I never did manage to set up a bio during all of my planning. But, I did get quite a bit of help from many posts and articles on this site. It's difficult to not be "planning" anymore... so I still come back and browse. :-) Best of Luck to everyone still in the Planning process... it goes by faster than you would imagine. Amidst all of the chaos, take a moment and enjoy the journey.
It took a little while to get back to this, but I think I have the time to recap our glorious wedding. :-)
We planned a destination wedding to Sedona, AZ on our anniversary - July 4th. We had 20 of our close relatives/friends join us for most of the week.
I found a wedding package that I was able to customize from the Hearts of Sedona Wedding planner. Laura M. was invaluable. She gave me suggestions and tips for local vendors and answered ALL of my questions about weddings "how does it work" and "what goes here" and "where can I board my dog." lol
We had the ceremony at the Coconino National Park, Red Rock Crossing. Laura explained that I had to rent the "ramada" for the day to be able to have my wedding there. I thought, "well - why pay for another hotel to stay in -- just stay at the Ramada." Eventually, we came to the understanding that the "ramada" is what they call the covered picnic area at the park, not the hotel chain. no prob... I liked the resort that we stayed in better. :-)
Our officiant was my husbands best friend from 2nd grade who lives in Calif. When we were trying to figure out where we would have our wedding we asked him to marry us and he automatically agreed to it. We thought about getting married in Texas (where we live) for a while, but eventually decided that Sedona was such a beautiful place that we had vacationed to before that we should get married there. We called him a week or so later and he said - "hey - I can't marry you, I'm only legal in Arizona." We told him that was perfect - it was just the place that we decided to get married!
We splurged and stayed at the Enchantment Resort... an absolutely AWESOME place! with deer wandering around the grounds, a beautiful pool and gorgeous views of the red rocks in Sedona. Most of the time we didn't have cell phone service at our hotel (both good and bad) which caused a few moments of "I called and called and called and couldn't get a hold of you"... but for the most part we figured out how to reach everyone and plan where & what time to meet. AND enjoy a few moments of quiet. :-)
My husband and I drove to Sedona (2 days) and our wedding party flew into Phoenix. We all met at the Tuxedo place, tried everything on and drove two hours to Sedona. I got a great deal on a time share type condo that the 4 ladies shared.
We relaxed Saturday night when we arrived and car pooled to the Grand Canyon on Sunday. It was a beautiful drive and we stopped many times for pictures, as well as driving the scenic South Rim drive. We met more relatives there and had dinner with them, then drove back to Sedona.
My husband and daughter at Grand Canyon.
We had a lot of fun with everyone all week. We went to the Palatki Indian Ruins where they had petroglyphs on the cliffs... the guide said that the movie people got the idea for Princess Lea's hair from the petroglyphs.
The day of the wedding, Jim and I got up really early and went on a walk on the trails outside of our hotel. His son joined us and then we went for breakfast. I think it was the most food that I ate all day. :-)
We noticed that the trail was marked with heart shaped stones placed in many of the tree's... what a perfect start to the day!
Jim left the hotel about 11:00 am when all the ladies arrived. My mom, aunt, my bridesmaids were my sister and best friend and Jim's grooms girls, my daughter and her best friend. We visited, ate and had a great time.
even had time for a little snooze...
Francoise & my sister, Najla trying to steam my dress...
My mom, aunt and friend Francoise ironing my dress.
A little bit of stress 3 weeks before the wedding -- I ended up having to go work a project out of town for 2 weeks. The alterations on my dress didn't get done till the last week before we left. The woman that did my alterations was great and kept me calm and said that she could get the alterations done at the last minute. Which she did. But, she didn't press it and it was quite a bit more wrinkled than I expected. I planned on steaming it when we arrived in Sedona, but it wasn't working. lol.... so, they had to turn it inside out and iron it. Good thing the hotel had an iron! Best laid plans... lol
My hairdresser & makeup woman, Patricia Vega, arrived about 1:00 and fixed my hair. She did a spectacular job! She air brushed my makeup and it was nice and light... she airbrushed my shoulders so my bathing suit lines wouldn't show... so I asked her to airbrush the tops of my feet also (as much as I tried not to get sun in Arizona, I did - and I wore flip flops that put stripes on my feet)... she laughed and said she hadn't ever had a request for that before... she was very sweet.
My sister took all these pictures... she got some Beautiful shots!
My wedding planner, Laura, laced up my dress and everyone but my sister left to hand out the programs, sun umbrella's, fans and meet everyone at the park.
I made "pretty" hangars for my bridal party...
and while I was heading to the park... everyone was getting in place.
my dad escorted me to the ceremony...
and it was really funny because he wasn't leaving... it felt like he took an eternity (probably only a couple of minutes) to finally walk away... it was kind of sweet... and funny.
I was really moved by the hand ceremony that "walked us through" a sort of history and future of our relationship. "Take each other's hands, so that you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes to you. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, support and encouragement to pursue your dreams, and comfort through difficult times. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch."
The ring on my finger!
and the kiss!
another kiss... the sand ceremony
I think he was a little relieved when the ceremony was over... :-)
It sure felt like we were kissing alot! :-)
After the ceremony, we ran off to take a few more pictures near the creek...
We had a lot of fun with the photographer, David Sunfellow, who took some great pictures!
Had to do a "quick change" to go to the creek... I almost fell over. lol
After the ceremony and pictures, we went to the restaurant for dinner and dancing.
Luckily, our best man was on top of EVERYTHING and got the restaurant to set up the ipod (that was supposed to be "no problem at all") and turned it on for our entrance and first dance.
We had a great time dancing, despite the fact that the dance floor separated into 4 ft. sections with 4-5 inch gaps between each of them. Again - not everything goes as expected - but, I had a blast anyway! NOTHING got me down on my wedding day! (Nuff said about the restaurant)
We ordered Cheesecake from the NY Deli & Bagel in Sedona and they delivered a SPECTACULAR cake!! I wanted to incorporate the "4th of July" into our cake - so we got a "firework" cake. Everyone commented on how delicious it was - mostly cheesecake topped with vanilla cake (for a little heighth) and raspberry layered between! And, if we go back to Sedona for our 1 year anniversary, Ross, the owner said he'll give us a mini duplicate cake. mmmm -- I can't WAIT!!
I ordered our invitations online from Zazzle (the name alone is too much fun to say... zazzle - lol). It was a quick turnaround and I created them from a basic option that I found.
All the details were on the back with RSVP information (RSVP - THAT was a headache!! Worse than herding cats, I'm sure!) :-)
I DIYd (or DIMd) our wedding programs that I had fun creating. I found the paper at Office Max and designed and printed them. :-) Not sure they were so useful. I got most of them back. The blurs after the names are from me removing the last names before posting, wasn't blurry on the actual program.
The inside listed times and location for all activities starting with carpooling to the ceremony and ending with the reception and cake cutting.
We had such a wonderful week with our family in Sedona. I was thrilled that all of them could celebrate with us -- what a memorable time it was!!