Jordyn (from America) and Simon (from Reading, England) are giving me all the feels today at their Boojum Tree Pheonix wedding.
Every image you look at by Lee Meek Photography is bursting with fun and happiness, from the outdoor ceremony near the fountain, to the intimate reception full of party games and laughter, not forgetting the immense sparkler exit.
You literally won’t be able to stop yourself from smiling through this lovely set of images as you relieve their wedding day with them. Plus the fashion is to die for. Enjoy!
Claudia the Bride: I purchased my Essense of Australia gown and my veil at the most adorable bridal boutique in Phoenix, AZ: Uptown Bridal. They have created the most amazing space filled with women who just want to help you find the gown of your dreams. They serve you and your guests coffee and macaroon treats while you look around the shop. I have highly recommended this bridal shop to all of my friends. The seamstress they use is also a downright genius. The way she made my gown fit was absolutely incredible.
The groom had a bespoke suit made by Simon Dowling Bespoke in Reading, England. He wore a navy suit with a champagne and white polka-dot pattern inside the jacket. He had our initials and our wedding date sewn into the inside pocket. He had a white shirt and a champagne colored tie to finish off the look. His cufflinks were also provided by Simon Dowling Bespoke.
So, as I am from New York but was living in Phoenix and Simon was from England, we had a tough choice for the venue. I wanted to get married in England (because that’s every American girl’s dream), but logistically it made more sense to have the wedding in Phoenix. We visited the Boojum Tree one evening and absolutely fell in love. As you walk through the wooden doors, you’re greeted by hundred-foot tall palm trees, flowers and greenery wherever you look, and about 200 lit candles throughout the venue. The ceremony area is in a beautiful courtyard, the cocktail hour is held at the cantina bar, the meal is held indoors in a beautiful greenhouse, and the dancing commences out on a gazebo surrounded by flowers and trees. The venue was quirky and had little hidden gems, like an English phone box. Our guests said that they had never seen a venue like this before, and neither had we! The Boojum Tree was stunning and provided a laid-back atmosphere that was exactly what we wanted.
The theme of our wedding was Secret Garden in the Desert. We kept our décor simple because the venue was so gorgeous on its own. Most of what I did, besides the flower arrangements, was to create handmade calligraphed signs. I bought some acrylic window replacements from a hardware store and downloaded some cool fonts from Pinterest. I printed out what I wanted the signs to say and traced over the acrylic sign with a paint pen. I did this for the seating chart, welcome sign, order of events, and Instagram hashtag sign. I also created the guests’ place cards in this same fashion by using glass microscope slides, and I placed these on beds of moss to tie into the greenery at the venue. Our guestbook was a Message In a Bottle, where guests wrote us notes to read on our first anniversary.
In an effort to save a bit of cash, we did not hire a florist! We purchased all of our flowers, greenery, and tools at a wholesale shop called Arizona Flower Market. All of the bouquets and centerpieces were created by Jordyn (me!) and her bridesmaids and friends. On each table there was a golden lantern that was wrapped in eucalyptus to tie in the secret garden theme of the venue. Surrounding the lantern were 4 votive candles and 4 milk bottle vases filled with white and pink spray roses and greenery. On the head table were 5 wooden flower boxes filled with eucalyptus, roses, and calla lilies, with tall golden candles scattered throughout the flower boxes. Upon arrival to the venue, guests were met with a large brass candelabra wrapped in the same eucalyptus. Throughout the venue, guests could find handmade eucalyptus garlands decorating the signage and various tables. My overarching idea for everything at our wedding was simplicity and I think that we really achieved that with the floral décor. The bridesmaids bouquets were filled with roses, ranunculus, and small calla lilies surrounded by greenery. My bouquet used the same flowers as my bridesmaids’, but with a few extra touches and a bit of extra size! Crafting all of these flower arrangements surrounded by my closest friends and family is a memory that I will always cherish.
Bridesmaid’s outfits were purchased from Morning Lavender Boutique. Each maid had the same white lace top and then they each picked out their own maxi skirt from a selection of color-coordinated ones.
I really wanted to give my bridesmaid’s outfits that they would wear again and that they were comfortable in.
Ring bearer’s outfits were bought at H&M and consisted of matching white button-down short sleeve shirts and navy blue shorts. We are really happy we went with H&M because by the end of the night, those shirts were no longer white!
The Groomsmen all had bespoke suits from Simon Dowling Bespoke in Reading, England. The suits were navy blue with a navy and white polka-dot on the inside of the jacket. They each had their initials or names and our wedding date sewn into the inside pocket as well, to commemorate the special day. Navy ties with a white shirt completed the look.
The best part about our ceremony was that it was performed by Simon’s good friend, Marc. In the States, you can use the online ministry schools in order to become licensed to perform weddings! Marc took one of these classes so that he could marry us on our big day. It was so special to have a good friend stood by our sides as we said our vows.
My brother, Jasper Suhr, did a reading called “Love is Friendship Caught Fire” by Laura Hendricks. Simon and I chose this reading because we felt it captured the reality of love.
We used Mark of PME DJ Services in Phoenix, AZ. When I met with Mark at our consultation, I realized that he had actually been the DJ at a wedding I had attended a few years before! I remembered really liking the atmosphere and music at that wedding, so we decided to choose Mark. He was a phenomenal DJ who really takes the time to read the guests and play music that suited everyone. He also included a few special extras such as a Private Last Dance, where Simon and I chose a song to dance to while all of the guests left the venue to set up for are sparkler exit. This was a very meaningful time to us, where we were all alone in our venue reflecting on how great our special day had been. Mark also included the “Newlyweds Game,” where he gave Simon and I a set of rubber duckies (bride and groom) and askes us silly questions like “Who is the best driver?” Our guests were laughing out loud at our responses!
Our evening entertainment was at the Dakota Bar in Scottsdale, AZ. Our wedding venue closed at 9pm, so we hired a few party buses and transported our guests to a bar! It was Memorial Day Weekend, so everywhere was very busy. It was great seeing our parents let loose and have a good time at the wedding. My dad even wore his tie around his head at one point!
All of our appetizers and the main meal were provided by Heidi’s Catering in Phoenix, AZ. Since we were in the Arizona desert, we decided to have a little southwestern spin on our meals. We served entrées like “Tequila Lime Chicken” and “Beef Barbacoa.” Our guests had a lot of compliments for the food and for the serving staff. Heidi’s Catering was extremely professional and attentive. We are so happy with our decision to choose them to cater our wedding!
As for the dessert, we chose to go with cupcakes rather than a standard wedding cakes. We chose a local bakery called Urban Cookies which has been featured on (and won!) the TV show Cupcake Wars. Our guests seemed to really love the cupcake idea because it was less formal and they could pick up a cupcake and mingle with other guests while watching our first dance.
Since we were getting married in Phoenix, AZ, we had a look around at all of the photographers in the area and honestly just didn’t find one we liked. We were looking for wedding photos that were real; we don’t like posing for photos and we wanted our photographer to really capture the emotions of our wedding day instead of being left with photos we had posed. On the off-chance we were to get married in England, we started having a look around at some UK-based photographers and that’s where we found Lee Meek. His style was everything we were looking for. Once we decided on a venue in the States, we couldn’t give up on the idea of having Lee photograph our wedding. His documentary-style, laid back approach was everything we wanted because he always seemed to capture the little, but most important, moments of every couple’s day. So…in the end, we decided we would fly him out to the Arizona desert!
We didn’t have a film we had our photographer Lee Meek put together a beautiful photofilm for us in which he set our wedding photos to music and some of our wedding speeches. We had friends of friends that we had never met before come up to us at events since the wedding saying that this photofilm had them in tears!
We hired a limousine and two party buses from Platinum Rides Limousine Service in Phoenix, AZ to transport our guests to our afterparty. The party buses were decked out with flashing lights and music. Our guests loved that the buses and limo were stocked with drinks on the way!
For our invitations, we used Minted.com and selected a stationery with cacti on it to fit our desert garden theme. We used the free wedding websites at TheKnot.com to track RSVPs and meal choices. For our thank you cards, we created our own online with a wedding photo provided by Lee Meek.
We did not use a wedding planner! We had a day-of coordinator provided by our venue, and she was absolutely amazing. She organized all of our décor perfectly and coordinated our day right to the minute to ensure we maximized our time with our guests. We cannot thank Jennifer at the Boojum Tree enough!
We used Fun In a Flash to provide a green-screen photo booth for our guests to use during the wedding. We selected a few backgrounds from the UK and from Arizona for our guests to pose in front of, and Fun in a Flash provided silly costumes. They also provided our guests each with a copy of their photos and sent us digital copies as well. We really liked looking at the photos after the wedding to see what our guests got up to!