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Destination I Do

Tucson: Desert "I Do's"

Words by Samantha Ross
Photos courtesy of Tanque Verde Ranch

Spread across the base of the Rincon Mountains in Tucson, Arizona, Tanque Verde Ranch can trace its ranching history back to the 1860s. 

Traditions continue to present day, with a few more modern amenities, while paying homage to the spirit and settlers of this desert retreat. Once you’ve seen a sunset at Tanque Verde Ranch, there won’t be any objections. This is the ultimate destination for the bride who plans to wear boots under her wedding gown.

From intimate family weddings to barn busters of 200 guests, Tanque Verde boasts handfuls of event spaces, both indoor and out. With the Saguaro National Park as your backdrop and surrounded by aged mesquite trees under sparkling white lights, Cactus View is a popular space for couples to say, “I do.” Retreat to Rincon Terrace for your reception, toast with prickly pear margaritas (a Tanque Verde specialty) and leave your guests with stars in their eyes – literally. Stargazing on the Rincon Terrace is beyond compare, especially when aided by local astronomers from Arizona Star Tours. Armed with a giant telescope and extensive knowledge of the night sky, Arizona Star Tours will “wow” your guests at any reception. What better wedding favor than giving each of your guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience as you celebrate your once-in-a-lifetime union?

If you imagine a wedding where guests feast at an outdoor Southwestern barbeque buffet and line-dance into the wee morning hours, Cottonwood Grove is the venue for you. The natural beauty of Tanque Verde lends itself to so many picturesque places, it can be overwhelming to choose, but with the ranch’s wedding planners, you’re certain to find the ideal spot.

Leave all the details to the ranch with the Tanque Verde Wedding Package, which includes everything from décor to the dancefloor. Even details such as a wedding day breakfast and lunch for the busy bride and groom, setup and breakdown and even cake cutting are included. For busier weddings guests, a bed and breakfast package includes a comfortable room and breakfast every morning, with all activities offered, à la carte.

Tanque Verde is a treasure trove of activities and your guests will want to spend the days before and after the wedding experiencing all the ranch has to offer. Horseback riding, hiking, swimming, fishing, tennis and daily Jeep adventures, just to name a few. After a long day, retreat to one of several of Tanque Verde’s accommodations. Haciendas, salas and casitas range in size, but each offers a private porch to retire to and enjoy the vibrant desert nights. 

Breathtaking scenery, unmatched Southwestern style, adventure, tradition and starlit spaces – Tanque Verde Ranch has it all. From the first step down the aisle, to the last boot on the dancefloor, your wedding at Tanque Verde Ranch will stand apart in every way. 

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2015 issue. You can order a copy here.
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