“John and I met eight years ago through a mutual friend and my sister Stacey. After asking my parents for my hand in marriage and sharing his plan with his parents, John proposed Christmas Eve 2012. We cannot imagine our lives without each other. Planning the wedding was a blast. John and I had the same idea as to what we were both wanting with a few compromises in between. The best part of the planning was the help from my favorite little person, my bonus daughter Kaiya (step-daughter). This wasn’t just my wedding we were planning but “our” wedding according to her. We determined early on that we were going to prepare/make as much as we could ourselves for the wedding, personalizing every detail. We purchased many wedding planning books and began cutting inspiration images out of magazines. We wanted our wedding to be a reflection of who we were as a couple and family. Finding Van Dickson Ranch in Skull Valley was the start to the perfect wedding. It was the second venue on our list and the day we saw it, we booked it. It was like finding a hidden treasure.
Our wedding colors were deep plum, the yellow of Palo Verde flowers and charcoal grey. Being a designer by trade, the selection of colors, flowers and designs of each item was my favorite part. When planning the wedding, we wanted to make sure our kids were very much a part of the ceremony and reception. My bonus daughter was my junior brides made and my bonus son a groomsman. During the ceremony the four of us joined together and performed a mixing of the sand, making our two families one. We kept the ceremony very traditional with custom vows performed by our officiant.
We wanted our guests to have the best experience with us on our special day so we pulled out all the stops and whistles. We designed and made our own cigar bar, popcorn and nut bar, beverage station with various country drinks from flavored ice teas to lemonade, punch and water. We created our own dessert bar aside from just the wedding cake. Each display stand was carefully selected to create an eclectic country rustic feel with a few hand crafted items. Our families created homemade Cannoli’s and homemade Linzer Torte, two desserts that are special to us. The other delicious pastries were provided by Sweet I Do’s and were amazing! We had small yellow wagons filled with flip flops for our dancing guests and yard games such as horse shoe and bags (aka corn hole). We celebrated into the wee hours of the night with family and friends ending the evening with a group picture. What a great way to the beginning of our lives together. – Miss G.”

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