John and Ashleigh are a music loving couple that hosted friends and family for a very intimate wedding at Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. The pair was lucky enough to find the perfect band for their big day, and made sure to have some of their favorite songs from the 90’s played for guests. We absolutely love the elegant black tie vibe that pairs beautifully with the rustic setting. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that their photos by Brushfire Photography are beyond gorg!
What made the wedding special and unique?
John and I made the tough decision to whittle our guest list down to our very closest friends and immediate family only. Our final head count was 58. 58 people traveled from 13 different states to Phoenix, Arizona (a special place to us) to be a part of our sacred day. In doing this, we managed to create the romantic, intimate setting we had envisioned. This enabled us to spend quality time with each of our guests without losing focus on one another.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
Everyone who knows us, knows we have quite an eclectic taste in music. From Johnny Cash to Tom Petty, contemporary pop to classic rock, we love it all. We wanted to find a band that would compliment our style vs your “typical” wedding band. Our photographers suggested the band “Elvis Before Noon”. Being that we are not from Arizona, we hadn’t ever heard of them. The next day, we found the venue they were performing at and went to hear them live. We walked in the bar hearing the perfect rendition of Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny” being sung by 4 of the coolest, best-dressed guys you’ll ever meet! We were sold immediately. Being that the wedding was a short 3 months away, we anxiously reached out to them inquiring their availability. We were shocked to learn they were in fact available. They were able to perform all of our favorite songs, including our first dance, “Stand By Me”, and sounded incredible. Not to mention, having a member of the notable 90’s band “Gin Blossoms” as the head guitarist earned us major “cool points” with our guests!
Tell us about the dress and where/how you found it.
Simply put, I am not that girl who has been planning my wedding my whole life! I did not have the slightest idea of what I wanted when entering the planning process. But strangely enough, I knew exactly what I wanted in a dress. I just didn’t know if it even existed, as I created this dress in my head! I browsed wedding magazine by the stack and searched online like it was my job. My dress was no where to be found. My maid of honor booked some appointments at local boutiques b/c my wedding was only 6 months away and I was still dress-less. She convinced me to put my dream dress on hold and give some other dresses a try.
After a major strike out at the first boutique, we entered the second one with somewhat of a hindered spirit. Alexia’s Bridal, located in the heart of Raleigh, NC is an upscale boutique offering an abundance of dresses. I remained skeptical as we sat down with my consultant. I described exactly what it was I was envisioning. She told me “Normally, I would regretfully tell you we don’t carry anything like that so consider today your lucky day!” Oddly enough, Alexia’s was hosting the Lian Carlo 2014 Fall truck show. Without prior knowledge of this designer, I immediately fell in love with the first dress I tried on. The italian embroidery with swarovski crystals was the perfect combination of intricacy and elegance that I was looking for.
What is the most memorable part of the day?
For both of us, the most memorable part of the day was the moment the over-sized wooden doors of Alegria Gardens were pushed open, and locking eyes between the long isle between us. Our eyes remained on one another the entire ceremony. A powerful, indescribable feeling neither one of us will soon forget.
How did you met.
Shortly after (Ashleigh) moving to Raleigh, North Carolina in 2009 for a job opportunity, a mutual friend of ours decided to play cupid, telling each of us that he had found our “counterpart”. After being introduced and bumping into one another here and there for a few months, we decided to meet up for coffee during a lunch break. Turns out, the mutual friend was right. We have been inseparable ever since.
Tell us about the proposal.
We decide to take a last minute Valentine’s Day getaway to one of our favorite places Phoenix, Arizona. We both love the outdoors and have a very active lifestyle. It was Saturday morning, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful 80 degrees out. Not too bad for mid-February! John suggested we go for a morning hike up Squaw Peak. I agreed that it was the perfect day, there was only one problem. John had just hurt his knee in a cross fit class causing him to walk with a limp for over three weeks! I assured him Squaw Peak would still be there for us to climb on our next trip. He insisted. We were going hiking.
I remained a few strides in front of John for the entire hike (this never happens!), turning around every so often to make sure he hadn’t fallen or decided to bail on me! As we were approaching the top of the mountain, the trail became narrow and signs are posted to “Stay on Trail/Do not Wander off Trail or Climb Rocks”. We took about two steps passed that warning sign when John suggests we “wander off the trail” and “climb” up to an area that looked like a good resting spot/scenic view. So we did just that. We climbed up to a private little area offering a breathtaking view of Arizona. I was taking pictures with my phone from every single angle possible. As I turned around to John, I noticed he was getting down on his knee, the BAD knee! For a split second I thought he was hurt and was going to have to find help-I shortly realized what was really happening. He told me “I can’t think of a better place to ask you this…” and proceeded to ask for my hand in spending the rest of my life with him. That moment, the very single moment, was the most incredible moment of my life. And answering “Yes” to him, was by far the easiest question I’ve ever had to answer.
Vendors: Photography: Brushfire Photography // Venue: Royal Palms Resort, Phoenix, AZ // Event Planning: Ashley Gain // Floral: Petal Pushers // Invitations: Graceline // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals // Linens: La Tavola // Guitarist: Daniel Tukenoff // Band: Elvis Before Noon // Dress: Lian Carlo // Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Bridesmaids Dresses: Two Birds