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Brightly Colored Desert Wedding

Today we are heading to Arizona for Xandy & Manuel’s brightly colored wedding set in the sunny desert! We are absolutely loving these bold pops of color and the story that this happy couple shared with us as well …

How did you meet? 

In the fall of 2013, we met at the University of Arizona in Recombinant DNA Methods and Techniques, a class we both needed for our Microbiology degree.

Xandy remembers Manuel coming in with a longboard, a big smile, and tight red pants. She thought he was cute and later in the semester when their teacher told them to form groups, she immediately asked Manuel to be in hers. After exchanging emails about the project, she slyly sent him her number as that would be “easier to get ahold of her.” Little did Manuel know, but she had ulterior motives.

After the semester ended, Manuel and Xandy kept texting and luckily had more classes together. Manuel asked Xandy out on a date for Valentine’s Day but she was too scared and asked to go the next day instead. They went to Old Chicago (a real Tucson classic) and watched Les Mis for their first date. Any man who sits through a three hour musical on the first date is a keeper. And the rest is history 🙂

Unlike our grades for the class (we both got B’s), our love is A+ (sorry… I had to do it)

Tell us about your proposal!

There is one thing I am certain above all else when it comes to Xandy: she loves chocolate. So when I saw I could plan a romantic night with delicious food and even more delicious chocolate dessert at The Melting Pot it was the perfect setting. I called the manager to let them know ahead of time what I had planned, and they accommodated us with a private booth in the corner. After a bottle of wine, a heart-to-heart talk, and the most delicious chocolate you could imagine everything was lining up perfectly. Everything was almost ruined by the manager, though. He came to our booth and said, “I know this was a very special night, and I hope everything went very well for you two.” Keep in mind, I have not proposed by this time, and a comment like that could very well give the big surprise away. Luckily for me, Xandy thought we were celebrating her birthday during this dinner. A heart attack later I managed to reply between gritted teeth, “Yes, thank you. Everything has been great.”

After that I went to my car because I “forgot my phone.” Little did she know, though, a diamond ring next to the driver’s side was waiting for her. I then asked the manager to take a “picture of us” (but he was really filming). Instead of a camera flash, Xandy found me kneeling next to her with diamond in hand. To say she was surprised would be an understatement; to say that I am a lucky man for her having say yes is an even greater understatement.

Tell us about your wedding inspiration! 

We were both adamant that we wanted an outdoor wedding that highlighted the lush desert foliage. I was also adamant that I did not want to get married on a golf course but once we saw Troon North, we forgot about that. While technically a golf course, Troon North has beautiful desert landscaping that is the true draw of the place as well as an incredible view of the city and Pinnacle Peak. We had only one weekend we could get married (my husband is in grad school and has few breaks) so when we learned that the Saturday we wanted to get married on had been booked that morning, we quickly decided to get married on a Sunday instead. While not ideal, it was necessary for us to have the venue of our dreams.

Our vision was pretty simple. We wanted to highlight the desert, while staying true to our quirky natures. The groom loves bow-ties and the bride loves the color pink so those both were incorporated into the wedding. The color pink that we chose was a true labor of love as I was very particular about the color. I did not want the color to be “hot” pink or to have any shades of purple. I also wanted the bridesmaid dresses to be reasonably priced. No $300 dresses here! This was probably the most difficult part of planning the wedding: finding reasonably priced bridesmaid dresses in the exact color I wanted. But I think we achieved it! But again, although I love pink, I did not want the bright pink to completely overpower the desert tones so for other aspects of the wedding, we used more of the neutral tones.

Tell us about your attire choices. 

Again, I had a distinct idea of what I wanted for my wedding dress and was adamant that I would not choose a strapless dress. Once again, I was completely incorrect in my thinking and chose a gorgeous (and strapless!) coffee/ivory colored Mia Solano dress that had leafy lace details. While I always expected to wear white on my wedding day, I am so happy that I chose the color of dress I did as I think it went well with the desert colors. My husband got a suit from a local store Brothers Tailors. He wanted to wear a bow-tie so we found the right color online for him and the ring bearers. The groomsmen wore rental suits from Mr Formal.

What were the most important things to you while planning? 

The most important aspects for us were three-fold. The first was that we adequately captured the day. Therefore, a good photographer and videographer were absolute musts. Additionally, we wanted to highlight the beauty of Arizona in our choice of venue. Both of us are Arizona natives and we are absolutely in love with the beauty of the desert. Another important aspect for us was the DJ. We needed a DJ who could fuse together traditional American music with Mexican music and keep people dancing without resorting to kitschy wedding cliches (the bride despises the cha-cha slide and other songs like that). We wanted to dance the entire night away and we sure did!!
The wedding cake was not a high priority but we were so wonderfully surprised at how beautiful it came out and I wouldn’t want it to have been any different than it was.

Favorite parts of the day? 

For me, the bride, my absolute favorite parts of the day were the toasts and the dancing! The groom also seconds the dancing!! Not only did we get to dance all night long but we had so many of our guests join us the entire night. The dance floor was PACKED!!
But for both of us, it was incredible to have so many of the people we love and who have supported us for so long, in one room together. That was the most special part of the entire thing. That was the reason we had a big wedding.

Tell us about your wedding flowers. 

They were created by the incredible Garden Gate Flowers! The bouquets were lush and beautiful with pops of pink color that was just enough and not too overpowering. She also included succulents that beautifully filled out the bouquets – and made them a wee bit heavy 🙂 The succulents were also able to be replanted and are currently thriving with some of my bridesmaids and at my parents’ house! The groom and groomsmen boutonnieres were also succulents.

Tell us about your wedding cake. 

We had a simple small cake with succulent and cactus decorations on the top for the bride and groom to cut and keep. We had insanely delicious sheet cakes for our guests.

What were some special details at your wedding that you loved? 

One of my beautiful bridesmaids hand-painted all of our table numbers with desert plants and the numbers. They are so beautiful and I will cherish them forever. My grandfather gave my cousins and I an old coin to be our “something old.” I am the fourth cousin to carry it down the aisle and it is a tradition we all cherish, especially now that our grandfather has passed away.

Any advice for couples planning their weddings? 

Remember why you are doing this when you get bogged down by the tiny details and people competing for your attention. It sounds silly to have to say but it’s about you and your soon-to-be spouse so don’t forget that 🙂
Also, the small things are noticed by no-one (really!!) but the big picture is what people will walk away remembering. So focus on the overall feel and vibe you want to get from your wedding and the little things will fall into place. It will all come together, I promise! Just don’t sweat the small stuff!!!

Photography: Ball Photo Co | Reception Venue: Troon North Golf Club | Floral: Garden Gate Flowers | Stationery: Alexa Nelson Prints | Videography: Daniel Wagner Film | Wedding Cake: Sugarlips Cakery | Hair: Bombshell 7 Beauty | Makeup: Bombshell 7 Beauty | DJ: Rock Around the Clock Entertainment, Inc. | Wedding Dress: Mia Solano | Groom’s Attire: Mr. Formal | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: Morilee by Madeline Gardner | Bridal Salon: Luv Bridal | Submitted via: Matchology


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