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Desert Botanical Garden Engagement Shoot | Sara & Bobby
categories: Engagement, photography, Wedding Inspiration

Did you know that one of our very favorite wedding venues, Desert Botanical Garden (DBG), is also one of our very favorite engagement session locations? See, we kind of adore our desert plants and terrain and DBG is THE place to get our cactus/mountain/flower fix. Apparently cutie pie couple Sara and Bobby like it too because they chose to have their engagement photos taken there! Explore this Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot with us…

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

So there’s a few reasons we were drawn to Sara and Bobby’s Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot- of course the location is one reason- but do you SEE them? They are seriously the cutest, sweetest, gushiest couple! And then to top it off, their outfits are perfection! We love how the blues and reds pop against the neutral desert color palette. But we know there’s more to Sara and Bobby than their adorableness so we asked them a few questions:

How did you meet? We lived near each other and went to the same high school but never really knew each other. Back in February 2014 my friend Travis invited me, and his brother Geno invited Bobby, to go on a snowboarding trip in Telluride, CO and that’s where we got to know each other.

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

How did Bobby propose? In December 2016 we went on another snowboarding trip in Telluride with Bobby’s family and on our way down a run Bobby pointed out a spot off in the distance and said that’s where we were going to meet up with our group. Being the slowest one on the mountain I was the last one to get there, everyone was sitting so I sat too to catch my breath. Bobby scooted over to me and said, “I got something for you”, pulled out the ring, and asked, “Will you marry me?” It took me a minute to say, “Yes!” because I instantly started crying (happy tears!). Everyone else took pictures of the whole thing and his youngest sister Bailey yelled, “Yay! I get another sister!” He kept the ring for the rest of the day so I wouldn’t lose it in the snow.

The photo of Bobby tucking Sara’s hair behind her ear is one of our very favorites by Elite Circle photographer Fully Alive Photography- it’s a caring and natural gesture that adds a touch of authenticity which we thoroughly enjoy in engagement sessions!

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

Tell us about the wedding! Since we met in Telluride and got engaged there, we thought it would only make sense to have the wedding there too! Our date is September 21st, 2017 at San Sophia Overlook. We are most looking forward to spending such a special occasion of our lives with our closest friends and family with the incredible view and scenery that San Sophia has to offer.

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

What’s your favorite thing about each other?

Sara: I love that I know he will always be there for me. I sometimes let stress and anxiety get the better of me and he knows exactly what to say to make me feel like everything is going to work out and be okay. I’m always learning from him and he makes me laugh every day. I know I can count on him no matter what.

Bobby: My favorite thing about Sara is that she understands me completely. She is always there to support me with anything that comes up in our lives. I know that no matter what she will always be there for me. I find myself excited every day when I think about how soon she will be my wife.

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

How did you choose Tracy/Fully Alive Photography and DBG for your engagement photos? Bobby’s sister Lindsey found Fully Alive Photography at the Phoenix Bridal Expo. With work, school, MRI clinicals and planning the wedding I was feeling a little overwhelmed so for my birthday, Bobby offered to handle setting up engagement photos for me. Tracy teaches photography classes at the Botanical Gardens so she suggested doing our shoot there and that sounded like a perfect idea! The scenery was beautiful and the pictures turned out great. She was easy going and made us feel very comfortable during the whole thing too.

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

We feel like Sara and Bobby just know exactly what to do in front of the camera so if you’re ever not sure how to act during your engagement session, feel free to consult these photos!

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

What’s your ideal date night? Our ideal date night is just to spend time together. But our go-to date night is usually an Asian-fusion restaurant called Tottie’s. He took me there for our first date and we’ve spent a few Valentine’s day dinners there too. Plus he can get his sesame chicken and I can get my sushi fix!

Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Fully Alive Photography_Sara and Bobby

We enjoyed getting to know you, Sara and Bobby (and adore your e-session style). Thank you for sharing your Desert Botanical Garden engagement shoot with us and congratulations on your upcoming wedding in Colorado!

All photos taken by Elite Circle member Fully Alive Photography at Desert Botanical Garden.

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your complete Arizona wedding magazine and wedding planning resource

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Real Arizona Wedding: Marney and Booth at Desert Botanical Garden
categories: cakes and sweets, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, photography, real weddings, Scottsdale Weddings, Wedding Inspiration, Wedding Resources

Arizona Wedding Vendors_Phoenix Bride and Groom_Phoenix Wedding Magazine

Wedding Coordinator: Victoria Canada Weddings and Events :: Ceremony and Reception Site: Desert Botanical Gardens :: Make-up Artist: Corinna Cooke 


Photographer: Hollye Schumacher Photography :: Videographer: Bright Bokeh :: Bridal Gown Store: Ultimate Bride :: Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid :: Suits: Groom’s- custom, Groomsmen- Macy’s :: Florist: Petal Pusher :: Invitations: Mr Boddington (& bride) :: Caterer: Santa Barbara Catering :: Cake: Honey Moon Sweets :: Band: The Walkens :: Ceremony Musicians: String Serenade :: Photobooth: The Live Photobooth :: Hair Stylist: Meaghan Gingrich :: Officiant: The Honorable Andy Hurwitz, Arizona Supreme Court :: Rentals: Classic Party Rentals :: Transportation: Real London Bus Company


Since we are in Arizona, we tend to gravitate towards weddings that celebrate the beauty that is unique to our locale- desert colors, mountain views, and Arizona inspired flora. Marney and Booth’s Desert Botanical Garden wedding celebrates all that is quintessential yet modern Arizona…

Confident in her know-how and desire, Marney was a hands-on bride to the extreme! She designed many of the beautiful details herself. I’ll let her tell you about it: As guests arrived at the ceremony, they found self-serve glass dispensers of mint lemonade and cucumber water set at the edge of the desert garden path. Green and white straws kept the mood light, and handwritten kraft signs, tied with twine around the dispensers, informed guests as to what they were drinking. Hand-made nests of twine, succulents, yellow genista, and white wax flowers hung from aisle chairs at the ceremony, and the natural desert red rocks acted as a dramatic backdrop for the nuptials. Also, I personally designed and, with the gracious help of my parents, crafted the ceremony program fans. The graphics featured the agave logo repeated on the fan back to create a custom pattern, and printed program on the reverse.

The ceremony was held in the Binns Wildflower Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden. Marney’s mother is an active board member of the gardens, and the couple have been to many family events in the Pavilion. They knew immediately they wanted to marry at the garden, and booked the venue within days of getting engaged.

Guests RSVP’d to the event “Will be there with bells on”, and picked up small white bells to ring as the we walked down the aisle during the recessional. The bells featured tags tied with twine, and custom “RING ME!” graphics I designed.

Just in case you are not sure if the Desert Botanical Gardens provides enough privacy for bride and groom time, check out these shots by Hollye Schumacher Photography

After the ceremony and just before the rain storm, guests picked up prickly pear margaritas and wandered through the desert pathways to Boppart Courtyard. The courtyard featured bright coral tablecloths on hightop tables, tied with burlap ribbon and topped with small arrangements of succulents. Guests found their names and table assignments (hand-written by me) on kraft cardstock tags hanging with twine strung between a set of agave stalks my parents had carefully collected, continuing the theme of the century agave plant.

Marney and Booth enjoyed some time on their own being newlyweds


Among all the memories from the day, Marney and Booth say their favorite moment of the day was their first dance. Here’s what they have to say about it: We both loved so many moments of the day: spending the morning in anticipation with our friends and family, seeing each other for the first time, our vows… but our first dance was a clear winner. We worked with a fabulous choreographer and a happy tune, Home is Wherever I’m with You by Edward Sharpe, and as we twirled and giggled, our guests circled round and clapped in unison to the tune. It was the perfect kick-off to the celebrations that ensued.

The tables names were chosen for cities Marney and Booth had lived in- so exotic!

(Image from The Live Photobooth)

KG: What was the smartest planning decision you made?

M/B: Securing a back-up location. I thought my parents were crazy when they suggested it for our April wedding, but on our wedding day, when the clouds rolled in and the rain poured down just as we completed our vows (outside), we were so glad to have an indoor reception for guests to dash to. My dream reception on the outdoor twinkle-lit patio didn’t happen, but our guests were warm, dry, and happy – and that made us happy.

KG: Did you go on a Honeymoon?

M/B: I was in the middle of business school and couldn’t take any additional time off, so we delayed our trip until a more convenient time. We headed to Thailand for two weeks in March – a perfect way to celebrate our first year together! We’ve both traveled quite a bit but have never been to SE Asia. It was important to us to find a place new to both of us so we could discover it together.

KG: What advice would you offer brides-to-be?

M/B: Know it won’t all go as planned – whether it’s the weather, making the rounds to all your tables, or snapping a candid with your grandfather – but it will most likely be the best darn day of your life. Just relax, be present, and enjoy your guests and each other. It goes so fast, it’s not worth fretting about anything once the event begins!

KG: Tell us what you love best about being married!

M/B: We dated for 7 years before getting married so had already experienced so much together. But now that we’ve made it official, we love discussing life’s big next steps together… while tossing a football on the beach, learning to paddleboard, or exploring new hotspots on our Vespa. Life couldn’t be better in Southern California!

KG: Anything else you want to tell us?

M/B: We had a rockstar team all around. Favorites included Bright Bokeh videographers (we felt like Hollywood stars!*), photographer Hollye Schumacher, and the Desert Botanical Garden crew for going above and beyond in all respects. Victoria Canada and her team kept the event in check, while Santa Barbara Catering kept guests’ glasses full. Petal Pusher provided the perfect succulent arrangements – Tamara delivered on exactly the look we were aiming for. We were blessed all around!

Congrats Marney and Booth and thank you for sharing your day with us!

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your Phoenix wedding magazine

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