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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for October, 2012

Great Find: Griffin Technology + Otis James
categories: favor and gift ideas

We are always on the lookout for gift ideas for the bridal party and today’s Great Find fits the bill. Designer Otis James (an expert maker of hand-crafted ties and hats) recently partnered up with Griffin Technology  to design a line of premium cases for iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S. Check them out!

These “old guy chic” cases are limited edition and come in 4 patterns: Glen Plaid, Maize Check, Gold and Navy Plaid, and Orchid Plaid. We like them because they’re different and handmade- those are good reasons, right?!

There’s a lot to love about this guy especially what he has to say about knowing where something was made…

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!


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Sassi Wedding Incentives
categories: fabulous reception sites, rehearsal dinner spots, Scottsdale Weddings

If you have not been to SASSI in beautiful North Scottsdale, you are missing out. That might sound sort of mean but I’m serious- the food is so good (SASSI’s menu features handmade pasta, local and organic vegetables and a variety of fine meats and fresh seafood prepared in the spirit of southern Italy), the atmosphere is warm and inviting and I love how it feels like you are in a home (yes, a gorgeous mansion, but still, you feel like you’re being hosted by a family, not a corporation).

This is the wine room which can be used for smaller group dinners like a rehearsal dinner; it is also the “guys” prep room for weddings

And now SASSI is offering one of the most generous incentive programs I have ever heard of. The incentives are available to all couples married at SASSI for all future anniversary or special occasions offering a lifetime of SASSI values for being part of the SASSI Wedding Family:

-Each time a former or future booked wedding couple dines at SASSI, they will receive $25 off and another $25 per couple that dines with them

-All past and future booked wedding couples receive 10% off their food & beverage bill when booking a large event for 14-150 guests with a set menu; minimums and contract apply. This offer is also available to wedding couples’ parents for corporate dinners, holiday events or special occasions

-If a wedding is referred by a former SASSI bride/groom, the former bride/groom will receive a $150 gift card to use during a future visit

-In addition, SASSI sends an anniversary card to couples’ on their first anniversary offering prosecco, pasta and a dessert complimentary

This Italian Villa has Old World charm, intimate spaces, grand views, luxury detailing, and of course, delicious food. It’s a place that you will not only want to get married at but also a place you will want to revisit time and again.

We think SASSI is a really unique Arizona wedding venue and with the new incentive program, you won’t want to pass it up!

Check out some of our favorite SASSI weddings:

Gina + Drew, Justine Miller Photography

Kaoife + Josh, Jennifer Bowen Photography

Lindsey+ John, Hagerty Photography

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!








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Real Arizona Wedding: Gretchen and Chris
categories: fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, for your ceremony, photography, real weddings, reception ideas, Wedding Inspiration

While planning your wedding, you probably hear the advice “make it yours”, “stay true to who you are” and “make it personal” often. And trust me, I know that can be a difficult thing to do. If I was planning my wedding today, how would I incorporate my love of reading, my beautiful children, my adoration for my country, and my devotion to the color green? I think it would be a mess! But Gretchen and Chris made their wedding THEIRS in the most wonderful ways. Every item chosen has meaning, moments were thought through, and ultimately, their wedding reflected their life together. It’s a beautiful thing.

Chris and Gretchen met and currently live in Downtown Phoenix so it was an easy choice to have the wedding there too

4 year old Spencer was decked out in the cutest suspenders and tie- the teal and white polka dots match Chris’ tie and Gretchen’s shoes!

Get this: Spencer said “And the lived happily ever after” during the ceremony! How much do you love that??? Not surprisingly, this was Chris and Gretchen’s very favorite moment of the day.

After the ceremony, Spencer wanted to hold onto the locket/charm around the bouquet. He didn’t have pockets, so I asked him to give it to a grown-up if he didn’t want to hold onto it anymore. I was fully prepared that it would be lost by the end of the evening. It wasn’t…. he held onto the locket the entire evening, slept with it, and had it in his pocket the next day. He held onto it the entire next day, as well.

I love this idea: We took a few minutes to ourselves right after we exited the ceremony. One of the servers brought us two gin and tonics outside on the patio. We shared a few thoughts, had the drinks and then entered the packed reception area. It all just felt perfect!

Gretchen and Chris wanted vintage urban reception decor that used lots of candlelight. Angelic Grove not only designed the perfect floral arrangements but they also created vignettes throughout the reception space that reflected the mood as well; lounge furniture was brought in to make the entire evening feel fun and relaxing, custom lighting was installed, and various textures were used to compliment the rustic feel of the Icehouse. (To see even more reception decor details, click here!)

Another unique touch: I (Gretchen) am a Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts and hold their organization and their mission dear to my heart. We opted for Girl Scout Cookies that were purchased from the Cactus Pines Girl Scout Council to benefit the “Just-Us Social Justice” programs. We served Girl Scout cookies in vintage jars, on vintage plates, and on platters. Girl Scout cookies were placed on cupcakes too.

Friends and family created a slideshow that memorialized the couple’s childhoods and the journey they have taken to come together as a family

The proposal: We took a trip to Spain and Portugal. We toured the countryside, and on the last night of our stay, on our hotel balcony, on a bluff overlooking a historic cathedral, Chris proposed. The cathedral bells chimed 8:00pm. And the rest was history.

Blaine Long wrote and sang about our proposal in his song “Love, Love, Love (It’s a Good Thing)”, memorializing this special moment in the song that he sang for us during the ceremony and that we danced to for our first dance.

Spencer got in on the action and played along with the band. Also, when saying goodnight to Spencer at the end of the evening, he said “Good night, dad” to Chris for the first time.

The Honeymoon: Our Honeymoon was in Provence, France and Barcelona, Spain. We drove around touring the countryside from a vacation home in Avignon, France. Barcelona was our final destination and enjoyed ours days touring history, architecture, listening to jazz, and enjoying tapas and libations!

Gretchen and Chris’ Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Ceremony and Reception Site: The Icehouse

Photographer, Photobooth: Mike Olbinski Photography

Bridal Gown Store: Lillian Lottie Couture (gown customized/altered by Sister n Stitches)

After- Party Dress: Vintage by Misty

Suits: Men’s Apparel Club

Groom & Son tie/suspenders: Petite Peanut via Etsy

Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN

Florist, Reception Decor, Linens: Angelic Grove

Caterer: Copper Square Kitchen

Ceremony Musicians, Band: Blaine Long and Brad Dilli

Make-up Artist: Linda Wagner

Hair Stylist: Hautie Rouge Salon, Ruca Bowman

Officiant: Jill Heather

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!




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Engaged: Alexis and John
categories: Engagement, photography, Sedona

Alexis and John’s engagement session in Sedona caught our eye for a few reasons: first, they have a natural ease together that shines through in the images, second, the Sedona scenery is absolutely gorgeous, and third, we love the little details Alexis and John brought to the shoot (from Scrabble tiles to the perfect headband).

Enjoy your daily dose of sophisticated country!

Favorite Things:

Alexis: I love John’s warm, compassionate heart. He is hardworking and loyal. He is very patient, unlike me. We are definitely opposites and it works. I am a lawyer and John is in the process of applying for med school. I carry the sharp quick-as-a-whip tenacity that an attorney must posses. John is methodical in everything he does so we balance each other out perfectly.

John: she has a warm heart and is caring. I love the way she cares for animals and people; she has a gentle soul.

Why Sedona?

John and I got engaged in Sedona in March 2011 and knew right away we wanted to do our engagement photo session there. Sedona has always been a special place for us – somewhere close that we can get away and for whatever reason, it is always very romantic and calm.

The Proposal

John Proposed in Sedona. It was a total surprise since I planned the weekend getaway myself. He always says it is impossible to surprise me because I am too nosy (this may or may not be true) so he had to wait for me to plan something. Also, we had been together about four years that month and needless to say I was awaiting a proposal by that time. On the road trip down to Sedona, he told me not to be disappointed because my ring wasn’t done being made yet. Since I planned the trip myself, I thought this made sense.

We went wine tasting in Page on the way up and then dropped our stuff off at the little B&B we stay at every time we go (Adobe Hacienda). He told me he had a “big surprise” for me -Dom Perignon. We hiked down to Oak Creek Canyon, toting the Dom, where he proposed. He was so nervous that he forgot to get the ring out of his sock and I thought for a moment that maybe it wasn’t really ready yet, haha. He had just forgotten and it was in there. We had a fabulous dinner at L’Auberge that night and we were on cloud 9.

Alexis, inspired by her past (her mother grew up on a farm) and her and John’s mutual love of country music, planned a rustic “farm” wedding; as you can see here, she embraced the theme from the very beginning!

Alexis loves John in a cowboy hat so she knew he had to wear one for their engagement pics

(All images courtesy of: White Haute Photography)

What drew you to you to White Haute Photography?

John’s sister was in the middle of deciding between two photographers from California for her wedding in LA and one of them was White Haute. She had me look at the two websites to help her decide and I was in love with White Haute instantly.

Congratulations Alexis and John and thank you for sharing your Sedona engagement session with us!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog,


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Real Arizona Wedding: Susan and Jason
categories: entertainment, real weddings, reception ideas, Wedding Inspiration

Are you a bride who has a flair for the grand? The dramatic? The completely glamorous? Then Susan and Jason’s wedding is right up your alley…

I’ll let Susan explain: We didn’t start out with a themed wedding. One night with friends, Jason suggested half- jokingly that we have a circus wedding. I was not on board with that idea but said if he wanted to do a Carnivale Masquerade theme, I would be up for it… I used to live in Venice, Italy and any reason I have to go back or indulge in my favorite city, I am in! From there, the ideas came pouring in. And because of my contacts in Venice and first-hand knowledge of Carnivale, I was able to bring some authenticity to the event.

Can you believe that Susan woke up the day of her wedding very ill? She made an amazing recovery!

Susan’s favorite moment: I would have to say that the moment I think of the most is when I started walking down the aisle and everyone stood up. It was all surreal. A year of planning and dreaming and wondering had finally arrived and all eyes were on me. And my eyes were darting all over–my friends, family and guests, my dad waiting for me, my husband to be waiting for me–it was overwhelming and yet calming all at the same time.

Jason’s favorite moment: he enjoyed the shock of everyone when they found out it was a theme wedding (as it was a secret to the guests)–seeing the court jester, stilt-walker, and getting a mask at the dinner tables was all a surprise to the guests!

This cake takes my breath away!

The Honeymoon: We left the next morning for a cruise out of Rome, visiting Greece, Turkey and the Amalfi Coast. Having lived in Europe and traveled over there, Jason wanted us to go somewhere neither of us had been–that’s the Greece and Turkey part. As for Italy, well, it was just a good reason to be there! When we ported back in Rome, we took a quick flight up to Venice so that I could spend approximately 12 hours there–shopping, saying hi to friends and having a fabulous dinner.

Best Advice: Most of my friends were married within 3-6 months of engagement and I watched the stress levels rise due to little planning time. I swore I would have a year engagement so that I could plan what I wanted and have the luxury of getting what I wanted (venue, date, caterer, etc). I learned that even with a year, there is stress. With 2 months to go, I was feeling it just like my gal pals did. So, I guess my advice would be to know it will happen and just enjoy the process….when you look back on it, you want to remember the planning as an integral part of the wedding day and you want to have fond memories of the discoveries, ideas and negotiations that went on about those plans. I have actually kept every cut out picture and receipt of the pieces of our wedding in a folder so that I can ‘relive’ how I found that idea and how I made that idea happen–maybe a little overboard, but I have looked at the folder several times already.

Favorite thing about being married: I love having someone in my life as a constant. We don’t spend every moment together like we did when we were dating and we have certainly had our share of disagreements, but the fact that I know Jason is always there and always will be, gives me a calm and happiness that I never had before. Jason says he looks forward to the different chapters in our life together.

Congratulations Susan and Jason and thank you for sharing your day with us!

Susan and Jason’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Ceremony and Reception Site: Villa Siena

Photographer: Sierra Blanco Photography

Bridal Gown Store: Suzanne’s Bridal Boutique

Bridesmaids Dresses: Suzanne’s Bridal Boutique

Tuxedos: Azteca Bridal Plaza

Invitations: The Inspired Edge

Caterer: Salerno’s

Cake: Piece of Cake Desserts

Entertainment: Citron Sound and La Fiamma Entertainment

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

Officiant: Fred Beasley

Rentals: Designer Centerpieces

Rehearsal Dinner Site: POMO Restaurant

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!




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Invitation Trend: Watercolor
categories: the paper chase, Trends

One of the fun parts of planning your wedding is getting to design/choose your stationery suite- you can go traditional, modern, casual, witty, classic, ornate…the list goes on and on. One trend we have spotted lately and truly love for it’s handcrafted quality is watercolor stationery.

Watercolor creates a painterly, even dreamy, effect.  Here are some invitations designed by Celebrations in Paper

I like the desert inspiration in this invite- it’s very Arizona. Quality design and luxe paper elevate watercolor from childish to stylish.

All above invitations by Celebrations in Paper

Watercolor takes an ultra-chic turn with a bright and sophisticated color palette; here’s The Event Essentials take on this trend

 (Stationery: The Event Essentials/Planner: Meant2Be Events/Florist: Lux Wedding Florist/Rentals: Classic Party Rentals/Property: Hotel Palomar/Photographer: Hagerty Photography)

Here are a few others we’re fond of:

 (Invitation Crush)

(KXO Design)

(delightfully engaged)

 (Invitation Crush)

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!


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