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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for March, 2013

Real Arizona Wedding: Summer in Sedona
categories: cakes and sweets, destination weddings and honeymoons, favor and gift ideas, floral inspiration, real weddings, Sedona, Sedona Weddings, Wedding Inspiration

Jessica and Dean’s wedding at The Club at Seven Canyons was a family affair full of beautiful summery details; the Florida couple chose yellow, charcoal and purple  throughout their destination wedding decor to create a happy and joyful atmosphere.

The bride is a DIYer at heart so she was involved in every aspect of the decor. She embellished the parasols, made the programs, and designed every little detail for the reception herself.

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Real Arizona Wedding_Sedona_Yellow_Gray_Sierra Blanco Photography (1)

The spectacular floral designs are by Events by Show Stoppers, one of our absolute favorite floral designers!

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Real Arizona Wedding_Sedona_Yellow_Gray_Sierra Blanco Photography (2)

Jessica tells us: As guests found their seats at the reception, they were greeted with a chocolate pistachio dome already on their plate with a handmade flag that said ‘Life is Unpredictable- Eat Dessert First!‘ to show the bride’s sweet tooth…Dean is South African so to bring a little of that to the event, we flew in our favorite South African chocolates and gave them out as our favors. A surprise for Dean at the reception was his groom’s cake- it looked like a box of cigars!

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Real Arizona Wedding_Sedona_Yellow_Gray_Sierra Blanco Photography (3)

Congratulations Jessica and Dean and thank you for sharing your day with us!  Visit our website for their complete wedding story

Check out their video- you are going to love their personalized vows!

jessica+dean wedding trailer from NoBox Films on Vimeo.

Jessica and Dean’s Real Arizona Wedding Team:

Ceremony Location: The Club at Seven Canyons Sedona

Reception Location: Enchantment Resort

Photographer: Sierra Blanco Photography

Videography: Nobox Films

Floral Design: Events by Show Stoppers

Cake: Sedona Cake Couture

Ceremony Musicians: Sweetwater Strings

DJ: Sedona Sounds DJ

Rentals and Linens: Classic Party Rentals

Bridal Gown: Bellissima Bride

Bridesmaid Gowns: Boca Bridal

Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse

Makeup Artist: Pure Skin Artistry

Hair Stylist: Jade Shultz, Zolton’s Salon

Transportation: Northern Arizona Limousine and Sedona Trolley

Hotel Accommodations: Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa

Rehearsal Dinner: Indian Gardens Park

Officiant: Rabbi Alicia Magal

Wedding Coordinator: Sedona Wedding Planner

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog~Kelly

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Table Numbers and Place Cards for your Wedding Reception
categories: floral inspiration, reception ideas, Tips and Advice, Wedding Inspiration

Just like Southwest Airlines’ attempt to let people board freely failed, so will your attempt to let guests choose their reception table seating on their own with no direction whatsoever. It’s just one of those things- people like to know they have a place; they relax knowing they won’t be split up from their date or get crushed as the ballroom doors open for seating.

So, now that you are on board with getting bossy and telling your guests where to sit, you can have fun with your design choices! Table numbers and seating cards come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Here are a few that we wouldn’t mind taking direction from:

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona Wedding Blog_Table numbers_place cards_reception ideas (1)

(L-R: Chris Richards Photography; Sedona Bride Photographers, The Garage by Ivy)

This table number isn’t really a number- it’s an anecdote about the couple that we think will charm your guests all the way through dessert!

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(Kimberly Jarman Photography, Definitely Debra)

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona Wedding Blog_Table numbers_place cards_reception ideas (3)

(Marriott Photography, The Event Essentials)

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(Something Blue Photography, Elaine Taylor Fine Flowers)

Tiffany blue and bling are a natural pair

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(Amanda Rockafellow Photography)

These are so fun- the Bride and Groom are avid cyclists so they personalized their place cards to reflect their mutual love

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(Chris Richards Photography)

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(L-R: Hagerty Photography, The Event Essentials; Something Blue Photography)

With  lush table setting like this one, a simple place card with a bit of embellishment works perfectly

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona Wedding Blog_Table numbers_place cards_reception ideas (8)

(Marriott Photography, The Event Essentials)

You can see that the table numbers and place cards you choose for your reception can be as unique as you are- from rustic and charming to blingy and glam, anything goes!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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Arizona Wedding Vendor Spotlight: Schaffer’s Bridal Store
categories: bridal fashions, Meet Our Friends, Trends

As fun as shopping for your perfect wedding gown is (and it’s fun, trust us), it  may not be as easy as you think. Ideally, you should begin shopping for your dress about 9 months before your wedding date, even if you think you already know exactly what you want in a gown, because you’ll likely encounter some common shopping challenges; many times what brides think will look good on them doesn’t, a specific design/designer is not readily available, and the reality of a budget can be a mismatch with the dream of channeling royalty.

With that being said, your dress shopping experience can be a success if you start smart. And by smart I mean: partner up with a bridal shop that has a large selection of designers you like, provides amazing customer service, and has a genuine passion for pretty. Start with a place like Schaffer’s.


Laurie from Schaffer’s tells us: We carry something for everyone, regardless of budget. I think that’s important for brides to understand. Many bridal stores are known as “high end”, but we are not. Our store is completely structured by price. The worst thing we can do is show a bride a dress that is outside of her comfort price point. It’s like looking at houses- why would you look at million dollar houses if your budget is no where near that?

As far as trends in bridal gowns, we are seeing a lot of lace gowns. Also fun skirts, those with layers or tiers, are popular. Many of our brides are also looking for “simple” gowns with plans to customize them with accessories like belts or brooches for detailing.


(Gowns L to R: Alvina Valenta/#9161, Atelier Diagonal/Oran, Sottero & Midgley/Tracey)


(Pronovias: Pergola, Mullet, Petunia)

Another thing we are seeing: brides who are incorporating sentimental pieces in their dress from family members who have passed on. For example, we had a bride have us sew a part of her grandfather’s tie into her dress, in the shape of a heart, so he could be there with her on her special day! We had another bride have us redo her mother’s headpiece into something more modern so she could wear it. I LOVE when brides ask us to do things like that. It makes us all feel sentimental!

Best-Selling_Maggie Sottero

 (Maggie Sottero: Karena Royale, Clarice, Lorie)

What makes Schaffer’s a standout in the wedding industry? Our staff is well educated in the bridal and fashion industry- making them experts in bridal fashion- and we pride ourselves on creating a unique and memorable experience for every customer we meet. Our consultants are extensively trained in fabrics, silhouettes, trends and manufacturers, spend time with the bride throughout her dress search, and are able to accommodate bridal parties as well.

After contacting a few Real Schaffer’s Brides, I realized just how much Schaffer’s means it when they say they are “creating a unique and memorable experience for every customer we meet”. These 3 brides exemplify the relationship Schaffer’s builds with their customers and how they are more than willing to make their brides happy, no matter what it takes.

Real Schaffer’s Bride Libby

Libby: Buying my dress at Schaffer’s Bridal was the best decision I could have ever made due to their impeccable customer service and extreme attention to detail. Their one mission was to make sure I was 100% happy and they accomplished that task perfectly. I must also mention that the staff made certain they stayed within my budget while maintaining a very high end look for my wedding day. I couldn’t have been happier!

Laurie from Schaffer’s adds: She’s a DOLL and we loved working with her!!!

Drew Brashler_Hahn Wedding_Schaffers Gown

(Photo credit: Drew Brashler Photography)

Real Schaffer’s Bride Shelly

Shelly: I loved Schaffers and always use it as my first place of reference for any friends looking for bridal dresses or just fun, different dresses for a special event.  The interior is amazing and the staff is so sweet and helpful.  I ended up buying my wedding dress the first time I walked in because I found a dress that was different than anything I had ever seen before.  I had about 5 fittings between the initial try-on and the bridal portraits and I always had a great, relaxing time when I was in the store. Especially since my family and mom live out of state, it was nice to have some people around with opinions I trusted!

Laurie from Schaffer’s adds: Shelly actually bought a dress at Schaffer’s AND we remade her mother’s wedding gown to wear at her reception!


(Photo credit: Allison Bess Photography)

Real Schaffer’s Bride Laila

Laila: My experience at Schaffer’s was terrific. They brought my dream dress to life. I am from California and went all over Southern California to find my dress and could not find it. When I came to visit my in- laws in Arizona, my sister in law found the dress at Schaffer’s before my visit. The staff at Schaffer’s are very friendly and did not pressure me when it came to purchasing my wedding gown. I added extra beading, made several changes to the dress, and everything I wanted on my dress was brought to life without any trouble.

Laurie adds: She {Laila} purchased her dress here and we added so much bling to it, which was already blinged out…she was gorgeous!

Laila_Schaffers Bride

(Photo credit: Robert Yee Photography)

Readers, we know shopping for your gown is a huge item on your wedding planning list and our #1 piece of advice when shopping is to go to a reputable bridal shop like Schaffer’s.

Happy Shopping from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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Wedding Menus
categories: reception ideas, the paper chase, Trends, trends in catering, Wedding Inspiration

I’ll admit that one of my favorite parts of a wedding is the dinner. It’s sort of an adventure in food and a study in the couple’s decision making process (especially if you did not choose your entree via RSVP card). I delight in pondering, “Did they go traditional with steak and chicken, hip with multiple tasting stations, or casual with a BBQ buffet?” What I don’t like though, is not knowing what I’m being served during the meal and this dilemma is easily solved by a menu. Your reception decor and wedding style will determine the look of your menu but in general, anything goes!

Bling, sparkle, custom monograms, layered papers, three dimensional touches…they all make for a WOW moment when your guests find their seat

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona Wedding Bog_wedding Menus

(Clockwise from top left: Kimberly Jarman Photography/Definitely Debra, Hagerty Photography/The Event Essentials, Marriott Photography/The Event Essentials, Hagerty Photography/The Event Essentials)

Elements of texture like laser cuts, flowers and lace, and hand stitching make your menu custom and memorable

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(L to R: SheWe Studio, CWLIFE Photography/The Event Essentials, Cameron & Kelly Studio/Page and Mason Invitations)

We love the refined look of these menus- they can be simple and still make an impression

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  (Clockwise from top left: Justine Miller Photography/The Event Essentials, Chris Richards Photography)

Match the style of your event with your paper products- colorful and bright menus tempt your guests before they even take a bite!

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(L to R: Darby Elizabeth Photography/Page and Mason Invitations, Amanda Rockafellow Photography/Brianne Ronnie Dumais)

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(L to R: Page and Mason Invitations, Keith Pitts Photography/Page and Mason Invitations)

One large creatively displayed menu can be a good alternative to individual menus especially if the dinner tables are already full with other decor or if you want a minimal look at each place setting

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(L to R: Christine Kay Photography/Tres Chic Weddings and Events, Sedona Bride Photography/Tres Chic Weddings and Events)

If you are going to take the time to create signature cocktails, you should definitely tell your guests what they are drinking with a Signature Cocktail menu! It’s just another element of fun that doesn’t take a ton of effort to pull off.

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(Chris Richards Photography)

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!


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Get a Free Honeymoon!
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, Giveaways and Contests

I have a simple question for you today: would you like a free honeymoon? And I’m not talking about the kind where you head to sweet Uncle Joe’s cabin about 2 hours away and honeymoon with the forest critters, wash your own dishes, and scrub the cabin clean before you leave (I have a family cabin and trust me, I cherish my cabin time, but not for my honeymoon). I am talking about a real honeymoon! One where you get to escape the everyday, where you don’t have to make your own bed (much less wash your own dishes), and where you can explore a destination as a newly wed couple. Sounds amazing, right?

Here’s the deal: The Kessler Collection’s “Honeymoon on Us” program treats couples that book their wedding reception by May 13, 2013 at any Kessler Collection hotel to a free honeymoon at any of their 10 properties across the nation.

The Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville in North Carolina:

Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville

Beaver Creek Lodge in Beaver Creek, Colorado:

Beaver Creek Lodge

The Kessler Collection hotels are known for their boutique style, warm hospitality, and luxurious accommodations. I recently stayed at El Monte Segrado in Taos, NM (click here to discover why it’s a fabulous destination wedding location, especially for Phoenix couples).

The Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia

Mansion on Forsyth Park

Bohemian Hotel Celebration in Orlando, Florida

Bohemian Hotel Celebration

All Kessler Collection hotels are participating in the honeymoon offering-  just book your wedding reception by May 13, 2013 at any Kessler Collection hotel to earn a free honeymoon at any of the 10 properties across the nation (the couple receives a one-night stay for every $5,000 spent on the wedding at any Kessler Collection hotel and will have up to one year following the wedding to take advantage of the offer. Interested parties may contact the director of catering at the hotel of their choice for full details).

The Kessler Collection properties are ideal locations for a bride and groom to say “I do” and begin their incredible journey together. Each exquisite hotel provides a backdrop of sophisticated flare and elegance to capture the romance of the union. Whether the discerning bride and groom are looking for a magical outdoor wedding in the mountains of Colorado, a romantic celebration inspired by Native American cultures or a grand ballroom reception in historic St. Augustine, Fla., the director of catering at any of The Kessler Collection hotels is sure to make a perfect day unforgettable. From exquisite dining to breathtaking wedding venues, the hotels can accommodate nearly any number of guests with limitless options.

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!


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Wedding Trend: Ombre
categories: bridal fashions, cakes and sweets, favor and gift ideas, floral inspiration, reception ideas, Trends, trends in catering, Wedding Inspiration

Merriam-Webster tells us ombre is having colors or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark. Sounds pretty right? So why do we like ombre so much? Because it adds interest, creates texture, and is flexible- ombre can be playful and whimsical or seriously stylish. You can also add touches of it (think save the dates, a bouquet, or your bridesmaid dresses) without having to commit to it 100% when considering your wedding decor. Here are some gorgeous ways to use this trendy effect:

As you can see in this dazzling floral arrangement, ombre and flowers are a match made in heaven!

McDowell_Hagerty Ombre2

(Hagerty Photography, Your Event Florist, The Event Essentials, Classic Party Rentals)

Cakes are inherently made for fun, dram, and decadence and if you like the ombre effect for your wedding but are worried about overdoing it, your cake is the best place to incorporate it


(Hagerty Photography, La Dolce Pesca, The Event Essentials)

hagerty_heart_ombre cake

(Hagerty Photography)

HoneyMoon Sweets_ombre cake

(Honey Moon Sweets)

This is “reverse ombre” (dark to light)

Tammie Coe Cakes_ombre

(Tammie Coe Cakes)

You can even surprise your guests with ombre hidden on the INSIDE of your cake! What a perfect sweet for a wedding shower.

craftlovely_weddingsbylillyblog_ombre cake

(Weddings by Lilly)


(Glorious Treats)

And of course you can give your guests a hint of what’s to come at your wedding with pretty ombre invites; this one is for a bachelorette weekend and we are digging the modern aqua ombre and chevron pattern


(pixelimpress via Etsy)

More ombre wedding inspiration

amazon_ombre flower girl dress

(Flower Girl Dress in Ombre, via Amazon)Martha Stewart Weddings_via Luxe finds

(Ombre Flowers, Martha Stewart Weddings via Luxe Finds)

Candy and chocolates are a perfect place for some artistic ombre effects at your reception and with so many colors available, your options are endless!

Ombre_wedding Trend_Bedazzle My Bonbons

(Ombre BonBons, Bedazzle My BonBons)


(Ombre Candy via Young Married Chic)

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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