My Wedding Details. Part One.

Thursday you saw the big debut of my wedding here, on Ryan Ray’s blog and Style Me Pretty.  Starting today and over the next few days, I’m going to give you an in depth glimpse into the day in a few parts.  Today, I will start with the most important – the vendors that I picked for my day.

All photos taken by Ryan Ray.

The Photographer  – Ryan Ray

I found out who Ryan was from seeing his work published nearly everywhere – Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks, the guy is mega popular if you hadn’t heard of him before I started freakishly obsessing about him and rubbing his name in all of your faces.  I realized we had a few mutual Twitter friends who would RT his blog posts.  And like all who sees his work, I became a Ryan Ray fanatic.  I followed him on Twitter, then he followed me back.  Occasionally we started dialog and I told him that one day, he was going to be my photographer.

Benjamin even knew about Ryan Ray before we even discussed being married and I actually think at times Benjamin got slightly annoyed wondering who this Ryan guy was!  I loved his storytelling style and it was a San Francisco wedding I saw on his blog that made me decide I too, wanted a small wedding if it could be captured like that.

So why Ryan Ray, a photographer in Dallas, Texas?  I chose Ryan because I love his images, the moments he captures, his composition, the way he captures light and the overall grandness of locations. I knew that if I had him, paired with a gorgeous venue, I’d have some winning photographs. I also believe that each individual is gifted with a unique talent that cannot be mimicked, therefore, we had to fly Ryan out. Benjamin agreed, and so, Ryan was it!

As I watched Ryan work outside in the falling snow, I would smile and excitedly say, “Look! He’s putting my stuff in the snow!  I’m going to have snowy photos!” Ryan was the second person I was most excited about that day – the first being Mr. Wonderful of course.


The Venue – L’Auberge de Sedona

I shot a sweet fishing engagement session one early summer morning, two months after Benjamin and I started dating. The funny thing was this couple actually heard about me through the bride’s sister who was cutting Benjamin’s hair when he was talking about a date he had with me later that night!

Anyway, I fell in love with L’Auberge de Sedona‘s charm and I immediately called and told him that I wanted to get married there. Without hesitation, he told me to inquire. See, when you know you just know, and it goes for your venue too. I was beyond thankful they were available December 3. Many have asked, Did you know it would snow on your wedding day? Absolutely not! I thought with the long summer that it would be sunny. But the snow was even better!

The best part of L’Auberge de Sedona is not only their beautiful venue but their amazing service. They tell you not to tip because it is included in your room rate which relieves so much pressure from trying to find single bills.  You also don’t feel restrained to ask for assistance, especially when it’s snowing and you need to light a fire and your new husband thinks it’s OK to use a can of hairspray!  I also am pretty sure no one on staff will tell the guests no, (Can we check out late?  Can we still order breakfast even though it’s lunch time?) which makes it one of the most pleasant and accommodating places to stay. Thank you to the staff of L’Auberge for making our day so gorgeous and memorable, and keeping the fire going, we can’t wait to return!


The Event Designer & Wedding Coordinator – Ricki Uster, of la Ricki Events

Ricki has become a very close friend of mine this past year as well.  After our Anthro mock shoot that was featured on Wedding Chicks that we did together, I knew I found my creative soulmate. Together, we have decorated my office, home, she has taught me how to cook, make a latte, and be more domestic.

Ricki found the touches to complete what I wanted – simple, elegant and classic. She took over with working with Bliss Extraordinary Floral selecting the flowers in my bouquet (I had an “absolutely not going in my bouquet list”) and working with the pastry chef at L’Auberge to design my cake.  She ordered a cuter cake stand, found the basket for the handwarmers for the guests, the list goes on with the details she handled!  She kept the guests occupied as they stayed warm inside, directed them from out of the room to circle around to begin the ceremony, and I was happy to have her talk with me when I was ready to move inside, or to prepared for the toast.

I cannot stress the value of an experienced and professional event designer and coordinator is on the days leading up to your wedding.  I work with many in this industry and each is unique in her own way.  Find one who you can completely trust, you love her taste, and let her do what she was born to do! It also allowed me to take things off my plate and know that she had it all handled! You should know that once you have a coordinator you no longer have to deal with details in regards to set up times, correspondence or details.  She is your agent/manager for the day and you can just deal directly with her – she’s like your BFF that day so pick a good one!  Ryan also loved Ricki’s assistance just as much as I think she loved helping him as he worked. Knowing my wedding was in her control kept me calm and allowed me to enjoy the day all while having my talented good friend by my side! I am so thankful my bouquet, cake, and little details turned out so adorably!

I also loved touches from the custom cookies designed by friend Casey Jones of Casey’s Confections and the vintage cross from Twice Loved Vintage, owned by my friend Ashley Mullins and her mother.


The Hair & Makeup Artist – Lizzy Marsh

Oh Lizzy.  Where do I even begin with this girl and the talent she has at her fingertips?  Lizzy has become a good friend of mine starting the day she first did my makeup for a wedding I was in as a bridesmaid over a year ago.  I fell in love with her work and I quickly referred her to many of my brides.  Then, she did my makeup for my Adorama TV interview, then my promo video you see at the top of this blog, my FORD Models comp card, other miscellaneous shoots I’ve participated in, and well, of course my wedding.  I couldn’t imagine anyone else there by my side as I got ready and to be there on such an important day of my life. I requested an Asian JLo with Victoria’s Secret supermodel hair, and, she delivered.  I also prepared ahead of time with eyelash extensions, I’m not a fan of eyelash strips, they’re too obvious.  Thank you Layla Laney of Wink Facial & Lash Bar.

I love Lizzy to pieces and I don’t know what my face or hair would have looked like without her expertise and talents that day. I am looking forward to the weddings we have together this spring.  Phoenix brides, I beg you to book Lizzy, you’ll be so thankful you did.

Other related posts:

Diana Elizabeth never felt more beautiful than she did on her wedding day.  Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.



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