The bride and groom at this contemporary, yet vintage vibe Phoenix wedding were together about 5 ½ years before they got engaged. After getting engaged in early April, and with New Year’s Eve falling on a Saturday that year, it seemed like a perfect distance away. As a project manager at a small branding and design company, wedding planning came naturally to the bride. Researching, scheduling, organizing vendor lists, guest and gift tracking: she enjoyed every moment! Friends and family travelled from 13 different states to share this special day with the couple at The Wright House in Phoenix, Arizona.
Keep scrolling to see photography by Trin Jenson Photography, featuring flowers by Flowers by Ellen, a cake by Sue Jacobs Cakes, and the prettiest decor from Dang! Fine Rentals. This is one wedding where you won't want to miss clicking here to check out every photo in the full gallery!
With so many guests traveling, the couple hosted two events before the wedding. Thursday evening cocktails were held at The Ostrich, a speakeasy in Chandler, and Friday welcome drinks took place after the rehearsal dinner, held on the terrace of the San Marcos historic hotel in Chandler. One thing the couple regrets? Not having any professional photography of the evening. However, there is one detail they definitely won't ever forget! When they began planning, one of the groom's only requests was to have steel drums at the cocktail hour. The bride ended up surprising him with secretly booking Salsa Steel Drum Band to play during the welcome drinks event. The band was an absolute hit and it was the sweetest surprise!
Having a venue where ceremony, cocktail hour and reception were all in one location was very important with so many guests traveling. Also, The Wright House had a great list of preferred vendors and an in-house day-of coordinator, which eased the bride's mind tremendously and helped make planning the destination wedding that much easier. The Wright House was a true hidden gem: A lush garden in the middle of a city, just minutes from the desert.
Once the couple decided they were having a New Year’s Eve wedding, the bride no longer could only think “wedding” - she was now also planning a New Year’s Eve party! The bride immediately went to icy blues, iridescent pinks, tinsel, and disco balls. Once they decided on The Wright House in Arizona, however, she now had the challenge of balancing a desert landscape in the middle of a lush garden, and trying not to make the New Year’s Eve décor or accessories tacky. At The Wright House, the bride fell in love with the classic black and white checkered floor, gold chairs, and chandeliers inside the ballroom. The lush garden was a beautiful space with plenty of room for mingling and transitioning from each space throughout the evening so that the event blended together perfectly!
Many brides buy the first dress they try on, but this bride bought the last! Arc Bridal owner Megan Howe (also one of the bride's friends!) has changed the game of wedding dress shopping in Omaha, as she knows all her designers and their dresses are made in the US, Canada, or Israel that brides used to have to drive 3+ hours to try on. One challenge this bride had with a quick engagement was that many dresses were not accessible due to timing of custom orders. At the end of her session at Arc, the bride's mom pulled Jax by Tara LaTour off of the sample rack, and the rest was history! The groom wore an ivory dinner jacket, a nod to both the bride and groom's dads who wore full white tuxedos in their ‘80’s weddings. He also wore his grandpa’s gold watch, while the bride wore her great grandma’s rhinestone bracelet and a wedding band that had three diamonds from her mom’s original wedding band placed into it.
Because it was New Year's Eve, the couple encouraged their guests to dress for the occasion with “festive formal” attire. They emphasized to bring out the fun suit jackets and tuxedos, as well as the sequins, fringe, and sparkle dresses. Their guests nailed it! The bride also had a ton of fun incorporating small details throughout the entire wedding design. From the songs she had the harpist play, to personalized drink toppers and napkins, to late night food with the groom’s favorite food (Crab Rangoon and noodles served in oyster pale takeout boxes), the bride loved focusing in on small items that brought them joy, even if no one else noticed!
When she started thinking about floral design, the bride knew the garden at The Wright House had pink flowers throughout their landscaping (Bougainvillea), and that bright pink florals would pop against all the black, white, and gold. With everything in the garden green, however, she wanted minimal greenery within her own flowers. The bride asked Ellen of Flowers by Ellen for mostly different types of roses and ranunculus, and to add in some blue delphiniums to add length to the bouquets, centerpieces, and floor displays. This color also added a subtle wintery feel. Because the bride loved the “blooming” or “growing” flower trend, she emphasized that no bouquet or centerpiece needed to be uniform. At one point during the planning process, she saw a photo of a smooth white cake with flowers surrounding it and fell in love, so the bride asked Ellen to decorate the cake table instead of having the cake itself decorated! With the wedding being in a garden, it felt perfect to tie in that concept inside the ballroom, also.
The Wright House is a beautiful space that does not need much extra décor, but with the wedding being on New Year’s Eve, the couple wanted some extra fun items. Dang! Fine Rentals provided a ton of disco balls and designed a custom record seating chart, tinsel photobooth backdrop, and tinsel bar. The bride and groom-to-be also rented a great deco arch wall and disco ball shepherd hooks that we used as the DJ backdrop. This allowed more of a “party” atmosphere and gave the DJ, Zack from Verum Lux Entertainment, the setup he deserved!
1. "Take moments throughout the day to look around, smell your bouquet, taste the champagne, hear the laughter. Identifying these moments lets you soak in the feeling of a day that is so rushed. It also allows you to recall those memories later on!"
2. "Decide what traditional wedding elements you want to keep or change before you start the planning process. I never understood why wedding days were so often robotic until I started planning my own. Vendors have calculated formulas to make the day run smoothly, and as much as I wanted to change things to be “different,” it made sense to keep the organization (mostly) as is. Our DJ from Verum Lux Entertainment, however, was awesome at listening to us express that we did not want traditional wedding dance songs, so he turned it into a true New Year’s Eve party, and the dance floor was full the entire night!"
3. "The photographer is a crucial component of your day! Having a photographer you can be honest with and trust is one of the most important parts of planning. They formulate your day’s schedule and are one of the biggest pieces to the overall vibe. With both engagement photos and wedding photos, Trin knew I wanted a more editorial feel, and we collaborated on fun ideas and locations to shoot. And I even called her more than once asking for advice on the structure of our day. She was so calm and guided me to form my own decisions based off her expertise and experience."
4. "Hire a content videographer! They collect raw iPhone content throughout the day and send you everything unedited to use as you please. It was perfect to look back and re-experience moments throughout the day without having a perfectly edited video."
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