An Elevated Affair Set in Sedona

Fashion Shoot
Sweeping views, impeccable design and romantic fashion unite.
Written by
Chelsea Gibson


Arizona Bride Fall/Winter 2023

Every single piece of this shoot—from the stunning floral to the lavish jewelry to the mind-blowing outfit change—turned out even better than I could have imagined! It’s pretty extraordinary to be able to share your design vision with an incredibly talented team of vendors, and then give them the creative freedom to make it happen in their own way.

Chelsea Gaytan, Black Tie Optional Wedding Planning

When initially brainstorming this shoot, Chelsea Gaytan of Black Tie Optional Wedding Planning looked to recent trends to see what the future might hold. She noticed a correlation to certain decades over the past few years, starting with bohemian ’60s flair and moving to funk-infused designs and disco balls from the ’70s. So, she instantly knew she wanted to go ’80s with this design scheme in Sedona. “But what did that mean exactly?” Gaytan asked herself. “I knew I wanted to use this idea of ‘bigger,’ but make it very now, super elevated [and] a fun twist instead of a literal translation of the decade.” She also noted that this notion of “bigger” was present in a larger shift in wedding culture post-pandemic—from two years of downsized weddings and cutting guest lists, to bigger, blown-out affairs again. “Once we found the perfect location, the theme of the shoot became crystal clear: ‘elevate,’” Gaytan said. “We were high above the hustle and bustle of downtown Sedona, which was a physical elevation, but I also wanted to prove that you can have an extremely elevated design in an unexpected location.”
When it came to outfitting the bride and groom, classic fashion choices stole the show—looks that never go out of style, no matter the decade. The bride’s first gown by Morilee recalled ’80s vibes with off-the-shoulder textured sleeves and a sleek A-line silhouette. Drop earrings and a simple yet statement-making necklace from Très Jolie Jewelry Rentals paired with a sleek center-part bun to highlight the off-the-shoulder neckline. The groom was ever the dapper counterpart, donning a smart three-piece black tuxedo with a satin lapel and tie. Fun fact: This new tuxedo pant from Nick’s Menswear doesn’t have a satin stripe down the leg, so it can be worn again and again.
An impressive stationery suite from Copper Cactus Design incorporated black and beige elements, tying in the same print on the envelope liner that would be used on the grand aisle. For the wow-worthy ceremony aisle, Divinity Event Productions printed a sepia photo of roses that pulled in the palette of the surrounding mountains. The space was framed by black chairs and organic floral arrangements that melted into the natural scenery.
"I’m particularly proud of the printed aisle we created. I had never seen anyone create a custom aisle with an enlarged print before, and I thought it would be the over-the-top piece we’d need to really nail the maximalism vibe," said Chelsea Gaytan, Black Tie Optional Wedding Planning.
Chelsea Gaytan of Black Tie Optional Wedding Planning said, "My personal favorite detail was the sophisticated bar with chandeliers... out in the middle of the desert!" As if it weren’t already everyone’s favorite place to be at the wedding reception, this clean white bar upped the ante with black shelving, crystal chandeliers, gorgeous glassware, a cute cocktail menu and cascading florals.
For the couple’s second look, the bride wore a romantic, airy gown with a sweetheart neckline and puffed sleeves from Allure Bridals. The groom swapped his necktie for a traditional bow tie.
Amour de Sucre created a masterful six-tier confection that served as the perfect backdrop for a Champagne-popping moment. The intimate reception tables were arranged in a serpentine shape, complete with a lush floral table runner, hurricane lanterns with endless candles and pops of black. The entire scene sat beneath a dreamy twinkle tent from Divinity Event Productions, which took the party from golden hour to after hours.





Bridal Attire
Design & Planning
Florals & Rentals
Groom's Attire
Hair & Makeup
Lighting & Aisle Installation
Venue Access