If you’re considering cutting the cake, walking the aisle and saying “I do” in the desert, you probably already know how much this very unique setting has to offer. If you’ve never considered the majesty of red rocks, cacti, big skies and mesmerizing sunsets, you should definitely keep reading. I will share an inspiring outline for a dream-come-true destination wedding in the American desert.
The American Southwest casts a special spell on visitors. Phoenix is one of the most vibrant cities in the country, and it has a lot to offer couples. The capital of the Grand Canyon State, Phoenix is a sprawling metropolis with a little something for everyone. It is historic and modern, chic and quaint, fun-filled and relaxing, exotic and romantic, grandiose and charming…
The sun shines year round in Phoenix, making it a 12-month destination. Keep in mind that during the summer, temperatures soar into the triple digits. The shorter, cooler days of winter, however, are ideal for outdoor weddings.
Itinerary for a destination wedding weekend in Phoenix
Arizona is centrally located, which is great if your family and friends are from different parts of the country. Fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and take a 10-minute drive to your dream wedding venue. It is best to choose a place that is in close proximity to the rest of the city, in case your guests prefer other accommodations.
The Arizona Grand Resort & Spa is adjacent to the South Mountain Preserve, the largest municipal park in the world. It’s the perfect place for your "perfect desert wedding." The resort features a wide variety of indoor and outdoor sites for your ceremony and reception. There are 16 different sites, and the largest can accommodate 2,000 guests. You will find plenty of options for settings. Perhaps you want a luscious garden or the open greens of a championship golf course. Maybe your dream is to have a ceremony on a casual terrace overlooking rolling hills and blue water, or with Sonoran desert views in the background and light-strung palm trees in the foreground...
The Day Before
You and your guests can get used to the heat after you check-in. The Oasis Water Park isn’t your typical hotel pool. It is a private water park with acres of entertainment. Catch up with family and old friends over cocktails while the kids get wet and wild in the water.
Since the rest of the weekend can be spent on-site, you can take time in the evening to explore Phoenix. Plan your rehearsal dinner Downtown and arrange for separate bride and groom limousines to shuttle you there in style. If you stay out late, don’t miss trying a famous food-truck Phoenix hot dog. This indulgent specialty is wrapped in bacon and loaded with beans, chopped tomato, onion, canned mushrooms, mayonnaise, yellow mustard and avocado sauce.
The Wedding Day
Wake up early and make the most of your big day. You don't have to go far to enjoy the best of what the Arizona Grand has to offer.
The groom-to-be and his gentlemen can walk to the on-site golf course and play 18 holes as the sun comes up. For a unique indoor fitness experience, check out the Activ8 classes held inside the Athletic Club, which is considered one of the top 10 fitness facilities in North America. Designed by David Jack, the workouts include, but aren’t limited to, teamwork fitness track challenges, desert hiking and frisbee golf.
The ladies can get up and then lay back down again as they receive lavender milk or hot stone body massages, custom body treatments, facials and more at the Grand’s opulent spa. Be sure to leave plenty of time to squeeze in an Athletic Club group yoga class so that you can stretch away any nervous excitement for the ceremony and reception ahead.
The Grand's best wedding settings include...
- Plaza Courtyard - a huge fountain backdrop for a memorable aisle walk.
- Island Green – green lawns, bright light and water with a sunset backdrop that is ideal for a late afternoon wedding.
- South Mountain Ballroom – private but spacious, indoor elegance with outdoor patio seating available.
The Arizona Grand specializes in private consultation and assists couples with every detail involved in planning the event. Everything can be taken care of so that you don’t have to worry about a thing in the hours leading up to the ceremony.
The Day After
A casual brunch is a great choice for the morning after. Reserve the Las Palmas venue space for a classic indoor/outdoor setting. You can request on-site catering services for a gourmet breakfast buffet.
For guests who want to explore Phoenix on their final day, recommend City Scape. This area offers a modern mix of entertainment, events and boutique shopping in the heart of Phoenix. It’s near the Convention Center and is served by the light rail.
The most famous food in the Southwest is barbecue. You can ask the concierge before you check out of your hotel or ask a local Phoenician in passing, and they’re sure to suggest a can't-miss BBQ joint.
One final attraction that I highly recommend in Phoenix is the Desert Botanical Garden. There’s a rotating schedule of exhibitions. From glass artistry to nighttime light shows to educational tours of the beautiful gardens, this place is always worth a visit.
At the end of the weekend, say goodbye to everyone with gratitude and get back to the airport so you can move onward to your next destination: the honeymoon!
What did you think of this itinerary for a destination wedding weekend in Phoenix? Use the comments section to tell us what inspired you the most...