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A Desert Chic Magenta Wedding at Tanque Verde Ranch

Today we’re transporting you to Tanque Verde Ranch, a beautiful rustic wedding venue in Tucson, Arizona! It’s pretty safe to say we have completely fallen in love with this chic desert day. From the blooming floral arbor covered in magenta and white flowers from Atelier de La Fleur to the bride’s total stunner of a dress by Pronovias. Lucky for us, Ashley Rae Photography was there to capture every memorable moment unfold. See it all below!


We the met a week after Michael move back to Los Angeles from completing his rotations in New York. By chance, we happened to both be at his brother-in-laws West Hollywood restaurant and then it was history. Became official 1 month later.


Oddly enough it was the most simple proposal and for us that was unique because we are one travel heavy couple so in the back of my mind I always expected a vacation proposal from Michael. He chose to do it on New Years Eve in our NYC apartment right before we were going out. It was such a surprise and extremely intimate. Then we went out to celebrate.


Desert Chic!


We are both Los Angeles natives so one would think its only natural to have our wedding conveniently back home. But having just moved to Tucson we really wanted to embrace it and start making memories in our new “home”. So we made everyone come to us (yay)! As for wedding venue this was the easiest choice, our thought was that if we’re going to do a desert wedding destination then it has ooze desert beauty. We wanted to make it an experience for our guests and Tanque Verde Guest Ranch did that. The ranch was original a Dude Ranch so it offers horse back riding, penning, hikes, a lake for fishing, you name it. In addition to that this was the location of Michael’s favorite Western TV Show growing up “Hey Dude”, so it was sign!


You know when every former bride says “You will just know”, well its true. One day while walking at our favorite outdoor mall we came across Tucson’s chicest bridal store. At that time I hadn’t even looked nor tried on any wedding dresses yet so I thought to myself “Ill just browse, obviously I wont get anything because I’m with my husband and I want it to be a surprise’ and then there it was- my wedding dress. I just knew this was it, it was simple yet special. So I went back ALONE and tried it on and bought it. Done deal


Moody yet delicate!


Make a commitment to each other to always keep it about the both of you! Prior to wedding planning set boundaries for family. Do not try to please anyone other than each other.


Dancing with my mom, it was actually the first time ever that we danced together! I will never forget that.


Vows, I tried so hard not to ugly cry and because of that my vows took forever. It was embarrassing yet beautifully real all together. I also made a conscious effort to really take everything in during the ceremony, I looked around a lot and took in the beautiful landscape of the desert and the crowd.


First Look. The build up was insane- it was so special and intimate. Time stood still.

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Photography: Ashley Rae Photography | Cinematography: Love Story Films | Florist: Atelier De LaFleur | Gown: Pronovias | Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Reformation | Makeup: Courtney Montes | Hair: Ellevator 123 | Venue: Tanque Verde Guest Ranch

Garden Wedding Featuring 8 of the Cutest EVER Flower Girls

This wedding is so much more than what the title leads… but you have to admit, these little ladies almost steal the show. Probably, no, absolutely THE cutest flower girl portrait I’ve ever seen. Their Bride? Well, she is a thing of beauty. The entire day is actually, thanks to Atelier De LaFleur. With imagery captured by Daniel Kim and a film crafted by Carl S. Miller, there’s more than enough inspiration for the taking.

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From Carl S. Miller Wedding FilmsThere was some magic dancing with the wind on Elizabeth + Khayal’s wedding day. It might sound cliché, but there was a vibration you felt, a whisper of excitement in the trees that told you something extraordinary was taking place. So many people from all around the world came together to celebrate these two people, their love, and their families. And you felt it.

Photographer: Daniel Kim Photography | Videographer: Carl S. Miller Wedding Films | Planner: Atelier De LaFleur | Floral Design: Atelier De LaFleur | Gown: J Bridal Boutique | gown: wtoo by watters | brides shoes: Badgley Mishka | Catering: Carriage House | Hair and Makeup: I Do Hair & Makeup Artistry | Suit: Paul Smith | Venue: Agua Linda Farm | Decor: Atelier De LaFleur | Grooms Watch: Rolex Cellini | Grooms cufflinks: Sword - Erum - gold sun with sapphire stone - Amaya Jones | Grooms shoes: Crockett & Jones | Invitation Suite: Brie Dumais Designs | Rentals: Pro Em Party Rentals | Rentals: Frostings Event Design & Rental

Fate Brought These Two Together – And They Celebrated With Fireworks!

They attended the same high school and college, but never met until post graduation, when both were in Chicago. With the groom’s brother playing matchmaker, it all came together and before they knew it, they were saying “I do” back where it all could have started, in Tucson, Arizona. And back at their hometown, they celebrated in a BIG way – with Black Sheep Filmworks capturing the chic style, the sweet kisses and even the fireworks! See it all right this way!

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From Black Sheep FilmworksOh, Annie and Sean…so swoon-worthy! From that incredible Monique Lhuillier wedding gown, to those red-soled Christian Louboutin’s for BOTH bride and groom, to suspended floral rings to FIREWORKS, Annie and Sean had one of the most chock full of “eye candy” weddings ever.

Annie and Sean both grew up in Tucson, attended Sabino High School, and the University of Arizona… and NEVER met each other! They both moved to Chicago after graduating from the U of A and it was Sean’s brother that introduced them. Sean stated that he was “Going to marry that girl” after their first date, so obviously, fate finally stepped in and these two gorgeous Tucson lovebirds finally found each other!

Love letters that Annie and Sean had written to each other were opened on the day, and read aloud, privately. This was incorporated into their highlight film, as per Annie’s request, and it really connects you to their love story. Not only are they beautiful, with great style, but they are “Oh-SO” in love. Their family and friends (close to 250 of them!) came from all across the globe to take part in this soirée.

Special touches filled Annie and Sean’s wedding. From red soled Christian Louboutin’s for both bride and groom, to the placement of a Mexican lasso during the ceremony, to a wishing tree instead of a guest book, no detail was overlooked. Sean even surprised Annie with fireworks during the reception. This was truly a gorgeous, spicy, “beaming smile” wedding… Bravo, Annie and Sean!!!



Photography: Willo Art Photography | Cinematography: Black Sheep Filmworks | Event Design: Frostings Event Design & Rental | Event Planning: Sylvia Drew | Floral Design: In Full Bloom Floral Studio | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Hair + Makeup: I Do Hair & Makeup Artistry | Musicians: Tesoro | Rentals: Frostings Event Design & Rental

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
All out Glamour in the Desert

Blushing hues and desert views are just a few of the things that make up this glamorous wedding day. And with the most classic ballroom setting, take your breath away portraits and a team of rockstar vendors including design by Meagan Crain, florals by Silvia Diaz and Elyse Hall Photography, you can only imagine how gorgeous this vault of images is.

Tyler and Ryan were married in Tyler’s hometown of Tucson, Arizona. They wanted to pay homage to her desert roots while keeping the wedding design itself classic and elegant. The ceremony was set against the beautiful backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains and desert landscape surrounding the Westin La Paloma. The ceremony was officiant by a dear friend of the groom. The ballroom was transformed with white drape and blush uplighting, soft and simple floral arrangements in white and blush and small gold embellishments. What really made this wedding was the people. The bride and groom’s number one priority was to really enjoy their family and friends. Their dear friend officiated the wedding; they fully embraced long, beautiful toasts by those that love them the most; their dance floor was packed until the very last moment. It was so clear how loved these two are and how excited their guests were to celebrate with them.

Extra Details:
Blush, champagne and rose gold wedding invitations
Personalized wedding logo/monogram that set the classic wedding tone and added some desert flare
Fan programs to keep guests cool in the warm Arizona fun



Photography: Elyse Hall Photography | Event Planning: Crain + Co Events | Floral Design: Silvia Diaz | Cake: Sweet Creations | Invitations: Brie Dumais Designs | Hair & Makeup: Heather Van Houten | Lighting: Satyr Entertainment | Entertainment: Lucky Devils Band | Hotel: Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa | Draping: Frostings Event Design & Rental | Rentals: Red Diamond Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Color + Style Combine For This Vibrant Desert Wedding

Is there such a thing as a wedding crush? Because if my feelings for this colorful celebration are any indication, then there absolutely is because I’m swooning. Captured by Elyse Hall at the strikingly beautiful Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, it’s an affair that I’m not soon to forget. See it all in our Vault right this way and get ready to “Favorite” this beauty to come back to over and over again.

From the couple… When we were discussing where we would want to have our wedding, both of us agreed that the desert in either spring or fall would be perfect for us, because Shannon was born and raised in Tucson, AZ. We did not have to look long before we found the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch (TVR) – which is a dude ranch and western horseback riding property. It was striking to us how perfectly at home we felt out in this desolate area of the Saguaro National Desert and we fell deeper in love with each other as we fell in love with the Tanque Verde Ranch and all its inhabitants, we knew it was the place for us. As for the actually wedding, the entire weekend was about saying yes: to our commitment to one another, to our devotion to all of our friends and family, to celebration and fun, to challenges and conflict, to abundance and growth, and most of all, to love.

For us, our wedding was about meaningful ceremony, ritual, community and most of all, celebration. Every single component of our weekend was purposeful and reflective of our vibrant life we share together in western Massachusetts.

We hired Sam from Imoni Events as our wedding planner extraordinaire and it was, hands down, the best decision we made – other than the one to marry each other. We did a lot of shopping around for planners and assumed, as queer people, that we would need a planner from New York or LA who could both get our vision and taste and also treat us right as queer people getting married in Arizona. We immediately felt comfortable with Sam and the amazing partners she recommended for us!

The entire 16-month experience of working with her and her team of vendors was an absolute delight. With her help, we connected with the amazing Elyse Hall Photography, phenomenal floral designers Atelier de LaFleur and our wonderful stationer, Celebrations In Paper. Together, along with the exceptional event coordinators and staff at TVR, they completely captured our vision and brought our wildest dreams to life! We felt their passion and their talent erupted on the wedding day and after, with our stunning wedding photographs! In the end, our instinct to get married in the desert was the most perfect cosmic decision. We had the best weekend of our lives!

Photography: Elyse Hall Photography | Event Planning: Imoni Events | Floral Design: Atelier De LaFleur | Cupcakes: Nadine's Bakery | Stationery: Celebrations in Paper | Hair + Makeup: Heather Van Houten | DJ: DJ Hermilo Guzman | Ceremony Music: Naim Amor | Venue: Tanque Verde Guest Ranch | Crest Design: Bird Black | Napkins: Wildflower Linen

These Vendors are members of our Little Black 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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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.

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: Saguaro National Park | Reception Venue: MOCA | Catering: The Coronet | DJ: John Hislop | Band: Naim Amor | Bridal Boutique: J Bridal Boutique

Bright Floral Touches + Modern Design Make This Colorful Tucson Wedding

Okay, okay, I know I went a little crazy with the inspiration boards from this Tucson wedding, but when you take a look below and in The Vault, you’ll see why. Elyse Hall Photography just captured so much pretty, like the Bride’s engagement ring (crafted from a Wooly Mammoth fossil!) and the bright blooms. You’ll see — Rackel Gehlsen Weddings & Events created a desert dream. And I never want to wake up.

From Rackel Gehlsen Weddings & EventsNicole is a Tucson native, and wanted to share her beloved hometown with all of her family and friends. She wanted the outdoor elements of the desert beauty with bright florals and touches of modern décor. Now that she lives in New York, we created a chic lounge for the dancing, featuring Wayne Foster Entertainment. Nicole also LOVES science so her ring was actually made of a Woolly Mammoth Fossil. It was important to her to use lots of Natural elements to achieve the feeling we also used lots of Geodes and Natural Gem stones to bring her LOVE for Nature to the night. Nicole is very talented all the paper watercolor art was created by Nicole herself. So great. I loved all the natural touches with leather wrapping around the invitations.

We surprised Nicole, Jon and their guest with Fireworks right cute the cake, it was a magical element. Wayne Foster Entertainment for the Afterglow Party. Frostings Event Design Rentals created a chic New York 1920’s inspired nightclub with several vignettes of specialty décor.

Bistro lighting and amber up lighting throughout the perimeter with Mexican Pin Stars, farm tables mixed in with round tables dressed in natural birch desert textures, Napa chairs at the guest tables, and mirrored boxes, a variety of geodes, and different heights of floating candles to illuminate the cascading floral.

Color palette was natural desert birch and elegant turquoise. The style of wedding flowers was a loose and organic mix of garden roses, spray roses, ranunculus, poppies, scabiosa, in shades of coral, hot pink, with an accent of aqua toned succulents and coordinating whimsical foliages.

Photography: Elyse Hall Photography | Event Planning: Rackel Gehlsen Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Elaine Taylor Fine Flowers | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Loews Ventana Canyon Resort | Invitations: Brie Dumais Designs | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Engagement Ring: Monique Pean Homme | Jewelry: Vintage | Hair + Makeup: I Do Hair & Makeup Artistry | Band: Wayne Foster Music & Entertainment | Groom's Attire: Suitsupply | Ceremony Music: Dr. Eduardo Costa | Venue: Loews Ventana Canyon Resort | Event Rentals: Frostings Event Design & Rental | Water Color Painting: The Bride

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
Tucson Arizona Garden Wedding

Oh Elyse Hall, I could kiss you. Because these images? They are like gorgeous works of art. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that the Bride is simply stunning, her hubby is as dapper as they come and every detail planned by M.C. Weddings & Events is as pin-worthy to say the very least. There is just so much to ooh and aww over, and you can join me in doing so here.


From Elyse Hall PhotographyA celebration of love, friendship and fun in the heart of downtown Tucson, Arizona where Jasmine and Jake met. A natural, slightly rustic, elegant wedding with pops of local flavor. The colors were white, green, gold and neutrals.

• Ceremony – The ceremony focal point was draped with white organza and eucalyptus garland. Lanterns flowed into the aisle with delicate aisle markers of white floral.
• Reception – Centerpieces included rustic lanterns and candles with white floral and greenery spilling out onto the tables.
Special Touches – this wedding had so many personal touches!
• During cocktail hour guests were entertained with a custom made corn hole game in honor of both the bride and groom’s alma maters (Bride – the University of Arizona and Groom – University of Kansas
• Custom made wood signage designed by a friend included table numbers, bar menu, gelato menu, homage to the bride and groom’s new last name, Instagram reminder, cards and gifts, escort card directions and other miscellaneous pieces.
• Guests were treated to a special favor of Mexican maracas to shake as the bride and groom entered the reception.
• Guest book – A gold, heart piñata was hung for guest to write wishes to the bride and groom. They will break it on their first anniversary.
• Frost Gelato, a local favorite, surprised guests with an extra sweet treat
• A fun cake display was set up with cakes of various sizes, styles and flavors

From Meagan Crain M.C. Weddings & EventsJasmine and Jake are hands down one of the sweetest, funniest, down-to-earth and beautiful couples I have had the pleasure of planning with. Their day was a perfect reflection of who they are as people inside and out.

Photography : Elyse Hall Photography | Videography: UYP Productions | Event Planning: Crain + Co Events | Floral Design: Atelier De LaFleur | Gown: JLM Couture, Inc | Cake: Sweet Creations | Stationery: Minted | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | DJ: Fantastic Five Entertainment | Suit: John Varvatos | Earrings and Bangles: Ryan Seacrest Distinction | Gelato: Frost Gelato | Hair & Make up: Heather Van Houten | House & Garden : The Stillwell House Garden | Officiant: Pastor : David Hallstrom | Veil: Nina | Weddings Signs: Carly Bennett

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Fall Wedding at the Arizona Inn

We swooned over this stunning couple’s engagement shoot last year, so when I saw that Andrea Eppolito Events had planned their fall wedding and sent it our way, I was practically begging for Raylene Streuber Photography’s photos of the day. As you’re about to see, they most definitely did not disappoint.

From the stunning bride… I love fall, and my dream was always to have a fall inspired wedding with lots of color, pumpkins, and personality. Brian and I wanted the wedding to feel like us, and so bent tradition a bit and instead of a cake, we offered a pie bar. We had an awesome jazz band play the cocktail hour as a nod to my (first) degree in music, and we had our centerpieces set up on piles of books that we love – a little nod to the fact that I was reading when we met, and that we took our engagement pictures in a library. Thanks to my wedding planner for making that suggestion! We even had guests sign their favorite recipe in the William Sonoma cook books we received as a part of our registry!

The standout detail, for me, was the pumpkins. Having had a love affair with pumpkins for most of my life, I had to find a way to bring them into the wedding. After trying over and over again to bring them into the design without making the wedding look too much like Halloween I finally decided to purchase pumpkins from Hobby Lobby and create custom designs myself! With the help of some paint, a stencil, and a dremel tool – not to mention many late nights and many hours – I finally had the white pumpkins of my dreams. They were set at the entry way of the ceremony and I got to walk through them on my way to the alter. Afterwards, our wedding planner moved them to our reception, and seeing them made me so happy.

The other thing that was really important to us was that we celebrated Tucson. It’s where Brian is originally from, and it’s been my adopted home for over 5 years. With Brian being stationed out of state, we moved immediately after the wedding, and wanted one last desert party. We selected the Arizona Inn because it is historic and a staple of the community. The pink was so pretty, and the staff was incredible. Our favors were biscuits made my a local at the organic farmer’s market, and we encouraged our out of state guests to see old Tucson by setting up our rehearsal dinner downtown.

Brian and I left for our honeymoon immediately after the wedding, and moved from Tucson to Port Angeles, WA on our return. Our wedding was the perfect way to say goodbye to the city where we met and fell in love.

Photography: Raylene Streuber Photography | Floral Design: In Full Bloom Floral Studio | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Venue: The Arizona Inn | Accessories: Twigs & Honey | Bridal Shop: Adora | Planning: Andrea Eppolito Events

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
At Home Engagement + WIUP

To me, a day spent in your PJ’s with the one you love is the best kind of day. And that’s exactly the heart behind this sweet-as-pie e-sesh from miss Elizabeth McDonnell. She captured these Tucson love bugs cuddled up in their comfies, and it might just inspire you to spend your Saturday morning the very same way. (Pssst: this week’s winners are waiting down below!)

From Elizabeth McDonnell Photography… Jeremiah and Alexis have been together for ten years…starting a romance at the ripe old age of 18. Most people say that you know nothing at 18, which is so very, very true- but these two actually knew what they had and never let it go. When they asked me to take their engagement photos I was ecstatic- and knew that Jeremiah and Alexis (the very talented owners of Avenue Boutique, here in Tucson) would have all sorts of cute things planned. Boy was I right!

Starting with the pajama set in bed- these two know style. From their adorable Arizona bungalow residence, to the couples unique style- and gorgeous looks, this engagement session was a dream to shoot! For this session the couple first was photographed in bed, doing what they always do- knitting and playing music. Next the couple played cowboys and indians and the Parker Brothers- Clue on the floor of their ‘Arizona Room’.

For the last set of photos in pajamas the couple is featured on their front porch. Next- the couple put on their casual wear and we took some photos around their yard and on their backyard bed. The bed sits under a very old eucalyptus tree. Finally, the couple put on their third and final outfit of the shoot and we went in front of some old paddle cactus to take the last set of photos.

Photography: Elizabeth McDonnell Photography | Invitations: Abbey Malcolm Press | Styling and Clothing: Avenue Boutique


Don’t miss these fun discounts from…

Love by Lynzie Weddings + Events
Lauren Michelle
Priscilla Thomas
Shine Wedding Invitations (a free sample!)
Aster B. Flowers
New Museum
Blush & Gray
Renata De Thomasis
Christine Arnold Photography
Kait Murphy Photography
Abbey Malcolm Letterpress + Design 
reStyled Vintage Rentals
La Belle Fleur Events
Jonathan Young Weddings


Enter for your chance to win…

2 Tickets to TWWP Anniversary Bridal Event
A Gorgeous Robe from Doie Lounge
Honeymoon Funds from Traveler’s Joy
A Weekend Stay at The Hyatt Regency Monterey
Dinner for 2 at Pacific Edge Restaurant
Skin Treatments from Dr. Diaz
The Ultimate Bridal Weekend from Brideside
Williams-Sonoma’s Annual Dream Registry Sweepstakes
2 Robes from Singing Slowly


Also, make sure to RSVP to…

Chateau Cocomar’s Royal Occasion Bridal Open House
A Bride for All Seasons


And of course, this week’s lucky winner…

Congrats to Alice Li who won dresses for her entire bridal party from Weddington Way!

Jewish Loews Ventana Canyon Wedding

It’s not often that a little Arizona romance doesn’t hit the spot, and today is no exception. LaFleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora designed a stunning desert wedding which was captured brilliantly by Jacob Chinn and this wedding blogger is in her happy place.

From the designer… Ashley Ross and Sam Kraus were married on May 18th at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort & Spa in the Santa Catalina Foothills of Tucson, Arizona. The lush gardens, waterfalls and Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture provided them with a beautiful “Ventana” the spanish word for “window” in which to enjoy the beautiful Sonoran sunsets. When the resort was completed in 1984, Architectural Digest named it the first environmentally-conceived resort in North America. The wedding couple embraced this eco-friendly theme by choosing eco-conscious vendors like LaFleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora to design their florals, Soiree Girls to plan every detail of their special day and the Ed De Lucia band. Even their memories will be forever sustainable thanks to the talented work of photographers Jacob Chinn and

Photography: Jacob Chinn | Event Design: LaFleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora | Wedding Planning: Soiree Girls | Floral Design: LaFleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora | Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Vera Wang | Shoes: Valentino | Venue: Loews Ventana Canyon | Linen: BBJ La Tavola | Photobooth: Ohhhbooth

Wrap It Up Pretty Little Black Book!

As we put the finishing touches on another pretty SMP week, we’re reminded of all the love filled affairs we have the pleasure of featuring. But we’re not the only ones that get a little sentimental about all these happy couples. Andrea Eppolito Events sent us this sultry Arizona engagement shoot of one of her dearest friends and we couldn’t help but share this couple’s story (and all-out gorgeousness from Raylene Streuber Photography) ! You can see the rest of this sunshine filled e-session right here in the gallery. Happy weekend lovelies! See you back here first thing Monday morning! XO

From the Bride… While studying with my nursing school classmates at Create Café, my eyes locked with the most handsome man I’d ever seen. Brian was sitting across the restaurant from me, eating lunch with his family. I rushed to the restroom to freshen my lipstick and let my hair out of a ponytail. When I returned to the table I sat directly in his line of sight and gave him my best “come hither” hair toss. He still teases me about that, but the engagement ring on my finger tells me the tried-and-true hair toss is still effective.

We kept stealing glances at one another, as Brian struggled to muster the courage to approach a table of six ladies to ask for my phone number. As my classmates began packing their books to leave, I remained at the table. My classmate asked, “Aren’t you leaving?” I replied, “I’m not leaving until that man comes over to talk to me.”

Brian walked out of the restaurant with his family. I turned to my classmate and said, “I was wrong. I guess he’s not interested” and began packing my things to leave. Meanwhile, in the parking lot, Brian told his father, “I’m going back inside Dad. There’s a girl I’m going to talk to.” His dad gave him a surprised, “Good luck!” as he walked back into the café. My classmate whispered to me, “It looks like you were right after all.” Standing in front of me was my future husband, and I’ll never forget what he said… “Hi; I’m Brian. I’m sorry to bother you, but if I left without asking for your number, I’d be kicking myself for the rest of my life.”

From Andrea Eppolito… It’s not every day that one of your best friends meets the man of her dreams, falls in love, gets engaged and then allows you to help plan her wedding!

On the night of her nursing school graduation the two attended a celebratory “pinning” ceremony at a beautiful event center in the scenic outskirts of Tucson. After everyone left, Lori & Brian stayed behind to tour the grounds. As the sun was setting, he knelt down on one knee, promised to love her for the rest of their lives, and proposed. Quite the striking ring! I love halos around square cut stones! The ring was a complete surprise! Brian chose a a limited edition design from Fred Meyer’s Jewelry featuring an emerald cut center stone. Enhancing the classic style is a halo of round diamonds set in white gold, with pave diamonds encircling the band. To celebrate unique spirit of their romance photographer Raylene Strauber set the two against the gorgeous colors of Tucson, Arizona and among the books that brought them together.

As a friend, I could not be happier to see this darling girl marrying such an amazing man. And as a destination wedding planner I could not be more excited about helping her plan what I know is going to be a fabulous desert wedding!

Personal Note to Brian & Lori: Lori ~ From the moment we met nearly 20 years ago you have been a bright light in my life, my partner in crime, my confident and one of the truest friends I have known! I love you like family and it is my honor and privilege to help you make your wedding day amazing! Brian ~ You aren’t just easy on the eyes, but easy on the heart! Thank you for making my sweet friend so happy and for letting me be a part of your day!

Photography: Raylene Streuber Photography / Wedding Planner: Andrea Eppolito Events

Pretty posts from this week…

a dreamy Boulder bash, Part I and Part II
a Tolstoy inspired photo shoot in Ohio
a very vintage affair in North Carolina
a colorful California celebration
a rustic Valentine’s game night
a round up of some of the prettiest cakes we know
a Cincinnati garden soiree
a sophisticated fall wedding in Chicago
a magical Missouri romance
a charming Portland party caught on film

some fun links from around the web…

Nature-inspired escort cards from Elizabeth Anne Designs
We’re sure we’re not only the ones with this problem via Etsy.
Packaging that makes even french fries cute via A Fabulous Fete

Brides + Grooms to be – Don’t forget about our LBB! This week’s Don’t Miss List spotlights our Little Black Book VIPs who take the stress out of planning your big day. In between saying “Yes!” and exchanging “I do’s,” plan to perfect your soiree with the professionals WE couldn’t live without.

Food is one of the biggest factors in your budget, shouldn’t it be fabulous!?!? If you’re in their neck of the woods, check out The Casual GourmetBarraud Caterers LimitedSeasons Catering.

There’s cinematography and then there’s cinematography done right, Valerie Barnes FilmEver After Video ProductionsUrban Light FilmsTweed Weddings15 Minutes of FrameT-Square Production, and Chris Watson Films are just that.

Fabulous florals and event design will take your day from memorable to magnificent… so check out Kathleen Deery DesignVioletta FlowersInspired Floral DesignBlossom and BranchFinch & Thistle Event Design, and KITANIM, a floral design and event company.

A photobooth is must have guest entertainment these days, give Photobooth Planet and Shutterbooth a shout.

We know there are a million photographers to choose from, but we just happen to know some of the best of the best. Make sure to check out, Q WeddingsWildflower Photography, Amanda Forbes PhotographerFirst Comes Love PhotoAnne Robert Photography, and Laura Ivanova Photography.

That’s a wrap folks! Have a fabulous weekend! XO

Tucson, Arizona Wedding by Elyse Hall Photography

Elyse Hall can do no wrong in our book. Nothing but out of this world images come from her camera and she always pairs up with the coolest of weddings. Like this pretty number; an eclectic mix of bright colors and DIY elements and a couple that is radiating a whole lot of love. It’s happiness in the form of a pretty Arizona fête and you can see it all right here.

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From the Bride… It all started with the ring. Jeremy and I selected an engagement ring from an antique store in Tucson and this was a constant reminder of the uniqueness and the importance of staying true to ourselves throughout the planning process.

As soon as Jeremy and I started planning our wedding I knew I wanted to create as much as I possibly could for the big day. I studied Fine Arts in college and creativity is such an important part of who I am that I knew we could create the wedding of our dreams. As a couple I would describe Jeremy and I as DIY and it was very important that our wedding reflect who we are and our relationship together. I started by finding a unique venue with lots of charm and designed and created the stationary. We are also lucky to have such creative family and friends. My sister, mom, brother, sister in law and my friends helped me craft all the way up until the day of the wedding and Jeremy’s friend coordinated the music for the entire night and was our MC.

The entire evening was the most romantic and fun night of my life. We enjoyed the entire night because it was us and it felt so comfortable!

Photography: Elyse Hall Photography / Venue: Stillwell House and Garden Tucson, Arizona / Flowers: Posh Petals / Cake and Desserts: Ambrosia of Tucson / Signature Drink: Eegee’s Froze Drinks (with Vodka) / Music: Guitarist: Salvador Duran, Local Jazz Group, Country swing band: Al Foul and the Shakes / Hair and Makeup: The Source Salon and Spa / Dress: WToo / Groom’s Suit: Brook’s Brothers / Bridal Party: J.Crew / Favors, Seating Cards, Center Pieces, Programs, Decorations, Hair piece and Veil: the Bride / Bridal and Bridesmaids Necklaces and Groom’s Party Boutonnieres: Maid of Honor and Bride’s sister Katie Eichorn with From the Falls

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Reid Park Zoo Wedding by Brushfire Photography

If you have your wedding in a zoo you automatically gain major points in my book.  Add in Kate Spade inspiration with bold jewel-tones, black and white stripes and adorable DIY and origami details and I am in total and complete heaven.  I’ve been bitten hard by the lovebug for this Arizona zoo wedding which totally looks like a modern day fairytale.  Brushfire Photography  captured some seriously magical moments and the perfect details that were all created by the gorgeous bride.  Click here to see all the incredible deets!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the bride… I was really inspired by Kate Spade, New York, Japanese origami, Southwest cuisine, succulents, DIY culture and, of course, the zoo! I have to admit, the decor was a challenge because my husband and I are designers and are very particular aesthetically. He has a nature-loving, organic style, whereas I have a love for bold palettes and quirky graphics. Fortunately, we have common ground in loving things to be clean, modern, unconventional and environmentally-friendly. In the end, we dubbed it “Eco Chic.” Using our colors of sangria, clover, and lime… I think we achieved success! Hooray!

From Mike and Brittany of Brushfire PhotographyWhen Jillianne contacted me about her wedding plans at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona, I almost had a heart attack because I was so excited about their unique ideas. We knew their wedding was going to be a very special experience. They are both designers and worked very hard to make their wedding a beautiful experience for themselves and their guests.

Jillianne was ushered in by her father and sisters to accordion music. They chose the accordion because it reminded Jacob of his grandfather. This is the first wedding we have attended with everyone standing for the ceremony, and we loved it!!  It was so nice not worrying about walking around taking photos or blocking anyone’s view. The ceremony was like out of a fairytale. Light shone through the trees as paper flowers and origami cranes moved with the breeze and peacocks wandered around the guests. Having the opportunity to photograph giraffes with the wedding party was the coolest thing. Everyone was sticky with giraffe slobber and laughing contagiously. The Reid Park Zoo was one of the prettiest venues we have been to, and it was difficult to pick which spot was the best for their couple photos. We chose the flamingo pond, and it was a gorgeous and kind of funny spot because we had to chase the flamingos around the pond, herding them into the photos. Their reception was very intimate, more like a family dinner with everyone talking and laughing together, sharing stories and gifts. It was very cool that the zoo brought a snake, an anteater and a skink in for all the guests to pet and feed. The anteater was the cutest thing! We loved that they really considered the kids and how to make the party fun for them too. All the kids got a different animal mask, coloring book and animal figurines. The animal cookies as party favors were the perfect takeaway. In a way, all the guests got to be kids for the night.

Wedding Photography: Mike + Brittany of Brushfire Photography / Wedding Venue: Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona / Flowers: Tanya Kratz of In Full Bloom Floral Studio / Event Designer: The Bride / Coordination: Karen T. Wylie of Reid Park Zoo / Wedding Cake: Marco’s Bakery / Catering: Taste of the Wild Catering at Reid Park Zoo / Wedding Dress: White by Vera Wang / Hair: La Paloma Red Door Spa / Makeup: Jessica Jons, MAC Makeup Artist / Groom’s Tie: Cyberoptix Tie Lab / Groom’s Suit + Shirt: Perry Ellis / Accordion Music: Arleen Watkins

Burning Heart Logo Sets The Stage: DeeAnn + Eric

Photography Cameron + Kelly

It should only take a second to guess that this was ONE very special wedding!

Photography Cameron + Kelly

As  with virtually ALL weddings, there is so much more to the story than meets the eye.

Photography Cameron + Kelly

Sent to us by Little Black Book photographer Cameron Clark at Cameron + Kelly Studios, DeeAnn and Eric’s wedding in Tucson immediately caught our eye! We think, it’s pretty obvious why …

Photography Cameron + Kelly

From Cameron’s blog post …  “It is with great humility I write this post. Initially, I had no idea why, but I was very drawn to photograph Dee and Eric’s wedding at the last minute. So drawn, in fact, I offered to do it pro-bono even though I really knew nothing about the couple. Let me explain the story…”

We’ll be back in a bit with more photos and the ‘rest of the story’. If the suspense is too tough, take a peek at Cameron’s blog: {click here!}

{to see the entire gallery, click here!}