An Elegant Interfaith Desert Wedding in Scottsdale
Rahil & Natalie beautifully blended their cultures and faith into a beautiful 300 person desert soiree that is one for the books. Not only do we love the symbolism of two truly becoming one, but utterly romantic feel of this al fresco wedding in Arizona planned by Some Like It Classic. With romantic lavender and ivory roses, succulents to match the desert venue and statement chandeliers with cascading greenery over the reception tables, what’s not to love? We cannot stop talking about this elegant desert wedding in Scottsdale captured by Amy & Jordan.
From the couple: Rahil, the groom, is Ismaili Muslim, Pakistani, speaks Urdu and Gujarati, and went to The University of Texas at Austin. Natalie, the bride, is Persian, Baha’i, speaks Farsi, culturally has had a lot of influence from her mother’s upbringing in Austria, and went to Texas A&M University. We often joke that our clearly conflicting college football alliances are our most irreconcilable difference, but believe us it is not easy merging two vastly different backgrounds including in planning a wedding!
For our wedding events we wanted a romantic yet classic and elegant feel. We both love the mountains and with a December wedding date, Arizona seemed like the perfect choice. We wanted to provide a fun experience for our guests and an opportunity to take in the natural beauty of Arizona. We did incorporate some desert elements by including succulents in bouquets and floral arrangements, sticking to their natural greens and subtle lavenders for pops of color, offering passed prickly pear lemonade during cocktail hour, and using desert plant watercolors hand-painted by the mother of the bride throughout the wedding. Music was also very important to us both when imagining our day, so we did prioritize having different musicians during each portion of our wedding to set the mood.
Some of the more sentimental aspects of our wedding day included having photos of our parents and grandparents from their wedding days on our welcome table, being able to incorporate the watercolors painted by the bride’s mom into the invitations, ceremony programs, menus, and on the DJ booth, and the opportunity for the bride to wear her mother’s wedding dress as her second dress.
For the ceremony, we wanted a romantic and natural feel — an outdoor ceremony under a woven canopy of branches, foliage, and flowers with the beauty of the mountains as the backdrop seemed fitting. Following the ceremony, there was an indoor-outdoor cocktail hour, and silk pouches of Noghl (sugar-coated almond slivers) were passed to guests as has been done in Persian tradition for thousands of years. This was one of the ways we incorporated Persian culture into our day besides including a knife dance before our cake-cutting, offering lots of Persian tea, and having hand-made Persian sweets alongside our wedding cake. We envisioned our dinner outdoors to allow our guests to experience the magic that is a desert sunset.
For the indoor reception, we wanted to create a relaxed lounge feel to encourage our guests to unwind, dance, and have fun! The night ended with one final surprise after our thank yous and before the dance floor opened. Natalie grew up dancing, so we not only did a choreographed first dance prior to dinner but also a second surprise dance during the reception which went from a classic Austrian Waltz (an ode to the Mother of the Bride’s Austrian upbringing), to jive, then transitioned into a quick salsa number, and ended with a little rock n’ roll. This was a great memory not just from the day but from the planning process for us as the lessons and practice sessions for these dances forced us to join hand in hand and reminded us why we were doing what we were doing – to have a forever dance partner!
The most special memory for us will forever be the wedding ceremony which included the Baha’i ceremony with excerpts from the Baha’i Writings and prayers, followed by the Ismaili Nikkah (Wedding) Ceremony, and ended with our vows to each other and ring exchange. This was a surreal experience for both of us and perfectly exemplified our mutual respect for each other’s backgrounds and excitement in establishing the foundation for our own future together.
Honoring two very different backgrounds throughout the planning process was at times a challenge, but our own shared understanding, acceptance, and value system as a couple seemed to trump it all. We made the decision to fight for one another in a world that told us that we couldn’t be, and thankfully our families not only gave us their blessings but provided invaluable support and encouragement along the way.
It’s easy to get swept away by the elegant desert wedding in Scottsdale which reminds us of this gorgeous desert rose styled shoot that’s just another reason why we want a desert wedding!
Venue + Catering: Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North
Event Design: Kayla with Some Like It Classic
Floral Design: Flower Studio
Band: Desert House Productions
Draping: Quest Events
Furniture Rental: Prim Rentals
Invitations: Celebrations in Paper
Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen
Photography: Amy & Jordan
Videography: Serendiptity Cinematography