Real Wedding: Tara & Jeff

There is something simply perfect about April in the valley! The weather is ideal and everyone loves to take advantage of the warm days and cool, breezy nights. Tara and Jeff picked a beautiful April day to get married at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The bride’s bouquet complimented springtime in Arizona with green mini succulents paired with white garden roses, blush spray roses, and light pink tulips. These pastel tones were carried throughout the floral designs and really popped in the reception! Trumpet vases were the focal point of the reception tables, accented with white hydrangea, blush roses, white lisianthus and light pink tulips with succulent accents. The day was pure elegance and we were so honored to be a part of it. Brittany Janelle Photography captured the gorgeous photos below.

Vendor Feature: Malone Sinclaire Photography

Malone Sinclaire may be new to the desert, but her talent is quickly being recognized all over the valley. She “vows to create treasures that you can have forever” and we just adore any chance we get to the work with her. Malone took some time to discuss engagement sessions with us and swoon-worthy images with a few of her couples!

Tell us what you love about weddings.
I love the emotion at weddings. I’m an emotion “junkie” and when I see the Father of the Bride cry, or the Sister of the Bride practically giddy with excitement — that’s why I love my work, and that’s what I always try to document in my photography. Also, whenever I see two souls commit to love each other forever – that’s a beautiful thing. I know it is an honor to have witnessed, and I love that I get to photograph that incredible moment.

Engagement photos seem to be the #1 thing couples look forward to right after they get engaged, what would you say is important to remember when picking a photographer for this momentous event?
Engagement sessions are my favorite! They give the couple an opportunity to get comfortable being in front of the camera and it gives me as a photographer a chance to get to know who these people are as a couple and find the best way to connect and work with them so that on their wedding day everyone is ready to shine. I would absolutely say couples should look for a photographer that they will enjoy spending time with – your engagement session should be FUN! – and then ideally it should be the same photographer you will work with on your wedding day – this will make things much easier for the couple.

A lot of couples aren’t used to being in front of the camera for extended periods, what is a good way to prepare for engagement photos?
I would say the best way to prepare is to work with your photographer to make sure you’ve got the ideal location, clothing choices and time of day chosen. And then you should do your very very best to relax and have fun and trust this professional to do their job which is to make you look amazing.

What are some of your favorite spots around the valley for engagement photos?
I am still new to Arizona, so I am still learning about my favorite engagement session locations – but for the most part couples are requesting desert sessions. And for good reason! – Arizona is so unique that it’s neat to capture that environment in photos. Most couples use their engagement photos on their Save the Dates and so highlighting the desert is a fun aspect to send to family and guests from out of town that will be coming to the desert for the wedding.

Do you think couples should try to coordinate or compliment outfits for an engagement session? Or just let their personality shine through their style?
I think that definitely putting thought into the colors and style of the outfits is essential. I would definitely recommend getting input from your photographer about what colors will look amazing in the location and time of day you have chosen. I think that in addition to that you should ALWAYS let your personality shine through as well.

What would you tell a groom that is reluctant to schedule an engagement session?
Grooms are often reluctant to schedule the engagement session – it’s usually because they don’t love having their photo taken or because they are nervous – they don’t want to disappoint their Bride! I like to have the Bride gently let the Groom know why this is important to her – after all, most Grooms will do ANYTHING for the woman they love! And then I always tell him that it will be worth it in the end when they see how happy she is to have photos of the two of them together. Then we focus on enjoying the time together and by the end, they are usually having so much fun they don’t want the session to end.

Can you share your favorite love story from the couples you’ve worked with?
Honestly, every couple is my “favorite,” love story. It’s so incredible to see love and how it just “works” and how different it is with each couple … it’s never the same, but it’s unmistakable. It’s quite an experience to get to work this closely with couples at such an important time in their lives – from that first meeting right after they are engaged, to the engagement session when they are a little bit nervous — then so so excited about their images — and then on their wedding day when you get the privilege of documenting moments they will remember forever – and then eventually they come back for anniversary sessions and then maternity sessions . . . Every single one is my favorite in that way – they’re all so beautiful.

 

The Life Of A Bride-To-Be Part 4: Timeless Floral Designs

Finding a florist for your wedding is one of the most important vendors to find, connect with and trust their creativeness! Can you imagine images from the reception without centerpieces or a bride without her bouquet? Of course not. Flowers are one of the constants that have remained in the wedding world since Day One. Now I may of had it easy when deciding on a florist for my wedding since I work for Your Event Florist. However, Kevin and Shawna (owners) never once pressured me into using them. Let’s face it though, after working for them for over a year I knew that no one else could even come close to executing my wedding day vision better than the Your Event Florist design team.

Going into my consultation with Kevin was really exciting for me! I invited both my mom and mother-in-law to be as well so they could be a part of the process. Working in their front office as their Social Media Coordinator, I had never seen Kevin on the “vendor” side, so this was a new experience.  To begin the process, so they could see what I wanted, what I liked, they suggested I bring in inspiration photos of floral and style of decor to be able to visualize my design aesthetic.  That is what makes them stand out, in my opinion based on my other friends experiences with different vendors when they were planning their wedding, they never told me what I wanted, they listened to what ideas I had and then expanded on them.

 

Now being a part of the wedding industry, I knew right away that I didn’t want a Pinterest-clone wedding. I wanted something one-of-a-kind, full of glamour and fun. Kevin was so fantastic at understanding my ideas; he took bits and pieces of the designs and flowers I would describe and put into words exactly what I wanted! I never doubted his skills, but being on the “Bride” side totally solidified just how talented of a designer he truly is. The two moms present were completely blown away by the meeting and were so thrilled to see Kevin took the time to talk individually about their special components, as well as important family members.

After receiving my final floral proposal, I am even more excited for my wedding day! It’s everything I could have ever dreamed. Kevin’s designs will definitely ensure my day will be unique and even more spectacular than I imagined and my bridal bouquet – I can’t even – it is going to be so gorgeous  (I may not put it down all night). One word of advice to all the Brides To Be out there – allow yourself to go into your floral design consult with an open mind, trust in whomever you select for their talent and creativeness and you will have no regrets!  Of course, my hope is that everyone uses Your Event Florist, so they too get to experience what I did!

Images by Malone Sinclaire Photography

The Life of a Bride-To-Be Part 2: Finding A Photographer

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been extremely picky about photos of myself. There was a short time in college when I felt like I needed to document and post every moment of my life but since then I’ve gone back to my old ways. So, when trying to figure out our wedding photographer, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I decided to start by browsing through some blogs and past YEF weddings.

That’s when things really got complicated, every image seemed to be more beautiful than the last! Each photographer seemed to have their own style… but I loved them all! Later that week, I was looking on The Perfect Palette for color inspiration and came across their post on Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala! I took special note since the shoot was done locally. I completely fell in love with the images. They were so bright and full of life! It was exactly how I wanted our day captured, nothing forced or awkward. Jenn Wagner Photography was cited as the photographer and I checked to see if we had worked with her in the past… and we had! The wedding she photographed with YEF florals was just as stunning, you could really see the love between the bride and groom with the same life in the images.

theperfectpalette.com

I immediately emailed Jenn Wagner, explaining my love for her work and how much I would like to have her be a part of our day! Jenn, from the start, was so warm and informative. The first time we talked on the phone I felt like it was an old friend. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable explaining details of your wedding and relationship with someone you’ve never met, but it came super easy with her!

We set up a meeting for a few weeks out for both Chris and I to meet with Jenn in person. As you can see in the photo below, Jenn greeted with a huge smile! Chris usually is not a big talker, especially when it came to wedding details. However, he never seemed to shy away when Jenn asked us how we met or our proposal story. Looking through albums of her past weddings, I fell in love even more with her work.

Jenn emphasized capturing moments, not posing or forced situations. She told us the story of a recent wedding and an image she took of the Bride seeing her grandfather for the first time that day, the Bride didn’t know if he was going to make it. Jenn captured the moment without the Bride knowing and shared it with her after the wedding. You could tell she genuinely cared about each wedding! I had already decided on the phone she was our photographer but meeting her in person solidified my decision. After the meeting, Chris said, “She needs to be our photographer” before I could even start talking!

Wedding photographers are a huge part of your day and you need to be comfortable having them around for some of the more intimate moments. Jenn Wagner was totally the right choice for us and I cannot wait to relive our wedding through her images. It might take some time to find the right person, but you’ll definitely know when you do!

See more of her work on: Jenn Wagner Photography

 

 

Bridal Bouquets

Weddings are so very personal to the Bride and Groom’s style aesthetic! We love getting the opportunity to meet with couple’s of different backgrounds, lifestyles and visions what their perfect wedding day looks like. The Bride’s bouquet is one of the most important parts of the design. It has to express her style and compliment her gown and of course look stunning in photographs! That is exactly why we custom design each bouquet to fit the Bride.

Here are some of our favorite past designs and trust us, it was terribly hard to narrow it down!

The Life of a Bride-To-Be Part 1: The Venue Hunt

“OH MY GOSH IM ENGAGED” was the first thing I woke up to thinking on the Fourth of July this year and I literally could not stop smiling. I was so unbelievably happy, my (then boyfriend) Chris had completely surprised me by popping the question on his birthday. I told myself, live in the moment… enjoy the engagement… DO NOT start planning. We were traveling to the rainforest in Puerto Rico the following week, so I told myself I would not start talking about wedding plans until we got back in August. But without fail, Pinterest ideas and years of dreams flooded my mind! I have always been a planner; itineraries, reservations, “to do” lists are just a few of my favorite things. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to start organizing my wedding boards and discussing dates with my now fiancé!

Well, things escalated quickly from there. It really was not intentional to kick the entire process into gear. I decided to reach out to a couple of my favorite venues in the valley just to see how the process would work. Plus, I wanted to get an idea of pricing. The second place I reached out to was a popular resort in Scottsdale, the catering manager called me to say they had not a single Saturday left open in the Fall of 2016. This sent me into panic mode, I couldn’t believe that it was already this booked. Were people booking these venues before they even got engaged? Was I really that naïve in thinking I could even wait a few weeks and enjoy my engagement?? I work in this industry, should I have known better??? From there I went into full on planning mode. I quickly developed a spreadsheet of venues, plotting out price per head, ceremony fees, dates available, etc. and began booking tours as soon as possible.

Yes, I might have taken things a little bit to the extreme… but I really do not like leaving things up in the air. I’ve called myself a “decision making bride” since this all begun, and I intend to keep it that way. We started touring venues of all sorts, during which I realized that plenty of places had available dates for 2016 open. Museums, resorts, golf clubs, event halls… I truly considered it all. Some felt too informal, others I didn’t vibe with the catering manager and one felt like I was at the Olive Garden. I just couldn’t seem to find a place that felt right. Also, working for Your Event Florist and seeing all of the wedding’s we’ve done all across the valley, I had enough ideas to plan 10 weddings.

One YEF wedding,  I had fallen in love with the images that conveyed a lovely feel of the wedding day. We decided to tour the venue, a museum. I loved the high ceilings and the feeling of elegance! I envisioned champagne flutes and guests in gowns and tuxes dancing the night away. We decided shortly after that this would be the place!! I felt so relieved, the first big thing to check off my list. I decided to take my dad, who was writing the check for the wedding, to the museum so he could see it in person before we officially booked. Upon going back and showing him around, I just did not get “the good feels” like I had the first time. The venue now felt cold and all wrong and I felt very disappointed. I talked it over with Chris and started realizing that we’re not the kind of couple that gets married in a museum, it just didn’t feel like our style. Plus, I started thinking about an open bar combined with priceless works of art and realized it might not be the best choice… back to the drawing board I went.

So after filling out 15 “Contact Us” forms, touring 8 different venues and a month of madness… we finally found our perfect venue. Desert Mountain is a community in North Scottsdale where my fiancé’s parents live. We originally were just going to tour two of their clubhouses to appease them. However, after touring the Cochise-Geronimo Clubhouse we knew this was the place. It had everything we were looking for…. amazing views, not open to the public, lots of natural light, stunning architecture and a wonderful staff. A few weeks ago, Chris & I stopped by the clubhouse as the sun was setting. It was so surreal to know that we were standing in the place where we would become husband and wife.

I guess what I realized is to not just choose something for the sake of decision making. There are countless options out there, and the one that is right for you will be 100% obvious when you’re there. You will get the “good feels” every time you envision your day! Try not to get too discouraged if you have a small budget. The venue staff are truly there to make the day perfect for you, budget and all. Also… there are these FABULOUS people called Wedding Planners that can help you so much in this process, but I’ll talk about that at a later date. Stay tuned for more updates on my wedding planning process and wish me luck!

**Author’s Note: While editing this piece, I realized how often “I” came up, instead of “We”. Chris was a huge part of this process and his opinion is highly valued. Ultimately, he knew how long I’ve been dreaming of this day and really left the final decisions up to me. Plus, like a lot of grooms, didn’t really have a strong view on most things.

Wedding Flowers Through the Decades

Any past bride will tell you, the key vendors to land when planning your big day are the caterer, DJ, venue and florist! Floral design has become a huge part of the wedding day by allowing the couple’s style to shine through. Floral design has evolved from it’s early origins in the ancient Greek weddings. We wanted to highlight some of the most memorable weddings through the decades. From Grace Kelly to Jennifer Lopez, check out how wedding florals have evolved with the times!

 

Wedding Inspiration: Bridesmaid Dresses

The days of ugly bridesmaid dresses are long gone! Nowadays, Bride’s want their besties to be dressed just as fabulous as they are for the wedding day. The Mint reported that the average cost of being a bridesmaid totaled almost $1,700. That’s a huge chunk of change, so it’s important to show these ladies love and appreciation throughout the process. Whether you have 3 bridesmaids or 13, there’s always a way to show your favorite ladies you understand the time and money they’ve invested by dressing them in something they feel both comfortable and beautiful in (that hopefully doesn’t’ break the bank). There are so many ways to let your bridesmaid’s personalities shine through in their fashion for the day. Statement necklaces, different hem lines, a fun shoe… we’ve seen (and LOVE) it all! Here are some of our favorite YEF bridesmaids for dress inspiration.

Images starting top left: Ashley Lorraine Photography, Lunabear Studios, Terry McKaig Photography, Image Industry, Marriott PhotographyiLLume Photography and Eyes2See Photography.

Real Wedding: NYE Celebration

In the midst of another sweltering Arizona summer, we’re dreaming of 70 degrees and cool breezes that arrive around the holidays! It might seem like an eternity away, however we’re hoping this spectacular New Year’s Eve wedding will get you through these hot days. New Year’s Eve weddings are becoming more and more popular and we just love the idea of ringing in the new year with a wedding surrounded by all those you cherish most. Amanda and Eric planned one of the most glamorous New Year’s Ever weddings we’ve ever seen (and we just loved being a part of)! They incorporated the glitz of the holiday into their wedding in a chic and romantic way. Kimberly Jarman Photography truly captured the celebratory feeling of the day in her photographs. The Four Seasons Scottsdale At Troon North provided an idyllic backdrop and the views from the resort never disappoint. From the escort card table of noise makers to the gorgeous gold head table, this is a wedding we will never forget!