Follow Us:

A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for January, 2011

Dogs and Weddings, a Natural Pair?
categories: for your ceremony, Trends

Many topics divide people when it comes to weddings…assigned or open seating, buffet or plated dinner, open or cash bar, in a place of worship or outside, you get the idea, but one topic that really seems to get under people’s skin is dogs at weddings. Some think a wedding is no place for an animal (unless it’s the best man dancing up a storm) and some feel that dogs are family members who shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun.

Now that I have dogs and see how unruly they can be, I personally would not have dogs at my wedding, but only because they are just another piece of the wedding puzzle that needs to be coordinated. Regardless,  many couples are increasingly incorporating their furry babies into their special day, and that’s OK (hear my group therapy style acceptance?).

(Image courtesy of Hollye Schumacher Photography)

Dog lover and animal expert Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow and Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow, offers some insight for those of you planning to include your pooches on your wedding day.  Camp Bow Wow® is a premier doggy daycare and overnight camp that has grown to include over 100 Camps across North America so I am thinking she knows her stuff!

Heidi weighs the pros and cons: The image of Fido walking down the aisle as a ring bearer is a memorable occasion for pet lovers. Before proceeding, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of having your pet at your wedding. Unfortunately, very few religious and indoor venues will allow dogs on location other than service animals. If you are open to an outdoor wedding, including your pet is more realistic.

Additionally, it is important to consider your pet’s personality. If you have a free-spirited animal, he may not abide to walk down the aisle on his own. Also, be cautious of guests with pet allergies; warn them in advance that your dog will be attending.

However, the benefits are endless. Since proud pet owners consider their dog as part of the family, Fido’s attendance will add a special touch to your day.

 How to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding Ceremony

1. Training Day: Weeks, then days, before the wedding, take your pup to the location so that he is well acquainted with the area. Have him practice walking down the aisle and reward him with a treat.

(Image courtesy of Stephanie Fay Photography)

2. A Doggy Makeover: A fresh bath and a trip to the groomer is necessary the day before the wedding.

(Image courtesy of Michelle Burley Photography)

3. Dress Up Your Pup: Everyone in your wedding party will be dressed up and so should Fido! Consider buying a dog collar and leash that matches your bridesmaid dresses or a cute little bowtie to go with the groomsmen. This will make your wedding party more uniform.


(Image courtesy of Jennifer Bowen Photography)

 4. Energizer Puppy: To avoid having an overly hyper dog at the wedding, take them to Camp Bow Wow to run, play and gets lots of energy out the days leading up to the wedding, or take your pet for a long walk or run before the ceremony, or hire Home Buddies by Camp BowWow to walk the dog and care for them before and after the wedding so you don’t have to stress about it.

(Image courtesy of Chris Richards Photography)

5. Stage Fright: If your pet is  nervous around strangers, limit his role and have him leave after the ceremony. If you have a friendly dog, then let him stay for the reception.

(Image courtesy of Sergio Photographer)

6. Doggy Chaperone: Don’t leave your pet unattended. Designate someone as the dog’s sitter to make sure  that he is taken out for bathroom breaks, or hire Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow to take the responsibility on.

(Image courtesy of Melissa Jill Photography)

7. Doggy Buffet: Make sure your pet doesn’t sample human food and have dog food handy at the reception to ensure that he is well fed. Don’t forgot to have a bowl with fresh water!

(Image courtesy of Sergio Photographer)

8. Let Them Eat Cake: Since the wedding cake is strictly off limits, consider investing in a special cake from a dog bakery.

(Pupcake by Mackie’s Parlour)

Brides, if you are going to include your dog in your wedding,  just follow Heidi’s advice… for everyone’s sake!

Phoenix Bride and Groom, your Phoenix Wedding Magazine

Share on Facebook
Real Wedding: Lynn and James (and Titleist)
categories: fabulous reception sites, favor and gift ideas, floral inspiration, for your ceremony, real weddings, reception ideas, Scottsdale Weddings, Wedding Inspiration

Can I start with today’s post by addressing the dog? I know including a dog in a wedding is not a new idea but it seems to polarize people. Some love the idea, some downright hate it. I  lean towards no dogs only b/c they are additional “moving parts” and during my time in the coordination world, I quickly learned that extra moving parts= more that can potentially go wrong.  BUT, look at this little guy…and his name is Titleist (his parents are golf lovers)  and he seems so perfectly behaved! I love him and need to snuggle  him.

Alright, let’s move on to the couple who should be in the spotlight, Lynn and James. This cute couple got married at Scottsdale’s chic Firesky Resort and Spa last May and I love how the Southern and golf elements came together to make for a bright day full of laughter. The fuschia shoes and teal background are scrumptious…

Since the couple met at Pinehurst Golf Resort in North Carolina, golf was a prevailing theme

Sometimes I think people forget that weddings are about emotion

The whimsical ceremony space was decorated with fuschia paper lanterns, daisies, fuschia guest fans and grass flats. The ceremony space is lined with pics of the kissing couple- charming!

How cute is James in his exuberance? Marriage is awesome! The sweet notes designed by The Event Essentials offered prompts such as “Love is…” and “We wish for you…”  allowing guests to write a personal message to the couple in lieu of a guestbook. Sweet!

Lynn and James chose grey and yellow for their color scheme but accented the decor with fuschia for a playful tone. I think it came together beautifully- look at the bright pop in the bouquet by Table Tops, Etc.

Sometimes I think bridal party shots can be pretty boring but the combo of a fun group and expert photographer really works here- Ivy Studios ran with the dynamics of this crowd!

Lynn tells us how she incorporated Southern touches and golf  into the wedding day:

Although we knew we had to incorporate the bright colors, we also had to pull in the aspects of golf. The signature drink, “Carolina Sweet Tea,” is the signature drink of Pinehurst and was served in glass mason jar mugs to guests after the ceremony. The escort cards were displayed on a flat of grass on fuchsia golf tees with a custom putting flag displaying our monogram.

Reception tables were covered with silver linens and yellow napkins. The square “headtable” for 6 had a yellow linen to make it stand out. The room was washed in fuchia with a monogram that was seen on favors, stationary, and even timelines. The reception centerpieces were all displayed in julep cups and silver cups placed on vintage silver trays. We wanted the centerpieces in the reception to tie in the light-hearted look from the ceremony with a more elevated, elegant look in the ballroom.

James spent time perfecting the method to attach the garter to a fake golf ball to hit it off some turf to the single guys and I surprised James with a grooms cake which was replica of his Cobra golf bag complete with his name and PGA logo. It was important to us to personalize every aspect of our event from the favors (monogrammed golf balls for the guys and monogrammed boxes of taffy from Santa Cruz, CA for the girls). We planned to have extra of our gorgeous wedding cake so guests took monogrammed bakery boxes with extra cake home

This couple seamlessly incorporated their roots to make their day beautiful and personal which seems to be a road-block for some brides and grooms.  Lynn and James, you are an inspiration for couples planning their weddings! Thank you for sharing your day and CONGRATULATIONS!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

Lynn and James’ Real Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Meant2Be Events

Ceremony/Reception Site: Firesky Resort and Spa

Florist: Table Tops, Etc

Photographer: Ivy Studios

Invitations: The Event Essentials

Cake: La Dolce Pesca (Groom’s Cake: Let Them Eat Cake)

DJ: Got You Covered

Ceremony Musicians: Allegro Quartet

Make-up Artist: Monica de la Cruz  at Leidan Mitchell

Hair Stylist: Jolene Cook at Leidan Mitchell

Officiant: Jerry Law

Hotel Accomodations: Firesky Resort and Spa

Rehearsal Dinner Site: Frank and Lupe’s

Bridal Gown Store: Lillian Lottie Couture

Bridesmaids Dresses: Nordstrom

Tuxedos: Mr. Formal

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Share on Facebook
Meet our Friends: Serendipity Videography
categories: Meet Our Friends, videography

We take  the phrase “Meet our Friends” very seriously here at Phoenix Bride and Groom. We truly feel like the wedding industry vendors we have the privilege to work with are not only business colleagues but true comrades as well. Serendipity Videography is a shining star in the wedding community so it only makes sense that  the people who make it tick every day have huge hearts and oceans of talent!

If you have ever met Taryn Bills, Serendipity Videography co-owner, you know she is witty, fun and smart. Her husband and business partner Jeff is quieter but just as clever and talented beyond belief. He’s the guy behind the camera and beyond!

Serendipity Videography_Taryn and Jeff Bills

 (Photo courtesy of the perfectly sweet and creative Melissa Jill of Melissa Jill Photography)

Taryn has generously offered her advice that will surely help any engaged couple with their search for a videographer:

Top 5 Tips For Finding A Great Videographer

1. Do your research!!! To find that initial list of videographers that you may be interested in, ask the vendors you already have booked who they recommend. One of the most important opinions to get is that of your Photographer. The photographer and videographer relationship is a very important one on the wedding day. Who do they like working with? Who is easy to work with?Ask if past clients that they have shared been pleased. Ask your Venue Coordinator as well. Who shoots at the venue often and knows the property well. Finally if you have a Wedding Planner ask for recommendations. Wedding Planners are well versed on the different companies, their styles and their price points. They can save you a lot of time and research because they are experts and more than likely have relationships with Videographers that are going to fit your budget and style needs.

2. Take that list of recommendations and begin narrowing it down based on style and budget. Get on their website and check out their work. Ask yourself if you like their style and if you think how they put together a wedding film matches what your vision is.

3. Next, check out their Packages and ask if they have any samples of work from the Venue where you are getting married. Review their Packages and see if how they put together a finished DVD is what you want and if not do they customize to fit your needs. Review their work from your Venue. This will give you ideas of different shots that you like and help you determine a vision for your wedding film.

4. Evaluate how promt the Videographer is in responding to you and if they have given you the information you requested and answered your questions thoroughly. Remember you are potentially spending a few thousand dollars with this vendor. If they are not timely and responsive,  what will your experience be with them leading up to the wedding day, on the wedding day and in post production?

5. If the above items meet your criteria, schedule an appointment to meet with the Videographer. Remember you may be working with this vendor for a number of months… You want to make sure that you connect with them. Have them explain their background and experience in videography and shooting weddings. Ask them to show you what a finished product looks like and thoroughly explain their package options so that you understand exactly what you would be getting with the finished product. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You want to make sure you are a good fit to work together and that they understand what your vision for your wedding film is.

Check out one of Serendipity’s latest and greatest videos:

Wesley & Andrea in La Jolla at The Darlington House from Serendipity Videography on Vimeo.

Do’s and Don’ts

1. Don’t hire based on price alone. I once heard a quote that couldn’t be more true “The bitter taste of a bad experience long outlasts the sweet feeling of getting a good deal” With videography, you truly get what you pay for.

2. Don’t try and make the Videographer fit your style. Pick a Videographer that already puts together a wedding film in the style you like.

3. Do get on the internet and Google the vendor. Check out not only their website but places like Wedding Wire to read reviews about that vendor.

4. Do hire a company that has more than one Videographer at your wedding and reception to ensure comprehensive coverage of your day.

5. Do hire a videographer that is shooting in high quality HD and is using the latest technologies. You want to preserve your memories the best that you can for years to come and HD is here to stay.

Can you see why we love Serendipity Videography so much? Great advice, awesome videos, solid people.

Thank you so much to Taryn and Jeff for your time!

Brides, DO NOT skip on the videographer! I am serious. Don’t believe me? Read these articles (1 and 2).

Here is what Serendipity is up to in 2011:

-Focusing on our new Simply Cinema brand which is: “Simply Cinema: simplified videography for the budget minded bride”.

-Love Stories are the new latest and greatest. Couples want a short film that they play at their reception that talks about how they met, fell in love and how he proposed.

-Another huge trend is broadcasting a couples ceremony live on the internet for family and friends to view who are not able to come to the event. It’s real time so family and friends can watch the vows along with the guests who are there at the event.

I’m keeping my eye on this dynamic company, you?

Chatting Soon~Kelly

Share on Facebook
Saturday Shout Out- January!
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, open houses, videography, Wedding Inspiration

Happy Saturday Readers! I have lots of  fun things to share with you today…

First of all, I am certain this will hold true: grey is the new black for men…I think we are right on the money with this guy as seen in our Sedona Surprise Photoshoot styled by Margaret Van Damme of  Van Damme Weddings:


(Photo Courtesy of Sedona Bride)

And have you heard about “Shedding for the Wedding” on the CW? Premiering Feb 23! Teaser: A bridesmaid’s dress headed for the composte bin?

I love the emotion captured in this image from BQ Photography:

For more, go to BQ’s blog post!

New Year’s Eve is the perfect opportunity to host a glamorous wedding and Teresa and Paul are no excepetion. This is one GORGEOUS bride!

New Years Eve At The Royal Palms from Serendipity Videography on Vimeo.

Do you like free stuff? Can you write a haiku? Win a ton of stuff through the Luv is in the Air Giveaway!

If you haven’t heard, this Sunday is Sassi’s Open House- if you are engaged, I beg you to visit this venue. It’s a stunning place to get married!

And finally, Sedona is a gorgeously cooler and red rockier close neighbor of ours and on February 26th, you can head north for the Sedona Bridal Fair! Take a short road trip to Sedona where you will get to meet wedding vendors, enter into raffles and immerse yourself in Wedding Land!

Enjoy your weekend- it’s sure to be busy!

Chatting Soon~ Kelly

Share on Facebook
Engagement Session: Melissa and Scott in Chicago
categories: Engagement, photography

Even though I now live in the heart of the desert, my roots are in the Midwest so when Katrina and Andrew of Sedona Bride shared this engagement session from Chicago with us, my heart fluttered a bit. There is such a solid quality about Chicago, my fav of the big US cities.  It’s colorful, clean (yes, I said clean), and hip. When my family and I visited for a cousin’s wedding, we found ourselves walking everywhere since that’s how you experience the best this city has to offer. You run into action at every turn and there is never a shortage of friendly people to help you find your way (tried the el? It’s a tad confusing for a non-public transportation Phoenician like me).

Now, let’s explore “Chi Town” with Melissa and Scott (thanks for the old moniker dad)!

Photographer Katrina explains: Our clients, Melissa and Scott,  wanted to have their engagement session in Chicago because being in the city says so much about them. They live, work and play there and the city is so much a part of them in this part of their life. So we went to Melissa’s favorite cupcake store and their favorite martini bar and of course got some great images with the city as a back drop.

I say this allll the time, but I love e-sessions! It’s love, kissing, cuddling, tenderness, laughing…sigh

I am not opposed to a little drinky here and there (especially if it loosens up a couple who is not comfortable in front of the camera)!

These are my two favorite images from the shoot- I love the twinkly lights, the shimmering water, the sexy beach…it all makes for a great engagement session. Oh, and when you have spectacular architecture like Chicago does, you HAVE to work it into your session!

Katrina and Andrew make up the phenomenal team of Sedona Bride based in Sedona, AZ and they have established themselves nationally as photographers to take note of with their classic style and hip images. Not only are they talented, they are also amazingly grounded and genuine. 2010 was a very busy year for them- growing their photography business AND  launching, along with Events by Showstoppers, the Sedona Wedding Studio website, a hotspot for wedding planning galore (the actual studio in Sedona opened in 2009 but quickly had to expand due to it’s success)! Check out the Sedona Wedding Studio here.

Katrina gives this advice for Engagement Sessions:

My #1 tip would be to incorporate your personalities into your engagement session. If you love to play pool together shoot some pool. If your hubby to be loves to ride his motorcycle with you…. incorporate the motorcycle. If your first date was at an ice cream shop go back to that store or have ice cream during your shoot. If you have a puppy dog you love and you like to go for hikes have your photographer incorporate that.

*Do* things during your engagement session so that when your family and friends see the images they say “that’s so them!” It’s a great way to tell a story about you both as a couple and get great images too.

Many many thanks to Sedona Bride and Melissa and Scott for their generosity with their engagement session photos! See more of this session on Sedona Bride’s Blog.

 OK Lovies, go find a spot to kiss and drag a photographer along with you!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

Share on Facebook
Destination Monday: Edgewood at Lake Tahoe
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, fabulous reception sites

Here’s a review of Lake Tahoe’s Edgewood Resort from Editor Stephanie Gandy Riley:

Who says a destination wedding has to take place on foreign shores? Nature and beauty are certainly at their best along the tranquil shores of Lake Tahoe, North America’s largest alpine lake. It’s no wonder couples from all over the world flock to Lake Tahoe to celebrate their love for each other.

Nestled between this spectacular lake and evergreen forests, lies Edgewood Tahoe, one of our favorite resorts. Here, you can enjoy year-round beauty in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountains, where destination weddings and relaxing honeymoons are a specialty. A trip to Edgewood is proof positive that not every ‘beach wedding’ has to be tropical. The shores of Lake Tahoe are among the most beautiful around.

(Photo Courtesy of William D. George)

Take a look at this course–it’s no wonder Edgewood Tahoe, home of the U.S. Senior Open, has been consistently ranked among “America’s Top Golf Courses” by Golf Digest magazine. Mountain biking, tennis, fishing, and hiking are wonderful diversions for the non-golfers in the wedding party. Although the Tahoe area is well-known for its premier ski resorts at the higher elevations, the climate around the lake itself is relatively mild. Lake Tahoe boasts up to 300 sunny days each year, and the mercury has never topped 100 degrees.

While a ‘winter wedding’ in our desert home simply means mild temps, this concept is altogether another delight in stunning Lake Tahoe. Fresh powder creates a blanket of white and a sparkling winter wonderland. The best part? You can spend your first day as Mr. and Mrs. on the pristine white slopes of nearby Heavenly mountain resort. Don’t forget to schedule dinner at intimate Cafe Fiore, near the base of Heavenly. It’s one of the “Best Places to Kiss in Northern California,” and home to the most swoon-worthy dessert: house made white chocolate ice cream topped with fresh strawberries.

The grand panorama of the Sierras from the vantage point of the North Room must be one of the compelling reasons the resort has been named the “Best Place to Get Married” by the Tahoe Daily Tribune. The North Room and South Room interiors feature cathedral ceilings with immense windowscapes framing unparalleled views of the lake. Decks outside each ballroom are the preferred ceremony sites. Menus can be customized to meet your specific tastes. Winter weddings come with an added bonus: complimentary champagne, house wine and beer for your entire event.


(Photo Courtesy of William D. George)

What a place for a destination wedding! Bonus features are: you don’t have to have a passport for this location and your guests will have plenty to do in the area if they want to make a vacation out of it!

Chatting Soon~ Kelly

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Share on Facebook

looking for…



designed / developed by SC Developments & Phoenix Bride and Groom