Andrea and CJ were married at the elegant Renaissance Hotel and Spa in Glendale.

The girls wore Vineyard dresses (Style 1408) and looked absolutely fabulous dawning the LBD “little black dress”!

Andrea planned the entire wedding and had “the best time ever” with both planning it and enjoying her wedding : )  Andrea received a helping hand from her uncle, John Constantakis whom did the photography.

Congratulations Andrea and CJ! Thank you for letting Twirl be part of your beautiful day!

 

– Zoe

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Making sense of what all you need to book can be overwhelming!  I suggest sitting down and making a checklist of your priorities to start with.  Wedding magazines and websites such as The Knot are also great resources with checklists to keep you on track. 
 
For us, the main priorities were the big items, florist, photographer and cake.  I started by talking it all over with my best friend that had just gotten married in June and other friends that have been through this already.  Positive word of mouth is the best advertisement!
 
Bridesmaid tip:  Share helpful hints with the bride on selecting vendors…what you liked, what you didn’t, etc.  Hearing first hand experience is the absolute best.
I started out by booking our floral designer, Resa Browning.  Resa is a wedding coordinator and floral designer in Georgetown and did a wonderful job with Nancy’s wedding.  She was absolutely wonderful to work with and I knew we would be on the same page with the style of flowers we wanted.  I LOVE pink peonies and want them incorporated all through the wedding.   While there are many fabulous florists in Lexington, Resa does this as a side job and is more affordable for the budget we are working with.  I am meeting with Resa in January, so I’ll do another post on what we come up with!
 
 
Next we conquered the photographer.  I absolutely love photography, so this was a key component for us.  These are the pictures that are going to capture every detail and moment of the big day and I want them to be perfect.  I was fortunate to become good friends with Melanie Mauer at the Holly Day Market this year.  She is phenomenal and gave me the advice to make sure I feel absolutely comfortable with the photographer I choose since they are going to be with you ALL day long.  Since we are getting married on a holiday weekend and Melanie was already booked I knew it was going to be challenging to find someone with an opening. 
 
So I started Googling wedding photographers in Lexington…wow…I had no idea there were so many!  I started going through websites to see which styles I liked best.  I didn’t want anything too contemporary, I am more of a classic girl.  I happened upon InRetrospect Photography and found some photos they had done at The Carrick House.  Beautiful!  I called to check on the date and set up an appointment to meet.  Cailyn and I immediately clicked and sat and talked for almost an hour!  Needless to say I felt very comfortable with her and have no doubt we are on the same page.  She has a partner in the business as well that will be with the guys on the wedding day, so they can capture every moment.  Cailyn just got married in October so she knows just what we are going through.  I am so excited to do our engagement session!!
 
On to Brandon’s favorite…the cake!  I personally have a big sweet tooth, so the cake had to be yummy!  I met Martine Holzman at a networking lunch for wedding industry professionals back in November.  When the time came to think about the cake she was at the top of the list.  I had heard of her reputation previously and knew she would be wonderful.  We set up an appointment with her last week and Oh. My. Gosh. fabulous!  We had the best time meeting with her and sampling her confections.  Martine is originally from France and everything she and her team makes is from scratch.  Her chocolate is imported from France and every bite melts in your mouth! 
 
We really didn’t know what style cake we wanted, so we looked through some books and combined a few elements of different cakes.  We chose 3 different flavors because we couldn’t decide from the samples she served us!  She also sketched out the cake for us so we could see just how it will look (picture below).  She also sketched out Brandon’s groom cake.  I cannot wait to cut the cake on our wedding day.  I think this cake is way too good to be smeared on anyone’s face…don’t you, Brandon??

Sketch of our wedding cake and groom's cake by Martine

Up next – selecting the bridesmaid dresses and colors!

With many weddings taking place in the fall or at an outside venue, let’s face it, fashionable bridesmaid dresses don’t always offer up the most warmth. The last thing you want to do is freeze in your strapless dress. Even in Arizona this can happen.  I remember my best friend’s wedding in Sedona during October we were all caught empty handed, freezing, once the sun went down.  We ended up wearing our guy’s suit jackets.  Not exactly the cutest alternative.

A way to avoid looking like a man and instead be fashionable/warm at the same time is to add a coordinating wrap.  I got married at the Desert Botanical Gardens and decided at the last minute to purchase wraps for all of my bridesmaids as gifts.  I was so thankful I did as everyone had the option to warm up a bit if necessary.  They even became a part of some really great dance moves as the night went on. 😉 

Many bridesmaid dress designers offer wraps in several fabric options, typically in chiffon, satin, or charmeuse.  If the fabric or color of your choice is not available as a wrap you can always order fabric then have it made.  Or, one of my favorite ideas is to go with a pashmina.  I pretty much take one to every wedding I attend.

 

After you choose your bridesmaid dress, keep in mind the venue and time of your wedding.  Don’t forget this important accessory and be left in the cold.

-Jenni

This week was my pick and I didn’t even have to think about it! The Dessy Group (style #2756) is a hands down pick for me. The first time I was in the Chandler store after all the dresses had been hung up, this dress just jumped out @ me. Now, it could have something to do with the fact that this dress has a pattern on it (which is not as common in bridesmaid dresses), but either way… I just can’t get enough.

Now, if I were to order this dress, I would go with the pattern shown in the picture! I think it is so fun! But the best part about this dress is that it is available in 34 other solid colors and two other prints! Amazing! It is a stretch charmeuse fabric which is thicker than regular charmeuse (thank goodness) but not as heavy as satin. It is flowie and light, but has boning @ the top to help keep the structure of the dress in tact while also helping hold it in place as you dance the night away.

I am in love! Again, it is designed by the Dessy Group, style # 2756 and retails for $210.00!

Happy Holidays!

xoxo *Angela

Another hidden treasure I have come across since our move to Chandler is the Ocotillo Golf Resort.

Being that we live in Arizona, Golf Courses are not hard to come by. There is just something about this venue though, that stands out to me (could be in part to the AMAZING staff). For the guys of the wedding party, this golf resort offers 27 holes of golf (which I am told is a rather big deal! Not being a golfer myself, I have to go with what I am told). But for the ladies, as well as the weddings, you just can’t go wrong. There are several locations available on the property to hold both the ceremony as well as the reception. Each can be made as unique as the bride and groom.

A sunset in Arizona is almost always breathtaking. Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona… need I say more?

Happy Holidays to you all!

xoxo *Angela

Brie and Jon were married at the gorgeous Reflections at the Buttes Venue in Tucson. The very entertaining, yet elegant and classic pictures were taken by Chris Richards of Chris Richards Photography.

The girls wore the Maria dress adorned by a Cornflower blue sash both by designer Charsa. The girls looked absolutely stunning in the dresses, as well as, the whole bridal party looked fabulous!

Brie did all of the planning all by herself and did an amazing job… especially with the pictures to prove it.

Congratulations Brie and Jon! We wish you a lifetime of happiness. Thank you for sharing your day with Twirl!!

 

– Zoe

Brandon and I are truly blessed with a wonderful group of friends and family.  We have both kept in touch with friends from elementary school and made even more along the way.  Once we were engaged we started discussing how big we wanted our bridal party and named off who we would each like to ask.  We settled on 6 bridesmaids and 6 groomsmen and also have a group of friends that will be readers, greeters and ushers.  Perfect! 

As I mentioned in a previous post, my best friend is Nancy and we have known eachother since 7th grade.  We have been through good and bad together and couldn’t be more alike, yet polar opposites at the same time.  I have always known she would be by my side when my wedding day came.  When the going used to get tough with boys (and it often did) we always saidwe had been blessed with the perfect best friend and we had to have faith that we would eventually be blessed with a man just as perfect some day…and now we both have.  Nancy married her perfect man this past June and I was honored to be a part of her big day.  So, naturally, Nancy is my Matron of Honor!  She also told me on Friday night that she has had her speech written for my wedding for 5 years now:) 

Ty with 3 of her bridesmaids, Carol, Nancy and Hillary

Carol and I have known each other since 4th grade, but started becoming inseparable in 7th grade with we were cheerleaders.  We had lots of hair experiments together (mayo in the hair does NOT help condition it) and lived, worked and were in the same sorority together in college!  Hillary and I became good friends in college when we were “Tri-Dent” buddies when we were pledging our sorority and our friendship has continued to grow over the years.  

Ty with Deanna & Katherine

Deanna and Katherine are two more dear friends I met in the sorority.  We had so much fun together in college…Spring Breaks, date parties, random nights in the sorority house.  There is never a shortage of laughter and fun with these two girls around and I also know that either of them would be there in a heartbeat if I ever needed anything.  Last but not least is my wonderful sister-in-law, Jodi.  She has somehow survived 6 years of marriage to my brother and has 2 beautiful children who will also be in the wedding!  We grow closer each year and I am so lucky to have her. 

I wanted to do something different to ask my girls to be a part of our big day, so I had a friend who makes stationery do some personalized “Will you be my bridesmaid?” cards for me that I mailed to each of them with a note inside letting them know how special they are to me.   It was a fun, personal way to ask instead of a quick phone call. 

The card I sent the girls to ask them to be in the wedding

Bride/Groom tip:  When thinking about who to ask to be in your wedding think about who will help celebrate every moment with you and support you and your fiance throughout every step of your wedding.  I think it is also neat to have every aspect of your life represented…from childhood to now. 

We are so blessed to have such dear friends be a part of our big day!  Up next…selecting the other vendors! 

-Ty

My pick for dress of the week is by designer Priscilla of Boston, style PB311.  I love the floral detail on the neckline with just the sweetest amount of crystal jewels.  The full pleats make this dress fun and flirty.  I imagine it would look great on a bridal party in a vineyard or garden.  The dress retails for $248.00.

– Jenni

I found another venue treasure: Stonebridge Manor.

Yes, it actually looks that fabulous. The Victorian look this venue has isn’t something that is often found in Arizona. Stonebridge Manor has many different ways to make each wedding unique. You can do a front yard ceremony with the reception in the ballroom or on the front patio, or you can do a backyard ceremony with the reception in a gorgeous tent. Those are just two of the more popular layouts a bride and groom have to choose from.

Aside from looking beautiful during the day, the entire manor is covered with white lights that look amazing @ night fall.

When it comes to bridesmaid dresses for this venue, I really feel that all colors and styles can work. I personally like the idea of short, bright-colored dresses for a spring wedding and long, very romantic dresses for a fall wedding. This venue really can capture the exact look the bride and groom are looking for.

I love love love this venue and I feel that all engaged couples should at least go take a tour. Happy Wedding venue hunting!!

xoxo *Angela

Michelle and Jeremy were married in Napa Valley, California. Their stunning pictures were taken by Viera Photography, based out of California. The wedding coordinator behind this spectacular wedding was Kelly Emerson also from California.

The gorgeous bridesmaids wore white dresses from Jim Hjelm, Melissa Sweet and Alvina Valenta. The girls were able to pick a dress of their choice from any designer in the store in white.

Congratulations Michelle and Jeremy, we wish you much happiness. Thank you for letting Twirl be part of your special day!

– Zoe

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