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Sun Soaked Ranch Wedding

Alexis and Trey came home to the heart of the Verde Valley in Arizona to tie the knot with family and friends on the groom's family's private vineyard! As the sun lowered in the sky, they exchanged vows under an enormous tree, and they headed to the barn on property for the perfect reception. Elegant, rustic details were in abundance, and Molly McElenney Photography captured their day!

A rustic sun soaked ranch wedding in Cornville, AZ

A rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney Photography

The Proposal

It is a Petznick Family Tradition to spend the 4th of July in Coronado (San Diego CA). For the five years before the engagement we enjoyed sun-soaked bike rides, beach days and boat times at the CYC. On July 3, 2016 Trey asked if I wanted to go for a dinghy ride to the bay side of the island for a sushi date. His parents and sister saw us off at their family's boat for what I thought would be a sunset date. We stopped in the middle of the Coronado bay for some DA Ranch Willow White wine (my favorite). I was soaking in the sunset on the glittering water, oblivious and starting to feel a little sea-sick, when I looked back at Trey. He was crouched on bended knee with a big beautiful sparkly ring! He asked me to marry him and I was more surprised and excited than I ever have been in my life. We took the little boat back to his family and they were waiting excitedly. It was fun to celebrate the engagement on the island at Mc P's Irish Pub with many family members and friends surrounding us.

A rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney Photography

About the Wedding

The wedding was held at the DA Ranch, the Petznick family's private ranch that sits on Oak Creek in Cornville, Arizona. It is a sacred place for us; we have many memories with family, friends, and even alone just the two of us there. The first time I ever went to the ranch, we arrived the hour before sunset. It is situated in a valley, and as we descended into the valley the wind was blowing and cottonwood trees were shedding their cotton. It looked so magical, like a snow globe of cotton. Years later when we decided to get married at the ranch, we decided to choose a Cotton + Copper color theme. We love natural elements, and Trey is a metal-working sculptor. Our vision was to integrate these natural elements, and to get married in front of this big, ancient tree that is so tall and surrounded by a big open grass pasture. We wanted to create an atmosphere that could feel intimate yet spacious, to portray the nature of our relationship. We wanted to honor, as our favorite writer Rilke did, that “even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue…” I think we achieved our goal.

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The Attire

Until our wedding weekend, I had never seen Trey in a black suit or tux. He always favors blue and, while some parts of him are traditional, he's an artist and a quirky person all around. So it was a huge deal that he agreed to go with a traditional black tux. He made it more special and tasteful with a beautiful white crepe-looking shirt and family heirloom black and diamond cufflinks and buttons. They were so beautiful. I chose a dress that played off Trey's artistic interests in light; the dress had a nice fitted bodice and skirt, but this fabulous, long tulle train and overlay that captured light and glowed all around. I loved how the dress fit into the ranch atmosphere. By the end of the day it was dusty and grassy, but still felt gorgeous.

A rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney Photography

Favorite Moments

There was this amazing moment after the ceremony where all our wedding party, close family, and close friends were bunched at the front of the barn, hugging and sobbing with big smiles. It was an outpouring of emotion unlike any other I have ever felt, and I will remember it forever. After that we went up into the upper level of the barn to sign our wedding documents, and up there we were able to look out the window, down at our whole wedding event. It was like a birds-eye view of our best day ever. We could see the ceremony, the reception tent, and all our guests right there in the grass pasture. It felt incredible to see the whole thing come together. Another special thing was, Trey insisted on building a hexagon-shaped deck for us to get married on. He thought it would be a great symbol, building a foundation for the rest of our lives. Well, the Wednesday before the wedding the deck was still not built. So he and his groomsmen kicked it into high gear and got it done. I remember seeing five or six of the guys on their hands and knees sanding this deck, working together to make it pretty for me. This is just one example of the best memory of all; we felt so totally loved and supported by so many people. I don't know what we did to deserve all that love and hard work that made the day so special.

A rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney PhotographyA rustic and romantic sun soaked ranch wedding in Arizona by Molly McElenney Photography

The Flowers & Cake

My sister Abbie works at an amazing candle company called Standard Wax. I have always admired Abbie's work there and her boss, Sam, because to me the company represents good taste, power lady independence. So when Abbie and Sam recommended Malori Maeva of Hoot & Holler and Noir Floral, I was all-in. I love Malori's unique design styles and her aesthetic fit right in with Trey's dramatic, artistic taste. I am so thankful to have had the chance to work with both of these women during the wedding planning – I look up to the way they run their businesses and the beautiful memories they create for their clients.

Andrea of Sedona Cakes did a great job working with our copper theme. It turned out beautiful. I went into the wedding thinking cake was a low priority to me, but once I saw what she created I was emotional and amazed.

Instead of giving out favors at the end of the night, my mom Hollie created “Welcome” boxes for everyone and hand delivered them to the hotels where our guests would be staying. I thought this would be more impactful, and more intentional, and would create a positive first impression of the wedding for everyone. They were really cute, white boxes with La Croix, Barb's Bakery cookies, caramels, prickly-pear popcorn, and other treats within.

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DIY & Personal Details

My Grandmother Merry Susin (we call her “Mimi”) is the queen of handmade goods. She is like Pinterest Level 1,000,000. She hand painted several wooden signs for the event, and they turned out perfectly as you can see in Molly's photos. Mimi is 65 and actually hand-made the wooden parts of the signs too, sanding them and staining them and nail gunning them together. She is SUCH a cool Grandma! She also painted and stained the Cornhole game, designed Giant Bubble buckets, and little miniature champagne glasses so that the guests could blow bubbles for us as we walked back down the aisle. She also put together a memory wall in the barn hallway for us, with childhood, high school and college photos of Trey and I. It even made my dad shed a tear or two, and that man never cries. It really portrayed the way that our two separate lives have merged and become a harmonious, adventurous partnership.

Being on the ranch felt like a tradition in itself, I think that is the strongest element of tradition that was present that day. His parents and grandparents and aunt and uncle all worked very hard to make the ranch what it is today. Trey's wedding band belonged to his dad, and came from his parents wedding. They have a great marriage that we look up to very much, so that ring is a special symbol for us. As I mentioned before Trey wore his grandfather's special cufflinks and buttons. I wore my great grandmother's brooch and mother's earrings.

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