Scottsdale, ARIZONA :: Erika & Roberta :: Proposal Picnic // Real LGBT Engagement

:: Proposal Picnic ::

Submitted by :: Maria of Elizabeth Douglas Photography

Erika and Roberta (Robbi) were in from Harvard visiting Erika’s family for the holidays. Erika is a true Zonie (aka unicorn…born and raised in AZ), where Roberta is an East Coast gal. They took a day trip down to Southern Arizona where Erika LOVES to hike and explore. Roberta had something else in mind, so they stopped to pick up some wine, cheese and crackers, and turned it into a proposal picnic! I was completely taken in by the lovely ring, as I noticed a hint of blue in it…sure enough, it’s an aquamarine! What a wonderful choice for a beautiful bride to be (hey, and she’s already got her “something blue” for their wedding day!).

Needless to say, Erika said, “YES!” and we had the pleasure of capturing their Engagement Session, along with family portraits for Erika’s family. Keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be meeting back up with them, either in Sedona or Hawaii for their wedding day as well!

CONGRATULATIONS, you two! Oh, and Erika, you still owe me a slice of Egg Nog Pie! LOL! (Erika is an AVID baker, and her goods look and sound scrumptious!).

DISTINCTIONS

Surprise. Proposal Picnic. Something Blue.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Elizabeth Douglas Photography

LOCATION

Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scottsdale, ARIZONA :: Cody & Sian :: Childhood Sweethearts // Real Engagement

:: Childhood Sweehearts ::

Submitted by :: Fiancée, (and MRSter Social Media Queen), Sian.

Cody and I actually met on the school playground MANY years ago, when we were both just babies; I was two years old and Cody was three years old. His dad was in the American Air Force and they were stationed in Oxfordshire in the UK (where I am originally from). Our siblings went to primary school (elementary) together, and our families became friends because of this.

Almost twenty years later, Cody and I reconnected, and ended up falling head over heels for each other. After doing the long distance thing for a couple of years, Cody proposed to me on Thousand Steps Beach in California on the 15th of March 2014!

Due to the background of how we first met, we chose a park as the location for our engagement shoot. We played on the kids playground for half of the session, and it was so much fun! Our photographer, Chelsee, made us feel so relaxed and comfortable, the three of us were laughing and joking around all day. We then went to our second location, DC Ranch, to finish up the shoot. It was a blast, and as I’m sure you’ll agree, Chelsee captured some amazing engagement photos for us!

DISTINCTIONS

Party In The Park. Long Distance Love. Childhood Nostalgia.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Poppy Seed Photography

LOCATION

Vista Del Camino Park & DC Ranch, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scottsdale, ARIZONA :: Oscar & Gary :: Modern Desert // Styled Shoot

:: Modern Desert ::

Photographed by :: Chadwick of Mod Wed

We had an amazing day being part of this ‘Modern Desert’ styled shoot together with some awesome MRSter Approved vendors!! As always, Oscar and Gary were wonderful to work with, and Chadwick of Mod Wed captured some amazing images of the day…

MRSter :: Almost a year after your wedding in California, what was it like to walk into another ceremony space made for you both?
O + G :: It is hard to describe, since it is really a feeling that lives independent of the design, décor and flowers and beautiful creations. And that is not meant to diminish every amazing design and production on that day – which truly surprised us at every turn – but based on our three ‘wedding’ events now, we have seen firsthand that any space created for an event built exclusively on the foundation of love is simply elevated to a new level of wonderful. The creations are the groundwork and the love at the event takes it to a different level. It was beautiful.

MRSter :: What do you think of what The Four Seasons is doing reaching our to gain exposure within the LGBT market?
O + G :: Well, in all candor, our first reaction was guarded. The gay community is fiercely loyal, yet somewhat cautious of seemingly opportunistic companies. The community builds a relationship with a brand, looking for brands that truly support the community and are not just making a quick ploy for some easy sales. But as we worked with MRSter and The Four Seasons, it was clear that they were doing this out of commitment to the LGBT community and their stance for equality, while also allowing us to see their genuine pledge to the human experience. As one of the premier resorts in the world, to be one of the first to reach out directly to the LGBT market shows strong and principled leadership. Taking a stand in an often rigid and closed world is a risk for any business, and for that, they have our respect and gratitude.

MRSter :: How was your experience working with the vendors involved with the styled shoot?
O + G :: We were meeting our generous and talented team for the first time, but it felt like we had known them for years. Their ‘almost-psychic’ understanding of our personal style, the way they connected every aspect of the design for the shoot – not to mention, their smiles – made us feel right at home and we naturally settled into their surroundings. In true MRSter style, every person involved was perfectly in tune, and the resulting experience with the team was music.

MRSter :: Why did you both decide to model for this shoot?
O + G :: The story of our wedding had an affect on so many people, which we had never expected or planned. We simply told our story. It started with the unfortunate happening at our original wedding, and suddenly, the story reached and touched so many people, and it all culminated in the outpouring of support and love from Coronado and all over. Given that a story of love and support – not gay marriage, but just marriage – reached so many hearts, we wanted to provide something in return. If doing the shoot could share our story and help any other couples looking to make their marriage commitment to find a welcoming and supportive group of people like those at The Four Seasons and MRSter, then we were in.

MRSter :: Tell us about why it was important to include Hugo in the shoot…
O + G :: How could you not want to photograph that mug? He is a ham. Hugo is part of our family! We believe that in life you choose your family. Family is not only relatives, but also those people (and pugs) that are there with you through anything. They are the people that you know you can truly rely on – not due to blood-ties, but due to love-ties. Our wedding embodied this belief, and included those people in our lives that we consider to be our family. The definition of family does not fall within a narrow definition from outside groups – it is ours. And yes, that includes a pug.

MRSter :: Do you have any suggestions for other venues that would like to set up a same sex styled shoot?
O + G :: Our experience has been that many venues tend to get hung up on standard bride/groom traditions, and get flustered when dealing with a same-sex marriage. With marriage equality now law of the land, those traditions and what are often considered hard-and- fast rules in weddings may or may not apply. A planner cannot just replace the bride or groom with a groom or bride. Bride side and groom side? Tossing the bouquet? Best man toast? Giving away the bride? Both genders may want them all. We don’t suggest that venues or planners throw out the standards and anticipated rules for weddings, but simply eliminate the gender category from their list of rituals. Open up any and all traditions for any gender or party to consider. A photo shoot taking new standards, or no standards into account should get plenty of attention of those same-sex couples or any couples who are not keen on the long-time customs of marriage.

MRSter :: What was your favorite part of the experience?
O + G :: Our favorite moment was seeing each other in our tuxes and recalling that moment when we first faced each other at our first wedding. There was an undeniable glow in our faces as we both relived at the same time how that specific act of commitment in marriage changed our perspective on life – and was something neither of expected.

MRSter :: Any last thoughts?
O + G :: A same sex wedding, as any wedding, requires time in preparation and as we experienced, the best first step of any couple to just do it. Set a date (conscious of weather), a time, and a location. Those three factors will help you to unravel the rest of the story.  It does not matter if your ceremony/ritual is one that is formal or informal, the recollection of that day should be one to remember your entire adulthood life, and you should be prepared for it. That day should be one full of joy and happiness. After all, you are requesting from the universe, a “wedding bliss”.

DISTINCTIONS

Styled Shoot. Modern Desert. Photogenic Pug.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Floral + Design :: Butterfly Petals
Paper Products + Details :: Life Design Event Planning
Photography :: Mod Wed

Venue :: The Four Seasons, Scottsdale at Troon North

Models :: Mr. Oscar De las salas and Mr. Gary Jackson

LOCATION

Scottsdale, Arizona.

COLORS

Wedding Vendor Wednesday :: Hotel Valley Ho // 10 Reasons to Get Married at Hotel Valley Ho

:: 10 Reasons to Get Married at Hotel Valley Ho ::

If you’re looking for a unique and stylish wedding venue, MRSter Approved vendor Hotel Valley Ho could be the perfect place for your special day! Check out the 10 reasons why you should get married at this beautiful venue, below…

1 :: Hello, Style!

This hotel oozes cool. It was originally built in 1956 and underwent a full restoration to its original mid-century modern architecture. If you’re looking for a blend of vintage and modern, this is the perfect setting for your big day.

Entrance

2 :: Fabulous Venues

Hotel Valley Ho has one-of-a-kind spaces like the lush Palm Court lawn, SoHo Ballroom (with glass that can slide open to an adjoining courtyard), Sands (a private, indoor-outdoor space like nothing you’ve seen before), and the panoramic Sky Line Rooftop set atop the seven-story Tower (with amazing views of Camelback Mountain and Downtown Scottsdale). Whether your wedding is indoors or under the stars, with 10 guests or 250, you’ve got options that are far from ordinary.

Sky Line Rooftop

3 :: Downtown Scottsdale Digs

Your out-of-town guests will love this hotel. It’s a short drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Downtown Scottsdale, and the hotel is walking distance from the area’s fantastic restaurants, shopping, and art galleries. And while it’s centrally located, it’s set on eight verdant acres, so it feels like a boutique hideaway.

Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc.

4 :: Amazing F&B

No boring food here! Renowned Chef Charles Wiley serves up dishes that will wow your guests, whether it’s a plated dinner or a buffet like “California Fresh” or “The New Yorker”. Finish with something sweet like a retro candy station, gourmet ice cream cart, or old-fashioned float station.

Wedding FoodKimberly Jarman Photography

5 :: De-Stress at VH Spa

Take a break from planning, for a day of beauty and rest at VH Spa for Vitality + Health. Ideal treatments include the HydroPeptide Anti-Stress Facial, LomiLomi Relaxation Massage, and Hi/Lo Deluxe Nail Service.

Female Massage

6 :: Gorgeous Backdrops

Photographers love Hotel Valley Ho, with its unique architecture, modern furnishings, abundant natural light, and lush grounds. Lights, camera, action.

View More: http://stacykokesphotography.pass.us/cuthriell-weddingStacy Kokes Photography

7 :: Pup-Friendly

Pets stay free at this hip spot! Your dog is welcome to be part of the ceremony and will receive a special pet amenity kit in the room.

Sky the Pomeranian

8 :: Sweet Suites

After the festivities, unwind in one of the hotel’s hip rooms, which all feature floor-to-ceiling glass and private patios or balconies. The Tower has the most luxe suites around, featuring full kitchens, walk-in closets, and washer dryers. You may never want to leave.

Loft Suite East Bedroom

9 :: Day-After Brunch at ZuZu

Enjoy an intimate gathering after the big day, with a day-after brunch at ZuZu. Dine inside or on the shaded courtyard patio and choose from favorites like the Red Velvet Waffle and California Eggs Benedict. It’s a fun way to end your memorable wedding weekend with family and close friends.

ZuZu

10 :: Swell Service

Hotel Valley Ho consistently ranks in the top 10 hotels in Scottsdale on TripAdvisor, and is a AAA Four-Diamond ranked property. You’ll feel welcome from the minute you arrive.

Original Staff

If this seems like the perfect venue for your wedding, click here to view their website for more information.

Don’t forget to check out their FABuLIST listing by clicking here!

 

 

Wedding Vendor Wednesday :: Vendor Highlight // Your Event Florist

:: Vendor Highlight // Your Event Florist ::

“Your event deserves Your Event Florist” [Your Event Florist].

If you’re looking for a talented wedding or event florist in Arizona, check out MRSter Approved vendor Your Event Florist!

5243_Retouched-Logo-Small

Your Event Florist is a design studio that specializes in providing distinctive custom floral designs and décor for weddings & events! Founder, Kevin Reed, is a second generation floral designer/artist, who brings over 20 years of artistic experience and knowledge to the table! Kevin took his passion for the floral industry and leapt into creating a successful business; Your Event Florist.

©hagerty photography

Now, having been in business for over 10 years, you can trust that this talented team are able to “execute any vision, from Arizona Southwestern, to Classic Elegance, to Modern Contemporary” [Your Event Florist].

From the initial consultation, through to the final details, the Your Event Florist team will work side-by-side with you to design and create breathtaking floral arrangements that reflect the personal style of you and your partner.

5243_DammenBergWedding-September2014-SassiScottsdale-312

Your Event Florist “never book multiple weddings per date”, therefore, you will receive an unsurpassed and one of a kind experience throughout the whole process!

This company is “able to fulfil all of your floral and small décor needs” [Your Event Florist], so if you are looking for a personalized experience with a difference, be sure to check out Your Event Florist… They aim to make your wedding (or event) a dream come true!

©hagerty photography

For more information, click here to view their website.

Don’t forget to check out their FABuLIST listing by clicking here!

Sian Clark // Social Media Manager

Scottsdale, ARIZONA :: Urban Love at Bentley Gallery // Real LGBT Wedding

:: Urban Love at Bentley Gallery ::

Submitted by :: Melissa Lewis of Table Tops Etc.

Even after 3 years, the wedding of Marti Hoffer and Jessica Conaway on Sunday 22nd 2012 still stands out in my mind. One, because it was such a fun wedding not only to create flowers for, but also to attend as a guest. Secondly, it was such a moving ceremony. The ceremony took place at Shadow Rock Church with these floor to ceiling windows that only added to the spirituality of the entire ceremony. Marti and Jessica both carried these gorgeous bouquets full of Schwartzwalder calla lilies and Black Magic roses, which really popped against their white attire. After a very sweet ceremony, guests moved to the Bentley Gallery for a crazy reception. The couple wanted an interesting table set, so we combined rectangular Roman tables, circular tables, and round tables to create a large variety. The tables were full of candles really setting a beautiful ambiance with the gallery. The escort cards were hung on weighted ribbon tailings suspended from the ceiling with place cards attached to them, which ended up look like a really cool art installation that complimented the venue and the eclectic art on the walls. A coffee food truck was also brought into the venue and we made a little donut station right next to it.

Distinctions

Spiritual. Ambiance. Eclectic.

The Professionals

Ceremony Venue :: Shadow Rock Church
Reception Venue :: Bentley Gallery
Floral Design :: Table Tops Etc.
Event Planner :: Riette Bartlett with MRSter Approved – Downtown Phoenix Venues
Linens :: BBJ Linen
Photography :: MRSter ApprovedThe R2 Studio
Equipment Rentals :: MRSter Approved – Classic Party Rentals – Phoenix
DJ :: Ray the DJ Mobile Disc Jockey Service
Caterer :: Fabulous Food
Lighting :: Creative Backstage

Location

Scottsdale, Arizona

Colors

 

Alex & Augustina :: An Intimate Mid-Century Modern Wedding

Submitted by :: MRSter Approved – Kym Ventola Photography

Weddings come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Alex and Augustina’s mid-century modern wedding in Phoenix was the perfect example of an intimate, unique style that came together beautifully.

The wedding party was exceptionally quaint with just two bridesmaids and one groomsman. The ceremony style was that of simplicity and delight. The couple shared vows in a room at the Hotel Valley Ho- a place that is both colorful and muted  If you haven’t been to the hotel just imagine a scotch glass, Dean Martin and a contrasting desert scene surrounding it. It’s like a Palm Springs spectacle, but in Phoenix, and Alex and Augustina were beaming there the entire afternoon.

The color palette was pink, black, white, gold, and blue (even the bride wore a dazzling, modern dress by Max Mara to change things up a bit). Contrasting hues of bright pink peonies and light orange were where the pops of color were seen.

Following the ceremony there were photos at the hotel and a celebratory dinner at FnB- a nearby foodie hotspot where the same close group assembled for an evening meal gathered around one big table. The couple actually planned their entire day around dinner factoring in how many people the restaurant could accommodate. Additionally, the bride and some of her friends are vegan and vegetarian and FnB was the perfect place to provide them with a special meal.

Needless to say, this couple chose every detail with meaningful intentions and their love for those closest to them was very evident. It was a truly blissful, modern and quite uncomplicated day. Everything was perfectly balanced.

Distinctions

Mid-Century Modern, Foodie, Uncomplicated

The Professionals

Dress :: Max Mara
Suit :: Hugo Boss
Shoes :: Jimmy Choo
Flowers :: D and F flower shop in downtown Phoenix arranged by Michelle Finzer
Venue :: MRSter Approved – Hotel Valley Ho
Dinner :: FnB
Submitted and Photographed by :: MRSter Approved – Kym Ventola Photography

Location

Phoenix, Arizona

Colors

        

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.