Words by Alice & Shannon
We decided we both could have the opportunity to ask each other for the proposal. We’re not a traditional hetero couple, so why does only one person get to ask?! Shannon was taking Alice to see Hamilton in NYC for her birthday and set up a very romantic dinner at One if By Land (in the village- VERY romantic place.) The staff was in on it, and I had put the ring in a handmade wooden box, and they put it on top of a bed of roses. She had no idea what it was, looked like chocolate. Until she picked it up and shook it, and then she started to cry. She took the ring out an put it on, and finally, I had to say – “is that yes?!” So, touching everyone around took photos.
Then Alice totally surprised Shannon, and they spent the day in San Francisco (First place, they met each other in person after speaking online.) Alice took her to the first restaurant they had dinner – The Cliff House, and of course, Shannon thought any minute she’s going to ask… and it didn’t happen. So, they left the restaurant, and Shannon was a little disappointed. Then Alice suggested a night stroll on the beach. And as they walked, she pointed out a bunch of lights near the rocks. Shannon was skeptical and thought it was a homeless shelter. They continued walking, and it turned out that it was an elaborate quaint beach party set up for 2 with lights, sleeping bags, apple crisp, beverages, and music. Alice dropped to one knee and even had a built-in light on the engagement box. Shannon was in tears and said yes!
We chose Sedona as the wedding spot because we LOVE Sedona, it’s a VERY special place. The views are spectacular, and it’s such a spiritual place, with no ties from the past. Plus, it was a destination that both sides of the family could get to pretty easily. And the venue, we checked out all the places, and the Amara, had such a funky vibe, and reasonable rates and such a fantastic backdrop for our wedding, we had to book there.
Our theme was simple elegance in Sedona. We didn’t want it to be complicated. Our colors were red rocks and Sedona flowers. We’re in our 50’s and didn’t need a huge wedding party- there were 8 of us in total. Bride, Bride, Best Person, Best Person, and our two Special Folks that walked us down the aisle. We got married on the lawn, with such a great view, we didn’t want a ton of flowers and other things obstructing the view. We did add one thing. We had bistro lights put in because the dinner was outside after the ceremony and we loved those lights. We also didn’t want bouquets. So, we asked our awesome florist person to create a boutainage for us — a combo of a boutonniere and corsage. So, check out our flowers on our lapels in the photos. We didn’t want them too big or too overly masculine.
There were only two DIY projects for the day.
We created gift bags for all the attendees. We only had 50 people attend. We wanted it small. So we got the baker to do these adorable mountain cookies that had our initials with a heart between. Then we got an item from San Francisco- Ghirardelli chocolate and NYC – Statue of liberty mints, to symbolize our engagement. Then we gave them some mini suntan lotion, water, a map of Sedona, and a welcome letter from us. We also had a Welcome Reception. Since it was a destination wedding, we wanted to invite everyone to the reception off-site at the Sedona airport. It’s one of the most beautiful mesa, with amazing views. We worked with my crafty sister, and decorated the table with red rocks we found on a walk, and we went to the fabric store and got swatches of Sedona views, along with some twinkly lights. These were the table decorations. And it was so windy, we had to get some tape and do some finagling to make it all look pretty.
The actual wedding day was pretty fantastic. We started our morning out hiking with two good friends and ended up getting a very inspiring wedding blessing from the beautiful Sedona Rocks and spiritual energy. Then we had last-minute vows to write and time to spend with some family. Then we both got dressed separately and had our wonderful photographer snap some fantastic shots- including our first look- which we thought was going to be a little hokey and ended up being one of the best pics of our wedding – thanks, Suzy! We loved all the wedding party photos we took before and our couple photos too.
The big ceremony went beautifully, it was perfect and felt amazing to share our love with our friends and family. Highlights were taking family photos and having our sit down dinner under the stars of Sedona, with our best people giving toasts and sharing in our love for each other.
The last best part, besides the cake cutting, was the DJ and dancing till late into the night.
Best day ever!
Photographer Suzy Goodrick
Cake Sedona Bakery
Catering Amara Resort
Celebrant Jerald Hyche, Episcopal Priest
Ceremony Venue Amara Resort
Entertainment Downtown Browne DJ
Florist Mountain High Flowers
Lighting & Sound Hire Verve Events & Tents
Reception Venue Amara Resort
Rings Hand Woven Rings by Todd Alan
Suit Designers After Six & Tuxes for Less
Wedding Favors Oriental trading Company, Michael’s