Best of Our Valley 2019: Weddings

Salon Juan Santos & Co.
by Melissa Larsen

Best Engagement Ring Store: London Gold

At its three Valley locations, each boasting friendly and knowledgeable service, London Gold impresses loyal customers with its huge selection of loose certified diamonds and gorgeous settings. The masterful jewelers at this locally owned company custom-design and produce much of the beautiful London Gold selection, alongside goods from renowned international designers.

London Gold

Best Photographer: Weddings: Jeff Watkins, Kolor Phx

Jeff Watkins is a wedding and couples photographer who originally hails from Alabama. Though he started his career as a top chef, he eventually found a new passion—photography. After working for celebrity clients like Al Pacino and Sylvester Stallone, he shifted his focus and fell in love with wedding photography in 2014. Watkins says it is an honor to be trusted to capture such special moments on a couple’s big day.

Kolor Phx

Best Wedding Cakes: Classic Cakes & Confections

Ella and Neil Levinson, the award-winning duo behind Classic Cakes & Confections, has been crafting some of the most memorable wedding cakes in the Valley and beyond since 2006. Their impressive gallery boasts tiered masterpieces that are not only beautiful (their styles range from romantic to whimsical and everything in between) but tasty too. Thinking of booking the Levinsons for your big day? Get in touch once your date is solid, as they are very in demand.

Best Wedding Catering Company: Tom & Lin Catering

Phoenix-based Tom and Lin Catering has a reputation for inventive New American-style cuisine and unique presentation combined with unparalleled service. Each personalized bill of fare features locally grown produce and only the top imported and artisan choices, with menu options like ancho-braised beef with smoked blue polenta and pickled red onions or a create-your-own pasta bar.

Tom & Lin Catering

Best Wedding Dress Shop: Laurie’s Bridal & Formal

Scottsdale’s Laurie’s Bridal and Formal is a proud owner-operated bridal boutique offering private one-on-one bridal consultations directly with the owner. Laurie Dickman has nearly 30 years of bridal apparel expertise and is known as the “wedding gown whisperer” around town. In addition to affordable bridal gowns, Laurie’s also specializes in mother-of-the-bride and -groom dresses and special occasion and prom gowns.

Laurie’s Bridal & Formal

Best Wedding Florist: Flower Bar

Flower Bar, located in Old Town Scottsdale, prides itself on designing unique, one-of-a-kind floral and plant installations and thinking outside the box for its luxury clientele. The talented Flower Bar team rarely replicates a design, letting each couple’s personal style to shine through on their wedding day. The studio has been in the Valley since 2012, focusing primarily on wedding and event clientele; owner and lead designer, Megan Carollo, has been in the floral world for more than a decade.

Flower Bar

Best Wedding Hair & Makeup: Salon Juan Santos & Co.

The husband-and-wife-owned full-service Salon Juan Santos & Co. specializes in hair and makeup artistry, offering on-location and salon-based services. Juan Santos has 23 years of experience as a hair and makeup artist while his wife, Misha Santos, is newer to the trade, bringing a modern flair to the talented team. In addition to their wedding experience, the Salon Juan Santos team has been a part of Phoenix Fashion Week.

Salon Juan Santos & Co.

Best Wedding Planner: Emily’s Events

Rick and Emily Garner of Scottsdale-based Emily’s Events aim to make each couple’s wedding-day dreams come true, offering personalized service and complete customization. The Garners take a couple’s likes and dislikes to heart, ensuring that the only thing the groom- and bride-to-be need to focus on is their tux and gown.

Emily’s Events

Best Wedding Rentals: Prim Rentals

Prim Rentals has been growing since 2013, both as a business and in its design styles. The Tempe-based, women-ran rental company aims to take traditional looks as well as trends into consideration while building an inventory—comprised of sofas, chairs, ottomans, tables, bars and much more—that is timeless, elegant and fun. Owner Kim Svor says Prim Rentals carries rentals in colors of blush, crimson, yellow, blue and turquoise, as well as natural wood elements, all of which are in demand in Arizona.

Prim Rentals

Best Wedding Videographer: Love Story Films

Love Story Films was founded in 2012 by Arizona State University grads, Molly and Luke Williams. The husband-and-wife team has filmed wedding days throughout the entire state of Arizona and beyond. The duo is filming weddings in Europe, South America, Caribbean Sea and Mexico in 2019.

Best Wedding Venue: Warehouse 215 @ Bentley Projects

Perfect for the urban-chic couple, Warehouse215 @ Bentley Projects is a flexible event space in Phoenix with up to 10,000 square feet of interior space plus a spacious patio. The venue—decked with original brick walls, clerestory windows and crystal chandeliers—was once a linen laundry building, and now features modern amenities to complement its cool, industrial details that are a big hit with today’s trendy brides.

Warehouse 215 @ Bentley Projects

AFM Fave! Best Wedding Venue: El Chorro

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve seen a flower-draped wedding ceremony on the lawn of El Chorro cross your Instagram feed lately. The historic Paradise Valley landmark is a favorite venue thanks to its romantic desert surroundings, eye-popping Camelback Mountain views, exquisite local and seasonal cuisine and top-notch service. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that all El Chorro wedding menus include those famed sticky buns.

AFM Fave! Best Wedding Dress Shop: Bella Lily Bridal

Bella Lily Bridal, found in North Phoenix/Glendale, is an intimate bridal boutique where the sole focus is providing brides an exceptional bridal experience. Owner Brenda Inclan says Bella Lily offers a variety of gown styles, from boho and ethereal to classic and timeless, and constantly strives to stay on top of bridal trends as styles evolve from one season to the next.

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