{Real Bride Series}: Meet Tessa

This issue of our Real Bride Series features Tessa and Michael who were married earlier this year at the Ocotillo Golf Club in Chandler, AZ.  Tessa offers great advice while reminiscing about her wedding day.

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Getting to Know Tessa & Michael

What is your name and your groom’s name?    Tessa Mallette & Michael Lara

What was your wedding date? Saturday, January 28, 2017

How did you and your groom meet?   We met online and it did not take long before we wanted to meet. Our first date was at a sushi restaurant and didn’t want the night to end. We had so much in common; both of us are the oldest child with younger brothers and we enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants, and experiencing local attractions and farmers markets.

We are dying to know, how did he propose?!   Michael and I were supposed to go on a double date with my best friend and her husband. We were running late and parking was challenging as he wanted us to park in a busy mall parking lot across the street. Little did I know, my family was waiting out of sight. We walked near the waterway up to the restaurant, Michael stopped by a fountain and got down on one knee. I was so surprised! What surprised me even more was that my family, my best friend and her husband came around the corner just after I said “yes”! Michael and I are both planners so it is hard for Michael to surprise me but he had emailed my friends and family the location spot including where they all should park and hide so I wouldn’t suspect a thing! So romantic and perfect!

The Details and the Dress

Babydoll Weddings Real Bride Series Tessa MakeupWhat were your wedding colors and why did you choose them?  My wedding colors were blush pink, gold, and mint green. I always knew I wanted a pink wedding but I wanted a more classic look, so I added the gold accents and added the mint green for an extra touch.

Where did you find your dress? Would you say that finding your dress was relatively easy or difficult?   I found my dress at David’s Bridal. It was a relatively easy process and I found it in one day. I was discouraged at first due. I wanted tulle but each one I tried on seemed so itchy.  Finally, I found the perfect dress with pearl buttons running down the back and lace details on the top.  It also had  a flattering neckline and the bottom flowed just like Belle’s dress from Beauty and the Beast.

Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of the venue(s)?   Our ceremony and reception were at Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona. We fell in love with all the water and the beautifully manicured green golf course which was perfect for our dream of an outdoor ceremony site.  The reception site was beautiful as well. The architecture of the building featured a wooden ceiling that made you feel as though you were on a boat. It was just the right size for our 80 guests.

From Flowers to Cake to Favors    Babydoll Weddings Real Bride Series Tessa Bouquet

What kind of flowers did you have in your bouquet and at the ceremony/reception?  I had a mixture of different color roses and additional flowers in my bouquet. For the ceremony, we had baby’s breath in metal buckets down the aisle.

What was the flavor of your wedding cake?  Our wedding cake was lemon cake with raspberry buttercream. We also had chocolate cupcakes with a pink buttercream.

Babydoll Weddings Real Bride Series Tessa Cake


Did you provide favors to your guests? If so, what were they?   We did s’more’s kits with mini Hershey’s chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers.

Babydoll Weddings Real Bride Series Tessa Favors

What details from your wedding that made it unique to you?   We purchased two wine barrels for either side of the ceremony aisle and they really created the rustic style that we wanted. Also, our DJ offed up-lighting options which enhanced the reception and added just the right touch.

Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go?   We honeymooned in Kauai, Hawaii which is an amazing island that is mostly undeveloped. We had great weather and enjoyed traveling around the island, kayaking to the secret falls, and flying on a private plane tour of the island.

A bit of Advice…

Other than marrying your husband, what was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day?   Just watching all of our family and friends enjoy dancing and getting to know each other. It was so fun to see everyone in the same place and all the love in the room.

What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides?
Do NOT stress yourself out on the details. Make sure you choose the best vendors who want to make your vision come true. Also consider adding some personal touches that you love. When the day comes it all seems overwhelming but once your vision has come to life,  you will be able to enjoy each moment. The ceremony and reception fly by so fast so be sure to take time to enjoy each and every aspect.

The Vendor Dream Team

Who were some of the other vendors that were a part of your dream team?  Lia Photography was such a great choice for us. The husband and wife team shot our engagement shoot and we were sure that they would shoot our wedding with the same professionalism and quality. We were so right! They know which photos will make anyone who sees them feel like they are there and a part of the whole experience. We have many options for printing and our photo book  is almost done. Can you imagine how excited we are to see it and relive the day?!

Rock Around the Clock Entertainment/Jeff Marcus was also such an amazing selection. Jeff was so engaging from day one to make sure that we were on the same page for music selection, up lighting, and interaction with guests, which was very important for us to make the reception run smoothly. Jeff thought of everything and sent over a questionnaire to make sure that he know as much as possible about our guests and music preferences. He also took photos and videos of the ceremony and reception and sent them to me the same night. Hands down, Jeff is absolutely the best DJ that I have ever experienced. We were so lucky to find him for our big day!

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{Real Bride Series} Meet Melissa!

Melissa and Jake recently got married on March 5th of this year! They had a intimate beautiful ceremony with one of the cutest little flower girls we have ever seen! The details set the mood for this spring wedding with the beautiful desert in the back ground. Read more below!



{Real Bride Series} Robyn

We are really loving our Real Bride Series, are you? This is our 3rd month to feature a Babydoll Weddings past bride, and we are enjoying getting to know all the details our brides put into their weddings. The color palettes our brides are picking, the decor details and special touches are all so different, unique and inspiring! If you are a bride to be, we hope these features help you with your own wedding planning ideas.
For the month of April we are featuring Robyn!  She is a recent bride, having only just married in March! We are so thankful she was up for sharing a bit about her beautiful wedding and so soon after.  See what she included into her wedding to make it memorable for herself and her groom.  

What were your wedding colors? 

Teal, pink,champagne

How many bridesmaids did you have?


Where did you find your dress? 

I found my dress at Arizona Bridal Warehouse

Was finding the dress a difficult process or relatively easy? 

They were so helpful and I was able to find my dress in less than 2 hours. I am a very picky bride due to my insecurities and they were so patient and kind to me. I highly recommend them. I only had a 5 month engagement so I had to find a dress off the shelf, I could not order. My dress was beautiful and I loved everything about it.

Where did your ceremony and reception take place?

Stonebridge Manor

Was there any meaning to the choice of venue? 

This was the first and only venue we went to look at. We fell in love with the beauty of the Manor. I had been to my Jr.Prom there but we were in the back venue. It never stuck out to me then but when we saw an open house we went for it and knew when we saw the front of the house venue it was where we were meant to be married.

What flowers did you choose for your bouquet and throughout the wedding? 

We worked with ZuZu Petals as our flower vendor. I went and told the owner who we met with that I highly dislike roses and that I wanted some “out of the ordinary flowers that went with our colors.” I gave her pretty much full freedom in my bouquet. She seemed more than knowledgeable. When the flowers were brought into me after 2 months of meeting with our vendor, my jaw dropped and I was in tears. I could not stop looking at my bouquet. It was gorgeous and unique, everything I wanted.

What was the flavor of your cake? 

The flavor of our cake was “confetti cake”. My husband and I love confetti cake and once again wanted to make it about us. The cake was gorgeous and delicious, even in my hair:) Thank you Piece of Cake Bakery.

What favors did you provide to your guests? What was the meaning behind them? 

Party Favors were the hardest thing to decide on. We wanted to save money with this and found it unnecessary to spend hundreds of dollars on a candy table or photo booth. We found inexpensive candy bags at DavidsBridal.com and filled them with teal M&M’s and pink gum balls from Sweeties Candyshop in Chandler, AZ. My sister, Matron of honor, made custom tags for the bags in our colors and with our initials and wedding date. We (my bridesmaids and I) stuffed them all and tied them with ribbon with our tags. We spent around $120 instead of $500+ for a candy table and my guests enjoyed them:)

Is there a detail that you had at your wedding that makes it unique?

I have mentioned above between the flowers, cake, cake topper and much more our wedding was unique in many ways. One thing my husband and I absolutely loved was he wore bright teal vans and I wore hot pink heels for our wedding shoes. We had so much fun with it and our guests loved it! 
Another detail, all my tables were named after one of my first grade students and on the back of the table card was a picture they drew of my husband and I on our wedding day!

What was your pick for “first dance” with your husband? Is there meaning to the song selection?
Our first song was “Two is better than one” by Boys like Girls featuring Taylor Swift. This has always been “our song”. My husband sings it to me every time it plays 🙂

Any favorite moments that stand out in the day?

Other than saying “I do” to my best friend, I would say some of my favorite moments were dancing and laughing with my closest friends and family. Our reception was a blast and I couldn’t have asked for better people there with us.

Did you take a honeymoon? If so where did you go? 

We headed off to Kauai, Hawaii the day after the wedding and spent 7 days there. We had so much fun together and saw some amazing and beautiful parts of the wonderful island.

What is one piece of advice you will leave for future brides? 

As you are planning, do not forget what the day is all about, you and your husband. Do not get caught up in little details. In the end, they mean nothing unless you and your husband are happy. Make planning fun!

We love the fact that Robyn’s first graders had a hand in helping with the wedding decor! So cute to have their drawings as table numbers! And, we couldn’t agree more about the flowers being gorgeous.  So perfect for spring, and just the right balance of color. That is an awesome tip, as well, to share with brides-be upfront with what you do not want.  Not speaking up will lead to unpleasant results.  And the results here, of everything really, are just gorgeous!

Thanks to our lovely bride, Robyn, for sharing with us all these special details. Congrats to you both on your very recent nuptials!

Photography: Rachel Curry Photography//Venue: Stonebridge Manor//Hair and Makeup: Babydoll Weddings//Cake Designer: Piece of Cake Bakery//Floal Designer: Zuzu Petals//Dress: Arizona Bridal Warehouse//DJ: Muscleman Media

If you are a past bridal client of Babydoll Weddings and would like to be featured in our Real Bride Series, send an email to info@babydollweddings.com or fill out our form our contact page!