Is there anything better then a sunset in the Southwest? Ashley and Carson don’t. That’s why they planned for their Tucson, AZ wedding to be held just as the sun sank below the horizon and painted the desert in brilliant oranges and golds.
Talk about a breath-taking backdrop! This Desert wedding at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain was captured beautifully by Elyse Hall Photography. See so much more of this sunset wedding in the full gallery here. Plus, be sure to keep reading to hear this couples adorable love story, as well as get some great wedding dress advice from Ashley.
My best advice for brides and couples would be to select a vision and be okay if things doesn’t turn out exactly as planned. Basically, don’t get stuck on the really small details but instead, have a big picture vision for your day. Inevitably, some things will not go as planned but if you have a vision, you can get passed it and most people won’t even notice. And remember, your wedding symbolizes a lifelong commitment you are making in front of God, your family, and your friends.
I wish I would have known how much the alterations would have cost upfront. It wouldn’t have changed my selection or what I had altered but would have been nice to account for in our budget.
I also wish I would have had the bustle placed higher on the dress — since my top layer was lace and very delicate, it was stepped on and tore easily during the reception. I probably spent a good hour of the night having it re-pinned.
We wanted our wedding to show everyone how beautiful Tucson is and how amazing our sunsets are. From the ceremony to the reception, our wedding perfectly reflected us. It was a mix of elegant and rustic without being overly formal. Doves were released as the ceremony began and the setting sun lit up the mountains with beautiful colors. Succulents were incorporated into all of the floral arrangements and bouquets.
We were married by one of Carson’s closest friends from Pepperdine University, who is now a minister, on the Sunset Lawn looking back toward the Tortolita Mountains. A mariachi band played as we came down the aisle as husband and wife.
Carson and I met in Tucson, Az., at a birthday party when we were in middle school. We didn’t go to school together but we quickly became friends, talking on the phone all the time. Carson liked me from the day he saw me at Spring Fling (when we were in 7th grade) but we didn’t start dating until our senior year of high school. After graduation, we both went to different colleges. Fast forward 13 or so years, a few rough spots, many memories and lots of laughs – we were engaged!
Cocktail hour took place just south on another lawn, allowing our guests to see the Tucson lights sparkle in the distance. The reception was held on the Cayton’s patio above the two lawns so our guests could still see the city and the moon as it rose throughout the night. We had a big party with all of our friends and family and danced the night away!
We filled our day with personal touches that hold special memories or meaning to us. Our coffee table was brought out on the dance floor toward the end of the night as an ode to many dance parties we had after college at Carson’s house. Our party favors and escort cards were small terra cotta potted succulents so all of our guests could take a piece Tucson home with them.
You simply must watch the entire video from Black Sheep Filmworks. A breathtaking and memorable wedding film that we could watch over and over.
Photography: Elyse Hall Photography
Event designer: Outstanding Occasions
Cinematography: Black Sheep Filmworks
Venue: Dove Mountain Ritz Carlton
Stationery: Minted & SweetNCCollective
Flowers: Posh Petals
Makeup: Georgina de la Rosa
Dress shop: Watters
Bridesmaid dresses: Dessy
Shoe designer: Jimmie Choo from Nordstrom
Veil or hair accessories: BAN.DO
Band: Sapphire Sky
Bike Cake topper: HeatherBoydWire
Bridal hanger: hoamaihanger
Toasting glasses: Anthropologie
Wedding Signs: Sweet Carolina Collective