This Couple Transformed an Arizona Ballroom into a Manicured, Rustic Garden

Real Weddings

In August of 2008, just before their senior year at Arizona State University, Brooke and Lucas first met. "He says it was love at first sight, but I had wanted to stay single for my senior year and really focus on myself," says Brooke. But the next February, the pair bumped into each other again and hit it off. A few months later they started dating, and they've been together ever since.

When Lucas was ready to propose, he gifted Brooke with an overnight trip to the Big Island of Hawaii during her family's annual spring trip to Maui. "I'd gotten SCUBA certified and really wanted to do a Manta Ray night dive, so I was so excited to finally get to do it," says the bride. But a storm canceled the dive, and the hotel wasn't what they'd expected. "I don't think the trip could have started off any worse!" Brooke laughs. But Lucas convinced her to get up early the next morning for a sunrise hike, and practiced what he was going to say over and over during the two-hour drive while Brooke slept in the seat next to him. As they watched the sun rise over the ocean, Lucas nervously proposed. "It is the most memorable moment of my life," says Brooke.

The couple chose to wed in Scottsdale, Arizona on March 7, 2015, celebrating with a rustic, manicured theme full of vibrant hues and natural details. They hired Ashley Gain Weddings to plan the wedding, and Brushfire Photography was the perfect choice to capture every romantic moment.

Brooke fell in love with the top of one Martina Liana gown and the skirt of another, so she custom-ordered a combination of the two. The result? A fit-and-flare gown with a hand-beaded bodice and a dupioni silk skirt. "My consultant was so attentive and helpful that it only took five gowns to figure out exactly what I wanted," she says. Her freeform bouquet of Juliet garden roses, polo roses, lisianthus, and jasmine was hand-tied with ribbon.

Lucas wore a dark blue suit with a gray vest, while his groomsmen wore gray three-piece suits. Brooke's bridesmaids wore different Amsale silhouettes in crinkle chiffon, all in vibrant cobalt.

"We wanted our wedding day to be one big, happy party," says the bride. "We love throwing parties, and this was the opportunity to have the ultimate celebration."

The ceremony took place beneath an arbor of greenery and peach and ivory roses. The aisle was decorated with blue glass vases full of peach roses, antique hydrangeas, and greenery.

Lucas and Brooke wrote personalized vows, and also included a letter box ceremony. "We had our family and friends write personal letters for us to read throughout our relationship, from letters from friends that we'll read in the next few years to letters and advice from our grandparents to open 20 years from now," Brooke explains.

A watercolor floral pattern was used on the bright blue invitations, and was carried through to the ceremony program and the evening's menu.

Blue velvet was draped around the ballroom to create a rich background tone, and the bar was arranged in front of a boxwood backdrop. A combination of tables, from a wooden king's table to linen-draped rounds and cocktail-height seating, filled the space. Centerpieces included tall arrangements of roses with hanging votives, vases overflowing with hydrangeas, and glass boxes full of candles dispersed between wooden boxes of blooms.

The formal menu included braised beef short ribs with sweet potato gratin and salmon with herb beurre blanc and seasonal vegetables. A classical guitarist played for the ceremony and cocktail hour, then a live band took over for the dancing.

Smooth white frosting coated the dark chocolate cake with peanut butter filling and an Oreo crunch. One of Brooke's favorite moments was the bouquet toss. "I hadn't planned to have one, but one of my bridesmaids has been wanting to get engaged, and this was my chance to try to help. Instead of tossing the bouquet over my head, I turned and pitched it right at her!"

The bride, an event planner by trade, assumed that planning her own wedding would be a walk in the park. "I didn't realize how emotionally invested I would get, or how much I would obsess over the smallest details. My advice is to be prepared that you might care more than you'd think, and to set boundaries for yourself to know when to let go."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess || Wedding Planner: Ashley Gain Weddings || Bride's Wedding Dress: Martina Liana, from Mariée Gallery || Shoes: Cole Haan || Jewelry: Nadri || Hair: Deanne Evans of 20 Volume Salon & Spa || Makeup: Arizona Wedding Makeup || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: The Diamond Vault || Florist: The Flower Studio || Invitations & Paper Goods: Paper Garden, Celebrations in Paper || Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: Daniel Tekunoff, Classical Guitarist || Reception Music: TreJa Vu Band || Catering & Cake: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess || Rentals: Quest Drape, La Tavola Fine Linen, Classic Party Rentals || Photo Booth: The Hip Booth || Videography: NoBox Films || Photography: Brushfire Photography

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Want to see more garden-inspired weddings? Then check out another couple's flower-filled bash in the video below.

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