is absolutely heavenly. The theme of the shoot, “the essence of divine beauty,” couldn’t have been more perfectly executed, as they created breathtaking vignettes at The Monroe Abbey, a historical church left to ruin after a fire in the ’80s. Katrina Patriquin Photography brought it all to life, and the enchanting photos are waiting to sweep you away right here.

“The essence of divine beauty” was the inspiration for this shoot at the historical Monroe Abbey in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. After a fire in 1986, the church was left in ruin, but by combining soft and romantic elements with pastel textures, we gave light to the beauty that lies within.

As the early morning glow filled the courtyard, Katina Patriquin Photography set in to capture every detail. Rackel Gehlsen Weddings & Events designed the storyboards to show dreamy hues of blue and grey mixed with sterling silver and angelic white for the overall concept. The blue velvet chairs from Prim Rentals were the perfect addition to the tablescape, and Alexis Grace Florals created an organic centerpiece full of greenery with mink protea, cappuccino garden roses, majolica spray roses, scabiosa, figs, and cascading grapes. The Bride’s bouquet was a similar collection of floral designed to complement the Monique Lhuillier gown. Brie Dumais Designs created a custom invitation suite enhanced with gold foil and TONO ribbon, finished with a wax seal. She also added personal wedding vows, which our model read at the table. We added a light grey velvet Mrs. Box, which is the perfect accessory to a Bride’s wedding day.

Margarita GoDiva and I Do Hair + Makeup Artistry along with one of the lead artists, Raemie,  gave our model a natural look with just a soft wave to the hair and nude toned makeup to go with the Monique Lhuillier gown from Destiny’s Bride. The movement of this exquisite gown was absolutely magical, and as we were shooting, the wind would suddenly pick up the veil as if it were floating. As we walked the staircase to the upstairs, the sun had filled the room with a heavenly light. In the center, a circular garland of greenery surrounded by crystal taper candles was the final setting created for our shoot. This was the moment we had been hoping for as all of the elements came together so beautifully. It was the essence of our vision, a dream that came to life.

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Photography: Katina Patriquin Photography | Event Design + Planning: Rackel Gehlsen Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Alexis Grace Florals | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Hair + Makeup: I Do Hair & Makeup Artistry | Hair + Makeup: Margarita GoDiva | Bridal Boutique: Destiny's Bridal | Chairs: Prim Rentals | Invitations + Signage: Brie Dumais Designs | Location: The Monroe Abbey | Ribbon: Tono + Co | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Vintage Accessories: Vintage by Misty-

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A Storm Didn’t Stop This Colorful Arizona Wedding

When a storm roles in just a few days before an outdoor wedding, most would end up panicked – but not this couple. Instead, with the help of Victoria Canada Weddings and Events, they acquired a beautiful, clear top tent for the ceremony. With its strings of lights, vibrant florals, and wildly beautiful photos by Rachel Solomon, this Arizona wedding is pure magic.

Colors
Settings
Country Club
Styles
Bohemian

From the Bride… Blaise proposed to me in front of my entire family on top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa (where my family is from). I soon found out that I was the only one who wasn’t in on the proposal, and I was swept off my feet! That day, my mom gave me a stack of bridal and wedding magazines so we could begin the planning. My mom and I had been dreaming of my wedding day since I was a little girl – and now we could finally plan the real thing!

When Blaise and I were asked by our wedding planner what we wanted on our wedding day, we both agreed that the most important thing was that everyone have the most fun time at our wedding. We are both pretty simple people; we didn’t want extra “stuff.” We just wanted everyone to be present with us in a beautiful setting and to share in our happiness.

We chose the Phoenix Country Club for our wedding because I have been going there since I was a kid, and it is a beautiful venue large enough for our 250 guests. I have always pictured myself getting married outdoors, but the weather forecast the week before the wedding said it would be cold and rainy. Our amazing wedding planner, Victoria Canada, told us not to worry and found the most beautiful tent for our outdoor ceremony just days before the wedding. It ended up being even more beautiful and magical than we could have ever imagined. The lights strung across the tent made it feel like we were getting married under the stars.

Our wedding was filled with bright and vibrant flowers overlaying rustic decor – it was truly dreamy. Blaise and I smiled so much our cheeks hurt. We are so grateful to everyone who made the day come together so flawlessly. Our amazing parents provided so much love and support, and our incredible team of vendors and Victoria Canada Weddings and Events made our dream a reality. I wish we could do it all again, but we have the amazing photos by Rachel Solomon to remember every detail.

From Victoria Canada Weddings and EventsGina and Blaise were such a fun couple. They were both on the same page along with Gina’s mom, so it was quite the fun, decisive, and creative wedding client team!

Gina wanted her florals to be bold but romantic. They felt lush and overflowing – a bit wild but had an elegant restraint. The wedding was in sunny Arizona, though Mother Nature had alternate plans. We had an epic storm come through 72 hours before the wedding, which made for a cold and windy day. We ultimately installed a clear top tent, and the end result was quite magical. I felt like it was a perfect little jewel box dripping with portofino lights, stunning floral installations, and a beautiful chuppah. The guests felt warm and cozy, and it was special for all in attendance to be present to this beautiful union.

We transformed the ballroom at Phoenix Country Club with a beautiful garden effect. We balanced the dark jade linen with the lightness of the drape. Florals entwined in the chandeliers over the dance floor for a botanical effect. It was truly magical, and we could not be happier for Gina and Blaise. They were amazing to work with and flexible with the weather options!

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Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Cinematography: Sula Studios | Event Planning: Victoria Canada Weddings and Events | Floral Design: Petal Pusher | Wedding Dress: Saja | Invitations: Celebrations in Paper | Reception Venue: Phoenix Country Club | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Makeup: Corinna B | Lighting: Karma Event Lighting | DJ: Mancini Entertainment | Groom's Attire: Suitsupply | Bridal Boutique: BHLDN | Bridesmaids Boutique: Bella Bridesmaid | Draping: Quest Drape | Guitar: Erick Hasbun | Linen Rentals: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Elegant Burgundy + Gold Arizona Wedding

These two knew that they had a classic style. They knew they were traditional. And they knew that that influence would weigh into their wedding day, and with it guiding them, they created an elegant burgundy and gold wedding perfect for their Arizona Biltmore venue. Rachel Solomon captured the rich hues, the gorgeous florals and every fantastic moment – see them all in our Vault right this way!

From the Bride… Alex is a man of tradition, which is one of the many things I love about him. I’m also known to have a more classic style. We knew far before we got engaged that when we did get married, it would be in a church. In addition to getting married in a church, we wanted a more formal, traditional wedding. To achieve the timeless vibe that we wanted, we chose the Arizona Biltmore Resort as our reception venue. We both share a love of mid-century modern architecture and the elegance of the classic Biltmore Block had us sold from day one. While the hotel rooms have been renovated, the history at this resort is rich, which we were both immediately drawn to!

As our vision for the day transformed, we decided to bring in gold chivari chairs, La Tavola’s velvet red tablecloths, and bronze accents such as goblets and taper candles. I wanted rich colors that would add even more glam to the hand painted gold ceiling of our ballroom, The Gold Room. We knew the room would look incredible on its own, with the large floor to ceiling windows, so we didn’t want to do too much and take away the natural beauty. We incorporated gold lanterns on the tables and had eucalyptus running down the head table, straight to the floor. Our wedding cake was incredibly intricate and included the Biltmore Block design which is still found all around the Resort today and tied together the whole design.

During the cocktail hour, we had a few minutes before all of the guests arrived into the ballroom. I wanted to take a sneak peek to see how it all looked. I knew that if I didn’t do this before everyone entered, I probably would never get that moment or memory back with my husband. Alex and I went in and were blown away with how well everything came together. The room looked immaculate! I was holding Alex’s hand and remember thinking, I’ve already had the best day of my life today, but I’m still so excited for the rest of the evening and celebrations. That feeling is reflective of more than just how I felt on our wedding day, but every day. I’ve already found my best friend, had the best dating experience, engagement, and memories with Alex, but I’m still so excited for the rest of our life… of what’s to come. The rest of the night was a dream, and we owe that to everyone who celebrated with us. The dance floor was packed all night and the energy in the room was definitely palpable.

We are blessed beyond measure by such wonderful family and friends. Our special day would not have been possible, or meant nearly as much without their love and support throughout the process. We also had the privilege of working with a great rector at Christ Church of the Ascension, Fr. Daniel and incredible vendors including Tami Spencer, AZ Biltmore, Erika Edholm, wedding coordinator, Kate Mellow, florist, photographer Rachel Solomon, Scottsdale Music Company’s Jeff King, and Sara Schultz on all of our paper goodies. We couldn’t have enjoyed our day without the steadfast commitment of such amazing professionals!

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Photography: Rachel Solomon Photography | Coordination: Bloom & Blueprint | Floral Design: Bloom & Blueprint | Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia | Cake: Classic Cakes And Confections | Invitations: Sara Schultz | Ceremony Venue: Christ Church of the Ascension | Reception Venue: The Arizona Biltmore | Makeup: Courtney Montes | Hair: Dual Vanity | DJ: Scottsdale Music Company | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Bridal Boutique: Mariée | Linens: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Tabletop Rentals: Fancy Lou Designs

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Colorful Al Fresco Wedding – DIY’d from Top to Bottom!

Unless you’re part of the lucky few who live where winter still shines (looking at you, Cali), I imagine most of you are waking up to grey skies. Fret not dear friends because we’ve got a colorful feast for your eyes right here thanks to Elyse Hall. With pretty pastels in shades of mint, coral, yellow and more, it’s the sign of spring we all need right about now. Sit back and soak it all up in our Vault right here!

Colors
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… Mat and I met – as modern romance-seekers of the digital age do – on the internet. On our first date, we met up for drinks, and ended up having such a good time that we shut down the bar. Not long after, we fell for each other. We made a home together in a tiny, lovely apartment in San Francisco, and about a year later, Mat pulled a ring out of his pocket on a bluff overlooking the city. Among other things, Mat and I share a deep love of nature, food, and making things. On weekends, we’re often hiking, camping, undertaking all-day cooking ventures, or getting excited about messy art projects. Mat is passionate about ceramics, and incredibly talented – in fact, his creations have now replaced all of our plates, mugs, and bowls at home. I love to draw and DIY in general. Whenever I’m roaming in the city, I’ll see a display at a shop and think, “I bet I can make that” (whether I actually can is debatable, but with DIY, blind confidence usually gets you 90% of the way there).

When we started planning, we agreed that the wedding would be a joint project, that we’d make as much as we could (without driving ourselves crazy), and that it would feel true to who we are – something in nature; something casual; something that felt playful and fun.

The first decision you make while planning a wedding is definitely the hardest – ours was finding the right venue. After a somewhat angst-filled search (It’s pretty, but does it feel right? Do you think our guests would like to camp? etc.), we decided to get married in Phoenix, Arizona, where Mat grew up and where much of his family still lives. We wanted to be married outside – surrounded by nature and (with any luck) in the sun, so when we walked into the Farm at South Mountain, we knew it would be the perfect place to gather our friends and family. As soon as you walk into the Farm, you are surrounded by a lush, green lawn, broad pecan trees arching overhead, and a bright garden with fresh vegetables growing just off the path. From our city apartment, Mat and I dream about someday having a home with a big garden and chickens, so the space felt cozy and familiar from the start.

There were a number of advantages to having the wedding in Arizona – proximity to Mat’s family, nearly assured warm weather, and insanely beautiful desert sunsets. But more importantly, we would be able to work with the extremely talented Charlee Geisler of Signature Events, who – in addition to being one of the best wedding planners in Phoenix – is also Mat’s step-mom and my new mother-in-law! If anyone out there is thinking what incredible luck it is to have a wedding planner in the family – you’re right. Charlee was with us every step of the way, helping us execute on the vision we had painted, handling logistics and vendor management, and making a typically stressful process seem incredibly easy.

With Charlee on board, we were able to focus on the parts of wedding planning that we were excited about – for one, making things! I drew and watercolored our wedding invitations, and Mat made unique ceramic bud vases for the tables. We also figured out how to make marquee letters for the pie table (thanks, YouTube), and wrote our own vows. What’s more – our whole community got involved! Mat’s mom threw a party with friends in Arizona, who spent an afternoon making strings of wax paper cones (a DIY project we found on Style Me Pretty, in fact!), which became a stunning backdrop for the ceremony. My mom, sisters, and friends came over for an afternoon of wine, nail-hammering and yarn-stringing to make our table numbers. And a good friend helped us use Photoshop to convert the art I had made for the invitations into table-assignment coasters and beer coozies that we gave out as favors.

At the end of the day, the wedding was exactly what we wanted it to be – not because we had planned it to perfection, and not because we had achieved every single thing on our to-do lists (we didn’t and we hadn’t) – but because it felt love-filled, easy, and reflective of who we are. I loved looking around the space on the night of the wedding and seeing what we had made together. It was a beautiful collection of the shared efforts of people we love, and it infused the space with warmth and joy (and the edges of imperfection that we happily embrace). And of course, we danced our hearts out into the night.

I received a lot of advice when I was planning the wedding, all of which I appreciated, but too much of which can make you crazy. If I were to offer any of my own advice to brides currently in the process, I would say: a) use your community! People sincerely want to help, and allowing them to do so not only takes stress off of your plate, but also lets people you love share in the experience and feel connected to the finished product; b) when you get to the wedding, let go of whatever you didn’t finish and enjoy what you’ve spent so long planning. Mat and I promised that when the wedding weekend started, we’d just press play and let it happen. We stopped focusing on our to-do lists, lingering crafts we thought we’d get to, and should’ve done’s, and had the best weekend of our lives. In the end, the wedding is about celebrating your love with the most important people in your lives and having a great time. And no one (including you) will even notice the little things that veer off course. And if you do, you’ll be having too much fun to care.

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Photography: Elyse Hall Photography | Event Planning: Signature Events | Floral Design: The Knot | Wedding Dress: Sarah Janks | Wedding Venue: The Canopy in The Grove at The Farm at South Mountain | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

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Big News from Lovely! (Hint: You’re going to love it!)

Listen up, all you brides-to-be: we’ve got big news.  Your fave bridal shop on the planet, Lovely, recently opened its doors in Dallas… with ones following in Phoenix and Houston in October. So that fab lineup of totally chic + totally unique designers? It’s right at your fingertips, plus even more pretty with the debut of Lovely’s Fall/Winter Bridesmaid + Bridal Party looks. Scroll for the details.

Whether you’re looking to step outside of the box and rock a design that will literally leave all of your guests talking on your Big Day OR simply want to look stunning at a holiday party, Lovely has you totally covered.  Their lineup of innovative designers and crazy cool customer service is truly what gown shopping is all about. Think gowns from Anna Campbell, Limor Rosen, Suzanne Harward, Rue De Seine, Odylyne The Ceremony… and so many more.  Not to mention Lovely’s very own Fall/Winter Bridesmaid and Bridal Party dresses, available at shoplovely.com AND their FIRST EVER ready to wear boutique in Houston. Say it with me, loves: awesome.

Visit one of Lovely’s amazing locales TODAY to begin your dress journey, and mark your calendars now for upcoming trunk shows in Dallas (Suzanne Harward, 9/30-9/31 + Alexandra Grecco, 10/21-10/23), Phoenix (Anna Campbell, 10/21-10/23) and Houston (Rue De Seine, 11/26-11/28 + Anna Campbell, 12/9-12/11).  It’s time to shop your hearts out.

Photography: Chaz Cruz Photographers | HMU: Miss Harlequin

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
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.

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: Haul N Ass Productions | Bridal Boutique: Schaffers Bridal | Draping: Quest Drape | Hand Lettering + Signage: Freed Hands | Linen Rentals: BBJ Linen | La Tavola Linen | Mariachi: Mariachi Fiesta Valle del Sol | Rentals: Glamour And Woods

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Craving Color? This Classic Wedding Delivers Just That (and More)

Psst, want to know the quickest way to land your celebration on the pages of SMP? Two words: bold bouquets. Take this celebration and the fabulously vivid florals as proof. With the talented Leslie D Photography on hand snapping up every second that A Day to Cherish Weddings & Celebrations planned, we’ve got it all waiting for you in The Vault!

From The Bride…When my fiancé and I first started planning our wedding we knew we wanted to have a smaller, more intimate wedding. I wanted an elegant, black tie affair but it was also really important to us to incorporate some of the beauty from the Arizona desert that we live in.

We chose to get married at the iconic Brophy Chapel. This old and beautiful church is full of history and subtle details. The intricate altarpiece along with the wooden beam ceiling and stained glass windows all helped create an elegant and authentic Arizona setting. We were fortunate enough to be able to have our reception at a private residence on top of Camelback Mountain that was overlooking the whole Phoenix valley. This residence had floor to ceiling glass walls with wrap around balconies that showcased the sweeping views of downtown Phoenix. The dining area opened up to the outdoors where bistro lights were strung up over the dance floor.

To stay true to our Arizona theme, we wanted to add some bright pops of desert colors to our neutral palette. The bridesmaids wore long, flowing dresses in shades of light dove gray and the tables were draped in white linens. We brought in the colors with the flowers with big blooms of coral charm peonies and sunny pops of bright poppies. We made sure to keep all the floral arrangements low to the table so not to block or compete with the breathtaking views. To add a little bit of warmth we had tall candelabras on the tables along with a mixture of gold and silver mercury glass candles. To continue with the southwestern feel, the menu included a creamy poblano pepper sauce with the entrees as well as other local flavors. The delicate gold calligraphy on the place cards was complimented by watercolors reminiscent of an Arizona sunset.

To me, some of the most beautiful details were the ones that were the most personal. My Nana was too old to travel all the way from New England to attend the wedding so I asked her to lend me something for my bouquet as my ‘something borrowed’. I was so surprised when she gave me my great, great, great, great grandmother’s wedding rings from the 1700s! We attached the rings to my bouquet and it was so special to walk down the aisle holding such a precious piece of our family history. Another aspect of our wedding that was very meaningful to us was making sure we honored my husband’s mother who had passed away. Since we weren’t able to have the traditional mother and son dance, my husband Dillon and I decided to surprise his sister and ask her to dance instead! When the time came, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room while Dillon and his sister danced to one of their mom’s favorite songs.

Eventually the sun sank into a classic, Arizona sunset and we saw the lights below of downtown start to twinkle as the city came to life. The guests danced under the stars in their tuxedos and gowns and at the end of the night everyone enjoyed a late night snack of s’mores by the fire. We felt so grateful that we were able to celebrate our marriage while being surrounded by all the people who matter the most to us. The night was filled with laughter and love and with family and friends and that is all we could have every asked for.

Photography: Leslie D Photography | Event Planning: A Day to Cherish Weddings & Celebrations | Floral Design: Sarah's Garden | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Ceremony Venue: Brophy College Preparatory | Reception Venue: Camelback Mountain | Makeup: Courtney Montes

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100 Bouquets that are Take-Your-Breath-Away Beautiful

100 Bouquets that are Take-Your-Breath-Away Beautiful
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100 Bouquets that are Take-Your-Breath-Away Beautiful
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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!

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.

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

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.

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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