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.
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
What 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
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.
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.
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!