Marrying Mid-Century Modern

Location // Mountain Shadows Resort, Paradise Valley, AZ, United States

Mountain Shadows Resort​, ​originally​​ built in 1959​,​ ​has​ returned ​as a fresh face ​in Paradise Valley, Arizona ​​after undergoing a ​complete rebuild. Perfectly nestled below Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain, the resort earned its namesake from the shadows cast by the iconic silhouettes each afternoon. The upscale locale was an instant success, catering to the likes of international travelers, visiting families​,​ and Hollywood stars.

Mountain Shadows was reintroduced in 2017 and stands at the heart of Paradise Valley once more. Traces of the past can be found throughout the resort, from the name of the restaurant to iconic breeze block by the pool. Whether they follow in the footsteps of past globetrotters or happen to live down the street, every guest experiences the same warm hospitality, modern elegance​,​ and beautiful scenery that made Mountain Shadows a beloved destination for decades.

Our team of creatives ​for this styled shoot wanted to connect ​the gorgeous environment of the resort​ to the mid-century vibe that the hotel has​ embraced​. ​Showing affordable options with a gender neutral feel ​and design that could be embraced​ ​by any couple was the focus of this shoot. We topped ​it off by photographing a same-sex couple to show that the resort welcomes and celebrates ​all weddings.​

Todd and Eddie​, our handsome grooms,​ have been married for several years but never had a wedding​. On the day they were married, Todd took Eddie and a few key family members on a trip down memory lane that led them through Todd’s hometown. The tour ended at the courthouse much to everyone’s surprise, including Eddie’s, where they got married minutes before closing time. ​Being photographed in their finest, toasting their new life as husbands, and feeding​ each other wedding cake was not in the cards on their wedding day, but today we were able to ​celebrate that moment for them​,​ even if it was just for fun.

Vendor Partners

Event Planning + Design Concept // Life Design Events // MRSter Approved

Venue // Mountain Shadows

Furniture Rentals // Prim Unique Rentals

Rentals // Classic Party Rentals // MRSter Approved

Photography // Keith and Melissa Photographers // MRSter Approved

Paper Details // Life Design Events // MRSter Approved

Floral Design // Butterfly Petals // MRSter Approved

Cake // Cakes By Whisk

Cinematography // Something New Media

Song Options for Mother Son or Father Daughter Dance

Watching a father dance with his daughter and a mother dance with her son usually makes everyone feel all the feels. Whether it is a funny choreographed dance that you spent hours practicing or a sweet few moments twirling around the floor, this dance is a beautiful way to honor your parents.

Photo by :: Marcos Valdes

The best part? There are no rules to this dance!! Short, long, silly, heartwarming, one parent, both parents, or a special person that is not a parent at all…you decide how and who you want to honor with a memorable dance! The most important part is that you chose a song that has meaning for you and this special person.

If you are stuck on what song to choose, that’s ok! Here are a few to get you started. You might just find that one of them is just what you were looking for.

FATHER DAUGHTER DANCE SONGS

Father and Daughter – Paul Simon

Walking on Sunshine –

Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder

Blessed – Elton John

MOTHER SON DANCE SONGS

Time of My Life – Dirty Dancing

Loves Me Like a Rock – Paul Simon

93 Million Miles – Jason Mraz

Letter to My Mother – Edwin McCain

Child of Mine – Carole King

Here are a few more I thought would be pretty awesome to see parents jam out to with their newly wed!

Love on Top – Beyonce

Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson + Justin Timberlake

Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake

With much love,

MRSter Cicely

:: Alternatives to Wedding Cake :: Wedding Trends

:: Alternatives To Wedding Cake ::

Written by wifey to Erika and Advisory Board member :: Shannon

Wedding Cake Alternatives Same Sex Gay Wedding

Our wedding cake was so delicious we almost ran out! I do wish we had been a little more creative like one of my favorite chef’s who recently got hitched and instead of a traditional wedding cake, she opted for a dessert buffet with layer cakes, pies and other sweet treats.

Wedding Cake Alternatives Same Sex Gay Wedding

Another unique idea for those who live free of a sweet tooth – Tiers of fancy cheese that mimic a wedding cake adorned with fruits, nuts, dried fruits, edible flowers and herbs to enhance each cheese.

Lastly, if you want to stay cheesey but still offer something sweet, my favorite option is a Cheese cake tier.

Try topping it with fresh fruit, chocolates or nuts. The flavors are limitless.

What unique wedding cakes have you experienced?

:: How Two Gay Men Announce They Are Having a Baby ::

:: How Two Gay Men Announce They Are Having a Baby :: 

MRSter Approved wedding planners Life Design Event Planning {MRSter Approved} had the opportunity to help pull the details together for Matt and Rich’s wedding at the Desert Botanical Gardens {MRSter Approved} in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a day that was like most weddings…full of love LOTS of love and the wedding planners had tears streaming down their faces at the end because how amazing these families were/are.

Feel free to watch their wedding video (produced by Victor Vongspoth) so you can get a little taste of how sweet it was. If you don’t end up watching the charming wedding film take a look at a few of these pictures taken by Bumble and Bloom.

Gay Wedding Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden Matt and Rich with Wedding Party and BridesmaidsGay Wedding Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden Matt and Rich Gay Wedding Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden Matt and RichGay Wedding Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden Matt and Rich First Dance

So when we Matt reached out to us to let us know that they had an announcement the first thing we asked (after screaming at the top of our lungs) was can we share it with other couples unsure of how to announce that they are having a baby on MRSter because we thought it was done so well and with so much personality.

Matt and Rich Gay Pregnancy Announcement MRSterI mean….seriously…how cute is that?!

Then Matt also shared on he and Rich’s blog about the news was announced at a dance studio to a bunch of tween girls. You have to check out the girl in the yellow top…she needed to process things a bit. (Matt is a professional dancer)

We encourage you to follow their blog and their journey to parenthood here.

Are you a involved in a relationship where you might have some challenges conceiving and/having a baby? We have heard lots of stories from you all about the struggles of parenthood and taking the steps to be a parent. Whether it is adoption, foster care, carrying or surrogacy we all have a story to tell and we are listening. Share with us how you have announced to the world that you are expecting / adopting / becoming parents!

Wedding Planning Apps

Organization and staying sane is a priority for every newly engaged couple, and now you can put your smartphone to work for you with these awesome and time-saving wedding planning apps! Here is just a few of my favorites…check them out!

1. Appy Couple :: Free!

It’s almost like a wedding planner in your pocket. Easy to use app creates a wedding website that your guests can interact with easily. Upload info about the big day and help loved ones stay connected! Best of all? It’s super stylish!

2. Brides Wedding Genius :: Free!

An amazing resource for dresses and jewelry! Also, make sure to check out the travel section!

3. Fun Wedding :: $1.99

This app has extensive music lists to keep the party rockin’! Browse by decade or look by father/daughter dance, bouquet toss, etc.

4. Guest List Organizer :: $4.99

The easy import from facebook or your contacts make this app super easy and convenient.

5. Pinterest :: Free!

We know, we know. You are probably already as addicted to this one as we are! But it warrants a shout out here! If you haven’t checked it out yet…go. IMMEDIATELY!

6. Tie Right :: $0.99

If only I had a nickel for every time someone in a wedding party did not know how to tie their tie. Eliminate stress by adding this handy app to your groomsman gifts. It provides step by step tutorials on taming the elusive Windsor.

7. Wedding Countdown :: Free!

Anyone can tell you approximately when your wedding is going to take place. Having this app insures that you know what time you are walking down the aisle to the second!

8. Wedding Gawker :: Free!

Like pinterest, except all weddings! Most images are submitted by photographers so the are great quality and provide serious inspiration!

9. Wedding Scan :: $2.99

Create a wedding registry from multiple stores! In the store and spot an item you want to register for? This app lets you scan it right then and there and creates and cohesive registry for you online!

10. Wedding Snap :: Free!

Let your guests know to download the weddingsnap.com app and the pictures they take at your wedding with the app will download to your wedding album. Everyone gets to be your photographer and you don’t have to pick up any disposable cameras!

 

MRSter and Kimpton Hotels of AZ Celebrate Marriage Equality with a Free Gay Wedding Giveaway

APPLY TODAY!!!

MRSter is excited for the newly changed law that allows same-sex couples to get married in Arizona.

To celebrate, MRSter is producing a same-sex wedding giveaway in which one Arizona couple will be awarded a dream wedding.

To celebrate their long time support of the LGBTQ community, Kimpton Hotels of Arizona has joined MRSter and will be sponsoring the free wedding giveaway.

In order to enter, couples can submit their love story in the form of a short essay, video, or collection of pictures to catering@hotelpalomar-phoenix.com. Finalists will be selected by the events team at Hotel Palomar Phoenix and a winning couple will be announced in January.

“We are very excited about the new marriage equality ruling in Arizona,” said Jim Hollister, Director of Operations for Kimpton Hotels of Arizona & General Manager of the Hotel Palomar Phoenix. “What better way to celebrate than to give away an amazing experience to an Arizona couple who thought they might never see the day that they could get married in their home state?”

“We’re celebrating love in a big way,” said Cicely Rocha-Miller, Founder and Co-Owner of MRSter. “We are incredibly excited that Kimpton is supporting our effort to create awesome memories for all Arizona couples. We have always had a great relationship with Kimpton, largely because of their unwavering support for the LGBTQ community, and it just makes sense that we have joined forces and will be working together with them on this fantastic wedding giveaway event.”

The winning couple will receive a rehearsal dinner the night before their wedding at Firesky Resort and Spa. The ceremony and wedding reception will take place at the beautiful Hotel Palomar Phoenix at Cityscape. The couple will then be sent to enjoy a mini moon at Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona. For more information, email info@mrster.com

Rules and guidelines can be read here.

Oscar & Gary :: Ocean and City Views in Coronado // Real LGBT Wedding

:: Ocean and City Views in Coronado ::

Submitted by :: Grooms, Mr. Oscar De las salas and Mr. Gary Jackson

MRSter: How did you meet?
O + G: We were brought together from diverse backgrounds, perspectives and continents, and found love and partnership that neither of us expected. Our different styles, energy and talents have found a balance in life and love that has grown more intense and more inspiring each day. We were friends long before the time that fate took a surprising course, and the relationship that we know today, started quietly with a Friday afternoon lunch, which was in reality a thinly veiled interview/date to survey the possible future together for us. Apparently passing the tests, the connection grew stronger and we became a couple in 2007, to the surprise of many friends. In 2008, little Hugo (our pug) found this family merely a week prior to us moving in together and making a home in a house which we later discovered we had both placed separate offers as single men.

MRSter:  Why did you choose to do a destination wedding?
O + G:  In the non-romantic sense, as a same-sex couple, we had to travel to a state in which then our marriage would be legally recognized. But with that reality, we also valued the importance of a location which reflects both of our backgrounds and origins as children. Gary was born in a small port town in Washington state, north of Seattle, while Oscar was born in the port city of Barranquilla, Colombia in South America. So holding the most important ceremony of our lives near the ocean and bay, and next to a marina, offered us a connection to our roots, as well as a beautiful backdrop. And given the close vicinity and connection that Arizonan’s have to San Diego, the quaint nature of Coronado became the perfect choice for our wedding and for the ease of our guests to travel.

MRSter:  How did your family and friends respond to the decision?
O + G:  We both believe strongly that our friends are our family, and we are very lucky to have a network of intimate friends who value and believe in our relationship – so anywhere we would hold the wedding, we knew that our close friends would literally drop everything and simply ask – where and when and we will be there. We chose to have a small, intimate ceremony, so we knew that the travel and commitment that comes with that would not be an issue. In fact, all of our guests found our choice to be the perfect fit and they all took an extended weekend to enjoy the beauty and vibe of San Diego.

MRSter:  How many people attended the wedding?
O + G:  We chose to keep it small and limit the number of guests to about 28 people, not including us. This made for a wonderful mix of friends, intimate cocktail parties and a strong connection between every attendee.

MRSter:  How/why did you choose the location/destination?
O + G:  As we noted above, we have an affinity for the coast and a port city. Sitting along a marina brings both of us a sense of calm and well-being, and being from Arizona, San Diego is a perfect contrast to the desert locations and heat of the Sonoran landscape. As part of our decision, two close friends (Mark and Angela Karp, who also own an events company called Angelic Grove) opened their home on the Glorietta Bay Marina to us for a location scouting trip, which afforded us time to spend in Coronado and experience the beauty of the island.  The city of Coronado recreation department was extremely helpful and supportive in helping us find the right ceremony location, and when we walked into Centennial Park in Coronado, which overlooks the San Diego Bay and city skyline, we knew we had found our location.

MRSter:  Was planning a destination wedding easy?
O + G:  No, No, No. Given our circle of friends and business in Phoenix, we know many event planners, florists, and entertainment companies in Arizona, but San Diego was an unknown to us. Luckily we have many referrals to contact, but we still had to take a leap of faith with several providers. And the San Diego market is a very laid back coastal community, so there is no sense of urgency in the industry. It made it challenging to get timely responses and confirmations in coordination in the market.

MRSter:  Can you describe the ceremony?
O + G:  We wanted to have a close, personal ceremony what reflected our sense of style, and the importance of marriage equality for us and our friends. With Oscar’s background in fashion, he also had a clear vision of the overall feeling he wanted in the color scheme. Our wedding was based in the feeling of the beach, bay, marina and natural pieces of nature, so the overall look of the ceremony was one of classic and fresh design.  The guests sat overlooking the bay on crystal ghost chairs, with sun parasols and sandalwood hand fans to cool in the sun. Since we are a couple from diverse background and countries, we also wanted to incorporate those origins in the event, and also maintain an open format and wrote the entire ceremony ourselves.  The ceremony was backed by acoustic classical Spanish guitar music, by artist David De Alva. Our officiate was our close friend and artist, Mayme Kratz, who we have known for 20 years, and knows each of us very well, bringing a personal emotion to the proceedings. Without family at the ceremony, and avoiding traditions set for opposite sex couples, we also wanted to include our closest friends to present the two grooms for marriage. Our friends Jeff Brodin and Irma Diehl give their approval of the union as representatives of all of the friends of Oscar and Gary.  To note the cultural mixing, we asked another couple of Anglo and Latin backgrounds, Bill and Irma Diehl to read a verse in both Spanish and English, representing the diversity of culture in this marriage. At the conclusion of the ceremony, we also loved the tradition in the Jewish culture of breaking the glass, but we wanted to take it to a different level. We wrote on cards several myths and negatives that we wanted to crush and ‘break’ – so our friends, Erika and Russ Dickey read aloud each item, such as bigotry, hatred, false traditions, ignorance, and put them into a bag with the glass – which we then broke by foot.  The overall impact of the ceremony was one of embrace, love and hope.

MRSter:  Would you mind describing the reception?
O + G:  We made our way in a classic 1955 Bel Air convertible to the Bluewater Boathouse on Glorietta Bay Marina, in which we had the entire balcony overlooking the marina. It was a perfect setting for cocktails, with a four course seated dinner in candlelight. We chose the texture and simplicity of white linens, and white hydrangeas in clear cylinders to maintain the classic look, with a contemporary tone. The reception was underscored with big band music from the 1940s completing the mood of retro, and complementing the history of Coronado and the boathouse we were in, which was built in 1887. One of our close friends provided a special dessert table with Brazilian and Lebanese chocolates and sweets, adding both a sweet and stunning  addition to the reception,

MRSter:  Did you do any pre/post activities? If so, please describe them.
O + G:  Since we did not have a rehearsal dinner, we chose to hold what we called our bachelor cocktail party on the evening prior to the wedding. At the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, we had our entire guest list join us for cocktails and tapas on the private half-circle balcony jutting from the side of the hotel, overlooking the bay, with additions of blue and bright green flowers to the white wedding theme to punch up the color a bit. With our guests in beautiful summer cocktail attire, it was an amazing pre-event for our friends to meet up and connect prior to the wedding day itself.

MRSter:  What did you use when planning your wedding – internet searches, wedding magazines, personal referrals, wedding planner?
O + G:  We contacted several local Sean Diego wedding coordinators and sadly, never received any follow-through from ANY of them. Not sure why – same-sex couple or maybe too small? So our good friends from Angelic Grove events provided us with some local resources in San Diego, and we did the coordination ourselves, from requesting quotes, checking rates and finding what we wanted on the Internet. We booked the location for the wedding ourselves from the city of Coronado, and handled the coordination of both our bachelor cocktails, reception set-up, cake, classic car – all ourselves.

MRSter:  What was your favorite moment on the wedding day?
O + G:  There are so many moments which took our breath away, which includes our personal vows read to each other. This was the first time we had heard each other’s vows and our hearts were filled to overflowing. But for the event itself, one of our favorite moments was driving in the classic convertible along Orange Avenue and coming over the crest of the street to the reception at the historic boathouse, to see all of our guests standing and waving to greet the new grooms at the reception. It was exhilarating and emotional all at once.

MRSter:  Do you have any special advice you would like to share with our readers to help prepare them for their day?
O + G:
a)      Give yourself time to plan and use your friends as much as you can for a sounding board.
b)      Understand that nothing will be perfect. The perfection of the day lies in your connection and love from your friends, your family and the personal moments.
c)      If you are getting wed in a public venue, hire security.
d)      Invest in a fantastic photographer. The event itself goes by so fast, that you will not remember the individual moments themselves – but good photos will revive those memories in your heart to relive again and again.
e)      When you choose your flowers, colors, outfits etc – remember that these photos and images are forever. Trends and fashion may come and go, but your photos will be there forever. Last thing you want is to have some current fashion trend that will disappear and leave you with a look that you and your family will cringe each time you see that photos.
f)      Have someone you trust, whether that is a coordinator or a friend, double check on the ceremony and reception set-up prior to walking in. As we noted, nothing goes as planned, but don’t leave your requirements for your wedding in the hands of the people who manage the space. What is the adage? Trust by verify.

Distinctions

Breaking Hate, Dapper Dog, Destination

The Professionals

Photographer:  Kristina Lee Photography
Rehearsal Cocktails: Tracy vanDam Fotografie
Wedding and Reception: Kristina Lee Photography
Wedding Planner: Self-planned
Ceremony: Centennial Park, Coronado, CA
Reception: Bluewater Boathouse, Coronado, CA
Florist: Flowers By Erin
Grooms’ Clothing Designer: SuitSupply
Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: self
Wedding Consultant: Angelic Grove
Bluewater Boathouse was the location for the Reception and provided the multi-course meals, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
Cake provided by Extraordinary Desserts, San Diego, CA
Dessert Table provided by: Sweets Table by Micheline Etkin
Ghost Chair Rentals by: Raphael’s Party Rentals
Parasols and Fans by: Paper Lantern Store
Classic Car Transportation provided by: Haynes Antique Car Chauffeuring

Location

Centennial Park, Coronado, CA

Colors

    

Wedding Vendors // Check out what is totally mind-blowing!

There aren’t many times we like to promote products but this is one of those times where our eyes popped out and screamed “We have to tell the world!”

Vendors

During any sort of set up that involves AV (audio and visual) and those pesky cords we see those poor souls on their hands and needs taping the tripping hazards down with that sticky duck tape. This contraption is so worth it and I don’t even know the price.

Check it out.

Join the Revolution from GaffGun on Vimeo.

So we just looked up the price and it’s marked down to $199.

Vendors, would you purchase this?