A Desert Wedding at The Phoenician in Scottsdale


November 8, 2023
Words by Kristi Blane
Photos courtesy of Arianna J Photography

Meghan and Shea’s journey from college sweethearts to life partners culminated in a breathtaking wedding at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. The couple graciously shared their wedding details and insights in an exclusive interview, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at their magical day.

Meghan and Shea’s love story began at West Virginia University, where a chance encounter at a house party sparked a connection that would last a lifetime. “We spotted each other across the room, and the rest was history,” Meghan fondly recalls.

Opting for a destination wedding was a natural choice for the couple, considering their widespread network of family and friends. “We have family and friends who live all around the country and even as far as England, so we figured any location we chose would feel like a destination for some guests,” Shea explains. The desire to create a memorable experience for everyone led them to choose a long weekend getaway for their celebration.

Being from San Diego, California, the couple initially considered a wedding in their home city. However, the allure of Phoenix’s accessibility and the reminiscent downtown Scottsdale vibes ultimately won them over. Shea shares, “We lived in San Diego for about 7 years and originally wanted to get married there; however, we knew that Phoenix was an easier airport to fly into and that the downtown Scottsdale vibes were very similar to the downtown San Diego vibes.”

Their venue of choice, The Phoenician, held a special place in their hearts. “When we were living in San Diego, CA, we would take weekend trips to the Phoenician, and it just became a happy place for us,” Meghan says.

With the expertise of wedding planner Jennifer Matteo and florist Juliet Le Fleur, Meghan brought her vision to life. “I was very passionate about the flowers and plants at the wedding, as we wanted it to feel like a true desert party for our guests!” Meghan explains. The use of succulents and a stunning Cactus Garden at The Phoenician added a unique touch to the celebration.

Planning a destination wedding comes with its challenges, but Meghan and Shea navigated their Scottsdale celebration with grace. “We had three pre-wedding site visits. I loved visiting the Phoenician, so it was always a pleasure to go back for some wedding planning mixed in with some fun & relaxing!” Meghan says. The support from The Phoenician’s planner, Stephanie, and their wedding planner, Jennifer, additionally proved invaluable in keeping things organized.

Meghan and Shea’s ceremony reflected their close bond with family. “I have two brothers and one sister, and instead of having my brothers stand on the groom’s side, I made them my bridesmen,” Meghan shares. The decision to have siblings play a significant role added a personal touch to the ceremony.

The couple also wrote their vows, creating an intimate and unforgettable moment. “My favorite moment of the entire day was reading our vows aloud during our ceremony. It felt as though time stopped during that moment, and we were the only ones standing up there alone, reading our vows to each other,” the couple says.

One standout element was the bounce house at the reception, conceptualized by Shea. “This was my husband’s brilliant idea, and it was a HUGE hit! Everyone bounced the night away,” the bride says, highlighting the couple’s commitment to infusing fun into their special day.

Reflecting on their wedding experience, Meghan and Shea offer valuable advice to soon-to-be-weds. “Don’t sweat the small stuff. There will always be little mistakes and slip-ups that happen during the days leading up to the wedding, or even the day of, but learning to let things go and happen as they are supposed to will keep you focused on why you are truly there—to get married to the love of your life!” they advise.

Meghan and Shea’s Scottsdale wedding was a testament to their love, filled with unique touches, heartfelt moments, and a celebration that truly reflected their personalities. As they embark on this new chapter together, their desert dream wedding will forever be etched in the hearts of all who attended.

bridal party in black and white photo booth photo

Vendors: Photographer: Arianna J Photography; Wedding Planner: Jennifer Matteo Event Planning; Ceremony/Reception Site: The Phoenician; Florist: Juliet Le Fleur; Stationery: A&P Design Co.; Cake: A Bake Shop; Hair & Makeup: Makiaj Beauty; Gown Designer: Mira Zwillinger; Men’s Attire: Suit Shop; Bridesmaids: Show Me Your Mumu; Videography: VibeChaos Productions; Bounce House Rental: Inflate Forty Eight; Photo Booth: Flashbulb Photobooth

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