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Archive for May, 2014

     
30
May
Engagement Rings: What Your Ring Says About You
categories: Engagement

We get it: you can’t stop staring at that shiny bauble on your finger.  It looks different driving to work on the morning, at lunch, in the office, at the grocery store, in your kitchen, at the gym, in your pool and while reading at night. And we’re glad you love it. It suits you and that makes us happy!

In the spirit of admiration of gorgeous and sparkly things, we’re sharing this cute interactive infographic that we came across on the Genesis Diamonds’ website titled “What Your Engagement Rings Says About You“:

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Fun right? You can use the interactive infographic using this link: http://www.genesisdiamonds.net/what-your-engagement-ring-says-about-you (since we’ve all had rings on our fingers for some time, infographics, especially the interactive kind, are sort of like shiny baubles to us!).

Genesis Diamonds is one of the leading online retailers of Tacori and Verragio engagement rings and can be found online.

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your Arizona wedding magazine

 

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27
May
Reception Ideas: Your Wedding Menu
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, reception ideas, Trends, trends in catering, Wedding Inspiration

It’s been said that we “Eat first with our eyes, then with our mouth”, meaning not only should food taste good, it should be visually appealing as well. Keeping this in mind, when you make decisions about your wedding menu, you’ll want to consider the style and artistry of the chefs you are working with as much as you consider the way the food tastes.

Our Eat Drink, and Be Married!  feature, led by Monica McQueen of Tres Chic Wedding & Events, showcases 3 menus from valley chefs at 3 wedding venues, Desert Botanical Garden, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, and Westin Phoenix Downtown, proving that your wedding menu can be both delicious and ridiculously beautiful.

Location: Desert Botanical Garden :: Caterer: Fabulous Food :: Stylist/coordinator: Tres Chic Weddings & Events :: Photographer: Erica Velasco Photographers :: Floral design: Butterfly Petals :: Linen: Wildflower Linen :: Chiavari chairs: Classic Party Rentals

Starter: Rosette of Hamachi sashimi with rhubarb, arugula, marinated strawberries, rose pesto and micro wasabiPhoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona wedding magazine_wedding reception ideas_wedding menu_catering (5)

Salad: Asparagus, enoki mushrooms and baby fennel with a pea puree, chive oil, yogurt and lemon zest

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Entree: Duck leg and sausage served with blueberry-infused cabbage and grilled peaches

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Dessert: Apple whiskey poached D’Anjou pear, with Shaft bleu cheese, duck proscuitto and figs

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Location and Caterer: Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa :: Stylist/coordinator: Tres Chic Weddings & Events :: Photographer: Erica Velasco Photographers :: Floral design: Butterfly Petals :: Linen: Wildflower Linen

Starter: BLT Salad of heirloom tomatoes, smoked bacon, tempura avocado, spiced brioche and buttermilk vinaigrette.

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Entree: Braised prime beef short rib and butter-braised lobster claw served with glazed bok choy and lobster wontons

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Dessert: White chocolate ganache, green tea sponge cake, matcha macarons and passion fruit pineapple sorbet

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Location and Caterer: Westin Phoenix Downtown :: Stylist/coordinator: Tres Chic Weddings & Events :: Photographer: Erica Velasco Photographers :: Floral design: Butterfly Petals :: Linen: Wildflower Linen :: Rental furnishings: kool. :: Blue oyster dessert plates: BBJ Linen

Starter: Citrus-poached shrimp ceviche

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Entree: Petite beef filet in a cabernet bordelaise sauce, paired with grilled prawns with piperade sauce and roasted fingerling potatoes with sauteed asparagus

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Dessert: Flambeed lemon thyme cake served with brown butter mousse and fresh fig compote

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When researching caterers, don’t forget that the food can be inventive and artistic along with being delicious- cheers!

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your Arizona wedding magazine

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23
May
Arizona Wedding Vendor Spotlight: Terri Flood of Escapes Unlimited
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, Meet Our Friends, Tips and Advice

Your honeymoon is, no joke, one of the most important trips you’ll ever plan. You’ll be traveling for the first time as a married couple and you want it to be memorable; unfortunately, sometimes there’s pressure to plan a honeymoon that just isn’t “you”, whether it’s to an outlandishly exotic location, a place where all your friends have traveled to for their honeymoons, or somewhere your parents think is a “proper” honeymoon location. Regardless of what everyone else thinks is perfect, you and your beloved need to decide where you want to go and what you want to do while you’re there.

Now, how do you go about planning YOUR perfect honeymoon? Enter Terri Flood, Arizona’s #1 Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Specialist and winner of more awards than you can imagine. Terri is an avid traveler who works with Escapes Unlimited, a full-service travel agency, and takes personalized service to a whole new level. Terri doesn’t want to plan your friends’ honeymoon, she wants to plan yours. She meets with you face to face and really digs in to find out what you’re looking for and what fits your budget. She also gets you the best deals along with price guarantees that are unmatched in the travel world.

Have you always loved traveling and how did you get into this business? I have always loved travel.  In 1972 I applied to become a flight attendant for United- I was only 17 at the time and needed my parents’ permission to complete the training. They wouldn’t sign, so I moved on to another career.

In 1983 I entered a radio station contest to win a 7 day cruise for 2 and won. That turned me back onto my love for travel, and was hired the next year as their manager/bookkeeper. In 1990 a friend and I ventured out on our own and started Escapes Unlimited, a full service travel agency and I am now one of their top 50 agents in the WORLD, and their number 1 agent in Arizona, Colorado and a few other states.

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(Sandals Whitehouse, Jamaica)

 What do you do for couples planning their honeymoons and does it cost them anything to hire you?  I never charge a service fee for my services.  I personally meet with each one of my couples and find out what is important to them. Then we have a conversation to find out what their dream honeymoon destination is.

If you could plan YOUR dream honeymoon, where would you go and why? The first thing that comes to mind is that I am a huge BEACH LOVER, so beaches and sunsets are very important to me. I like the romance of watching a sunset and walking along a beautiful stretch of private beach.

With that being said,when I sit down with a client, I try not to impose my personal preferences onto the couple. Instead, I ask them this: “I would like you each to tell me the top three items on your wish list.”  Most of the time, their answers are different from each other’s. Then I ask what their budget is and try to build the perfect trip from that info. I love talking face to face with clients because it gives me a little insight to their personalities and the type of resort that would best suit them.

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(Sandals Whitehouse, Jamaica)

What advantages do couples receive when hiring you?When couples work with me, they are not “hiring me” because there is no fee.  What they are doing is having an expert plan their trip that has personal relationships with each general manager at resorts and hands-on experience in every department of the resorts.  In addition, I provide a low price guarantee- if the rate on their trip goes down prior to their final payment, they are automatically protected and will receive the lower rate. I actually save my couples money and provide a personalized experience all at no cost to them.

What are your top honeymoon planning tips?

1. Plan early. With the low price guarantee, it is the best way to get the honeymoon of your dreams.

2. Don’t listen to everyone’s opinion of the “perfect Honeymoon spot”-  it may be perfect for them, but not for you.  Ask an expert to guide you and you will have the honeymoon of YOUR dreams.

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(Sandals Emerald Bay, Bahamas)

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(Sandals Emerald Bay, Bahamas)

Terri tells us about the newest hot spot in the Caribbean: Sandals LaSource Grenada is the “Newest & Hottest” place- this resort just opened in December, and it’s like NO OTHER resort I have ever seen in the Caribbean. It has negative- edge private swimming pools on the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors of the buildings! Grenada is a wonderful destination, and to have this resort to offer couples that want something different is just awesome.  It takes a good long while to get there, but once there it is soooooo worth it!

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(Sandals LaSource, Grenada)

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(Sandals LaSource, Grenada)

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(Sandals LaSource, Grenada)

This is Terri and her husband- they traveled to Whitehouse, Jamaica and stayed at Sandals Whitehouse to re-tie the knot. So sweet!

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We’ve found that many land-locked Arizona couples are really looking to just get out of the desert and experience a honeymoon that’s romantic and relaxing with the possibility of adventure (without the pressure to participate) and Terri is the gal to help you plan a honeymoon that exceeds your expectations.

Terri regularly hosts honeymoon planning events and is active on social media as well. Catch her on her website or on Facebook for the best honeymoon advice and planning tips. Plus, many of her clients gush about her on her Facebook page- you’ll enjoy reading their feedback!

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your Arizona wedding magazine

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20
May
Wedding Reception Idea: Sweet Summer Sips with Prairie Organic Spirits
categories: Tips and Advice, Wedding Inspiration

The idea of having signature cocktails at the cocktail hour and wedding reception has really caught on and the newest trend is serving those cocktails in a charming serve-yourself kind of display. Think pretty jugs, coordinating linens, fun signage, and clever glassware options. How you display your DIY cocktail area is totally up to you- you can make it super classy with sparkly metallic linens, champagne glasses and berries to top it all off or go sweet and charming with patterned linens, chalkboard signs, and punch style bowls. Whatever you decide, offer a few drink options and make sure the kids steer clear (unless you make a mini-signature drink stand for the kids too- that would be adorable, no?).

Prairie Organic Spirits recently shared their idea for a summery lemonade bar complete with recipes and we just had to tell you about it. Not only are the recipes completely yummy sounding but the spirits are handcrafted with the utmost care so your conscience gets to feel good too: Prairie believes in doing things the right way. Quality over quantity. Influence over affluence. And whenever possible, crafted by hand. Here’s to those who share our values, to those who have pride and respect for what they do and what they make. Here’s to the craftsmen who are rewriting the “Made in America” story.
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The Drinks: 
 
Pretty in Pink Lemonade
3 cups Prairie Organic Vodka
2 cups simple syrup (2 cups sugar and 2 cups water, cooked until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool)
8 cups (two liters) cold seltzer
4 cups fresh lemon juice
¼ cup grenadine syrup
2 lemons, sliced
Ice, as needed

Directions: Add Prairie Organic Vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and grenadine to dispenser. Add seltzer and lemon slices. Stir to combine ingredients, and top with ice.

Here Comes the Lime
3 cups Prairie Organic Vodka
2 cups simple syrup (2 cups sugar and 2 cups water, cooked until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.)
8 cups (two liters) cold seltzer water
3 cups lime juice
2 limes, sliced
Ice, as needed

6 cups fresh or frozen sweet black cherries (optional)

Directions: Add Prairie Organic Vodka, simple syrup and lime juice to dispenser. Add seltzer and lime slices, and stir gently to combine ingredients. Top with ice. To make cherry limeade, add 6 cups of fresh or frozen sweet black cherries to simple syrup while cooking.
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The Display:
While the drinks may speak for themselves, below are a few ideas for pulling together a beautiful table to present your tasty drinks:
– Display your cocktails in glass beverage dispensers, complete with a label so guests can see what they’re getting before they sip. To make beverage pouring as simple as possible, place your dispensers on top of simple glass cake stands to elevate your drinks without taking away from their colorful splendor.
– Add to the DIY feel of your table by lining it with colorful Mason jars and striped paper straws for the guests to drink from. We suggest placing chalkboard labels on the glasses and laying out chalk for guests to use – with labeled glasses, no one will drink from the wrong cup again!
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If you’re getting married at a venue that doesn’t allow alcohol to be brought in, the DIY beverage table is also one you can use at your engagement party, shower, or even rehearsal dinner! Prairie Organic Spirits has a ton of recipes and ideas on the website so check them out!

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your Arizona wedding magazine
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16
May
Great Find: Sesame Gifts + Our May Giveaway!
categories: favor and gift ideas, Giveaways and Contests

I’m not one of those people who is graced with the talent of good gifting. I try, I really do, but as soon as I think I’ve nailed it, I realize I have fallen just a bit short. So all of you brides out there who are on the look- out for bridal party gifts and are struggling (you don’t want to get something cheapy-cheap but you’re thinking diamond necklaces for all is a bit too extravagant), listen up.

Sesame Gifts, an online boutique gift shop, has you covered. And I’m talking covered beyond the bridal party. Need a gift for the hostess of your bridal shower? How about for your stressed-out mom? There’s even something for your best friend who can’t make it to your wedding because she’s 9 months pregnant!

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When I received my sample sets, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure how this totally adorable box of “bridesmaid/groomsman gifts” was going to impress me but they actually did! Here’s why I loved both sets and why you will too: each item in a Sesame Gift is handpicked for it’s thoughtfulness, relevance, and quality. No, there aren’t any band-aids. But you can get a band-aid from the on-site event coordinator at your venue or your wedding planner.  And no, there aren’t any travel size deodorants but come on. How many do you really need?

I have personally used every single item in the “Cheers to the Bridesmaid” set and they are useful (and a few are downright charming- my fave is the gold barrette). And the bag? It’s better quality and cuter than ALL of my current travel makeup bags. No joke.

The “Brooklyn Dapper” set for the guys is totally chic too- it includes a travel size grooming kit by Brooklyn Grooming that includes shaving oils that smell amazing. They’re manly and…just amazing. Trust me on this. The “How to Tie a Bow Tie” instructions are useful and of course the cute bow tie that’s included is too!

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If you can’t tell, what I really love about Sesame is that each gift set is expertly curated to deliver a unique gifting experience. In addition to gifts for your bridal party, you’ll find creatively themed gifts such as “Sundae Funday”, “Mission Accomplished”, and “Hipster Cocktail” (one of my personal faves).

The Giveaway:

This month, Sesame Gifts has partnered with us to give away 2 “Brooklyn Dapper” and 2 “Cheers to the Bridesmaids” gift sets to one lucky engaged couple. Your besties are sure to love these gift sets and you are sure to love the ease of gift giving with Sesame! Enter here by May 31, 2014.

Want to order Sesame Gifts now? Get an exclusive $5 discount this month just for being a Phoenix Bride & Groom fan! Click here to order with the discount: https://www.sesamegifts.com/redeem/phoenixbrideandgroom

Find Sesame Gifts online and on Facebook. Even better, download the Sesame app for iPhone!

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your Phoenix wedding magazine

 

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13
May
Real Arizona Wedding: Kimberly and Kevin
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, real weddings, reception ideas, Wedding Inspiration

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona wedding magazine_Real Arizona wedding_Melissa Jill PhotographyWildhorse Pass Resort (1)

Arizona Wedding Vendors_Phoenix Bride and Groom_Phoenix Wedding Magazine

Wedding Professionals Who Help You Wed in Style

Ceremony and Reception Site: Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa :: Invitations: Celebrations in Paper ::  Makeup: Corinna Cooke

Explore our complete list of Elite Circle members

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Photographer: Melissa Jill Photography :: Event coordinator: Ashley Gain Weddings & Events :: Floral: Flora Bella :: Bridal gown: Mariee :: Cake: Let Them Eat Cake :: Videography: I Do Films :: Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental :: Rentals: Cre8ive Event Rentals, Inc. :: Entertainment: Shining Star Band, Simply Three TrioBlogthinline

Kevin and Kimberly’s outdoor wedding began with heartfelt “I do’s” on the Akimel Lawn of Wild Horse Pass Resort and ended at the picturesque Hemapik Lawn where guests enjoyed the spectacular evening sky; the couple chose elegant tones of blush and gold accented with blues for their Arizona wedding color palette.

We love the bridesmaid’s individually chosen dresses and navy blue suits for the guys- you’ll see gorgeous pops of these colors in the reception too- but first, we start with the couple getting ready. The clasically modern details begin here!

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The bride’s toes…so cute, right?

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Navy blue and blush- we’re loving this color combo!

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Kimberly walked down a petal and candle lined aisle towards her love, Kevin, who was waiting under a gorgeous white and pink floral archway; the sweet moments between the couple really stand out.

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Place cards were printed on ombre blush tone cards atop a green box hedge; the navy ribbon added the final touch.

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The reception was completely gorgeous- Portofino lights were strung overhead for nighttime ambiance, the views were amazing, and all the details came together perfectly to set the scene. Orchids, cherry blossoms, peonies and roses were used in the show stopping floral arrangements.

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Sparkly linens and a custom dance floor were among the guests’ favorite details; the couple chose a sweet ombre cake surrounded by cupcakes set beautifully atop a mirrored stand. A lounge area provided a chic spot for relaxation and mingling near the dance floor.

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Kimberly’s favorite dessert is s’mores so guests wrapped up the evening with a custom s’mores bar and gathering around a fire- what a great way to take advantage of Arizona’s perfect Spring evenings!

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Congratulations Kimberly and Kevin and thank you for sharing your day with us!

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your Arizona wedding magazine

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