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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

     
1
Sep
Elite Circle Bridal Shop in Arizona | Laurie’s Bridal and Formal
categories: bridal fashions, Meet Our Friends, Tips and Advice, Wedding Inspiration

You know those people who are considered “whisperers”? They’re the experts who seem to be born to know exactly how to do their job and they do it well every time. Well, Laurie Dickman, owner of Elite Circle bridal shop Laurie’s Bridal and Formal, is a wedding gown whisperer. From the moment you meet Laurie, you feel how passionate she is about wedding gowns and you also sense that you can completely trust her expertise. You’ll trust her to find the gown that will make you feel and look beautiful on your wedding day and you’ll trust her when she pulls a gown to try on that you never would have considered. Laurie will make your wedding gown dreams come true and we want you to know a bit more about her and her beautiful bridal shop in Arizona!

Bridal Shop in Arizona _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Saaty Photography_2

(Photographer: Saaty Photography, Planner & Florist: Simply Beautiful Wedding Event Planning)

What will brides looking for their wedding gowns find at Laurie’s that they won’t find at any other bridal shop in Arizona? They will find a selection of gowns not offered elsewhere or offered with limited distribution.  Brides always tell me that they don’t necessarily want to see the same gowns all over town.

What are your top 3 tips for brides trying on gowns for the first time?

1. Do not come all decked out. Come dressed comfortably and you do not need to come all made up with make up. Be comfortable. You’re going to be getting in and out of dresses.

2. Bring 1-2 (or sometimes 3) trusted people whose opinions you trust and respect.  Sometimes the entourage is a bit overwhelming and can backfire.

3. Bring pictures.  But also, please be realistic—the pictures you see are professional models. Don’t compare yourself or be too hard on yourself if a dress you love doesn’t look the same on you as it does on a professional model. 
Bridal Shop in Arizona _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Lo Capone Images_Lauries Bridal and Formal
(Photographer: Lo Capone Images)
Can brides customize their gowns at Laurie’s? We do carry one manufacturer, exclusively available in Scottsdale, who offers full customizable gowns.  We also refer out to local and reliable seamstresses who can do amazing modifications to your gown.
What are you seeing brides gravitating towards as far as bridal fashions that you’re loving right now?  Brides are more conscious about what they want to look like and how comfortable they want to be, rather than going for a particular style of gown. We do sell a little bit of everything so I’m confident that a bride coming into the shop will find her perfect wedding gown.
Bridal Shop in Arizona _Phoenix Bride and Groom_SJA Studios_Lauries Bridal
(Photographer: SJA Studios)

What is your advice to brides who are concerned about being “too trendy” when choosing their gown? My advice is pure and simple and I’ve said it to almost every bride who’s been in my store: You don’t want to look back at your wedding day pictures 20 years from now and think what was I thinking?  Stay true to who you are.  I even heeded my own advice. I just celebrated my 22nd anniversary and posted my wedding picture.  I STILL love my handmade gown and I would wear it all over again!

What do you want brides to know before coming in to try on gowns at your bridal shop in Arizona? Please keep an open mind, be patient and trust that I know what I’m doing. For me, it’s not always about closing the sale, but making that perfect match between bride and gown.

Bridal Shop in Arizona _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Lo Capone Images_Lauries Bridal and Formal
(Photographer: Lo Capone Images)
What else should we know about this very special bridal shop in Arizona? I treat every bride as if she were my friend, daughter or family member.  I really enjoy what I do and want every bride to just have a fun time shopping for her gown.  It shouldn’t be overwhelming or stressful, but the most enjoyable part of this special day.
 
One more thing…When brides book appointments, we staff accordingly and set time aside especially for them so it’s unfortunate when they can’t make their appointment and don’t notify us. We see a “no-show” as a missed opportunity for another bride who could have found her dress and while we certainly understand that sometimes brides can’t make their appointment, we just ask that they contact the store and let us know so we can re-schedule their appointment and open up that time slot for another bride!
 
About Laurie: Originally from New York, Laurie’s flair for fashion began in her teenage years, when she started working part time at a high end clothing and dress boutique in her local mall. In the very early 1990’s, she started working for a leading bridal dress and headpiece manufacturer. Laurie worked her way up and was soon traveling all over the United States as a Trunk Show Coordinator, training store owners and their employees how to properly sell wedding gowns, to educate their customers and to help listen to what the consumer wanted and bring that back to the company. She also helped design bridal headpieces.
Connect with Laurie’s Bridal: (480) 699 3973 | www.lauriesbridal.com
Xoxo, Phoenix Bride & Groom…your complete Arizona wedding magazine and wedding planning resource
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9
Aug
Meet our Omni Montelucia Staycation Giveaway Winners!
categories: fabulous reception sites, Giveaways and Contests

Just imagine how excited you would be if you won a two-night stay at the luxurious Omni Montelucia in Scottsdale. We think there would be some serious squeals! The resort is an oasis in the desert that boasts stunning Spanish architecture, flowing fountains, refreshing pools, and a world-class spa. We partnered with Elite Circle wedding venue Omni Montelucia in our last issue to give away a two-night stay package valued at $1,500 and Tara & Brian, an adorable Arizona couple getting married in November, are our staycation giveaway winners!

Here’s the couple receiving their certificate that treats them to a two night stay in a resort-view room, 50 minute spa services for two at Joya Spa, champagne or gelato at Joya Terrace, and two fitness classes at Joya Fitness:

staycation giveaway winners _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Omni Montelucia_ws17

How did you and Brian meet? Brian and I met in 2013 at a company we both worked for at the time. A few weeks later we went on our first date and have been inseparable ever since! 
 
In 2015 we went on a trip to Costa Rica with a group of our closest friends and he surprised me and proposed to me in front of a waterfall! 
What are you most excited about as far as your wedding day? I think what I’m most excited about is celebrating our love with our family and friends. They are the ones who have witnessed our amazing journey from day one.
 
We have a feeling Tara and Brian are really going to enjoy the pool!

staycation giveaway winners _Phoenix Bride and Groom_Omni Montelucia_ws17_2

What do you most enjoy about Phoenix Bride & GroomPhoenix Bride & Groom has inspired me with ideas for my big day whether it’s for the rehearsal dinner, ceremony or reception.

Congratulations Tara and Brian- we hope you enjoy your staycation and we can’t wait to see your wedding photos! 
Readers, do you want a chance to be one of our giveaway winners? It’s super easy to enter: twice a year, in each of our gorgeous issues, we feature a fabulous giveaway. To be eligible to enter, you just need to be engaged and getting married in Arizona (and of course fill out our short entry form online)! Click here for our current giveaway
Phoenix Bride & Groom, your complete Arizona wedding magazine and wedding planning resource
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16
Dec
The Phoenix Bride & Groom Winter Spring 2017 Issue!
categories: Wedding Inspiration, Wedding Resources

It’s our favorite time of the year for so many reasons but the release of our Winter Spring 2017 issue of Phoenix Bride & Groom tops our list this year. We’re incredibly proud to share our magazine with you- it’s filled with wedding planning advice, real Arizona weddings, and the insane talents of our Elite Circle wedding professionals. Enjoy!

Wedding magazine _Arizona_ Phoenix_Scottsdale_Phoenix Bride and Groom_winter spring 2017

Phoenix Bride & Groom Winter/Spring Cover Shoot Team:

Location: Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Photographer: Christine Johnson Photography
Fashion stylist: Risa Kostis of Ristyle Consulting
Assistant: Kelly Stoneman
Gown(cover): Schaffer’s
Makeup artist: Corinna Bertram
Floral: Brady’s Floral Gallery
Video: Something New Media Weddings
Assistant: Whitney Rammer
Hair stylist: Amber Tillinghast
Groom attire and shoes: Magro
Jewelry: The Estate Watch & Jewelry Company
Models: Lia and Matthew of The Agency Arizona

Pick up copies of Phoenix Bride & Groom at any of these locations | Website | Download our Digital Magazine!

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your complete Arizona wedding planning resource

Meet Arizona's Premier Wedding Planners  Find Your Ideal Arizona Wedding Venue  Discover the Finest Arizona Wedding Photographers

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15
Mar
Meet our Hotel Valley Ho Giveaway Winners!
categories: fabulous reception sites, Giveaways and Contests, photography

Ryan and Allie, our Summer Fall issue giveaway winners, were super duper lucky- they won a 2 night Tower Suite stay for two at Hotel Valley Ho plus they got their photos taken by Elite Circle photographer Eyes 2 See Photography!

This is Hotel Valley Ho’s main entrance- we absolutely love this iconic hotel for it’s retro style and fun atmosphere

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Giveaway winners_Eyes 2 See Photography_Hotel Valley Ho (1)

How they met: Allie and I met at Central High School about 11-12 years ago. I was a junior playing football and Allie was a sophmore cheerleader. I had a mutual friend who was also a cheerleader introduce us and hit it off from there. We went our separate ways after H.S when Allie went to college in California and I stay local, but we stayed in contact over the years and when she moved back we reconnected and now we’re here.

Yes, they’re adorable and so happy to have won!

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Giveaway winners_Eyes 2 See Photography_Hotel Valley Ho (2)

The Proposal: We took an anniversary trip up to Sedona for the weekend to celebrate. Little did Allie know I had different plans. Early Sat morning we went on out for a hike on our favorite path the Baldwin Trail, I waited till we got to the top of a mountain peak that overlooked the valley and dropped to one knee and proposed. With tears in her eyes, Allie said yes 🙂

Favorite Things: My favorite things about Allie are the way we compliment each other to make a great team, her gorgeous smile, and how affectionate and loving she is.  Allie’s favorite thing about me is my sense of humor and how I can always make her laugh, how much I love her, and my excitement for all the little things.
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You’ve got to love the Hotel Valley Ho for it’s unique architecture and design- there’s always a fun photo op just around the corner!
Phoenix Bride and Groom_Giveaway winners_Eyes 2 See Photography_Hotel Valley Ho (3)
The rooftop offers stunning views of the city and mountains- many couples choose to have their receptions in the spot simply because of the views!
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How do you plan to use the giveaway? I think we are planning on using the getaway this summer for a nice escape from the office for both of us. Were both very excited about the couples massage package and Allie is looking forward to lounging and laying out by the pool.
Phoenix Bride and Groom_Giveaway winners_Eyes 2 See Photography_Hotel Valley Ho (10)
The Wedding: We are celebrating our wedding day at the Desert Botanical Garden on March 26th. We are both looking forward to celebrating our love with our closest family and friends. Also, we’ll be that much closer to our honeymoon in Hawaii!
Congratulations Allie and Ryan and thank you for being Phoenix Bride & Groom fans!
Many thanks to Eyes 2 See Photography for meeting up with Allie and Ryan, our adorable giveaway winners, and photographing them!
Phoenix Bride & Groom, your complete Arizona wedding magazine and wedding planning resource
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22
Dec
Real Arizona Wedding: A New Years Eve Wedding in Scottsdale
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, for your ceremony, Grooms, health and beauty, real weddings, reception ideas, Scottsdale Weddings, Wedding Inspiration

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Arizona-Wedding-Vendors_Phoenix-Bride-and-Groom_Phoenix-Wedding-Magazine_2015

Wedding Professionals Who Help You Wed in Style

Location:
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

Rentals:
Classic Party Rentals

Floral Design:
Table Tops Etc.

Explore our complete list of Elite Circle members

2015_Arizona wedding blog

Photographer: Mike Olbinski Photography :: Wedding planner: Imoni Events2015_Arizona wedding blog

Erin and Jason’s New Years Eve Wedding wasn’t just about the date- their personal style and their intention behind their wedding location and details make it the best kind of New Year’s Eve wedding you could ask for. Well, and the fact that there was a “club” reception!

Erin explains: Our goal was always to create a enchanted, unforgettable and fun party for our guests. New Year’s brings its own magic including Celebration, Reflection, Renewal and New Beginnings. And we chose this day because we knew without a doubt that our guests would be down to party- we like to party! 

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We get the feeling that Jason and the dog are best buds, like, for real.

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Erin’s Southwest inspired bouquet was comprised of Veronica, air plants, silver dollar eucalyptus, lotus pods, ostrich feathers, fern curls, statice, and mint; she didn’t want a bouquet that was uniform in structure- instead she wanted it to match her vision of a New Years Eve wedding that was ethereal with a feeling of cohesive chaos.

Phoenix Bride and Groom_New Years Eve Wedding_Four Seasons Scottsdale_Mike Olbinski Photography (4) Phoenix Bride and Groom_New Years Eve Wedding_Four Seasons Scottsdale_Mike Olbinski Photography (5)

New Years Eve Wedding Ceremony: The Magic started early when we found out it would be the coldest day of the year in Scottsdale (and maybe even in a decade). We saw rain, fog and eventually snow but that didn’t stop us. We tented the ceremony lawn last minute and included warm hot toddies, heaters and shawls to keep our guests comfortable.

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New Years Eve Wedding Cocktails and Dinner: Cocktail hour included Simply Three Trio rocking the Beatles, Coldplay and Soundgarden while dinner had a lot of lush greenery, candlelight and well thought out food stations, each an ode to a city we hold dear: Venice Beach Taqueria, Windy City Sliders, Big Easy Chocolate Bar (no cake, we LOVE CHOCOLATE)!

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New Years Eve Wedding Reception & PARTY: What would a New Year’s Eve wedding be without a legit party? After dinner, guests were on the move when we opened the doors to the “Club Millz After Party” which ushered guests down a red carpet towards a bouncer checking ID’s. Think: “Grandma, you don’t look 21”! As a surprise to our guests, we DJ’ed from 11 to midnight, announcing the New Year with those we love surrounding us in celebration! 

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This crowd knows how to work a photobooth!

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As you can tell, Erin and Jason’s New Years Eve wedding was a crazy good time. The party kept jamming until 2AM… guests could sit on plush lounge chairs or get up and dance on the light up (think Saturday night fever) dance floor! We passed out masquerade masks just before mid-night, an ode to the city where we met, New Orleans. 

Phoenix Bride and Groom_New Years Eve Wedding_Four Seasons Scottsdale_Mike Olbinski Photography (22)

Erin and Jason, thank you for sharing your “cohesive chaos” New Years Eve wedding with us and CONGRATULATIONS!

To see this wedding feature on our website, click here

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

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21
Apr
Real Arizona Wedding: Elisia and Keath’s Sunny Scottsdale Destination Wedding
categories: bridal fashions, cakes and sweets, destination weddings and honeymoons, fabulous reception sites, floral inspiration, for your ceremony, photography, real weddings, reception ideas, Wedding Inspiration

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona wedding magazine_Katrina Wallace Photographers_Real Wedding_nighttime ceremony_succulents_Four Seasons Scottsdale (1)

Arizona-Wedding-Vendors_Phoenix-Bride-and-Groom_Phoenix-Wedding-Magazine_2014

Wedding Professionals Who Help You Wed in Style

Photographer: Katrina Wallace Photographers

Location: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

 Explore our complete list of Elite Circle members

Blogthinline-1

Wedding Coordinator: Tres Chic Weddings and Events :: Florist: Flora Bella :: Entertainment: Desert House Productions :: Gown: Mira ZwillingerBlogthinline-1

Most of Elisia and Keath’s guests flew in from the East Coast and they thoroughly enjoyed the sun-filled wedding weekend at Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North; the couple incorporated Jewish traditions along with some sentimental touches that made the entire celebration very special.

The fresh color palette of peach, pink and coral was set beautifully against cooler tones of green from succulents and the guys’ blue and gray attire.

Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona wedding magazine_Katrina Wallace Photographers_Real Wedding_nighttime ceremony_succulents_Four Seasons Scottsdale (1) Phoenix Bride and Groom_Arizona wedding magazine_Katrina Wallace Photographers_Real Wedding_nighttime ceremony_succulents_Four Seasons Scottsdale (2)

As you can see, Elisia has a mega-watt smile and we love it!

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Elisia’s gown is so gorgeous! Here’s what she says about the designer: My gown was custom made by Mira Zwillinger, an Israeli designer…the dress was a dream and it was as meaningful to me that it was crafted by someone from the country that is so important to my and my husband’s lives.

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Jewish tradition says that the chuppah must have a cover so Elisia used her mother’s lace mantilla veil from her own wedding; We also used my father’s tallis (prayer shawl) in the ceremony. Because my father had passed away just a few years before our wedding, this was an intensely personal, sentimental detail to everyone in our family, and it reminded us all that his presence was truly missed, but he was not forgotten.

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Guests dined under the stars by candlelight and indulged in Bluefin Tuna Cannelloni Tar tare with Cucumber Seaweed Salad, Honey-Soy Glazed Chilean Sea Bass and Three Melon Salsa, Wild Mushroom Quinoa Risotto with Truffle Oil, and Buttered Heirloom Carrots. Elisia tells us that she and Keath found the risotto recipe and asked the chef at Four Seasons to make it- he obliged and it was so good it’s now offered on their catering menu!

After our beautifully designed and delicious wedding cake was cut (it was white chocolate raspberry with Chambord and fresh raspberries), it was time to party! We led our guests to Proof bar at the resort, where some serious dancing ensued, beginning with a hilariously choreographed surprise flash mob, led by my sister and the rest of bridal party and joined in by over 40 guests as they serenaded Keath and me to “Say A Little Prayer for Me,” from My Best Friend’s Wedding.

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Congratulations Elisia and Keath and thank you for sharing your wedding day with us!

(To see even more of this wedding, visit our online feature or pick up a copy of our Winter Spring issue)

Phoenix Bride & Groom, your complete Arizona wedding planning resource 

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