It turned out EXACTLY like we wanted: small, simplistic, and FUN! Oh, and for the most part, it was gluten free!!
There were only like 60 people there, which was great. At first we were concerned that the wedding kept growing and growing, but in the end, the amount of people there was perfect. The weather was not as good as we had hoped, but it was better than every other day that week! Apparently in Arizona, we don't get rain in the Spring, just lots of wind and dust! The whole week (and particularly the day before the wedding--it was the worst) had winds of 35 mph with gusts up to 50! There was dust everywhere. Did I forget to mention that our entire wedding and reception was outdoors in a park? Yeah. Fortunately, the wind died down on our wedding day to about 10 mph and eventually stopped in the evening. It was only about 75 that day (it was 85-ish the rest of the week!) so it got COLD at night. Luckily the rental place (Affordable Rentals in Tempe) were AWESOME. We managed to get ahold of them, AFTER HOURS, and they rushed like 6 or 8 heaters out to us. It made a WORLD of difference, and everyone could get their dance on without shivering!
I made my grand entrance on our Arctic Cat, driven by my dad. It was definitely an original idea and reflected our life/personalities perfectly! It was even decorated by the groom himself with tulle (you'll see it in the pictures!) It was definitely a conversation piece!
We had John Ore, a Justice of the Peace from Chandler, as our officiant. Let me tell you, if you are in Arizona and are getting married, we HIGHLY recommend him! He brought a little humor to the ceremony, which all our guests loved (and so did we!).
And now, to the important stuff. Gluten free food!
As I mentioned before, we had our wedding cake done by Sugarlips Cakery. The cake was absolutely beautiful. It was 3 tiers, with the top tier being gluten free. It was a vanilla or white gluten free cake with strawberry and buttercream filling. It was so good. Then the bottom two tiers were regular vanilla cake and raspberry filling. The groom said it was amazing. AND the best part is, they separated the top tier from the others with TWO plate-thingys (I can't for the life of me think of what they're called right now, lol), one the exact size of the cake, and the other a little bigger to make sure none of it touched! HOORAY!
The catering was done by Crackers and Company Cafe. I will never, ever, EVER be able to sing enough praises for Crackers and Company. Seriously. They were absolutely AMAZING!! From the moment we contacted them, they were completely on board for preparing the meal gluten free. They were so helpful and so detailed in the menu. We ended up having:
Pork loin (which had some sort of apple glaze or something...incredible)
A carving station of turkey breast (with cranberry sauce on the side)
Roasted red potatoes (that had peppers in it..everyone LOVED them)
A vegetable medley
Salad topped with all kinds of goodies: mushrooms, peppers, etc (croutons and dressings on the side)
They had a bread display, away from everything. They had servers at the buffet table and totally understood the importance of making sure that spoons did not travel. These people blew my mind. We spoke with the owner directly (she was even at our wedding) and they went over EVERY single thing that was going into the food. They sent me a fax of photocopies of ingredient labels for everything, even the meats. They faxed me copies of emails they sent with their providers, ensuring everything's gluten free status. They even told me that if the meat was not gluten free they would go down to AJ's the day of the wedding and buy me my own pork loin! Oh, and I had originally wanted lemon herb chicken for the menu, but picky eaters created a problem (read: my DAD), so the chef offered to make my maid of honor and I our own lemon herb chicken breasts, aside from everything. They were so accomodating! The chef called me the day before the wedding to read me the ingredient label of something before he made the apple glaze. The owner went to back and grabbed the ranch dressing container they use at the restaurant and let Brandon read the label himself. And to top everything off, they said if it ended up raining on our wedding day, that we could move our reception to their restaurant (not even 5 minutes down the street) and have it all to ourselves at no cost!! OMG, right? I could not have wished, hoped, or DREAMED for a better wedding catering experience. They are incredible, friendly, helpful people at Crackers and Company, and seriously, if you are in Arizona, stop by their restaurant--they have a few locations. (And no I'm not getting paid to say all this, LOL! They just did a phenominal job and really went above and beyond; they deserve all the business they get! I've never been to a single restaurant where I've gotten such great service.)
And now...to the pictures. Our photography was done by Cayla Rynerson Photography...she did such a great job on these photos! She was also a lot of fun and VERY affordable!
These are in no particular order..they uploaded all funny. But there's too many to go back and rearrange :)
Our first kiss as husband and wife!
The Arctic Cat!
I now pronounce you Mr and Mrs Brandon S.
My maid of honor, Michelle, and I!
I love this picture!
A friend of mine called this photo, "erotic." LOL!