Take your wedding to Sedona, Prescott or Tucson
Photographer: Eyes 2 See
Our desert home of Arizona is host to many magical wedding destinations, and three of them are within driving distance—far enough away to feel like an escape, but not so far to require the hassles of airline travel.
Surrounded by the Coconino National Forest, Sedona elicits a kind of reverence when you gaze upon the soaring red rock canyons, sandstone spires and sienna cliffs. The sky is ablaze with hues of reds, pinks and purples at sunset, helping to create a romantic setting that is impossible to forget. It is a widely held belief that there is a spiritual energy found in Sedona that brings inspiration and renewal.
The diversity available in Sedona is certainly one of many factors that draws couples here to celebrate their weddings year-round. Wedding venue options range from country-style inns to lavish European-influenced resorts that receive accolades from major travel and leisure magazines. Ceremonies on meticulously maintained golf courses are not at all unusual.
The sky is literally and figuratively the limit when choosing how and where to marry. How about exchanging vows while floating high above the panoramic vistas in a hot air balloon? You can pledge your love from a deck overlooking Oak Creek Canyon, on horseback, along a meandering stream, or in any number of locations with extraordinary views of red rocks and Ponderosa pines, with the soothing sounds of waterfalls nearby. Adventuresome couples may choose to transport their guests to a remote location via Jeep and then return to one of the area’s gorgeous resort sites for the reception.
While Sedona is a town of approximately 11,000 people, its popularity as a wedding destination has brought talented event professionals here as well. Sedona’s wedding pros are on par with those found in larger cities across the country in terms of creativity and scope of work, experienced in staging intimate or elaborate affairs nestled among the pines, on cliffs with soaring views, or in unforgettable canyons.
There is plenty for friends and family to do while in Sedona for the special occasion: hiking, horseback riding, Jeep tours, golfing, boutique-shopping, gallery-hopping and dining out top the list. The day after the wedding, many couples arrange guided hikes, bi-plane tours and balloon rides for their guests. A trek to the Grand Canyon, which is just two hours away from Sedona, is an ideal excursion.
Whether your interest is spiritual enlightenment, fantastic photography, world-class leisure for all of your wedding guests or “all of the above,” Sedona offers what you’re looking for in a wedding and reception destination.
Just as not every destination wedding takes place on a beach, not every Arizona wedding is hot and dry.
Such is the case in charming Prescott, an oasis that offers an unhurried pace and natural beauty for unforgettable wedding celebrations. Prescott (pronounced ‘prez-kit’), just 100 miles north of Phoenix, is worlds away in terms of climate and character.
Prescott is regularly
15 to 20 degrees
green, and actually
has four seasons.
The area has its own beauty and charm, distinct from any other part of Arizona. Couples seeking a destination wedding where their guests can enjoy themselves with outdoor activities—such as hiking, perusing the quaint downtown, or exploring the area’s lovely parks—have come to the right place.
The town, home to about 43,000 residents, was named one of the “100 Great Towns of America” in the 2009 edition of “The Great Towns of America.”
Photographer: A Storybook Moment Photography
Between wonderful restaurants, guided horseback rides through the mountains, theater performances and the entertainment district, museums, public golf courses and parks, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Prescott. Guests will enjoy exploring Native American ruins in the area as well.
Perhaps the biggest draw for southern Arizonans is the climate of Prescott. While many areas of our state have only two seasons, pleasant Prescott offers a change of seasons that inspires the romantic in all of us. It is regularly 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix, year-round. The area is undeniably green, particularly by Arizona standards.
Couples can enjoy a snowy winter wedding, a beautiful fall wedding with leaves changing colors or a true spring wedding. Summer is a real treat here, too.
The friendliness of the town speaks volumes about the level of service available for wedding parties. Assembling an accommodating—and accomplished—vendor team is a snap in this charming destination wedding town.
A golf course
wedding in Tucson
views of the greens, the
ponds, and the stands
of stately saguaro
Photographer: Something Blue Photography
In the Sonoran Desert surrounded by mountains—including the lovely Santa Catalinas—Tucson makes an ideal destination for your wedding because not only is it gorgeous and practically guaranteed to be sunny, but there is plenty for your guests to do before and after your big event.
Photographer: Amanda Rockafellow Photography
Tucson also is such a wedding hub that many industry experts have set up shop here, giving you a plethora of top-notch vendors to choose from. Local wedding planners, photographers, floral designers, bakers and entertainers work right there and know all the ins and outs of the area’s venues. So whether you choose a golf resort, a desert park or an indoor space with plenty of Tucson flair, you’ll find wedding professionals well-equipped to create an exquisite, smooth event.
Arts and culture, shopping and dining, and plenty of golf and other outdoor activities bring visitors to Tucson regularly, and those attractions will entice your guests. Golf fanatics can tee off and fit in a round beside the saguaros before an afternoon or evening wedding. Hikers and horseback riders will enjoy the miles of trails, many winding past desert cactus and into the five mountain ranges that surround Tucson.
About 40 minutes away, the village of Tubac is another destination wedding site. With temperatures a little milder than Tucson and Phoenix, it’s comfortable and beautiful, and your guests will love the village itself, where artists share their work and boutiques carry one-of-a-kind gifts and jewelry.