Photographer’s Comments: “Many of Ryan and Cassidy’s guests traveled in from all over the country, so they showed off our beautiful Tucson desert in the springtime at their laid-back Oasis at Wild Horse Ranch wedding celebration. This was exactly why we went to the Saguaro National Park for the sweetheart session so they had lots of desert photos to share with their families from other parts of the country. These sweethearts have had quite the love story: they’ve known each other since they were newborns, their parents have been friends for over 30 years, and then they started dating as teenagers. As her dad said in his speech at the reception, in school Cassidy was voted “most likely to marry Ryan Cunningham“! Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard??
“With a harmonious color palette of blush, navy, and lavender, everything came together well! The ladies rocked floor-length lavender dresses with a lace top while the men wore navy tuxes and lavender bow ties. They kept their reception decorations simple and romantic with centerpieces consisting of a sparkly mat with mercury glass jars holding tea lights and lavender napkins propped up in wine glasses. The Oasis at Wild Horse Ranch is naturally breathtaking with its desert views and lush landscape, so this just added to the effortless beauty of the venue.
“Now let’s talk about Cassidy’s bouquet. Not only is it soft and romantic with hues of pink, lavender, sage, and cream, but it had a few very special additions to make it unique. Her mother-in-law gifted her the lace trim from her own wedding gown to wrap around the floral stems. And her “big sis” from her sorority gave her a safety pin with a ring and custom charms on it to pin to the stems of the bouquet.
“Their advice to future wedding couples planning their own weddings is “Soak it all in! It may seem overwhelming and you just want everything to be over – but looking back, the process is very fun!” There was a plethora of joy and sweetness coming from every person I had the honor of meeting at their wedding and I immediately realized how much of an impact that this couple has made on other’s lives… they are truly loved! Oh! And they totally had a Sonoran hot dog buffet at the end of the night, what’s more Tucson than that! ????”
Bridal Q & A
Q1: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A1: We really wanted a relaxed, fun-filled day. We wanted to keep everything simple so we could focus on celebrating with each other, and with our loved ones. We went with navy and lavender as our main colors and added blush and silver accents. We loved the look of a crisp navy suit, and the lavender dresses from David’s Bridal was irresistible! They just fell together, so we went with it! For theme, we stuck with the Arizona/desert feel. We are both not native to Arizona and our guests were mainly from out of town so it was important for us to stick with the natural beauty that the desert provides.
Q2: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A2: We wanted a simple layout for the day. As I was out shopping, I’d pick up pieces I liked and figured I’d find a home for it! We picked rustic initial letters, mercury jars filled with candles, sparkly silver mats, and more candles. It was simple, and different from traditional flower centerpieces. We found a water color state outline printed on a poster from Etsy that we framed as our guest book. We purchased beautiful cacti programs from Etsy as well. Our friends and family also helped piece together a touching memorial table filled with photos of our loved ones who had passed.
Q3: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A3: Alexis Grace Florals put together stunning bouquets and boutonnières for the big day. I found some pictures (and changed my mind 100 times!) on Pinterest and she made my dreams come true! She also put together two gorgeous floral pieces for the arbor during the ceremony to match the flowers we had in our arrangements. The flowers add a soft focal point in all of our pictures and I was so pleased with the final result.
Q4: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A4: Our amazing venue, Oasis at Wild Horse Ranch, provides a list of cocktail entertainment to choose from. We decided to go with the mariachi band, Luz de Luna, and we were very happy with their performance! The majority of our guests were traveling in from out of state and had never been to Arizona so we wanted to give them a true desert welcome. We also brought in a photo booth which provided guests with entertainment and we love peeking through the funny pictures.
Q5: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A5: I asked Ryan when I first started looking for dresses what he envisioned me in, which is exactly where I started. Funny enough, the dress he described was the first dress I tried on, and the dress I ended up buying! J Bridal Boutique helped me find a Wtoo Watters ball gown (the Rowena), we added a horsehair trim veil to match the bottom of the flowy gown, and a sparkly belt to sew in. It was a strapless, full gown with a beaded top. As for Ryan, one of his only requests was to wear a navy tux with no bow tie, so we went to Men’s Warehouse and they set him up with a navy tux, lavender vest and tie to match the dresses, and brown shoes. He felt and looked so sharp!
Q6: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A6: How we met is a story for the ages. Ryan and I first met when I was 3 months old. Our story actually goes back to the 1980s when my dad and Ryan’s Dad shared an office at their first out of college job. My dad moved from Missouri to Los Angeles to pursue his Masters degree, and unknowingly set my future in place! Our parents attended each other’s weddings back in the day and have remained close friends for several decades. Ryan and I first started dating in 2008 (long-distance – St. Louis to Los Angeles) through high school then parted ways for the majority of our college years. We reconnected at my sister’s wedding in Mexico in 2015 and the rest is history! I moved from Missouri to Arizona after I graduated college in 2016 to start my life with Ryan. As for the proposal, on New Year’s Eve of 2016 Ryan took me back to the first place he took me to in Arizona – Starr Pass. He walked me out into the pitch-black onto a tee box on the golf course, shared some sweet words and asked me to marry him. We spent the rest of the evening sipping on champagne on the balcony and lived in our bliss.
Q7: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A7: Cassidy: My favorite moment was when the officiant asked for me to place the ring on Ryan’s hand, he brought his true colors out. He jokingly “cleaned” and brushed his hand off which totally broke any serious tension in the room. He can always make me laugh, and that moment proved it for me. As for most anticipated moment, I have to go with the moment we were pronounced husband and wife. I had been waiting for that moment since I was 13.
Ryan: Standing under the arbor and watching Cassidy walk down the aisle was a dream come true. I welled up the second I saw her. I also enjoyed having everyone I love in one room. It was overwhelming to look around and see so many people I care about in one place.
Q8: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A8: Relax and enjoy it! The whole day goes by so fast, and it’s not worth obsessing on the little things. Never forget the moment when it was just you two up there and remember that when things get hard.
Vendors in this Wedding
Invitation Designer: Minted
Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Dress Store: David’s Bridal
Ring Designer: Fred Meyer Jewelers
Jewelry: Mia Grace Bridal
Dress Designer: Wtoo by Watters
Dress Store: J Bridal Boutique
Beauty: I Do Hair and Makeup Artistry
DJ: Executive DJs
Cake Designer: Jamie-Cakes Bakery Boutique
Floral Designer: Alexis Grace Florals
Reception Venue: The Oasis at Wild Horse Ranch
Photographer: Pure in Art Photography
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