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Archive for May, 2012

Arizona Engagement: Shannon and Owen
categories: Engagement, Sedona

There’s so much to love about Shannon and Owen’s story- where they met, how he proposed, their wedding plans…but first, have  a look see at their sexy little Sedona engagement session from R2 Studio:

Owen proposed on our one year anniversary. We went to a local wine bar called 928 Cuvee (we are huge winos) and split a bottle of wine and some appetizers. While walking back to the car the sun was setting and church bells were tolling in the distance. We were walking through downtown Flagstaff through Heritage Square (right in the middle) and it was surprisingly empty. I was in front of Owen and he grabbed my hand, flung me around toward him and said “I can’t wait another minute to put a ring on your finger.” He proposed (no knee though) and of course I said yes!

What is your favorite thing about each other?

What first drew me to Owen was his optimism and positive outlook on life. And, of course, he is totally hot! Owen appreciates the tomboy in me. When we first started dating he would talk about how he loved that I could hang with the boys but then clean up nicely with a sexy dress and heels.

This outdoorsy couple tries to spend their weekends around water as much as possible: We enjoy fishing and camping on our local lakes, Lake Mary and Ashurst. Clear Creek is one of our favs and we frequent Oak Creek Canyon (where the pics were taken) and Beaver Creek. We took a 2 week road trip last summer through Cali and completely fell in love with Lake Tahoe.

Owen and I first met at the Coconino County Juvenile Court in Flagstaff, not as detainee’s but through work! He was working for the County in the facilities department where he took care of the buildings and I was working with the youth as a Prevention Specialist. We would cross paths every now and then with a slight smile and simple wave. I was actually the one that asked him out first!

I love it when the furry babies make it into e-sessions. This is Aspen!

(All images courtesy of: The R2 Studio)

What drew you to you to R2 Studio?

I had worked with Robin in the past on a local public art project. She started R2Studio and I pretty much stalked them on Facebook. We love their lighting and colors. Robin and Renee are both really chill and easy to work with. They make you feel comfortable and at ease.

Can you tell me any details about your wedding?

The theme is a masquerade and we are hoping everyone gets excited about finding unique and fun masks to wear. I bought a white handmade venetian mask, which is gorgeous. We will also be providing masks for people to wear if interested. I want a lot of color and my bridesmaids (5) will all be in different jewel tones and the groomsmen will have either matching ties or pocket squares to match the dresses. We are getting a photobooth through R2studio as well and the guests will have access to the photos after the wedding and this is our party favor to them. Owen and I also love fish tacos and have made it a goal to try all the fish tacos in Flagstaff at the different restaurants and bars. So, during the cocktail hour we are going to have a fish taco stand with 3 different varieties yet to be chosen. Owen and I both love to dance and are looking forward to sharing our love and joy with friends and family.

Doesn’t this sound like so much fun? Congratulations Shannon and Owen and thank you for sharing your engagement pics with us!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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Real Arizona Wedding: Sondra and Greg
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, favor and gift ideas, floral inspiration, real weddings

As with any wedding, the aesthetics are important but the feeling and connection are what makes it truly a memorable celebration. Sondra and Greg’s wedding was full of beautiful details and special touches but the thing that stands out is how they honored their connections to their past; Greg has been friends with many of the same guys from elementary school and as his 3rd grade teacher toasted the groom, he acknowledged these extraordinary friendships. The church, St. Mary’s Basilica, reminded them of the history of their faith and they chose the Arizona Biltmore for their reception because of its history as an Arizona landmark and famous Frank Llyod Wright influenced design. The couple also created a monogram for their wedding day that will be used for generations to come.

We know you will enjoy this pink and white Arizona wedding as much as we do!

Loving the classic and elegant design of the stationery by Definitely Debra (and, I’m a Grey’s Anatomy fan so this is the table card I just knew you had to see!)

Kudos to Laura’s Custom Design for the lush floral designs too! The metallic linens and tableware are softened by the pretty floral.

Sondra handmade sea salts for the guest favors and affixed an escort card to the jars- the favor was a nod to the couple’s love of cooking.

Adoring this monogram!

Congratulations Sondra and Greg and thank you for sharing your wedding day with us!

Sondra and Greg’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Imoni Events

Ceremony Site: St. Mary’s Basilica

Reception Site: Arizona Biltmore

Photographer: Kimberly Jarman

Videographer: My Wedding Film

Bridal Gown Store:  Lillian Lottie

Tuxedos: Mr Formal

Florist: Laura’s Custom Design

Invitations: Definitely Debra

Entertainment: Ray the DJ

Linen: BBJ Linen

Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist: Dolce Salon and Spa

Officiant: Father Vincent Mesi

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Transportation: The Driver Provider

Rehearsal Dinner Site: Roaring Fork

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!




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The Glamorous Bride: The Reception
categories: bridal fashions, photography, Wedding Inspiration

We wholeheartedly embrace the trend where a bride changes from her wedding gown into a sexier, sassier dress for the reception. There’s no doubt that a true Glamorous Bride would utilize this idea but we pushed the idea a little further at our blog photo shoot with not one but TWO wardrobe changes. So dramatic, so glam..

What bride can resist a cheeky nod to the classic style of a Tiffany & Co. Bow Scarf and Tiffany & Co. Bracelet Bag paired with a chic Ramona Kevesa strapless gown from Destiny’s Bride? The off-center brooch and scarf  in the back makes this gown the perfect Grand Entrance gown; all guests will be watching and will be delighted no matter where they are standing. The Tiffany & Co. sunglasses are a perfect compliment to the look (bonus: they shield our Glam Bride from Arizona’s signature rays). The Hotel Valley Ho’s orange wall is practically a landmark in Scottsdale- any couple getting married there will want to visit the front of the hotel for some of the best photo ops!

The Glamorous Bride’s final look for the reception is this super sexy lace evening gown from Jovani at Schaffer’s– surely any bride will be ready to party all night in this form fitting number!

Follow our Glamorous Bride through her entire wedding weekend:

The Glamorous Bride: The Engagement Party

The Glamorous Bride: The Rehearsal Dinner

The Glamorous Bride: Wedding Day Prep

The Glamorous Bride: The Wedding Day

The Glamorous Bride’s Photoshoot Team:

Photographer: Eric Cassee

Wardrobe Stylist: Shannon Campbell

Makeup: Corinna Cooke

Hair: Will Zecco

Jewelry: Tiffany & Co.

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 and Schaffer’s

Resort Wear: Calypso St. Barth

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!


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Destination Monday: Los Cabos
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons

Until March, my only experience with Mexico was the city of Juarez, just south of El Paso, Texas. I lived in Texas during my high school years and let’s just say, Juarez is NOT a good first and only impression to have of Mexico. I had heard tales of beautiful sandy beaches and dreamy afternoons spent sipping margaritas in Mexico but I just never believed it. I guess I was hard- headed but after I visited Cabo San Lucas, I have done a complete 180. How could you not fall in love with this?

This is the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf and Spa Resort where I spent a few glorious days pool and ocean side. What I loved about this hotel and what any traveler, honeymooner or not, will love is the architecture. The old-world Mexico style is charming and elegant and the artwork and historical features throughout the property give a sense of authenticity. Of course, the staff is gracious to the hilt and I felt right at a home. I also had some fantastic chilaquiles verdes for breakfast every morning and wanted to eat many platefuls (I held back because I had to show up to the pool)!

We were treated to lovely dinners with so much food you couldn’t possibly eat it all and of course there were yummy things to sip too! This is the lawn where cocktail hours, receptions, and ceremonies happen. The atmosphere is really cool- it’s beachy and secluded but not too far away from the resort.

If you have your heart set on a destination wedding with a beach, this is THE resort for you- the beach is private and simply gorgeous

(Image courtesy of: Alec and T Photography)

They even have a chapel on-property:

(Image courtesy of: Alec and T Photography)

This is the first view you get of the ocean when you pull into the hotel and it never gets old. Sometimes we even saw whales jumping. No joke!

Yes, it really is this pretty!

Nearby Cabo San Lucas has so much to offer day and night- there’s shopping, snorkeling, zip lining, fishing, clubs, restaurants…I could go on! I am honestly torn about what I want my trip back to the Sheraton to look like- a romantic getaway with my husband or a chilled beach vacation with the whole family. Either one would be just fine with me!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!






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Remembering Your Wedding Day
categories: photography, Tips and Advice

While preparing to walk down the aisle, there is often a sentimental moment between the groom or bride and a parent or a friend, a special gift given or a first look by a sister or brother. It’s the quiet before the storm if you will, and it’s prime photo time. Trust me, you are wise to schedule your photographer to come for about an hour and capture these special moments. Besides, you and your beloved are separated during this time and it’s really fun to look back at the photos together and reminisce about your thoughts and feelings during this precious part of the wedding day.

I love the quiet moments:

(Above photos courtesy of: Hollye Schumacher Photography)

(Above images courtesy of: Jason + Anna Photography)

(Above images courtesy of: Omari Dickens for Jennifer Bowen Photography)


(Image courtesy of: Jennifer Bowen Photography)

And what is a wedding day without some poignant moments?

(Above images courtesy of: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Image courtesy of: Cameron + Kelly Studio)

(Above images courtesy of: Jennifer Bowen Photography)

The wedding prep time is also a great opportunity for your photographer to capture you with your best friends and family interacting informally

(Image courtesy of: Melissa Jill Photography)

(Above images courtesy of: Jennifer Bowen Photography)

 Of course excitement and celebration is good too

(Image courtesy of: Hollye Schumacher Photography)

(Image courtesy of: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Image courtesy of: Jennifer Bowen Photography)

(Image courtesy of: Chris Richards Photography)

(Image courtesy of: Jason + Anna Photography)

Remember: anticipation + contemplation= an emotional climate (and thereby GREAT pictures).  Besides allowing your photographer to capture these moments, it also gives him/her time to get details shots of the attire, accessories and most importantly, the interaction between you and your closest friends and family members. It’s the good stuff!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!






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Real Arizona Wedding: Heather and Jordan
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, real weddings, Scottsdale Weddings, Wedding Inspiration

Since people come to Arizona in the winter to enjoy our fortunate weather conditions and escape the ice and snow, we have become an established destination wedding locale; however, even though we embrace the constant sun and glorious porch-worthy evenings, we also crave a little chill. Just about this time of the year, we want something that makes us retreat to the couch with a good book and cozy blanket. We want to feel a variety of seasons! That’s why Heather and Jordan’s winter white wedding appealed to us- it features snowflakes and winter sparkle along with fun red, black, and white details. And Heather and Jordan are just too cute…

I’ll let Heather explain the shoes: Since I was a little girl I have loved the Wizard of Oz and so red shoes were a must! My shoes were purchased online and then sent to someone I found on who personalized them. I sent him details about us and he drew our wedding date, where we got engaged, our hobbies, etc. on them.

Another personal touch was Heather’s bouquet: My bouquet was made out of brooches that friends and family had collected or given to me (quite a few were family heirlooms – my grandfather’s cufflink, my husband’s grandmothers guardian angel, my childhood babysitter’s grandmother’s heart pin, my mother’s blue dragon fly for my something blue etc.). 



Our color scheme was winter white and we added a bit of charcoal as well as some red accents. I moved to Canada to be with my husband (fiancé at the time) and loved everything about winter as I had never experienced it- this was our inspiration. Instead of doing the traditional flowers we had frosted tree branches. We wanted everything to glow and look clean like winter. We wanted our menu to be unique so we purchased rectangular plates and did more of a European style meal (three small portions instead of one entree). Both being foodies, this was really important to us!

We also had a photo booth, candy bar (with all white candy and some traditional Canadian desserts – butter tarts and Nanaimo bars), ornaments for friends to write personal messages on, and our personal favorite…carrot cake as our wedding cake.

KG: What is your favorite memory from the day?

H/J: A few of our friends told us before the wedding to soak in every moment because the day would fly by, and it truly did! One friend actually told us to take some time alone just the two of us to enjoy each other at some point throughout the day. After our ceremony we went upstairs to a suite at the venue and enjoyed appetizers just the two of us. It was so amazing to have 20 minutes or so to talk and laugh together for the first time as husband and wife. It allowed us to slow the day down a bit and soak it all in. This is our favorite moment of the day and I will make sure to recommend this to future brides!

KG: What was the smartest planning decision you made?

H/J: Having other people help with the wedding, hands down! My mom and our family friend who is a wedding planner (Margie Walinski of Party Presentations) made all the difference in the world. We did not have to worry about a single thing the day of the event. We were and are still totally unaware if anything went wrong that day because it was all handled by Margie. Planning our wedding from Calgary in Phoenix added a bit of difficulty and having their help made it much smoother. We communicated what we wanted and they helped execute it. I think it is a common misconception that you lose control of your wedding with the help of others but our wedding was truly our own with very little stress!

KG: Did you go on a Honeymoon?

H/J: We are currently in the process of planning our honeymoon in Malaysia this summer. I am in school and work as a tax accountant so a honeymoon after our wedding in January just was not possible. We plan to be gone three weeks and backpack all over the country. We have both traveled in Southeast Asia before and agreed we would love to go somewhere neither of us had been. After a bit of research, we decided Malaysia sounded amazing!

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

H/J: I would definitely recommend taking time during the day together as bride and groom away from all the craziness, allow others to help, make compromises along the way (not everything can be what you see in a magazine and it isn’t worth the stress), incorporate as many personal touches as possible, and finally on your day “it is what it is” and there is no reason to get upset or stress about things that can’t be changed…just enjoy!

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

H/J: We both married our best friend and love being around each other just as we did before marriage.

…all of our vendors were fabulous! Everyone raved about our food, music and venue. Our photographers were amazing…I think our day would not have been the same without them! I would recommend all of them to anyone.

Congratulations Heather and Jordan and thank you for sharing your wedding day with us!

Heather and Jordan’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Party Presentations

Ceremony and Reception Site: Clayton on the Park

Photographer: Pinkerton Photography

Bridal Gown Store: Mariee

Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew

Tuxedos: Brooks Brothers

Invitations: Taylor Murphy

Caterer: Creations in Cuisine Catering

Cake: Sweets Unlimited

Entertainment: Desert Music Entertainment

Band: Prague

Linens: Tyler’s Custom Designs

Make-up Artist: Char McCreadie

Hair Stylist: Haute Hair, Misty

Favors: Gail Murphy

Photobooth: The Arizona Photobooth Company

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!







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