Beautiful Prescott Your Destination Wedding
(July/August 2011: An Interview with Hazel Bowman, the publisher of PrescottWeddings.com)
Q: First, let me ask. What is the correct way to pronounce Prescott?
A: It’s easy. Just say Bis-kit and then say Prez-kit.
Q: But it’s spelled Prescott.
A: (Laughing) As so many people have pointed out to me. However, as I tell them, the day you can get Tucson to pronounce its name the way it is spelled “Tuck-son”, you come back to me. But until then, Tucson is pronounced Two-sun and Prescott is pronounced Prez-kit.
Q: Now that we have that clarified, what makes Prescott so unique as a wedding site? Why would brides want to get married there?
A: Simply speaking, there’s no place more beautiful. We’re about 100 miles northwest of the valley (Phoenix) and have numerous scenic locations offering either panoramic or historical settings for your wedding day. For many people unfamiliar with the Prescott area, location options might appear limited. Though it’s true we don’t provide the variety of venues found in a large city, there are more places to have your perfect wedding than initially meets the eye. This area has its own beauty, unique with its own special charm. It all depends on your style and theme.
Q: Like what, for instance?
A: If you’re looking at getting married outdoors, the splendor of the Prescott National Forest, the grandeur of Granite Mountain, the stateliness of the Bradshaw Mountains, and the dramatic mountain top of the San Francisco Peaks have all been favorite surroundings for Brides and Grooms throughout the seasons. Picture your wedding at the base of Thumb Butte, amidst the tall scented pines. Watson Lake is set among the Granite Dells - in fact, its picture is featured on the home page of PrescottWeddings.com - while Goldwater Lake provides that nestled rustic feeling, and Lynx Lake has a privately owned restaurant facility that can be reserved for parties.
If you don’t mind onlookers smiling at you, consider getting married in the heart of downtown Prescott. The historic Victorian gazebo at the Courthouse Square has beenthe site of weddings for almost 100 years. Or, for a bit more privacy, consider a B&B. Prescott has some of the best in the country, with manicured lawns and white-painted gazebos providing magnificent garden settings.
Q: What about indoors?
A: Besides the hotels and resorts that grace our fine community, think outside the box. We have wonderful museums, such as Sharlot Hall or Phippen Museum, each reflecting Prescott’s rich heritage. The Chapel of the Valley in Fain Park is exquisite with beautiful stained glass windows. In Chino Valley, located on 160 acres, is an 8000 sq. ft. Tuscan-style clubhouse with private terraces and covered patios. Its professional landscaping includes your own private lake and island.
Q: The locations all sound beautiful. What about the servicers and suppliers though? It can take a lot of vendors behind-the-scenes to help make a wedding dream come true.
A: I’ll match the professionalism and services provided through our locals any day when comparing others in the industry. Our professionals offer an array of services, whether it’s photography, videography, rentals, horse carriages, florals and décor, wedding cakes and confectionaries, ministers, spas, deejays, bands, catering you name it, we have the finest. And our wedding salons and boutiques! You can’t believe some of the great styles in gowns and tuxedoes. We offer all this and at unbelievable prices. In fact, that’s one fact very few brides seem to know.
Q: What fact is that?
A: The cost-effectiveness in having your wedding here. We’re less expensive. In a cost- comparison between our area and Phoenix/Tucson, a bride will save up to 43%. Just think what she can do with all the extra money she saved.
Q: Wow. But what about the guests? What activities are available for them?
A: Perhaps even more than in a big city. In addition to enjoying great restaurants, theatre performances, the entertainment district, museums, public golf courses and parks, guests can go on guided horseback rides through the mountains and personally explore old Indian ruins, or they may wish to hike on one of our many trails around the lakes and parks. If the wedding is over the 4th of July weekend, that’s the time of our rodeo. Prescott, once the Territorial Capitol of Arizona, is the home of the world’s oldest rodeo. The kick-off parade alone is crowded with cowboys and cowgirls mounted on top their palominos, Arabians, Morgans, and Quarter horses. Guests love the entire atmosphere.
Q: How about the weather? I imagine that it’s different in the mountains.
A: Yes, and what could be more perfect than coming up to the cooler climes from the desert valley? The temperature drops 1.4 degrees every thousand feet elevation, or more simply stated, we’re 15-20 degrees cooler than Phoenix. When it’s 100 degrees down there, we’re enjoying 80 to 85.
Q: You’re convincing me that Prescott is an oasis in Arizona.
A: No doubt about it and a long-held secret that needs to be shared. It’s THE place for a perfect destination wedding. .
Dean Echols and the Windmill House (November 2010)
A few months ago there was an undercurrent of worry throughout the community. It was reported that The Windmill House was going to close due to the original owners wanting to focus on other endeavors.
If you’ve ever been to The Windmill House, you’d understand the concern. This beautiful private oasis nestled in Chino Valley consists of its own private lake, lush landscaping, and a spectacular 8000 sq. ft. banquet facility of Tuscan architecture.
To the rescue and to the relief of everyone who loves TWH entered Dean Echols, fourth-generation Chino Valley native and the new owner of The Windmill House. Dean brings a lifetime of achievements in the food and beverage industry and in event planning and design. Holding firm to the belief that The Windmill House “can’t close its doors” and realizing the “endless possibilities”, Dean enjoys working with brides in making their day everything it can be. His can-do attitude of “I want to make it work for people” makes him a valuable ally in planning your perfect day.
To learn more, call Dean at 928.636.1700 or visit http://www.jcranchaz.com/.
On behalf of all of us here at PrescottWeddings.com, thank you Dean in keeping The Windmill House open. We’re wishing you many years of continued success.
An Exotic Good Time (May/June 2009)
Looking for a unique location that will provide your guests with a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Want something that makes your wedding stand out from all the others? Then look no further. Have your rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and/or reception at the Heritage Park Zoo. One of Northern Arizona’s little-known treasures, this not-for-profit sanctuary is situated on 10 acres with over 150 rescued wildlife animals from every region around the globe (except Antarctica).
Wildlife fits into every form of beauty - and they’re now part of the customized wedding packages being offered through Heritage Park Zoo. Give your guests an unbelievable thrill by having Cassie, a female Bengal tiger, participate in your wedding photos. Acquired a few months ago in January 2009, her sweet personality is already winning over everyone who sees her. Or maybe you’d like Wilson, the owl who suffered a broken wing, or Shash, a black bear abandoned by its mother. In addition, the Heritage Park Zoo will coordinate animal presentations for your special day from special tours to educational shows for young and old alike.
Best yet is the new Events Center that encompasses a full acre of land, complete with lush green park-like landscaping. Accommodating up to 300 guests for a sit-down plated dinner, there’s still room to spare for the dance floor under rotating crystal disco balls.
“We can do any theme for the bride, from elaborate and elegant to as simple as you want,” shares Pam McLaren, Executive Director. “In fact, we’re doing a Phoenician theme in a few weeks.”
There are several packages available that include your own Heritage Park Zoo wedding coordinator, free parking, and all day admission for every guest on your guest list. What’s especially great is knowing that your wedding is helping to support the efforts of the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary, rescuing and providing enrichment for the animals in their care.
To learn more about having your special day at this fabulous exotic venue, call 928.778.4242 or email Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be glad you did and so will your guests.
A Summer Locale (October, 2005)
Interested in a little-known location for your wedding reception? One that is only a few streets away from the downtown Courthouse Plaza? And affordable to your pocketbook?
Well, look no longer. PrescottWeddings.com has a recommendation for you. Though only available during the summer months, consider having your reception at Prescott College located at 220 Grove Avenue.
Hidden from the busy street, the Prescott College Crossroad Center has 12,000 square feet of multifunctional space equipped with wireless Internet throughout. The spacious Community Meeting Room can seat about 500 guests auditorium style or about 250 guests banquet style. One great feature is that the space can be divided into smaller rooms through the use of movable wall panels, making your wedding reception as spacious or as intimate as you want it to be.
For a smaller reception, the Crossroads Café has seating for 50 to 75 guests with a raised stage area for either your Bridal Table or your band/DJ. Additional seating is available in the beautiful outdoor garden area.
Whether you are planning the wedding of your dreams or an elegant social event, catering by the Crossroads Café means great, healthy, fresh, and natural food. And here’s why. You’ll be working with Chef Molly.
Chef Molly Beverly, Food Services Director at Prescott College, is the creative spirit of the Crossroads Café and all catering services. A 30 year Prescott resident, Molly was lead cooking instructor at Yavapai College for 28 years with 15 years catering experience. She has a solid foundation in creative baking, ethnic cuisines, special diets, and nutrition.
Chef Molly works with you to select that personalized perfect menu accompanied with her commitment that your cuisine will be exciting and unique, satisfying your palate and thrilling your guests. She offers menu choices from around the world, including European, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian, and East Indian.
Molly’s philosophy is sharing food is the best way to express love, gratitude, and joy with family and friends. Food is prepared by hand her kitchen bakes their own breads, makes their own salad dressings and sauces, and roasts their own meat. No pre-made, engineered or artificial foods are allowed. Only fresh organic ingredients bought locally are used, prepared with a fine sensitivity for flavor and creativity.
Make no doubt about it Prescott College is one of those hidden oasis in Prescott that you definitely should see. For more information, call Chef Molly Beverly at 928.350.1400 or visit the Café’s web site at www.prescott.edu/café.
Weddings In and Around Prescott (December, 2004)
In response to numerous inquiries from Brides asking “Where can I have my wedding?” PrescottWeddings.com is proud to announce its new page “Where to say I Do” detailing various places for your ceremony and reception. Among them are some of our favorites, not only in Prescott but also in the surrounding area.
Briar Wreath Inn in Prescott provides a charming setting for that perfect, intimate wedding. Its European charm features turn-of-the-century wood embellish paneling, ceiling, walls, and floors, enchanting one and all who enter through its doors. The gardens are exquisitely maintained for Brides and Grooms wanting to marry under the white Victorian gazebo. The owners, Fred and Terry, provide a sumptuous reception meal that tantalizes even the most discerning palate. To learn more, visit their website at www.briarwreath.com.
Another outdoor location to consider is Watson Lake. For years, Brides and Grooms have exchanged their vows with the magnificent rock formation landscape in the background. You can see the beauty for yourself as PrescottWeddings.com features this dramatic setting at the top of this page. There’s plenty of space for your reception. The park grounds are flat and spacious enough to accommodate tables and chairs and tents, and there are electrical hookups for your DJ, caterer’s needs, and outdoor lighting (in case your reception goes into the evening hours). Prescott Parks and Recreation handles the reservations and charges a nominal fee. Call 928-445-5291.
With so many choices to reflect your style and personality, it’s difficult to choose. Just remember that wherever you decide to marry, the beauty of your love will outshine any location.
A Prescott Wedding (November, 2004)
There is no place more beautiful for your wedding day than the tri-city area amidst the Prescott National Forest. Approximately 100 miles northwest of Phoenix, there are numerous scenic locations offering either panoramic or historical settings for your special day.
With so much going for it, we at PrescottWeddings.com decided to share some of our ideas in creating your dream wedding in Prescott, guaranteed to delight your guests and provide memorable moments.
Formerly the Territorial Capitol for Arizona in the 1800’s, Prescott rich western heritage is evident throughout the entire community. Part of Prescott’s lure is its downtown historic Courthouse Plaza capturing the charm of Old Prescott. For an outdoor wedding, consider getting married in the heart of Prescott itself, the Courthouse Plaza. Guests, seated in the shade under the towering trees, can witness you and your fiancé exchange vows in the white painted Victorian gazebo. To make reservations, contact the Prescott Downtown Partnership, 928-443-5220.
One of the hidden reception sites for downtown Prescott is the Smoki Museum’s “Pueblo” building. Constructed of native stone and wood, thousands of pine logs were used for its columns, vigas and latillas of the ceiling. Able to accommodate 100-150 guests, a massive fireplace graces the north side, there is room for dancing, and best of all, you can bring in your own caterer (who will enjoy working in its full kitchen). The rental fee is minimal and the serving of alcoholic beverages is permitted. To learn more, telephone the Smoki Museum at 928-445-1230.
Amara Creekside Resort
With its refined, inspired elegance, serene setting and magnificent red rock panoramas, the new Amara Creekside Resort in Sedona, Arizona captures the excitement and romantic essence of every wedding.
Amara Resort’s Oak Creek Courtyard features a formal al fresco wedding “altar” overlooking the stunning greenery of Oak Creek and the imperial red rock. At the tip of the manicured Oak Creek lawn is an oversized bronze sculpture of two hands touching titled “The Communion” created by nationally renowned artist Gary Lee Price. With more than 5200 square feet of wedding and reception space on a manicured lawn accented by a tranquil water and rock garden, this ultimate outdoor wedding location accommodates up to 200 guests.
For larger size weddings, the Amara Vista is a picturesque outdoor reception area boasting uninterrupted red rock skylines and highlighted with colorful plants and flowers. This 6000 square foot space is ideal for either tented events or parties under the crystal skies of Sedona.
Have your guests enjoy a fabulous meal created by the talented Executive Chef Alan McClean who knows how to cater to the unique spirit of each bride and groom.
With luxurious guests rooms and suites available for your guests, Amara Creekside Resort also offers such amenities such as in-room spa treatments, a fitness center, and Sedona’s only heater therapeutic saltwater pool and outdoor Jacuzzi.
For a four star, world-class romantic setting visit Amara Creekside Resort at www.amararesort.com or call toll free (866) 455-6610.