An Elegant Desert Wedding at Aldea at Tlaquepaque in Phoenix, Arizona

A shared love of the desert shone radiated through Liz Hudson (25 and a marketing professional) and Mark Haley’s (31 and a corporate trainer) Phoenix,

A shared love of the desert shone radiated through Liz Hudson (25 and a marketing professional) and Mark Haley’s (31 and a corporate trainer) Phoenix, Arizona, wedding. “I wanted to highlight my desert roots by incorporating cacti and succulents and the warm colors of Arizona,” Liz says. The picturesque Aldea at Tlaquepaque was well-suited to this theme; the vibrant tones of turquoise, peach, warm bronze and gold run throughout the Spanish-style venue. After an outdoor ceremony in which Liz and Mark exchanged personalized vows, the 140 guests found their table assignments on hand-stamped Spanish tiles (which would double as wedding favors). Additional touches included succulent centerpieces accented with heart-shaped cacti, a DIY photo backdrop and a “beer burro” that helped pass out drinks during happy hour. “Don’t be afraid to think outside the box,” Liz says. “There is no right or wrong way to have your wedding. Ultimately the wedding should be exactly what you want, not what tradition says it has to be.” —Carolyn Meers

Succulents, bright white roses and blush pink and peach blossoms complemented the desert setting.
"I would describe my look as classic with a 1940s flair. My dress also had notes of lace which was important to me to tie in the Spanish vibes of our venue and decor," Liz says.
To keep with a central goal of comfort, Liz chose knee-length dresses. "I opted for knee-length dresses that I knew my girls would be able to dance in all night. After the ceremony, they quickly changed from their nude heels to white Keds sneakers."
Eucalyptus leaves lined the aisle and a white drape with greenery framed the arch where Liz and Mark said their vows.
Hand-stamped Spanish tiles served as place cards, and orange blossoms and cacti were a perfect desert-themed centerpiece.
Long, banquet-style tables at the indoor reception were topped with crisp white tablecloths and cactus centerpieces.
Liz ordered hand-crafted Spanish tile place cards for each guest, which also served as coasters (and wedding favors).
“I wanted to highlight my desert roots by incorporating cacti and succulents and the warm colors or Arizona,” says Liz, who married Mark at the picturesque Aldea at Tlaquepaque in Phoenix, Arizona.