I say this is the 2nd most important decision because when I talk about it being the 1st, someone always corrects me. I forget that saying yes to Mike was the most important because it wasn’t a difficult decision, it was a no brainer! Before getting engaged, my parents and I had already started scoping out venues. With my dad working in the event industry, he already had a good idea of the best of the best out there. My parents even went to check out a few venues before we were engaged!
Mike’s brother, Steve got engaged a few weeks before us to his girlfriend (and one of my closest friends) Tana. Since I work from home and she was on spring break, I went with her to search for a venue for their wedding (and I took notes for me and Mike). In the end, Tana and Steve ended up falling in love with the beautiful Encanterra in Queen Creek. They are getting married November 6 of this year and I am currently designing their wedding invitations, programs, menus, name cards, etc…and I am a bridesmaid. More to come on their wedding in future posts!
Image via Encanterra
From the beginning, our favorite venue was the Desert Botanical Gardens. It is absolutely gorgeous and our family attends multiple events per year there, so it was really special to us. I have quite a bit of family coming in for the wedding from Minnesota and Wisconsin, so we knew it would be a place that they would love. But…last spring we went to an event there and my allergies were terrible! The gardens are amazing, but I have really bad allergies and something in particular there was really affecting me. Cross that one off the list.
After getting engaged, we immediately took the venue search seriously. Most of the time it was my mom and I taking tours of venues. We probably saw about ten of them total. One favorite was Firesky Resort near Scottsdale Fashion Square.
Image via Firesky Resort
The grounds at Firesky were gorgeous and the entrance to the resort was so eclectic, I loved it. Then…the ballroom. I have a thing against ballrooms. Most of the time they are boxed in, have bright ugly carpet and it is difficult to decorate. This ballroom was on my ‘okay’ list though. I really loved how close it was to Old Town Scottsdale too.
Then there was the Fairmont Scottsdale Resort. I loved it! There were so many options for locations for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. This went high on my list!
Image via Fairmont Scottsdale
We also took a tour of the Biltmore. I loved the fact that it had so much history and was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, but when we went on the tour, they only had one date available in April and the ballroom with the gold ceiling (pictured) wasn’t available.
Image via Arizona Biltmore
Then…it happened. We found it! It was actually one of the first venues we saw and nothing after it even compared! Mike and I were the only ones to go see it at first and we knew deep down that it was the one! So here it is…we chose…Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club!
Images via Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club
Yup, thats where we are going to get married, on the base of the Superstition Mountains! The scenery and views are unbeatable and it just felt completely right to us. Another huge thing that was really important to us about the venue was how we got along with the event coordinator. Tracy at Superstition Mountain is awesome. She works quite a bit with my dad’s company and uses my cousin’s lighting business regularly.
The club house and courtyard for the reception is amazing. They hired a Spanish architect to build it and gave it a beautiful old world European feeling. The doorway to one of the dining rooms even has an old wooden door from a castle in Spain. Every time we go there I am completely blown away (and let me tell you, that is not easy to do!).
The above images were taken by me during multiple visits to the venue. Starting at the top left, this is the view from where the sweetheart table will be at the reception and looking out to our guests. The picture to the right of that is where the ceremony will be (and my dad). Bottom left is the staircase that we will walk down when we are introduced at the reception (sorry mom!). And the bottom right picture is where the dance floor will be. One of the biggest challenges will be to decorate the three massive black boards that hang on the walls by the dance floor. I see a future post on that…
They only had a few dates open in April and since we didn’t want to get married on Easter weekend, we chose April 2. We are beyond excited about getting married at this venue! Our out of town (and in town) guests will be blown away at the spectacular views and gorgeous architecture…it makes you feel like you are away on vacation. Even the drive up to the clubhouse is amazing, it is a winding tree-lined street.
After deciding on the venue, I immediately had ideas for the theme, colors, etc. I truly believe it is so important to keep your theme and colors appropriate for the venue and your surroundings…maybe that is because of my training in design and architecture school. More to come on the theme!