{Real Bride Series} Kelly

What were your wedding colors?

Mostly white with touches of grey and navy. I wanted something as timeless as possible so I dont look back in 30 years and think “What was I thinking?”

How many bridesmaids did you have?

8 I have a few great friends from every stage in life!

Where did you find your dress? Was finding the dress a difficult process or relatively easy?

Schaffers is where I ended up buying from, but I had 1 favorite there and 1 favorite at Uptown Bridal. I ended up going with the Schaffers dress because I felt it matched a bit closer with my personality, and love for large amounts of tulle. It was an easy process but EXHAUSTING. Even though you’re standing there or looking at gowns, I think it’s mentally draining and wears you out. On my main day of dress shopping we went to 3 places. I cried the moment I opened the drape to show my mom and MIL, but waited to buy until my second day so I knew for sure.

Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any meaning to the choice of venue(s)?

Stonebridge Manor was the location for both. As an Arizona native, I LOVE that it looks NOTHING like the rest of Arizona. Huge trees, green grass, brick mansion, etc. I loved having the pool to serve cocktails around, the gazebo was the perfect location for the ceremony, and the tent had great acoustics for music and merriment

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

All white. Again with the classic feel. I don’t like flowers that seem too rigid (if that’s a thing), so I went with more fluffy flowers. Babys breath, hydrangea, loose garden roses, etc.

What was the flavor of your cake?

We had 2 cakes – the main cake was all white with a monogram on it, and tiers to look like it was covered in flower petals (which made it incredibly difficult to cut through since it was so thick! That cake had alternating layers of chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache and vanilla cake with a raspberry compote. We called our second cake a “bar cake” because grooms cake didn’t seem fitting. It was a University of Arizona cake, where we met. That one was the chocolate with the ganache filling.

Did you provide favors to your guests? If so, what were they, and what was the meaning behind them?

We did not, instead we held a second event for our guests. We’re more about making memories than little chotchkies. So our second night we rented out a double decker london bus that made trips back and forth from our hotel to Toby Keith’s I love This Bar. There we had a room rented and had drinks and food for our guests. Literally, the perfect night to follow up our wedding.

Is there a detail that you had at your wedding that makes it unique?(alternative guest book, charitable donations, handmade décor, etc):

The big thing we wanted for the wedding was a theme around “whimsical surprises”- the idea was that no one person would actually know how the whole night was going to go, because we all had something up our sleeves. I had my husbands favorite burrito place from San Diego brought in for his breakfast the morning of the wedding. A bit later he was given a collection of boudoir shots, and at the wedding his gift. He had a bottle of champagne, a photo of us, a bracelet, my wedding gift, and a photo of us waiting in my bride suite. My bridesmaids pulled together the MOST AWESOME toasting video, so they all had the opportunity to say something without taking too long, as well as a photo montage. We wrote our own vows, the bar cake was a surprise for my husband, and much more. Other cute touches- on my bouquet we had the pins of all my sorority sisters and I wore my husbands pin over my heart on the inside of my dress. My grandfather was the officiant, our “guest book” was to sign jenga blocks, and it was incredibly special to me to have my mom walk me down the isle. Before the wedding I gave her an engraved frame that said “out of all the walks we’ve taken, this one is my favorite” which is for the photo of us walking down together. Our MOH and best man are dating (they met at our engagement party), so they did their speech together, and both sets of parents did an incredible speeches as well.

What was your pick for “first dance” with your husband? Is there meaning to the song selection? 

Come Away With Me by Norah Jones. The song itself has just been “our song” since we started dating, but the real special portion was that my oldest friend Cammie sung it. It was perfect.

Any favorite moments that stand out in the day? 

Dancing with my grandfather. He and I were dancing together on the semi-crowded floor and once everyone saw that they left and everyone watched the 2 of us dancing- incredible. Another memory was my MOH mom and I standing together before we walked down the isle- having the most important ladies by my side right then was incredible. I’m also thankful for the Claddah bell. It’s an irish tradition that a bell is rang as the couple share their first kiss as husband and wife. When they argue in the future the bell is to be used as a truce flag- when it’s rang you’re to think about the first moment you heard it and the promises you made.

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

Fiji 🙂 We stayed on a small private island called Matangi which is home to the Horseshoe Bay. It was absolutely stunning!

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

I had a few scary crying moments prepping for the wedding – picking colors was ironically the hardest part, and it sucked when our original hotel “lost” our block of rooms. But other than that it was literally perfect. And I think it was so perfect because I didn’t sweat the small stuff. As the wedding day got closer I started divvying out tasks to anyone I knew (which my family and bridesmaids were prepared for), and they were happy to help in any way possible. 

Please list any vendors you wish to mention.
You guys for sure, LunaBear Studios Videography – LOVED these guys and would have used them for photography had we not needed to go with a location venue photographer- which ended up working out because I also loved Troy with Troy Brinkerhoff Photography. Also Schaffers, and Stonebridge Manor!