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Archive for August, 2012

Engagement: Rachel and Scott
categories: Engagement

Airplane hangars have recently gained popularity as a location for photo sessions but I think what makes them a fitting place for photos is when there’s a personal connection to the planes themselves. Scott has deep roots- he’s a pilot amongst a family of pilots- and was thrilled to hang out with the vintage aircraft pictured here. I like how Rachel and Scott’s fun vibe and ease with each other comes through in each photo.

The Proposal:

Scott planned a weekend in Sedona for us. We went on this beautiful hike and Scott ‘pretended’ to have dropped a flashlight that he usually carries on him. So here we are looking for this flashlight (which he really did misplace a few weeks prior), and backtracking our trail, when all of a sudden he says, “Oh there it is!” and kneels down to get it, only when he turns back around, he is on one knee holding my ring in his hand. It was romantic and funny and totally Scott.

Favorite Things:

Rachel: My favorite thing is by far his sense of humor. We have a really similar sense of humor and are constantly laughing and cracking jokes! That’s what attracted me to him in the first place and as I say to random strangers he makes laugh, “Everyday is a party!”

Scott: One of my favorite things about Rachel is that she likes to try new things to do. We often go to restaurants and things like that that I normally wouldn’t try on my own. She keeps things interesting. I also really like her Miniature Pinsher, Lilu.

What drew you to Mike Olbinski Photography? I met Mike during a photo exhibition I participated in a year before. It was then that I noticed his outstanding weather photography. One of the things that Scott and I have in common is our intense love for all things storms. Lighting. Thunder. Rain. The more the better. I was fascinated with Mike’s work and shared it with Scott…The thing we like most about him was his style. He didn’t churn out cookie cutter wedding images. What we saw were beautiful, unique, candid images, and that was exactly what we wanted for our engagement and wedding. 

Congratulations to Rachel and Scott who were recently married (their wedding was a “vintage, french, romantic, rustic chic, romantic, intimate backyard wedding” ) and thank you for sharing your engagement session with us!

All images courtesy of Mike Olbinski Photography

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!





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Mother of the Bride/Groom Dresses
categories: bridal fashions, Tips and Advice

We’re kind of into wedding attire these days so today we are taking a stroll into the land of Watters Collection 20 which is their line of gowns for the moms. We know what a challenge it can be to find the perfect dress for mom. It’s a balance of pretty but not flashy; appropriate but not matronly.

We think you will like these dresses because they are far from stuffy and many come with a matching coat or cape, which moms especially like because not all moms want to show their arms, they get to cover their shoulders during the ceremony, and they can cover up later if it gets chilly.

Here are some of our favs:

Metallics are for moms too!

Completely love this modern sophisticated look

One of the best tips to keep in mind when shopping with mom is to make sure the quality of her dress is top-notch. When you shop a bargain store, it’s no bargain. Low-quality fabrics will make mom sad and she won’t want to dance all night!

This style hides a tummy

Mariee Gallery at The Shops at Gainey Village carries the Watters and WTOO lines.

Find them here:
8787 N. Scottsdale Road #206
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Go on and make shopping with mom an afternoon of fun- she deserves your time and attention. Enjoy!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog,




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Real Arizona Wedding: Michon and David
categories: bridal fashions, cakes and sweets, real weddings

Michon and David’s wedding proves that you can have a wedding that really suits your style AND your ethics. See, this celebration featured their favorite music (Beatles tunes were incorporated throughout), vegan/vegetarian choices (Michon’s dress was vegan, the hot dog station was vegetarian, the sweets were vegan), a nod to art (they hired a painter for the reception) and thoughtful touches (they made a donation to a charity in lieu of favors).

I love it when a wedding is a true reflection of the couple getting married!

So colorful!

The ceremony was in Inspirador’s outdoor courtyard- so pretty!

Our favorite memory was when we took a moment to step “away” from the reception and looked into the room to soak it all in. Watching the band play and all of our loved ones having a good time was a great experience. We were able to take it all in and record that into our memories. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to have so many people you love in one place.

See the records used as platters for the cupcakes? Clever!

The Honeymoon:

We went to Jamaica and stayed at two locations over 10 days. First was The Negril Treehouse on Seven Mile beach and then we were at The Rockhouse. Both were beautiful in their own ways and we chose it because neither of us had been there and we found a great deal!

Words of Wisdom:

Make plans, but stay flexible. In the grand scheme of things no one will notice if one of your “details” didn’t get executed correctly or even happen at all. Remember to take time to breathe and enJOY yourself. The best piece of advice we got was from a friend – Sometime during the reception take a few minutes to step away from it all – just the two of you. Together look into your reception, take in the whole scene – music, laughter, smiles and joy that surround you. All those people are there to celebrate your love and their love for you. That is the best gift you can get so share in that experience with each other.

Michon and Michael’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Ceremony and Reception Site: Inspirador

Photographer: Noyan Photography

Bridal Gown Store: Wai Ching

Bridesmaids Dresses: Kika Paprika

Florist: Maya’s Farm

Cake: Pomegranate Cafe

Entertainment: DJ Eric Truelove

Band: Tryst

Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist: Kensington Makeup

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals








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Yumi Katsura Wedding Gowns
categories: bridal fashions

Yumi Katsura may not be the most well-known name in America, but she’s world renown and when we saw her latest wedding gown collection, we gasped (that’s not an exaggeration)! There’s drama, craftsmanship, and luxury written all over them. What’s even better is Yumi’s story- most wedding gowns in Japan circa 1970 were rented, not purchased, so Yumi set out to change the entire culture of weddings. She succeeded and  her kimono inspired silhouette is a beloved trademark that brides can’t get enough of, no matter the time or place.

There’s an underlying strength and femininity in Yumi’s designs

If you delve into Yumi Katusra’s website and watch the video below, you’ll see that she is a master at lace and using black in her designs. Very sexy.

This is the Yumi Katsura 2012 runway video- I spy an AWESOME wedding pantsuit!

You can find Yumi Katsura in Scottsdale at Schaffer’s. For more about this fascinating woman and her company, click here.

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!


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Destination Monday: Solaris in Vail, CO
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons

Craving some Colorado ski time followed up by cocktails by the fire with your honey (that’s a silly question isn’t it? Of course you are!)? Check out Solaris in swanky Vail, CO then read about the “Stay Winter, Get Summer” deal they are offering. It’s pretty fabulous!

Solaris welcomed guests for its inaugural ski season just last year, after quickly becoming the new town center of Vail Village. Featuring 79 luxury Residences, available for whole ownership and nightly rental, Solaris boasts shopping, dining, activities and luxury lodging, offering guests and residents alike the ultimate in mountain getaways.

Luxury is the name of the game here and the amenities do not disappoint; each residence is adorned with stone fireplaces, laundry rooms with washer and dryers, a gourmet kitchen, floor-to-ceiling mountain views, hardwood and hand-hewn stone floors, cherry finishes, expansive and luxurious baths, climate-controlled wine storage and state-of-the-art home automation controls.

Also, guests are encouraged to customize their experience through Solaris’ Personal Assistants. More than just a concierge, Personal Assistants not only proactively contact guests prior to arrival to take care of simple tasks such as pre-arrival grocery shopping or dinner reservations, but also to determine what would make their stays truly special and memorable, exceeding all guest service expectations.

The perks continue: Vail’s popularity as a ski town in the winter and biking destination in the fall and summer is known the world over. As such, Solaris’ Personal Assistant team has collaborated with the state’s most renowned custom ski and bike manufacturers to offer guests fully-customizable ski and bike experiences.

Through a partnership with Steamboat Springs, Colo.-based Moots Cycles, when guests book the new Solaris Vail and Moots Cycles package, in addition to a customized vacation, they also receive a fully-custom bike of their choosing from Moots Cycles, as well as a Moots jersey, water bottle and biking socks. The bike will be handcrafted to order and waiting for them on arrival (with eight-week pre-booking and professional fitting), or, should guests choose, they can be fitted at a Moots retail partner in Vail while staying at Solaris, and have the bike created and delivered to them later, at home.

During the winter, Solaris offers guests a similar program with Folsom Custom Skis, a Boulder, Colorado-based custom ski shop. When guests book the Solaris Vail and Folsom Custom Skis package, they will receive 100 percent custom skis, waiting for them upon arrival and hand-built to their liking. Folsom has also designed a limited number of graphics, available exclusively to Solaris guests, which can be selected, in lieu of a custom guest-provided graphic.

One last bit of temptation for you:

Solaris is now offering  “Stay Winter, Get Summer”:  Stay in a 2 Bedroom + Den Solaris Residence during Vail, Colorado’s 2012-2013 ski season (November 16, 2012 -April 14, 2013.) and enjoy a complimentary summer stay for the same number of nights in an equivalent residence during Summer 2013 (some restrictions apply).

What this means is you can book your wedding planning getaway/engagement celebration weekend/stress relief escape for this winter and go back for in the summer for more of the same. Sounds amazing!

Call: 970-476-9000 for details or visit the Solaris website

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog,



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Real Arizona Wedding: Daniela and Matthew
categories: fabulous reception sites, real weddings

I love to get my hands on a pretty, colorful, desert inspired wedding and that’s just what Daniela and Matthew’s Desert Botanical Gardens wedding was. The couple was hands on with the details and brought touches of their cultures to their wedding day; they chose the venue for it’s lush desert scenery (plus, Matthew is a geologist so it’s kind of a perfect match!).

Gorgeous girls

Gorgeous bouquets!

This is one of my favorite pictures

Are you kidding me with this cake? The succulents and simple frosting design are perfection!

What a cool guest book idea: We chose to use rocks we collected as our “guest book”. Guests wrote wishes on them and we plan on incorporating them into our garden.

One of my favorite elements from the wedding is how the tables were decorated and the subtle way Daniela and Matthew incorporated their culture into them. Daniela explains how they came together: We designed our centerpieces using succulents from a local nursery and rock samples from our own and our friend’s collections. Matt is a geologist so each centerpiece had a rock which then gave the table its name…The favors were traditional ceramic bowls that I brought from Chile, filled with Italian candy.  It was a little token from both of our cultures. 

Congratulations Daniela and Matthew and thank you for sharing your day with us!

Daniela and Matthew’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Ceremony and Reception Site: Desert Botanical Gardens

Photographer: Memories Through Time

Bridal Gown Store: La Bella Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: House of Brides

Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse

Caterer: Santa Barbara Catering

Cake: Honeymoon Sweets

DJ: Jam N Sounds

Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist: Mariana Marie

Officiant: Paul Fredericks

Rentals: Santa Barbara Catering

Transportation: Arizona Corporate Coach

Rehearsal Dinner Site: Grimaldi’s

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!








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