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Archive for October, 2011

Wedding Inspiration: Rose Petal Carpets
categories: floral inspiration, for your ceremony, Meet Our Friends, Sedona Weddings, Trends, Wedding Inspiration

Every once in a while I engage in a conversation that reminds me how lucky we are here in Arizona to have such talented and innovative wedding vendors to work with. While talking “wedding world” with people who are not in the industry or planning a wedding, their eyes gloss over when I  speak about escort card displays, candy bars and late-night sliders. I guess I take all those things for granted but one thing that all people can appreciate as soon as I explain it is the Rose Petal Carpet.

(Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers)

As far as I’m concerned, this floral concept is the #1 way to impact the look of your ceremony and Events by Showstoppers specializes in them. Ken and Jim, Showstoppers’ founders,  consistently design spectacular carpets and never stop innovating with their designs. It’s cutting edge floral that rocks my world!

(Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Photo by: Phyllis Lane Photography)

(Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Photo by: Phyllis Lane Photography)

(Photo by: Phyllis Lane Photography)

Events by Showstoppers creates carpets for corporate functions as well- fashion shows, photoshoots, etc. This carpet may look familiar since it was designed for our 10th Anniversary Issue cover (and our 10th Anniversary Gala)!

 (Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers)

This is from Wildflower Linen’s Arizona warehouse debut  fashion show (see more from the Wildflower Linens Show) :

Now do you see why I love these? Rose petals will never be the same again!

As you can imagine, the process of designing and executing these very special carpets is labor intensive but I think Events by Showstoppers founders Jim and Ken really have a passion for it. Here’s what they had to say when I asked them a few questions about their work:

KG: You always seem to be on the cutting-edge when it comes to floral design. Where do you get your inspiration from?

J/K: We get our inspiration from all kinds of sources. One source is from our love of old classic movies. We love to incorporate, for example, lighting effects we see in old ” film noir ” movies from the 40s and 50s. Some of our best inspiration comes from the old classic biblical movies where we get great ideas for fabric draping, unusual color schemes, and other lighting effects. The half circular rose petal carpet we produced for a PB&G shoot at L’Auberge ( a few issues ago ) was actually inspired while watching Cleopatra. I designed the carpet like an Egyptian jeweled collar. When I explain the inspiration for this design, people immediately ” get it .”

KG: How long have you been doing rose petal carpets and what do you love most about them?

J/K: For about 4 years. I especially love the process of drawing the concept, selecting the colors and calculating the quantity. Seeing the final result and how it pleases the onlookers is very fulfilling.

KG: What challenges do you face when creating rose petal carpets and how do you overcome them?

J/K: Wind. You don’t overcome it. You have to go with it.

KG: If you could create your dream rose petal carpet, what would it look like?

J/K: A kaleidoscope. Lots of interesting things can be done.. especially indoors.

KG: What floral trends are you seeing for Winter ’11/Spring ’12 weddings?

J/K: I don’t know about other designers but we are interested in one color ( monochromatic ) color schemes with multiple, muted derivatives of that color, combined with various tones of grey. Like muddy mustard colors combined with charcoal and lighter grey. Also interested in complimentary and split-compliment schemes like mustard colors against raspberry and fuchsia with grey or silver.

Events by Showstoppers just launched their new website too- it’s full of their gorgeous floral designs. And yes, the Rose Petal Carpets have a dedicated section!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Real Wedding: Susannah and Brent
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, real weddings, Wedding Inspiration

Susannah and Brent’s wedding day was elegant and gorgeous, just like the Arizona Biltmore Resort, where they chose to celebrate the end of their long-distance status and the beginning of their new life together. Regarding the decor for the day, Susannah says, “we focused on the concept of modern romance for our decor which meant clean lines for our ceremony, flowers and reception centerpieces, all-white florals, and a ton of candlelight.

Once you see their wedding day pictures, I think you’ll agree they achieved a beautifully romantic look!

Could you just DIE at the sweet look on Brent’s face as he sees Susannah for the first time? Swoon!

This is one of my favorite recent bridal party photographs

The Aztec Room at the Arizona Biltmore features a dramatic gold leaf ceiling which worked perfectly with Susannah’s candlelit cream decor; the ceiling and lighting create the perfect glow.

The cake from Sedona Cake Couture is completely elegant and I LOVE it!

Susannah and I exchanged a few thoughts about her gorgeous day. Here’s our Q & A:

KG: What was the smartest planning decision you made?

SO: the best thing I did for the wedding was

a) investing in a wedding coordinator that was someone I liked doing business with. Karen listened to our vision for the day, helped to enhance our vision with her expertise, kept me very calm, and importantly respected our budget

b) I kept Brent, my husband,involved…not in every detail but with core decisions and ensured I asked what he thought/wanted. This made the wedding day really special and about us both

KG: Can you tell me about your honeymoon?

SO:  We honeymooned in the South Island of New Zealand and Fiji – it was great. I think it helped us enjoy the wedding even more that the next day we stepped on the plane and went away together. It also kept things in perspective that our getting married was more than just about only planning the wedding, we had something to look forward to after, and we could decompress together after a year of planning and excitement.

KG: What advice do you have for couples planning their weddings?

SO: Prioritize and focus on what is important to you. Do invest in planning before your wedding, spend time getting your ideal wedding day together BUT the day of don’t stress… you can’t change the weather and you can’t change anything that has not been done. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy; if the bride is happy and having a great time, her guests will too which makes for the best celebration of all!

Susannah and Brent, thank you so much for sharing your special day with us and congratulations on your new life together!

Susannah and Brent’s Real Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Karen Doan Events

Ceremony and Reception Site: Arizona Biltmore Resort

Photographer: Hollye Schumacher

Bridal Gown Store: Destiny’s Bride

Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew

Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse

Florist: Angelic Grove

Videographer: Esthetics in Motion

Invitations: The Paper Place

Caterer: Arizona Biltmore Resort

Cake: Sedona Cake Couture

Ceremony Musicians: Apperson Strings

Trumpet Soloist: Arizona Brass, Kurt

Cocktail Hour Music: Gustavo (classical guitar)

Band: Shining Star Band

Make-up Artist: Deanna Rene

Hair Stylist: The Green Room at Salon Sachi, Meaghan Gingrich

Officiant: Arizona Ministers, Jay Whittaker

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals



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Real Wedding: Natasha and Josh
categories: real weddings

Natasha and Josh were married last winter and of course since it’s Arizona you can’t tell that there was a chill in the air at all! That’s the benefit of getting married in the desert- the air is rarely frigid and it’s often quite sunny! Natasha and Josh chose The Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens for their ceremony and reception which is one of the most unique venues in the valley. It’s eclectic, lush and private. While there, you get the feeling that it’s just you and your guests among the tropical foliage and interesting nooks.

Let’s take a look at this black and white Winter wedding

Love Natasha’s smile!

I have no idea how this pictured conspired but I really like it

The guys playing around pre-wedding

The colors, worn doors, chunky window sills contribute to  Boojum Tree’s signature look

Natasha and Josh tell us: The decor included lanterns, candles, twinkle lights around the venue and centerpieces of glittered candles and a vase of diamond shaped jewels with silver branches. Black and crystal candle lit chandliers hung above the reception tables draped in a crushed pewter linen. Meaningful words of our relationship made out of hand twisted metal guided the guests to their tables. For dessert we did a medley of gourmet cookies, mini cupcakes, brownies and good old american favorites such as oreos and girl scout thin mints featuring a milk fountain.


Tasha & Josh from Kendra @ Bella Mia Video on Vimeo.

You know how I like to get the post-wedding scoop from our couples so here’s our Q and A:

KG: What is your favorite memory from the day?

TW: My favorite part of the wedding was having such a great time with our friends and family. Our wedding was truly a celebration!

KG: What was the smartest planning decision you made?

TW: The smartest planning decision was to keep it simple and laid back. We did all the photos before the ceremony so we were able to enjoy cocktail hour with our guests and that was so much fun!

KG: Tell us about your Honeymoon

TW: We went to Kauai, Hawaii. We stayed at the Wyndham Bali Hai in Princeville. It was amazing. We selected that island because it was more laid back and less touristy. We went to the beach, on a zip line tour and skydiving. We want to go back!

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

TW: Don’t overload yourself, get things done early so you can enjoy being engaged and not be stressed closer to your special day. Don’t forget your wedding is a day for you and your love to celebrate your union and share it with your friends and family.

KG: What do you love best about being married?

TW: I am married to my best friend. Nothing has changed since we got married (which it shouldn’t). Its really cool to know that when you get home you have someone whom you laugh and have fun with.

Thank you Natasha and Josh for sharing your day with us and congratulations!

Natasha and Josh’s Real Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: In Awe Weddings & Events

Ceremony and Reception Site: Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens

Photographer: O Grace Photography

Videographer: Bella Mia Video

Bridal Gown: Brides by Demetrios

Florist: Flowers by Jodi

Invitations: Flossy Stylish Designs

Caterer: A Savory Affair Cuisine and Catering

Officiant: From This Day Forward

Linens: Special Events Table Linens

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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Troon Weddings: A New Approach
categories: fabulous reception sites, for your ceremony, reception ideas, Trends, trends in catering, Wedding Resources

Every bride has a unique style when it comes to planning a wedding.  Some gals want simple decor and crazy-fun entertainment while others want appetizers only and floral to rival the Rose Parade. It all comes down to personal style and priorities so when we heard about the new approach to wedding planning at Troon Weddings, we had to dig a little deeper.

What we found is a simple approach to an often complicated process. The bold move to create 4 distinct wedding experiences for brides is nothing short of genius since the focus is on the bride and her priorities. This approach screams “Destination Wedding” to me since the planning seems very streamlined.

The first experience is  “Green” and although we hear this term often these days, the entire experience is designed by Troon for a couple who seeks an eco-friendly wedding. Many of the menu items are from locally grown sources such as Four Peaks ale mustard, Arizona Heritage beef and Fossil Creek goat cheese. The bar options are all organic and/or practice sustainability; the “One Bottle, One Tree” program sponsored by Trinity Oaks winery tells you Troon is serious about maintaining the green elements brides want.

Next is the “Modern” experience which is for a couple who wants a cutting edge and trendy wedding. With this choice your guests enjoy food stations that include a Bruschetta Bar (yum!) and made to order Caprese Salad  station. The trendy vibe continues with swanky liquor options and a “Prohibition” Cigar and Cocktail bar.

If you are more of a laid-back and fun type of couple, the “Social” experience may be right up your alley. This is for the couple that wants to have a great time with their guests at a beautiful location with delicious eats but doesn’t want to fuss over the details.

(All Images Courtesy of Emily Carroll)

And finally, there’s the “Traditional” experience that caters to the bride who wants no classic wedding detail forgotten. It’s a pretty straightforward experience but there are cool enhancements like the Bubble Bar (a champagne bar that offers fruit purees to add to your bubbly) and a Venetian Table, which is a decadent sweets spread.

So one questions lingers: what if you want the appetizers from the Social experience, the bar from the Green experience and the enhancements from the Traditional option? Don’t worry! Troon wants you to have the wedding you envision so they have created an option to mix and match! Perfect.

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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Great Find: 2 Bridal Party Gift Ideas
categories: favor and gift ideas

Some days, I wake up and I know exactly what I need to tell you and how I am going to tell it to you. Other days, I wake up thinking of  something I’ve seen lately and just can’t figure out the best approach so I sit with it. And I sit with it…

So what’s in my lap today? A few goodies that are not really related to each other but should please you nonetheless (and please your besties should you be looking for bridal party gifts).

First is a clutch I am DYING for. This is monumental because I am not necessarily a purse girl. I have a few but they’re not sexy or particularly flashy. These reversible luxe babies from Hammocks &  High Tea (a luxury eco-friendly textile company) are a game changer for me:

I covet the black and white one the most (says the non-purse girl…)

Do you see why I’ve been in sort of a tizzy over these? They’re smart and stylish- a combo that gets me every time. Browse Hammocks & High Tea’s website and be ready to pounce because these are available starting today and have hit the stores just in time for gift giving season!

The next product you need to check out is perfect for your ENTIRE bridal party, not just the gals. Urbanears came to me via Stephanie Gandy-Riley, our editor, and I knew they were special from the get go. These ultra-hip headphones come in 4 styles and so many colors; surely you’ll find your bridal party’s favorite colors or a set to coordinate with your wedding colors. If you are into music, like to make music, or want the coolest aisle dance in the history of aisle dances, get yourself some Urbanears. Here are the Raspberry Bagis headphones:


And here’s a screen shot of the new Fall color choices (I played around with the very fun color chooser feature which you will find irresistible):

Just so you know, although the colors are a really tempting and important  feature of Urbanears, they are also a high quality product; the Urbanears founders are known for their passion for style and function. Lucky us!

Now that I have shared 2 fabulous gifts to bestow on your bridal party, it’s your turn to class up the wrapping a bit with these cuties from Lisa Leonard Designs. The “Grateful Tags” are hand-stamped pewter tags that up the charm factor of any gift.

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!




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Real Wedding: Krissy and Mike
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, real weddings, Wedding Inspiration

The Hotel Valley Ho is THE place to have a good time in Scottsdale. Whether you’re there for a staycation, a girl’s getaway or a wedding, it’s a known fact that the hip people hang there. So Krissy and Mike, who had their wedding at this historical spot, are undoubtedly cool. But they also have style and most importantly, lots of love. Their retro black and white wedding is one of my recent favorites and I am excited for your to see how beautiful the whole day was.


Hello hot shoes!

The balconies at the Valley Ho make for some great photo ops

This is in the lobby where there are lots of bright colors and warm nooks

Many couples choose to get married “in the round” at the Valley Ho. The ceremony space lends itself well to this shape and couples like it for the intimate atmosphere you get from being surrounded by your loved ones

The bride’s bouquet, composed of anemones, had the right colors and vintage flair

To make their ceremony extra special, Krissy and Mike placed a bottle of wine and letters written by each of them and their parents in a wine box to be opened on their 5th Anniversary. They plan to open the box, enjoy the wine, read the letters and do it all again for the next 5 years. LOVE this!

The reception was on the rooftop of the hotel; it has spectacular city and mountain views

Inspiration can be found anywhere and Krissy and Mike prove this to be true- the vases were spotted by Krissy at Z Gallerie and nothing else would do. They dictated the color scheme and retro vibe for the entire day!

The couple wanted to keep things simple but this sweets table is anything but simple! Look at the fun candies, chic decor and tufted 3 tier cake

Krissy and Mike, thank you so very much for sharing your day with us and congratulations!

Krissy and Mike’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Ceremony and Reception Site: Hotel Valley Ho

Photographer: Sedona Bride

Videographer: Cine Verite Films

Bridal Gown Store: J Crew

Bridesmaids Dress: J Crew

Tuxedos: Mr Formal (dads and brother), Groom’s suit was his own

Florist: Table Tops Etc.

Invitations and Paper Products: Celebrations in Paper

Cake: La Dolce Pesca

Make-up Artist: Azure Schaffer, MAC

Hair Stylist: Hotel Valley Ho Spa

Officiant: Pastor Herb Isenberg, the Bride’s Father

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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