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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for March, 2012

Real Arizona Wedding: Brandi and Brendan
categories: bridal fashions, destination weddings and honeymoons, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, photography, real weddings, Sedona, Sedona Weddings
Brendan and Brandi had a clear vision for their day- they wanted to share one of their favorite places with their closest family and friends.  That place is magical, beautiful and rustic Sedona. L’Auberge de Sedona provided the perfect setting to celebrate and since Brandi is involved in event planning, she knew exactly what she wanted for the look of her destination weekend. The result is intimate, classic and simply gorgeous.

I really love how the floral designs are so natural and lush; the colors and textures are so beautiful

Brandi and Brendan chose Shanandoah Sterling to officiate part of their ceremony- she is a master of blending traditions and a couple’s desire to personalize their ceremony. Needless to say, her ceremonies are very special. You can read read more about her approach to weddings ceremonies here.

Kind of in love with this s’more!

Brandi tells us more about her wedding and the details that made it her dream weekend:

We kept our celebration small in order to accommodate an entire weekend full of activities for our guests. We all enjoyed Pink Jeep Tours the morning of the wedding, and horseback rides and a Cowboy cookout the day after.

Our wedding weekend fell exactly six years from when we first met, which added another special element to the occasion. Fortunately, I own a special events company on the East Coast and had plenty of ideas in advance about the look I wanted for our big day.  Working from across the country with a vendor list provided by L’Auberge, I was able to establish relationships with a team of experts with whom I felt comfortable and was able to orchestrate each detail the way I’d hoped.  The combination of L’Auberge, Bliss, White Tie, hair and makeup magician Patricia Vega, our superb officiant Shanandoah Sterling and of course, Cameron and Jamelle made for a seamless and even relaxing planning experience.  I have to say I miss them all now that the wedding is over!
Our wedding was a group vacation with a romantic twist.  Everyone will always remember their visit to Sedona and the love and beauty that was all around.  As the bride and planner, I will never forget the many text messages of photos I received simultaneously as our guests first set their eyes upon Sedona on the shuttle ride from Phoenix.  I could feel their excitement and knew our wedding weekend would be a once in a lifetime experience, not just for us but for our loved ones as well.
Congratulations Brandi and Brendan and thank you for sharing your day with us!

Brandi and Brendan’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Ceremony and Reception Site: L’Auberge de Sedona

Photographer: Cameron + Kelly Studio

Bridal Gown Store: Exquisite Bride, Jim Hjelm

Bridesmaids Dresses: Nieman Marcus

Suits: Jones New York

Florist: Bliss Extraordinary Floral

Invitations: Engraved Images, William Arthur

Cake: Sedona Cake Couture

Ceremony Musicians: Brian David, guitarist

Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist: Le Petit Salon, Patricia Vega

Officiant: Sterling Weddings

Rentals: La Tavola, via Bliss Extraordinary Floral

Transportation: White Tie Transportation

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!





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The Glamorous Bride: The Engagement Party
categories: fabulous reception sites, health and beauty, photography, Wedding Inspiration

One of the things we love so much here at Phoenix Bride & Groom Magazine is the story of the wedding. Not just the details (which, make no mistake, we completely adore) but the journey a bride takes from being a single gal to a wife. To celebrate this journey, we have created a Bride’s Weekend series for you complete with gorgeous pictures that are the pinnacle of wedding loveliness.

Each bride is unique in her approach to her wedding; her vision for the wedding and events surrounding it say something about her as a beautiful individual. One bride that captures our attention is the Glamorous Bride. She’s sophisticated, sexy, and turns heads with her dramatic appeal. This is the gal you can count on to rock the red lipstick like no other. She’s a modern Elizabeth Taylor and we admire her cosmopolitan attitude.

This gal’s wedding weekend begins with the Engagement Party and a backyard shindig would never do for this bride who craves a large dose of the spectacular. The engagement party plan? A splashy and formal evening where she has ample opportunity to shine like the star she is! A black dress, like this one from Pronovias at Schaffer’s, is the perfect party dress. Our Glamorous Bride is sure to get her drama fix from the abundance of sequins…

(Image by: Eric Cassee)

Of course a Glamorous Bride needs the perfect makeup which ties her entire look together and makeup artist Corinna Cooke had a very specific vision:

For this look we really wanted a touch of old Hollywood glamour, infused with some modern day fabulous. First and foremost we worked to have a flawless complexion. If the skin doesn’t look flawless, the entire look falls down.

A look like this is all about the eyebrow being super defined, and the mouth being a clean pop of intense color, so the eye makeup was kept to a minimum, with a soft, neutral shadow, a slightly winged eyeliner, and tons of lashes.

Corinna recommends Makeup Forever’s HD Foundation, HD Cream Blush, and Rouge Intense Mat8 lipstick.

The final and most spectacular touch is the unexpected and, let’s face it, jaw-dropping amethyst cocktail ring. It’s a stunner from Tiffany & Co. and pairs beautifully with the Paloma’s Venezia diamond and amethyst drop earrings also from Tiffany & Co.

Coming soon to the Phoenix Bride & Groom blog, our Glamorous Bride preps for her wedding day. You won’t want to miss it!

The Glamorous Bride’s Photoshoot Team:

Photographer: Eric Cassee

Wardrobe Stylist: Shannon Campbell

Makeup: Corinna Cooke

Hair: Will Zecco

Jewelry: Tiffany & Co.

Dress: Pronovias, Schaffer’s

Crew Assistant: Katie Adelle Hardison

Photographer Assistant: Steve Karr

Model: Deska, Ford RBA

Location: Hotel Valley Ho

Lingerie: Anastasia’s

Bridal Gowns: Destiny’s Bride

Resort Wear: Calypso St. Barth

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!




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Destination Monday: London
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons

For an Arizonan, London seems like a completely different world. London is proper compared to our casual ways. We have an abundance of sun and London has grey skies. We have a short history, London’s is…how do I not understate this? It’s long and rich and storied. So why are we recommending it for a destination honeymoon? Because it’s different! It’s an escape from your every day Arizona life! And this year is especially perfect for a trip to London because there are 2 significant things happening there: the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years of the Queen’s reign and the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Pretty big stuff, right? If you go, you will need a place to stay and if you haven’t been to London, finding your landing spot can be a daunting task. When we saw Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley though, we knew we had to tell you about them.

First, Claridge’s:

Claridge’s is the beloved Art Deco landmark in Mayfair. It has always been the destination of choice for discerning travelers and royalty, and is often referred to as the “annex of Buckingham Palace,” making the hotel the perfect spot to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this June. Claridge’s is home to the legendary Claridge’s Bar, boasting one of London’s largest selections of champagne, and the gorgeous Fumoir Bar, a secretly tucked away and intimate space featuring exceptional Lalique details and 1920s inspired cocktails.  The hotel’s grand Foyer and Reading Room are always abuzz with activity and are undoubtedly the most glamorous place to enjoy the beloved British tradition of afternoon tea; Claridge’s currently holds the top honor for best tea in London by the UK Tea Council’s Tea Guild. David Downton’s famed fashion illustrations of some of Claridge’s most notable guests, which includes Diane Von Furstenberg, Sarah Jessica Parker and Carmen Dell’Orefice are also hung in the lobby, and provide guests and visitors with a unique gallery experience.

Isn’t this foyer gorgeous?

Then there’s The Connaught:

It’s one of the world’s most cherished hotels and stands as a London landmark, which has recently undergone a meticulous, £70 million restoration, including the latest piece, a Tadao Ando water installation located just outside of the hotel. The Connaught is also home to two of the city’s most buzzed about bars, the sparkling Connaught Bar by David Collins and the rich and cozy Coburg Bar designed by India Mahdavi, which overlooks the new Tadao Ando installation, as well as Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, which recently earned its second 2nd Michelin star, making Chef Darroze the only woman to have two stars in the UK, and one of London’s best dining destinations.

And finally, The Berkeley:

The Berkeley is located in Knightsbridge, just next to Hyde Park and is just steps from some of the city’s best shopping. It’s home to the delightful Pret a Portea, London’s most fashionable afternoon tea celebrating the must-have fashion accessories of the season in delectable sweets, and is not to be missed during a visit to the city. The hotel also features the Blue Bar, a favorite stop for celebrities, and London’s only rooftop pool and spa, offering stunning views of the area and across Hyde Park.

We are just a tad in love with the Blue Bar at The Berkeley

So now you can see why we got excited about London. The events happening this year are just one reason to visit but London is always a great place to go for shopping, sight seeing and swanky afternoon tea.  Have a lovely time!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog,






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Real Wedding: Lauren and Jordan
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, real weddings

Lauren and Jordan wanted a destination wedding so they came all the way from Toronto to get married in Arizona. Many of their friends and family followed them for what was a weekend of beautiful weather and a celebration to remember. Lauren even flew in her own makeup artist!

The floral designs from the Flower Studio are understated and lush- a perfect fit for the Four Seasons ceremony lawn. The chuppah is one of the prettiest I have seen.


Look at these hot gold shoes Lauren changed into for the party

Late night snacks and custom ice luge kept the guests dancing!

KG: What is your favorite memory from the day?

L/J: My most memorable moment that day was when I was walking down the aisle to marry the most incredible guy. The weather was magnificent and the sun was shining. I looked around at all my close friends and family that flew in all the way from Toronto, Canada, Montreal and New York. We even had a close friend come all the way from Monaco.

KG: What was the smartest planning decision you made?

L/J: The smartest decision I made was hiring Charlee Geisler from Signature Events. She was incredibly helpful and also my support while planning this wedding. With my mother’s exquisite taste and Charlee’s expertise it made our wedding what it was. From my first meeting with Charlee I knew I was in good hands.

KG: Did you go on a Honeymoon?

L/J: We went to the Four Seasons resort in Punta Mita, Mexico. It was breathtaking. We had the most incredible time from dinners on the beach to swimming with the dolphins. My parents have gone to this four seasons resort in the past and loved it so we took their advice and went. It was the best decision and it was only two and a half hours away from Arizona. Also the Four Seasons name sells itself to us!!

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

L/J: My advice to any brides planning a wedding is to just go with the flow. Always remember this is your and your fiances wedding not your parents and you should be able to do what is right for the both of you. It is impossible to always make both sides happy, so at the end of the day do what is right for you. We chose a destination wedding because we really wanted to be with the people who care about us and would make an effort to come to our wedding so far away. It really showed Jordan and I who really wanted to spend our special day with us. I was lucky enough to be able to hire Charlee so she took care of all of the planning. On the day of the wedding you just have to stay calm. My maid of honor hid my blackberry from me so I just focused on getting ready for my big day. I do believe hair and make up are so important. I knew I would not be stressed out if I had my make up artist fly in from Toronto to help me get ready for my big day. It was the best decision I made. He kept me calm and made my entire wedding party look stunning. After all of the months of planning the day itself went by so fast so enjoy every minute of it!!!

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

L/J: What I love best about being married is no matter what I do positive or negative Jordan always supports me and helps me be a better person.

Lauren and Jordan’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Signature Events

Ceremony and Reception Site: Four Seasons Scottsdale Troon North

Photographer: Eyes2See

Videographer: Paradigm

Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid

Tuxedos: Hugo Boss

Florist: The Flower Studio

Invitations: Invitation House

Cake: Four Seasons Scottsdale Troon North

DJ: Steve Grosz

Band: Soul X

Ceremony Musicians: Lyra

Linens: BBJ Linens, Southwick Linens, Wildflower Linens

Make-up Artist: Frank Aiella

Officiant: Rabbi Weiner

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals












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Great Find: Goody Twos Toffee Company
categories: cakes and sweets, favor and gift ideas

One click onto their website and you will see why we want you to know about Goody Twos Toffee. I just went over there to check on the flavors and was salivating like my dog at dinner time!

Three reasons why we adore Goody Twos Toffee:

1. Flavor. Try resisting  these…just try: Creme de la Crunch, 2 Alarm Peanut Brittle, Nutty Twist, Cinnfully Hazelicious, Double Crossed and Twozels.

2. Packaging. Goody Twos Toffee got it right with their stylish logo and packaging. They also offer wedding favors which is exactly why we needed to share with you!

3. Solid Yum Factor. This toffee is delicious, hands down. Don’t you think your guests will enjoy a wedding favor like toffee instead of a generic piece of chocolate that you picked up last minute or worse, ordered online?

Here is the Mother-Daughter team at Goody Twos Toffee and I had to share their story with you because it’s clever and I like that:

One part serious. One part delirious. Simply put, we’re juxt better together. As the mother-daughter duo Donna Gabrilson and Stacey Barnes, we see things from different perspectives, but when it comes to toffee, we share one very enchanting muse. We call her – Simplexity.

What’s Simplexity? It’s the fun of juxtaposing simple, pure ingredients with complex, inspired flavors. It’s where my “been there, loved that” mom’s recipe meets the “what if we added?”… twist. Together, it’s simply Goodylicious!

So what does the future hold? We’re still chewing on it. But whatever fantabulous journey awaits, it’s sure to be doubly delicious.

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!





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The Live Photobooth
categories: entertainment, favor and gift ideas, photography, reception ideas, videography

You’ve heard of photobooths, right? And you know that live photobooths are all the rage at weddings these days, right? Then certainly you can see why today I declare the live photobooth as a reception “must-have”.

These fun booths have transcended trend status and are staking a permanent claim in the “how to make your wedding fun” category. There are so many reasons we love the live photobooth but first, have a look see at some of our favorite images from Arizona’s best live photobooth company, The Live Photobooth:


Why do we love The Live Photobooth so much?

First, it’s something for your guests to DO. Your shy uncle who doesn’t dance isn’t relegated to sitting at his table or stalking the cake table. The kids who run around all night, hitting the dance floor, visiting the bathroom, bugging the DJ, etc. can turn to the live photobooth as a creative outlet.

Second, it creates moments. You can have unlimited pictures with any and all of your guests. They probably weren’t all present during your formal picture time so the photobooth is a great way to make sure you have the photos of the special people you want photos of. And when you get folks in front of that camera, they let loose in a whole new way. Think your grandmother is traditional? Just wait until she gets into the live photobooth!

Third, you can show your fun side as a couple. Many couples have a difficult time loosening up in front of the camera during portraits due to pre-wedding  jitters or the stress of the day so after the tension of the ceremony and formal pictures has dissipated (sometimes thanks to a few glasses of champagne), you can let loose and show your silly side!

Finally, the live photobooth is practical. That’s right! I said practical. The images provide a momento and wedding favor for your guests, you can get a “Thank You” picture taken to print and send to guests post-wedding, and often, couples choose to have the photobooth as part of their entertainment for the evening. For lack of a better phrase, it “kills many birds with one stone!”.



OK fine, there are a ton more reasons to have The Live Photobooth at your wedding but you get the idea. Check out the The Live Photobooth- it is owned and operated by a respected professional photographer so you know you are getting a quality product and you will adore the results!

Oh, and check out this video from Bright Bokeh featuring The Live Photobooth:

The Live Photobooth from Jonathan | Bright Bokeh on Vimeo.

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!


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