Chandler, ARIZONA :: Scott & Daryl :: Love & Laughter // Real Wedding

Submitted and Photographed by :: Derek Chad Photography

First of all, Daryl and Scott are a blast and I now consider them two of my newest friends. I live in San Diego and they live in Phoenix so we weren’t able to meet in person until the wedding day, but I knew from our conversations over the phone that I was going to be a good fit for them after hearing their story and plans for the big day. Congratulations you guys!!! I am so honored to have been your photographer on your big day!

Funny story… Daryl, Scott and I were just hanging out taking photos against a really building/wall. All of a sudden, a bird decides to poo right above Daryl and catches him on the sleeve of his shirt! You maybe had to be there to know how absolutely hilarious it was that along this GIANT wall, there was only one tiny bird that managed to pull it off. I was fortunate to capture the moment, check it out above! HAHA! It was pretty funny!

I had so much fun documenting this wedding and I hope you all enjoy the video/photos too! Thank you again for choosing Derek Chad Photography!

Distinctions

Perfect Match. Love & Laughter. Photo Booth Fun.

The Professionals

Photographer :: Derek Chad Photography
Venue :: MRSter Approved Soho63 // SoHo63
Catering :: Atlasta Catering and Events 
DJ :: Apollo Productions

Location

Chandler, 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 // The Croft Downtown

If you’re looking for a unique and stylish wedding or event venue, MRSter Approved vendor The Croft Downtown could be the perfect place for you!

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This special events venue is nestled in the lively downtown Phoenix area, making it an exceptionally convenient location for you and your guests to “explore and discover the hottest new restaurants, nightlife and attractions in the area” [The Croft Downtown].

No matter what time of the day you host your event, “The Croft is the perfect spot for enjoying the stunning panoramic views of Downtown Phoenix” [The Croft Downtown]. During the day, you will be surrounded by clear skies, desert and beautiful Arizona sunsets! By night, this gorgeous space transforms into a romantic and magical hideaway!

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This stunning venue boasts over 10,000 square feet of event space, including two dedicated ceremony and reception areas, each perfect for hosting your special day for up to 300 guests per room. Not only this, but The Croft Downtown is also equipped with a rustic ceremony area and a lofty reception space that is perfect for “dinner, dancing and entertainment” [The Croft Downtown].

croft2

Furthermore, this venue offers the perfect set up for your wedding day, with “sumptuous catering, entertainment planning and state-of-the-art audio-visual services” [The Croft Downtown]. As well as custom floral and decor design and services, AND even valet parking! You can trust that you will be in excellent hands for your special event, with flawless service and dedicated support that is supplied by The Croft’s on-site expert staff and professional designers.

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All of this makes The Croft Downtown unlike any other venue in the Phoenix area. So, whether you are “celebrating a monumental event, or a more intimate gathering, the designers and expert planners at The Croft can accommodate your guests with sophistication and style” [The Croft Downtown].

For more information, click here to view their website.

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

Wedding Vendor Wednesday :: Vendor Highlight // The Farm at South Mountain

If you are looking for an event space with a difference, we highly recommend checking out MRSter Approved vendor The Farm at South Mountain!

Located just south of Southern and 32nd Street in Phoenix,

“many consider The Farm at South Mountain to be a haven from the traditional hustle and bustle of the city” [The Farm at South Mountain].

farm

Not only does The Farm offer a unique wedding experience, but the ten acre property features multiple event spaces; making it the perfect location for a whole host of events. From baby showers and birthdays, to corporate events and weddings, The Farm can accommodate for any type of occasion!

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The Farm at South Mountain have three distinctive event spaces for you to choose from: The Canopy, Stone Grove, and Quiessence.

Stone Grove is the largest event space, which is spacious enough to accommodate 300 or more guests. It is a romantic European-style venue whereby the Farms stonemason handcrafted the organically flowing walls that surround this rustic space, and there is a beautiful wood burning oven built into the wall that creates an unforgettable ‘wow’ factor.

farm 1

The Canopy is a beautiful space among The Farm’s lush pecan trees! This location can host groups of 50 people, to 250 people, and offers a feeling of refined, rustic elegance.

canopyKaren & Nelda held their wedding reception at The Farm! 

Then there is Quiessence; an indoor and award-winning outdoor dining space that is tucked away on The Farm. They source all of their produce from the surrounding fields and local farms, to provide you and your guests with a truly unique “garden to table” experience.

quin

“The Farm is a unique combination of rural tranquility with a beautiful park like setting” [The Farm at South Mountain].

The ambience of  this gorgeous location is sure to transport your guests to another world. And just how perfect does this sound?…

“As the sun sets on this 10-acre property, you and your guests will enjoy dining amongst the trees, dancing under the stars, and creating memories to last a lifetime”. [The Farm at South Mountain].

canopynight

So whether you are looking for your ideal wedding venue, or perhaps want to organize a family picnic, whatever your event needs, the award-winning team at The Farm at South Mountain will help bring your vision to life!

For more information, click here to view their website.

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

How to Have a Wedding for $1,000 :: Part 2

This week I bring you the second installment to the ‘How to Have a Wedding for $1,000’ blog. I am going to propose some more ways as to how you could plan your wedding for $1,000; saving you thousands of dollars, and countless headaches.

Photography :: Photography can be a big expense for a wedding, with the national average spend being $2,440 in 2013 (The Knot, 2014). Rather than shelling out thousands of dollars for a professional photographer, why not hire a college student studying photography instead? Though they will have less experience than a professional, for a much cheaper price, they can offer the necessary equipment, as well as the desire to take great pictures for their personal portfolio. Why not have an engagement shoot with them beforehand, to truly see the quality of their work and whether it works for you. Alternatively, skip hiring a photographer altogether, and instead, have your wedding guests take photos for you throughout the day.

camera photo“02282012 NEW CAMERA! Canon 60D!” by Melinda Swinford is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Food :: There are a variety of ways to keep costs down on catering for your wedding guests; the key is to think simple. One of the hottest wedding trends for the past couple of years, and continuing for 2015, is the use of food trucks (Huffington Post, 2014). Food trucks bring an element of fun to your wedding day, and offer an inexpensive alternative to traditional catering services; even giving you the flexibility to save money by handing the food costs directly to your guests, if this is something that you would feel comfortable with. And don’t forget the advice mentioned in part one of the blog, if you time it right then you could save yourselves a lot of money. Think outside the box; scale down on the food offerings by serving appetizers or desserts, and champagne, rather than a sit-down meal. You could cut costs even more by serving tea, coffee, sparkling fruit juices and sparkling water, rather than the more expensive alternative of champagne.

Cake :: If you or anyone you know loves to bake, you could save a lot of money by making your own cake. Naked cakes have been a particularly popular trend amongst the wedding scene for quite some time now. And the best thing about them is that they are made to look a little rough around the edges, so if any mistakes were to happen during the baking process, it’s easier to hide them than on a more traditional wedding cake. Alternatively, many people now opt for a small cake to act as the top tier of their wedding cake, which you could pick up from a local bakery for a reasonable price of around $30. Then the rest of the ‘tiers’ are made up of cupcakes! Cupcakes are a much simpler alternative to bake yourself, or with a baking buddy. They also give you the freedom to choose a whole variety of flavors, rather than having to opt for just one.

naked cakeCrear Wedding” by Zoe is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Music :: Reception DJ’s alone can cost you over $1,000, so you could save yourself a lot of money by using an iPod for your music instead. Apps such as Spotify and Pandora easily allow you to find suitable playlists, so you don’t have to worry about having to control the music all night. One way to make this more personal, is to have your guests help you create a wedding playlist on the run up to the wedding; why not ask them to request a song they would like to hear on their wedding RSVP? This would bring a more personal touch to the music and ensure that there will be songs that all of your guests will enjoy throughout your special day.

Flowers :: Flowers for a wedding can cost a great deal, but one way to save is to stay in season! If you stick with flowers that are in season, then your costs will come way down. Also, remember that less is more. Rather than having tons of flowers, with huge centerpieces, instead, be creative and keep the use of flowers to a minimum. There are hundreds of examples of simple yet extremely effective centerpieces on Pinterest. Another fantastic suggestion comes from one of our MRSter advisory board members, and owner of Life Design Event Planning, Cicely Rocha.Miller, who suggests having each of your guests bring a single flower. She says “give them a particular color scheme to stay within, and then as you’re walking down the aisle, collect those flowers and ultimately that becomes your bouquet, so there’s some sentimental value to it as well” (via AZ Family, 2014).

Décor :: Again, regarding décor on a budget, think less is more. Pinterest offers a huge catalog of ideas for décor elements, many of which you can DIY yourself for little money. Many suggestions actually include items that are readily available from dollar stores, such as candles, vases, and other items that can easily dress up wedding tables. I personally love lighting and lots of candles; they add a lot of ambiance to a wedding venue and are budget friendly alternatives. For other décor elements, be sure to check out recycled wedding item websites, such as Recycle Your Wedding – Ruffled, as they are full of discounted wedding items. What I love about this particular site is that you can search for items by state, saving money on shipping costs too!

candlesSpring Soiree – 2010 – 58” by FestivitiesMN is licensed under CC BY-NA-SA 2.0

Overall, there are plenty of ways that you can cut costs on your wedding day, and still pull off the day of your dreams. There is an abundance of inspiration for beautiful low-cost weddings readily available, you just have to think outside the box and not get carried away in the planning process. This can be tricky, as there is a lot of societal pressure that makes us believe that we have to splurge on a huge, extravagant wedding, but just remember that your wedding day is about you and your significant other, so focus on the act of what you are doing, rather than how much you are spending.

How to Have a Wedding for $1,000 :: Part 1

In today’s society, whereby the national average cost of a wedding is at an all-time high; a staggering $29,858 in 2013, and rising (The Knot, 2014), it’s really no wonder that wedding planning is so stressful and evidently costly. You may think that having a wedding on a budget is difficult, and I’m sure you think it is impossible to come up with a wedding for just $1,000. However, this is actually a feat that many couples have managed to make happen. The key? Keep it simple, be flexible, and think outside the box. Here’s some guidance as to how…

piggybankMoney – Savings” by 401(K) 2012 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Timing :: Be flexible about the timing of your wedding; down to the month, day and time of the ceremony. Understandably, the majority of event spaces charge considerably more for the most popular months and dates, because the demand is there. So rather than opting for a Saturday evening in June, September or October, instead go for a Friday or Sunday afternoon in a less popular month. If you time it right, this could help you save big on the catering side of things too. Appetizers and champagne mid-afternoon is going to cost you much less to provide to your guests than an evening sit-down meal. Due to there being less demand for these options, vendors will be more willing to negotiate discounted prices on various wedding services; saving you tons of funds.

Venue :: The venue is arguably the biggest wedding expense for couples. This is supported by the findings of The Knot’s Real Wedding Study (2014) that revealed the average spend on the reception venue alone is $13, 385. Add the separate expense of $1,793 for the ceremony site, and you can see that the average venue comes with a hefty price tag! But fear not, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be relatively easy to find free or inexpensive locations to get married, such as beautiful local parks, lakes or beaches. Or perhaps a relative or a friend of yours has a gorgeous backyard that would make the perfect setting. Think outside the box on this one, and do your research to find somewhere that’s perfect for your special day.

Lesbian Wedding Ceremony DecorationTaken by Cyndi Hardy Photography

Numbers :: Cost of Wedding (2014) state that “a single guest could add between $157 and $192 to the overall cost of your wedding”. So when it comes to numbers, the easiest way to save money on your wedding is to keep the guest list to a minimum. Instead of throwing a big extravagant affair where you feel compelled to invite anyone and everyone, opt for a more intimate occasion whereby you only invite your closest family and friends. Alongside this, try and keep the size of your wedding party to a minimum as well; this will greatly alleviate other costs such as apparel and floral.

Apparel :: The internet is one great resource for finding heavily discounted wedding attire. Some great options include recycled wedding item websites, whereby couples sell their items used for their big day, including apparel. Another popular alternative is rental websites; you can rent apparel items for yourselves and the entire wedding party for a fraction of the cost of buying them. When you’re done, just bag them up and put them in the post… simple! Also, keep an eye out for discounts in department stores, and sample sales at local wedding apparel stores, as they often have big discounts on designer suits and dresses.

CoronadoWedding32Taken by Kristina Lee Photography

Invitations :: Making your own wedding invitations could save you hundreds of dollars. If you are the crafty sort, or can recruit a friend or family member who is, you can visit a craft store and get all of the supplies you need to create DIY invitations for very little money. Alternatively, there are numerous templates and online photo print companies that allow you to upload photos that can then be easily turned into wedding invitations with the click of a few buttons. This has recently become a very popular option, and a cost effective one at that.

Head over to the blog next week for part two of the ‘How to Have a Wedding for $1,000’ series, where I’ll be giving you even more suggestions as to how you can pull off a beautiful wedding that doesn’t blow the budget.

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.

Karen and Nelda :: 57 Years in the Making

Karen and Nelda, one of the very first same-sex couples to obtain a marriage certificate in Arizona, celebrate their union with a wedding event produced by local MRSter vendors.

Karen Bailey and Nelda Majors

The couple met 57 years ago while attending Sam Houston University in Huntsville Texas and they have been together ever since. After making a life together and running a successful business in Texas, the couple moved to Arizona where they raised two daughters. Karen and Nelda were one of the couples to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court arguing that Arizona’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples violated the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Their case, among others, led to the overturning of Arizona’s gay marriage ban on October 17, 2014.

Karen Nelda Rehearsal Kiss

Karen and Nelda at their wedding rehearsal in the moment they realize that their wedding kiss will be their first public kiss.

A wedding ceremony will be held for Karen and Nelda at The Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Phoenix at 2:00pm on Sunday, November 23, 2014. The ceremony is open to the supportive public, and tickets are mandatory. While their ceremony is free of charge to witness, Karen and Nelda are asking guests to donate to One Community Foundation in lieu of giving gifts. For tickets and more information, visit www.karenandnelda.com

Many thanks to the following (many of them FABuLIST) vendors who came together to support Karen and Nelda ::

Evening Reception Venue :: MRSter Approved – The Farm at South Mountain
Catering :: MRSter Approved – Santa Barbara Catering Company
Catering :: Aventura Catering
Floral :: MRSter Approved – Butterfly Petals
Event Planner :: MRSter Approved – Life Design Event Planning
Rentals :: MRSter Approved – Kool. Party Rentals
Rentals :: MRSter Approved – Cre8tive Event Rentals
Photography :: MRSter Approved – Cyndi Hardy Photography
Photography :: Keith Pitts Photography
Photography ::  Largo Photography
Photography :: Randy’s Vision Photography
Cinematography :: MRSter Approved – Serendipity Cinematography
Photo Booth :: MRSter Approved – The Traveling Photo Booth
Photo Booth :: Funbooth
Event Production :: Living Energy
DJ :: MRSter Approved – Got You Covered!
Hot Beverages :: MRSter Approved – Cappuccino Subito
Beverages :: Hensley
Beverages :: Alliance Beverages
Decor :: Creative Occasions
PR // Social Media :: Sherry L Butler Communications
Floral Preservation :: MRSter Approved – Floral Keepsakes
Transportation :: Carey Limousine
Transportation :: United Parking Systems
Wedding Cake :: Let Them Eat Cake

Free Wedding Give-Away!

Love wins in Arizona….and to celebrate, MRSter is producing a same-sex wedding give-away in which one Arizona couple will be awarded a dream wedding!!

Pool Deck Meal Set - JPEG

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

Arrival Lobby L1 - JPEGPool Deck at Night - JPEG

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, click here

 

Photos Courtesy Hotel Palomar Phoenix Cityscape