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Archive for April, 2012

Honeymoon Destination: Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort and Spa
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons

Many couples will admit that the honeymoon is the best part of the wedding and how could you disagree? There’s so much to look forward to! Newlyweds need to get away and recoup from the stress of wedding planning, they want to celebrate being married, and darn it, they want a vacation. Typically a couple chooses a destination they have never been to in order to create a new experience together and the standard honeymoon destination often involves sand, sun and sips. But there are couples out there who desire something different and that’s why we have places like Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort and Spa.

Bishop’s, a honeymoon ranch destination located in New Mexico, is where couples can reconnect with the land, experience a different kind of adventure (think nature walks, mountain biking excursions, horseback riding and sunset cookouts) and bond in a luxurious and natural setting.

Named Most Outstanding Spa by Condé Nast Johansens, SháNah Spa is inspired by the Native American word for vitality and energy and boasts custom-blended oils for individual skin types and specialized treatments including massages, facials, body wraps and Aquassage.

There’s plenty to do, or not do, at Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort and Spa and with it’s close proximity to Phoenix, this could be your ideal low-maintenance destination honeymoon. Right now they are offering an incredible deal too.

For those guests who require the comforts of home and all the amenities of a full-service resort, the exclusive Villas set within the hills above The Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort and Spa is a fantastic option. These two- and three-bedroom patio homes provide gated privacy, luxury, ample space, tasteful designs complete with commanding views.

Now through December 31, 2012, The Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort and Spa is offering an incredible special rate on these Villas with savings of up to 40% off published rates! 2-bedroom villas are now available at a low $339 per night (compared to the normal rate of $799 per night).

The Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort and Spa Special Villa Rate:

• One (1) night luxurious, private 2 bedroom Villa situated in the hills above The Bishop’s Lodge (normally $799)

• Upon your arrival, a bottle of our signature Bishop’s Lodge Heritage Wine and chocolate covered strawberries ($45.00 / $25 00)

• A $100 daily resort credit per stay to spend in the SháNah Spa, Stables, Skeet and Trap or Las Fuentes Restaurant & Bar.($100.00)

 Total Value: $969.00 / Promotional Price: $339.00

And here are some Honeymoon-specific details:

Honeymoon Escape at Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa

Accommodations in a private villa – The Villas are set within the hills above Bishop’s Lodge and provide seclusion, luxuriously authentic design, two beautiful heated swimming pools and commanding views of 450 acres of the surrounding Tesuque Valley with all the comforts of home.

A bottle of Bishop’s Lodge Heritage wine and chocolate-covered strawberries at check-in

Intimate couples spa experience at ShaNah Spa – Aestheticians create custom-blended essential oils according to individual’s skin needs and massages personalized to guest preferences indoors or outdoors in a private spa garden.

Dinner for two at Las Fuentes Restaurant under the majestic beamed ceilings or on the patio with sunset views of the nearby mountain ranges and Santa Fe National Forest

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!




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Real Arizona Wedding: Marney and Booth at Desert Botanical Garden
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, photography, real weddings, Scottsdale Weddings, Wedding Inspiration, Wedding Resources

Arizona Wedding Vendors_Phoenix Bride and Groom_Phoenix Wedding Magazine

Wedding Coordinator: Victoria Canada Weddings and Events :: Ceremony and Reception Site: Desert Botanical Gardens :: Make-up Artist: Corinna Cooke 


Photographer: Hollye Schumacher Photography :: Videographer: Bright Bokeh :: Bridal Gown Store: Ultimate Bride :: Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid :: Suits: Groom’s- custom, Groomsmen- Macy’s :: Florist: Petal Pusher :: Invitations: Mr Boddington (& bride) :: Caterer: Santa Barbara Catering :: Cake: Honey Moon Sweets :: Band: The Walkens :: Ceremony Musicians: String Serenade :: Photobooth: The Live Photobooth :: Hair Stylist: Meaghan Gingrich :: Officiant: The Honorable Andy Hurwitz, Arizona Supreme Court :: Rentals: Classic Party Rentals :: Transportation: Real London Bus Company


Since we are in Arizona, we tend to gravitate towards weddings that celebrate the beauty that is unique to our locale- desert colors, mountain views, and Arizona inspired flora. Marney and Booth’s Desert Botanical Garden wedding celebrates all that is quintessential yet modern Arizona…

Confident in her know-how and desire, Marney was a hands-on bride to the extreme! She designed many of the beautiful details herself. I’ll let her tell you about it: As guests arrived at the ceremony, they found self-serve glass dispensers of mint lemonade and cucumber water set at the edge of the desert garden path. Green and white straws kept the mood light, and handwritten kraft signs, tied with twine around the dispensers, informed guests as to what they were drinking. Hand-made nests of twine, succulents, yellow genista, and white wax flowers hung from aisle chairs at the ceremony, and the natural desert red rocks acted as a dramatic backdrop for the nuptials. Also, I personally designed and, with the gracious help of my parents, crafted the ceremony program fans. The graphics featured the agave logo repeated on the fan back to create a custom pattern, and printed program on the reverse.

The ceremony was held in the Binns Wildflower Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden. Marney’s mother is an active board member of the gardens, and the couple have been to many family events in the Pavilion. They knew immediately they wanted to marry at the garden, and booked the venue within days of getting engaged.

Guests RSVP’d to the event “Will be there with bells on”, and picked up small white bells to ring as the we walked down the aisle during the recessional. The bells featured tags tied with twine, and custom “RING ME!” graphics I designed.

Just in case you are not sure if the Desert Botanical Gardens provides enough privacy for bride and groom time, check out these shots by Hollye Schumacher Photography

After the ceremony and just before the rain storm, guests picked up prickly pear margaritas and wandered through the desert pathways to Boppart Courtyard. The courtyard featured bright coral tablecloths on hightop tables, tied with burlap ribbon and topped with small arrangements of succulents. Guests found their names and table assignments (hand-written by me) on kraft cardstock tags hanging with twine strung between a set of agave stalks my parents had carefully collected, continuing the theme of the century agave plant.

Marney and Booth enjoyed some time on their own being newlyweds


Among all the memories from the day, Marney and Booth say their favorite moment of the day was their first dance. Here’s what they have to say about it: We both loved so many moments of the day: spending the morning in anticipation with our friends and family, seeing each other for the first time, our vows… but our first dance was a clear winner. We worked with a fabulous choreographer and a happy tune, Home is Wherever I’m with You by Edward Sharpe, and as we twirled and giggled, our guests circled round and clapped in unison to the tune. It was the perfect kick-off to the celebrations that ensued.

The tables names were chosen for cities Marney and Booth had lived in- so exotic!

(Image from The Live Photobooth)

KG: What was the smartest planning decision you made?

M/B: Securing a back-up location. I thought my parents were crazy when they suggested it for our April wedding, but on our wedding day, when the clouds rolled in and the rain poured down just as we completed our vows (outside), we were so glad to have an indoor reception for guests to dash to. My dream reception on the outdoor twinkle-lit patio didn’t happen, but our guests were warm, dry, and happy – and that made us happy.

KG: Did you go on a Honeymoon?

M/B: I was in the middle of business school and couldn’t take any additional time off, so we delayed our trip until a more convenient time. We headed to Thailand for two weeks in March – a perfect way to celebrate our first year together! We’ve both traveled quite a bit but have never been to SE Asia. It was important to us to find a place new to both of us so we could discover it together.

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

M/B: Know it won’t all go as planned – whether it’s the weather, making the rounds to all your tables, or snapping a candid with your grandfather – but it will most likely be the best darn day of your life. Just relax, be present, and enjoy your guests and each other. It goes so fast, it’s not worth fretting about anything once the event begins!

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

M/B: We dated for 7 years before getting married so had already experienced so much together. But now that we’ve made it official, we love discussing life’s big next steps together… while tossing a football on the beach, learning to paddleboard, or exploring new hotspots on our Vespa. Life couldn’t be better in Southern California!

KG: Anything else you want to tell us?

M/B: We had a rockstar team all around. Favorites included Bright Bokeh videographers (we felt like Hollywood stars!*), photographer Hollye Schumacher, and the Desert Botanical Garden crew for going above and beyond in all respects. Victoria Canada and her team kept the event in check, while Santa Barbara Catering kept guests’ glasses full. Petal Pusher provided the perfect succulent arrangements – Tamara delivered on exactly the look we were aiming for. We were blessed all around!

Congrats Marney and Booth and thank you for sharing your day with us!

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your Phoenix wedding magazine

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Sheraton Crescent Wedding Showcase
categories: fabulous reception sites, Giveaways and Contests, open houses

You may not have the Sheraton Crescent Hotel on your wedding reception radar but you can be sure it will be now! They are hosting a Wedding Showcase this weekend (4.29.12) that unveils their new Wedding Studio and features a really fantastic giveaway: one lucky couple will win a free wedding ceremony at the hotel (valued at $1,200)!

Brides-to-be are encouraged to join this intimate Wedding Showcase to see everything the property has to offer, meet with preferred wedding vendors, experience the hotel’s new Wedding Studio, and meet one-on-one with expert Wedding Specialists. Attendees will be able to indulge in scrumptious sweets, sample tasting menus and sip on thirst-quenching beverages. To confirm your attendance at the Wedding Showcase, contact (602) 371-2735.

Here’s what you can expect at the Wedding Showcase on Sunday:

Upon arrival at the Wedding Studio, guests are welcomed with a complimentary beverage of choice – just a little taste of what Sheraton Crescent has to offer. Then, once inside the Wedding Studio, brides-to-be can relax in comfy chairs while viewing the latest styles, designs and innovative wedding ideas, scouting sample books, exploring wedding magazines, selecting linens and china, and snacking on tasty assorted noshes such as mixed fancy nuts, mini truffles, fresh berries, mini petit fours, and more!

Stepping outside of the Wedding Studio and exploring the hotel’s oasis, one can see a variety of enchanting and flexible spaces. Sheraton Crescent can comfortably service weddings and receptions from 25 to 800 guests. The hotel features spaces like Crestview, a private on-site reception venue, numerous ballrooms, an outdoor garden, and even a restaurant with intimate space that can be reserved just for you and your day!

Whether you envision a grand soiree or intimate gathering, Sheraton Crescent is the perfect destination for your wedding reception and ceremony. Let your dreams transpire into a reality. To schedule an appointment with a Wedding Specialist, please contact (602) 371-2735.

The Wedding Studio:

In January, the hotel unveiled a new Wedding Studio – a place where brides-to-be can have all their wedding desires tailor-made in one location. This new boutique-style studio creates a charming and personable setting that allows brides-to-be time to relax and meet with a Wedding Specialist in the comfort of a warm and welcoming environment.

Here are a few images from the January Wedding Showcase:


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The Glamorous Bride: The Rehearsal Dinner
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, fabulous reception sites, photography, Tips and Advice, Wedding Inspiration

Our Glamorous Bride’s weekend ramps up as we check out her sexy and memorable ensemble for the rehearsal dinner. We like to think of the rehearsal dinner as one of the best parts of the wedding weekend- it’s not THE big day but it’s a time when the couple gets quality time with their closest family and friends. Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is exclusive to the people involved in the actual rehearsal but since so many couples are hosting destination weddings and many times guests travel from all over the world to attend, the rehearsal dinner has evolved into a pre-wedding party of great proportions.

A Glamorous Bride undoubtedly sees the rehearsal dinner as an opportunity to greet her guests, mingle with out-of- towners and wow her adoring friends with a stunning fashion statement. Many brides choose a white or off-white rehearsal dinner dress that eludes to the wedding day but shows their sexier side. Our gal went with va-va-voom in a white watercolor cocktail dress by Jovani from Schaffer’s

When wearing a dress that speaks for itself like this beauty, understated accessories from Tiffany & Co. such as a silver clutch, silver hoops and a solitaire diamond ring perfectly compliment the look. Besides, during her entire weekend, the Glamorous Bride wants all eyes on her!

Want to know what our glam gal chose for the engagement party? Check out The Glamorous Bride: The Engagement Party here!

The Glamorous Bride’s Photoshoot Team:

Photographer: Eric Cassee

Wardrobe Stylist: Shannon Campbell

Makeup: Corinna Cooke

Hair: Will Zecco

Jewelry: Tiffany & Co.

Cocktail Dress: Jovani, 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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Real Arizona Wedding: Amy and Bryan
categories: fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, real weddings, Scottsdale Weddings

Amy and Bryan wanted all their family and friends to join them on their wedding day but since they are scattered throughout the country, they weren’t sure how to choose a wedding location that would please everyone. So how did they solve their logistical dilemma? They had a destination wedding right here in Arizona! The weekend ended up being exactly what they wanted: the weather was quintessential Arizona (75 gloriously sunny degrees), the views for the wedding and reception were spectacular and they had a ton of FUN with their loved ones!

Amy has the biggest, happiest, most genuine smile and now we know here she gets it from!

Another moment captured by Kimberly Jarman that melts my heart a bit

Amy surprised Bryan with Taco Bell, their favorite food. As a fan myself, I have to say, this is BRILLIANT!

Amy tells us more: With Bryan and I both being from Ohio, but studied in Chicago, and most recently living in Arizona- we felt like no matter where we decided to have a wedding it was not going to be convenient for anyone.  We knew we wanted an outdoor, timeless affair that portrayed our personalities and relationship in every way possible.  With Chicago and Ohio both being in the Midwest with unpredictable weather, an outdoor wedding quickly eliminated those options, so Arizona it was!

Sunridge Canyon Golf Club turned out to be the perfect venue for us.  It was the ideal setting for an outdoor AZ wedding, especially for our out of town guests.   The weather was the typical perfect AZ weather in November- 75 and sunny.  Our ceremony was picturesque with the AZ sunset and the famous “Four Peaks” of the Superstition Mountains behind us.  Our bridal party all wore black with their bouquets and boutonnieres filled with cymbidium orchids.  To include a bridesmaid who was unexpectedly put on bedrest and could not fly, I made a cutout of her picture for the bridal party to carry in with them.  I carried an all white bouquet of ranunculus and peonies with green lilac accents.

The cocktail hour and reception were held in an outdoor area of the golf club, with views of the mountains.  Guests were greeted with our green signature cocktail, the “Gavintini” and crabcakes.  Lanterns and candles were a common theme throughout the reception with pops of green and white coming from our green pintuck linens and floral arrangements.

Our eclectic taste in music was showcased during the reception.  The hit of the night was the bridal party’s entrance to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.”   This really set the mood of the party for the rest of the night.  Our flower girl was also the star of the night getting the whole dance floor to surround her while she showcased her dance moves.

Some of my favorite parts of the wedding were the little details we came up with to make the wedding our own.  Because live music is such a huge part of our relationship, we named each table after our favorite music venues.  My mom and I spent hours making tissue paper flowers for each place setting along with a personalized thank you note.  To keep the favors fun and outdoorsy, we went with our favorite summertime treat- S’MORE’S!   A photobooth was a must have for my parents, and I’m so glad it was.  Our guests had so much fun with it using our homemade mustache and bowtie props to put their own touch on our guestbook.    To end the night, tacos from Taco Bell were delivered as a surprise for Bryan and our guests.  If anyone knows Bryan and I, Taco Bell is one of our main food groups.  Overall, Bryan and I had such a wonderful wedding day thanks to our family, friends, and our amazing vendors- it was truly a night to remember.

Congratulations Amy and Bryan- thank you for sharing your special day with us!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog,


Amy and Bryan’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Imoni Events

Ceremony and Reception Site: SunRidge Canyon Golf Club

Photographer: Kimberly Jarman Photography

Bridal Gown Store: Cincinnati Bridal and Formal (Mikaella)

Bridesmaids Dresses: Cincinnati Bridal and Formal (Bill Levkoff)

Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse

Florist: Petal Pusher

Invitations: Papyrus

Cake: Piece of Cake Desserts

Entertainment: Ray the DJ

Ceremony Musicians: Ray the DJ

Make-up Artist: Sarah SanMarco

Officiant: Reverend Giovanni

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Transportation: Ollie the Trolley

Linens: Southwick Linens

Photobooth: Snapz Photobooth



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Fingerprint Guest Books
categories: the paper chase, Tips and Advice, Trends, Wedding Inspiration

Trends come and go;  it used to be really neat to use silver wedding bells, tulle was all the rage when I got married, and tiered cakes that were on separate platforms joined by plastic bridges were once a very hot look in the wedding world. Now don’t worry, I am not knocking any of these, I am just saying that things evolve and that’s especially true for weddings.

But some trends have real staying power- ceremonies in the round, doing the first dance immediately after the grand entrance, feasting tables…you get the idea. One trend we think has said staying power is the Fingerprint Guest Book. Why do we think this trend will stick? Because it has 2 major hallmarks of good wedding design: it adds to the personalization of the wedding day and simply put, it makes sense.


(Image courtesy of: Jason + Anna Photography)

We love the sign in guest books that we often see at weddings that feature the couple’s engagement pictures. Guests can write a sweet message or give advice. Love it. But an alternative to this is to have guests use their fingerprints to fill in a tree that comes to life only when those who are there to celebrate with the couple participate. I have to admit, I’m a little bit of a sucker for the symbolic qualities of the Fingerprint Guest Book.

Here are a few more that we especially love:

(Inviting Moments via


( SansLimit via


(Teardrop Weddings)

You can see there are many options- you are only limited by your imagination with these functional and fun keepsakes

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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