A Chic Outdoor Wedding in the Arizona Desert

Real Weddings

If it had been up to Erin, she and Joe would never have met. After Erin declined a blind date, a mutual friend devised a plan to get the pair to meet: Erin was invited to a karaoke party where Joe was in attendance, and the duo wowed each other with their song selections. Nine years later, the couple flew to Santorini for a long-awaited trip. After a day of sightseeing, Joe popped the question on a cliff-side terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea.

On November 1, 2014, after a decade of knowing each other, Erin and Joe wed near the bride's hometown of Scottsdale with a ceremony and reception in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They chose the CopperWynd Resort for its unparalleled mountaintop views that overlook a scenic valley and the famed Fountain Hills. "I actually cried the first time I stepped out onto the event lawn," Erin remembers. "I knew instantly that it was our venue." Keep reading to see all of the details of their incredible, desert-inspired wedding day, as captured by Cameron & Kelly Studio.

Despite having a DIY-heavy wedding, Erin and Joe decided to enlist the help of a professional for their invitations. Sarah Dickson of Oak and Orchid created an elegant invitation suite in their palette of "desert neutrals

Erin wore a strapless blush silk jacquard wedding dress from Monique Lhuillier. "Even though the color worked perfectly with our palette, I hadn't originally planned on blush," Erin admits. "But as soon as I put it on, I knew a traditional white gown wasn't for me."

She completed her bridal look with her grandmother's diamond bracelet, tear-shaped chandelier earrings, Gianni Bini pink marbled booties, and a chapel length Chantilly lace veil from Toni Federici. Her bouquet was comprised of Juliet garden roses, spray roses, succulent,s coral charm peonies, seeded eucalyptus, olive branches, and coral ranunculus, and fit perfectly with her vision of being a non-traditional bride.

Erin's five bridesmaids wore dusty mauve knee-length dresses from BHLDN. "I picked them because the flutter sleeves and graceful skirt reminded me of flower petals, and the color was perfect. It's a color that looks good on everyone," she says. Each important lady carried a mixed bouquet with flowers seen in the bride's arrangement.

Joe chose a wedding-day look that was classic, but still a little non-traditional: his navy blue J.Crew tux was paired with burgundy Alden boots and a light blue silk tie.

Upon arriving to the ceremony, guests could grab a desert-hued pashmina to stay warm if the temperatures dropped. The thoughtful gift doubled as one of the couple's two wedding favors.

The couple's flower girls and ring bearers walked arm-in-arm down the aisle, although the latter were excused of traditional duties. "Joe's brother had the rings. The boys were 'junior groomsmen' escorting the flower girls," Erin says.

The bride's parents walked her down the aisle toward a flower-covered wooden chuppah. The pair wrote their own vows, and Joe was so moved by Erin's words that he actually went to kiss her mid-ceremony. "The whole crowd gasped and the cantor cried out, 'Not yet!' Everyone laughed as Joe caught himself before we actually kissed," Erin says.

They further personalized their nuptials by asking relatives to read e.e. cummings poems. The pair also included a sand ceremony to represent their blended lives.

Immediately following the ceremony, guests were led to the reception lawn where they found their seating assignments on hand-cut escort cards, complete with rough-cut gemstones and rocks to add to the couple's desert vibe. For those who wanted to socialize in a casual setting, Erin and Joe set up intimate areas with antique furniture and soft music.

Instead of a traditional sparkler exit, the couple decided to enter their reception with guests waving the glittering fireworks their way.

Erin and Joe chose long wooden tables for reception seating to facilitate conversation and provide a family-style feeling. Gold Chiavari chairs and place settings provided a great contrast to the dark wood, and low centerpieces. Under glowing café lights, guests dined on tasty entrées like grilled Filet Mignon, buttermilk whipped potatoes, pesto crusted Sea Bass, and fennel toasted orzo.

For dessert, the couple chose a simple three-tiered wedding cake filled in two distinct flavors: buttercream with lemon and raspberry, and traditional chocolate with chocolate mousse.

Although the crafty bride handled many of the details of her big day, Erin suggests that couple's remember what is really important about their wedding, not the details. "At the end of the day, just remember: It's about you, and him, and a promise. That's all that really matters," she says.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: CopperWynd Resort || Day-Of Coordinator: Jennifer Thye of Imoni Events || Officiant: Cantor Bernie Zahn || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Destiny's Bride || Bride's Veil: Toni Federici || Bride's Shoes: Gianni Bini || Bride's Hair & Makeup: Aeni Domme || Bridesmaids' Makeup: Makeup Artistry by Tamara || Bridesmaids' Hair: Rumors Salon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Flower Girl Attire: Flower Girl Dresses || Engagement Ring: Pippin Vintage Jewerly || Wedding Bands: SN Queens || Florist: Sarah's Gardens || Invitations: Oak and Orchid || Ceremony Music: Sweetwater Strings || Reception Music: Mancini Entertainment || Catering: Alchemy Restaurant at CopperWynd || Wedding Cake: La Dolce Pesca || Rentals: Prim Unique Rentals; Classic Party Rentals || Favors: The Succulent Source; Fashionunic || Transportation: Driver Provided || Accommodations: CopperWynd Resort; Inn at Eagle Mountain || Ketubah Designer: Jennifer Raichman || Bouquet Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic || On-Site Childcare: Arizona Lullaby Guild || Welcome Bags: Totally Promotional || Bridesmaids' Gifts: Bestyle Handcrafted Personalized Jewelry || Wedding Website: AppyCouple || Videographer: CSM Wedding Films || Photographer: Cameron & Kelly Studio

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Did you love this incredible Arizona wedding? Then watch another couple tie the knot outside in the video below!

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