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Archive for September, 2011

Moulin Rouge: A Phoenix Bride & Groom Event
categories: cakes and sweets, entertainment, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, Meet Our Friends, reception ideas, trends in catering, what's hot in rentals

Paris’ Moulin Rouge, where extravagant entertainment, the can-can dance and circus inspired acts feel at home, is known for drama. The setting is decadent, the people are jubilant, and everyone has such a good time, they stay all night.

Our recent Moulin Rouge inspired event at The Venue Scottsdale was nothing short of fabulous, just like the real Moulin Rouge,  thanks to the many people who helped to make it an evening to remember. We are so anxious to share our adventures with you!

It all started with a buzz about the invitations from Celebrations in Paper… the red feather, vintage aesthetic and fishnet detail made them gloriously flirtatious. The RSVP’s came rolling in!

The Venue Scottsdale was the ideal location for our event since it has distinct areas- we used the main courtyard for the large and raucous party, the bar nooks (otherwise known as the catacombs) for the more intimate entertainment and the Billiards room for dining . This is the main party hall with a dramatic high ceiling and a stage we couldn’t resist.

This is Ashley Richardson of Ashley Gain Weddings and Events. This gal worked her tail off to make our event as spectacular as it was and we are so grateful to her. She always looked at ease which is quite a trick when planning an event of this magnitude!

Here are the girls- this is probably the ONLY time they sat all night! Aren’t they a gorgeous crew?

On to the party!

The linens and centerpieces elicited oohs and ahhs- you can see why!

Here is our much admired Publisher, Fran Samuel, alongside our Marketing and Sales Director Jennifer Rabito, who is always a crowd favorite. Below them is Bob Messinger of Applause Entertainment who acted as MC for the night and provided us with the entertainment for the entire evening. It was quite spectacular- the catacombs of The Venue Scottsdale were occupied with all sorts of eccentric talents such as Lip Readers and Tarot Card Readers. And of course, not to be forgotten, we had an aerialist, can can dancers and a crooner in the main courtyard!

Of course there was food…oh the food!

Photographer Sarah Hagerty of Hagerty Photography was able to relax a little, then it was back to work capturing more beautiful scenery and people!

We ended the night the best way we know how- with chocolate! Bedazzle my Bon Bons made these decadent and sparkly delights especially for our event and they were completely sinful…

Here we all are! The Phoenix Bride and Groom Team thanks all of the vendors who gave so generously of their time and talents to make the Moulin Rouge Event a success. It was wonderful connecting with so many wedding industry professionals and we can’t wait for the next party!

We also enjoyed a Live Photobooth by Keith Pitts- these are always so fun!

Here is a slideshow from Hagerty Photography that shows even more pictures!

If you enjoy time lapse videos, you are going to like this quick one of our set-up created by Serendipity Videography:

Phoenix Bride & Groom Timelapse by Serendipity Videography from Serendipity Videography on Vimeo.

We could not have enjoyed ourselves and entertained our guests without the following people/companies. Their contributions and hard work made this THE event of the year!

Thank You…

The Venue Scottsdale/ Ashley Gain Weddings and Events/Hagerty Photography/Serendipity Videography/Celebrations in Paper/BBJ Linen/Wildflower Linen/Quest Drape/Sound Lighting F/X/ Events by Showstoppers/ Classic Party Rentals/Designer8* Furniture Rental/ Applause Productions & Entertainment/ Encore Creative/Heidi’s Events and Catering/Fabulous Fine Food Catering and Events/Santa Barbara Catering/Marcellino Ristorante/Creations in Cuisine Catering/Ciao Baby Catering/Bruce Brown Catering and Events/My Goodness Cakes/La Dolce Pesca/ Creative Cappucino/Honey Moon Sweets/ Bedazzle My Bon Bons/Live Photobooth by Keith Pitts/Lip Story

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Real Wedding: Jennifer and Todd
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, real weddings, Wedding Inspiration

If you have never seen a wedding at Sassi , you’ve missed out on a beautiful thing. Sassi is spectacular for so many reasons; the dramatic stone and wood accents throughout, the carefully planned and executed menus, the ceremony space nestled just perfectly in the desert, the old world reception room that boasts beautiful fireplaces…I could go on and on but after hearing about Jennifer’s wedding, I love it even more.  See, Jennifer’s father is the visionary and owner of Sassi. Jennifer  “truly believes her father had an eye toward walking his daughter down the Sassi stone stairway when he was first creating the beautiful Four Diamond restaurant.”

It’s the sentimental touches that elevate weddings to another level…let’s have a look at this dream wedding!

Jennifer’s bouquet featured tones of red, terra cotta and lavender and included a special good luck charm passed down from her great grandmother — a simple pink crystal stone in the shape of a heart

See the breathtaking backdrop? Only at Sassi do you get this view, and the bright flowers add a dramatic pop of color

The candle lit reception in the Sassi Room set a perfectly romantic mood.  This room is known for it’s wood-beamed ceilings and two fireplaces; Jennifer and Todd wanted to work with the warm tones so they chose gold and champagne decor, decorated with centerpieces of  lavender larkspur, red roses and James Story orchids, created table cards with names such as: Romance, Harmony and Amour, and chose a specially-crafted “Heavenly Dreams” linen. It all came together beautifully.

The cake by Let Them Eat Cake is exquisite and the topper is by artist Kim Lawrence. Jennifer explains:  I fell in love with the uniqueness of it. It’s called the “Circle of Love” because there is a circle in the middle of the sculpture between the couple- showing everlasting love between one another. I just wanted something slightly different yet romantic at the same time. I still have the piece. It is in our formal dining room in a glass case overlooking our dining room table.

Here’s my post-wedding Q&A with Jennifer:

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

JP: My favorite memory at my wedding was seeing my husband-to-be for the first time. Actually it was twice. We did a sneak peek before the ceremony, and then I got to have the same feeling again as I walked down the aisle. This is permanently marked in my mind for the rest of my life. Having the adrenalin go thru my body 2X was way better then once.

KG: What was the smartest planning decision you made?

JP: The smartest thing I did was involve my family on all the decisions I made along with Todd. I felt like not only was it “my day” it was their day too since I am their only daughter. I am sure it was just as important to them as it was for me. I am glad they were there for every move I made.

KG: Did you go on a Honeymoon?

JP: We went to St. Lucia. Actually, we stayed where the “Bachelor” was filmed (The one with Jake and Vienna- where he proposed). The hotel is called Jade Mountain. We never knew that we were staying where this was filmed because we booked our rooms months before the show even aired on TV, but it was a treat to see it again on TV. We chose Jade Mountain because it was tropical and exotic yet VERY private. All the rooms are only 3 walled.

 Oh, and one other bonus, Todd and I renewed our vows again alongside the beach. He surprise me. I felt very lucky marrying him twice!

KG: What advice would you give brides-to-be?

JP: I would tell the Brides to be, to enjoy every second of it! Take pictures of everything! You get this one day to make it about you. I would also say- don’t forget to thank your parents because if they’re anything like mine, they were just as excited as I was!!!!

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

JP: The best thing being married is that I married my best friend.

Thank you Jennifer and Todd for sharing your day with us and CONGRATULATIONS!

Jennifer and Todd’s Real Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Bernice Hertzfeldt, Sassi

Ceremony and Reception Site: Sassi

Photographer: David DeDios

Videographer: One Love Wedding Cinema

Bridal Gown: Felicity Couture Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: Twirl Boutique

Florist: Your Event Florist

Invitations: Francis Orr

Cappuccino Bar: Creative Cappuccino

Cake: Let Them Eat Cake

Ceremony and Cocktail Musician: Gustavo

DJ: Mancini Entertainment

Make-up Artist/Hair Stylist: Deanna Rene

Linens: Southwick Linens

Transportation: Aries Limousine



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Great Finds: Custom Artwork 3 Ways
categories: favor and gift ideas, for your ceremony, reception ideas, Trends, Wedding Inspiration

Photography, videography and photobooths are the typical means of capturing wedding day memories and I am a huge proponent of those but have you explored additional ways to document your day? There is a plethora of custom artwork available that is perfect for showcasing your wedding memories.

A friend told me about Susan Woodward  and I knew instantly that I needed to be the friend who tells YOU about her work. They are simple and powerful at the same time.  Check out Susan’s paintings:



Here’s a bit about her process: I start with either taking the photo myself or using a photo that the client submits to me. I draw the image with pencil onto cotton fiber watercolor paper. I lay in light washes of watercolor paint and build up to heavy darker tones. It usually takes 1-5 hours to complete a painting. I sign the bottom with the name of the subject,the year and of course, my signature.

Here’s a really sweet one of a father and daughter…perfect Dad-of-the-Bride gift, no?

I would be remiss if I didn’t steer you towards Etsy, the fantastical wonderland of all things creative. I found these really cool and modern wall art pieces in the Etsy shop NiceDay4AWhiteWedding ; they make a lovely backdrop to an altar, can be used as reception decor and will ultimately be part of your new home decor. They also make a perfect anniversary gift. It’s impossible for me to choose which I like best- I’ll leave the hard work up to you!

Idea #3 is to combine artwork and your wedding vows. Art Vows has a ton of design options so no matter what your decor, you can probably find a design that fits in with your style. I think this makes a great housewarming gift to give the newlyweds. Here are just a few of the designs available:

(Katagami- Indigo, Artist:  Temma Gentles)

(Gustav Glimt’s “Fulfillment” , Artist: Michelle Rummel)

(Argyle-Precious Metals)

(Love’s Mosaic: Marble and Sandstone, Artist: Robert Saslow)

Part of the planning involved with your wedding is planning to preserve your memories from the day and I see these ideas as beautiful and heartfelt enhancements. Enjoy!

Chatting Soon~Kelly


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Real Wedding: Britney and Josh
categories: fabulous reception sites, real weddings, Wedding Inspiration

Britney and Josh were married at Encanterra Country Club in the East Valley and I get the feeling that Britney likes a little glam…look at this gorgeous couple surrounded by crystal chandeliers!

Love these sparkly, feminine, and glammy shoes!

With so many elegant details and dramatic backdrops, Encanterra seems like an phenomenal location for wedding photos. Britney was so happy with it that she gushed just a teeny tiny bit: Teagan Mercer, Encanterra’s on-site event coordinator, did an exceptional job helping us plan our day, guiding us through the entire experience. We are so thrilled we found such an amazing venue, not only was it beautiful, but the service was excellent!

How sweet are these bridesmaids dresses?

Britney has the kindest things to say about her wedding vendors. I think she and Josh were probably a dream to work with! Of her photographer, Sarah Hagerty, she says: Words cannot describe how fantastic our wedding photographers from Hagerty Photography are. Sarah and Nick are truly the best photographers ever! We are so happy to have found them because they captured every detail of our day, from the bridal party getting ready, to our grand exit. They did a phenomenal job, and we will forever be grateful for the many memories they captured for us.

Britney tells us about the reception: The reception was held just off the patio in the elegant Mallorca Events Center, a huge room with high ceilings and large doors that were eventually opened to enjoy the beautiful weather. Our color scheme was pink and black, which was featured in our flowers and linens…The food was phenomenal and consisted of salad, Chicken Fontanella, Chef carved Hanging Tenderloin, potatoes, and vegetables. During dinner, guests were entertained with a slideshow created by my brother. After dinner, we danced all night, celebrated with family and friends, and truly had the most amazing time of our lives! Ray the DJ was our DJ for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. He was extremely personable, outgoing, and paid attention to every detail.

We exited our reception through a gauntlet of sparklers held by our guests, who were treated with cookies and milk as they left for the evening.

Here’s my Q and A with the couple:

KG: What is your favorite memory from the day?

B: It is very difficult to pick a favorite memory, so I narrowed it down to three:

1) Seeing each other for the first time that day. We saw each other before the ceremony in a more intimate setting, and had beautiful pictures taken. This special moment was captured by our photographers.

2) When I walked down the isle and met Josh at the altar. Because we saw each other before the wedding, it was like we got 2 special “wow” moments of seeing each other.

3) When my 2 year old nephew Blake, attempted to mimick Josh break dance on the dance floor during the reception. The two ended up in the middle of the crowd dancing. So cute!

 Josh’s favorite memory was dancing all night with me, his family, and his friends.

 KG: What was the smartest planning decision you made?

B: 1) We had a lot of guests come in from out of town so we hired a limousine service to charter them via bus between the hotel and wedding site.

2) I also liked that we planned some of our pictures before the ceremony so we could spend most of the time with our guests, but still have a ton of pictures.

3) We had our Luau style rehearsal dinner at our house the night before the wedding. We decided on a Luau because our honeymoon was in Maui. We strung party lights across our backyard above colorful tables and Tiki torches, and had it catered by Rumbi Island Grill. We had it at our house so guests could better socialize and families could bring their kids to run and play.

KG: Did you go on a Honeymoon?

B: We went to Maui, Hawaii and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Resort. We have always wanted to go to Maui and we found a great vacation package for the Hyatt Regency Resort through Costco. In Maui, we went snorkeling, drove the Road to Hana, went paddle boarding (one of my favorite new things to do), shopped, went to a Luau, relaxed on the beach, went on a Helicopter Tour, hiked to a few waterfalls, and explored some amazing places!

KG: What advice would you offer brides-to-be?

B: To have a wedding coordinator/event planner! I HIGHLY recommend Teagan. She is amazing and thought of important things that I would have missed. I looked forward to our appointments and loved working with her. It was a completely stress free wedding day because I was confident that she knew exactly what we wanted. I don’t know what I would have done without her!

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

B: We love calling each other husband and wife and planning a future together

Britney and Josh’s Real Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Teagan Mercer, Encanterra Country Club

Ceremony and Reception Site: Encanterra Country Club

Photographer: Hagerty Photography

Bridal Gown Store: Uptown Bridal and Boutique

Bridesmaids Dresses: Twirl Boutique

Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse

Florist and Cake: Albertson’s

Invitations: All Occasions Invitations

DJ: Ray the DJ

Make-up Artist: Trista Rico

Hair Stylist:  Alexa, Alexa’s Hair Salon

Officiant: Rev. Rick Bell

Transportation: New York 54 Limousines




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Shhhhh…the Bride and Groom are here!
categories: entertainment, reception ideas, Wedding Inspiration

What in the world could we be discussing today? Is it guest etiquette during a first dance? No! Is it wedding guest cell phone taboos? Nope! Today we are talking about our teeniest, sweetest and often noisiest guests…the kids!

(Photo By: Eyes2See Photography)

(Photo By: Chris Richards Photography)

Many couples plan for children to be at their weddings and I am all for it. Families are blending, flower girls and ring bearers have wedding duties and children love a party just as much as adults do but how can you keep kids happy and entertained so they don’t become unruly? You must be very clever and plan ahead.

(Photo By: Marriott Photo)

(Photo By: Chris Richards Photography)

During my years in the wedding world, I have seen couples plan fabulous fun for the kids and I have seen couples shun this idea (only to pay the expensive broken vase price later). Check out these ways to keep kids (or even adults) busy:

1. The kids table! I loathed being banished to the kids table at Thanksgiving but if you make it a fun and kid-friendly table, I’m sure you won’t hear any complaints

(Photo By: Phyllis Lane Photography)

(Photo By: Jennifer Bowen Photography)

2. Activities are key; even the littlest ones can play I Spy (with the help of someone who can read of course), Word Finds and Wedding Word Scrambles

(Photo By: Jennifer Bowen Photography , Concept By: Victoria Canada Weddings and Events)

(Photo By: Marriott Photo)

Crossword puzzles keep all ages occupied

(Photo By: Sergio Photographer)

3. Go super-creative and set up a kids’ game station. This Tic Tac Toe game from our Seven Canyons photoshoot in Sedona can easily be modified to fit any wedding decor.

(Concept By: Sedona Luxury Weddings and Events and Dalish Events, Photo By: Sedona Bride Photographers)

If you plan to entertain several children over the age of 6 and you want to go down is history as the VERY best wedding hosts, bring in a portable Game Truck. The kids will go in to play all kinds of games but I must warn you: you probably won’t see them the rest of the night!

(Photo Courtesy of Games2U)

4. Instill a little competition: by posting trivia games at the table, you are appealing to kids’ competitive natures. This is appropriate for older kids and adults depending on the trivia. Include a prize for the most correct answers and you will really get them going!

(Concept By: Butterfly Petals, Photo By: Ten West Photography)

5. Set up a separate kids dance floor. You can use your own ipod pepared with kids dance music or even bring someone in to be the kids’ DJ- they can do the chicken dance, hokey pokey, etc. Don’t be surprised if some of the adults wander over to “check on the kids”!

(Photo By: Something Blue Photography)

6. And finally, keep them fed! You know how cranky you get when you are hungry? Kids are the same way! You can offer easy to eat kids’ food like mac and cheese or chicken fingers but if you want to really keep the kids happy, set up kid friendly food stations like a taco bar, hamburgers and hot dogs or a pasta bar. And of course, don’t forget a sundae bar.

(Photo By: Jennifer Bowen Photography)

Surely these happy kids had some fun at the wedding…and behaved too!

(Photo  By: Chris Richards Photography

Chatting Soon~Kelly





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Destination Monday: Casa Colina, Isla Navidad
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons

I could just say the words “5 Star Villa” and you would probably be intrigued but I have to share more than that with you. Casa Colina, located in picturesque Isla Navidad, Mexico, offers the best of the best as far as privacy, beaches and luxury. This 6 room private villa makes for a perfect couples retreat, destination honeymoon/wedding or girlfriend getaway. I have a friend planning her vow renewal and I think this would make the perfect place for her event!

I would like to show you my room…

This is called the “Top of the World Palapa” and it’s where you can find me should I ever run away from home

To entice you even more, here are some details on Casa Colina’s luxurious amenities:

– A secluded and private location perched atop a hillside in Isla Navidad.

– 360-degree views of the lush countryside and jewel-toned Pacific Ocean.

– Private outdoor pool and terrace where meals can be served or cocktails enjoyed at sunset.

– Expansive outdoor area with an infinity-edge pool, blue-tiled Jacuzzi, gourmet BBQ, and plush lounge chairs and umbrellas.

– Surround-sound home theatre with a 65” Panasonic plasma TV, satellite receiver, and DVD player.

– Fitness center with state-of-the-art machines, chilled towels and water, and fold-back windows with views of the ocean and mountains.

– Indoor/outdoor Top of the World Palapa with a custom-built Estrella chandelier, fully-stocked bar, and views of the mountains and ocean.

– Lagoon View Lounge with a hand-laid brick cathedral ceiling and Balinese furnishings.

– Private staff and chef on-site everyday to meet guests’ needs, including massages by the pool, personally tailored meals, and housecleaning services.

– Close proximity to the famous Isla Navidad Grand Bay Resort, an AAA four-diamond hotel with a 27-hole golf course; lagoon-side tennis courts; horseback riding; water sports such as kayaking and catamaran Hobie Cats; and deep-sea fishing available year-round at the Grand Bay Aquatic Club.

And of course, there’s a deal to be had, but it’s only for a few more months so get on it!

Now through December 1, 2011, guests who stay at Casa Colina six nights get the seventh night free. This is in addition to also offering guests some of the lowest summer seasonal rates of any private villa in Mexico – nearly 50 percent off its regular rates. Low season rates, which run through the end of September 2011, begin at $2900 compared to Casa Colina’s high season rates of $4900. But the savings don’t end there. Casa Colina is also offering a 5% discount per bedroom not used during your stay. For example, if you have four people in your party and require only two rooms, you would get a 20 % discount for not using the four other bedrooms. Rates include airport pickup and drop off, private chef and staff, and laundry services.

I can imagine that Casa Colina is going to book up pretty quickly so go on and get it!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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