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Archive for August, 2011

Destination Adventures: Jamaica
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, reception ideas

It’s no secret that I was in Jamaica recently and I shared some pictures here and there on our Facebook and Twitter pages but I can’t hold back anymore. I have to show you my pics from the trip because if you are still trying to decide on your destination wedding and/or honeymoon, you might want to have a look- see at this Caribbean island. My disclaimer is that these were all taken on my phone so understand, there will be a much more comprehensive blog post coming soon that will include professional pictures.

Here I am with the group- we really enjoyed each other and had a great time together!

We stayed at Sandals Montego Bay; this is the beach cabana situation…

A private dinner on the beach

The first night I was there we were treated to a “reception” dinner complete with cocktails, dinner and a steel drum band. The table decor is from the Sandals Wedding by Martha Stewart Collection (more to come on this later!)

We enjoyed some tourist excursions; this was at Mystic Mountain and it’s a bobsled ride that is completely fun! My hair was lovin’ the humidity (I use “lovin'” loosely)

A Jamaican favorite- the pattie. This light and flaky goodness is filled with meat, cheese or seafood. Delicious!

We visited the Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios where we took a tour of the gorgeous property, sampled reception appetizers, listened to a Mento Band and had a lovely lunch

These sweet guys played “Here Comes the Bride” for us!

The Jolly Boys are the most famous Mento Band- we did not see them but I am sure their sound will be familiar to you:

We then had lunch at a table set with Martha’s “Chic and Natural” wedding decor. This was my favorite!

We also went to Tensing Pen which is a boutique hotel in Negril; it has a more secluded feel to it, beautiful water, a scary bridge that would be totally illegal in the states and cliff jumping. Yes, I walked the bridge AND jumped at the cliffs!

Jamaica has some of the most entertaining signage I have ever seen!

Sunset at Tensing Pen…

That’s it for now! I have so much to share with you so watch for our official Destination Monday post featuring Jamaica.

Many thanks to the Jamaica Tourist Board for hosting us- it was simply wonderful!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Real Wedding: Daisy and Ryan at Encanterra Country Club
categories: fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, for your ceremony, photography, real weddings, Wedding Inspiration


The Best Vendors to Help You Wed in Style

Wedding Coordinator: Victoria Canada Weddings and Events :: Videographer: Serendipity Cinematography :: Rentals: Classic Party RentalsBlogthinlinePhotographer: Hollye Schumacher Photography :: Ceremony and Reception Site: Encanterra Country Club :: Florist: Jan Dekker Designs ::Bridal Gown Store: Uptown Bridal :: Invitations: Definitely Debra :: Caterer: Encanterra Country Club :: DJ: Desert House Productions :: Ceremony Vocalist: Katy Brady:: Make-up Artist: Jenn White :: Officiant: Father Mike DuPre :: Linens: Southwick LinensBlogthinline

Daisy and Ryan’s Real Wedding is a complete stunner…the bride is gorgeous (and from a beloved Arizona family, the Earnhardts), the details are beautiful and the groom? Well, I better be careful what I say because he’s a UFC Fighter and I don’t want to upset him… just kidding! Ryan Bader, otherwise known as “Darth”, is one tough dude but also smart as heck and nice to boot. He obliged when I asked him to compare preparing for a UFC fight and preparing for his wedding (the idea came from the genius mind of their wedding planner Victoria Canada- she’s so clever!). Here’s what he said:

Well preparing for a fight and a wedding are very similar, it starts off with finding out who you are going to fight/marry. I had that down so that was no trouble. I had found the perfect opponent

Getting an actual date in the future is the next step, it seems far away, but you never have enough time to prepare.

Look at gorgeous Daisy!

In the months preparing for a fight/wedding there is a ton of work to put in. This is what no one sees behind the scenes. The sacrifices, the sweat, tears, and even some blood from time to time. As the day approaches, there are a plethora of different emotions running through you, excitement, nervousness, fear, fear, fear. This last emotion is really reserved for one of the events, and I can tell you I do not bring fear into the cage.

Fight day/wedding day is the worst day, especially in the morning as far as nerves go. You can’t really eat, everything is running through your mind. I like to keep friends and family around to calm down a bit and to keep it light.

I especially love the girls’ dresses and how shades of purple were embraced throughout

Then the event starts and it your time, you worked so hard to get here and put in all the work. You walk in front of the crowd and face your opponent, and this is where the two differ. Usually I am facing ugly cavemen, and this time I am facing my beautiful bride, and where I am usually looking to knock my opponent out, on this day at the wedding, I am the one knocked out by how gorgeous she is and that I will be able to spend the rest of my life with my favorite training partner, my wife.

Daisy chose for her bridal bouquet plum color calla lilies and the stems were wrapped with a beautiful crystal rosary that her mom found in Santa Fe, New Mexico- love this special touch

The couple was married in front of a custom altar. An antique French Cross along with a Virgin Mary Relic from the Bride’s Family’s personal collection were a sentimental focal point.  The flowers for the ceremony rotunda were natural twigs, grapevine, angel vine with accents of green dendrobium orchids and hypercum berries. The guests and family walked down the aisle to the ethereal music from harpist VeeRona and the Bride walked down to Beyonce’s version of Ave Maria sung by a beautiful vocalist.

A beautiful antique candle altar was offered to guests that wished to say a prayer or a wish for Daisy and Ryan

Seating cards were on silver and gold mini- pumpkins painted by the bride’s niece

Three different table linens were used in shades ranging from lilac to plum. Coordinator Victoria Canada used an abundance of candlelight; gold mercury glass accents were found throughout. The elevated centerpieces were placed upon custom made wrought iron that had an elegant Southwest feel. Lush green and lavender hydrangea, scabiosa pods, bells of ireland, cool water roses, dendrobium orchids, calla lilies, lisianthus, hypercum berries, dahlias and stock were used in the centerpieces and other decor throughout the beautiful Encanterra Golf and Country Club

Action stations featured sumptious food such as Sushi, Kobe sliders, Potato Martinis and more

The big panty surprise is a hilarious take on the garter toss!

It was the night before Halloween so the photo area included many fun props for the guests to use their imagination! And there was a “Man Cave” car lounge with numerous luxury cars and trucks for guests to ooh and ahh over from the Bride’s family dealerships. The music at this area was customized to be more “masculine” artists- Led Zepplin, Springsteen, etc. Cigars were placed out for the gentlemen and ladies.

Daisy changed from her beautiful gown to a gorgeous, sparkly gold and moss color dress to continue the party

Late night mac & cheese and cookies & milk were served as guests were safely transported back to their hotels

Can you see why I was so excited to share Daisy and Ryan’s Real Wedding with you? I would say Ryan won this match!

 Phoenix Bride and Groom, your Phoenix Wedding Magazine


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Destination Monday: Otahuna Lodge, New Zealand
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons

The best man in my wedding managed to find himself a great gal whose passion for world travel matches his own and together they agree that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I tell you this because recently the Otahuna Lodge came across my desk and I just knew it was a  place I wanted to feature in our Destination Monday series simply because it is located in New Zealand. Even better, the Otahuna Lodge happens to be a secluded and romantic place!

New Zealand is known for it’s raw beauty, adventurous outdoor lifestyle and remote location. I can only dream of visiting one day but if you are exploring destination honeymoon options, you need to look into the Otahuna Lodge. What will you find there? How about this:

Daffodil Day is an annual event, which dates back to 1928. Each year, hundreds of thousands of daffodil bulbs are planted on Otahuna’s 2 acres of Daffodil Fields to raise money for the Cancer Society. On Sunday, September 4th Otahuna Lodge opens its gates to host Daffodil Day, welcoming guests, as well as local members of the Canterbury community. And yes, they do weddings too so if you want to really wow your guests, take them to New Zealand for a nuptial getaway!

Not only is this a pretty picture but I LOVE the bride’s dress !

Is this picturesque or what? Can you imagine a wedding ceremony on this lawn? Gorgeous!

Sunning and Spa-ing…


A few other happenings coming up in the area or at Otahuna Lodge that may tempt you to visit New Zealand:

• 2011 Rugby World Cup: From September 9th to October 23rd, New Zealand is playing host to the sporting spectacular of the year, the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Relax and revive post tournament at the historic Otahuna Lodge.

• Excursions: Otahuna Lodge is the perfect base camp for exploring Christchurch and the wider Canterbury Region. Area activities that can be arranged include: Private garden tours, Horseback riding, Golf, Heliskiing, Fishing, Hunting, Excursions to the scenic French settlement of Akaroa with its fascinating marine life, Wine tours in the Waipara Wine Region, and Helicopter flights to the Southern Alps that leave directly from the lawns of Otahuna.

• Golfing: The Christchurch area is home to over twenty-five golf courses. Excellent golfing is available throughout the region from the nearby nine-hole country course at Tai Tapu to the internationally acclaimed resort courses at Terrace Downs and Clearwater.

• Potager to Plate: Otahuna Lodge’s Extensive gardens and focus on excellent dining are inspired by the property’s legendary 30 acres of gardens and orchards. Otahuna Lodge offers an inspired food and beverage program, led by Executive Chef Jimmy McIntyre and Sous Chef Fiona Ewart. Five-course degustation menus with wine pairings are prepared nightly. This experience is complemented by unique activities, including foraging for mushrooms on Otahuna’s grounds in late summer. Guests also have the opportunity to select their own produce for their meals, as well as participate in private cooking demonstrations with Chef Jimmy.

• Cooking Classes: incorporate time in Otahuna’s organic potager garden and offer a chance to learn first-hand cooking techniques in our kitchen.

As much as I love a sunny and sandy beach getaway, I can’t lie…an intimate experience like the Otahuna Lodge appeals to me just as much. I can imagine my husband and I enjoying the lush grounds of the property, taking off to see the sites, then returning for rejuvination back at the Lodge. Heavenly!

Chatting Soon~Kelly




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Bridal U- coming soon!
categories: fabulous reception sites, open houses, upcoming events

If you’re planning a wedding, you know that Bridal Shows and Open Houses happen throughout the year but sometimes a different kind of event comes along and that’s why we are telling you about Bridal U. 

Bridal U, which is happening September 18 at the Talking Stick Resort, is NOT a show. It’s the most fun kind of “class” you will ever register for! And the credits? You earn a tote bag and wedding journal just for showing up (none of my college classes were THAT easy!), you will be registered for a Minimoon or Staycation and there will be signature wedding drink samples. Enough said, right? Well, there’s more…

So what do you need to do? Just go online to register, mark the date in your calendar and show up! Don’t you feel smarter already?

To get a special Buy One Get One Free link from us: visit our Facebook page (Phoenix Bride and Groom Magazine), “Like” us or leave us a message/comment on the page. We will email a link to you for the BOGO deal and one lucky registrant will get their fee reimbursed by Bridal U the day of the event!

Have fun! Kelly

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Real Wedding: Beth and Mark
categories: fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, real weddings

I have to say, I love it when East Coast couples chose to have their weddings here in Arizona. I’m a Wisconsin girl and whenever my relatives come to visit, I enjoy showing off the beauty of our desert, the perfect golf courses and the unusual red rocks of Sedona.

Beth and Mark, who are both from Massachusetts, wanted their guests to feel like they were on vacation when they came to Arizona so they chose the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa as home-base for the entire weekend. This was a smart move on their part because the JW is amazing. It’s huge, has great dining, a chic spa, several pools, beautiful rooms, etc. But most  importantly, they have Tuscany- a warm and inviting beauty of a restaurant that is perfect for wedding receptions. We’ll get to that later…

The gorgeous couple

Beth was radiant in an ivory and champagne gown while her girls donned cognac-hued dresses and carried bouquets of sunset orange lilies and oversized ivory roses.

The handsome men in coordinating vests and ties

It was a signature Arizona fall day- the sky was bright blue, the golf course and mountain views were spectacular, nobody was chilly (like they would be back east!)…

Beth tells us: Our reception was in the Tuscany Ristorante; Tuscany Ristorante has an old style italian mood so we went with it! Long bare wooden tables were set family style. Candle centerpieces were surrounded with rose petals and votive candles. Favors were mini cigar boxes filled with chocolate and salt water taffy made and sent from my Aunt’s family- owned shop, Nichol’s Ocean Home Candies, in Gloucetser MA. Cigar boxes were also decorated with feathers and string of pearls for the ladies to add to the old italian flare

Such a sweet picture

Our meal consisted of 5 courses begining with crab cake appetizers and ending with a trio of creme brulee. Mark selected the cake flavors, color and design; displayed on the cake table were pictures of our parents on their wedding day cutting their cake.

This is the creme brulee trio- yum!

Here are some post-wedding nuggets that I just had to know:

KG: Now that you have had some time to reflect on your wedding, what is your favorite memory from the day?

BP: My favorite part of the day was walking down the aisle with my dad (sharing that special moment with him) and being handed off to Mark.

KG: What was the smartest planning decision you made?

BP: To have it at a location that can accommodate everyone, esp. out of town guests without rental cars and knowledge of the area

KG:  Now that your day has come and gone, what advice would you offer brides-to-be?

BP: This is a tough one. As far as the planning – concentrate on one thing at a time. Once you decide on something don’t look back. Example: you find an invitation that you want/love – you have to have it! get it and never look at another invitation. When people give you advice: smile, accept their two cents and do what you want. It’s your day! This is the time in your life you need to be selfish and make it the wedding that you want. I sometimes feel brides/grooms get too caught up in making everyone else happy (I used to plan weddings for a hotel – I have seen this plenty of times). Try not to stress.. as far as the wedding day.. sit back, relax and enjoy it because it goes by so fast.

KG: Tell us what you love best about being married!

BP: Being someone’s spouse and best friend, someone to share each day/night with and that no matter what you know they will be there

Thank you Beth and Mark and Congratulations on your new life together!

Beth and Mark’s Real Wedding Team:

Ceremony Site: Ballroom Lawn, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa

Reception Site: Tuscany Ristorante, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa

Bridal Gown Store: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse

Florist: Wendell Design Group Florists, LLC

Photographer: Cosey Photography

Invitations: Thee Wedding Warehouse

Caterer: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa

Cake: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa

DJ: Starz Entertainment, John Green

Make-up Artist: MAC

Hair Stylist: Studio 326, Peter

Officiant: Reverend Marnie Olsen


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Announcing…White by Vera Wang
categories: bridal fashions

The latest White Collection from Queen Bee Designer Vera Wang is not only stunning but so fashion forward it’s making my head spin. Since her previous collection was so successful, she expanded by including Bridesmaids dresses and they do not disappoint. The White by Vera Wang Fall 2011 Bridal and Bridesmaids collections can be found exclusively at David’s Bridal. That means you are getting fabulously beautiful dresses paired with unmatched quality at an affordable price. I love that combo!

Time to share the pretties, starting with the Bridal Collection. This strapless taffeta beauty with 3D embroidery is so feminine and detailed.

This elegant strapless satin corset gown with a v-neck overlay and pretty matching sash is ethereal

I love this mermaid gown!

The lace in this gown makes it a classic while the belt adds a modern touch

This empire waist gown that’s cut on the bias flatters a variety of body types

And now, the Bridesmaids! This is a new addition to the White Collection and I think you’re going to be pleased. Oh, and not one of these delicious frocks is more than $200!

I am in LOVE with this dress!

Sleek and sexy, perfect for an evening out!

See the shoes in this shot? Take note and look for more on these later!

And this organza strapless number with the detailing on the belt is so beautiful

When given a choice, I usually choose green so this column dress in moss is perfect!

The exposed zipper on this satin dress offers an edgy surprise

Soon we will feature Vera’s shoe and hairpiece collections. Stunning stuff, I promise! The White by Vera Wang Collection is exclusive to the over 250 David’s Bridal stores nationwide so go on and set up your dream dress appointment!

Chatting Soon~Kelly



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