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Posts tagged ‘Southern Arizona’

Ten Reasons to Elope in Tucson

Desert landscape with saguaro cactii (Carnegie...

Desert landscape with saguaro cactii (Carnegiea gigantea) in Agua Fria National Monument, Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autumn in the Sonoran Desert is beautiful. Windy sometimes, though beautiful even in the cool breezes.

Winter? G O R G E O U S. Seriously. If you are planning an elopement and coming from colder climes where the gray skies, bone chilling winds and short daylight hours all add up to less than welcoming outdoor fun, consider eloping in Tucson.

This is the simplest of reasons why eloping to Tucson for a fabulous winter wedding is a good idea: the weather. Here are ten more:

1. Our natural landcapes and vistas are stellar. The open desert surrounding Tucson calls to birders, hikers, bikers and lazy picnickers alike. From the trails on Mt. Lemmon to the canyons in the Santa Rita Mountains, there are countless places for enjoyment and simple outdoor ceremonies.

2. The historic architecture is inviting and colorful. If your more of an urban couple and like historic areas for exploration, go no further than downtown Tucson with the Museum of Art and places like Old Artisans. Photo opportunities and quiet nooks for ceremonies are around nearly every corner.

3. Much of the local food is unique in the world and the margaritas make you want more. Who wants to travel without interesting, provocative and delicious food and drinks right? You’ll find it here. From places like Proper or Cafe Poca Cosa in downtown to Mi Nidito’s on south Fourth Avenue, you’ll be savoring mouth watering morsels.

4. The live music alternatives are endless. Nearly every night of the week, you can find live music to sit back and enjoy or shake your booty to . . . all up to you. Places like Monterey Court Cafe and Galleries have nightly bills. And if you want ceremony musicians to make your elopement extra special, local talent like husband and wife combo Duo Vibrato plays unforgettable tunes.

5. Our warm and comfortable places to stay are beyond memorable. The list of unique places to stay or to have a simple ceremony on the grounds is literally too long for me to get into here. We have beautiful accommodations throughout Southern Arizona. From Hacienda del Sol to Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain or cozy bed and breakfasts tucked into historic neighborhoods or mountain towns alike, there is a warm inviting place with a fireplace and good views just waiting for you.

6. Your opportunity for co-creating a fun and meaningful custom ceremony awaits. I couldn’t skip myself at Sweetgrass Ceremonies, could I? I love working with mindful couples to co-create custom experiences for their desert elopement ceremony, not just the courthouse steps express.

7. Our desert skies and sunsets are often magical. This photo conveys more than I am able.

Purple Sonoran sunset

Purple Sonoran sunset (Photo credit: kevin dooley)

8. The people welcome you with friendliness and open arms. You’ll find folks here truly welcome visitors with a graciousness that might surprise you. Our summers are so hot and desolate, the buzz around town in winter is a welcome change of pace!

9. Myriad recreational activities can make you dizzy. No joke. This reason could comprise a whole blog post in of itself. From rock climbing to horseback riding, tennis to day hikes, migratory birding to mountain biking, pool lounging to day hiking . . . making a choice from all of the possibilities might make you tired.

10. Your bank account will still be happy after all is said and done. Tucson and other interesting towns in Southern Arizona like Tubac are affordable getaways. You can really step out for an elopement vacation you always remember and not break the bank. That’s worth noting.

Phew. That is a good long list, right? If this has you intrigued, give me a call. Let’s explore what is possible for your winter elopement in Tucson!

Tucson Wedding Gem: DJ Corbin Dooley

Is music an important part of your wedding or upcoming celebration of any kind? If so, you must meet Corbin Dooley. If you don’t already know of him (and I’d be surprised), then check him out here. He is a rare gem in Southern Arizona; an uber-talented DJ with total polish and professionalism, while being completely approachable and genuine.  He cares about reflecting who is clients are and what music they want to hear and then exceeds their expectations. I’ve witnessed it! When he works with a couple to develop music choices for their ceremony and has the sound controls day-of, I feel relaxed and confident all will go splendidly. I haven’t stuck around for a reception yet to see the dance floor . . . though I’m sure he makes the party happen!

Here’s a little conversation I recently shared with Corbin:

Kristine: What is your creative specialty?

Corbin: My ability to play the right song, at the right time. I’m so lucky to celebrate special moments in a couple’s life through music.

Kristine: Who are your ideal clients? What do they enjoy about working with you?

Corbin: Couples who love music, and love to dance. My ability to make them feel comfortable, stress-free, and happy on their big day through my knowledge of music, my personality, and my organizational skills.

Kristine: Do you have any tips for couples or families to consider before they hire a DJ for their event?

Corbin: Yes! Read “Sixteen Smart Questions to Ask Your Wedding DJ”.

Thank you for sharing your insights, Corbin. I’m already looking forward to our next event!

Wedding Blog Intentions for 2012

Yes! I’m sharing my intentions for posts in the year ahead. Why? Because I’d love to hear your feedback: would these topics be useful and inspiring to you? What else would you like to hear and read about?

Admittedly, I’ve gotten a slow blogging start on the year. (Hey – it’s still January though, right?) Due to a big-fun-flurry of client meetings the past few weeks, I’m already sensing this will be a most fulfilling year, serving couples and families who want a ceremony beyond the ordinary.

Here is some of the good stuff I aim to bring you in the months ahead:

  • Meg & Joe's Arizona Botanical Garden Ceremony ~ Fabulous!

    Tucson’s Wedding Talent Interviews: hearing from super creative wedding professionals in the wide network of folks working in Tucson (eg: florists, musicians, DJs or Directors of Entertainent, etc).

  •  Tips for Ceremonies ‘Beyond the Ordinary’: ideas that enliven your stories and beliefs, plus invite your guests into the experience.
  • Ideas for Vow Renewals and Commitment: while working with couples celebrating anniversaries and various commitment celebrations beyond weddings, I’ll be sure to share examples and resources.


  • Windows into Real Sweetgrass Weddings: whenever couples are willing to share photos and ceremony excerpts, I’ll give you a peek into what we experience during heart-crafted ceremonies!
  • Southern Arizona Venue Highlights: seeing into unique venues and meeting the on-site coordinators.

So many resources, contacts and ideas to share . . .

I’m excited to be doing what I love and look forward to posting good materials you can share or really put to use for your own ceremony!


Ideas for DIY Weddings

Are you going down the wedding aisle in DIY style? Fearless. Creative. Fantastic! And absolutely doable. I see quite a few do-it-yourself couples in Southern Arizona, planning and preparing their own weddings with verve. I love to work beside creatives who live and play with gusto, as their officiant who does the same.

During my ceremony services, I find myself in a wide range of settings: from hike-in weddings atop Mount Lemmon to intimate home garden weddings to lavish all-out parties with 200 guests at high-profile venues. I enjoy every kind, because I get to see my clients manifest their own visions for their celebration.

I'm under the chuppah, clapping for Ali & Kevin!

The DIY clients with whom I work often place a high priority on the ceremony itself. As Ali (see left), suggests in a recent thank you note, it is literally the threshold into wedded life. She wrote, “We had so many people come to us and tell us how unique our ceremony was. I can’t imagine a better ceremony to enter into marriage with.”

A straight up DIY wedding may mean a couple does the whole ceremony and celebration themselves, potluck style. A more multi-faceted approach is what I’m eluding to here: a couple leads and plans the effort and enlists the help of a few vendors along the way. In that spirit, I offer some fab contacts for DIYers out there – or for anyone planning an event!

Here are a few folks with whom I’ve worked recently . . .

In the realm of photography, there are so many talented people, it is tough to name one! A lady I truly admire though, is Sarah Neyhart. Her goal is “to bring fresh, fun and modern photography to Southern Arizona.” And does she ever! I love her style and presence.

In the sound department, if you want tunes beyond what your ipod offers, PLUS desire a great flow to the whole event, contact Marc at CE Entertainment. His energy, enthusiasm and professionalism as a DJ/MC are tough to beat around Tucson. (He and I have this in common: we each spend around 30-40 hours working on your event before the big day!)

You can find a huge array of decor goodies for your special day at Arizona Party Rental. Ask for Mollee, she’ll be an excellent guide for finding whatever-you-need on your list. And to wrap it up for now, my most fave online repository for DIY ideas lives at Offbeat Bride. Seriously. Where else can you find directions for making your own undies, vintage banner or lightsaber cake knife – all on the same page?!