Lauren and Javier’s “downtown brewery” wedding took place in the heart of Tucson and centered around their love for the local food and beer scene. Lindsay Bishop Events headed up the team and incorporated the colors and culture of the southwest. We love all the bright cheerful details like the citrus-hued bouquets and ceremony structure by Alexis Grace Florals. The result is a fun and joyful occasion and lucky for us, Rachael Koscica Photography has captured it all!
Describe your theme, and what inspired you:
Our theme was ‘downtown brewery’. We knew we wanted our wedding to reflect our relaxed personalities, as well as the town where we fell in love. We chose a venue in the heart of downtown Tucson where we could be outdoors for both the ceremony and reception, and where we would be just a block away from the bar where we held our rooftop after-party. We served a southwestern menu and an authentic tres leches cake, as well as beers from our neighborhood brewery (and other Arizona brews). We even incorporated growlers from local breweries into our centerpieces, alongside other natural finishes like raw metal and stained wood. Collecting the growlers was a great way for us to take a break from the stress of planning a wedding! Even our favors were local; we purchased kindness coins from Ben’s Bells (a non-profit organization) and attached custom thank you notes.
The other big part of our theme was the ampersand. Early in the planning process I came across a marquee sign on Etsy that looked a lot like a capital E and it became the center of our logo (which was designed by an awesome graphic designer friend of mine) and our stationery. We carried it through the save the dates, invitations, and menus (which I designed myself!). The sign itself is nearly three feet tall and lit up the sweetheart table at our reception. It was a splurge purchase, but I love how cohesive it made everything feel, and now it hangs in our home as a piece of art and reminder of a really amazing day.
How did you meet?
Javi and I met while working at the University of Arizona. Our initial flirtations took place over office treats; bagels and brownies, to be specific. Our first date was on a Tuesday night over pizza and beer. We like to joke that our entire relationship is based on carbs. Most of our dates then (and now!) revolved around the local food and beer scene in Tucson, from food truck round ups to brewery openings.
Tell us about your proposal:
Javi proposed on a Memorial Day hike along Finger Rock Trail after we had been dating for 3 1/2 years and living together for 2 1/2. I knew something was up because he was super patient with me on the way up; it turns out he was worried the hike was too hard and I’d want to turn back early! When we got to the lookout it was just the two of us. He showed me the ring and told me this was the spot where he was going to ask me to marry him, and then he stopped. Even though he didn’t actually ASK, I said yes anyway. Then he made me give the ring back for the return hike! I put it back on when we got to the bottom and we had lots of fun over the next week telling friends and family in person before we posted anything on social media.
Favorite detail of the day:
It’s hard to pick just one. Seeing everything we’d been planning for months come together at the end was really special. In between the ceremony and the reception, Javi and I had some time alone to eat hors d’oeuvres and take it all in, and I remembering peering out into the courtyard and thinking ‘what a beautiful wedding!’. Even the weather cooperated with us; it had been hot leading up to the wedding and got hot again right after, but our day was just perfect.
There were a lot of details we didn’t even see until the day of. A local artist made several signs for us, and a close friend crafted our seating chart (her very first!). My mom made the curtains and the table runners, but I had no idea how great everything would look together. I surprised Javi with a UA inspired cutting cake (red and blue layers!) that I ordered sight unseen, and the DJ even played the UA fight song.
What advice would you give out to a couple planning:
Be you! Weddings can be overwhelming, but at the end of the day it’s about you and the person you love, and celebrating with your friends and family. If there’s something you don’t believe in or feel strongly about, skip it. Focus on the things that are the most meaningful to you as a couple. After our wedding, our friends and family raved about the food, the cake, the playlist, and the fun they had. No one asked why we didn’t have a traditional guestbook or a mandatory champagne toast. I’d also strongly recommend hiring a coordinator, even if you don’t need full planning. Being able to let go of all the details on the big day and enjoy every moment is so worth it!
Most memorable moment:
There are so many, but my personal favorite was hearing Javi’s vows for the first time. We wrote our own and kept them secret until the ceremony. He incorporated so many personal details and inside jokes: From a nod to our alma mater to clever video game references, he had everyone laughing, especially me. I worried I would ugly cry during our ceremony like I had every single time I thought about it before that day, but I just smiled from ear to ear the whole time.
I was also extremely touched by the speeches our wedding party gave during toasts. It’s not every day you get to hear a heartfelt summary of a lifelong friendship, let alone more than one! Our guests told us later we have really sappy friends!
Another incredible moment for me was walking down the aisle with my grandfather; my grandmother passed away just two months before the wedding. All the women in my family have worn her pearls on their wedding day, but in addition to that I was able to honor their 57 year love by having him escort me.
Photography: Rachael Koscica Photography // Planner: Lindsay Bishop Events // Florist: Alexis Grace Florals // Hand Lettering and illustration: Modern Aquarian // Venue: The Stillwell House and Garden // Hair & Make Up: Heather Van Houten // DJ: Josh Osteen // Cake: 2 Hearts 1 Kitchen // Favors: Ben’s Bells // Photo Booth: Bloom Photo Booth