Wedding Planning

Rachel and Dylan’s Funky-Glam Southwest Wedding by Sergio

There are so many reasons that I adore this wedding by Sergio.  First, it is at one of my very favorite wedding venues, the Hotel Valley Ho (which, I imagine, is sort of like staying in a ‘Mad Men’ episode for the weekend).

There are so many reasons that I adore this wedding by Sergio.  First, it is at one of my very favorite wedding venues, the Hotel Valley Ho (which, I imagine, is sort of like staying in a ‘Mad Men’ episode for the weekend). Second, Rachel and Dylan managed to beautifully incorporate both Jewish elements and a Day of the Dead theme (not two things that typically go together), and it looked seamless!  Third, and most important, this couple looks so crazy-in-love happy that it made me giddy just to look at their pictures.  Check out the rest of this fantastic wedding, and read all about Rachel’s very reasonable planning process!

Did your wedding location hold a specific significance to you? I really liked Valley Ho, it is a spectacular venue. We both grew up in AZ, and downtown Scottsdale is kind of our home base, so we definitely wanted to get married somewhere centrally located to all our friends and family in a fun part of town. Also, we really wanted a backyard wedding, but since none of our backyards fit the bill, we loved the idea of having it outside on the roof of the Valley Ho!  Also, the views were absolutely gorgeous, so that made the whole experience even more special.

What was the most meaningful part of your day? How are you just supposed to pick one? My whole day was amazing and I honestly couldn’t ask for anything to have gone differently. The most meaningful would definitely have to be when my dad and my little brother played ‘This Magic Moment’ with the band while I danced with my grandfather. My dad is an amazing guitar player – he’s been playing every day since he was a teenager. I knew he wanted to play with the band during the wedding, but I didn’t know what or when. However, I had NO IDEA that my little brother would be serenading me at the same time with his absolutely beautiful voice. My grandfather asked me to dance, and we hit the floor while my dad played and my brother sang. It was such a wonderful moment that I’ll always treasure.

Did anything funny or out of the ordinary happen? A few things: (1) We accidentally forgot the glass to break at the end of our secular Jewish ceremony. Totally and completely forgot. We got to the end of the ceremony, and Ike (our best friend who became ordained to perform the wedding) was reading his lines and then it dawned on us – uh oh, no glass. Luckily, a few of our attendees had already gotten their party started, so they handed over an empty wine glass and we scrounged up a napkin. (2) We met our amazing band at my bachelorette party in Jerome, AZ on Halloween less than two months before the wedding. I already had another band booked, but after dancing the night away to Tony and his Cadillac Angels, I knew they would make my night (and everyone else’s) absolutely perfect, so we had to have them. (3) We took some ‘alone time’ immediately after the wedding, and we kind of lost track of time. Our best man and maid of honor had to bang down our door and escort us up to the party so that dinner could be served . (4) Our dogs, Cocoa and Elvis, were part of our ridiculously large bridal party (7 groomsmen and 7 bridesmaids). We dressed them up with Cocoa in a bridal gown and Elvis in a tux. It definitely made the ceremony that much more special to have those important members of our family involved.

Tell us details of the events surrounding the wedding: My mom is amazingly crafty, and I am very creative, and I have always loved Mexican Day of the Dead tchotchkes and I knew that they had to be incorporated into my day. Luckily, we had a ton of amazing places to dig for Mexican paper banners, sugar skulls, husband and wife skeletons, and Mexican oil cloth fabric – (thanks to Picante in Tucson, AZ). I also love BRIGHT colors – especially combining red and hot pink, so it was pretty easy to pick a theme and stick to it. Add in a bit of black and white and you’ve got a good thing going!

I had my bridesmaids wear a black dress of their choice with red shoes of their choice and they all bought the same red cardigan from Express for $30. Our groomsmen wore a black suit of their choice with black leather Vans and a red skinny tie from Express that matched the color of the bridesmaids’ cardigans. While the majority of everyone bought new suits, dresses, etc., a few wore clothing their already owned which was helpful for their pocketbooks. It is not my cup of tea to make people spend a ton of money on something they might not wear again, so this arrangement suited everyone well – and it worked perfectly as our pictures came out amazing!  My bridal shower was absolutely amazing – my maid of honor’s mom hosted us in her beautiful backyard with pink table clothes, champagne, bellini cocktails, and delicious tea sandwiches. My friends and family all came out and made it such a special day. My bachelorette party was SO much fun. We rented a party bus and went wine tasting in Northern Arizona and partied Halloween night away in spooky, haunted Jerome, AZ. We all dressed up in Army gear, as my husband is an Army officer – appropriately themed.

How did you know your partner was ‘the one’? Hmm, the one? I think we are both just pretty lazy.

Any advice you’d give new brides who are just getting started? Why stress out? It doesn’t make any sense. The most important things are good music, good food, and good friends & family (and a good photographer, too: Thanks, Sergio!). As long as you are having the most fun in the room, everyone else will be having a great time too.


Photographer: Sergio Photographer

Venue: Hotel Valley Ho

Dress: Vintage from Black Cat Vintage, Tucson, AZ

Shoes: Kate Spade

Men’s Attire: Leather Vans, Calvin Klein suit

Flowers: The Flower Studio

Band: The Cadillac Angels