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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for April, 2011

Drybar Grand Opening
categories: favor and gift ideas, health and beauty

Grand Openings are always such fun to attend because they are filled with happy people buzzing about the latest hotspot. Drybar, located at Arizona’s hip Scottsdale Quarter, had their Grand Opening last week and I was fortunate enough to go.

Look at the total gorgeousness of this place:

Drybar’s “schtick” is really quite simple: get your hair washed and blown for $35. The only complicated thing about Drybar is deciding which type of blow-out you want but trust me this is part of the fun.

In keeping with the bar theme, you order your blow-out style from a  menu; options include the “Mai Tai” (messy and beachy), the “Southern Comfort” (lots of volume) and the “Manhattan” (sleek and smooth). They even do children’s hair!

The final “why I love this place” feature: The Floater. This is a 10 minute scalp massage that you can add on for only $10. Seriously, this is going to be my new alone time destination!

At the Grand Opening  event they served these yummy specialty drinks called Buttercup-tinis named after the yellow blowdryer chandelier. She’s quite charming:

Can you imagine you and your bridesmaids hanging out at Drybar getting fabulous hair for the big day? At only $35 each, this makes a perfect treat for your girls. And yes, if someone is dead-set on an updo, they do those too!

Drybar proves that the simplest concepts are the sometimes the best concepts. Now head on over to Scottsdale Quarter’s newest  hotspot for your shot of beauty! Kelly

The Drybar Grand Opening Players

Proud Owners and Grand Opening Hosts: Amy and Matt Ross

Caterer: Fabulous Food

Photography: Keith Pitts

Floral: Flora Bella

Event Planning: Rhonda Rush of Impact Events

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From Our Pages: Sedona Surprise
categories: bridal fashions, cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, favor and gift ideas, floral inspiration, for your ceremony, from the consultants, reception ideas, Trends, Wedding Inspiration

In everything they do, the Sedona Wedding Studio is a rock solid team. The studio itself is a really cool destination for couples planning their weddings but it’s the creative forces that work behind the scenes that consistently blow me away.  The members of the studio, founded by Events by Showstoppers and Sedona Bride Photography, conceptualized a genius wedding inspiration eye candy plethora that I am overjoyed to share with you today. We published it in our most recent magazine issue and it was so gorgeous that it was featured on Style Me Pretty too. This is prettiness at it’s best readers!

Liz Margin, make-up artist, always does such a beautiful job. Read more about her here. And Patricia Vega  styled the hair- I really like the male model’s cool ‘do.

Notice the eclectic mix of styles and design elements throughout. There’s rustic, vintage, DIY, modern and elegant features all playing very nicely together. Wedding Coordinator Margaret VanDamme has created some amazing wedding inspiration for those of you who want a creative and custom feel at your wedding.

This is one of my all time favorite wedding bouquets- it’s vibrant colors are so happy!

All the food sounds and looks scrumptious but the baskets of peaches and plums have my heart- an edible wedding favor is always best!

Dancing Apache Lodge is unique to Arizona in that it has a rustic charm and lush vineyards…it’s not easy to find landscapes that rival California’s but these do the trick!

What did I tell you? It’s wedding inspiration galore!

More info on the shoot can be found in our latest print issue and here on the web.

Photo Shoot Designed and Styled by: The Sedona Wedding Studio and Margaret Van Damme of Van Damme Weddings

Location: Dancing Apache Lodge

Photographer: Sedona Bride

Floral Design: Events by Show Stoppers

Cake: Sedona Cake Couture

Paper Products: The Event Essentials

Rentals: Classic Party Rental

Make-Up Artist: Liz Margin

Hair Styling: Patricia Vega

Catering: Dan Martin Perfection Catering

Gown: Destiny’s Bridal

Grooms Attire: Saverio

Models: Katie and William of M Model Management

Special Thanks to: Nancy Palme for the use of her Vintage Corvette

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Wedding Inspiration: Royal Cakes
categories: cakes and sweets, Wedding Inspiration

If I lived in the old days, I would quite possibly be employed as a royal taster. You know, the lucky person who gets to try the food for the royal family first in case it’s poisoned? I really do love good food and cake is no exception. In honor of the upcoming Royal Wedding, we are treating you to some royal sugar!

This crown- topped cake is royal wedding perfection:

(Image Courtesy of Eyes2See Photography, Cake by Sedona Cake Couture)

(Cake by Honeymoon Sweets)

There’s something very Faberge, which is quintessentially royal,  about this beauty

(Cake by Honeymoon Sweets)

The slim profile of this cake is so feminine…perfect for a princess!

(Image Courtesy of Chris Richards Photography)

I have noticed Kate likes blue so…

(Image Courtesy of Ted Hewitt Photography, Cake Designed by Ambrosia of Tucson)

(Image Courtesy of Eyes2See Photography)

(Image Courtesy of Sedona Bride Photographers, Cake by Sedona Cake Couture)

(Image Courtesy of Sedona Bride Photographers, Cake by Sedona Cake Couture)

I can only imagine how spectacular Kate and William’s cake is going to be…waiting on pins and needles!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

For now, hear what the their cake designer, Fiona Cairns,  has to say about the Royal Wedding cake plans…

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Engagement: Ashley and Bubba
categories: Engagement

What fun couples have during their Engagement Sessions. They get to roam, discover new places for pics and just be cute and silly. Ashley and Bubba found themselves, along with photographer Sarah Hagerty of Hagerty Photography, at this scene:

Don’t you love it? The graffiti provides a colorful backdrop and the cherry/heart is engagement session perfection!

I love the colors in the background- this is NOT an endorsement for graffiti but hey, if it’s there…

Ashley tells us: Bubba and I actually attended the same very small Catholic high school in Chandler, AZ, but had never even spoken during our 4 years there. Six years later, he was living in San Diego, CA serving in the US Navy, and I moved there to go to law school. A mutual friend came to visit, and realized that we were both living there, so he called us both up to introduce us, because I had just moved there and didn’t know anyone in the city. We met up for sushi, and the rest is history!


When I asked Bubba what his favorite thing about me was, he thought about it for a second and said my patience. He loves how even though in general I don’t have any patience, I have a LOT of patience with him. My favorite thing about him is how he can make me laugh at any moment and in any situation, especially when I’m stressed out. His sense of humor is amazing.

This is one of my favs from the session. Tenderness:

(All images courtesy of Hagerty Photography)

Congratulations to Ashley and Bubba- they are getting married this Fall and we are so excited for them! Ashley, Bubba and Sarah, thanks for sharing!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Beyond the Spa and Golf Course: 5 Alternative Bridal Party Activities
categories: entertainment, favor and gift ideas, health and beauty

We all know that the real fun of weddings is hanging out with the bridal party- these are the people you hand-picked to stand at the ready whenever you need assistance, to take the heat, to tell you how gorgeous you look and give you honest but extremely kind opinions on wedding matters big and small. So you want to treat them well, right? Usually this means a spa day for the girls and golfing for the guys. It’s tried and true and I will never knock this approach but today I want to share with you some alternative things to do with your besties to get them ready for your big day.

First, let’s talk airbrush tanning. Come on, we all know you do it or want to do it! Is it a good option for your pre-wedding prep? Absolutely. But do you know who to go to so you don’t end up looking like a creamsicle? Check out this properly airbrushed gal:

Who’s work is this, you ask? Sarah Sanmarco, professional makeup artist, who’s work has been seen all over town, especially at weddings. Now, did you know there is an organic airbrushing option? I had no idea so Sarah and I had a little discussion. Here’s what you need to know about Organic vs. Non-Organic Airbrush Tanning:

SS: The whole reason I started Tanning with Organic Solution was to offer everyone, including myself, a safe way to have a nice & natural tan w/out harmful UVA/UVB rays that are damaging to our skin & without using harmful chemicals. I was just in a tanning salon this morning & asked the owner a few questions about his solution & his take on Organic vs Non. He said, “the only difference is there are no preservatives in Non- Organic Solutions & are the same other than that.” This is simply not true.

Organic Tanning Solution does not contain alcohol, perfume or preservatives which some people can have a reaction to. This type of solution is primarily odorless, eliminating that smell you detect when using self tanners. The natural ingredients are plant derived, containing no artificial chemicals. Also this type of solution is safe for the face.

Regarding Non- Organic Solutions, the government regulates DHA and they allow several contaminants in the solution: lead, arsenic and mercury. According to a news organization, arsenic and mercury are allowed because they were originally approved to apply topically. It was not meant to be in contact with your lungs, membranes (which will get the contaminants into your bloodstream), and lips.

Sarah makes a pretty good case for Organic, doesn’t she? She is mobile so she can come to you and your bridal party, you will want to book her 1-3 days prior to the wedding day, each person takes about 10 minutes total, and she customizes the color so you will look naturally tan, not orangey. At $45 per tan, this is an excellent way to treat your bridal party and get them picture ready!

Another option that is totally guy and gal friendly is teeth whitening. Your bridal party is sure to smile bigger and with more confidence when they know their teeth look great so offer a treatment that will brighten their teeth and remove stains immediately. Denis Belusic, who uses the DaVinci Teeth Whitening System, runs a mobile operation so you can relax at your own place, whether it be a resort or a home, while he works his magic! Call Denis for more info and to book your appointment: 623.322.5029

Is your bridal party a group that likes hands- on activites? How about scheduling a cooking class for the entire group? We are so lucky to have AndyFood  right here in Arizona. It’s a demonstration kitchen where you get food talk, hands-on kitchen time and tastings all under the guidance of Andy Broder. I have taken several classes at AndyFood and the delights that come out of Andy’s kitchen are amazing! Besides, cooking can be a bonding experience so it’s great for bridal parties or families that may not know each other well. Andy tells me “we customize each event and make suggestions that are specific to a group. For example – if everyone is coming from the east coast a Southwest theme is nice.  At a rehearsal we can suggest a plan that gets opposite sides of the family working on the same recipe.”


And this next activity should be mandatory for any bridal party: yoga. Everyone is busy with wedding stuff, you are preparing for the biggest day of your lives, emotions are running high…who couldn’t use some downtime? Yoga studios such as Zenergy Yoga offer private yoga classes for all skill levels so there is no need for anyone to be intimidated. Center yourselves and reflect on what lies ahead…

One more thing that visitors to Arizona should experience is hiking so why not do a guided group hike? The person you need to know for this is Suzi DeMaio-Donovan. This personal trainer and fitness instructor hosts group hikes anywhere in AZ and trust me, she is the person you want to show you the trails. Suzi is an avid outdoorsman and offers a range of  hiking packages for 2-10 people. She meets you at the start of the trail and provides water, snacks and backpacks if needed. A favorite feature of mine: she does sunrise, sunset or even MOONLIGHT hikes! Can you imagine how beautiful that would be (and great for summer)? She says you don’t even need flashlights because the moon is so bright during these hikes. And if you are really into adventure, she even does moonlight Stand-Up Paddling.

It’s a given that you are going to spend some time with your bridal party before the wedding so why not do something different? When you offer activities, your besties get to hang out together and bond a little. Besides, they need some pampering too!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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“Impromptu I Do”: A Scottsdale Wedding Original
categories: fabulous reception sites, Giveaways and Contests, real weddings, Scottsdale Weddings

As a fun- loving Saggitarius, I should be spontaneous but really, I’m not. Plans always make me feel at ease and when things aren’t laid out in advance, I experience low-level anxiety so when I heard there was going to be a “flash” wedding, my heart fluttered a bit. I thought, “oh that couple must be so stressed!” See how poorly they took the news?  

I love it! They look so completely happy. Let me explain. The Clayton on the Park is a new venue in Scottsdale and to celebrate their entry into the Arizona Wedding World, they held a contest for a free wedding for one deserving couple. The catch was that the couple would only have 12 hours notice that they were the winners. Can you imagine getting a call at 7AM telling you that you would be married in 12 hours and everything had to be ready to go by the 7PM ceremony?

It was a whirlwind to say the least-Shasta and Robbie were notified that they won Friday morning by local TV personality Yetta Gibson, they called friends and family to notify them of the 7PM ceremony time, Shasta headed over to Inizo Salon for hair and toes, Robbie went to get the wedding bands, they met up at Azteca Bridal Salon to pick out their attire (Shasta also got her makeup done there) and voila! Wedding Time!

While the couple was prepping, the vendors who so generously donated their time, products and services were furiously working to make the magic happen. Laurie of Southwick Linens was busily setting the tables, Fran from Enchanted Florist was arranging and decorating, Barb from Let Them Eat Cake was putting the final touches on the cake and Kim from The Event Essentials was making the menu cards. This was a team effort to say the least. 

Look at how great Shasta and Robbie look!

While Robbie was working on Shasta’s parents’ home doing construction, her mom just loved him and got along so well with him that she introduced him to Shasta. The next thing you know,  they were dating and 2 short weeks later, they took off to Paris for a vacation. Naturally, when their family and friends saw this promotion on TV, they thought a wedding like this would be perfect for them and encouraged them to enter. I think they have each found their Spontaneous Soul Mate!



What a fantastic day for Shasta and Robbie- Congratulations!

Vendors Involved:

Ceremony, Reception, Concept and Coordination of Impromptu Wedding Event: The Clayton on the Park

Photography: Style Image Studios

Cake: Let Them Eat Cake

Linens: Southwick Linens

Menus: The Event Essentials

Bridal Gown, Accessories, Groom’s Tuxedo: Azteca Bridal Salon

Makeup: Laura Thompson at Azteca Bridal Salon

Hair: Inizo Salon

Floral: Enchanted Florist

Bar: Pour Masters

Lighting: Latest Craze Productions

DJ Services provided by Duke Family Carpet Cleaning

Bridal Suite: The Wigwam Resort

Lip Reading: Lip Story

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