Our relationship has grown organically over the past 10 years, which is part of what makes it so special. We have gotten to know each other intimately and we are also best friends. But we still manage to grown as individuals, together….
We have such a great balance of not just love, but of fun as well, and with an understanding of how each other thinks so we can help each other when the other is in need. We were very excited about our Scottsdale wedding, and had already started our plans, but our hearts were still very much into making our wedding day an adventure, and being in Sedona. We had envisioned being high up on a cliff, somewhere quiet and peaceful, with unbelievable views. Plus, there are some elements of a wedding that we felt were very private and personal (like saying our vows) that we weren’t comfortable doing in front of guests. So we decided to have two weddings! A private ceremony in Sedona and then on a later date our friends and family wedding in Scottsdale. Our Sedona adventure elopement was really just about Tom and I. We wanted to spend the day not worrying about too much other than having fun, celebrating our relationship, enjoying the outdoors, and being on an adventure together. Although we don’t practice a specific religion, Tom and I are both very spiritual, with a belief in energies and connections. Arizona is home to many Tribal Nations and contains so much spiritial engergy, we wanted to celebrate in a way that honored the traditions of the Indigenous People who have walked the land before us, and acknowledge their wisdom of the Seasons of Life, so we incorporated some of their traditions into our marriage ceremony. Our officiant, Shanadoah, is of Cherokee and Iroquois heritage and she was able to share with us and bless us with a traditional Smudge Blessing. The smudging brings sacredness to the occasion and the herbs that are used are to promote and bring cleansing, protection, unconditional love, wisdom and gratitude. Marriage to us is officially saying that this is the person I truly trust, whom I want to spend my life with, who I want to spend my time with, to always see happy and achieving their goals. Someone you find yourself wanting to support and help through any situation, and always willing them to be happy, and figuring out how you can make that happen. It truly is a feeling of becoming one—even after being together for so so many years, and living together and buying and renovating homes, we felt like we had been “married” for years, but actually being married feels like you are truly together through anything and everything.
Photography, Nick & Aimee at Frank & Peggy | Bride’s dress (elopement), Natalie Rolt | Celebrant (elopement), Shanadoah Sterling | Groom’s shirt, Ted Baker | Groom’s shoes, Magnani | Groom’s suit (elopement), John Varvatos | Wedding celebrant, Gwen Waring at Arizona Ministers | Bride’s wedding dress, Nurit Hen at Bella Bianca | Wedding ceremony venue, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale | Wedding flora, Butterfly Petals | Groom’s wedding suit, Hugo BOSS | Recessional song, ‘Watch the Sun’ by Comet Blue | Makeup (wedding), Stephanie Neiheisel | Wedding Coordination, Liz Rush at Imoni Events | Elopement ceremony location, Rachel’s Knoll, Sedona, Arizona | Rings—Custom-made by Tom’s mom and stepfather | Elopement picnic location—Merry-Go-Round-Rock | Flora (elopement)—Roman Hartze at Dax Victorino Films