Elegant and Intimate Arizona Real Wedding

Photographs by  Megan Robinson

Photographs by Megan Robinson

Our favorite kind of real weddings are ones that reflect our mission—elegant and meaningful. And Emily and Josh's love story and special day is no exception. 

How did you and your spouse meet?

Josh and I met in our apartment complex during the Spring of 2013. It was my birthday weekend and three of my girlfriends were visiting to help celebrate. We met Josh by the pool that weekend and I was immediately charmed by his good looks and Northeastern roots. He was easy to talk to, cute and extremely charismatic. We were both transplants to Arizona, trying to make Scottsdale our new home; far away from the comfort of our family and friends. Our friendship evolved over that year and grew into our now love story. Ironically, my parents had met in their apartment complex 30 years prior. Following in the footsteps of a successful marriage.

What inspired your wedding style and vibe?

Josh and I were passionate about getting married in Arizona. It was where we met and fell in love. Arizona was our now "forever home." We were excited to share the beauty of Arizona with our family and friends scattered across the U.S.

I had always dreamed of a wedding in the fall, which lined up perfectly with the weather in Scottsdale. November it was! We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony surrounded by the beauty of the desert saguaros and mountain landscape.

The desert inspired much of our wedding style; as I wanted to capture Scottsdale's natural beauty. It was important to me that everything felt organic and effortless. Our color palette included cream, black, and gold with hints of burgundy, mauve and lots of fresh greenery. Our venue (Sassi) was naturally beautiful on its own, I was inspired to enhance the landscape around us with simple elegant details.

What resources did you use to plan your wedding?

In terms of social media, Pinterest and Instagram were my go-to's. However, the best resource I had was my planner, Andrea Leslie. She relieved so much anxiety through out the planning process and had great connections within the vendor community. I would highly recommend all brides look into hiring a planner.

Personal anecdotes about the gown?

Finding a gown was one of the hardest decisions I had to make through out the entire planning process. I loved so many different styles, I became overwhelmed by the decision! After months of searching, I made my second visit to Lillian Lottie, where I finally stumbled upon the gown I had been looking for.

I knew I wanted a rich silk fabric with a low back; something with a gorgeous silhouette that was simple yet elegant. When I originally tried on my dress, it was in a different fabric than what I was looking for, but Lillian Lottie was extremely helpful in making sure I was happy with every aspect of the dress.

We were able to special order the dress in a silk Mikado that was truly everything I was looking for. And for an added bonus...the dress came with a gorgeous back necklace that was unique, sexy and just the personal touch I was looking for.

What details were most important in making your wedding special?

Having a live vocalist, Sarah Vanell, perform our ceremony music was extremely special to us. She performed songs that had a special meaning to both Josh and me and made the ceremony intimate and romantic. The dessert bar of our personal favorite treats was also a unique touch. We left goodie bags at the dessert table so our guests could take them home for a late night snack after dancing the night away.

What was the most memorable moment on your wedding day?

The most memorable moment from our wedding day was the first look. I experienced so many emotions leading up to that moment...excitement, nervousness, joy, gratitude. We had been planning this special day for over a year, and now I was just moments from walking down the aisle to my soon to be husband. The first look grounded me by reminding me what the day was all about. Not just the flowers, or the cake, but about marrying my best friend and beginning our life together as husband and wife.

What advice do you have for brides planning their wedding?

Once you make a decision, cross it off the list, and never look back!

Budget and save for a planner. Whether it's for the planning from start to finish, design, month of, or day of, hiring a planner was the best decision we could have made. Wedding planners keep you grounded, calm and make the planning process so much more fun! If you're lucky, you'll get a great friend out of it too.

Before picking a venue, make your invite list! Once you have a number in mind, then begin the venue search. There are many venues that can't hold groups over a certain number. This will help narrow down the venue selection process.

Get as much done early as possible so you can enjoy the week of celebrating with out of town guests!

Full Image Gallery

Full Story Credits

Wedding Planner and Day of Coordinator, Andrea Leslie Florist, Sarah's Garden Gown Shop and Designer, Lillian Lottie Designer, Kenneth Winston Invitations and Paper Details by Shelby Bursley Cake from Cakes by Whisk Groom's Suit from Calvin Klein Earrings from Nordstrom Nadri Veil, borrowed Hair by Maggie Hancock Makeup by SN Makeup Artist Venue and Catering, Sassi Scottsdale Wedding Shoes
from Badgley Mischka Bridesmaid Dresses, chosen by the bridesmaids Videographer, Something New Media Furniture Rentals from The Event Co Officiant, Matt Nathanson Ceremony Music, Sarah Vanell Reception Music, Desert House Productions