Stefanie and Michael’s vintage garden wedding at Arizona Historical Society was just one jaw-dropping detail after another. From the florals, to her dress and makeup, to the decor… it was like a wonderland of awesomeness around every corner!
The day was flawlessly executed by Simply Beautiful Wedding and Event Planning and every part of the day flowed together seamlessly into one stunning affair. Don't skimp on any of the darling details of this warm and tender Arizona wedding! View the full gallery here, brilliantly captured by Rachel Solomon Photography. Keep scrolling to read one of the sweetest proposals in existence!
Stefanie describes when she first knew Michael was the one: “It felt like summer, we were laying in bed in the middle of the night listening to this funky indie music and I think it was raining outside and we just looked into each others eyes at the same time and without saying anything we kinda just knew.” Stefanie & Michael had a proposal you only see in the movies… but I can’t talk about that without first talking about how they first met. They had mutual friends, and were both at a little get together at Michael’s house, when as Michael describes, “I thought she had a really good sense of humor, she was really funny and was wearing a hat. I remembered one of my favorite movies, Wedding Crashers, when Owen Wilson says, ‘Don’t go for girls with hats, girls with hats are prim and proper.’" People who meet and think of movie quotes get me every time!!!
And now for their movie-perfect proposal, cue music…We took a month long backpacking vacation to Europe in the summer of 2012. After hitting up New York and London we traveled to Rome and were in a romantic daze. One of my favorite, FAVORITE movies is “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn. After setting foot in Rome we felt just like the mid-century duo and even got the vacation courage to rent a Vespa and tour the city on motorbike.
Seeing all of Rome or “Roma” became as easy as pointing to a place on the map, holding on tight and whipping around the cobblestoned city. After a delicious lunch of the best pizza ever (seriously WHY is their pizza so good?!) we realized we were a short stroll away from The Spanish Steps. For once we parked the bike in a non-sketchy alley and navigated with all the other tourists to see what the dealio with these steps were. Once we got there, along with the other hundreds of tourists there were naturally a bunch of street hustlers, one group in particular was handing out/selling roses. (Side note: I’ve always told Michael to NEVER buy me roses unless he was going to propose… yeah, yeah, yeah they’re gorgeous but super overpriced right?)
Maybe it was the romantic daze of Rome, maybe it was the glass of wine with lunch, but when the street hustler handed me 3 red roses I took them as if he was giving me a gift from the city itself. Of course he wasn’t and he then tried to get as much money as he could from us, but enough of that story. After dealing with him, Michael says, “You told me to only buy you roses unless I was proposing!” And then proceeded to act like he was going to grab the camera from our day bag and it was a double take as he got down on his knee and asked, “Stefanie Kristina Gastelum will you marry me?” Suuuuper romantic and love-gushy. I immediately started crying AND asking if he was serious and right there where “Italy meets Spain” we became a little tourist attraction with hundreds surrounding us and taking photos. So that’s that. Our own little version of “Roman Holiday,” but with a better ending, all thanks to a street hustler.” Seriously guys, does it get better than that?!
Although everything went perfectly for our wedding, I do wish we secured a more stylish means of transportation. The initial idea was to rent Vespas or a vintage Porsche to travel from the church to the venue, but time ran out and it kinda fell through. I'm sure I owe our photographer some quarters for filling up a parking meter during our first looks, but it was all part of the fun for sure. Luckily Uber came through and we were able to caravan the wedding party that way which was super quick and easy.
Being a DIY bride and planning is the best-slash-worst time ever. You will cry, (as much I didn't want to be "that kinda bride" I totally cried, twice). There will 100 percent be a wildcard thrown at you the week of the wedding. Someone will ignorantly use the term "Bride-zilla" (yeesh can that term just go away?). And yes, it seriously flies by in a whirlwind. I definitely had the morning jitters which was really unexpected. Luckily I had my MOH and hairstylist cure them with giggles, fruit and some great tunes (Rilo Kiley karaoke anyone?). Never forget that it's your day and try your best to drown out the peanut gallery. Stick to your guns and take someone to fist-city (not really, well . . . maybe) because it's your day and you should take time to enjoy this amazing event you've planned.
Total budget: $20,000
130 guests Tempe, Arizona Venues (Church and Museum) - $3,100
Photographer, 9 hours - $3,000
Dress - $1,200
Accessories - $300
Shoes - $50
Hair & Makeup - $180
Groom Outfit - $200
Flowers - $1500
Catering & Staff - $7000
DJ - $750
Accordion Player - $200
Invites, DIY - Free, Friend Calligraphy, DIY Day of Coordinating - $500
Centerpieces - $250
Tea Cups - $400
Other Decoration/Details - $200
Cake - Free, gifted Booze + Mixology - Free, friend Videographer - Free, friend