A Vibrant, Desert Wedding at Boulders Resort and Spa in Carefree, Arizona

A stunning blue sky, giant cactus and oversized boulders served as Mother Nature's contribution to Kelsey Rudy (25 and an accountant) and Mason Rudy's

A stunning blue sky, giant cactus and oversized boulders served as Mother Nature's contribution to Kelsey Rudy (25 and an accountant) and Mason Rudy's (27 and a supply-chain manager) scenic outdoor nuptials in Carefree, Arizona. For their wedding at the Boulders Resort, the couple looked to the bride's home state for design inspiration. “I grew up in Arizona, and as soon as we got engaged I knew I wanted a desert wedding," Kelsey says. "Many of our guests were not from Arizona, so we wanted to give our family and friends the full desert experience during our wedding weekend. Our entire wedding was held at the Boulders Resort in Carefree, which offered the most gorgeous desert landscape. I knew our guests would swoon over it.” 

Beautiful jewel-tone florals could be found in Kelsey's bouquet and atop tables. These were paired with her simple dress and neutral bridesmaid gowns. “An Arizona sunset was my inspiration for my palette. I love the richness of magenta, orange and deep purples mixed with green succulents. Since my florals were pretty bold colors, I looked to the rest of the decorations as subtle enhancements. By playing up the desert landscape for our ceremony, we were able to use that natural, organic scenery throughout our wedding day,” Kelsey says. Her advice for the day? “Have fun! At the end of the day, the reason why you are having a wedding ceremony and reception is to celebrate the commitment you are vowing to each other for the rest of your lives. It's an amazing time to see family and friends all in the same spot, so just soak it up.” —Ginger Harris

"Our invitations set the tone of what our Arizona wedding would be like, including details of cactus and our palette. We used similar detail on our menu cards and ceremony cards," Kelsey says.
"Succulents were a must," Kelsey says. "Those were actually the groomsmen boutonnieres with some jasmine vines. I love the timeless look of tuxedos, so it was a simple choice to go with the traditional black tuxedo with suspenders."
"Never say never," Kelsey says. "I swore I would never wear a strapless wedding dress. And guess what? I did. I chose a strapless dress that had little pearls around the bodice and a pearl belt. I love tulle and I got a lot of it."
Classic Black Tuxedos for the Groomsmen
Kelsey's bridesmaids donned floor-length, tulle dresses that were a very light dusty rose. "The dress had tulle straps that could be fashioned in a number of ways, so they could all customize their dress to their body type and desire," she says.
"I wanted our family and friends to soak in as much Arizona sunshine and desert as possible, so we took our chances and held our ceremony at Promise Rock at the Boulders Resort," Kelsey says. "We had 75-degree weather without a cloud in the sky. Perfection."
"I had very simple ceremony decorations. We had sunset-colored petals (magenta, yellow, orange) along the sides of the aisle. In addition we had shepherd hooks lining the aisle with small wooden boxes filled with green amaranthus, jasmine, yellow and orange ranunculus, plum tulips, assorted succulents and veronica. It was the perfect accessory to an already gorgeous desert backdrop."
Ceremony at Boulders Resort and Spa
Escort cards hung from jewel-tone-hued ribbons that dangled from a tree branch.
Kelsey and Mason's reception took place outdoors at the same location, at El Pedregal at the Boulders Resort.
"Since our flowers were bold and colorful, I loved the idea of a neutral green contrasted against all the color we had naturally in our floral pieces for our tables and linens. We chose a shimmer thyme for the tables and a moss green napkin. It looked gorgeous," she says.
Gold-textured votive candles shimmered against the table linen.
Small round bursts of colorful flowers were bundled as the table's centerpieces.
Flowers from Kelsey's bouquet of succulents with magenta garden roses, jasmine vine, yellow and orange ranunculus, plum   dendrobrium orchid blooms also worked to decorate chairs at the reception.
A simple, white tiered cake was transformed to with bold florals.
"Our first-dance song was 'Don't Worry Baby' by the Beach Boys," Kelsey says. "It's a fun song, and I think it speaks to our personalities of 'going with the flow.' "