Colleen & Brian’s Minimalist Eco-Conscious Dog-Friendly Wedding
Colleen & Brian met while walking their respective dogs so it was only natural that they wanted to be with their beloved pets on their special day! They had their ceremony at a dog-friendly church and incorporated minimalist, floral free decor wherever they could. Brian also did the floral design himself and you will see just how gorgeous the flowers are in a little bit!
I love the sleek, modern, and unique approach Colleen and Brian took for their wedding and I know you will too! We have Laurie Schuetter of Elle Rose Photo for the gorgeous images on this page and here she is to tell us more about the event:
Colleen + Brian are both dog lovers, which is perfect that they met at a dog park in Arizona and according to Colleen, she was just kind of drawn to Brian. These two literally brighten up with the biggest smiles when they are around each other, and it is a contagious kind of giddiness that spreads to those around them. Brian makes her laugh so easily, and you can see the love when he is looking at Colleen. I met them last Spring when they asked me to do their engagement photos around Chicago, where they currently live. It has to be one of my all time favorite engagement sessions, and when they called and asked if I would join them in Scottsdale for their big day I squealed with excitement. I met them in AZ after they had driven from Chicago to Phoenix with their 2 dogs, as well as Colleen’s sisters dog. Like I said, they are both dog lovers. : ) They even incorporated their pups into some post ceremony family photos, with their fancy collars that matched the wedding parties ties, made by Brian’s Mom. The ceremony was held at the dog friendly Franciscan Renewal Center, with the reception following at the Adobe Restaurant on the Arizona Biltmore Golf Course. Brian and his groomsmen made all of the green succulent centerpieces themselves, which I loved! The bright greens and pops of purple made for such a combination in the warm desert light.
Let’s meet the lovely couple. Colleen shares that Brian is a carpenter building scenic pieces and installations for children’s museums and the like, while she does research focused on the impact dogs have on children’s social and emotional development. They currently live in Chicago. Here’s their cute story in the bride’s own words:
Brian and I met in 2008 at our neighborhood park, where everyone let their dogs off leash in the evenings. We were neighbors but probably would’ve never crossed paths if it wasn’t for our dogs needing some exercise each evening. We credit them with introducing us, and they’re a huge part of our lives now.
Totally loving the color scheme and the minimalist / zen aesthetics! Colleen shares:
Our wedding was definitely modern and somewhat sleek/minimal. We incorporated a lot of natural elements: succulents and a church that were deeply rooted in the desert landscape were huge elements of our day. We tried to toe the line between minimal and sharp, and I think we achieved it. We did not want a wedding overrun with bunting and flowers and the like. I didn’t want an overly-femine feel, but I also didn’t want it to be boring. And the church was a Franciscan Brothers chapel, a group of Catholic priests who lead very minimal lives. The church dictated certain rules about flowers, etc. and really preach a less-is-more approach which we loved.
After the ceremony I threw on my rainbow sandals as soon as I could! It’s who I really am, and I love that those were some of Brian’s favorite pictures of us (me with sandals I wear all the time).
Since they met because of their dogs, naturally their furry pals joined them for some photo opps!
We incorporated the dogs in or portraits; Brian’s mom sewed dog collars using a tie that we bought for them that matched the guy’s ties. It’s something we’ll keep forever. We struggled with incorporating them without dressing them up (which is weird to us). This was a great middle ground, a small touch that meant a lot.
I LOVE the floral design in this wedding and how delightful is it that the groom was responsible for them?!
Brian did all of the flower designs (he loves natural desert plants and know a lot about them from our time living there). He personally made all of the boutonnieres and that was incredibly special to me because I know the amount of pride he took in it. In my bouquet, I had the florist add a hidden blue flower for my “something blue”, as well as kept a locked pinned in the stems that had pictures of my maternal grandparents (as my “something old”). I loved having their pictures so close to me; I aspire to have a marriage like theirs.
We had the guys wear suits instead of tuxedos. We both had a huge aversion to tuxes (it screams prom to me, and Brian is just not a tuxedo guy). I let my bridesmaids pick the dress they liked most, and we had the guys wear matching lightning bolt socks just for fun.
Colleen gives us the deets o their wedding’s theme and look:
The mood we went for was classy, inviting, and pretension-free. We wanted it to be about us and our life together; and we wanted guests to feel comfortable and important but not create any kind of stuffy atmosphere. In general, we kept it fairly simple in terms of decor; our colors were a slate gray and eggplant purple with hints of mossy green. We kept the details like invitations and place settings “floral-free” and went with a very sleek, modern look. We took a cue from the restaurant’s decorations (the Biltmore is about 100 years old) and beautiful in its own right, and we felt no need to cover the incredible Frank Lloyd Wright design with anything really.
Love the succulent centerpieces and favors!
Some parting insights from our bride and groom:
Remember what the day is really about; don’t try to impress or appease everyone. Be a good team and remember this is the first step in creating your own family, so it get started on the right foot by being the person you’d want your significant other to be.
Thank you so much Laurie for sending your beautiful images my way, and congratulations Colleen and Brian! Thank you for sharing your special day with us.
Photography: Laurie Schuetter of Elle Rose Photo
Church: Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale AZ
Reception & Food: The Adobe Restaurant at the Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, AZ
Flowers: AJ’s (from the bride: best, ever…)
Cake: Barb’s Bakery (from the bride: Ahhhhhhh-mazing)
Dress: (from the bride: Don’t remember! and I sold it, sorry!)
Shoes: Badgley Mischka (and Rainbow sandals!)
Brian’s Suit: Calvin Klein
Bridesmaids: J.Crew Bridal Collection
Image submission via Two Bright Lights
Tags: eco-friendly wedding, weddings with animals, weddings with pets