Arizona Bride Best of 2010

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Arizona Bride Best of 2010

This year's premier wedding service providers–nominated online by our readers–are the créme de la créme of the local industry. Arizona brides agree that these vendors truly take the cake when it comes to planning a wedding. During the most magical (and stressful) time a couple will ever experience, these consummate professionals lend their expertise, extensive training, and most importantly, personal passion, to help create the celebration of a lifetime.

Top of the Tiara
The finalists are: Victoria Canada Wedding & Events, Santa Barbara Catering Company, and Lasting Images Photography
The winner is: Victoria Canada Wedding & Events
Scottsdale | 602.228.3188 |

Victoria Canada is back again, this time as our readers’ pick for the best wedding provider in the state. Canada has been planning weddings in Arizona for nearly a decade (though she admits that number makes her feel “old”—her words, not ours!). Her timeless designs never go out of style—she’s able to take the hippest and hottest wedding trends, blend them with the couple’s personality and create a signature style that’s always, well, in style! In fact, one of her favorite wedding-day moments is when the bride and groom see the event décor for the first time.
    “It is so gratifying to make an event unique and representative of the couple,” she says. “I’ve had clients jump up and down with joy, tear up with happiness, or just remain speechless as they look in awe.”
    Recent newlywed Rachel Dhaenens says that with Canada’s help, planning her wedding was worry-free. “All of the vendors that she recommended were fantastic, and she did a great job helping us make decisions about things we were unsure of, like linen colors and seating arrangements. When it came time for the ceremony and the wedding reception, our families and wedding party were all able to relax and enjoy the celebration because Victoria had everything so under control.”
    After so many highly successful years in the industry, there’s still one thing that continues to amaze Canada about brides and weddings: “I’m surprised by how everyone reacts to the planning process. Someone who is super-organized may not be an organized bride. And a bride who is not organized may be really great at making and sticking to decisions, thus making the planning process easier.”
    For Dhaenens, it was simply Canada’s reassuring presence that made planning her February 2010 nuptials a cinch. “She did such an amazing job of helping us turn our wedding vision into a reality,” she recalls. “The thing that I loved most about working with Victoria was how organized and prepared she was for our wedding day.”

Best Attendant Dresses 
The finalists are: David’s Bridal, Uptown Bridal & Boutique, and Twirl Boutique
The winner is: Twirl Boutique
Scottsdale & Chandler |
“Twirl Boutique brings to life every bride’s fantasy of what shopping for her best friends should be. The staff gives you great advice on your choices, and helps you to find the dress that fits perfectly with your style and budget. They have a dress there to make every bridesmaid look beautiful, and I would recommend them to anyone getting married.” - Christen Briley, Gold Canyon, marrying Nov. 6, 2010

Best Spa for the Bridal Party
The finalists are: The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, The Spa at Camelback Inn, and Dolce Salon & Spa
The winner is: Dolce Salon & Spa
Chandler, Scottsdale, Peoria | 480.722.0500 |
“For my consultation at Dolce, I told the hairstylist and makeup artist what I wanted and they created it. They took pictures and wrote down what they did, so when I went in for my wedding day they knew exactly what to do. They were friendly and helpful, and I’m so happy with how everything turned out.” - Allie Kerley, Gilbert, married Mar. 20, 2010

Best Invitations
The finalists are: Celebrations in Paper, Flossy Stylish Design, and The Invitation Lady
The winner is: Celebrations in Paper
Scottsdale | 480.946.5680 |
“I went into my meeting with [owner] Rene Showalter with a vague idea of what I was looking for in terms of style. She took that and created something better than I’d imagined. We had a really complex program and she made it beautiful and easy to read. We got tons of compliments on our stationery pieces—they were gorgeous!” - Anjali Kansal-Rill and Brent Rill, Scottsdale, married Oct. 10, 2009

Best Custom Dressmaker  
The finalists are: Suzanne’s Bridal Boutique, Lillian Lottie Couture, and Jennyvi Dizon Couture
The winner is: Jennyvi Dizon Couture
Scottsdale | 602.284.2073 |
“I’m six feet tall, and it’s hard to find beautiful dresses that accommodate women of my height and size. From the moment I called Jennyvi she was awesome. The dresses she had designed were far more flattering and gorgeous than the original dress I had in mind. She took my dream dress to a different level and made it gorgeous!” - Janet McCann, Tucson, married Apr. 24, 2010

Best Reception Site for a Large Wedding
The finalists are: Royal Palms Resort and Spa, InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, and Villa Siena
The winner is: InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa
Scottsdale | 480.627.3200 |
“We looked at several resorts for our wedding all over the Phoenix area, but the instant we saw the Montelucia, we fell in love with the property and its Spanish ambiance. We were looking for a place where we could have our ceremony outside and our reception inside, and the Montelucia had the perfect space for both. The lawn where our ceremony was held has a great view of Camelback Mountain, and with our ceremony timed to the sunset it had a truly magical feel. The staff was incredibly helpful, the setting couldn’t have been more perfect, the food was delicious—everything exceeded our expectations.” - Allison Steinberg, Austin, married Oct. 25, 2009

Best Wedding-Night Hotel
The finalists are: The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, Royal Palms Resort and Spa, and Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
The winner is: The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa
Carefree | 480.488.9009 |
“Even though we arrived at nearly midnight after our wedding, the service at the Boulders was still impeccable. After our car was left with valet and we were golf-carted down to our casita, we were left to enjoy our night of solitude. The room itself was beautiful. The service was great, the place was beautiful, and for the one night we were there, it was perfect!” - Sophie McCurley, Phoenix, married June 28, 2008

Best Hair and Makeup
The finalists are: Corinna Cooke, Kensington Makeup, and Linda Wagner
The winner is: Corinna Cooke
Phoenix | 602.300.8181 |
“Corinna was extremely helpful when I met her for a trial and was great to bounce ideas off of. She has amazing experience in the field, and it really shows through her work. All of my bridal party and the two moms were ecstatic with the results. I comparison-shopped and found her prices to be reasonable for her expertise. She was knowledgeable and a great calming influence to have around on the big day.” - Meghan McGarvey Mulligan, Chandler, married Mar. 20, 2010

Best Bridal Gowns
The finalists are: Uptown Bridal & Boutique, Destiny’s Bride, and Brides by Demetrios
The winner is: Destiny’s Bride
Scottsdale | 480.368.8868 |
“Destiny’s Bride offers exceptional service and individual attention, including recommendations on gown types for your body and accessories. The environment and entire team at Destiny’s take the stress out of finding a gown and dealing with family and friend opinions, and they provide you with a completely special gown selection experience that every bride dreams of having while planning her special day!” - Jenn Warbasse, Phoenix, married Nov. 14, 2009

Best Favors
The finalists are: Red Envelope, Something Baked, and Thee Wedding Warehouse
The winner is: Thee Wedding Warehouse
Goodyear | 623.536.0995 |
“Thee Wedding Warehouse was exceptionally helpful with planning my wedding. They were accommodating to my schedule and are talented at what they do. It was such a pleasure to work with them at making my day memorable and less stressful!” - Beth Galpin, Buckeye, married May 8, 2010

Best Outdoor Reception Site
The finalists are: Desert Botanical Garden, Royal Palms Resort and Spa, and The Country Club at DC Ranch
The winner is: Desert Botanical Garden
Phoenix | 480.941.1225 |
“Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to get married at Desert Botanical Garden because it’s such a beautiful place. The service I received was great. My coordinator was always attentive and quick to get back to me when I had any questions. It was everything I dreamed it would be.” - Jessica O’Neal, Phoenix, married Mar. 27, 2010

Best Calligrapher
The finalists are: Betsy Dunlap, Calligraphy by Jennifer, and Domenica Corbo
The winner is: Domenica Corbo
Phoenix | 480.563.5772 |
“I wanted to find something truly unique and memorable to give to my son and daughter-in-law for their wedding. I approached Domenica about doing something with the verse 1, Corinthians 13. Every part of the gift had a meaning behind it. My daughter-in-law spent a lot of time in Italy, so we used handmade Italian paper that was specially ordered. The print was done with an 1890s press and even the wax seal and insignia on the gift card had special meanings. It was a wonderful piece.” - Theresa Jacoby, Phoenix, mother of Jake Martinson, married Feb. 21, 2010

Best Photographer
The finalists are: One Fine Day Photography, O Grace Photography, and Jennifer Bowen Photography
The winner is: Jennifer Bowen Photography
Scottsdale | 602.402.5600 |
“Jennifer’s images are truly special. The way she plays with light, her subjects, and composition allow her to capture the vibrancy of life. It is this vibrancy my fiancé and I were drawn to. We chose Jennifer because her images capture a depth of emotion and energy that the viewer not only sees but feels. Her photographs—playful, joyous, and solemn alike—tug at your heartstrings.” - Suzanne Dixon, Dallas, married Oct. 17, 2009

Best Wedding Planner
The finalists are: Life Design Event Planning, Victoria Canada Weddings & Events, and Outstanding Occasions
The winner is: Life Design Event Planning
Phoenix | 480.219.8067 |
“I can’t even imagine anyone more spectacular and engaging to assist in such planning: [owner] Cicely Rocha-Miller is one-of-a-kind with her organization, energy, thoroughness, and follow-through. She has the experience and know-how to navigate the complicated infrastructure of wedding planning, and the people skills that make you feel like you are working with your best friend.” - Lindsay Ackerman, Paradise Valley, marrying fall 2010

Best Accessories
The finalists are: Destiny’s Bride, Impeccable Eye, and Uptown Bridal & Boutique
The winner is: Uptown Bridal & Boutique
Chandler | 480.242.9408 |
“Uptown Bridal & Boutique gave me the experience I had always dreamed of but never thought was possible. I could not have asked for a better or more pleasurable experience. They carry the most beautiful handpicked gowns and accessories imaginable! I left feeling that my dress and accessories were fresh and something people had not seen before, yet classic and exactly what I wanted!” - Heather Reiber, Mesa, to be married Mar. 12, 2011

Best Transportation for the Wedding Party
The finalists are: The Driver Provider, Ollie the Trolley, Sky Mountain Limousines
The winner is: Ollie the  Trolley
Scottsdale | 480.970.8130 |
“Ollie the Trolley’s service was great; they were professional and surprisingly very affordable. My wedding party, some family, and friends were able to enjoy themselves because they knew they had a safe ride home at the end of the night. My husband and I were very happy that we chose Ollie the Trolley. It was an easy decision and we would definitely recommend them to others.” - Michelle Bertelson, Gilbert, married Nov. 14, 2009

Best Band
The finalists are: EastonAshe, Groove Merchants, and The Hamptons
The winner is: The Hamptons
Phoenix | 480.236.3001 |
“The Hamptons played wonderful jazz at our cocktail hour and during the meal, which started the night out in style. The reception was a blast, and we owe it all to the Hamptons for playing a great mix of music and getting everyone out on the dance floor for a nonstop party. We never wanted the night to end!” - Brittney and Shawn Hollenbach, Scottsdale, married Nov. 14, 2009

Best Mother-of-the-Bride Apparel
The finalists are: Dillard’s, Macy’s, and Nordstrom
The winner is: Nordstrom
Statewide |
“We bought my mom’s mother-of-the-bride dress at Nordstrom. They have a fantastic return policy, so my mom bought it even though it was one of the first dresses we liked, since we knew that we’d be able to return it without a hassle. However, we stuck with that original dress—it was perfect! The formal dresses at Nordstrom are stylish and don’t look like the standard mother-of-the-bride dresses.” - Jessica Hanna, Scottsdale, married Apr. 10, 2010

Best Honeymoon in Arizona
The finalists are: L’Auberge de Sedona, The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, and InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa
The winner is: L’Auberge de Sedona
Sedona | 800.905.5745 |
“We had an amazing weekend in a private creekside cottage where we enjoyed the cozy in-room fireplace, sipped coffee on our private patio and took in the breathtaking red rocks view. Our evening server even serenaded us around the lobby fireplace. We would recommend the resort for a romantic or relaxing getaway.” - Cinda Heeren, Gilbert, married Jan. 27, 2006

Best Talent Agency
The finalists are: Encore! Creative, Krigsten Agency, and SRO Entertainment and Productions Ltd.
The winner is: Encore! Creative
Tempe & Tucson | 480.736.2800 |
“Encore provided us with the help we needed to make our venue warm and welcoming. They handled everything from the basic tent structure to providing us with very useful ideas regarding decorations, lighting, etc. They also have a wonderful floral department [staff] who outdid themselves. We only have one daughter so this was our only opportunity to plan a wedding, and it truly turned out to be a great evening, helped in no small part by Encore.” - Beth Dorweiler, Scottsdale, mother of Lauren Dorweiler, married Nov. 14, 2009

Best Rehearsal Dinner Venue
The finalists are: Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, O’Donoghue’s Irish Pub, and Old Town Tortilla Factory
The winner is: Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
Scottsdale | 480.874.8209 |
“My husband and most of my family are from New York, and we believed Grimaldi’s would be the perfect place for all of our family and closest friends to come together for fun and food. The dinner could not have been more perfect. The staff was attentive, friendly, and made sure everything went according to plan.” - Alison Stavris, Scottsdale, married Sept. 6, 2008

Best Jeweler
The finalists are: Tiffany & Co., Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, and Shane Company
The winner is: Shane Company
Scottsdale | 480.348.5700 |
“The Shane Company made shopping for my engagement ring an unforgettable experience. My fiancé gave them a budget and they got us a gorgeous ring that even came in under budget! The sales people were wonderful and made us feel like a top priority. We had a wonderful experience and I suggest them to everyone I know.” - Renee Henderson, Peoria, married Oct. 3, 2009

Best Ceremony Music
The finalists are: Miguel de Maria, EastonAshe and String Serenade
The winner is: String Serenade
Phoenix | 480.390.3276 |
“[Violinist] Jennifer DeWitt at String Serenade has uncanny people skills and knowledge of the business. After a brief meeting, she recommended that her partner Rich Mancini play acoustic guitar for us. Rich played our music selections flawlessly and everything was timed perfectly. Jennifer and Rich are extremely professional and created lasting memories! We highly recommend them for their musical talent, creativity, and professionalism.” - Kimberly and Jeffrey DeWitt, Sedona, married Sept. 6, 2009

Best Alterations
The finalists are: Janet Kirkman Bridal Redesigns and Alterations, Suzanne’s Bridal Boutique, and Danese Creations Tailoring & Bridal
The winner is: Janet Kirkman Bridal Redesigns and Alterations
Scottsdale | 602.330.4745 |
“Janet understands every bride wants her wedding dress to look and feel perfect, and she makes that happen. Janet is professional, patient, and a problem-solver. She tailored my dress so it fit like a glove but was comfortable. She gave me a creative bustle, and her weekend fittings were very convenient.”
- Sarah Keturah Deutsch, Tempe, married Mar. 28, 2009

Best Cake

The finalists are: La Dolce Pesca, Let Them Eat Cake, and Sedona Cake Couture
The winner is: Let Them Eat Cake
Phoenix | 602.952.5272 |
“[Owner] Barb Gardner was very professional, and clearly her No. 1 priority was helping make our wedding cake a custom dream cake. She had great ideas and suggestions and was just a joy to work with. The cake was delicious; we have received many compliments. It was moist and delicious—just what we imagined! The design matched our stationery perfectly, and everyone was amazed at the detail.” - Asha Patel, Scottsdale, married Mar. 13, 2010

Best Florist
The finalists are: Fiori Floral Design, Flora Europa, and Petal Pusher
The winner is: Petal Pusher
Avondale | 623.337.4868 |
“When we went to Petal Pusher, I didn’t have any idea about the kinds of flowers that I wanted to have in my bridesmaid bouquets. They completely channeled our vision into arrangements that were more amazing than I ever could have imagined. I loved that the flowers covered so many different dimensions of color and shape. They were truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.” - Rachel Dhaenens, Phoenix, married Feb. 6, 2010

Best Travel Agency
The finalists are: Ambassador Travel, A World of Travel, and Jane Allie Travel
The winner is: Jane Allie Travel
Scottsdale | 480.657.9100
“I would highly recommend Jane Allie as a travel agent for honeymoons. She helped us plan our adventurous honeymoon to South Africa for a safari and to attend the World Cup. Jane researched the area and the timing of all events and arranged a well-organized, exciting travel plan. She found the perfect place for the season to go on safari. She also registered us with travel rewards programs for future travels. She is very thoughtful and professional.” - Sara N. Magrogan, Phoenix, married Jan. 16, 2010
Best Videographer
The finalists are: Serendipity Videography, My Wedding Film, and Beautiful Day Films
The winner is: Serendipity Videography
Phoenix | 602.380.3869 |
“When we first met with Taryn Bills from Serendipity, I knew it was love at first sight! She is so passionate about what she does. The day of the wedding, her team came to the house and did their thing. They interviewed us and after that I did not even notice them. Our final video blew us away. It was such a pleasure working with the nicest, most professional, and passionate people!” - Antonella Sedler, Mesa, married Oct. 24, 2009

Best Formalwear
The finalists are: Twirl Boutique, Mr. Formal Tuxedos, and Dapper Dan’s Designer Tuxedos & Suits
The winner is: Dapper Dan’s Designer Tuxedos & Suits
Scottsdale | 480.820.0645 |
“I chose Dapper Dan’s because they offered unbeatable pricing without compromising quality or service. Our overall experience was phenomenal, and they were on top of everything and really went above and beyond to make this stressful part of the process run seamlessly.” - Riley Gilbert, Gilbert, married Oct. 16, 2009

Best Caterer for a Large Reception
The finalists are: Santa Barbara Catering Company, Heidi’s Events & Catering, and Chef du’ Jour
The winner is: Heidi’s Events & Catering
Tempe | 480.491.5254 |
“From the consultation to the gala tasting to our wedding day, Heidi’s Events & Catering rolled out the red carpet for us every step of the way. Our wedding guests raved about the food and the service was exceptional. Heidi’s staff was professional, courteous, and treated us like absolute royalty.” - Sarah Keturah Deutsch, Tempe, married Mar. 28, 2009

Best Hotel for Guests
The finalists are: Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort, Royal Palms Resort and Spa, and Hotel Valley Ho
The winner is: Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort
Scottsdale | 480.947.5400 |
“The staff accommodated all my requests to get my rooms booked, was flexible on late bookings, and granted my special rate even though the date had passed to receive it. The hotel was amazing and I highly recommend it for out-of-town guests—it’s close to everything and provides transportation to nightlife.” - Jean Slivinski-Spurlin, Scottsdale, married Feb. 12, 2010

Best Dance Instructor
The finalists are: Arthur Murray Dance Studio, Dance with Chad, and Fred Astaire Dance Studio
The winner is: Dance with Chad
Phoenix | 602.549.1916 |
“We started lessons with our first dance in mind, but it became a fun hobby to do together, so we continued to take classes with Chad [Lakridis]. He and his assistants make the lessons fun. We have nothing but good things to say.” - Kyle and Laurie Allen, Puerto Rico, married Jan. 16, 2010

Best Wedding Registry
The finalists are: Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Macy’s
The winner is: Crate & Barrel
Statewide |
“Registering with Crate & Barrel was such a wonderful experience because they actually made it an experience. The store was closed when we registered so we were free to roam, look at products, and ask questions without other shoppers interrupting us. We were also greeted with a gift, brunch, and snacks. These meaningful extras kept us attentive and entertained, which made registering more fun!” - Gordana Mikalacki, Phoenix, married Apr. 10, 2010

Best Ceremony Venue
The finalists are: Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, and Sassi
The winner is: Royal Palms Resort and Spa
Phoenix | 602.840.3610 |
“I would highly recommend Royal Palms as a wedding site. The Alegria Garden has the feel of a secret garden. It’s lush with vines, trees and flowers. The gate the guests enter through is very dramatic. It is a peaceful, intimate setting with an outstanding view of Camelback Mountain. My guests couldn’t stop commenting on the breathtaking beauty of the setting.” - Jenny Noonan, Phoenix, married Feb. 27, 2010

Best Valet
The finalists are: American Valet, Epic Valet, and United Parking Systems
The winner is: American Valet
Phoenix | 602.861.9182 |
“Sometimes in planning the small details of a wedding you realize there are much larger issues at hand. Transportation can be one of those issues. Intricate timing details arise that can be frustrating unless you work with a professional. American Valet provides an outstanding transportation operation that works with you in solving all of your transportation needs.” - Patty Packard, I Do I Do Wedding Specialists

Best Caterer for A Small Reception
The finalists are: Santa Barbara Catering Company, Heidi’s Events & Catering, and Chef du’ Jour
The winner is: Santa Barbara Catering Company
Tempe | 480.921.3150 |
“My husband and I were exceedingly pleased with Santa Barbara Catering Company. They were helpful, pleasant, and proactive in helping us achieve our goal of a green wedding. Everyone loved the amazing food and the service, and the staff was perfectly attentive to my guests with unique dietary needs.” - Lisa Rolland-Keith, Phoenix, married Oct. 17, 2009

Best Reception Site for A Small Wedding
The finalists are: Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Seville Golf & Country Club, and Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
The winner is: Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
Paradise Valley | 480.948.2100 |
“I would absolutely recommend Sanctuary. It was my No. 1 choice to have my reception there. They’re very accommodating. The décor and setting are perfect for someone who wants a dream wedding experience. When there were problems noticed beforehand, I brought them to the attention of the manager, and they reacted right away and fixed them.” - Christian Deangelis, Phoenix, married Sept. 26, 2009

Best Attendant Gifts
The finalists are: Tiffany & Co., Twirl Boutique, and Things Remembered
The winner is: Tiffany & Co.
Statewide |
“Tiffany & Co. is a classic gift your bridesmaids will remember forever! More important, they offer timeless pieces that can fit within your budget. Your wedding is a memorable day, and with Tiffany you can show your bridesmaids how much you appreciate their friendship, love, and support.” - Charlene Kristen Miller, Gilbert, married Jan. 1, 2010

Best Rental & Décor
The finalists are: Tri-Rentals Event Specialists, BBJ Linen, and Southwick Linens
The winner is: Tri-Rentals Event Specialists
Phoenix | 602.232.9900 |
“The level of customer service that Tri-Rentals provides is second to none. Their inventory is top-notch, their staff is professional and their prices are very competitive. I used them for my linens, napkins, and chiavari chairs, and the entire staff made the process easy. My rentals are one detail I lost no sleep over; I knew everything would be perfect on my wedding day.” - Lyndsey Buschbacher, Scottsdale, married Apr. 17, 2010

Best Officiant
The finalists are: Reverend Giovanni, Mike Kennedy, and Scott Swanson
The winner is: Scott Swanson
Chandler | 480.250.9875 |
“My husband and I had the pleasure of having Scott as our officiant. He was very organized, experienced and great to work with. Several of our family members commented on how great he was. Scott had us write paragraphs about each other, and it was a really memorable part of the ceremony. We would definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a professional, caring officiant.” - Amber and Jon Fuhrer, Tempe, married Mar. 7, 2010

Best DJ
The finalists are: Creative Touch Entertainment, Ray the DJ, and SKM Entertainment
The winner is: SKM Entertainment
Scottsdale | 480.423.1114 |
“Our wedding was very specific, and SKM was wonderful at making our event completely personal. As the bride, my gift to my husband was to sing at our reception. SKM was able to use my music and made the whole experience so wonderful and fun. I loved our DJ team!” - Alicia and Chris Summers, Phoenix, married Nov. 1, 2008

Thank you to our awards ceremony partners: