Desert Romance at the Foot of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona
Scott Frost and Ashley Neidhardt had their second date hiking Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona, in 2013, so after Scott proposed (just before hitting the field as a college football coach in October of 2015), the pair knew saying "I do" with the mountain in the backdrop would be the perfect full-circle moment. On March 11, 2016, with 163 guests as witnesses, the couple exchanged vows at El Chorro, one of Ashley's favorite restaurants â€” which pretty much guarantees a fantastic wedding meal!
Marrying just five months after Scott popped the question, the wedding was an exercise in being decisive and trusting the experts, which the bride and groom did when they asked planner Stephanie Antoinette to take the lead. With her help, the couple created a romantic, softly hued celebration in the early spring sunshine. From the floral aisle to the gorgeous installations over the tables, this lush, garden-inspired wedding was absolutely charming and oh-so-sweet, with photos by Amy & Jordan to match!
It all started with the invitations, which featured a romantic watercolor floral design. We love how perfectly the hand-painted macaron favors match the suite!
To go with her classic solitaire engagement ring and pavĂ© wedding band, Ashley wore a dramatic pair of silver Christian Louboutin heels. Says the bride, "I actually bought them before I found my wedding dress!"
Speaking of her dress, Ashley's Modern Trousseau wedding gown was a lesson in patience and persistence. "I went dress shopping in New York City, and felt pressured to buy a gown because we had such a short engagement," she remembers. "When it arrived, I hated it!" She flew to L.A. and found a designer wedding dress off the rack that she loved â€” but it doesn't end there. "I had it altered, and they took it in so much that it didn't fit. I finally bought my lace Modern Trousseau gown in Scottsdale five days before my wedding, and had the final fitting the night before I walked down the aisle!" We'd say the semi-sheer bodice and lace appliquĂ© made Ashley's third dress a real winner!
Her classic round bouquet combined garden roses, peonies, dahlias, and ranunculus in blush and cream, all tied with a satin ribbon.
Ashley's bridesmaids all wore Amsale gowns in a peachy blush, each choosing a different neckline for a gorgeous mix-and-match look. Their bouquets were smaller versions of the bride's, with extra blush blooms and dusty miller for texture and contrast. The flower girl wore an ivory floral gown, with a crown of blush roses to match.
To complement the modern romance of their day, Scott kept it classic in a black tuxedo with a bowtie and a ranunculus boutonniere. "Scott wore his grandfather's dog tags, which he always wears on special occasions," says Ashley.
The dessert-meets-garden setting was a dramatic backdrop for the couple's ceremony. And how chic is their wedding party?!
Scott and Ashley exchanged vows beneath an arch of hydrangeas and garden roses, flanked with wooden lanterns. Instead of a runner, the aisle was decorated with swirls of fresh flower petals in blush, peach, and white hues.
The arch appeared as though it were overgrown with blooms, but in reality it was studded with a combination of white and cream hydrangeas and blush roses, all tied in with ferns and vines. The site of Scott and Ashley's second date, Camelback Mountain, rose beautifully in the background.
The ring bearer and flower girl headed down the aisle together, and Ashley and Scott's rings were tied to Scott's late grandmother's bible. The bride's younger brother had the honor of escorting her down the aisle. The pair kept their ceremony traditional, inviting a close friend to do a reading from the Bible as part of the proceedings.
Guests tossed flower petals as the newlyweds walked back up the aisle. "Scott had a hard time making eye contact during the ceremony. He couldn't stop crying," Ashley sweetly remembers.
On the venue's patio, guests lounged on a collection of natural-hued furniture as they sipped peach Bellinis, the couple's signature cocktail. Instead of escort cards, their table assignments were handwritten onto an oversized mirror, decorated with clusters of hydrangeas and roses.
Inside, guests were seated at a combination of long wooden tables and round tables topped in white linens. Chandeliers sparkled over the dance floor and floral chandeliers, studded with glass orbs holding votive candles, were hung above the long, bare tables. Greenery was woven between candleholders, and the head table featured a low display of roses and hydrangeas that matched the Manzanita branch design overhead.
Wicker-back chairs upholstered in linen provided a textural contrast and gave the room a natural, romantic feel.
Each place setting featured a gold charger and a printed menu describing the family-style meal. "We started with a wedge salad and oven-roasted beets with goat cheese, then guests were served red wine-braised short ribs, pan seared salmon, and prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin," says Ashley. No wonder she loves the restaurant at El Chorro so much!
For dessert, the pair chose three all-white wedding cakes, decorated with blush garden roses and dahlias. They served almond cake with vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries, chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream, and prickly pear cake with vanilla buttercream and prickly pear curd.
"Our wedding day went so fast. Make sure you make a point to enjoy every detail. And hire a good photographer! Having those memories preserved beautifully is so worth it," says Ashley.
Want more inspiration just like this? Then check out another couple's gorgeous Arizona wedding in the video below.