Imagine two soooo in love sweeties, a fabulous backdrop like the Desert Botanical Garden and a whole host of amazing details and you’ll land squarely on this day captured by Keeping Focus Photography. Think true love meets a stunning locale meets one seriously pretty party. Head to The Vault for every moment, then check out the sweet film from Love Story Films below.
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From the Bride… Kyle and I met nearly a decade ago on our very first day of server training at P.F. Changs. We instantly became best friends but there was an undeniable chemistry from the start. In fact, our manager used to separate us in sections across the restaurant because we couldn’t stop flirting! Our friendship grew even stronger (and so did our feelings for each other!) and we ultimately made the best decision of our lives to start dating. The rest is history – we’ve been madly in love ever since.
The love we have felt for each other was magnified on our wedding day. Words cannot express the love, happiness, joy, gratitude and excitement we felt that day – it was truly magical in every way. Of all the decisions I made throughout the wedding process (and there were many!), the easiest one of all was marrying him. In my heart, I know it is the best decision I will ever make in my life.
From the beginning of the planning process, we knew more than anything we wanted our wedding to feel like “us”. The Desert Botanical Garden has always held a very special place in both our hearts, and we couldn’t imagine a more beautiful outdoor setting to welcome our guests to in Arizona. We loved the idea of carrying the Garden’s natural, organic beauty throughout the wedding. Guests walked through the entire Garden to reach our setting, with a beautiful mountain as our natural backdrop.
Prior to the ceremony, guests wrote their well wishes and words of advice on assorted floral postcards, to be read on our first anniversary. Programs had hand-drawn botanical florals to complement our invitation set, and included explanations of the symbolism and traditional elements featured throughout our ceremony. Special hand-drawn signage in turquoise frames let guests know to “Choose a Seat Not a Side, We Are All Family Once the Knot is Tied” and to help us capture our special day by hash tagging “Deb And Kyle Walk Down The Aisle.” Soft colored petals lined each side of the aisle. Kyle was escorted by his parents, followed by the groomsmen. I walked down the aisle to Ellie Goulding’s “How Long Will I Love You”… with my eyes on my groom, whispering “I Love You” as I walked down, and the happiest tears in my eyes. The ceremony was one of the most emotional, beautiful, profound, authentic moments of our lives, followed by the breaking of the glass and guests shouting “Mazel Tov!” Pure joy came over us and then, the KISS! If I could bottle up the elation we felt in the moment as we walked down the aisle together as husband and wife, I would relive it every single day.
Cocktail hour took place around the corner on Eliot Patio. We spent so much time throughout the planning process on every single detail. Fun cocktail hour details included the “Sippin’ and Noshin’” oversized chalkboard menu featuring the drinks and appetizer menu and prickly pear margaritas to tie-into Arizona. One of our favorite surprise wedding details was a “Deb and Kyle Walk Down The Aisle Sign” in gold letters stretched between two saguaro ribs, adorned with eucalyptus and garden roses. From the ribs, hung surprise polaroid place cards of all our guests featuring pictures of them throughout their lives – their favorite trip, engagement night, first home, high school glamour shot…so many special memories of our friends and family. We loved the idea that this would be a fun, interactive surprise for our guests that would get people talking and sharing pictures and memories. It was a huge hit!
Our reception took place on Ullman Terrace, with dinner and dancing underneath the stars. Guests were greeted by a second oversized chalkboard menu, which featured our family style menu. Tables were adorned with blue, green and turquoise stained vases and jars, all assorted shapes and sizes to bring out the Garden colors, and filled with soft colored flowers. Every napkin was a different, beautiful and fun pattern – from bright florals to whimsical paisley designs. Around the napkins were a personalized Thank You note for our guests on craft paper, and to the side our favor – a desert orange blossom lollipop with an edible flower and D+K tag. Gold mercury glass candles were placed on the tables and throughout the entire setting. Guests enjoyed the family-style menu, which was both fun and garden-inspired, incorporating fresh herbs and ingredients. We had our first dance as the sun set over the mountain to Ray Lamontagne’s “You Are The Best Thing”.
Following dinner was one of the most memorable moments – the traditional Hava Nagila dance, where guested lifted us in our chairs, while others danced around us in circles. Even our parents were lifted in the chairs! A beautiful, fun, celebratory moment for all and an incredible memory we will never forget! Throughout the evening, we had additional surprises in store for our guests. Our wedding cake featured a heart-shaped cactus topper – perfect for the Garden setting! We also had a vintage gelato cart come in for guests to enjoy! Guests could choose from six artisan gelato flavors for a fun and interactive treat. After hours of dancing, out came one of our favorite wedding surprises… a late night French Fry Bar! This was a huge hit, and again, something that felt very “us” as my friends know I love my french fries!
We and our guests danced for hours among the twinkling tree lights and up-lit mountain, highlighting the cactus and desert flowers around us. Glowing luminarias lined the path for guests as they left.
Truly, we could not have imagined a more perfect, magical day full of so much love. The details were important to us, but equally important was the overall vision, knowing we wanted to have the greatest celebration that felt authentic to us and our relationship. One quote that stayed with us throughout the entire wedding planning process was “I want a marriage more beautiful than my wedding.” Our wedding day beautiful, and now we are excited to embark on a beautiful life together as husband and wife.
Photography: Keeping Focus Photography | Cinematography: Love Story Films | Coordination: Phoenix Busy Brides | Floral Design: Butterfly Petals | Cake: Ruze Cake House | Invitations: Ali Makes Things | Catering: Santa Barbara Catering | Makeup: Aisha White | Hair: Maggie Hancock | DJ: Ramsey Bergeron | Officiant: Rabbi Bonnie Keller | Venue: Desert Botanical Garden | Bridal Boutique: Uptown Bridal | Chalkboard Sign Lettering: Joy Culture Events | Gelato: Frost Gelato