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Wedding Decor: Your Altar
categories: fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, for your ceremony, Tips and Advice, Wedding Inspiration

Arizona weddings often highlight the beautiful outdoor spaces we are so proud of- the mountain views, golf course greens and desert sun are what make Arizona a hot spot for weddings- but we also have some completely gorgeous indoor venues as well. One of the things we get asked about often is how to create a beautiful altar space so we have some spectacular altar design ideas for you today…

Indoor ceremonies can be intimate and luxurious. Often, there is enough happening in the room that you only need to enhance what is already there

(Location: Montelucia Resort and Spa, Photo by: Eyes2See, Floral by: Avant Garden Flowers and Events)

If you want to really set the stage, create a lush monochromatic chuppah (or canopy) like this

(Location: The Phoenician, Photo by: Willo Art, Floral by: Flora Bella)

This canopy boasts luxurious fabric, silk rose detailing and views that rock our world

(Location: Seven Canyons, Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers, Floral by: Events by Showstoppers)

Arizona’s outdoor ceremony spaces are legendary; often all you need are some well designed arrangements like these monochromatic beauties

(Location: Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers, Floral by: Avant Garden)

(Location: Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North, Photo by: Eyes2See Photography, Floral by: The Flower Studio)

(Location: The Hotel Valley Ho, Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers, Floral by : Table Tops, Etc)

A courtyard and fireplace make the outdoors feel cozier; using multicolored floral really adds punch to the space

(Location: Villa Siena, Photo by: Visionyard Photography, Floral by:  Designs by Design)

(Location: Sassi, Photo by: David de Dios, Floral by: Your Event Florist)

For a less defined ceremony space, you can create your own space with substantial floral pieces

(Location: Dancing Apache Lodge, Photo by: Sedona Bride Photographers, Floral by: Events by Showstoppers)

This altar is a permanent structure that begs for a bride and groom’s original designs! Sparkly chandeliers work for a touch of glam chic

(Location: Encanterra Country Club, Photo by: Hagerty Photography)

and vintage pieces set up in a vignette style make it special

(Location: Encanterra Country Club, Photo by: Hollye Schumacher Photography)

Color can make a statement, whether it’s whimsical

(Location: Inspirador, Photo by: Noyan Photography)

or exotic

(Photo by: Keith Pitts Photography)

And of course, candlelight creates a warm and cozy atmosphere- perfect for declaring your eternal love and devotion!

(Location: Villa Siena, Photo by: Marriott Photography)

You have so many options when it comes to your alter design; just be sure to consult vendors you trust who can make your ceremony dreams come true!

Happy Planning from your Arizona Wedding Blog!



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Meet Our Friends: Sterling Weddings
categories: for your ceremony, Meet Our Friends, Scottsdale Weddings, Sedona Weddings

When we think about planning a wedding, we start at the beginning- the dress, the photographer and the venue, right? Wrong! The whole reason you are planning the biggest and possibly most expensive event of your life is for the ceremony! Often, and I can’t blame you, engaged couples get wrapped up in the “fun” decisions that need to be made like the colors, the food, the flowers and the cake but the most important part of the day is when you actually make the commitment to spend your life together as one. Your ceremony is, as Reverend Shanandoah Sterling says, the “heartbeat” of the entire day.

Shanandoah Sterling (owner of Sterling Weddings) and I chatted recently about her work and I don’t think I can quite express to you you how much I would want her to be my officiant at my wedding if I could do it all over again. She knows what’s important and she makes sure you remember it amongst the hubbub of wedding planning. She centers people, works magic in the quiet moments and makes sure you feel completely connected to your ceremony. That’s saying a lot, isn’t it?

(Photo courtesy of: Sedona Bride Photographers)

(Photo courtesy of: Cameron Kelly Studios)

What makes Shanandoah special is the lengths she goes to make each ceremony a customized and thoughtful reflection of the couple. She encourages her couples to write personal vows, allows for couples to incorporate their unique traditions and cultures, asks the parents for words of wisdom to be used in the ceremony, and helps couples savor the engagement period. I especially liked her “keepsake vow booklet” idea. She takes all the literature (vows, readings, words of wisdom, blessings, etc.) that will be used in the ceremony and keeps them in one beautiful booklet; this is then given to the couple to keep after the wedding.

Shanandoah, who performs Native American ceremonies and is part Native American herself, allows couples to incorporate any traditions they see fit for their ceremony. If a non-Native American couple wants a Sage or Ring Blessing, they can have it because it is THEIR ceremony. Unfortunately, this concept seems so foreign to many other officiants. Perhaps one of the most touching ceremonies she performs is the Wedding Blanket ceremony. As the couple searches for a blanket for the ceremony, they must be represented individually and together in some aspect in the actual blanket. What a beautiful way to symbolize that the two people getting married are important on their own and as a couple.

(Photos courtesy of: Andrew Holman Photography)

(Photo courtesy of: Sedona Bride Photographers)

Your take-away from today’s blog is that you do not have to do anything in your ceremony other than give a verbal consent to marry but with a committed and flexible officiant like Shanandoah, you can make it yours in so many unique ways. The invitations, the linens, and the DJ all come second to the reason you are marrying each other. Make sure you align yourself with someone who truly understands that on a deep level.

To find out more about Shanandoah (who is based in Sedona but travels regularly to perform ceremonies in the Scottsdale area) and her unique ceremonies, please visit her website and blog. She is also a member of the Sedona Wedding Studio– a stellar group of wedding professionals you will want to check out for all things wedding.

I can’t wait to hear how you are going to make your ceremony special to you!

Chatting Soon~Kelly


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