RUSTIC DESERT WEDDING | Kari + Judson | If you want something badly enough, hold out and you just might get it.

↑ this in a second, but first…


I’m sorry, you guys.  We have an AMAZING wedding for your eyes to absorb today, submitted by the BEYOND STELLAR Session Nine Photographers, and I’m so excited to get to it.  True story.  It’s just I’ve been sitting here all morning (and a little into the afternoon, obvs.), trying to focus, blasting Ellie Goulding’s cover of “Your Song” and some other hits (that I’m actually starting to love, you should check her out if you haven’t and if you’re like me and just jumped on the bandwagon after the Royal Wedding which now totally makes me want to have that song playing at my wedding, which would actually make more sense than it did at the RW because the lyrics talk about not having much money and how their love is all they have/need and that’s like the antithesis of the Royal Family but I’ll shut up now)… but it’s all I can do to stop thinking about THIS:

I mean, c’mon.  C’mon, Sarah Jessica.


But COME ON, with the hair.  First of all there’s such evidence of waaay too much icky sticky hairspray when you look at her sideview; I HATE when that happens, and I actually have rewashed my hair before when that’s happened.  To go out to dinner.  So if I’m rewashing for dinner, how are you not rewashing for some kind of gala or whatever this is that is taking place adjacent to a dealership.

Omigod a pigeon with pink hair just landed on my window sill.  Omigod.  Wow.  Ok that was a real shock.  Deep breaths.  I’m not kidding about the pink hair by the way.  This is nyc, friends, it’s just another day.

Ok back on track – I’m gonna be honest; upon first look it’s HILARIOUS but also quite becoming on her.  And then I look at it again and instead of it growing on me the way so many pop songs regrettably do, her ‘do gets more and more redonkulously redonk with each subsequent view.  It makes me laugh out loud and scare my dog.  It’s in my dreams now.  There’s really no hope for me anymore after this.

Alrighty!  I think I just needed to talk about it out loud so I could move past it.  So, thanksies for wading through those high, voluminous waters with me!


I love this wedding.  I love the utter simplicity of it.  It’s a clean canvas, with the occasional bold smacks of color, and just rides on the immense love wave (that sounded corny, I know, I realize that now) everyone in attendance has for each other.  It’s beautiful.  And while I ADORE tons and tons of details – I actually LIVE FOR details – I also dream of easygoing, laid-back family-focused events that scream happiness, togetherness like this one does.

Also, remember earlier in the week when I was talking about wearing strong colors, and the beauty of bridesmaids in gradations of one great base color and blah blah blah, et cetera?  Well this wedding has compelling evidence that you need to consider doing this.

Ohh one more thing: their wedding venue was Kari’s dream venue, but it was booked up, so they searched for one to replace it, but that longing in her heart told her to hold out.  And guess what?  :)


Some lovely words from Session Nine:

This gorgeous wedding took place in the Desert Botanical Gardens in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. Everything about this wedding captured the subtle elegance that is the desert, making it the perfect backdrop for this fun loving couple. Not a dry eye during the ceremony, everyone came to Kari and Judson’s wedding from near and far to celebrate with them. It was truly a marvelous, perfect, desert night!

And now a rundown from our bride, Kari:

I have to say, we were supposed to get married at The Desert Botanical Gardens.  They were booked out months in advance with no availability. So we looked around, trying to scope out other locations.  None made me gleam as this one.  I had fallen in love with the desert landscape and natural beauty several years back. And quite frankly, it was the most important to me in planning the wedding – we had to be outside.  A lot of hoping and wishing occurred before that day when we heard a date became available in the month of April. We jumped on it.

The palo verde trees are lit up at night with twinkling lights and luminarias often line the dirt paths.    It’s a simple beauty: yellows, purples, oranges, sage – everywhere. Cacti and wildlife fill this beautiful garden.  To compliment it’s natural beauty, we added candle light to the reception tables and orchid filled vases.   Luminarias lined clay walls and the trees twinkled.   Nature provided the palette for us to coordinate the evening affair. For example, bridal bouquets had wildflowers and succulents wrapped with a sage rope.  Our specialty drink for the evening was a prickly pear margarita.  We had simple requirements for a magical evening: fresh air with starry sky, a rustic romantic backdrop and music that induced dancing.  All magical components to make our special day memorable and fun.

Simply said, it was a beautiful tone to set for the beginning of our marriage in the place we call HOME.

And now, one of the things we love most about weddings…


A little cake smushing never hurt anybody, right?  As long as it’s not being smushed in MY FACE, sweetie.  Got that?  Great.

Ok, again, because you ask for it (!!!) another peek into the life of Bambino:

Hi monkey!  I’m gonna EATCHOO!

… wait wait, you ok?

… AWESOOMMMMEE!  Shall we continue?  Sounds MARVELOUS.

(Sigh.  You guys, why do you encourage this??)

So, thoughts?  First off, I’m actually really curious if I’m the only one who hates SJP’s hair.  … Am I?  I can take it.

Also, how simply gorgeous is this wedding?!  Do you love the bouquets?  Because I’M POSITIVELY DYING over them.

xoxo!  – Alison

Photographer: Session Nine Photographers / Hair Stylist: Stephanie Heller / Caterer: Heidi’s Events and Catering / Floral Designer: Flowers by Jodi / Reception Venue: Desert Botanical Gardens / Dress Store: Lillian Lottie Couture / Cake Designer: Honey Moon Sweets Bakery and Dessert Bar / DJ: Got You Covered Music / Ceremony Location: Desert Botanical Gardens / Submitted via Two Bright Lights / SJP images: Splash News

Label(s): Color, Green, Mr. McPuppyPants, Purple, Yellow, {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. Alicia@CharityWedding on May 13, 2011

    I love that this wedding is in the great state of Az. Because of the fact that that cake is amazing and the bouquets are even more amazing proves that people in AZ are awesome and have great taste. Which is why SJP doesn’t live here. I would have LOVED that hair circa 6th grade when I liked to do that to my hair. I had some wicked bangs and played a huge part in the depletion of the ozone to get them looking that way.

  2. Denise on May 13, 2011

    Gorgeous wedding. Love the colors and the photography was very well done!
    SJP’s hair was a failure. Too much, too much!
    That monkey doesn’t stand a chance! He’ll not be long for this world :(.
    Hey how can we submit a wedding we shoot?

  3. Sarah on May 13, 2011

    So lovely! LOVE those bouquets. And totes agree with you about SJP…she also has scary buff Madonna arms these days! Your puppy reminds me of my puppy so much. I heart him.

  4. Cocroft & Delbridge on May 13, 2011

    Such a beautiful wedding…I love the sumptuous color palette…the rustic star shaped lanterns…the delicate, simple luminaries! So wonderful!

  5. Alison on May 13, 2011

    Alicia – Exactly. Exactly. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to comb that fro out. HATE it… and love you :)

    Denise – I agree; the photography is fantastical, and I’m glad I’m not alone on the hair front ;) Re: submissions, there’s a link to our subs page up top on the left :)

    Sarah – I didn’t even notice the arms, I was so HYPERFOCUSED on the head portion of her body. And he hearts you, too ;)

  6. Lindsay on May 13, 2011

    Now that’s what you call a wedding cake! Love the way the florist (I assume?) decorated the tiers! It’s amazing what a few gorgeous florals can do.

  7. Lena on May 13, 2011

    To kick off my comment, let me say that I’m hoping that last pour of Crown is for me-I need it. Damn Blogger-my head is going to explode.

    Now, onto the first order of business: SJP’s hair. I love Texans, I do, but that hair has no business above the Mason-Dixon. Or below, but who knows with those Southerners.

    Second, your pigeon. No photo? I bet Pinky would have been a terrific friend/chew toy for Bambino!

    Jumping to the end, GAHHHH, could Bambino be any cuter? Seriously, I can’t stand it. Everything I see a Frenchie on the street, I coo, “Bambiiiiiiino” hoping that he’ll bum rush his devoted owner and come home with me.

    I know, you can’t tell. Am I being serious?

    Yes, yes, I am.

    Now onto that bouquet. Oh my goodness, it’s perfect. I love a girl who’s not afraid to say, “To hell with the roses, let’s use some succulents.” This whole thing is just GORGEOUS.


  8. J (SparklyLove) on May 13, 2011

    What are those round yellow flowers in the bouquets and on the boutonnieres? I loves them :)

    Ps. You are not the only person who hates SJP’s hair. What is on her head. Seriously. Does she not own a mirror?

    Pps. Somehow I found my way onto the Ellie Goulding (think theres a typo in your post) train a week before RW, not sure how, but I am OBSESSED. Love her!

  9. Kristen on May 13, 2011

    Oh no, you aren’t the only one thinking that hair is a crime against humanity. I’ve never understood the big deal about SJP. Looks like she got attacked by a gallon of Aqua Net in a wind tunnel.

    As for the wedding, I love the colors! Very pretty.

    Bambino as always is too cute. Look at that punim!

  10. Alison on May 13, 2011

    Lena – I tried to snap a shot all smooth-like, but the pigeon flew away on me. It was a “BLAST!” kind of moment. A picture would have really given me a delicious feeling of validation since I’m sure there are some disbeliebers… excuse me, disbelievers. Too much Twitter.

    Kristen – You just said punim!!! I love you 1000%. I try to use that one whenever I can cause it makes me feel squishy inside. Punimface was an early contender for the pup’s name, but then we realized how dumb that would be. Anyway, you’re cool. Is what I’m trying to say.

    J – The round yellow stunnas are called Craspedia, or “Billy Balls.” They make for the coolest bouquets and, subsequently, the coolest photos. ;)

  11. Madison on May 13, 2011

    Great photography and love the florals with the bridesmaids dresses, gorgeous! SJPs hair is ridiculous! People jump on the ‘big hair’ trend and just look like they’ve been electrocuted then emptied a can of hairspray on their head. Yeah i noticed the arms but also one boob bigger than the other (just me perving that closely, ok then….)

  12. Natalie on May 13, 2011

    I love those shots of the bridal/bmaids bouquets, they’re absolutely gorgeous. Gets me anxious for my wedding to come already! Yellow’s one of my colors (my palette: yellow, pink, navy) and I’d love for my bouquet to have that fullness.

    I see those yellow balls every once in a while on the blogs and I completely swoon over them every time :)

  13. Megan Powers on May 13, 2011

    Siiiiiiiiiiiigh. I love Bambino. He makes me smile so big. :)

    The little boy breakin’ is too cute!! And he is in a tux. Moments like that make for great wedding photography.

  14. BeeCustom Design on May 13, 2011

    gorgeous wedding…….LOVE the colors. Agree on the hair………wrong on so many levels. Mr puppy dog brings a smile to my face every time so happy that he keeps showing up:)

  15. Samantha on May 13, 2011

    I had the pleasure of actually going to this wedding. . . the aesthetics were amazing as shown in the photos by my dear friends, Session Nine Photography, but the people are even more beautiful. Inside and out. Such an event! Much love!

  16. Jessica Williams on May 13, 2011

    We are so pleased to be featured on your blog! Thank you so much! We loved getting to know Kari and Judson and all of their amazing family and friends! Such a wonderful event and amazing people! xo

  17. first off, hate SJPs hair too. secondly, ahh love the flowers and everything about that wedding. third, bambino!!!! he is so silly :)

  18. Gloria @ I Do Venues on May 14, 2011

    I love this weeding- the color pallet is perfect- the bright yellow flowers “POP” right off the page against the cranberry – this is a great culmination for a fall or summer wedding.

  19. Maegan on May 15, 2011

    my favorite post on this blog ;)

  20. Maegan on May 15, 2011

    why is my “saved” URL !?!?!? lolol

    I think you mentioned this to me on twitter, lolol

    I’m fixing it now.

  21. Amy-Jo Tatum/Bride Chic on May 15, 2011

    Such a beautiful set of images. Love your blog BTW

  22. Neal Morgan Photography on May 16, 2011

    Beautiful photography, the day looks so cool and elegant, I can almost feel the breeze but why is the dog eating Monkey?

  23. Lauren Elise on May 17, 2011

    I particularly love the venue. Usually desert weddings have more desert/neutral color schemes but I like the bold pop of color here.

    Also, yes, I’m just getting around to catching up on your posts…I’m so behind.

    My dog gives her toys a couple weeks grace period and than tears into them like crazy. Love the pics of Bambino with Monkey :)

  24. Wedding Photographer Cebu on June 12, 2016

    Loving the location, simplicity and the elegance of this wedding! Thanks for sharing!


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