Arizona Real Weddings
Daniel & Elisa
Venue: The Clayton
Wedding Coordinator: Andrea Leslie Weddings and Events
Officiant: Lars Bernstrom (a mutual friend from high school)
Photographer: Chris Frailey Photography
Videographer: Full Spectrum Productions – Christopher Boladeres
Florist: Lux Florists
Wedding Gown: Thread & Needle
Tuxedos: Celebrity Tux and Tail
Bridesmaids Gowns: Quilaree
Caterer: Clayton on the Park
Wedding Cake: Piece of Cake Desserts
Custom Cake Topper: John R Moore - everyone always compliments us on our cake, when, in fact, the design was specifically simplified so that the topper would stand out. This customized topper of the moogles was one of our favorite parts of the wedding decorations!
Invitations: Our best man, John Petersburg, custom created the invitations, lighted GOBO, and the fingerprint canvass because he is a great friend and has a great hobby.
DJ, up-lighting, and wall Gobo: Push-Play Entertainment
Live Music: Adrienne Bridgewater (Harpist) – We gave her music scores to some of our favorite Final Fantasy songs about 8 months in advance of the wedding, and she nailed them for the final presentation
Hair Stylists: Taglio Salon stylist – Kathryn Ann Stanley
Professional Makeup: Lillian Fogel Makeup Artist
Custom jewelry for the bride/groom and wedding party: cufflinks, earrings, necklaces, tiara – DLC Gems (dlcgems.com)
Honeymoon Registry: Travelersjoy.com, Bed, Bath & Beyond
Wedding Website: theknot.com
Honeymoon Hotel: Grand Prince Kyoto, Japan
How did you two meet or how did you propose?:
We met as friends in marching band together back in Lake Havasu High School in 2000-2001. We both graduated, lived separate lives for about 8 years and reconnected as renewed friends. In 2014, we became a couple; I lived in Tucson, she in Scottsdale. 6 months later I moved to Glendale, we moved in together, and we were engaged in 2014.
Daniel has a degree in East Asian Studies – Japanese and Elisa has always loved the culture, so they traveled to Japan in May, 2013 for a vacation. Daniel proposed surprisingly while on a hike through Fushimi Inari temple near Kyoto. He purchased the ring back in December, 2012, and had his best friend (best man at the wedding), John Petersburg, hide it for him until the trip. He set up a camera, staging to take a cute couples picture at the temple, then instead pulled out the ring, got on one knee, and proposed. We made a return trip to the same spot for our honeymoon, attached are pictures of both visits.
Describe the theme or color scheme of your wedding, and what you chose for your table setting at the reception:
So this was the easy part, surprisingly. We are both gamers, all of our lives. We came together with a shared passion for a particular series, Final Fantasy, and chose the game’s featured moogles as our underlying theme. We lighted them up on the wall, had them designed into our cake topper, invitations, guest “book” (fingerprint canvas), and background video. To support this, all of our music was also from the game, and our DJ (Push-Play entertainment) did a great job executing the timing on that. We even coordinated two dances for our wedding, one as a mock depiction of the ballroom dance between Squall and Rinoa (Final Fantasy 8), and one customized to the “Theme of Love” song. The table centerpieces revolved around crystals, as original Final Fantasy games were always about fighting to “restore the crystals” in some way or another. As for table settings, up lighting, and general decorations, we kept them simple so the focus could be on our customizations. LUX florists did a great job making this happen.
What piece of advice would you give other couples planning their big day?:
Hire a coordinator. We originally started thinking we could do this on our own, but we had no idea of the intricacies involved. Then we thought we could just get “day-of” services from a coordinator, but honestly we would not have been prepared enough. So we hired Andrea Leslie for partial planning and took advantage of her services starting around 8 months before our wedding. There is nothing like having someone that is not in one of the families keeping a cool head while everyone else is emotional. Andrea was able to skillfully conceal any small problem that we would have fretted over, and solve it before it mattered. Do yourself a favor, hire a professional coordinator, don’t let a family member do it. Andrea is not only not family, but she is a professional. After the wedding, however, she sure felt like family.
Try on every style of dress, even if you don’t believe it will suit you. Elisa traveled to Washington and spend a week shopping with her maid of honor, Lauren Marks. She had a good idea of what she wanted before arriving, and ended up picking something completely different after seeing herself in everything.
Tell us about your photographer. Why did you choose this photographer?:
So thought we had a good idea when we were vetting a photographer. We wanted someone with modern style, unique taste, and a fantastic attitude. After interviewing Chris Frailey, no one else even came close to the kind of quality he was presenting to us. This was an easy choice. He offered us a great value for a two-location engagement photo shoot, along with a fantastic wedding package. Best of all, he was just as nerdy as we were. Before making the decision to hire him, we quizzed him on what kind of ideas he had for photos in a comic book store. Not only did he give us ideas, he gave us a LOT of ideas, and we loved them all! (the superman ones being our favorites!) We were sold. During the wedding, he and his assistant had such a fantastic attitude and great photo ideas, while continuing to be extremely professional. We needed someone with that kind of creativity, and he surpassed our expectations.