Micro Wedding at Montelucia

Allow us to be real for a few…. there are definitive trends in wedding palettes.  Blush, gold, navy, peach, sage…. the colors you choose truly depends on the design style you lean towards.  When Stephanie called us looking for a designer and planner for her intimate wedding at the Montelucia‘s Camelback Villa, she warned us (her words) that her vision was unconventional.

Not wanting a large scale event, but not wanting to elope, Stephanie and Jesse opted for a micro-wedding – an intimate gathering of family and friends.  A traditional elopement is the bride, groom, minister and maybe two witnesses.  Inviting 14 or so members of your family doesn’t qualify as an elopement.  Enter the term micro-wedding – a celebration containing all the elements of a traditional large-scale wedding but with far fewer guests.  We have seen an uptick in micros over the past few years and honestly, we are digging the trend.

But we digress, back to Stephanie and Jesse… We may, or may not, have done a small happy dance at the prospect of designing a fall-time jewel-toned wedding.  Stephanie, a destination bride, turned over design control to us and we ran full-speed ahead.

With no bridesmaids, Stephanie was hanging with us in the immense and gorgeous Camelback Villa.  Normally I would be a bit on edge with a bride watching our every move during install and set, but Steph just chilled, cool as a cucumber and comfortable in her denim shirt and shorts, against the door jamb of the master suite and chatted.  If we ever let a bride lift the veil and watch our controlled chaos again, then she must promise to be as relaxed as Steph.  I mean, come on, who else can pull off this look?!!

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One of my favorite selling points about the Camelback Villa is the amazing view of Camelback Mountain.  Granted, in the following photo, you only see the head, but trust me, that camel is magnificent. Steph and Jesse opted for no attendants to share the altar which set the tone that, while family is important, they have each other. They also opted for a simple altar set, two manzanita trees adorned with hanging candles and Moroccan lanterns – both to provide ambient light once the sun set.

 

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The couple didn’t want a unity candle or sand ceremony but wanted to commemorate their union in a unique and meaningful way so Gwen Waring of Arizona Ministers suggested a ring warming ceremony.  Now, normally we would not advocate for passing the actual wedding rings around during the ceremony, but this group seemed pretty trustworthy so we decided to throw caution to the wind! The concept is that the family and friends each have the opportunity to hold the rings and pray over them or offer a wish, hope or dream for the couple’s future.

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While the ceremony reflected a simple palette, Steph’s love for bold colors was clearly visible inside the Villa.  The 20-foot wooden dining table served as the foundation for a garden of orange, purple, violet, red and yellow flowers nestled in wooden boxes and gold leafed vases and surrounded by gold mercury votives. The hydrangea were the perfect shade of purple.  We couldn’t have planned it better.

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The piece de resistance, in our opinion, was the white pumpkins, set atop plum satin napkins and gold beaded clear glass chargers.  Each pumpkin was dual purpose, serving as a place card and brining a bit of fall to the table (after all, this was a Thanksgiving weekend wedding).

We mentioned that micro-weddings contain all the elements of a traditional large-scale wedding and this wedding was no different.  From cake cutting, to the first dance as husband and wife, to favors and the most ingenious money tree I’ve ever seen, this wedding was rich on emotion.

 

How to Manage Rain on your Wedding Day

It’s like rain on your wedding day” … queue Alanis Morissette. We have come off of an unusually rainy four days in Phoenix and, if you asked us, we’d say that rain is undoubtedly the number one fear of any bride. But is rain getting a bad rap? Some cultures believe that rain is a good sign on your wedding as it symbolizes fertility and cleansing but in the US, rain causes tears and often increases already high stress levels.  With that in mind, here are some tips for creating a rainy day backup plan.

  1. Create a backup plan early in the planning process. If you are working with a planner, pat yourself on the back for making a smart business decision because your planner should have already created this plan with you. If any crucial part of your wedding is outdoors (ceremony or reception) you will want to discuss rain options.  If moving the event indoors is not an option, call the local rental company to price an appropriate size tent or canopy.  Permits may be required depending on the laws of your town or city so be sure to ask early on as they take time to acquire.

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  1. Consider your photography locations. Depending on where you live, a stormy sky may be a photographer’s blessing. In Arizona, Mother Nature tends to show up in a huge way bringing dark billowing clouds as her companion.  She makes a grand entrance and paints a canvas that is better than you can imagine.  If outdoor shots are completely out of the question, a good photographer will already have a plan and alternate locations, but they may not be ideal to you, the bride.  A hallway may not be ideal when you had garden photos in mind but trust that your photographer will capture the artistic shots you desire.

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  1. Guest comfort. We had a bride a few years ago that said “come hell or high water, I am going down that aisle outside as planned!” I admire her fire and will admit that the high winds created amazing photos of her veil floating parallel to the ground as she walked down the aisle to greet her groom.  What she didn’t consider was the comfort of her guests who braved cold temperatures with high winds to bear witness.  Consider providing wraps or umbrellas to make the experience more enjoyable. After all, they want to be smiling, not shivering, when you are pronounced husband and wife.

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  1. Hair and Makeup Artists.  If you have a glam squad taking care of hair and makeup services for you and your wedding party, you may want to ask them if they can stay longer to manage makeup touchups or tuck in flyaway strands of hair post ceremony. This will leave you feeling fresh and beautiful before your grand entrance. If they are not able to stay, some strategically sprayed hair spray, softly smoothed with the cold metal can, will suffice.fort-mcdowell-wedding-photos-14
  1. Remember the reason for the day. Rain is water. Yes, it is unfortunate but it isn’t going to ruin your day.  Keep a positive attitude and know everything will work out. Your bridal party and your guests will feed off your attitude. Keep smiling and remember the real reason is to marry the one you love and, at the end of the day, that is all that matters.dreamstime_s_69189589.jpg

 

Choosing Your Wedding Party

You have great candidates for your wedding party but you’re not sure where to start. Here are some of our tips to narrow your list and pick the perfect wedding party for your special day.

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WEDDING SIZE

If you are planning a small and intimate affair ten bridesmaids may be a little over excessive. If an extravagant event is more up your alley then ten may not be so bad after all. The average number for a wedding party is 4-6 people on each side.

FINANCES

Talk finance with your fiancé.  The larger the wedding party, the more you’ll spend on flowers, hair and makeup (if you’re covering this), gifts, and more.

MORE OPINIONS

Remember that the more people you include – the more opinions there will be about every detail of your planning. Think opinions on dresses, hair and makeup, flowers, and other items you may not want opinions on.

DON’T ASK PEOPLE OUT OF OBLIGATION

Choosing people to be in your wedding party is extremely meaningful because these are the people that you are asking to stand with your and support you on your big day. You don’t have to ask someone just because you are afraid that it will hurt their feelings if you don’t. Also, you don’t have to ask someone to stand up in your wedding just because they asked you. That being said, we do make an exception for your future in-law siblings. It’s always great to include them in the wedding if it’s possible.

THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO INCLUDE YOUR LOVED ONES

From ushers and officiants to ring bearers and flower girls, many cultures and religions have fun and traditional ways for people to be included in your wedding. Even if your big day is not going to be extremely associated with you or your partners religions or cultures – do some research on the background of them and if you find an idea that you adore go with it! This will also impress some of your friends and family who may be heavily associated with it.

Toasting the Happy Couple

So, you’ve been asked to give a toast to the newlyweds on their wedding day.

It’s a huge honor that also comes with a large amount of pressure. With our expert tips we’ve got you covered to create a stress-free, memorable, and tasteful toast.

Do:

TELL A STORY  

Using your own personal experiences illustrate a story highlighting the couple and their relationship with each other. Just remember keep your speech appropriate by staying away from inside jokes and touchy subjects.

MAKE SURE TO BE YOURSELF

Whether you’re sentimental, funny, or serious, great wedding toast come from the heart and are a reflection of the person giving it. Don’t be someone you’re not.

SPEAK UP

While giving your speech make sure to project so all of the guests can hear you.

TOAST TO THE COUPLE

At the conclusion of your speech, remember to raise your glass and wish the couple happiness as they transition into this new chapter of their lives.

Don’t:

JUST WING IT

Come prepared with you have speech to be proud of. Practice it out loud in the mirror and for a friend who will be honest with you. This will make you more comfortable and also give you an approximate length. This is the time to really polish your speech.

GO OVER TIME

Long toasts can be deadly. Keep your toast to five minutes and under to leave the crowd wanting more.

RAMBLE

It makes you look unprepared and nervous. Write down bullet points on a notecard and use those as a guide for your speech.

HAVE TOO MUCH TO DRINK BEFOREHAND

Having a cocktail or glass of wine before the toast to calm your nerves is fine but pace yourself.  Alcohol + a microphone = saying things you may regret.

Keep In Mind:

Being chosen to make a toast is your chance to honor the coupled on their big day – as well as – sending them off into their marriage with your best wishes. So don’t let stage fright keep you from enjoying and cherishing this moment with them.

Note to the Newlyweds:

Remember to thank your guests! They took the time to travel to where you needed them to be in order to help you celebrate your wedding. Showing them that you appreciate them is not only important, but a must. Your toast does not have to be long, just get your point across and you’re golden.