Thursday, June 10, 2010

real life: northern arizona wedding

I about fell out of my chair when I saw Anna's gorgeous wedding photos...and then I actually did fall outta my chair when I found out this wedding took place at her parent's glorious Northern Arizona home!!  Wow.  Anna and her husband created some beautiful details for their wedding celebration... thank you for sharing you special day Anna!!  (PS:  I always enjoy her blog,  Life Be Delicious - a lovely blog, full of recipes and diy projects!)

Well I've never done a guest blog post and am honored to share with you my wedding today. I got married last April 24, 2009 and here is the whirlwind details of the big day. Originally I had wanted to get married at my parents but then in 2005 my brother got married on our front lawn and it was a LOT of work so I told my mom I didn't want to put her through that. However, when we got engaged in June of 08 and started looking at venues in Phoenix I realized there really was no other place I would like to start our lives together than where I grew up, not to mention where we got engaged. Once we really believed we could fit on the front lawn and then have enough tent space for the reception I started working on the church...

We are both Catholic and wanted to get married "in" the church but under God's sky a nutshell: I asked my priest in Buckeye {my hubby's hometown and my then residence} and he essentially said an outdoor wedding was a no go. We really enjoyed him and had originally planned on him marrying us because he truly is an amazing, caring and fun pastor. However, I didn't feel like he wanted the wedding to be outdoors and didn't pursue it very much, so I went to my dad's parish in Cottonwood and asked Father David...and he said, "Of course!" to the outdoor wedding. I couldn't have been more thrilled, blessed and ecstatic that I could have such a meaningful place to share our sacrament of marriage. {Side note: The Cottonwood church was currently under construction to have a gorgeous 1,500 person capacity church but they were still in a small modular building that can only hold about 320 max which worked out because we ended up having over 400 to the wedding}

  the front lawn converted into the wedding zone

Once Father David was on board the "wedding" process was a breeze. I have never met a more caring, relaxed and comfortable pastor. He was a complete blessing and both my husband and I were extremely honored and blessed to have preside over our ceremony. Next up, be brief we had many people pitch in and I couldn't have been more thankful. We rented all of our tents, tables, linens, plates/silverware, lights, dance floor and anything else from a local place {Verde Valley Rentals} which was so nice to do instead of having to get it from Phoenix. I liked supporting our local business and I didn't have to stress about adding more tables and chairs last minute since they were right in town. 

  No chairs until after the ceremony but a glimpse of the centerpieces. Half were down and half were up but they didn't put the "up" ones up until closer to the ceremony since we had a little wind early in the day.

For centerpieces I let my mother-in-law have full reign and I loved it. I didn't have to think nor worry about them. Originally I didn't think I would do flowers since they are kinda costly but she wanted them and said she would gladly take care of them. How awesome is it that my husband works with a guy whose family owns a wholesale flower shop in Phoenix?! And what are the odds?! So, we were very lucky to buy our flowers from them and not to mention they loaned us a trailer with A/C to transport up north! My hubby's uncle was a blessing and brought them up the day of the wedding all assembled in the vases from Buckeye. My MIL had a friend who is that person who doesn't work in a flower shop but did once upon a time and does an amazing job with floral arrangements.

You can see the flowers on each side of us were way more than I ever dreamed of! 
After the ceremony they moved them over to the cake table.

The meal is where I was originally nervous for my mom to get overworked. I wanted her to enjoy herself and not be busy prepping/cooking/serving. So this is how we handled was a combined effort of many. We hired a restaurant {Manzanita Inn} to do the meat, tri-tip and lamb. Seriously, phenomenal. My family and my husbands family both ranch cattle so it was important to us that the meat be perfect. Originally my mom wanted to do prime rib but sadly, I'm not that big of a fan and I just love tri-tip...if you have never had it you must, soon!! My husbands family used to be in the sheep business as well so she wanted to surprise him with lamb for the meal, he was surprised and the guests loved it! My mother, sister and grandmother and myself did the green beans {I think we washed, cut and prepped about 90 pounds...I was over them by the end of it}. So I mentioned we raise cattle and thus are involved with cattle industry groups so we had our local cattle women's group serve at the wedding not to mention handle a variety of other things {side note-they've done it before for fundraisers, I actually remember working at another ranching families wedding when I was younger as a cattle woman member}. My mother has the best recipe for gourmet potatoes {delightful, cheesy spuds} and at the cattle women's meeting the week prior my mom and wonderful sister-in-law distributed the ingredients necessary for people to whip up some batches, not to mention that my SIL and mom made several themselves! The day of the CW {cattle women} did the salad and basically put out and served all the food {rolls, salad, green beans, spuds} and handled the water/iced tea/lemonade station making sure it was constantly replenished. The restaurant cooked and served the meat. And we had 2 couples friends of the family each man a bar to make sure the beer, wine and margaritas were flowing. We definitely saved money by doing a lot of the work ourselves as well as buying most ingredients {minus the meat} ourselves and having "non-official" caterers work at it.

I just loved how special the day was made with so many people pitching in and making it so memorable. I literally didn't stress once during the whole day and I owe that to all the help of so many people. In writing this it made me remember how much thought and planning went into it and I cannot begin to fit that all into one post...there are so many other things I would tell you but most of all I would say soak it up, it's only going to happen once so enjoy it, it's also only one day out of so many more so don't get so stressed over it.

So to wrap it up here are a few more pictures of the big day to show you just how special it was to us. 

Me and my girls. Obviously my colors were turquoise and brown...I had their sterling silver/turquoise necklaces handmade by a friend of my sisters in Cottonwood, AZ. I was honored to give them to them and thought they were perfect for the day. 

  I'm not a big fan of the pictures by myself but I had to share this one. See that little red heifer in the background? She was a star of the show, during the wedding little kids were enamored by her and watched her patiently through the fence. She was in the background of many pictures and I just love her for it. Side note- I had my bouquets done at a shop locally and I loved it-2 dozen roses blown open, tulips and calalillies (s/p?) and something that was extremely special--my grandmother's handkerchief from when she graduated from nursing school was wrapped around it. I had a dozen roses for each bridesmaid wrapped with turquoise ribbon.

 My hubby and his guys. Our photographer was Britta Van Vranken from Tucson and she did a phenomenal job.

 Having a little prayer with my ladies before go time.

My nieces Dylan Marie and Grace Katherine were perfect! My mom has a quilting friend with tons of rose bushes and she got fresh petals that morning for them to throw.

Our nephew Robert decided to carry the pillow in his mouth which I just loved. If the flower girls or ring bearer don't break the ice with a little laughter I don't think a wedding is complete. The pillow my mom made for us.

This is during the Lord's prayer and this is both of our fathers holding hands during it. I think it symbolizes our families joining and it makes me overjoyed and sometimes a little teary eyed when I see it.

 I love this picture because it looks like a whirlwind around us but we just feel alone. You can also see my videographer of whom I loved! Taken Video Productions from the valley were the best and I treasure my video very much.

 I love this sheerly because of the mad hops my bm Holly has there on the left!

 I had to have a picture by this pear tree in our orchard. It's one of my favorite trees of all times.

I had one request for cake: butter cream. We got it from Safeway and it was perfect. I decorated the cake table with pictures of our parents and all four sets of our grandparents all on their wedding days.

Please notice the small children all around. It was literally like a family reunion for my side and we both wanted to have tons of kids there to share in the joy so that was definitely a highlight having dozens of kids running and playing.

We are big dancers and the floor was packed all night. Here is my husbands grandma and great aunt getting down.
 And we are now living happily ever after.


  1. ahhhhhhhhh!! I am obsessed with this down home wedding! But 400 people?! must have gotten everything on your registry three times!

    I like the gift you gave your bm's. Very pretty!

  2. OMGosh! I love this wedding! It's just gorgeous! I am such a backyard-wedding fan! I think they are the most beautiful turnouts!

  3. LOL, I scanned through the pictured before going back to read and noticed the wedding cake and thought it just looked adorable. Then, when I went back and read I thought, "OMG, SAFEWAY! I'm so impressed that that was a supermarket cake! And you say it was delicious. How wonderful.

  4. Love it Anna - what a beautiful day it was!! Kami

  5. Everything is beautiful, but your happiness flowing out of your writing is even more beautiful.

  6. I love that little ring bearer. And 400 people!!! You are a brave, brave woman.

  7. Thanks Jes for letting me share this! And thank you for the kind comments...400 people yes I know crazy. We have insanely large families and I have yet to meet a stranger in my life...aagh one of my hubby's favorite traits about me:) Thanks again all! Oh and side note, yes that Safeway cake was delish! Annnddd just recently we broke into the top layer for our 1 was still great!

  8. Loved this. I also think that a wedding isn't complete without children running around :)

  9. love it! You have reassured me that I can take on my wedding and not go crazy :) oooh and tritip...Im a new zealander and my californian fiance introduced tritip to me recently. Just WOW. I could eat it all day.

  10. this is soo cool Anna!! Congrats on the guest blogging :)

  11. That photo of the bridal party praying together is so sweet!

    P.S. Jes, I can't wait to see YOUR wedding photos. Waiting on pins + needles... :)

  12. Wow.!!I absolutely like all the photos,the bride looks so great on her wedding dress..!!And it seems that everyone had a good day at that time..!!Good job and nice shots..!!

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  13. I wish I could have a wedding like that someday,I like their concept..!!I love the cake,it looks so nice..!Excellent post

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  14. The awesome wedding photos above are such a good remembrance for the couple.!!
    Its ems that everyone had really a great day at that time..!!

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