Proving Los Angeles isn't always such a big city, after first meeting in their early twenties Christal & Ryan continued to run into each other and from a friendship sprang a romance. Fast forward seven years and Ryan popped the question next to the swan lake at the Bel Air Hotel - the very same spot where his parents married 38 years prior. When it came to their big day they realised in order to have the intimate feeling they wanted, a destination wedding was required.
Being fans of the desert landscape and its warm spring weather, as well as all the bride's family being from there, they began to look at venues in Phoenix, Arizona. The picturesque backdrop of Camelback Mountain at the OMNI MONTELUCIA was the selling point for the perfect setting. Christal tells us, "We had already been in love with the resort as we had stayed there numerous times while visiting family. It was the perfect balance of quiet, beauty, and fun. We knew our guests would absolutely fall in love with the resort like we had, and would have a great time."
JOSHUA AULL captured their day with these beautiful light filled images and we're delighted to be sharing them with you!
The most important thing to us when picking the wedding venue, was that our entire event be outdoors. The weather is absolutely spectacular in Scottsdale in the spring, so we wanted to use the gorgeous warm evenings and cotton candy skies to our advantage. The large grass lawn of the Camelback Villa, which was on the grounds, would allow us to have both our ceremony and dinner outdoors.
We knew that since we were going to utilise the natural landscape, we wanted to stick with a neutral color palette of whites, creams, ivories, greenery, and natural wood. The flower arrangements were to be more natural and free flowing than "done". We also wanted the chuppah to be a main focal point and would be repurposing it for dinner as the setting for our sweetheart table. We opted for a large chuppah with a heavy layering of curly willow with white dendrobium orchids mixed in to add a natural yet romantic feeling. We alternated large undressed wooden rectangle tables with round dinner tables covered in ivory linen tablecloths, and mixed round table centerpieces with 8 ft long eucalyptus garland and floral centerpieces. Each centerpiece was a collection of hydrangea, roses, ranunculus, eucalyptus, and calla lilies, with a layering of votives, pillar candles, and floating candles all in clear glass. White bistro lights were strung across the entire lawn to provide just the right amount of mood lighting for the outdoor space.
After Ryan's childhood Rabbi married us, our photographer, Joshua Aull raced us into the desert to snap the perfect photos as the sun set on the desert mountains, while our guests enjoyed cocktails back at the villa. For dinner, guests dined on branzino and braised short ribs, and we kept an upbeat and eclectic mix of music playing by our DJ, Drea Strickler of Desert House Productions. We wanted the atmosphere to feel relaxed and laid back, so kept music like Michael Jackson, Arcade Fire, The Doobie Brothers, and Prince playing to encourage our guests to get up and dance between courses while mingling around. Once all the food was served, we relocated everyone just a few hundred feet away to the poolside bar we took over and turned into a nightclub for the after party. Our guests wound up partying the night away wearing props from the photobooth! Looking back on the pictures and video, it brings so much joy and laughter to us watching our friends hoisting us up for the hora while wearing oversized glasses and cowboy hats.
Our wedding day was beyond what we had dreamt of in every way. Looking back, we agree that there is not a single detail we would have changed, and feel so blessed to have shared it with the people we love the most. It was truly the perfect start to our life together, and a day we will always look back on with pure joy and overwhelming feelings of gratitude.