If you're taken with Tucson, what better way to pay homage to your hometown than with a wedding-day tribute?
The heart-shaped prickly pear pads, the dusky desert palette, the aroma of monsoon. Oh Tucson. There's so much to work with.
Here are some ideas.
Cactus and succulents
Duh. There's a lot you can do here, from bouquets to centerpieces to cute cactus prints. Green Things, a local nursery, does a variety of DIY classes, particularly with succulents. Their events tend to be free. You just have to pay for the materials you use. This would be a great way to learn to make some wedding decorations on the cheap. Past workshops include making wedding centerpieces, pallet gardens and fairy gardens. So much to work with. We suggest following Green Things on Facebook to watch for new events.
All things sunset
Meet your color scheme. Imagine: Corals, oranges, roses and just a touch of sky blue. Pick up paint swatches from a hardware store to compare your options and keep it consistent as you share your color palette with the people who need to know.
If you're looking for for live music at your wedding, consider a mariachi band. Instant local vibe. Local adult bands include:
Mariachi Sol Azteca, facebook.com/mariachisolaztecatucson.
Mariachi Luz De Luna, luzdelunamariachi.com.
Or hire a youth band:
Mariachi Sensacional, mariachiaz.weebly.com.
Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School, facebook.com/MariachiAztlan.
Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos, loschanguitosfeos.org.
Ice cream truck
Honestly, ice cream beats cake everyday. Skip the tiers of sugary frosting and instead book your own personal ice cream truck. Isabella's Ice Cream will motor up to your wedding with their vintage ice cream truck. They'll even serve custom flavors.
Prickly pear margaritas
Ask your bartender to infuse a margarita with jalapeños or prickly pear. If you want to go the DIY route, you can find recipes for prickly pear lemonade, margaritas and brandy at Cheri's Desert Harvest, a local business that sells all things prickly pear. (FYI, there is also a recipe for prickly pear cheesecake under the 'Wedding Suggestions' tab).
If you're gonna serve wine at your wedding, source it from a winery in the Sonoita/Elgin or Willcox areas. Make a wine-tasting day trip out of it with your honey and find your favorite local wine. Then stock up for the big day.
Side note: You can also get married at some of these vineyards.
There are so many to choose from, but here are just a few options.
You might also take advantage of the breweries in town. This is by no means a complete list, but just a few ideas to get you thinking. Substitute your favorite brewery here:
Not all venues will allow you to do this, but if you're getting hitched somewhere with a more flexible catering policy, you might want to consider feeding your guests à la food truck.
The cuisine choices are endless: Tacos (duh), barbecue, noodles, waffles, curry, to name a few. If you go to tucsonfoodtrucks.com, you can get a list of local trucks and brief descriptions of their offerings. The website also has a form that will let you request a truck for catering or events, which means they'll get you in touch with trucks equipped for those purposes.
University of Arizona spirit
What if your "something blue" also paid allegiance to your alma mater? You can find Wildcats garters or "A" cuff links at beardownshop.com. At the University of Arizona BookStores, you'll find jewelry and watches. We also think it would be fun to find some cute Arizona stickers to slap onto the bottom of your heels. Especially if they're bedazzled.
This is wedding décor that doubles as a keepsake. Ashley White, the artist behind Modern Aquarian Lettering and Sign Art, makes custom signs for weddings and other special events. And they are gorgeous. We love her state series, which features sweet sayings and simple drawings on a piece of wood in the shape of Arizona. Visit modernaquarian.com for more information.
We also love the work that Emma Gundlach does. This Tucson artist will make a custom map or illustration for your wedding. Think how cute those invitations could be. And then you have a frame-able piece of art after you say, 'I do.' Visit emmagundlach.com for more information.
We have to give Pinterest credit for this idea, but it's too sweet to skip. On the day of your wedding, you'll ask your guests to stuff a piñata with well wishes, date ideas, advice — basically anything you want. Then, you store the piñata for a year and on your first anniversary crack it open and read all of these messages from your favorite people. Confetti Piñatas, 1608 S. Craycroft Rd., and the Party Factory, 640 N. Stone Ave. make custom piñatas.