LGBT Wedding Vendors in Arizona providing discounts for new change in laws

Since the laws have changed it’s been quite the exciting time for same-sex couples in our home state of Arizona. Below are a few offers that have been circling around and we thought we could offer them in one place for you to review. Check it out!

VENUE :: MRSter Approved :: The Farm at South Mountain

The Farm at South Mountain

To celebrate the recent recognition of same-sex marriages in the state of Arizona, we will be giving a venue space free of charge to the first same-sex wedding booked this week! Spread the word, because we can’t wait to host the first same-sex marriage at The Farm!

FREE WEDDING :: The Wrigley Mansion

On October 27, same-sex couples are invited to an open audition at the stunning hilltop property with unmatched panoramic views of Phoenix. Lovers will have exactly two minutes to share their story with judges who will then select finalists for a public, online vote at facebook.com/WrigleyMansion.

PHOTOGRAPHY :: MRSter Approved :: The R2 Studio

Free wedding photography (coverage only) to one same sex couple who gets married at the Icehouse.

COMPLETE WEDDING :: To celebrate marriage equality in Arizona we are giving away a SUPER WEDDING PACKAGE to one lucky same sex couple that resides in Arizona! It’s easy! Post a picture of you and your sweetie! Tell us why marriage equality in Arizona is important to you and get your friends to LIKE your photo/post. The couple with the most likes by 11/14/14 at midnight (Arizona time) is the winner!

The package includes:
MRSter Approved :: Day of Wedding Coordination from De Atley Events
Free Wedding Cake from Custom Created Cakes by Brandi
Free Engagement Photo Session from Kaila Cales Photography
Free Officiant from To Have & To Hold
Free Event Staffing from ETC. by Emily
Free 3 hours of photography coverage from INVU Photography
Free DJ services from DJ Jonny & Electric Audio Mobile Music
$50 certificate toward your stationary from Posh Invitations
Free Trackless Train from Desert Express Train
$100 toward your floral preservation at Floral Keepsakes – Floral Preservation
Free Portable Bar Rental from Hey, Bartender! LLC Professional Bartending Services

*Valid February 14, 2015- February 15, 2016. Dates depend on availability. This is for weddings in Phoenix and surrounding areas (Scottsdale, East Valley, etc.). Cannot be transferred. Additional planning services and locations available for an additional fee.

FREE WEDDING :: In partnership with MRSter and Hotel Palomar (MRSter Approved)

Picture by the R2 Studios

Click here for details and how to enter.

Hotel Palomar Phoenix LGBTQ Wedding Give-Away

In celebration of Kimpton’s long-time support of the LGBTQ community, Hotel Palomar Phoenix is awarding one lucky couple a paid trip to California to get married, a reception at Hotel Palomar Phoenix upon your return to Arizona, and a Mini Moon at Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona. Celebrate the day you’ve been dreaming of with Kimpton.

Enter to Win

To enter to win, send us your love story in the form of a short essay, video, or photo collection to catering@hotelpalomar-phoenix.com, by December 10, 2014. Finalists will be selected by the Palomar Phoenix team by December 15th, 2014 and will be placed on the Hotel Palomar Phoenix Facebook page to be voted on by the public. The winning couple will be announced on January 22, 2015. To enter, contestants must comply with the Official Rules available here.

In true Kimpton style, we’re making sure all of the details are taken care of. Relax and enjoy your special day; it’s on us.*

Rehearsal Dinner at FireSky Resort and Spa in Scottsdale includes:

  • Transportation to and from FireSky
  • Rehearsal Dinner for (20) Guests at Taggia

Ceremony in Phoenix at Hotel Palomar Phoenix includes:

  • Ceremony on LUSTRE Rooftop or Calavera Ballroom
  • Ceremony Sound System
  • Coordinated Wedding Rehearsal

Wedding Celebration at Hotel Palomar includes:

  • Celebration Dinner
  • Celebratory Champagne Toast
  • Custom Wedding Cake
  • A Signature Cocktail Designed with our Lead Mixologist
  • Décor Enhancements Including Upgraded Leather Chairs, Table Linens, and Centerpiece Appointments
  • Overnight accommodations at Hotel Palomar Phoenix for the Newlywed Couple the evening of the Celebration
  • Newlywed Breakfast for Two at Breakfast Club

Mini Moon at Amara Resort and Spa includes:

  • (2) Night Stay in a Suite
  • Dinner for (2) in SaltRock
  • Couples Massage in the Amara Spa

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CEREMONY + RECEPTION

We are hosting a ceremony and reception for the first 25 couples to RSVP, To Have and To Hold
FINALLY!!! This will include dinner, bar, cake, treats, appetizers, gifts, prizes, raffles. The
ceremony will be 1 mass ceremony at 6 pm on 11/15/2014. It will be located at The Hidden
Palace in Phoenix Az. Couples need to RSVP by Nov 1st to be qualified for the event. They are
responsible for getting their marriage license prior to the event. Each couple is allowed to bring
guest to the wedding. We also have hair and make-up artist, bouquets and boutonnieres will
also be provided to the couples. There is nothing at all they need to bring besides the license.
This is a semi formal to formal event. We have some of the most recommended, award
winning names in the valley helping to put this wedding together! We would like to thank the
following companies for their hard work and donations to make this event possible!
Pourmaster’s Bartending {MRSter Approved}, Fiesta Flavor’s Catering, Wolz Florist, Blooming
Expressions, Crazy Daisies Wedding and Event Planning, A Fair Affair, Amorous Wedding
Events, Eternal Event’s Design {MRSter Approved}, Dj Jon of Electric Audio Mobile Music,
Bamboo Bakery, BakePop4you, Joanie Marie Luke with Forever Flower’s, Berna Tamoria- make
up artist, Artistry on Location by Heather Wilson, Jamberry Nails, Real Swiss Miss-Sandy
Shaedler, Sundance Invitations, giveaway- Lisa Cline Davis, giveaway- Lynna Schiller, giveaway-
Justine Miller,Surprise Gift- Jennifer Braden Phipps, Jill Lavely Mills jewelry-cookie lee.
All of these fabulous companies and people are here to make your wedding day a dream come true!
Please contact any of them for their services for any future event you are planning!
We cannot thank them enough for all their support and help!
Event is hosted by Reverend Jennifer Ashby and Juana Carbajal of The Hidden Palace
To RSVP or question they may contact: Reverendashby@gmail.com or office 602-710-8767

MRSter Speaks to Arizona

MRSter Speaks to Arizona

We’d like to speak to the state of Arizona for a moment because there is where our MRSter headquarters lie. We are on the brink of change and we urge the Arizona wedding industry to learn and embrace our LGBT engaged couples and provide them with an equally awesome experience when planning their wedding.

Because coming out to vendors over and over again really sucks.

Watch.

Breaking: Supreme Court Will Not Hear Any Same-Sex Marriage Cases – Why This Is Good News

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning began its fall session, and in a stunning development announced it will not take up any of the same-sex marriage cases from the five states it was presented, Utah, Oklahoma, Virgina, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

Many court watchers had expected the nation’s top court would hear at least one same-sex marriage case.

But now, with today’s announcement, all stays on same sex marriage will “disappear,” to quote NBC News’ Pete Williams, albeit not overnight.

The lower court rulings will now go into effect for all same-sex marriage cases, meaning same-sex marriage is now or will shortly be legal in Utah, Oklahoma, Virgina, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

In addition, same-sex marriage will become legal in eleven more states, by virtue of them being in federal circuit court regions.

“Other states under the jurisdiction of appeals courts that struck down the bans will also be affected, meaning the number of states with gay marriage is likely to quickly jump from 19 to 30,” Reuters reports. “The other states would be North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado.”

The Supreme Court could take up a same-sex marriage case in the future if a Court of Appeals rules a marriage ban is constitutional, which no appeals court has ruled to date.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court leaves in force five favorable marriage rulings reached in three federal appellate courts, ensuring the freedom to marry for millions more Americans around the country,” Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement. “The Court’s letting stand these victories means that gay couples will soon share in the freedom to marry in 30 states, representing 60% of the American people. But we are one country, with one Constitution, and the Court’s delay in affirming the freedom to marry nationwide prolongs the patchwork of state-to-state discrimination and the harms and indignity that the denial of marriage still inflicts on too many couples in too many places. As waves of freedom to marry litigation continue to surge, we will continue to press the urgency and make the case that America – all of America — is ready for the freedom to marry, and the Supreme Court should finish the job.”

Article from The New Civil Rights Movement

MRSter Speaks // Scottsdale, Arizona // Wedding Business Training to work with Gay Wedding Clients

Back by popular demand!
Click image or here to register! This will sell out!

MRSter Speaks Clip from vongspoth.

MRSter-Speaks2014

MRSter Speaks is a forum for wedding business professionals to begin a conversation about how wedding industry professionals can learn to become more open and knowledgeable about working with gay and lesbian couples when planning their wedding day. We want all wedding professionals to be knowledgable, confident and excited about this newer market so we welcome businesses to ask questions, learn and discuss working with this newer demographic.

Because of the desire to learn more about gay and lesbian weddings MRSter put together a special forum that we have officially called MRSter Speaks (formally Same Sex Wedding Business Symposium) to teach and learn from experts in “modern unions”. Please note that this is not a certified class but merely an opportunity to have open and honest dialogue about the industry, upcoming trends, gay business development and how it affects the economy.

Click here for more information on MRSter Speaks.

Featured Modern Union // David and Emmanuel :: The Perfect Match

When MRSter asked photographer Sarah Hagerty of MRSter Approved – Hagerty Photography to give a title to this couple’s wedding day she simply replied with “The Perfect Match” and we couldn’t agree more. We asked David and Emmanuel a few questions about their wedding day and the planning process and here is a little bit of what they had to say.

M :: What was the most memorable part of your day?
David :: Seeing all our friends and family looking at us as we said our vows and when we entered the reception venue.

Emmanuel :: The few quiet moments right after the ceremony we had together holding hands.

M :: What was the biggest challenge when planning your big day?
David :: Communicating our vision and compromising what we want and what we can realistically get. {Living in the moment!} Being a wedding planner myself and trying not to worry about each moment.

M :: Any advice you would give our couples?
Emmanuel :: Don’t sweat the little things during the wedding and reception, the guest won’t notice them and even though it is not exactly how you wanted it, it is still amazing. We should also add that choosing the right photographer makes a difference, we had amazing photographers who made us feel very comfortable and was really there while being invisible to our guests. {Nice compliment Sarah and Nick}

David :: Make sure to give your wedding ring to your future partner’s grooms man and vice versa, we didn’t plan that right and had to switch the rings, we also noticed it happening at another wedding.

M :: What were you most surprised during the planning process?
David :: First, I was not expecting that we really needed to plan so much in advance but realized that without starting early it is not possible to get everything we want the way we want it. Venues’ availability fill up fast. We were lucky to have a great team to work with.

The lack of initial customer service we received from industry experts. {We hear this a lot from couples…I hear another blog post coming on!}

David :: How fast the news spread and all of the support from not only family and friends but colleagues and industry peers.

M :: Share with us your reception with as much or as little details as you would like.
D + E :: Our reception was a perfect combination of both of us. A little of bit sass, some elegance but really just a good time for family and friends. We both love food, and although daring to have 5 courses, our food was not only the star of the evening but still talked about today. The most talked about course being the lamb which sauce had been cooking for over 4 days.

David :: Being an event and wedding designer myself I feel an over the top reception was expected (but that was more for the rehearsal dinner), simplistic but beautiful neutral colors allowed our guests to be the stand out. Held at the gorgeous new Kneely Center at the Phoenix Zoo with entire walls that open up to an amazing patio over looking the grounds at the zoo. We had the famous zoo lights crew light up a few key trees so guests could enjoy the atmosphere all night long.

A combination of big band music and fun pop dance tunes kept the party going along with the ever flowing champagne that was specially brought in to keep Emmanuel’s side of the family (that we refer to as the French Contingency) happy.

Another star of the evening was our cake. With one of the valley’s top cake artists coming out of retirement just for our cake she captured the entire evening. With simple fondant patterned, some sugar succulents and quite possibly the cutest toppers of a custom made cowboy hat and French beret.

Wanting to be different our guest book were our first initials made out of wood, then attached to a custom printed piece of artwork that hangs now in our Arizona room.

Emmanuel :: The best evening even had the best ending, with several close friends headed back to the Hotel Valley Ho for late night drinks and huge amounts of laughter.

Any last thoughts you would like to share?
D + E :: As gay marriage is something new to not on the wedding industry but to the gay community itself. Slow down, don’t over analyze everything and enjoy yourselves, we’ve waited a long time for this, don’t miss out!!

Distinctions

West meets France. Out of retirement pasty chef. Comedian as the officiant. No joke!

The Professionals

Hotel // MRSter Approved :: Hotel Valley Ho
Ceremony // The Phoenix Zoo
Reception // The Phoenix Zoo
Florals // J. Barry Designs
Entertainment // Tugston Entertainment
Officiant // Mark Cordes
Decor // MRSter Approved :: Kool Party Rentals
Decor // MRSter Approved :: Y-Knot Party Rentals
Decor // MRSter Approved :: Classic Party Rentals
Catering // The Venue Scottsdale
Tux’s // Mr. Formal
Invitations & Paper // Celebrations in Paper
Cake // Elegant Cake Creations
Dessert Display // La Dolce Pesca
Photo Booth // MRSter Approved :: The HIP Booth
Photography // MRSter Approved :: Hagerty Photography

Location

Tempe, Arizona

Colors

How many people will come to my wedding?!?

How many people will come to my wedding? It’s a question couples often ask themselves when planning their wedding, and rightfully so! Every person attending dictates the bottom line in overall spending and couples want to know how much money they are looking at spending.

Even though many couples manage some sort of wedding budget, it’s frustrating to sit and wait for RSVP’s to come in just 2 weeks and sometimes days before the wedding takes place. You might find yourselves saying, “If we can save $450 here, I can add another hour to my photography package”, or “Any money that we can save we can upgrade to a premium bar” or “If we have just a few more no’s on our guest list I can get those wedding ceremony programs I found and fell in love with on Pinterest!”

How many guests will RSVP yes to a weddingI get it. I really do! AND, it can be aggrevating when guests are slow to respond or miss the RSVP date entirely. What do you have to do when that happens?…track them down and ask if they’re attending. Who does that and how uncomfortable is that conversation!?

So for planning purposes we thought we would give you some guidelines that we have learned by working in the wedding industry for so long. It’s called the “75/25 rule”. Typically 75% of your guests will say “Yes!” and 25% will say “Nah/No/Busy that Day/Maybe next time/etc.” Now, of course every wedding varies. The more out-of-town guests you have, the higher the decline rate. Overall though, 75/25 is a pretty good guesstimate.

THEN, on your wedding day you could see up to a 10% rate of no-shows. These are also known as the guests who
a) Become ill
b) Have babysitting plans fall through
c) Fight on the way there
d) Decided their time was more important spent watching reruns of Friends (why did you invite them again?)
e) Flat tire (yeah, right)
f) Other

Stuff happens and you’ll get a few that won’t make it at the last minute. It always happens.

Now, an example.

200 invited
150 will RSVP “Yes!”
135 will attend the wedding

Again, this is not always the case, but I bet you we won’t be far off!

Real Engagement Photo Shoot in Chicago // Mike and Kyle

It was a very exciting time when Mike and Kyle got engaged this past spring in Chicago, as Illinois passed the same sex marriage law in late 2013. Chicagoans are now free to marry whomever they want, which went into effect on the very day our engagement session was held in downtown Chicago.

By pure coincidence we had more to celebrate than their engagement and it was a great vibe for the photo shoot. The boys wanted an urban feel, so I delivered just that. We started by the Board of Trade, a very signature spot in the heart of the loop. We then moved onto those trademark bridges, giving a visual background of the brilliant architecture the city of Chicago has to offer. A stop just south of the loop was in order, by museum campus and Soldier Field. This south view of the skyline is one of the most breathtaking views and this couple’s favorite spot. We ended in Millennium park by the bean, a fun art piece that has become a Chicago icon over the years.

It was such a great evening photographing these two. I loved their enthusiasm for the shoot and the love and respect they have for one another is astounding. I’m very lucky to know Mike & Kyle.

xoxo Alicia Marie

The Professionals

Photos // Alicia Marie Photography

Thank you, Alicia for your submission and for sharing their engagement shoot with our MRSter readers. It’s awesome when there is a connection between a photographer and a couple and it’s evident that you three were connected!

Real Wedding // Stacy and Deanna // Modern Union // Beach Wedding // California

The abundant amount of love oozing from this wedding is the first thing that became evident to me when I saw these pictures submitted by MRSter Approved vendor Cyndi Hardy of Cyndi Hardy Photography. Both Deanna and Stacy Dunnuck were surrounded by their loved ones who did nothing but celebrate their new journey together. What a beautiful wedding in La Jolla, California.

The wedding date was chosen because it was the 14th year anniversary of their first date. Both brides lived in Arizona but chose to have their wedding on a beach in sunny California.

Deanna and Stacy hired the following vendor team to create their wedding day ::

Photography :: MRSter Approved – Cyndi Hardy Photography
Event Planner :: A Beautiful Ceremony
Wedding Cake :: Twiggs Cafe and Bakery
Caterer :: 24 Carrot Catering
Rentals :: MRSter ApprovedClassic Party Rentals
Transportation :: ExecuCar Charter Service
Venue :: The Wedding Bowl on the shore of La Jolla Cove