“Cheers” to your event!

September 19th, 2012 by figueroadjwedaz

The following editorial for Weddings Arizona! was written by Matthew Figueroa of Figueroa Disc Jockey Service. Serving the Metropolitan Phoenix area since 1985, Matthew knows the value of working with vendors who are professionals in each of their fields. Matthew has nearly 50 years of combined experience with the Weddings Arizona! Members.

To some people, sitting in a VIP section is about having the recognition that others know they are there- but to most people, it’s more about the feeling you get when everybody knows your name. One great American sitcom named, “Cheers” featured a famous theme song, “Where everybody knows your name”. It’s the restaurant or coffee shop where the server knows your order, greets you with a smile or a half-hug when they see your face, and you may even know other customers. It’s where you go to feel like you belong or that it’s “your place”.

I was recently reflecting what it is like to work at my favorite venues, with my favorite vendors; it’s like a “Cheers” moment. We greet each other as such, have knowledge of one another’s style, know their needs or preferences, and have a spring in our step knowing the enjoyment we’ll have from the evening. As a professional, we are fully capable of working with almost any new vendor. No matter how ‘green’ they are, if the rest of the professionals around them know what they are doing, it’s likely the event will still be a success. But when you look at your vendors as a team that will create your wedding experience, wouldn’t you want a group who work together well and know each other’s names?

In closing, meeting new vendors is a part of the wedding industry that every professional hopes they will not regret. When we work with professionals we know, we work as a seasoned team and it surely shows. The Weddings Arizona! Vendors have a wealth of experience with each other and it shows. Ask your Weddings Arizona! professional for an incentive when you use more than one of our preferred vendors.

Weddings Arizona! Tip from Figueroa Disc Jockey Service: When interviewing wedding professionals for your event, ask who they refer. Then follow-up with the question, “Do they pay you a referral fee?”

Wedding Invitations – Top Colors for 2011

December 30th, 2010 by Joanie Guidry

Every year around this time, I consult the Pantone Fashion Color Report for the hot new colors for the coming year. Even though the colors are more for fashion designers, I see the same color trends in papers, ribbons and embellishments for invitations.

Spring is all about the exotic hues of Peru, India, Africa and Turkey, according to the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2011.

Magenta-Honeysuckle grabbed the number one spot, with a vivid sky blue, warm orange corrally rose, bright mustard hued beeswax and seafoam peapod green in the top five spots. Dusty turquoise, chocolate brown, baby pink, pale lavender and light gray are still popular colors too.  Many of these colors would be perfect for an Arizona wedding, especially the warm orange corrally rose matching the beautiful Arizona sunsets!

The color designers have chosen for the spring season present an interesting marriage of unexpected warm and cool tones, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute stated.

Metallics are still very popular – pearl,  pewter, platinum and shades of gold add a formal touch to any printed piece!

I love it when my customer steps out of the box and wants us to create something dazzling and unique. Although most of the people I work with already have their colors and an idea in mind, it is fun to come up with something totally custom that fits their personality and theme! So, if you have no idea what colors you might want for your wedding or event, you can reflect on Pantone Color Institute’s colors for 2011.

Packing Tips for Honeymoon

October 22nd, 2010 by All About Honeymoons

This is an article I ran across with some tips for heading for the honeymoon!

Insure yourself a Happy Honeymoon!

October 19th, 2010 by All About Honeymoons

No one likes to think of the un-thinkables and what ifs…but life does happen! And in the event it does, it’s important to be covered. Most brides & grooms spend at least double what they would normally spend on a vacation on their honeymoon, and that makes it a big investment.

There are 3 main aspects that travel insurance products should cover. A. Baggage B. Medical C. Cancel/Interruption/Delays.

Baggage is to make sure that if your bags don’t arrive when you do, you can do something about it besides pout. If your bags are “lost” and will be delayed more than 12 hours, the insurance kicks in – go on a shopping spree at the cute hotel boutique and pick-up that swim suit and a toothbrush to get you by! And in the un-likely scenario where your bags don’t ever make it home, you have coverage for re-imbursement of lost goods available. Now that makes the 1st day a little less stressful doesn’t it?

Medical – Even if you have medical coverage here, many policies will not cover you out of the continental US. Be sure to check with your provider for details. If something terrible were to happen to you or your new spouse, there is a 24/7 hotline to speak with and advocate to help you find help, understand what is happening, and pay for parts of your medical needs. There is even coverage for evacuation back home if necessary.

Delays and interruptions are common in travel for various reasons. If your plane is delayed over 6 or more hours, you can get a stipend for food/shelter you were not expecting to need until travel can begin. If you missed the boat so to speak because you were heading for a cruise due to a delay, there is coverage to help you catch up to the next port and begin your fun! Hurricanes happen, and we hope it never finds out what island you are on, but if it does, insurance is there to assist you too.

Cancelling, we are hoping never has to happen. It may be a mom or dad gets really sick and the wedding is post-poned. It might be that, well, it just did not work out after all for the two of you. Cancel for any reason allows you to do so and get reimbursed for any non-refundable costs as long as you cancel 48 hour ahead of departure. That is much funner than honeymooning solo.

There are several large companies that you can purchase insurance through, including your travel agent. Visit this site for more detailed info on specific coverage options. Make sure you insure yourself a less-stress honeymoon by making the small investment in travel insurance for your plans – you will be happy you did!

A Mess or a Success

August 17th, 2010 by chocolatefountaingourmet

A Mess or a Success?

Allow your guests to indulge in a mouth-savoring experience of the finest chocolate.  We personalize your table display and try to maintain the tablescape as a clean, presentable centerpiece.

However, at a recent wedding, the photographer decided to take a picture of the fountain toward the end of the evening, I was embarrassed for her to photograph the fountain covered in chocolate.  She said “I think it looks cute, and you can tell it was the hit of the party”.  So, what I saw as a mess, I was told a different story through the eyes of the photographer.  Even though we clean the fountain continuously throughout the event, at the end of the day, one can tell the guests really enjoyed the chocolate.  So the next time you see a chocolate fountain that might be a little untidy, ask yourself if it was a mess or a success?  We hope you will allow Chocolate Fountain Gourmet to be the hit of your next event.

Please visit our website at www.chocolatefountaingourmet.com, or call us at (602) 308-4511.

Baby it’s Hot out there!

August 12th, 2010 by itsuphotowedaz

I had the pleasure of capturing one fabulous “Hot” August wedding.  Now I happen to be partial to

Soft Window Lighting

Soft Window Lighting

August Weddings  because I also celebrate my anniversary in August – what is that you ask? 

Yes it was here  in Phoenix. 

Photographing a wedding at this time of year does involve some tricks of the trade. 

First never never speak of the weather (lol) no one needs to be a meteorologist to figure out

the temperature out there.   

So work on bringing the outside in with your bride and groom, I had some beautiful windows with a fabulous folage

tree backdrop,

this also provided a wonderful soft directional light on my wedding couple.  (Soft Window Lighting)







We also worked on a upper story porch with a shade over hang that provided easy access to the  

indoor ceremony site for a little cooling off for the Bride and her Bridesmaids.   The gentle back light  provided

illumination on the bride’s veil and the

 backdrop was enhanced again with the folage of the trees.





The Rainbow!

The Rainbow!

All our efforts were rewarded with a slight drizzle of rain following the wedding ceremony and a beautiful
rainbow to cap off  the formal wedding photos!
Photography by –

Honeymoons 101

March 12th, 2010 by All About Honeymoons

The honeymoon is often the last on the wedding to-do list, but a very important aspect of the wedding experience! Often your honeymoon is the part you remember long after all the “mermaid blue” tulle & taffeta are down from the rafters! Make sure you have planned ahead so that you can enjoy a wonderful honeymoon rather than trying to pull something off that leaves you hoping you will honeymoon sometime later…it rarely happens!

The average honeymoon lasts 5 to 7 days and the average cost is $4000. This is a good reference point when starting to plan your budget. The following should help you get started on planning , setting your budget & what direction to head for your dream honeymoon!

Start with how long do you have to honeymoon after the wedding week. Do you have out of town guests that you need to entertain after the wedding date? Can you leave Sunday or Monday? When do you need to return (typically to get back to the real world and work)?

When is your big day? Travel has peak seasons where prices are significantly higher than other times of year including spring break and the Christmas holiday season. You will need a bigger budget during these timeframes vs. other times for the same location & resort!

Do you want to leave the country?  It is necessary at this point to have a passport to fly – First time applications are $75 Plus a processing fee.

Are you a 3-star or 5-star property person? Is it important that your room have a view of the ocean or OK to be garden view?  Do you plan to sit on the beach all day or venture out on excursions daily? Will you need a rental car where you are going or can you get a shuttle from the airport? All these components will affect your budget.

If you are on a tight budget or want to know in advance just how much a trip will cost, All-Inclusive options are a great choice! A-Is are available throughout the Caribbean and Mexico. Your stay, food, beverages, gratuities, taxes & many on-property activities including snorkeling are included in your price upfront! No worries about how much your spending while on vacation – you have already got it covered!

Travel insurance is a must for honeymooners. The cost for such coverage is minimal compared to having to buy replacement air tickets, new wardrobes for lost baggage or needing medical care wherever you are! The fee will vary with your age, length of stay and cost of trip.  A cancel for any reason policy (also a good idea!) for a couple under 30 years old for the average honeymoon is $298 or less.

DYIs –  please be careful if booking on-line specials. These are typically run-of-house rooms – meaning poor view or last of the lot. Often the airfare is not a great itinerary costing you time that can be avoided. If they have oversold the property you may get bumped to a property you’ve not even heard of let alone researched! This is your special day, don’t save a buck and cause your honeymoon to be memorable for the wrong reasons.

Wedding Photography – Let’s have fun!

January 18th, 2010 by itsuphotowedaz

IMG_5481 copylr

 Wedding Photography should capture the fun and excitement of the day!   Meet Christian and Nichole – we photographed all the traditional photos, some at the church and most at the beautiful location of Val Vista Lakes, at the end of the formals one of them suggested this very fun – Trash the dress image – No there is not a second image of the bride and the groom hitting the water!  This worked as a very fun capture the personality of the Bride and Groom image.  

IMG_5286 copylr

 Some fun journalistic style wedding images are semi posed within a natural  setting.  While preparing to start a grouping of images with the bride and bridesmaids this natural backdrop of the maids was created while posing the bride and little flower girl.



 Yes we really did capture all the traditional wedding images – but at the conclusion of the wedding party session who could resist a quick strike a pose portrait of this lively group!  This fun, capture the moment image, takes only a few seconds to create but adds the essence of laughter and captures the  unique personality of the bride and groom and their wedding entourage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      IMG_5516 copy

So at the end of the day, make sure your photographer takes a few extra moments to create and capture the fun of your special wedding day.

 Patty Kaufman – www.itsUphoto.com

Ceremony Music: Setting the Right Tone for Your Wedding Day

October 28th, 2009 by David Ice
Wedding Harpist David M. Ice

Wedding Harpist David M. Ice

As you are planning your wedding day, the most important day of your life (so far!), have you really stopped to analyze how important your ceremony music is going to be?

Not only is it the first music your guests will hear, but it will also set the tone, mood, and style for the rest of your wedding day.

It’s very important to take a few moments and think, really think about what you hope to achieve during those all-important moments of your ceremony, plus before and after.

I’m a harpist.  So I’ll admit I’m biased towards harp music.  But my thoughts and arguments equally apply to all live musicians, and their importance to ceremony music.

Some brides think, “Oh, I’ll use use an Ipod for the music.”  Others think that the DJ will just somehow “handle” the music for the ceremony.  Trust me, the former is fraught with great danger, and the second can be very tricky unless placed in the hands of a highly competent DJ who has a thorough knowledge of music—not just the technical knowledge of how to turn on a CD.

Take the Ipod Bride.  First off, how many guests have ever shown up to a wedding and exclaimed, “Oh, she has an Ipod for her wedding!”  Zero, I can assure you.  A live musician (be it a harpist, a keyboard player, a guitar player, or a string quartet) instantly says “Class!” to your invited guests.

And what can go wrong with an Ipod wedding?  Well, in the old days of cassette tape, it was so easy to hit REWIND or FAST FORWARD instead of PLAY.  Trust me, I’ve seen it happen repeatedly—more often than not!  In the Ipod world, it’s just as easy to scroll down and miss a song.  I’m not kidding.  A minister friend told me about the bride who came down the aisle to The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson theme…..somebody pressed the wrong button.  I’ve personally seen (or rather, heard) the most bawdy, lusty hip-hop song with utterly unprintable lyrics blast forth from the speakers before the nuptuals….another “oopsie, my bad” moment from the hapless Ipod owner.  Grandma nearly had a stroke from that one.

A competent DJ with the right tracks can do a good job—but consider this:  all it takes is one lost bobby pin and all the timings, rehearsals, and pre-planning go out the window.  What if you only have 96 seconds of music?  Your flower girl has the giggles (or is crying in terror) and you now need another extra 22 seconds of music to get her down the aisle?  Unless your DJ is incredibly competent, you have no other option than to start the music all over again—and just fade it out at the end.  It’s like turning off your car radio in mid-song.

A live musician (ideally, a harpist!—I can’t help myself!) can be utterly flexible with the music and “vamp” if necessary, stretch out choruses, and make the music perfectly fit no matter what happens.  I’ve had this happen, personally, many times.  The bride’s train gets caught up in a doorjam and she can’t move—or the time the bride forgot her boquet in her room and ran back to get it, leaving me with a very uncomfortable 90 seconds wondering if we had a real-life “runaway bride!”  I was able to vamp and fill and make the music seamless, as if it was all rehearsed and supposed to be that way.  And most importantly, none of the guests were any wiser.

Grandma is having trouble walking down the aisle?  No problem.  The ring bearer skips down the aisle instead of walking at a stately pace?  No problem.  A live musician can make the music work for your wedding ceremony, and work perfectly, no matter what happens.

A live musician also helps establish and maintain the tone and mood for your wedding ceremony.  For the Ipod bride, it can be a bit jarring to mix, say, Dolly Parton with Rod Stewart.  But a live musician (using whatever instrument) will maintain the same timbre, mood, and overall tone no matter what the music’s origin is.  Led Zeppelin and Donny Osmond?  No problem on the harp!  But play the original tracks back to back, and you’ll get giggles and stares from your guests!

One last thing:  as ceremony musicians, we all strive to make your day as perfect as possible.  Our job is to create a sound painting, if you will, that creates and maintains the perfect romantic mood.  It’s money well spent and you will never, ever have to endure the Twilight Zone Theme as your Wedding March—unless you specifically want it!

David M. Ice,  Harpist   www.azharpist.com

5 Ways to Save Money on your Limousine for your Wedding

June 15th, 2009 by admin

Everybody is looking for ways to save money these days. Especially brides planning their once in a lifetime – dream wedding. It is such a special day – one we have dreamed of since we were little girls. The beautiful dress, the flowers, your hair and make-up perfect and your handsome groom in his tux.

Many of us also see a gleaming limousine whisking the handsome newleyweds off to a fantastic honeymoon. The photographer posing you two just-so in front of the shiny Escalade limo or elegant Chrysler 300 limo.

Here are tips on how to save money on the limousine/transportation portion of your wedding:

1. As you have probably already seen – from the wedding venue price lists to your photographer’s price sheet – having a Weekday or Non-Friday/Saturday wedding saves you a ton of money!

This is also true for wedding limos. Pricing is usually MUCH lower Sunday – Thursday for limos or SUV limos and most companies will do point-to-point transfers in limos on these non-peak days.

2. If your wedding is on a Friday/Saturday, realize that the limo company has a minimum hourly usage during these busy days. However, the minimums are usually lower during the day. So if you rent a limo up until 5-6 pm – you will usually only have to reserve for a shorter time period (2-3 hours) – which will save you money!

3. If you drink alcohol, get a safe and elegant Towncar to take you and your groom to your home or hotel after the wedding reception. Most companies will charge a much smaller transfer fee for a point-to-point transfer in a Towncar (these cars do not have hourly minimums like limos). This will help you avoid any chance of a DUI – especially on your special day!

4.  Have a wedding in the Summer in Phoenix.  As you know – because of the heat – weddings are not as popular in the summer-time in Phoenix.  Pricing for limousines, SUV limos and party buses are much lower from limousine companies because of the seasonality in this market.

5.  Don’t have your wedding on a Prom night – the last few Saturday nights of March – all the Saturday nights in April and the first two Saturdays in May are Prom nights.  Limousine companies get overwhelmed by the demand for limos during this time-period and raise the rates and hourly minimums.  The prices for these extremely popular nights are not for the budget-consciou.  If a limo is very important in your wedding planning – avoid these 8 Saturday nights for your wedding.