Foodies will love the cool urban meets desert wedding

We’re sharing Rhea and Andrew’s cool Arizona Wedding today on the blog. South West Botanics and urban foodie cultures collide.

Their wedding day was a celebration that included vows at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix and doughnuts and dances at Showcase Room, both in Tempe.

To capture the fun, style, and candid moments, they hired Monique Hassler Photography, a talented photographer.

Rhea and Andrew’s wedding was a beautiful mix of styles and aesthetics.

Their wedding ceremony was held on a blank canvas with dramatic cacti, wildflowers, and bricks. The reception featured a Mexican buffet with lots of desserts (Rhea is a food blogger ). ).

The cool decor includes an edible centerpiece arrangement, pretty signage, and thoughtful wooden details. Also had is the awesome sweetheart backdrop. ).

Andrew, in his blue sharp threads and handsome braided hair, is the one who brings the love story to a close.

Wedding Day Snapshot

Our Love Story

My friends and I started “Tini Tuesdays,” where we tried a different happy hour spot every Tuesday to keep in touch after college.

On a Tuesday, my friend invited Andrew to join us. We took seats at a high-top table at the bar.

Andrew arrived late because of his longer commute to work. My friends played musical chairs to make sure that Andrew was seated next to me when he arrived.

When he came from behind and took his seat, I couldn’t believe how handsome he looked. I was immediately nervous and recalled making fun of his being on a call during happy hour.

Andrew sent me a text shortly after we finished dinner. I don’t remember much of what was said, but I do recall that it wasn’t a lot. Andrew texted me something like, “Hey Rhea! It’s Andrew.” Allison gave me your phone number. Allison told me your number.

Andrew was back in town two weeks later, so we scheduled our first date.

The Story of the Proposal

2014 was an important year for us. We sold Rhea’s townhouse and moved in with Rhea’s parents. Then we bought our first house.

Rhea won a trip for free through her job. Due to our schedules, the first week in December 2014 was chosen. Destination: Hawaii.

In October, I began looking for an engagement ring. Hawaii was where I’d ask the girl of my dreams to marry me. I asked her best friend for her permission and advice.

Once I got the ring, I asked for her father’s permission. The discussion took place during a BBQ over the grill. It felt right and manly. We all shook hands.

I immediately called her brother, who was in the Navy at the time (and still is). I also got his consent. My proposal was planned for November.

I was planning to buy her a DSLR (which she wanted desperately for her food blog), and I would somehow sneak the picture of the ring onto the camera to show her during the trip.

I gave her the camera to her in November to avoid suspicion and ensure that she knew how to use it prior to our trip.

It was one of the most nerve-racking days in my life when we traveled to Hawaii. I carried the ring with me. It was a good thing. I looked at the TSA agents and said, “ask me no questions about this blue pouch.”

We went to brunch the next morning, then walked along the beaches in Kauai, taking photos as we went. We returned to our hotel room after a day of exploration to prepare for dinner.

I jumped into action and grabbed the ring. I carefully took a photo of it with her camera. Then, I snuck the ring under the table next to me.

Rhea asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner. I held the camera. She said, “I was just going through our photos, and you have some really great ones!” When she found the last photo of the day, she was delighted to show me all the other pictures she had taken.

A shiny object is a promise of the future. Her jaw dropped.

I took the ring off the table and got down on one knee. I said, “I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I will be damned to do it without your support.” Will you marry me ?”

The ring was already on her finger before I even knew it. We decided to tell our closest friends and family right away, but we kept the secret until later.

The rest of the night was spent in a haze of happiness, just us two. Hawaii was our favorite destination for the remainder of the week.

The Inspiration

Our theme was “Urban Foodie”.

We chose a natural setting for our wedding, including gardens and an industrial landscape as our reception venue.

The lush, natural backdrop to our ceremony was the inspiration for our decor. It didn’t require any additional set because it lent itself.

The brick and wood in our reception space also inspired us. Our wedding was mostly neutral (navy/gold, blush/grey, and silver/grey), with the exception of a few pops of pink in my bouquet and centerpieces.

What would you say about our wedding in three words or less? Best. Day. Ever!! Romantic, yummy, exciting.


From the beginning, I knew I wanted to cut a mermaid that hugged my figure.

One bridesmaid is the owner of Modern Dress Outside of Iowa. She flew out with me and my bridal party to a dress shop.

I fell in love instantly with a Mori-Lee lace sweetheart gown. My seamstress added a Mori-Lee crystal belt to the dress, and it sealed the deal.

If it were appropriate, I would wear that dress every day. I have never felt so beautiful in my life.

The Navy blue dresses were flattering and comfortable. To accessorize, they all wore pieces of Meg Jewelry.

The Venue

Since most of our guests came from outside the city, the Desert Botanical Garden became a no-brainer for us the minute we walked into the garden.

This was the only venue we considered for a ceremony.

Cacti, mountains, blooming flowers, and greenery are all part of the beautiful landscape. Arizona has a lot of things that you might not normally associate with it.

Our wedding planners had told us that a new venue, The Showcase Room in the locality, was opening. We decided to change things up. Another love at first site.

The brick, the open-air ceiling with industrial elements, and the wood floors were all very appealing. The perfect canvas to paint with our ideas. And the caterer, Fox, was also a deal-maker. Do you sense the foodie?

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