1. How did you two meet? (Middle School) Shane and I grew up within a mile from each other. We were friends from middle school on and always had a ‘crush’ on each other, but were dating other people through high school. We went to different colleges, and would sometimes run into each other when I was home for holiday breaks. One specific time we ran into each other while out with our groups of friends being pulled in different directions; Shane asked if we could see each other before I left the following day to drive back to where I attended college. I told him that if he called me at 8:00AM the next morning, that maybe we could see each other before I left. When my phone rang at 8:00AM on the dot the following morning, I was happily surprised! We became instant best friends. Within 3 months, Shane found out he was accepted into a job that would take him across the country, around the same time I found out that I was accepting into a highly sought after master’s program. We dated long distance for almost a year and a half, and when I graduated, I moved across the country to be with him.
2. Tell us about the proposal. He asked my parents first, and then surprised me by proposing in a room filled with my family and friends.We both flew back to New York (home) separately for a friend’s wedding. Shane picked me up from the airport and drove me to my parents’ house where we were staying for the week. When I walked into the house, I naturally started telling my parents and Shane about the plane ride, lay overs, and all of the fun stuff. Shane left the room and my parents rushed me into the living room as fast as they could (it took a few minutes of stories). When I walked into the living room I first noticed a few Skype screens up on devices, and then in the shadow of the sun coming through the windows, I noticed a lot of people crowding around. I saw my two childhood best friends who were both VERY pregnant and was more and more excited as each person’s face came into focus, and then suddenly, I saw Shane kneeling in the middle of everyone with a ring box!
3. Were you happy with the venue? 5 golden stars! Couldn’t have asked for anything more. We looked at almost every venue in Sedona. We knew Sedona was going to be the location, simply because of its beauty and tranquility. We also are from New York (and currently live in Tucson) so many guests were traveling to Arizona for the first time, so we wanted our guests to be able to see one of the most spectacular sights that Arizona has to offer. When we walked into Agave of Sedona, we knew instantly that this was the perfect venue. The open concept, ceiling to floor windows looking out at the mountains and updated fixtures and style, is what grabbed our attention first. I loved that we could have the ceremony outside on the circular patio, transition right over to cocktail hour, and come in for dinner and dancing all in the same place, making it easier on everyone who traveled. There is also a great hotel in walking distance from the venue for people to enjoy themselves and get back to the hotel safe. On top of all of that, once I met Wendy the director, I felt completely comfortable and confident the day would be perfect. She answered all (ALL) of our questions quickly and made the planning portion a breeze. When it came to the rehearsal, I cant describe how much weight was lifted off of our shoulders when she calmly (but assertively) directed the process (she even offered me her scarf because it was colder outside than I expected). On the wedding day, Wendy and her assistant, Terri, made sure everything ran smoothly and that everything was taken care of. The wedding day was absolutely perfect.
4. Describe the theme and color scheme of your wedding, and any favorite details (ceremony and/or reception) you included in your special day. We got married in the fall, and Sedona offers great red/orange scenery as a back drop. We chose navy blue and burgundy/deep reds as accent colors for the wedding party and theme. It added just enough contrast and pop to compliment the natural beauty around us. We also went for a clean and classic look. One of our favorite details of the ceremony, was that we had one of our best friends officiate the wedding, which made it more special and personal to us.
5. What words of advice would you give other couples planning their big day? Set a wedding budget and break down costs from there, plan together so that both of you are involved, have someone coordinate/email rehearsal and wedding day plans and times for you, and try to keep the wedding smaller to be more intimate if possible We made wedding budgets and weekly budgets and planned out our saving plan ahead of time. We did everything together, which helped me feel less overwhelmed. We broke tasks up into what I am more naturally good at and what he is better at. I am better with smaller details, design, and timeline things; where he is better at numbers, budgets, corresponding meetings. Design a rehearsal day and wedding day timeline days before the wedding. Assign someone in your wedding party to be in charge of emailing it to anyone who is involved and updating it as changes happen. That way, people will know the address, time, and details of where they need to be an can make their plans accordingly and you will be stress free! We were able to have a smaller wedding (80 guests), that allowed us to spend quality time with everyone and overall it made the wedding feel more intimate to us.
6. Tell us about your photographer: Why did you choose this photographer and were you happy with the whole experience? We chose Jennifer from LIV photography after seeing her photos displayed on the Agave website. That showed us that she was familiar with the venue and Sedona. We were extremely happy with the whole experience! She has the ability to make you feel like old friends instantly. We loved that she had sneak peak photos done within 24 hours, and out of over 1000 wedding photos, 526 were my absolute favorite! I knew I wanted Jennifer from LIV Photography when I saw her pictures being used by the Venue on their website, the pictures were creative and captivating and I knew that meant she knew her way around Sedona and the venue. We scheduled an in-person meeting with her, which instantly was filled with laughs, stories, as well as the important details. We scheduled an engagement session in Sedona and Jen was quick to respond to questions, gave great direction and ideas, and a blast to be around, making the whole experience perfect. She even edited and sent us three pictures within 24 hours, and we had the rest very quickly as well. The experience was even better for the wedding. She was great with timelines, directions, ideas, listening to what I wanted; coupled with an awesome personality to make it feel like I had another friend coming along with us! She got every shot we wanted, checked into make sure there wasn’t anything left before it was her time to leave, and again had a few photos edited and sent to us within 24 hours, and the whole package shortly after. The hardest part was picking what photos I wanted to frame afterwards, because 526 photos were my ‘absolute favorite’.
Up lighting was provided by Bobby the DJ. He really brought everything together.
We used a GoPro and had guests film
James McGuire Jewelers in Tucson, Arizona. We were able to create our rings with them.
Cakes & Sweets
Bobby Russell - Sedona Sounds
Wendy Harrison with Verve Events and Tents
Bobby also plays the guitar
In the planning process
Allure wedding gown - La Bella Bridal
Darrell Banning - personal friend
Jazz Bouquet - Kim Roda
Hair and Makeup
Our planning guide provides helpful tips for each stage of the wedding planning process, complete with a wedding checklist, budget sheets, Q&A for vendors, and all of the information you’ll need to plan your dream wedding!