Real Wedding: Arynn & Devron’s Garden Elopement

Arynn & Devron planned their Arizona elopement in just three days!

“It’s still mind boggling to think we pulled it off!” says Arynn.

Their barefoot elopement, which was held at Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens – a gorgeous, secluded & eclectic garden in Scottsdale, truly epitomized the meaning of an intimate wedding.

“We got to look into each other’s eyes, vow our lives to one another & feel like we were the only people in our own little world. At that moment all that mattered was our love & promises to each other,” says Arynn.

Thanks to Amy & Jordan Photography for the wonderful images!

Arizona garden wedding

Arynn & Devron

Scottsdale, Arizona

Wedding Date: June 1, 2012

Number of Guests: We only had 2 witnesses; which also happened to be our fabulous photographers, Amy & Jordan Demos. :] A true elopement!

Wedding Cost: $3,500; including our 1 night mini-moon expenses, designer wedding gown, groom attire, hair, makeup, hotel, venue rental fees, butterfly release, photography, transportation, & intimate reception dinner.

Ceremony Location: Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens

Mini-Reception Local:  Hyatt Regency on Gainey Ranch is truly one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate in Arizona. We chose to have a photo shoot on the Italian Gondolas & dinner at Alto’s Italian restaurant on the property.

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona Boojum Tree elopement

Arizona garden elopement

 

wedding gondola

wedding gondola

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

Seriously, why wouldn’t someone want an intimate wedding? More time, effort & resources go to making a blissful experience & intimate moments instead of just another form of entertainment for others. Personally, for the two of us, who had recently moved thousands of miles away from family & friends, it made complete sense. We had just embarked on a new stage of life, in a new state & we were off to take on the world together. The moment we stood in front of our Pastor we both looked at each other & we could see it in each other’s eyes — this was truly the intimate moment our soul’s had been craving. It was finally here.  I’m not sure how many other people understand how incredible it is to feel so much emotion crammed into an instant.

bride and groom first look

picnic basket groom gift

bride and groom first look

 

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

We literally planned our wedding in three days! It’s still mind boggling to think we pulled it off!

I, the Bride, had my heart set on a July 7th ceremony, but my Devron’s work got in the way. About May 25th I decided I was done being loony over his job making our wedding date uncertain. I had planned four different weddings, in four different places & this whole planned-elopement-thing wasn’t going smooth & stress-free as I had imagined. So- BAM. I just threw out all my ideas & asked him if we could elope the next week.  We already had an engagement photography shoot planned, so why not turn it into an elopement instead?   The news confused my man a little bit, but by Tuesday {the 29th} he was on board with the wacky plan & crazy excited! It was a bit intense – I even had a size 12 Maggie Sottero gown tailored to a size 0 with 6 bustles in one night. We married that same Friday with a kind of spontaneity that took our breath away.

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona garden elopement

bride and butterfly

 

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Not at all. We didn’t offer to fly anyone down in the first place because we knew everyone would want to come if we did. You really can’t pick & choose from large families without having hurt feelings. We wanted live streaming {perfect way to share the moment} but because we planned our elopement in three days it just didn’t come together in time.

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona garden elopement

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

No issues. We had a long two-year engagement & everyone was just excited to see us married.

When we called to tell them all {the day of} most of them expected us to elope anyway. We didn’t get anything but tears of joy, over-the-phone smiles & best wishes. It also helped that we are planning a vow renewal in our home state that they can all attend.  We never wanted to ‘exclude’ anyone, anyway. We ended up successfully creating an intimate day for us to celebrate & another future event to share our journey with those we love.

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona garden elopement

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Dev {the handsome Groom}:

The bride reveal specifically. Our photographers were quite experienced at creating the perfect moment for us to see one another. We prayed without seeing each other first and after some playful photos, I finally got to turn around and see my beautiful bride in her dress for the first time!  I couldn’t stop saying how perfect and beautiful she looked.

Ary {the Bride}:

Smiling in the moment with just the two of us was priceless. He wiped away my tears during the vows & it seemed like I couldn’t breath until I heard “I now pronounce you husband & wife! – You may kiss the bride!”  Overall, it was a beautiful day, with many beautiful moments; all well spent with my best & truest friend.

wood wedding sign

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona garden elopement

 

What were the highlights of the reception?

We had a moment to relax on the gondolas over the water, we had a butterfly release in a palm tree grove on the Gainey Ranch property & then a classic & intimate “you-feed-me-&-I’ll-feed-you” dinner during the sunset hour & lasting until we were under the stars.

The butterflies were anxious to get out so we had the groom & our photographer Jordan fiddle with them until they all communed in our little rose box.  We even had two little girls wander up to us who said, “Wow – you look so pretty!” …so we gave them some butterflies to release & enjoy too. :]

Arizona garden elopement

Arizona garden elopement

wedding gondola

 

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The title of this blog says it All – an INTIMATE & REAL Wedding. We got to look into each other’s eyes, vow our lives to one another & feel like we were the only people in our own little world. At that moment all that mattered was our love & promises to each other.

{ehem… we also went barefoot – a major PLUS for us }

Arizona garden elopement

 

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

An elopement is couple-centered, just like a marriage is. When did weddings turn into a performance anyway? Marriage is about two people & two people only. Why intentionally invite unnecessary conflict & stress? Honestly, if you are having a hard time planning, budgeting, and coordinating extra shenanigans & people… then take a moment to consider what this day REALLY means. There are traditions that no longer serve a purpose & there is no good reason to be in debt at the beginning of your marriage by paying for nuances that don’t mean anything to you.  So, just keep what’s important to you both, consider your soon-to-be-spouses feelings & realize that as long as you are married to your beloved by the end of the day… it all went perfectly.

Arizona garden elopement

 

Vendors 

Bridal Gown: Laura’s Bridal in Tucson, AZ

Cake: The little devils were actually “cake pops” for two, which incidentally got lost by hotel concierge! {we both envisioned the front desk employees getting hungry} …Alto’s made us original brownie pops instead – which were fabulous.

Photographers: Amy & Jordan Photography

Officiant: Pastor Randy Williams

Groom Attire: H&M  {no joke}

Butterflies for the Release: Swallowtail Farms  {overnight delivery}

Reception Dinner: Restaurant e bar at Alto’s

Shoes: None; just bare & beautiful

Mini-Moon Venue: The W Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ

Husband Gift Basket: 6 Miles Etsy Shop Picnic Basket

 

 

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Comments

  1. Posted by Karen on September 11th, 2012 at 9:02pm

    I love photographing elopements. You have so much more time and less stress for the couple. These are beautiful images and looks like they had a great time. Congratulations.
  2. Posted by Aileen on September 12th, 2012 at 11:06am

    Aww, this is so sweet. Seems like such a perfect decision for them, and the photos really capture their emotions beautifully.
  3. Posted by alexa on January 7th, 2013 at 4:04pm

    Arynn,

    Where did you have your dress alteration done? I bought a size 8 dress and need it altered to a size 2.
  4. Posted by Arynn (the Bride) on January 18th, 2013 at 1:24am

    Laura's Bridal does amazing & fast alterations! I had such a long train that I had to put 6 bustles in it.

    Here's the info:

    2257 East Broadway Boulevard
    Tucson, AZ 85719
    (520) 294-9199
    http://www.laurasbridaltucson.com

    The owner (Sandra Hillier) is lovely & she'll take good care of you. :) Best wishes!
  5. Posted by Clechara on April 16th, 2013 at 12:52pm

    I like your website it is fun and inviting.
  6. Posted by Jennifer Noss on June 14th, 2013 at 7:17pm

    That's absolutely amazing, and congrats to both of you! Loved reading about your wonderful day...
  7. Posted by Lois on August 19th, 2013 at 3:12pm

    I want to elope as well, but everywhere I look the hardest part is finding an intimate place to dine without a hundred people around. How did you make your dinner at the restaurant private?
  8. Posted by A. Presco on August 19th, 2013 at 6:31pm

    Private dining was pretty easy for us somehow. We specifically requested a quiet outdoor corner at Restaurant e bar at Alto’s and they accommodated us easily! I suspect most restaurants will make special arrangements if you mention that it'll be an intimate after-wedding dinner. :)
  9. Posted by Heather on October 13th, 2013 at 10:49pm

    You are a lifesaver! I have been struggling to plan our intimate destination wedding for months. We decided on a "planned elopement" and have not gotten much past that. I am hoping to have some terrific options thanks to your suggestions!
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