It’s been about 3 weeks since our wedding weekend, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t miss it. It was such an amazing trip with close friends and family, and we’re truly blessed the weekend unfolded exactly how we hoped it would.
While we wait for our official wedding photographs and video to come back, we wanted to share some of our favorite pics from the weekend taken by our friends and family who joined us in Scottsdale.
But before we jump into that, my wife and I would like to thank everyone that made the trip to Arizona to celebrate with us. Christina and I didn’t make a speech during the wedding (Christina doesn’t like public speaking and many of you know I can’t be trusted to speak at weddings, not even my own lol), so we didn’t get a chance to express our sincere and deep gratitude to everyone that attended. We know traveling isn’t always easy (or cheap, for that matter), so we were truly touched by how many people came. So to all our guests, thank you so much. It means a lot to us.
By the way, a lot of people wondered why we chose to get married in Scottsdale, AZ. Truth be told, we have no prior connections to the city - no family there, no history there, and we hadn’t even visited the place until last year when we visited the wedding venue. The TLDR version of the story is “Instagram made us do it.” The longer version is as follows:
Originally we were planning on getting married in either Austin or Houston. Austin was the leading contender, and in February 2021 we were supposed to make a trip up there to visit possible wedding venues. But the weekend we were supposed to go, the infamous Texas ice storm hit, so we were forced to stay in Houston.
While stuck at home with nothing but time on her hands, Christina started thinking about the possibility of a destination wedding. With this seed planted, she actually Instagram-stalked a few of our friends that are known to travel a lot, eventually landing on a post by a friend that had visited Scottsdale. This IG-hole eventually led Christina to the Instagram profile of the Andaz Scottsdale, a stylish resort that seemed to fit our vibe. What’s more, the Andaz had a separate Instagram just for their weddings, so apparently they did a lot of them and this was something they sort of specialized in.
After Christina’s discovery, we decided to book a trip to Scottsdale to visit the Andaz to see it in person (which I blogged about here). As soon as we pulled into the place, it was a definite “yes” for the both of us. So the Andaz was the only wedding venue we visited, and it’s all thanks to Instagram.
We decided to get married on Friday, 4/22/22 mainly because the date sounded cool to us. Also, since we were getting married in Arizona, any later into the summer and the outdoor wedding venue would be too hot, and it definitely wouldn’t be a vibe if everyone was sweating and worrying about the heat.
Thinking about how the wedding experience would play out for our guests was something that was paramount to us throughout our planning process. We constantly asked ourselves, “How would our guests feel?”; “Do we really need to do that?”; Do people even care about that?”; “Oh we gotta have XYZ because people are really into that.”
Another really important thing to me, specifically, was having an event the day after the wedding. Everybody always talks about how weddings go by so fast, and often the bride & groom rarely have any time to actually see their guests. I also know the day after is when everyone recounts stories of all the fun (and possibly ridiculous) things that happened during the wedding. So for me, getting an opportunity to spend time with our guests after the wedding was almost as important as the wedding day itself. I mean, what’s the point of inviting people to a celebration if you can’t actually celebrate with them?
So with this in mind, the day after the wedding we threw a pool party at the Andaz, but more on that later.
Christina and I arrived in Scottsdale the Wednesday before the wedding. For this trip, we stayed in the Girard House, the Andaz’ amazing 2-bedroom, 1,630 sf presidential suite with an additional 1,600+ sf of private, outdoor patio space. The Girard House also has private, direct access to the resort’s main pool, and it comes with 2 private cabanas.
With the pool party in mind, the pool-access and private cabanas were some of the driving factors that made us want to book the Girard House. And in hindsight, the Girard House ended up being perfect because it served as a great homebase and meeting point for everyone throughout different parts of the weekend.
Though most guests started to come in on Thursday, our immediate families and some of the bridal party decided to come in on Wednesday as well. That night Linda, one of Christina’s bridesmaids, and her husband Ronnie treated us to an amazing dinner at Sottise in Phoenix’ Roosevelt District. Of the 3 times we’ve been to Phoenix/Scottsdale, this dinner ended up being one of the best meals we’ve had in the area, so we definitely recommend checking it out if you’re ever nearby.
Afterwards, a small group of us met up at Toca Madera for drinks to close out the night.
Thursday was when most of our guests started to arrive. That morning I was originally planning on working out (because you know I gotta #staymamba at all times). But just as I was about to head over to the hotel gym around 9a-10a, I started seeing several texts, Groupme messages, and Instagram stories of our friends landing in Arizona. And then I started to seeing friends at the Andaz as they began to arrive and check in, causing my excitement to grow. Several friends started to come by our suite, and it wasn’t long until we all ended up hanging out in our cabanas, eating and taking in libations by the pool. Even though we had the “official” after-wedding pool party planned for Saturday, a large chunk of our guests ended up coming by on Thursday. (We’ve since dubbed this gathering the “fake pool party”.)
We were basically out there all day, until it was time to get ready for the wedding rehearsal. Rehearsal was scheduled for 5pm, so around 3-4pm most of the wedding party had left the cabanas to get ready, even though some of our other guests continued to hang out.
By 4:45pm, I’m done getting ready. I’ve showered, changed clothes, etc. because we’ve been outside in the cabanas and pool all day.
Before I walk over to the rehearsal, I was curious to see who was still hanging out, so I decided to walk outside our room to take a peek. Just as I’m reaching the cabanas, I see my best man Paolo leaving a different exit of the pool. My guy was wearing the same clothes he was wearing all day, so clearly he hadn’t gotten ready for the rehearsal. Upon seeing this, I just shake my head and say to myself, “This guy…” because apparently Wedding Paolo had arrived..
Who is Wedding Paolo you ask? Well, I don’t want to put my man on blast or go off on a tangent explaining, but IYKYK (if you know you know).
Anyways, like I was saying, I see Paolo exiting the pool, so even though he’s wearing the same clothes, I’m optimistic he hadn’t forgotten about the rehearsal altogether since he’s at least leaving the pool.
We walk over to the site of the rehearsal, and everyone is there (including Paolo). The rehearsal was short, sweet, and easy, and we were done in less than 30 minutes.
After rehearsal we have some time to kill before the 6pm Welcome Dinner, so the entire wedding party comes over to our suite to hang out and have a few drinks. Everyone, that is, except for Paolo. My mans disappeared, and none of us were sure where he had gone.
6pm comes around, so we make our way to the Welcome Dinner. To Paolo’s credit, he shows up in a full suit and tie, more dressed up than most of the other guests in attendance. I suppose while we were all hanging in the suite, he went back to his room to shower and change.
The Wedding Dinner was a fun, chill time. Afterwards we moved the party to the Andaz’ onsite restaurant and bar, Warp and Weft. From here, people started asking what the late-night move should be. I suggest people should go to the Scottsdale Entertainment District, where bars like Bottled Blonde and The District are located. A lot of friends tried to get me to come out, but Christina told me I shouldn’t go. After all, we did have the wedding to do the next day (lol). For the 5.5 years Christina and I have been together, this was literally the only time she stopped me from going out when I wanted to. And I’m glad she saved me from myself, because the next day could’ve been miserable had I gone out. We later saw pictures from that night and it looked kind of insane.
The next day I wake up around 6a or 7a, and I’m excited. It’s our WEDDING DAY!!!
…to be continued in Part 2…
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