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Dream Weddings in the Desert

Words by Carolyn Steere

Balmy temperatures, sunny skies, bright fuchsia bougainvillea, luxury resorts boasting five-star cuisine, year-round golf and some of the most acclaimed spas in the world…think the desert oasis, Scottsdale, Arizona for your picture-perfect destination wedding.

The favorite retro resort, Hotel Valley Ho, dates back to 1956, but retains its charm and cool factor, making it a hotspot then and now. Its central location near Old Town Scottsdale and Sky Harbor International Airport makes it a great choice for accommodating your guests in one of their glass walled rooms with airy patios. Rehearsal dinner? No worries! The Café Zuzu or Trader Vics are right on site and with great options for everything from rooftop to garden for your ceremony and reception; your wedding day will be all you imagined. www.hotelvalleyho.com

Scottsdale’s newest property, InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, located at the base of picturesque Camelback Mountain, combines old world charm with modern day amenities. Picture exchanging vows under an 18-foot cathedral ceiling in the Castillo Lucena Wedding Venue or in an intimate garden courtyard - the choices are yours and the possibilities are endless. www.icmontelucia.com

If a boutique hideaway comes to mind, the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain offers luxury romantic casitas to accommodate your guests, award-winning cuisine, and striking views of the city. Whether your guest list is 15 or 150, there are chic venues for your ceremony and a wedding planner to make the planning stress free. www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com

From the moment you enter the 25-foot gate, fashioned from bougainvillea; you and your guests cannot help but be wowed by the dramatic architecture and design of the modern Mondrian Scottsdale. Cool fountains, flowing white drapes, and sensual pink lighting creates a truly unique atmosphere that reflects the vision of designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz. The place to see and be seen is the Red Bar and if it’s serenity and calm you are seeking, the Agua Spa is the place to be indulged and rejuvenated. www.mondrianscottsdale.com

The Arizona Biltmore, while technically not in Scottsdale, had to be included because it is a “must” when considering a dream wedding in the desert. Built in 1929 and influenced by the architectural design of Frank Lloyd Wright, this landmark has been the choice of presidents and celebrities over the years with a rich history that is quite unsurpassed. Irving Berlin was inspired to write White Christmas while sitting poolside at the Biltmore… just think how inspired you will be dreaming of your perfect day. With 739 guest rooms and 78 villas, eight swimming pools, seven tennis courts, five restaurants and adjacent to two 18-hole PGA golf courses, the Arizona Biltmore lacks absolutely nothing and offers everything. www.arizonabiltmore.com

So, when the weather outside is frightful, think desert, and have your wedding in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale is not lacking when it comes to exceptional places to satisfy your culinary appetites – consider Olive and Ivy, located on the Scottsdale waterfront for your rehearsal dinner or even the main event. This upscale eatery features Mediterranean flavors with California style and exceptional wine selections. www.foxrc.com

Photos courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho

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