So you’re engaged! You’re feeling overwhelmed and maybe just have no idea where to start planning. Or, you’re a boss and you got this all by yourself! Either way, I’m here to help and provide some pointers along the way and hopefully make this process just a tiny bit easier! This is the first blog post in a series of helpful blogs, each one focusing on a different facet of planning your perfect wedding day.
Where do I start?
Most brides start with the venue, because, like it or not, that it is oftentimes the hardest to get locked down. Many brides will even change their wedding date to a date that is available with the venue they love. I recommend doing your own research and touring as many venues as you can- but there are a few that stand out in my book, depending on your specific needs as a couple. Some things to consider are:
1. Time of year- what will the weather be like when I want to get married? Should I consider an indoor or an outdoor venue?
2. Number of guests- how many guests do I want to invite? Some venues are better suited to larger weddings, while some venues are best for small, intimate gatherings.
3. Catering and Bar- does the venue include catering, or will they allow you to hire your own catering? Many venues have packages that make sense to hire the alcohol and catering through them. Some require that you go through them- so make sure you ask!
4. Finally, (and most importantly) what look do you want for your wedding? Outdoorsy? Rustic? Modern? Every venue has it’s own unique “vibe” and I can’t recommend enough that you check out the venue as a couple to find the location that matches you.
Here are some of my preferred venues that I have worked with in the past and recommend to all my couples:
Stonebridge Manor by Wedgewood Weddings (above)
This luxurious venue has it all- lush gardens, a historic manor, gorgeous water features as well as indoor and outdoor locations for your ceremony. This venue is located in Mesa in the East Valley. My favorite part about this venue is all the locations for GORGEOUS wedding photos!
This historic West Valley venue recently came under new management, and the gorgeous 4.5 acre property has lots of gorgeous locations for photos as well. I would recommend this venue if you are looking for an outdoor venue with lots of space for a large crowd. The Manor itself is as old as our state, originally built in 1912. If you like historic, authentic Victorian vibes then you HAVE to check this one out! This one is in Buckeye, so perfect for the couples from the West Side!
Arbor Heights Weddings (below)
This is probably the most scenic on this list- if one of the farthest away. This venue is nestled in the heights of Prescott National Forest, and the views are unmatched. If you want a private all-inclusive venue hidden away in the forest, you should really check this one out. This one is a little tough to get to, so make sure you take advantage of their shuttle service to get you there and back to the paved roadway.
Another alternative is the “backyard wedding-” an option gaining in popularity since the pandemic, no longer just for the budget-conscious bride. This is for those who just want a small circle at their ceremony, especially for those who want to be conscientious of older family members who may be immuno-compromised. Whatever your reasons, the backyard wedding is no longer just for those who couldn’t afford a venue!
Once you and your fiancé have settled on a date and venue- now it’s on to the most fun part of planning a wedding- the photographer!! Working with me is not just about capturing your special moments, it's about being a part of them. What’s more- I’m here to help make sure everything goes perfect on your wedding day. My style is to guide you in capturing the relationship between you and your partner through photos. With my extensive experience in weddings, I know that timing is critical. It allows me to work efficiently while building trust and rapport with you, my clients. I will keep the mood fun and celebratory throughout the process so we can all enjoy the day!