This Arizona wedding is a really gorgeous one.
Gloria and Josh married in Paradise Valley, Arizona, with a day that flawlessly blended a cool desert backdrop with elegant vintage style and gorgeous festive touches. We've never quite seen a Christmas wedding like this one!
When we first clapped eyes on these gorgeous pictures by Amy & Jordan Photography, we thought it was a photoshoot, because every detail was so perfectly styled, and every photograph was so beautifully composed, but we can verify, this stunning wedding is very much a real one!
Gloria, in a gorgeous long sleeve lace wedding dress, looked every inch the Hollywood starlet with bombshell waves and a burst of red lipstick. While cool groom Josh looked suitably festive, with a grey suit and green plaid touches.
We also love the bright green bridesmaid to nod to the season, despite the atmospheric Southwest surroundings.
Styled so beautifully by Gloria (who sounds like the most organised bride ever!) a little creativity and a lot of gold spray paint (my latest obsession!) brought together a day that was littered in vintage elements and beautiful finishing touches.
Whether you're planning a Christmas wedding, a desert celebration or an elegant vintage bash, prepare to be inspired by this impossibly stylish wedding day…
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Love Story
We actually met online (MySpace, kind of embarrassing), but it turned out we lived only a couple blocks away from each other!
We talked online for probably three months or so before meeting in real life. After six years of dating he finally popped the question and a year later we were married.
We had a vintage elegance feel with an emerald and gold palette. We chose seasonal (December) touches, with lanterns and skeleton keys.
The Dresses & Flowers
I wore an ivory lace, full length gown with half sleeves and a v-neck. My bridesmaids wore a shamrock colored full-length chiffon dress in kind of a vintage looking style with no sleeves, but I got beautiful white wraps for them so they’d stay warm.
For flowers we had Garden Roses, Succulents, Casablanca Lillies, Amaryllis, Olive Branch, Italian Ruscus, Green Amaranthus, and Star of Bethlehem.
We used The Classroom Bar at El Chorro Lodge for the reception and the South Lawn for the ceremony.
The intimate garden, the desert mountain views surrounding you, beautifully landscaped, amazing food, it’s historic… I just really fell in love with all of it.
I choose Amy & Jordan because I was impressed with their work and the quality of their photos.
They seemed very crisp and bright, very timeless. They also had a great deal including the Engagement Session and the ability to download all of the original source files for the photos. That was more important to me then just getting my favorites printed.
Not to mention they were so fun to work with. They work amazingly well with people and know how to make you feel special.
Our Favourite Moments
My favorite moment was getting rained on right after the ceremony. Josh and I were getting our first husband and wife portraits taken, you could smell the beautiful desert rain beginning and a giant full rainbow appeared on the horizon.
It was magical.
The Decor & Details
I mapped out everything I was going to need, gift table, welcome table, cake table, guest tables, etc. and sketched out how I wanted them to be laid out, what each table needed to have on it, etc.
I started with my mom’s old vintage mirror and a large gold skeleton key I had, took that as my inspiration and ran with it.
I wrote on the mirror, gathered old family photos of parents and grandparents on each side of the family (Grant/Rafeld) and put them in vintage gold frames.
Found the perfect book on Etsy for my guestbook too. I used mostly things I already had. My mom found an old window frame that I painted gold and put glass in to showcase the seating arrangements. I bought cheap picture frames from Walmart and painted them gold to use as my table numbers.
Formal sit down meal with bar open for 2-3 hours. We also had a coffee bar and of course wedding cake and El Chorro’s famous sticky buns!
My ballpark budget was $20,000. I was close to this but ended up going over $5,000 because of my venue choice essentially.
I fell in love with a place that was not in my budget and then really didn’t want to settle for anything else. None had the same feel I was looking for.
Also, a lot of the little items for the tables really can add up. Centerpieces, paper items, etc.
We started out with more classical strings andor piano music as as the night went on we went more modern, but mostly kept it mid 60s to late 70s music.
Our first dance song was by VAST (Visual Audio Sensory Theater) called “Take Me With You”.
Advice for Other Couples
I also had a checklist by month that I went off of once I got engaged from Real Simple magazine.
So gorgeous. I love how Gloria explained that she and Josh decided to splurge on their venue, if you can afford it, it's often the best place to loosen your budget, getting the backdrop you want makes such a difference across the whole day. It's a pretty epic setting too, don't you think?
Thanks so much to Amy & Jordan Photography, and of course the super chic Gloria and Josh for sharing their stylish Arizona wedding with us.
Be inspired by more beautiful real weddings.