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.

 

Floral Fever

Have you ever looked at a flower and wondered “where have you been all my life?” We had heart eyes immediately when we stumbled across these amazing little “lunar buds”.  Their soft pom pom shape puts a smile on our face.  Lunar buds are members of the disbud chrysanthemum family and are a unique, flirty, fun floral to consider adding to your bouquets and centerpieces.  Disbud chrysanthemums are also available in a variety of colors and sizes.

We will admit that we were a tad taken aback when we heard the word chrysanthemum.  Known best for football mum corsages in Texas, the chrysanthemum is known for happiness and joy.  That’s what we felt when we found these!  How would you incorporate these into your events?

Real Wedding| Kari & Ryan

If you asked me what skills you need to possess as a good event designer and director, I would tell you that fluidity – the ability to change course on a dime – was in the top three.  Today, I did just that – I changed course quickly and left some heads {slightly} spinning.  We had prepared another blog post for today…. one showcasing smaller weddings…. one you will undoubtedly see later this week or maybe next.  But then, a Facebook memory popped into my personal page today that had me texting “Reschedule the blog post.”

You see, today is Kari & Ryan’s three year anniversary!  This past weekend I came across some of their wedding photos, perfectly shot by Chadwick Fowler of ModWed, and smile as I reminisced about this fun, untraditional wedding that was 100% a tribute to their story, their love, their life.  And this morning, when the memory popped up in my feed I just knew I had to share it with you.

Kari and Ryan met at a beer festival in Northern AZ (Flagstaff to be exact).  She was standing in line behind him and, as we all often do, he turned around and she said “Do you like my eyes?”. He was hooked.  Who wouldn’t be?  She has a bubbly personality, an infectious laugh and they both love life and live for today. They are a perfect match.

When it came to planning their wedding, they knew what they wanted.  The details were in their heads.  They were uber specific.  But they needed someone to pull everything together for them.  That’s where we come in.

When Kari and Ryan shared their vision for a beer garden themed wedding, I think I may have clapped like a giddy school girl.  I love everything weddings but this was so unconventional, so untraditional that I knew we had to be involved.  They had already found The IceHouse and most of their vendors but still needed help with floral elements, rentals, layout and overall day-of coordination.  Our job, should we choose to accept it, was simple: think beer garden, incorporate chamomile and hops, and design a party that isn’t truly a wedding with a short (and I mean short) ceremony sandwiched in between a hopping cocktail hour and an honest to beer-centric party.

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The Cathedral Room at the IceHouse is a popular ceremony location.  Ivory drape was used to conceal the gray steel door that connects this open-air patio to the Silver Room.  Edison bulbs, strung asymmetrically on the drape added an ambient light at the altar. Al fresco lighting, provided by the venue, lit up the night and the aisle decor, consisting of oil lamp illuminated wax vessels, lit a path for Kari and her dad.

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The bride and her maids carried bouquets of white roses, white ranunculus, bluplerum and chamomile.  Boutonnieres of simple white ranunculus accented with a small sprig of chamomile adorned the left lapel of stunningly simple grey suit jackets.

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The 8-minute ceremony (yes, 8-minutes) gave way to a party that highlighted everything Kari and Ryan love. Seven microbeers on tap, street food style fare and an amazing kettlecorn truck provided all-night nosh opportunities.

Hoping for a rustic picnic style affair, mahogany farm tables provided by Encore Creative provided a base for whimsical centerpieces that featured galvanized buckets filled with chamomile and bluplerum situated amongst glowing wax candles and pillar candles atop hops, malt and barley.

icehouse phoenix wedding planner The crowning jewel of this event has to be the cake.  Not a fan of sweet frostings, Kari and Ryan opted for a naked cake and what a treat it was.  Three flavors offered something for everyone’s sweet tooth. We may have sampled a bite, or twelve, because we are all about quality assurance.

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Kari and Ryan dreamt of a wedding that truly reflected their laid back personalities and love of everything beer.  We think we nailed it.  Don’t you agree?

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icehouse phoenix wedding planner

 

Classic Garden Wedding | Montelucia

We love brides that give us their vision and let us run with the design.  Hannah was just that bride.  We aren’t going to lie, her vision for a garden inspired elegant wedding at the Omni Montelucia in Paradise Valley, AZ, made us a little more than giddy.  From eucalyptus garlands adorning the ceremony chairs, to an elaborate floral treatment on the Valencia Lawn gazebo and a 42-foot (yes, foot) hydrangea runner down the bridal party table, we were in designer’s heaven.  We know you will love this wedding as much as we did!

Design & Coordination: Us! Stellar Event Management; Photography: Jennifer Bowen Photography

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5 Aisle Decoration Ideas

Decorate your aisles with one of these great ideas to give your ceremony a personal touch.

Add a twist to your aisle with one of these very cool, and clever, ideas.

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Baby’s Breath Ceremony Decor

Galvanized buckets filled with baby’s breath lined the ceremony aisle creating a romantic feel to this rustic chic wedding.

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Ceremony Chair Greenery Bundles

Natural bundles of seeded or silver dollar eucalyptus, rosemary or lavender hung from the chairs along the aisle perfectly complimented this couples outdoor ceremony.

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Tissue Paper Decor

The bride added bursts of white and green to the wedding aisle with large tissue paper pompoms and mason jars filled with baby’s breath and bells of Ireland .

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Hanging Floral Decor

Small, delicate glass cones filled with a single peony hung from the chairs along the ceremony aisle.

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Photo Ceremony Decor

White and yellow frames with pictures of the bride and groom throughout the years hung from the pews which created a talking point among guests.

How are you decorating your aisle?

Today We’re Loving: Citrus Orange

It’s summer in Phoenix and the citrus trees in our yard have fruit! Lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges – we love the fresh taste of citrus not to mention the bright, crisp colors.

We are completely crushing over this orange and green design we styled a short time ago for a showcase.  This color combination can be completely dreamy or completely horrifying depending on how it is pulled together.

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The antique spice cans, gold leaf bud vases and small clear milk jars were home to bright orange tulips, green hydrangea and cymbidium orchids. Accents of mercury votives, tree slabs and manzanita branches pulled the look together.
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We think this look is perfect for a bridal shower, baby shower, or ladies luncheon.  What is your favorite color combination?

Style Inspiration: TV Theme Design

We are often invited to participate in designer challenges in which we design a 10’x10′ space or table any way we choose.  The event is usually combined with a monthly meeting of our local NACE chapter (National Association of Catering Executives). To say that we enjoy these events is an understatement.  There are no parameters or guidelines and we love seeing what other designers bring to the table (pun completely intended).

Because we are designing for an event attended by our peers, and we are designing against our peers, the bar always seem high for these events.  It is important to find a concept that is a little out-of-the-box that is buzz-worthy.  Sometimes finding the right idea takes weeks, sometimes you find one piece of decor that speaks to you and everything just falls into place.  Thankfully, this is what happened with this challenge!

We fell in love with this jail door that actually is part of a western jail facade.  Luckily the door is a separate piece and it became the main element in our “Orange is the New Black” design theme.  Brushed aluminum walls mimicked the concrete walls of the cell and created the perimeter of our space while a single edison lightbulb hung in the center of the cell.

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We added a tall brushed aluminum communal table that seated 8, brushed aluminum barstools and a plethora of orange floral pieces in concrete pots, silver urns and clear glass vessels, accented with silver mercury votives.   Our place settings remained in theme with cafeteria trays we painted silver for the inmates and fine china for the warden and prison officers.  Orange napkins were gathered inside one handcuff and placed neatly on the cafeteria tray.  Place cards and the table number designator were adorned with a handcuff design as well.

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We aren’t sure what was more rewarding – the positive feedback on the design, or the fact that many attendees used the jail door as a photo op.  We love it when our designs are multi-purpose!