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WIPA Wanderlust Adventure

Recently, I was asked to be the Event Chair for the May WIPA (Wedding Industry Professional Association) Event.  I gladly said YES.  I knew this would be an amazing opportunity for me to be insanely creative, have the chance to work with some incredible people, and put together something really special for my industry peers. 

The Overall Concept:

Two key factors were already in place before I was assigned as the "Event Chair" for this event:  the location and the time.  Knowing that this would be a morning event, I wanted the overall theme to feel fresh.  I also wanted to take into account the venue that it would take place in.  After touring the Hyatt Scottsdale Resort, I felt that it gave a strong feeling of a "Desert Oasis."  I started brainstorming and designing inspiration boards~ I knew the "look" I desired but didn't have the right "name." I then sent over my design board to my BFF, who lives in LA (and happens to be a little bit cooler than me) and asked her...."What is this look?" she replied back with some perfect wording/concept ideas and the "WIPA Wanderlust Experience" was born. 

Next I got busy curating my Creative Team.  I tried selecting team members who I knew could NAIL my vision and who would be easy to work with.  I always try not to get too fixated on everything initially ~ as these types of events tend to flourish themselves when you pick the right people and show them your inspirations.

The Look:

The first place I started was working with Tami from Posh Invitations on  the "Save the Dates." I especially appreciated Tami's amazing patience as there was a ton of pressure on creating the "Save the Date" as it served as the first "visual" into the event.

I worked with "Glamour & Woods" for all of the rental and furniture pieces.  I actually had the opportunity to tour their showroom and warehouse firsthand and was blown away with all of their amazing inventory.  Next we actually all walked and "space planned" the entire venue along with Amy Dressor (Event Sales Manager Extraordinaire of the Hyatt.) The space we had to work with was quite large and we really needed to "fill" the space appropriately yet still make it feel causal and cozy.  The Glamour & Woods team knocked my concept out of the park with the pieces they offered, it truly took my vision to a whole new level.  They also were able to work "with" the venue, not "against it" and I was especially impressed by how in sync their pieces worked with the carpeting in the ballroom~ seamlessly.

Next, I knew I needed to work with Floral Designer that was truly "different." One that could pair a "high end" vibe with a "ultra cool" twist.  Mandy of Butterfly Petals is known in the industry as a true creative.  I can always spot her work out of a crowd because their is always some really interesting element to it. 

For the linens I worked with Laurie & Shelby of Southwick Linens.  They provided all the linens for the high top tables in the cocktail area, and the tables and napkins for the reception.  I always trust Laurie to suggest which linen colors will really work to compliment the look and not overpower or take away from the concept.  We always were very creative with the table layouts (not the normal) so Laurie new exactly how to make the linen sizing "work" with our unique room set up. 

When Crusin Photo Bus agreed to be on board, my beach loving spirit did about ten somersaults, and when Amy (from the Hyatt) agreed to allow us to drive the van INTO the ballroom and serve as a MAIN décor element nestled next to the stage, my Wedding Designing heart jumped for JOY.  I knew that would be key factor in the "WOW" element.   

Jesse Jo, the talented owner of Freed Hands  provided acrylic signs with her signature hand calligraphy that were placed throughout the event, truly telling a "story" as guests experienced each area. 

I brought Karma Lighting onboard to provide the uplighting~ something to really "set the mood." They also provided a beach projection scene of rolling waves on the side wall, giving the entire room a sense of movement. 

Lastly, I needed a true artist to capture this event~ and that's where Andrew & Jade Photography stepped in. Known for their natural & intimate style of photography, I knew they would capture the overall sense of beauty and softness that I needed for this rather untraditional look and feel. 

Additionally, our friends over at Serendipity Cinematography captured our event on video for us.  (see video link below)   

 

Bringing in the Elements of FUN!

Now that I knew the event would look beautiful, I had to ensure that it would be fun!

The talented Linda Valenzuela and her team not only provided the hair & make up for our bride model, they also offered a "Boho Braid Bar" for all of the guests to get their "Wanderlust" look on. 

Dave from Desert House Productions made the party~ "a party" as he played the perfect mix of jams.  I was so thrilled when Dave (a yogi himself) agreed to lead the group in some yoga stretches before we opened the doors for the Reception.

Gypsy Cup~ a traveling café was another WOW piece that I was so thankful to have be a part of the event.  As guests finished their initial passport led tour of the Hyatt, they we greeted by owners: Linsay & Neil's amazing coffee truck.  Each guest was treated to a personalized cup of coffee before they entered the "morning cocktail hour."

I was so thrilled to work with the Champagne Creative Group, they are known for bringing key SUPRISE elements to take any party from an event to an EXPERIENCE.  They provided a strolling carousel with two "wanderlust greeters" to walk through the party serving fresh berries and Greek yogurt parfaits to all of the guests.   

Dane Sanders , author and speaker truly inspired our crowd with his very personal and motivating presentation. 

 Lastly, with this much beauty and excitement I just knew that we had to add a Bride & Groom model into the mix.  I was so happy when my intern: Annamarie and her boyfriend Vinny said YES to modeling.  (special thank you to Annamarie's mom for saying it was okay for her 19 year daughter to ROCK out a wedding dress ;) Annamarie's beautiful gown was provided by Labella Bridal Boutique.   Mary Zarob, of S.W. Wilson Bespoke Clothier has a custom suit created for our Groom model. 

 

The Outcome:

If I can be totally honest, this particular event was an exhilarating total booty kicker for me.  Whenever you host an event for the "Industry" it's completely different than working with my clients.  Don't get me wrong, I put an tremendous amount of energy and love into all of my events...but industry events involve a lot of PRESSURE.  Reason being, the guests attending these events aren't as necessarily easy to "WOW" because they work/live/breath in this wild world.  This means I have to try and find ways to impress and entertain them with things that they haven't seen or experienced before.   

But the really cool part about hosting an industry event, is the outcome.  These people KNOW how much work goes into all of these moving pieces.  I was so appreciative for all the amazing feedback that I received.  Thank you so much to the WIPA Board for asking me to be the Event Chair, thank you to all of the incredible CREATIVE partners that collaborated with me on this, and thank you so much to my team members: April, Melissa, Renata & Christina who showed up at the crack of dawn that morning to SUPPORT me and help me with this event.  This will go down in history as one of my favorite events of all time. 

Link to event video: https://mediazilla.com/ios0ftxb0

 

Photographer: Andrew + Jade Photography | Venue: Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch | Florist: Butterfly Petals | Stationary: Posh Invitations | Calligraphy: Freedhands | Rentals & Décor: Glamour & Woods | Hair & Make Up: Linda Valenzuela | Bride's Dress: La Bella Bridal | Groom's Suit: SW Wilson Bespoke Clothiers | Speaker: Dane Sanders | Event Chair: Jennifer Starr | Cinema: Serendipity Cinematography | Linens: Southwick Linens | Lighting: Karma Event Lighting | Photobooth: Crusin' Photo Bus | Entertainment: Desert House Entertainment | Entertainment: Gypsy Cup | Entertainment: Champagne Creative 

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Gagliano

Christina and Anthony began their romance while in college.  They went to high school together but never dated and reconnected on Facebook.  Anthony "liked" one of Christina's photos and soon after they began chatting regularly.

In high school, Christina said her first impression of Anthony was that he was quiet but was the popular guy in every single sport. Later, she saw him as handsome guy that she wanted to know more about so she dropped by his work (Papa Johns) for a few minutes to see how cute in person he still was!

Christina and Anthony started officially dating when he asked Christina for her number on Facebook.  She responded with it and said "I don't play games" so he texted her right after that.  Anthony asked her to be his girlfriend when they were outside his house one evening. He had an upcoming family get together and asked if he could introduce Christina as his girlfriend.  And of course she said yes!

During their dating relationship, the pair spent everyday with each other!  Right around the time they started dating, Christina's childhood friend, Lakota (a guy), came to live with her for a year. Anthony was skeptical at first due to the fact that his girlfriend had a boy living with her and her family but thankful, Lakota and Anthony became best friends instantly. Christina and Anthony eventually moved to Arizona together after just over a year of dating and continued their relationship for three and a half years.

Christina knew Anthony was "the one" about two weeks in when she remembered thinking "there's something different about this one" and had a feeling she was going to marry him one day.  

The couple's engagement took place at a beautiful castle in Germany.  One month before they went on the trip, Christina asked Anthony when he was thinking about taking the next step with her.  She wanted to be sure they were on the same page.  He said he wanted to wait two years so he could finish paying off his car and a few other items before buying a ring.  Christina understood but told her family and friends that she had to wait another two years.  Little did she know, Anthony had already finished paying off his car and had had the ring custom created.

On the trip to Germany (for Anthony's family vacation), the couple went to tour a castle. While they were taking photos on a bench in a courtyard, Anthony turned to Christina and said "I love you" with a smile on his face.  She replied "I love you too." He said "do you love me a lot?" and she jokingly said "I love you a little." He smirked and said "would you love me more if I told you two years would come sooner?" Confused, Christina replied "no?" He replied "would you love me more if I told you two years would come today?" Still confused she answered "I wouldn't believe you." Anthony then turned and said "would you believe me if I pulled the ring out of my pocket?" At this time Christina was in shock and exclaimed "no!" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a little black box. He stepped off the bench onto one knee and while opening the box asked "will you marry me?" She said yes! They hugged and kissed for a minute and then Christina realized that Anthony's mom and step dad had got the whole thing on camera.  They have some amazing photos of this moment!

Christina said that the most special thing about the engagement was that Anthony wanted to spend his life with her. Out of all the people in this world somehow they had found each other and he picked Christina to be his wife. 

Christina then began planning her special day.  Being that she is in the wedding industry herself, she had seen a lot of trends.  She still went on Pinterest (a lot!) to find what they really loved. The couple knew they wanted it to be outdoors with bistro lights for that romantic starry look. They chose their special day due to the fact that it had the best ratings for good weather. Their "theme" was Fun-Romance and they planned their colors to be Marsala, blush, champagne, gold and ivory.  They had Italian stations for dinner and the couple is still getting compliments on how great it was! Christina and Anthony also chose to have a DJ and MC and then, as a surprise, had two T-Rex's come out on the dance floor during the reception! They also had lawn games such as giant Connect Four and giant Jenga along with corn hole and a ring toss. 

For the couple, the moment that stood out to them the most about their wedding day was the vows! Christina and Anthony read their own vows out loud. They both had a line in their own that was similar to the other's.  When looking back 50 years from now on their wedding day, Christina cherishes the memory of an amazing day with her husband and the special dance with her dads.  She also wishes to remember seeing all of the couples on the dance floor swaying to slow songs and being surrounded by such love.

In their next chapter in life, Christina is most looking forward to traveling for three upcoming weddings in the next year (St Augustine, Orlando and Columbia) and then the couple's own honeymoon in Hawaii.  They also hope to buy a home soon! At the end of it all, Christina said her favorite part of the day is crawling into bed, turning on the TV and cuddling with her HUSBAND.

Photographer (images as shown above): Steph Wahlig Photography | Photographer: Lennon Photography | Venue: Seville Golf and Country Club | Florist: Designs by Jen Colvin  | Beauty: Courtney Ness | Wedding Cake: Crumbs Cake Boutique | Cinema: Amoroma Productions | Photobooth: SnapBooth | Entertainment: Got You Covered | Lighting: Arizona UpLighting | Games: Curtis Whipple | Dress: Stella York via Bella Lily Bridal | Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Mr. Formal | Officiant: Uncle Bret | Rentals & Décor: Material Girls | Rentals & Décor: Native Events | Wedding Planner: Jennifer Starr & Team

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Davies

For Megan & Zach it all started shortly after high school, when they both attended a friend's graduation party.  Zach, being the smart guy he is, made the first move by asking a friend for Megan's number.  It didn't take long for them both to realize that marriage was in their future.  After a couple months in, they knew that what they had was extremely special. 

Zach and Megan dated for five years before getting engaged.  What really sealed the deal for them was being thrown into a long distance relationship and becoming even stronger because of it. Zach's baseball career was taking off and Megan was completing her studies at Arizona State University.  Although there were many trials of being in a long distance relationship, this only strengthened them all the more.  Megan was committed to being Zach's biggest fan and enduring the travels and joys of being immersed in the baseball world. 

Zach proposed in Seattle, Washington.  There, he took Megan to Alki Beach during the sunset.  Zach, had cleverly arranged to have Megan "FaceTime" with her best friend.  Her best friend had dressed Megan & Zach's dog's up, and even had a sign behind them that said “Will You Marry Me?”  This, was a surprise to Megan.  Though she had an idea that Zach could be proposing soon, she had no idea when. Zach's proposal meant so much to her because he involved their beloved dogs; Zooey and Penelope.  Megan herself is a huge animal lover and their dogs are considered their children, so having them a part of the engagement was very special to her. 

Megan and Zach chose El Chorro in Paradise Valley for their wedding location. The moment they stepped foot onto the property they both knew they wanted to get married there.  Their wedding date of December 3rd, 2016 was chosen because it was "off season" for baseball.  Megan tends to "freeze" quite easily and was concerned about it being too cold, but as it turned out they were delivered a gorgeous 70 degree wedding day.

Megan really wanted her overall look for the wedding to compliment their chosen venue.  They chose El Chorro because of it's incredible desert landscape and view of Camelback Mountain.  Her main focus when planning the design elements was to make sure that they weren't drawing their guests attention away from the natural beauty of the venue but still giving it that extra touch for a more romantic feel. 

Looking back on the wedding day now, Megan and Zach both agree that their most special day was genuinely perfect and felt like a dream, the best dream you could possibly ever imagine.  They had many out of town guests that flew in for their wedding day.  Zach and Megan say that "knowing that so many people from all over the country came to be there for our wedding day was very special for the both of us."

The newlyweds are now most excited about "being together, especially during his baseball season ~ no more long distance!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographer: Daniel Kim | Venue: El Chorro | Florist: Sarah's Garden | Hair: Ashley Petty Hair | Make Up: Amanda Bland | Wedding Cake: a Bakeshop | Cinema: Cineprose Films | Entertainment: Bolt Entertainment | Entertainment: Emotion String Quartet | Photo Booth: Foto Booth Bus | Stationary: Freed Hands | Travel & Accommodations: JW Marriott Camelback | Brides's Gown: Hayley Paige | Groom's Suit: Magro Clothing | http://magroclothing.com/ | Wedding Planner: Jennifer Starr & Team, J.Starr Stylized Weddings

 

 

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Sabouneh

Misty was completely relaxed on her wedding day and ready to marry her best friend.  She'd been awaiting this day for a long time and the day was finally here!

Misty's bridesmaids were quite stunning and all wore long beautiful gowns by Bill Levkoff.  Misty's gown was by Katie May and looked like absolute perfection on Misty.  All the beautiful floral details were the creative work of Avant- Garde.

Ryan looked very dapper and handsome.  He was so excited to see Misty.  He had actually proposed to Misty nearly two years in the same garden at the Royal Palms where they would now get married. 

Not only was Misty relaxed and happy she also looked luminous. 

Misty and Ryan's color choices paired so nicely with the beautiful twists and turns of the enchanting Royal Palms Resort.

Finally it was time for Ryan and Misty to have their "First Look."

Misty was ready and Ryan couldn't wait any longer. 

Finally, it was time....time to as Ryan would say "lock down this unicorn."

Once they saw each other for the first time they both seemed all the more relaxed and ready. 

And right about this time...the weather started getting a little crazy....

The wind was blowing, lightening was striking, and few raindrops had started falling. 

We were either going to proceed with the scheduled ceremony time, or do a "reverse" cocktail hour and let the storm pass.  Misty made the final call and said "let's do this, and let's do this now."

At that time Misty had changed out of her dress and shoes (to be comfortable) and all of her Bridesmaids were still dressed. 

Misty got back into her dress and shoes, while her girls were doing touch ups, looking for shoes, and packing up their purses and such.

All of a sudden with olympic speed, Misty comes walking through the doorway, completely dressed, before all of her girls and starts walking towards the Ceremony Site.  At that time her girls in record time came chasing after her.  It was quite an impressive thing to witness.

Misty was all smiles and ready to marry Ryan. 

As the wind welcomed her down the aisle, Misty was handed off to her best friend.  The Ceremony was performed by one of Misty and Ryan's dear friends. 

Everything about their ceremony was personalized, so meaningful, and yet so fun.

They were now "official."

It was time to celebrate!

They were so relieved and so happy. 

The guests enjoyed cocktail hour the newlyweds snuck a few romantic photos. 

The Royal Palms was so perfect as it has so many romantic twists and turns. 

Everything about the resort felt so private and special. 

These two had been waiting a long time for this moment. 

As their relationship started as friends, and grew into best friends. 

The night continued with a delicious meal.  The main course was a duet entrée of petite beef tenderloin paired with a butter roasted jumbo shrimp. 

At the end of the night they even surprised all of their guests with a late night fare display of house made pizza, (pizza is a big deal to Misty & Ryan) tenderloin sliders and potato fries. 

It was quite evident how loved Misty and Ryan are by their family and friends.  It's safe to say that these two will continue dancing through life and laughing together every step of the way. 

 

 

 

 

CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS INCLUDE:

Photography By: Chard Photographer

Hair & Make Up By: Michael Franco

Floral By: Avant-Garde Floral Design Studio

Bride's Gown: Katie May Collection

Venue: Royal Palms Resort

Planning: J.Starr Stylized Weddings

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Marino

On a warm Saturday in September, Nate & Amanda became husband and wife in front of all of their friends and family.  Amanda is true classic beauty and looked stunning in her lace-backed wedding gown. Nate looked handsome, always a relaxed smile upon his face. He had no doubts... He was ready.

Together, they married at the lovely San Tan Elegante in Gilbert, Arizona. It was obvious that day that they were surrounded by many friends and family that loved and supported them. 

They said "I do" under an arch of greenery, dripped in soft crystals, candlelight and hanging white blooms. 

Amanda was all aglow, and her bridesmaids looked striking in their vibrant blue dresses. 

The gentlemen all looked dapper, and made sure to keep the day light and fun as they cracked jokes all day long. 

The whole day was absolutely lovely.  Nate and Amanda had woven in so many personalized touches, including: a puzzle guest book (that represented their love story), personalized table names,  darling Arizona themed party favors (as many of the guests were from out of town). 
The Mother of the Groom made dozens upon dozens of homemade cookies and treats that were elegantly displayed during the reception. Guests were in heaven indulging in "buckeyes", "peanut butter cups",  and"chocolate covered ritz" just to name a few.

Such a bright and beautiful day for an amazing couple.

Congratulations Nate & Amanda!


The Creative Partner Team...

Event Planning: J.Starr Stylized Weddings
Venue: San Tan Elegante
Photography: Still Life Studios
DJ Services: AZ Celebrity DJ 
Floral: Renata's Designs
Wedding Cake: Piece of Cake Desserts
Specialty Linens: Southwick Linens
Officiant: Anthony Montana

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Mattison

Once upon a spring day on March 14th, 2015, two best friends became husband and wife.

Lacey ~ a fun loving, joke cracking, fun spirited beautiful woman.
and
  Jarred~ a warm, kind hearted, and caring handsome guy.   

On the day they married their personalities shined through every detail in the wedding.  The most important elements to them were:
1. Everyone have fun!
2. There be lots of surprises!

Lacey chose a dress designed by the famous wedding gown designer: Kitty Chen.  And yes, her dress was a light shade of pink, which she was thrilled about.   Her accessories also included hints of pink hues and sparkle, lots of sparkle. 

There was a lot of excitement and love in Lacey's hotel suite that afternoon while she was getting ready with her mom and all of her best friends surrounding her... . 

Lacey was nervously excited...she just couldn't wait to see her Groom.  

Entering Jarred's room was comical.  The Best man Tim was hard at work ironing away, another groomsman was in a mad search for his missing bow tie...eventually found at the bottom of his tux bag.  Jarred was concerned...concerned about the timeline, about the missing bow tie...but mostly concerned about his bride.  "Is she okay?" 

Finally it was time for Lacey and Jarred to have their "first meeting."  Lacey was on pins and needles...for as calm of a person as she naturally tends to be...this was a moment of sheer, nervous exhilaration. She had waited for this moment for a long time.   

And then their were two.... A team.  Ready to embrace the most magical moments of their life.  Ready to spend the rest of lives together. 
 

They were ready.... it was time. 

She was ready for him to continue always sitting next to her (never across) and holding her hand.  She was ready for him to continue telling her that "she's amazing."  He was ready for her to continue to always think about him, more great kisses, and always being together.  These things wont change, they will just mean more as time goes on. 

Their ceremony was "Whimsically Glam" in every sense of the word.  There were pinwheels, balloons, polka dots, and many sparkles.  The guests were happy and excited.  Every member of the Bridal Party truly had immense amounts of love for Lacey and Jarred and it showed. 

And Lacey had her balloon....a giant pink balloon with white polka dots. And Jared had her.  

And on that day, we heard them say.....

"There's nobody else, there's nobody else." ~ Lacey
"Life is good baby, life is good.  I love you." ~ Jarred

Everything in the room had a meaning behind it, each detail.  It was important to Lacey and Jarred that the details were personalized.  Their cake topper included their dog, Wrigley.  Their table signs included photos of them, and each number represented something significant to their relationship. 

Entering the Grand Ballroom guests were awe struck by the sparkly, fun, and quirky details.  The Bridal Party sat at a stunning, long feasting table in the middle of the room draped in blush sequin linens. 

The tables were topped with light, romantic flirty flowers spilling out of bird cages, antique oversized windowed photo frames, with touches of pinwheels throughout the room. 

But there was one thing slightly confusing about the room....it didn't have a dance floor?  Hmm....Lacey and Jarred knew this would be puzzling to their guests. 

Awe... but wait.  Just after their beautiful dinner was completed... which by the way was "breakfast"...yes they served their guests a decedent array of comforting breakfast foods! Why? Well because they love breakfast, and why not?

As dinner ended Lacey and Jarred slipped away... And positioned themselves on the other side of the ballroom (which had been divided by an air wall.)  

And all of a sudden....their six piece band started rocking out, and the dividing wall started magically opening... And their was Lacey and Jarred, SUPRISING all of their guests with an additional room, entirely decorated with a LIVE BAND (The most important element to Jarred) and all of the sudden, Lacey and Jarred began dancing their first dance (choreographed) to the song "You are the Best Thing" by Ray Lamontagne.  The crowd went wild... Circling around them in amazement. 

Pure magic.  The band's talent was truly unbelievable, they brought such energy to the room!

 

And of course the surprises didn't stop there... There was an additional photo booth, a gourmet donut bar... and endless amounts of fun.

The party rocked on all night long.  Everyone had a unbelievable time... Great dance moves, flowing libations... And incredible live music.   

And this was their day.  A day that Lacey and Jarred will always have as "theirs".  All that know them well... know that the party and fun for them has only just begun. 

 

Creative Partners:

Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton - San Tan Elegante
Photographer: La Bella Vita Photography
Videographer: Richard Talbot Productions
Florist: Renata Hodl
Hair & Makeup: Tiffany Moore
Musicians: Lucky Devils Band
Officiant: Marco
Desserts: Piece of Cake Desserts, Darling Donuts
Photo Booths: Kylee
Wedding Planner/Designer: J.Starr Stylized Weddings

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Glass

Eric and Vanessa's opulent Wedding Day took place on Saturday October 4th, 2014.   Vanessa was absolutely luminous in her custom tailored Brides by Demetrios gown.

Her shoes were full of sparkles, much like Vanessa's personality... and her choice of scent to wear on her wedding day was Dior J'adore Eau de Parfum.
 

Eric looked oh so handsomely dapper in his custom fitted tux by Celebrity Tux and Tails. 

The bride (and her dancer legs, umm wow) had carefully planned out every part of her day.  Upon entering the Bridal suite at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, I saw that Vanessa had thought of every little "comfort" item to make sure that all of her bridesmaids and family members felt welcome. She had created a sparkly welcome sign with all the girls names, had music playing, the room was filled with scented candles, trays of delicious food and of course mimosas for all.

Eric was cool, calm, and collected. He was excited to spend time with family, friends, and didn't even mind having to dress in his tux rather early in the day,  to ensure the photography timeline wasn't rushed. (thank you again for trusting your Planner on this suggestion ;) 
 

Vanessa was all a glow...and ready to marry her love.
 

The Bridesmaid's were all strikingly stunning.  It amazed me how they barely needed any instructions on posing from the photographer....they just did it, effortlessly. 

 And the Groomsmen....definitely kept the day fun and lively.

Oh my, no words.   Vanessa had asked her best friends daughters to be her flower girls.   They each held a letter as they walked down the aisle, stealing everyone's hearts.

Vanessa took her walk down the aisle at the glorious St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

Eric's smile lighted up the room when he first set eyes on his Bride. 

And together hand and hand they walked back down the aisle for the first time as Husband & Wife.

The reception took place among three different areas at the ultra modern yet classic Arizona Science Center.

Cocktail Hour took place in the "My Digital World Gallery". 

A very high tech fun filled area...complete with innovations and digitized walls and screens that augment reality.

Dinner took place up on the Solar Terrace.

Guests were seated in a cross shaped feasting table.  The table was covered in candlelight and low floral centerpieces atop a sparkling metallic table runner. 

The cake was classically glamorous, complete with hand sculpted flowers. 

One of the most breathtaking design elements of their day was the candle staircase.  As guests entered the private entrance for the Wedding they were greeted by a stair cased filled with gold dipped candleholders and a glow of enchanting lit candles. This was completely Vanessa's vision....and wow it was incredible. 

Vanessa is a former Phoenix Suns Dancer, a former Phoenix Mercury Hip Hop Squad, and a former dancer for the  Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team. And now,  Vanessa owns and operates a dance program for kids of all ages in Phoenix called Lime Lite Dance.  So, it only made sense that their Glass Wedding Reception was full of amazing dancers!

Vanessa and Eric surprised their guests with a special dance performance by one of their friends, Natacha Bachour.  Natacha just wrapped up the show "VEGAS" at Planet Hollywood and is now rehearsing for a brand new show taking place at The Wynn.

Eric and Vanessa were mesmerized by each other as they danced to their first song "By Your Side" by Sade.
 

At the end of the night, guests lined the exit and tossed sparkling gold sequins at the dashing couple.  Just before loading into the Mercedes getaway car, Vanessa hugged me with tears in her eyes and said "Jennifer, it's all over"... and my response to the beautiful bride was ..."It's only just begun!"
 
Vanessa and Eric later honeymooned at the lovely The Regents Palms Resort in Turks and Caicos. 
 
 

VENDOR TEAM:

WEDDING PLANNER: J.Starr Stylized Weddings
VENUES: Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, St. Xavier Catholic Church, Arizona Science Center
PHOTOGRAPHY: Brie Bandura
DJ SERVICES: BJ the DJ
FLORIST: Lori Elliot
CATERING: Santa Barbara Catering
RENTALS: Event Rents
CAKE: Custom Cakes
VIDEOGRAPHER: Apollo Poetry
TRANSPORTATION: Christopher
RINGS: Shane Co
MEN'S TUXS: Celebrity Tux and Tails
BRIDE'S  GOWN: Brides By Demetrios
BRIDE'S SHOES: Nordstrom Rack
BRIDE'S JEWELRY: Dillards
HAIR: Lauren Simpson & Kaylon Brunot
MAKE UP: Katie Theulen, Janice Bulger, Kayla Oberg

 

Same Two People, Ten Years Later, Much More Love

On a beautiful breezy day in April, all of Brianne & Donnie's loved ones gathered together again....to watch these two renew their marriage vows to each other.  The Ceremony was held at St. Matthews Church, a church that they have recently found a home at.  The grounds were quaint, charming, tidy....the inside of the church was lovely...with wood benches, natural lighting, and a lovely alter with delicate stenciling around the cross.
 

It was such an honor for me to be a part of this special day, being Brianne's Cousin, I had been in their Bridal Party ten years ago.  I was able to participate again this time as their Planner and again as a member of the Bridal Party, a true honor.
 
Bri and Donnie had mentioned to me years ago that the really wanted to renew their vows on their 10 Year Wedding Anniversary...it was special for them to say those words again to each other, have their precious daughters be a part of the renewal, and celebrate again with their family and friends. 

Bri looked beautiful, classically beautiful.  Her dress looked as if it was custom designed for her outward appearance but also her inner spirit as well.  As a little girl, I remember Bri loving "Anne of the Green Gables", she had a large victorian print that hung in her bedroom, as well as these amazing porcelain dolls...she was to me, the definition of sophistication and classic beauty. 
 
It's a remarkable experience to see all of these qualities she had as a child still evident on the day she renewed her vows to her husband on their ten year wedding anniversary.   

And then there's Donnie, not only incredibly handsome and charismatic....but also never holds back expressing the overwhelming love he has for Brianne and the two beautiful daughters they have together.
Prior to the Ceremony, Bri and Donnie had agreed to a "First Glance" in the church.  Everyone was cleared from the church for the exception of Donnie who stood at the front, facing the alter....the organist who happily agreed to play music for this moment, and the photographer...capturing their expressions. 

Bri walked down the aisle once again, as she did ten years ago...approaching her groom at the front....but this time it was different...the love they share.... the security and comfort they have....the confidence in themselves as individuals and as a couple....had all multiplied, ten fold. 
 

And additionally, this time around they had two precious daughters to add to the mix.  Shortly after Bri had walked down the aisle....Gracie and Ellie came excitedly bouncing down the aisle, their curls flying....so excited to greet Mom & Dad at the alter.

And there they stood...

...ten years later....

...united once again...in front of all of their loved ones....

To simply take a brief moment out of the hecticness of daily life to say....
I Love You.  I Need You. I Cherish You.

And at the very end of the service they were accompanied by their daughters as they walked down the aisle again...filled with more love, more hope, and joy. 

Following the service, was time to celebrate, in a big way! The reception was held at the historic "The Landmark" in Mesa inside their "Heritage Hall." It was important for Donnie and Bri to host their reception at a place that was special and meaningful to them.  They love "The Landmark Restaurant" and dine their often with their girls.  They love the character of the building, and delight in the warmth of the homemade food.
 
The room couldn't have been more perfect for Brianne's style...classically elegant and beautiful.  It was intimate in size with beautiful wood floors, vintage looking gold chandeliers, and a big grand stage.   

Breathtaking...

The Centerpieces were constructed by J.Starr Florist: Renata Hodl.  When we met with Bri at the venue for a walk thru...we decided that the overall "feel" we were going for was "Downton Abby Inspired." Therefore it only seemed fitting that we keep the look...formal, clean, and romantic.  The centerpieces were created of large displays of babies breath in sleek glass black vases. 
 

Outside the entrance of the Landmark, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places....stood the happy couple. 

The stage was transformed into a feasting table for Bri, Donnie, their girls...as well as both sets of their parents.  The table was backlit was special lighting to create on overall glowing effect.

Smitten...

Bri wore pearls around her neck and in her hair and lace upon her feet.

They each gave very heartfelt toasts to their family, friends, and their daughters...thanking everyone for being apart of their lives, their journey, their story.
 

After dinner, the dancing began, Bri and Donnie danced again to their song..."Feels Like Home to Me" by Bonnie Rait. 

And then things got WILD....tons of fun was had by this group!

As the night ended...a new chapter began...A new chapter with more love, more patience, more understanding.  Congratulations Brianne & Donnie...what an inspiration you are to many.

 
 
VENDOR TEAM:

Photography: Still Life Studios, Matt Wheeler
Venue & Catering: The Landmark
DJ Services: AZ Celebrity DJ, Juan Sandoval
Florist: J.Starr Stylized Weddings, Renata Hodl
Planning: J.Starr Stylized Weddings, Jennifer Starr

*Special Thank You to Melissa Jonovich, for day of coordination and design set up*

Stunning Views & Timeless Elegance for Mr. & Mrs. Zeller


I just love this couple.  They were referred to me by Chris and Nina, as I coordinated their Dana Point, California Wedding in the Fall of 2012.  If you're a faithful reader of my blog...perhaps you remember when Luke was a featured guest blogger and shared with us their amazing love story.   It was quite evident through Luke's charming and funny writing style that he is completely in love with Marlene....

As I sat down at a coffee house with Luke & Marlene well over a year ago and asked them...."What do you want for your wedding day....What's important to you?" 

Marlene responded..."minimalistic and tasteful"....with a view of the city lights....Luke responded...."whatever my Bride would like".... Well there's no doubt about it....their wedding had breathtaking views...and while the décor was kept minimal it was incredibly elegant. 

Marlene was a classic beauty, when she smiled she lit up the room..

And Luke....the handsome groom....so happy..

 The Bridesmaids looked classic...

The Groomsmen, so dapper...

The Ceremony...

The Views....
 

 "The Kiss"

 Officially Mr. & Mrs...

 The Flowers..

The Setting...

The Cake...

Incredible Setting...Magical

The night ended with a sparkly send off...and a big movie worthy smooch!


Thank you Marlene & Luke for choosing me to help you with your most special day, it was  truly an honor. 

 

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Warner

Oh My... Where to Begin....
 
I met April about 3.5 years ago.  It didn't take long for me to realize that April and I have a lot in common....especially when it comes to our shared passion for the Wedding Industry.  April is a Catering Director at San Tan Elegante and she has coordinated hundreds of weddings.  So, when she pulled me aside at the Bridal Fashion Debut back in June of 2013 and whispered "I'm going to be getting engaged soon, and you're going to be my Wedding Planner" I took it as a HUGE compliment. 
 
You see, April is a very smart girl and realized early on....when it's time to BE the BRIDE, it's time to BE the BRIDE...I was beyond honored....

The day was so lovely in every sense of the word... and as April said during her Wedding Reception "It didn't rain" as weather reports had teased about earlier in the week.  THE DRESS: April's stunning wedding gown was from Suzanne's Bridal Boutique. 
 

THE GROOM: Oh Rick.  He is seriously one of the kindest Groom's I've ever had the pleasure of working with.  Rick knew he wanted his Bride happy...and he also wanted to make sure that his guests felt appreciated and loved. And that's really all that mattered to him...
 

THE DETAILS: April knew she wanted the look and feel of the wedding day to be "Classic Romance"... she knew that when Rick and her show their children their wedding photos one day...that everything looks "classic" and not outdated.  {Hanger was purchased off of Esty}

THE FLOWERS: There were flowers everywhere....in just amazing shades of white, cream, pink and blush.  Kristen Mandly, owner of Blume Events and her talented team really captured the feel and look that April wanted. 

THE BRIDE: April, how I love you so.  The first moment I saw April that day she was overjoyed.  I'm so thrilled that she and Rick both truly enjoyed every moment of their day.  April {especially being so knowledgeable and experienced in the Wedding industry} had so much appreciation for all of the people and work that went into this day.  She was truly GLOWING.

THE VENUE: Seville Golf and Country Club.... Seville is like home to me.  It was such an honor to be back there, it felt like no time had gone by.  Emily Glenn the Private Events Director was a true professional in every sense of the word. 

The Ceremony Site was so elegant, complete with giant flower displays framing the walk way.

And swirls made of rose petals down the aisle....

THE WEDDING PARTY: What a fun group of people!  Pictured here is little Miss Payton, the Bride's adorable niece, doing a fantastic job! 

THE KISS:  By FAR the LOOOOONGEST kiss I've ever witnessed!

THE HAPPY COUPLE: They were just so happy to be Married!  Truly, so happy to have found each other.

THE BRIDE: How Gorgeous is THIS girl? 

THE GROOM:  It was often that you see the handsome Groom simply gazing over at this Breathtaking Bride.

THE GUYS

PHOTOGRAPHY: It's always a blast when Still Life Studios captures your day! Matt Wheeler, Bridget Levi, and Richard Talbot {video} did an outstanding job documenting this day....and the Sunset that night was unbelievable!
 

THE GIRLS

THE RECEPTION: Just Gorgeous!  Southwick Linens provided the "Pewter Pintuck" linens on the guests tables, adding to the elegant look were black chavari chairs....topping the look off with centerpieces from Blume Events.
 

THE CAKE:  The decadent cake was created by Piece of Cake Desserts

 J.STARR TEAM:  My lovely and very talented Coordinating Assistants Renata & Melissa

STATIONARY: All of the invitations, programs, place cards and menus were provided by Definitely Debra making all of the beautiful details extra personable.

THE ENTERTAINMENT: Was provided by the talented Juan Sandoval, Owner of AZ Celebrity DJ 

I had so many favorite moments of the night... if I had to pick my top three:
 
1.) The Kiss! So Funny!!
 
2.) The Song ~ April completely surprised her Groom and all her Wedding Guests by singing " At Last" {By Etta James}... for a little girl, she has some pipes!  She use to sing competitively in school...and on their first date Rick joking said to April " You have to sing at our Wedding"....and she did just that!  Her song brought the entire room to their feet, it was outstanding.
 
3.) The Thank You Toast: Yep, April made me cry {more than once}.  But especially during her "Thank You" Toast.  After thanking all of her family and friends, she thanked ME.  Her words were so heartfelt..I've never had that happen to me before, it was so unexpected and meant so much.
 
You see...the BEST part of being a Wedding Planner is that you make Life Long Friends in the Process. 

The night ended with the Bride and Groom smooching in Rick's 55' Chevy Bell Air Classic Car, that was displayed at the entrance of the Grand Ballroom. 
 
It was just an unbelievably beautiful evening... yes the amazing florals, linens, uplighting all contributed but what really made that night so beautiful has the visible LOVE that Rick and April show for each other. 
 
Thank you both from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to experience this with you...I wish you much joy, happiness, and trips to Disney!  Love you both!
 
 
*** VENDOR TEAM ***
 
 
EVENT COORDINATION & STYLING
J. Starr Stylized Weddings & Events
VENUE
Seville Golf & Country Club  
PHOTOGRAPHY & CINEMATOGRAPHY
Still Life Studios
FLORAL
Blume Events
CAKE
Piece of Cake Desserts
ENTERTAINMENT
AZ Celebrity DJ
LINENS
Southwick Linens
INVITATIONS AND PAPER DETAILS
Definitely Debra
GELATO CART
Frost Gelato
PHOTO BOOTH
SnapBooth
BRIDE'S GOWN
Suzanne's Bridal Boutique
HAIR
Amber Dewey & Angie Dinges
MAKEUP
Patricia Monjaraz & Yuri Medrano of Labelle Artisty

Chris & Nina's Spectacular Wedding Day!

I just love this couple so much and had a wonderful time working with them on their most special day....the photos by Still Life Studios turned out so beautifully...
I'm almost at a loss for words....

Nina, the gorgeous bride is very close to me...and by nature a very easy going person, with an infectious laugh and genuine charm.  It was a wonderful experience for me to be able to be an "insider" on her most special day. 

Her Groom Chris, was lovingly called "The Bride" many times by Nina.  As he was very active in the planning process... it was a great way for me to get to know him better.  I personally LOVE it when the groom is active in the planning, maybe that's because my groom was active in the planning process.  It's really helpful, and the wedding day becomes a true collaboration of their blended personalities.

Their "first meeting" was on the beach....THE BEACH!!!  Knowing that it would be very difficult for the "J.Starr Design Team" to assemble floral on site {with it being a destination wedding} Nina opted for her bridesmaids to hold these darling pinwheels for their bouquets...all made by the talented bride herself!

She also handmade her bouquet, along with the corsages, and boutonnieres!

 All their lovely details came together so beautifully.....

 And most importantly...they had fun!

The Reception took place at this lovely restaurant venue that overlooked Dana Point, called Cannons.
The staff and Cannons was exceptional! Truly...they helped myself and my team so much with the set up details...maybe they felt sorry for "Preggo"... I was really impressed and appreciative!

They had chosen lanterns, lighted sticks, and pin wheels to be decor theme of their reception...and it turned out so lovely and so fitting for the venue!

 And Chris and Nina were no fools... they knew that had to fly in Still Life Studios to capture their day.  And they opted to book 2 photographers rather than one... and of course the photos prove what a great decision that was!

Just breathtaking!

And this last shot, showcases the view of the reception, it was a truly magical night.  I feel so honored to have had a part in this day, thank you Chris and Nina.  Much love to you both!!!
"So thankful for Jennifer Starr's amazing event management yesterday, even while pregnant and a guest at our wedding, and the unreal photography skills of her husband Justin and his cohort Matt Wheeler. You. Guys. Crushed. It. In every possible sense." Chris Cardinal, Groom