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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for September, 2012

From Our Pages: Tie One On!
categories: favor and gift ideas, from the consultants, the paper chase, Wedding Inspiration

We are nothing if we are not a magazine that loves the guys as much as the girls. Of course we lose our cool when we see a stunning bride but the guys, what with their fussing and joking, are too cute to ignore. One of our photoshoots focused on the guys and the end result was several vignettes that inspired readers with color and creativity.

Here are some ideas for the outdoorsy guy:

For a guy and his buddies who can’t get enough sports:

And for the guy’s guy, a touch of retro cool:

Many thanks to all who contributed to this photoshoot:

Stylist: Victoria Canada Weddings & Events

Photographer: Hagerty Photography

Invitations and Favors: Page & Mason Invitations

Floral Design: Petal Pusher

Tuxedos: Mr. Formal

Flasks: Liquid Courage

Bow Ties: Kelsey Bang

Compass: Manic Muse via Etsy

Cufflinks: Bottom of the 9th Online via Etsy

To view our digital magazine and see the complete article, please click here

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!






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A Dress for the Generations
categories: bridal fashions, Wedding Inspiration

Remember the movie The Red Violin that tells a tale of a violin as it is passed from owner to owner over a span of 4 centuries? It was a really intriguing story and although today’s tale hasn’t been made into a big screen production, it still gives us a sense of history and most importantly, family.

Bob and Betty Mammen married May 16, 1947 in Los Angeles; Betty wore a beautiful gown that she designed and stitched herself . She had a passion for dressmaking and this was the ultimate design.

When Betty and Bob’s daughter, Nancy, was a child, she used to play dress up with her mother’s wedding gown. Imagine Betty’s delight when Nancy wanted to wear the dress (with a few alterations) for her own wedding! Nancy and her mother lovingly worked on the dress to make it more “Nancy” (the neckline was the most dramatic change) and on September 16, 1978, Nancy and Dan wed in Phoenix. Nancy wore her mother’s gown and even though it suffered some spills and tears (Betty had to wash it herself because no dry cleaner in town would touch it),  it came clean and no worse for the wear!

Here are pictures from the gown’s first 2 wedding appearances:

Fast forward to 2012, and the gown, known to Nancy’s daughters as “Our Gown”, is once again unpacked and altered for another wedding, this time for Nancy’s daughter, Laura. Betty and Nancy worked side by side (so sweet) to alter the dress to meet Laura’s Victorian dress vision. Chris and Laura Kramme married July 7 in Chandler and of course, the gown made it’s 3rd appearance.

We just loved this story and had to share it with you- it’s rare these days that a wedding gown gets passed down through the generations and actually worn at the weddings of the family members. It’s a beautiful reminder that weddings really are about celebrating our past as we look to the future.

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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Real Arizona Wedding: Meredith and Fabian
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, fabulous reception sites, real weddings, Sedona, Sedona Weddings

Although they live in New York, Meredith and Fabian wanted their wedding to be in Arizona where they met.  What I love about their wedding is that it was a true reflection of who they are as individuals sharing one life.

That life centers around music and activism- Fabian is “dedicated to supporting and documenting Global Hip Hop history and culture in order to bring about dialogue and understanding, to fight injustice and oppression through activism and advocacy, and to pave the way for the next generation of Hip Hop ARTivists”. Meredith has been “creating, running, and supervising programs at Groove With Me, Inc., a private, not-for profit, youth development organization that uses free dance classes and performance opportunities as a tool to instill in young women the leadership, pride, spirit of cooperation, creativity,  joy and discipline”.

How much do you love this picture?

The letterpress invites were based on Tlaquepaque’s string lights and done by matron of honor; the couple chose Tlaquepaque, which is inspired by traditional Mexican villages, for it’s cultural influence

The chuppah celebrated Meredith’s Jewish family traditions

The reception decor had a vintage casual feel

The Mariachi’s were a fitting reminder of Fabian’s Mexican heritage

Dinner included dishes that represented both Fabian’s Texas roots as well as Meredith’s New York upbringing. The groom also surprised the bride with a hip hop version of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”- how cool!

Congratulations Meredith and Fabian!

Meredith and Fabian’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Wedding Coordinator: Heart of Sedona Weddings

Ceremony Site: Sedona Heritage Museum

Reception Site: Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village

Photographer: Cameron + Kelly Studio

Bridal Gown Store: Nicole Miller

Bridesmaids Dresses: Two Birds

Florist: Events by Showstoppers

Caterer: Rosalies of Sedona

Cake: Sedona Sweet Arts

Entertainment:  Lupe Esparaza Mariachi

DJ: DJ Picker

Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist: Patricia Vega

Officiant: Heart of Sedona Weddings

Transportation: Sedona Trolley

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!


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Local Designer in National Contest!
categories: bridal fashions, Giveaways and Contests

The judges for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards have selected an Arizona designer as one of their top 100 finalists from over 2,000 entries. Handmade Colections– the handmade felt flower business created by Arizona mom Nicole Franke- was the only Arizona small business to make the cut. We thought you would want to know about this so you can support a local business AND discover some pretty decor options for your wedding!

This is Nicole, who goes by Cole:

Here are some of her beautiful designs:

She is in the running for the audience choice award which you can vote on now through September 24th. You can vote daily for Cole at or by searching for her shop or “Arizona” on the nominees page.

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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Alfred Angelo Bridesmaids
categories: bridal fashions

I’ll admit, I am not super thrilled with having “Disney” attached to anything clothing related for adults. Although I completely love Disney for family vacations (it really IS the “happiest place on earth”), I just don’t get all gaga over it for clothing. With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised when I spied the Alfred Angelo Disney Maidens collection. These dresses are really pretty and one of my all-time favorite bridesmaid dresses can be found in this collection.

This color is called “Ever After” which will be very popular for Spring 2013 weddings and how about that cool flower detail at the waist?

This is my very favorite dress- it doesn’t scream Disney but it sure does whisper style; the color is  “Love’s First Blush” which is a feminine neutral that will continue to be popular

I also really like the Alfred Angelo Modern Vintage Bridesmaid collection which includes these styles:

Notice how long bridesmaid dresses are coming back? Don’t forget, accessories play a very important part in the overall vintage feel

I can get behind Alfred Angelo, who is world renown for dressing brides and bridesmaids, when they use Disney names for flower girls dresses though. They are way too cute! This is Jasmine:

 And this is Snow White:

You can find Alfred Angelo Bridesmaid dresses at The Wedding Accessory Superstore in Phoenix

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!


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Local Couture Wedding Gowns: SJ Couture
categories: bridal fashions

As an Arizona bride, I bet you weren’t sure if you could make wedding decisions that support local business AND walk the aisle in a couture gown, right? Good news: you can do both!

Local designer Jeanne Hankerson, owner of SJ Couture, is based in Arizona and her wedding gowns are sweet and beautiful. Jeanne uses only 100% silk and laces are imported from France and Italy so you know the quality matches the charm. Check out the designs from her Avant  Collection (her 2nd collection) and our interview:

Describe the bride who is drawn to your dresses

Our bride is ready to break out of the mold. So often, lately, I see women wearing gowns that don’t reflect how stunning they really are – inside and out. When I started designing gowns, I did it because I was ready to see gorgeous women wearing gowns that reflected their style and personality more aptly. I want textures, layers, laces, and incredible fabrics to play together and create something that makes my brides swoon. At the same time, my gowns are still simple, classic and timeless. You don’t have to sacrifice panache for timelessness or class. We infuse these elements and create gowns with verve.

You say your designs come to you in dreams- have you had any that ended in nightmares?

Of course! Don’t we all have those creations that seems so marvelous in our minds, but then fall flat in reality. I can usually spot a nightmare gown when I sketch it out, look at it, and I can’t finish it. Once the ink stops flowing from my fingertips, I know that I’m not going to be able to finish a gown – and without that flow, there is no gown. The creative process needs to be natural – fluid – or it’s just not going to work.

The Penelope gown is my favorite! I love the detailed design and color.

How did you get involved in the wedding gown industry and now that you’re in it, what’s your favorite part?

I have a background in modeling and grew up with a seamstress mother who ran a bridal boutique and made, designed and sold gowns. I was surrounded by wedding gowns, designs and lots of creativity growing up. On the business side, I have started and run three businesses that have nothing to do with fashion. I love business and I love designing/fashion, so I figured I should merge the two and it has been one of the best professional decisions of my life!

From whom/where do you draw your inspiration?

I draw inspiration from many things, ideas, places, etc. Oftentimes, I can stroll through the garment district and see a fabric I love and get an idea. Many of my inspirations are from the textures and fabrics I come across. Above all, though, I gain inspiration from classic fashion. I see my gowns as vintage contemporary and I love watching old movies, paging through vintage magazines, and just taking classic styles that I love and adding my own flair to them.

Phoenix isn’t known for it’s gown designers- how did you decide on Phoenix as home base?

I live here! It just happens that I live in Scottsdale, and I design gowns here too.

Can you give us a hint about what your upcoming collection will look like and how it will differ from your first 2 collections?

The Trinity Collection is our third line and it’s going to be a whole new look and feel, but still keep that simple, classic style that link all my collections. We have some more tea length, some very traditional looks, some eco-friendly fabrics, and even a gorgeous cotton gown. What I love about our third collection is the diversity of styles and fabrics. Be sure to see us launch the Trinity Collection during 2012 Phoenix Fashion Week.

The gowns are produced in New York and are lined in silk charmeuse for that luxurious feel against the skin. They can be found at Uptown Bridal in Chandler, AZ.

I can’t wait to see a Phoenix Bride and Groom bride wearing SJ Couture!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog,


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