Written by Kristin Devoto. Photos by Amy and Jordan Demos. When an expert wedding and events planner gets engaged, the choices she makes about her own wedding speak volumes. These professionals have the experience at their fingertips to make their wedding a truly magical experience.
Lauren (Vemo) Crawford found herself in just that position in 2014, after then-boyfriend Spencer Crawford surprised her with a legendary proposal straight out of a big-screen romance. The college sweethearts, dating since they met at a sorority-fraternity event while both attending Arizona State University, were on vacation with Lauren’s family in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, when Spencer surprised her with a romantic beach dinner. As the two dined with the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, Spencer further surprised her by getting down on one knee and asking Lauren to become his bride. Once Lauren enthusiastically accepted, they wrapped up dinner, and Spencer rushed them off to another spot at the resort. Lauren couldn’t imagine why, until she saw that their families were in on Spencer’s plan and had arranged to have his mother and sister there so that the whole group could celebrate together.
Lauren, a meetings and events professional at a resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, immediately had visions of what her big day would entail. “I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted,” she says. “But we took a month to enjoy being engaged, and then it was on.”
The Perfect Location
While the couple briefly considered a destination wedding on a beach, they ultimately decided that having all of their friends and family share their day was most important. After that, their decision was easy. They looked at only a few event spaces before visiting Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, where they had attended previous events. “Omni Montelucia is so unique,” Lauren says. “The ceremony space is absolutely breathtaking when the sun goes down.”
Perfectly framing Camelback Mountain, the resort offers what many consider the best view of the mountain. “Valencia Lawn is our signature ceremony site,” explains Courtney Townsend, senior catering sales manager at the resort. “When the sun is setting across the mountains, you have these majestic colors. It’s so stunning by itself that you don’t want to do much to the ceremony site.”
Attention to Detail
The setting proved perfect for Lauren and Spencer’s Oct. 3, 2015, nuptials, hosted by Lauren’s parents, Jon and Linda Vemo, and Spencer’s mother, Tammy Crawford. Attended by 208 guests, the bride and groom recited their hand-written vows under a crisp portico adorned by a bejeweled chandelier. The gentle strum of Stanley Serrano on guitar accompanied the ceremony, in which the bride and groom were attended by 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen.
The bridesmaids were a glittering sea of champagne in fully sequined Badgley Mischka gowns, and the bride was luminescent in an Allure Bridals showstopper. Her bodice completely encrusted in rhinestones and beading, the gown ended with a full tulle skirt, adorned with a custom, sparkling appliqué.
Following the kiss that united them as husband and wife, Lauren and Spencer made their way up the aisle to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours).” Their guests sipped and nibbled the cocktail hour away on the adjacent lawn as the couple posed for photographs. As evening fell, the spell was set. This was to be an evening of glitter, glamour and soft, whimsical romance. The look continued once guests moved inside the Valencia Ballroom for the reception.
“I literally couldn’t even believe how beautiful it was,” Lauren recalls. “Our head table and the floral arrangements were amazing.”
The bride had aimed for a soft palette of blush, champagne and ivory, accented by tasteful sparkle. The look fit well in the smaller of the property’s two ballrooms, where 22 tables were decorated with either fully sequined linens or sumptuous taffeta. Custom menus were backed with gold glitter paper and adorned with crystal-dotted monograms. Gold chargers and rhinestone table-number frames furthered the glow. Part of the room was draped in a delicate fabric, enhancing the romantic feel.
“Everything she did was whimsical and romantic,” Townsend says. “I love that she used both tall and small floral centerpieces to highlight the room. The florals were very full and lush, just so tastefully done.”
“I didn’t want any greenery,” Lauren explains, “just blush and white flowers.” The floral design team from Phoenix-based Petal Pusher worked hard to fulfill her vision, and she felt they captured it beautifully. Glittering brooches adorning the drapes, candy table and towering six-tier cake from Paula Jacqueline Cakes and Pastries lent further glitz to the room.
The bride surprised the crowd with a second dress, changing right after completing the father-daughter dance to “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Her reception dress stunned and sparkled, a fully jewel-encrusted taffeta trumpet gown that made a perfect debut as she danced with her new husband to Frank Sinatra’s classic “The Way You Look Tonight.”
Guests dined on duet-entrée of wood-fired filet of beef and Pacific sea bass with shimeji mushroom risotto and grilled vegetables, then made celebratory toasts and danced throughout the evening.
“It wouldn’t have been as amazing anywhere else,” Lauren says. “The service was impeccable. The food was impeccable. Everyone made us feel so special.”
The romance and pure joy were contagious. “Everyone was beaming. People were genuinely happy to be here attending this wedding. It was so wonderfully authentic,” Townsend says.
Lauren and Spencer’s love story continued as they headed out on a week-long honeymoon in the Grand Cayman Islands the next day, and still, nearly a year later, they happily refer to themselves as newlyweds.
Discussing their proposal story and wedding day still brings out a rush of emotion in Lauren, experienced planner though she is. Her vision of elegant, glamorous romance came to life, supported by the many sparkling details that made her and Spencer’s special day shine at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.
Options Abound for Weddings at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
Although the Valencia Lawn and Ballroom make a stunning ceremony and reception space for the right size wedding, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia recognizes that every event is as different as the couple taking part in it. Camelback Lawn, behind the resort’s Presidential Suite, can accommodate up to 175 people and is perfect for those looking to host their entire event outdoors. Smaller events might be better suited for the Castillo Lucena, a gorgeous space suited for up to 120 guests. The rich wood-beamed ceiling can evoke a chapel-like feel, while the crystal chandeliers create pure glamour. More intimate parties shouldb consider the resort’s newest space, the charming Chef’s Kitchen & Herb Garden, which makes a lovely indoor ceremony/outdoor reception location for events up to 50 people. No matter the size of the event, Omni Montelucia has a unique space that will fit it perfectly.