Though Philip and Jason’s wedding involved plenty of designer outfits and desert chic décor, it was a night of “hootenanny” that kicked off the entire celebration. To welcome guests to Scottsdale, Arizona, the couple threw a wild west-themed party complete with cowboy boots, a bandana-wearing donkey, a fire pit, and even a mechanical bull. “The Friday night dinner for everyone was a wild west, rootin-tootin’ good time like people hadn’t been to,” Philip says. “The whole weekend had to feel like every guest was family.”
Philip, a fashion buyer, and Jason, a lawyer, decided to throw a destination wedding in a place with great weather and mid-century architecture and found both at the Andaz Scottsdale, which came with the added perk of being located between the East Coast and the West Coast. There, Philip and Jason worked with planner Sam Glascock of Revel Wedding Co. to organize the details of their wedding weekend, which included the western welcome shindig, a ceremony overlooking Camelback Mountain, and a Mezcal-infused dinner party—plus, some fabulous tuxedos and a rainbow-inspired wedding cake. “We spent a lot of time obsessing over every detail to make sure that things were thoughtful and reflected who we are,” Philip says.
The couple worked with TPD Design House to customize printed products, including their cacti-accented invitation suite and bandana save the date, and tapped their friend Andy to create a custom “Scottsdale Scramble” crossword puzzle about them. Once in Arizona, guests were greeted with more customized goods by TPD Design House. "We gave our guests custom t-shirts, water bottles, hats, and even baby onesies for guests with kids," Philip says.
On night one, the couple took their wild west theme and ran with it for the welcome party. The décor, such as bandanas and a fire pit, pulled from western traditions, while wildflowers added an elevated touch to the otherwise casual setting.
True to theme, Philip and Jason rocked big belt buckles, cowboy boots, and cowboy hats to kick off their festivities. Guests were asked to wear their western best as well.
There was even a donkey sporting (multiple!) cowboy bats.
While Philip and Jason opted for open seating at dinner, they printed name cards for guests to wear as they mixed and mingled. Each was designed to look like a sheriff badge and featured a short description of the guest's relation to the couple.
After dinner, guests had the option to try their luck riding a mechanical bull, jam to the live country band, or relax by the fire pit.
While the welcome party was all about celebrating the wild west, Philip and Jason's wedding was a wildly more formal affair. Each element of the day, from the black-and-white ceremony program to the black-tie dress code, was carefully chosen to create such a feeling.
The couple opted to get ready together—in fact, they spent the whole day together! “We did yoga with Jason’s aunt on the morning of the wedding day,” Philip says. “This was a terrific way to clear our minds and feel great.”
Of course, Philip and Jason's looks were carefully considered. Philip opted for a Tom Ford white dinner jacket, black tuxedo pants, and Givenchy patent leather dress shoes, while Jason donned a custom navy shawl collar tuxedo jacket by Enzo Custom with Ferragamo dress shoes. Each added a sentimental touch to his ensemble: Philip wore his father's Cartier watch, which was a gift from his mother, and Jason wore a watch from his grandfather and cufflinks from his grandmother.
The couple skipped the wedding party but did invite their guests to show up in black tie gowns and tuxedos.
“We let the setting speak for itself,” Philip says of the ceremony site at Andaz Scottsdale. There, a chuppah was simply dressed in greenery to frame the famous Camelback Mountain.
Jason and Philip made their ceremony entrances alongside their parents.
The couple skipped official readings and instead spoke from the heart. Family was also central to the ceremony: Jason and Philip's sisters, Dana (Jason's sister) and Jennifer (Philip's sister), officiated the proceedings and their grandparents, who were unable to travel, watched on Facetime.
Both Philip and Jason took the opportunity to stomp the glass—a nod to the Jewish tradition—before sealing their union with a kiss!
The newlyweds walked up the aisle to a ukelele cover of “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. “We were crying, our sisters who officiated were crying, and pretty much everyone in the audience was crying tears of joy,” Jason says.
Cocktail hour followed on a nearby lawn, where midcentury furniture was set up amongst cacti and flowing trays of Mezcal margaritas.
Philip and Jason combined their initials into a "J and P" icon that accented paper goods such as the seating chart. After dark, guests found their seat assignments on the well-lit display.
The reception took place overlooking the property's pool. The theme was desert chic, with black place settings, gray linens, gold cutlery, mirrored box centerpieces, and one very masculine touch: no florals. "Everything was personal to us based on what we love and how we wanted our guests to feel," Philip says. "We had a magician at our welcome dinner because we love magic, and we had no flowers but lots of candles at the wedding because we’re not very flowery."
Philip describes the wedding as "modern, masculine, and timeless."
Rainbows found their way to the pair’s wedding in a special six-tier rainbow explosion cake from Flour Shop. It was baked by founder Amirah Kassem, who happens to be Jason’s sister-in-law. She even helped Philip take a bite out of the confection to welcome him to the family.
The pair started the dance party with their first spin to “Rather Be,” by Jess Glynn, which was followed by a live band, The Walk Ons, playing “lots of Beyonce and soul.” “We were both so excited to get married," Jason says. “The whole weekend went amazing.”
Wedding Venue: Andaz Scottsdale
Wedding Planner: Sam Glascock of Revel Wedding Co.
Officiants: Dana Harrow, Jennifer Manghisi
Wedding Bands: Van Cleef & Arpels
Floral Design: The Flower Studio
Invitations & Paper Goods: TPD Design House
Catering: Andaz Scottsdale
Accommodations: Andaz Scottsdale
Videography: Vision and Love
Photography: Belathée Photography