Modern Weddings/Real Weddings

A Covid Couple Turns Their Hawaiian Dream Wedding Into A Just-As-Gorgeous Tropical Arizona Wedding

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 44
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 57

We all know it: couples slated to get married in 2020 had to be agile, flexible & resilient. And while nearly all of our Covid-couples didn’t get their first imagined dream wedding, this couple who had planned to marry in Hawaii turned their day into something just as gorgeous: a tropical, Arizona micro wedding.

Had we not ready the story first, the gallery of this Scottsdale wedding would have us convinced that this was a long-planned, meticulously styled, dream wedding for Faith & Peter. A breathtaking venue with towering palms, tropical foliage & intimate spaces, the Royal Palms would be the first choice on so many couples’ venue wishlists.

Then add the florals, decor & fashion – you’d think this wedding had been planned for years! Each element seamlessly flowing into the other and captured in the dreamiest, fine art photography style by Ashley Rae Photography.

Truthfully, however, this wedding came together in only a few months. After everything had been booked for their Hawaiian wedding date, Faith & Peter spent most of 2020 wondering if their wedding would come to pass. When summer hit, they decided it was time to pivot, and oh what a wonderful job they did…

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 39
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 55

Our Love Story

We always knew each other through mutual friends, but one day he “accidentally” texted me through Snapchat. I immediately knew he was the one as soon as we began talking as corny as it sounds if you know you know.

Nine months later on his birthday, we went to eat at Ocean Club and he had the table set up so fancy. When his cake came out after we had eaten I assumed it would just say “Happy Birthday” so I did not read it. That’s when Peter said “Faith, read the cake.” It said in big giant red letters “Will you marry me?” It was the best surprise ever and it was so thoughtful that he proposed on his birthday. He gave me the ring and it was in this adorable acrylic Venus eternity rose box.

He and his family put a lot of work into planning it and getting the cake there ahead of time. I will forever be thankful because it was one of the best days of my life.

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 19
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 32

The Planning, Then Covid…

We were eager to start planning our wedding right away and could not wait to get married. We quickly decided on a date of October 28, 2020 – my birthday in Maui, Hawaii. We didn’t want a big wedding just a couple of close family members.

A few weeks later, I got my dress! We decided on the Four Seasons. We spent the next several months picking out photographer, videographer, flowers, cake, clothing, swimwear etc…all the things associated with weddings and honeymoons. Even though this was not going to be a large wedding we still wanted things to be nice and special. It was still our wedding.

Being busy with life and wedding planning we didn’t pay much attention to the talk of a new virus. In February news of Covid-19 was everywhere! I remember thinking I hate to be selfish but I hope this does not affect the wedding. All my family and friends were like that’s months away everything will be fine.

So we had no choice but to continue planning as we were already so far in. Plane tickets, hair & makeup – the expenses just kept piling up and this virus was not blowing over. Month after month we watched the news hoping for any sign Hawaii would lift the travel restrictions – would this wedding be possible? My dress got delayed and for a while, we didn’t even know where it was or when or if it would arrive.

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 41

With all the contracts signed it was not an option to just cancel. We waited and waited and at the end of June, both sides of the family mutually agreed this was probably not the best idea or time to be traveling.

However, we still wanted to get married. We live in different states and did not want to postpone. We actually thought, “maybe it’s better to get married sooner now that Hawaii is out of the picture since we did not know what the future holds with this virus.” We figured at least we will be married and together that’s all that matters.

So in July, we started to plan a wedding for September 4, 2020. In a way, it was a relief to not have to worry about traveling anymore but at the same time, we were starting over and didn’t know where to begin.

The Venue

My mother had told me about a venue called the Royal Palms and thought we should take a look. So we set up a time to go look and I immediately fell in love. I loved the tropical landscape and palm trees. The Camelback Vista Garden we chose for the wedding was so intimate and beautiful. It was not my original venue in Hawaii but it still had a tropical feel that went along with my dress. After this meeting, I needed to look no further.

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 40
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 38
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 11
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 8
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 10
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 42

The Vendors

I had been a long-time admirer of Ashley Rae Photography and Love Story Films. My mother contacted Ashley Rae and was surprised when she responded Molly from Love Story Films was a good friend of hers and also her other friend Nicole was a florist, Wild Flower AZ.

They were all willing to come and be there for my wedding. So it was just meant to be. In a day we had a venue I loved and a dream team: photographer, videographer and florist.

So many businesses were not even open or working. It would not have been the time to be picky. Even if it was perfect circumstances I couldn’t have asked for better vendors. It was just a miracle that fell into place. I couldn’t have asked for things to turn out any better.

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 47
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 48
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 6
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 22
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 24
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 18
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 49

The Ceremony

A special detail in my wedding was that our minister was actually a long-time family friend. He even baptized my mom when she was younger, and also performed many of my family members’ wedding ceremonies. It just made the service so much more meaningful to me and my husband.

Having a Christian service was very important for us personally because we were taking a vow before God that day. Our minister performed the perfect ceremony for us, I always re-watch it I wish I could relive that day one more time.

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 51
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 2

Favorite Moments

My favorite moment was when the wedding was all over and I got to go begin my new life with my husband. It was the best feeling ever. I have wanted to marry Peter for so long so it was a just dream come true. When the wedding fades and the dress is gone I’m still here with my best friend and that’s all that truly matters.

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 56
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 53

Planning your wedding in just a few months? Here’s our expert guide on how to quickly plan your day in under 3 months.

Special Details

What made the wedding so “me” honestly was that everything my mom helped to make my dream wedding come true. We just picked whatever we liked not what was popular or trendy. Just details that we personally loved and it came out beautiful. It flowed together perfectly, I never even imagined that it would come out that pretty. I have no regrets because I didn’t pick anything just to please someone else, I picked what personally suited me best and what I loved.

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 65
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 58
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 52

Advice to Other Couples

Don’t Stress. Choose a style you like and try and keep everything flowing with that. What’s meant to be will be and it all works out in the end.

I would highly recommend all of the vendors we used. I have nothing but good things to say about them. Everyone was so kind and professional and went out of their way to make every detail perfect!

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 67
Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 66

“It may not have been our first plan but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I simply loved every single detail of the day. The venue, flowers, photos, video, hair, makeup, dress and most of all the groom. Everything that had seemed to be going wrong just came together into the perfect day and wedding.”

– Bride Faith

Sparkling Hacienda-style Arizona Micro Wedding at Royal Palms Scottsdale – Ashley Rae Photography 69

The Honeymoon

We went to Disney world! It was so much fun and nice to get out and do something together after a long year in 2020.

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