Art Deco DIY Tucson Wedding

I’ve featured a lot of weddings here on Oh Lovely Day, and I do them less than I used to since I have made room for more home, baby, and lifestyle features. So it sort of takes a lot to get me excited in the world of weddings. Well, when Camarie submitted her own wedding to me and I saw the photos I’m sharing today I could not wait to feature them. This wedding is Gatsby-meets-Anthropologie set right in the middle of the Tucson desert. It’s beyond fab. And full of lots of love, which is always my favorite wedding detail.

Art Deco DIY Tucson WeddingArt Deco DIY Tucson Wedding

I opted to shy away from a traditional wedding dress and went with a Sue Wong designed modern take on a 1920’s style, while Justin kept it traditional and classic, channeling his inner “Bond” with a simple black tux with black tie.  

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Every detail was curated by us from the table numbers made from the pattern within our wedding invitations, we commissioned a monogrammed Corn Hole set, made a “Mr.” and “Mrs.” chair signs from reclaimed barn wood we found in a lumberyard and built our own photo booth replete with props and a handmade backdrop. One of my favorite elements was the stunning paper flowers I found on Etsy, which were hung on an arch made from wood salvaged from nearby Mt. Lemmon. I’ve later reused them in my daughter’s nursery, so they have even more of a special story now!

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Pinterest is your best friend and also your enemy. It provided an overwhelming amount of inspiration for me, but truth be told, almost too much so, as the night before our wedding I was neurotically gluing together DIY cocktail stirrers instead of relaxing and enjoying myself. It’s easy to go overboard and obsess over the small details, but what you and your guests will remember most is the energy and joy of the day, not your perfectly rhinestone encrusted heels.

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A bit more from the bride:

It was a challenge to find the right venue that matched our personalities and one that didn’t have too many restrictions on what we wanted to do. We became increasingly disenchanted as each successive place we scouted had rules on time, which DJ’s to use, the menu selection and limited availability due to prior bookings. Basically, any place that acted as a “wedding factory” where you just add bride, groom and guests and voilà, you’ve got yourself a wedding – was just not a good fit. In a fleeting moment of frustration, we joked how my grandfather’s house in Tucson could be a last resort fallback.

Well, the more we thought about it, we realized it was a great idea. With his house on a great piece of desert property overlooking the Catalina Foothills, it quickly became the logical choice. We could have whatever kind of wedding we wanted, with no restrictions. When we asked my Grandfather for permission and saw how honored he was at the thought of hosting our wedding, it was sealed. We realized that having it at his house was going to turn the planning into a DIY wedding, but in truth, that is what we wanted all along. 

We planned on having a small wedding, with only 70 invites going out altogether. The goal was intimacy, with everyone at the wedding being able to genuinely say they’ve spent a good amount of time with us in the past – not wanting any guests who lived on the periphery of our lives.

Every detail had a meaning, whether known to the guests or not. We picked every song in our playlist throughout the evening, with a good sprinkling of The Beatles (Justin) and The Rolling Stones (me) to Band of Horses (No One’s Gonna Love You) as our first dance song to a Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash tune as my Father/Bride dance (Girl from North Country). We even captured the spirit of Tucson with songs from local band Calexico and sweetened the evening with Mexican Chocolate as our wedding cake flavor, sides of pastel colored macaroons and maple bacon cupcakes – because, you know, bacon just makes everything better.

Even our signature drinks were an expression of ourselves. We chose a Bohemian Bicycle, a gin and elderflower cocktail invented by our catering company, Feast, while Justin commissioned our own Belgian style micro-brew from the now operating Ten 55 Brewing, which is owned by my cousin and the very guy responsible for Justin and I meeting years ago at the BBQ.

In the end, the wedding was a great success. Of all the things that went perfectly, the greatest thing Justin and I take away is how successfully we were able to execute this wedding where everybody was aware of how intimate it felt. All guests were able to mingle with one another, each and every one of them genuinely knew us, could appreciate how even the minor details were an expression of us and how connected they felt to the event itself.

I love the vibe and style of this wedding, don’t you? And that dress… it is amazing. Thanks so much for letting me share your stunning day, Camarie & Justin!

{Vendors} Photographer : Amanda Rockafellow Photography / Wedding Dress: Sue Wong / Rentals: Tucson Party Rentals / Cake: Ambrosia Cakes / Catering: Feast / Bridesmaid’s Dresses : Little Borrowed Dress / Cake Topper: Jonathan Adler / Jewelry : Vintage / Paper flowers: Etsy / Invitations: Minted / Shoes: Kate Spade / Event Design: Bride, Mother and Aunts / Flowers: Posh Petals / Videography: kb films / Officiant : Sweet Grass Ceremonies / Corn Hole: DIY- Commissioned on Craig’s List / Beer : Ten 55 Brewing / Tree Guest Book: DIY – Groom’s Mother