Phoenix is the kind of location that might offer a veritable cornucopia of hotels and gorgeous indoor venues for weddings and receptions. Yet when you consider the amazing beauty of the countryside and the fascinating allure the desert holds, it would be a shame to contemplate nuptials being held indoors and instead focus on the outdoors!
Keep in mind that some of these locales are not for the faint of heart and may actually only accommodate very small groups. Thus, if you are not insistent upon the flowing white dress and rented tux, you may find that sneakers and blue jeans can get you to some astounding areas that will make your wedding stand out!
Papago Park is often referred to as a Phoenix point of pride, and when you peruse the botanical garden and also the zoo, as well as the natural beauty of geological formations, you will not be surprised that many a bride and groom have tied the knot against the backdrop of the red rock that defines the many areas of the venue. The address is commonly considered to be 625 North Galvin Parkway, and an official may be contacted at 602-256-3220.
Note that the park opens at 5:00 AM and those seeking to escape the heat of the day may wish to consider an early morning wedding at one of the many areas where you will have the chance to meet up with your party; choose ramadas 9 and 10 which are located virtually on Lake three and may be reserved for only $60, or ramada 5 which is closest to the botanic garden but cannot be reserved ahead of time.
The Desert Botanical Garden itself is a well known outdoor wedding and reception spot, and you may visit 1201 N. Galvin Parkway to make your reservation or call 480-481-8109. Pricing varies depending on the spot you are interested in. The Amphitheater which will only permit for a ceremony costs $800 while the Webster Center offers an indoor and outdoor venue as well as everything you need for a ceremony and the reception. The cost is $3,000.
Another beautiful venue is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum which is located at 37615 U.S. Highway 60, about one hour outside of the Phoenix city limits. If you are interested in having your vows read at this locale, you will do well to call 520-689-2723 to inquire about the hours of operation, as they change with the seasons. A well kept secret is the rose garden which has been the setting for many a ceremony while those who enjoy a classy barbeque will enjoy the picnic tables and available charcoal grills. Remember that there is no restaurant on the premises and thus you or your caterers have to bring in your own food.
Part and parcel of the Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation area, the Piestewa Peak venue is a perfect locale to have a private wedding with perhaps just the couple and the officiant and a few witnesses. This is a spiritual experience where the indescribable view of the Sonoran Desert provides a breathtaking backdrop to any ceremony.
Now, this being Arizona and a desert venue, keep in mind that rattlesnakes are a common sight and sound and you will be wise to give them a wide berth.
The petroglyphs of the North Mountain Preserve are a consistent draw for visitors who love the Sonoran Desert and marriage minded individuals with a spirit of adventure love the challenge that an outdoor wedding poses. Of course, seeing that this is Arizona, the weather is almost always great and you may be more concerned with staying cool than worrying about warming up.
Reserve a ramada that meets your needs by visiting the North Mountain Visitor Center at 12950 North 7th Street or calling 602-495-5540. Reserve the Havasupai ramada which comfortably accommodates 150 guests. There is no fee associated with such a reservation, but if you are planning on serving alcohol, be sure to request a beer permit. This is one of the few venues where you may not have amplified music, and you will be wise to keep that in mind prior to choosing your outdoor venue!
Encanto Park is the perfect afternoon venue. Home of the Enchanted Island Amusement Park at 1202 West Encanto Boulevard, Reserve two picnic areas by calling 602-261-8991, but keeping in mind that the reservation is only good from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, you want to make this either an earlier morning or late afternoon affair. Request a sound permit for amplified music and do not forget an alcohol permit. While there are fees for the permits, there is no charge to reserve the picnic areas.
Camelback Mountain is of course a famous hiking destination, and for the experienced outdoorsy couple, it is the Summit Trail that will lead them to the summit and thus the stage which will be the backdrop to their vows. With Phoenix in the background, this is an amazing occasion and your exercise will be rewarded with a one of a kind experience. Return to your reception venue well before sunset as mountain lions are known to roam the caves and crevices.
Last but not least is the Wild West wedding feel that only the Ponderosa Stables (10215 South Central Avenue) can give you. Attendants will take care of the horses, find the vest venue within the confines of South Mountain Park, and also put themselves in charge of the food. Call 602-268-1261 to discuss available dates and also the number of attendees as well as the cost. Sure, this does seem to be a theme wedding more than an outdoorsy sort of event, but when you get right down to it, the difference between having someone else help you plan and doing all the planning yourself is really immaterial.