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As the bride and groom preparing to work with a photographer, here are 7 great tips from Kris Phillips, Event Sales Manager for Sedona Sky Weddings at Sedona Sky Lodge in beautiful Sedona, Arizona.

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  1. Give your photographer a list of “must have” photos. These could be the bride with her grandmother, the bride with her younger sister, the groom with his college roommate or his Boy Scout leader.
    Are there particular poses you want? Bring an iPad or photos of what you want to your consultation with your photographer.
  2. Give your photographer the names of all the bride and groom’s siblings so that your photographer can make sure everyone who is supposed to be in the shot…actually is!
  3. Give your photographer the names of key people in the wedding party. You might even want to give the cell phone numbers of your maid of honor and best man to the photographer…in case there are any planned flash mobs in which the bride is not involved.
  4. Beauty is in the details. As the bride, you’ve spent months on the details–picking out the cake topper, the reception hall décor, and such. Ask your photographer to take detail photos as well: a picture of the cake topper, your rings on an open page of your minister’s Bible, a picture of the buttons or pearls on the bride’s dress. If there are details you want your photographer to shoot, make sure he/she knows.
  5. If you are having your wedding at the gorgeous wedding patio at Sky Ranch Lodge which looks straight out on Coffee Pot Rock and Thunder Mountain, encourage your photographer to take landscape shots prior to your wedding so that you can treasure the red rock beauty of Sedona!
  6. You might want to appoint one of your friends to help out the photographer. This person is more important than the person handling your guest book because the photographer’s assistant will make sure that a particular aunt or beloved cousin is in the formal family shots without you two needing to play border collie and herd everyone needed into the photos.
  7. Create a schedule for which family arrives first. Since you want formal photos of each family, it is better to have one arrive 30 minutes ahead of the other so that they one family is not standing around bored.

motb_wedding16_section_1_img_1Mothers often take care of everyone except themselves. At their adult offspring’s wedding, it is very important that Mom (and Dad) look perfect because there will be oodles of pictures and videos taken on that special day. For that reason, we offer these lovingly offered tips to the mother of the bride and mother of the groom.

Rule #1:
Remember the 3 Most Important Words at a Wedding: Understated, Elegant, and Appropriate.
These words should be your guide in delineating your look on this very special day. You want to look beautiful and add to the bridal party, not detract from the bride.

Rule #2:
Plan a day of beauty before the wedding.
On the day before the wedding, get a new manicure and pedicure.

Rule #3:
Plan to get your hair and make-up done by a professional or a very dear friend on the day of the wedding.
Remember, water-proof mascara is your friend. 🙂

Rule #4:
The bride decides if she wants to invite you to join her bridesmaids in getting glammed up.
If she does not invite you, that’s fine. Plan a day of glamming up with the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom. After all, it’s a special day for you two as well!

Rule #5:
Your son or daughter can get ready for the wedding and probably has several friends helping them.
You need to get yourself ready. Don’t overlook yourself.
Your job is to look gorgeous on this special day!

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Sedona Wine Tasting ToursSedona is on the same line of latitude, has similar climate and volcanic soil as the wine making region of Naples, Italy—which is what started a whole lot of people growing wine grapes around here! Now, Sedona and the Verde Valley are home to over 100 wineries and wine tasting rooms! As a result of applying advanced wine making techniques, local wineries are now reaping harvests of praise and scads of medals at major competitions. A Javelina Leap wine won the gold medal at a California competition featuring over 900 wines!

Sedona Wine Tasting ToursYavapai College hosts the only viticulture and enology program at a community college in Arizona. Not only do we grow wine grapes in the Verde Valley but we grow wine makers as well. Each year at the Southwest Wine Center, they host a magnificent dinner featuring the culinary creations of local chefs paired with the perfect wine!
Take your beloved out for a wine tour in Sedona! You will be smiling for many reasons!

Montezuma CastleStep back in time at Montezuma Castle and step forward into inner peace at Sedona’s Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park.

Located in nearby Camp Verde, Montezuma Castle is a magnificent cliff dwelling built by the Sinaqua (Native Americans) above the dancing Beaver Creek. Built about 1000 years ago and abandoned about 600 years ago when the Sinagua moved to another location, the legacy of these people continues to inspire the imaginations of past generations. This site is considered so important to the history of America that on December 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt celebrated the passage of the Antiquities Act by declaring Montezuma Castle as one of the first four sites of historic and cultural significance as our nation’s first National Monuments. President Roosevelt, a noted conservationist, identified as the Castle as “of the greatest ethnological value and scientific interest.” Roosevelt’s decision assured the continued protection of one of the best preserved prehistoric cliff dwellings in North America.

Wander along a well marked trail to explore the National Park Service’s educational displays detailing how the Sinagua lived along this small river and sought shelter from the heat and from their enemies in this dwelling built in the side of a cliff. Gaze up at the Castle and imagine yourself ducking through doorways and darting through passageways.

Understanding Arizona’s past and the people persistent enough to live here is part of understanding Sedona’s present and future.

Amitahba Stupa in Sedona ArizonaSedona’s Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park offers you a different opportunity: the opportunity to seek inner peace. Situated on 14 acres in Sedona’s stunning red rock country, the park is a place for mediation and spiritual renewal. Native Americans deem this land at the base of the impressive Thunder Mountain is holy and many who visit feel that spiritual transformation and healing expressed through the architecture and sacred geometry of the stupa.

There are two fully empowered and consecrated two here: the Amitabha Stupa and the Tara Stupa. Each sits majestically among the pinion and juniper pines, surrounded by a garland of crimson pinnacles of Sedona Red Rock.

Taking its name from Buddha Amitabha (the Buddha of Limitless Light), the Amitabha Stupa is a 36-foot enlightenment stupa. The Buddha’s bronze image is forged into the faceplate of the stupa. Graced with millions of prayers for peace, ritual offerings, and sacred relics, the Amitabha Stupa is an enlightened presence, offering a beacon of blessings for all beings.

The White Tara (or female Buddha) is the Earthly embodiment of long life and compassion. A relief of her graces the six-foot White Tara stupa.
Those of all faiths and those who seek enlightenment are welcome here. May you find peace here.

 

Photo provided by Gateway to Sedona

Photo provided by Gateway to Sedona

Considered to be the focal point for feminine energy, Bell Rock is a fantastic hike, whether you feel the vortex or not. Looking like an old fashioned dinner bell, this red rock landmark seems to swirl upwards because it was carved by wind and rain over the ages.

There are two parking lots. The one on the north side, noted as Courthouse, is actually closer to Bell Rock than is the Bell Rock parking lot on the south side of the formation.

As you climb Bell Rock, you may see a prayer wheel on each plateau. Though the Native Americans worshiped in this area as early as 1100 AD, these prayer wheels are often made by New Age spiritual seekers. Either way, please don’t pick up and move the objects as they are in that spot for a purpose.

The climb up Bell Rock is fairly easy. Take water (lots of water)! Since the humidity is usually very low in Sedona, you feel dried out and parched faster here. For that reason, take more water than you think you might drink just to be on the safe side.

If you wish to be on Bell Rock to see the sunset (which is spectacular), take a flash light. Climbing down in the dark is no fun at all.

Self-Propelled Tours offers the only on road bike tours in Sedona. (The other tour companies are mountain bike and/or off-road tours.) Led by experienced bicyclist and tour guide, Heather Parris, you can design your tour to see the sights while staying within your athletic ability. Join Heather for a leisurely ride during which you can stop whenever you want to take photos. From Heather, you can learn about the amazing history, geology, flora, and fauna of this magical place called Sedona. Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air while biking through the glorious red rocks!

Wedding FlowersKris Phillips, the Event Sales Manager at Sky Ranch Lodge in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, will share with you her best tips for a creative, affordable wedding. This week, she shares more tips on finding affordable flowers.

  1. Buy locally grown flowers. It’s less expensive to get flowers grown in the next town rather than flying tulips in from Holland.
  2. One way to save money on table arrangements is to use large blooms. For instance, cymbidium orchids cost you more per stem than spray roses, but you need fewer orchids so you just saved some significant moola. Besides, the orchids make a much grander statement in your centerpieces. This all supports the assertion that size does matter.
  3. Use less expensive flowers in your table arrangements than in your bouquets but keep the same color scheme. Most people won’t notice that your bouquet is filled with roses while the table arrangements feature peonies. Which flowers will be photographed more? Your bridal bouquet. So allocate more money for your bouquet than the floral centerpieces.
  4. Just because your grandmother grew carnations and roses in her garden is no reason to rule them out of your wedding. Today, there are many varieties of variegated carnations dancing with a rainbow of glorious colors and spray roses can form a gorgeous tiered bouquet, requiring fewer flowers.
  5. Pick no more than two species of flowers. This allows your florist to buy larger quantities and he/she may get a discounted price. The same applies to foliage.
  6.  Green can save you green. By adding foliage or ferns, you reduce the number of flowers you need to buy. Foliage and ferns cost less than flowers so you save again.
  7. Flout the floral and go for something else. A bride might carry an heirloom rosary or prayer book with a single flower rather than a bouquet.
    Lanterns and candelabras make gorgeous table centerpieces instead of flowers. One bride, who wanted a relaxed country wedding, decorated antique milk cans with yellow grosgrain ribbons and filled the cans with bright yellow daisies. These she placed along the aisle instead of expensive flower arrangements.
  8. Move your flowers around: the arch under which you were married can be moved to become the arch under which you leave at the end of the reception. That way, you aren’t paying for two arches!

erica-todd-sky ranch-2_resizedWe know that weddings are expensive; at Sedona Sky Weddings, we are here to help! We can help you plan your perfect day and save you $1,000 on your site rental.

Here is how the offer works:

Book a two night stay at Sky Ranch Lodge and we will give you a $1,000 discount on renting our site for your ceremony and/or reception on any Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday in July, 2016.

Sedona Sky Weddings gives you access to the most beautiful wedding venue in Sedona. Up here, we are 500 feet higher in elevation than Sedona. Up here, you look straight out at the towering red rock formations instead of looking up to them as you do in Sedona. Up here, you are so to close the sky that you feel as though you can reach up and touch the brilliant blue of the heavens!

Elevate your wedding to Sky Ranch Lodge and save $1,000 because you are careful, and wise planner!

Contact Kris Phillips, Event Sales Manager at Sky Ranch Lodge (kris@skyranchlodge.com or 928/451-4633) and start today to plan your perfect wedding this July!

Celebrate your love in the beautiful, idyllic setting of Sedona’s Sky Ranch Lodge! At 500 feet higher in elevation than Sedona, you have the most beautiful views of the red rocks from up here. Elevate your vow renewal by hosting your event at Sky Ranch Lodge. Sedona Sky Weddings can help you plan the perfect day!

Your wedding was the first day of your lives together; your vow renewal ceremony is a beautiful way to honor your marriage as you start a new chapter in your lives together. Proclaim to the world that you would definitely marry your beloved all over again!

What Is a Vow Renewal Ceremony?

In the 1970’s, vow renewals became popular in the U.S. as a way for couples to celebrate reaching a milestone anniversary (e.g., 10th. or 25th. anniversary) or to celebrate overcoming a challenge or health crisis.

Great Tips for the Perfect Vow Renewal Ceremony

Because a vow renewal is not a legal ceremony requiring a license, you can have anyone officiate such as a clergy person, a close friend, or your children. Since this is a renewal, the couple may walk up the aisle together or walk towards each other to meet in front of the officiant.

Special Offer from Sedona Sky Weddings at Sky Ranch Lodge

Book now for your vow renewal ceremony! Subject to availability, schedule your time on any Sunday in July, 2016.

With your two night stay, you get a free, 1 hour rental of our event space with its sweeping views of Coffee Pot Rock, Thunder Mountain, and many of the most famous Sedona red rock formations. That’s a savings of $199!

Would you marry your beloved all over again! Say “yes” to that special person and “yes” to this very special offer from Sedona Sky Weddings at Sky Ranch Lodge!

Reach out to Kris Phillips, the Event Sales Manager at Sky Ranch Lodge (kris@skyranchlodge.com or 928/451-4633) and start today to plan your perfect vow renewal this July!

Wedding Flowers from The Knot

Kris Phillips - Events Sales Manager at Sedona Sky Weddings and Sky Ranch Lodge in Sedona, ArizonaIn this series of articles, Kris Phillips from Sedona Sky Weddings shows you beau coups ways to save big bucks on your wedding without compromising your dreams, your style, or the elegance of your wedding.

When shopping for invitations, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Ask when your favorite store will have a sale. They all do! Often, it’s around Christmas or Easter with a few sales throughout the year.
  2. Pick cotton to save some cotton pickin’ bucks. Though linen and jacquard papers are famous for their luxe feel, they also have a luxe price tag. Cotton paper, which feels just as elegant, costs much less.
  3. Classic white or cream invitations with black lettering are often less expensive than the trendier pastels or bright colors. While you are at it, delete the colored borders or colored inks because these increase the price. Who knew being classy could cost less than being trendy?
  4. Thermography, which uses heat during printing to create a raised letter look, costs about half what engraving does and it looks nearly identical.
  5. If you buy all your printed goods (save the date” cards, invitations, ceremony programs, menus, thank-you cards) from the same company, you should get a discount. If they don’t offer a discount, ask for one. If they won’t give you a discount, you still have time to shop elsewhere.
  6. Since your printer or stationers will usually charge to fold and stuff your invitations, delete the cost. Have a small party at your house with your mom, fiancé, bridal party, or office friends to stuff all your invitations in one night! Having yummy appetizers and great wine or sparkling apple cider can make this process a whole lot more fun!

At Sedona Sky Weddings, we are here to help you enjoy your wedding!