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Destination I Do

A Wedding About Town in Tucson

Words by Kinsley Brown
Photos courtesy of Mi Belle Photographers

Leah and Josh prove that sometimes you can find love in the most unlikely of places. While waiting for Josh to arrive for their blind date, Leah went to the ladies’ room only to find a long line. 

“Per my usual stubborn self I decided I had no time to waste and steeled myself to the men’s room,” recalls the bride. “Just as kismet would have it, my soon-to-be husband was entering as I was leaving. The moment we locked eyes we were connected.”

When it came time for these L.A. lovebirds to say “I do,” Leah, an Arizona-native, had only one place in mind. “Tucson holds a very special place in my heart. My mother and father purchased the Hotel Congress in 1985…the nearly 100-year-old hotel radiates a beautiful history, rich with art and culture.” The couple was so inspired, they designed the décor of their wedding around the desert Southwest and their historic setting.

“There is a majestic beauty about the desert,” says the bride. “The remarkable flora and fauna, the picturesque sunsets, the rich history and culture…it was important to us both to incorporate those unique qualities into the theme of our wedding. We really wanted to pursue having a fun and whimsical wedding, one which honored and celebrated the act of coming together, of friends, families and each other.” 

The couple’s wedding sounded so fun, in fact, they drastically underestimated the number of guests who would RSVP. Originally expecting 100 guests, the list ballooned to 300, causing the ceremony and reception locations to be changed. Plan "B" ended up being the right one, since it was the couple’s open-air plaza setting at Hotel Congress which makes this wedding so special.

“We wanted a very inclusive, casual feel to our reception, like a large family get together,” says the couple. “We felt every detail [of the] classically Sonoran-ornamented plaza was a reflection of our life and love for one another. The biggest compliment was hearing that every guest felt like they were a part of the family. Even though there were so many, everyone had an unforgettable night.”

Vendors: Photography: Mi Belle Photographers, Wedding Planner: Lisa Gorjestani & Suzanne Yarbrough for Details Event Planning, Ceremony/Reception Site: The Hotel Congress, Florist: Villa Feliz Flowers, Stationery: Bliss & Bone, Gown Designer: Galia Lahav, Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alice & Olivia, Groomsmens’ Suits: BLACK by Vera Wang, Brunch Catering: Maynards Market & Kitchen, Cakes: Ambrosia of Tucson & Dolce Pastello, Paper Flowers: Bon Boutique, Cocktail Hour Music: Matt Mitchell, Reception Music: 80’s and Gentlemen & Orkesta Mendoza, DJ: Cathy Rivers, Mariachi Band: Mariachi Luz De Luna

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