A DESERT WEDDING AT L’AUBERGE DE SEDONA WITH A FLORAL FOCAL POINT
Mariah Smith and Anthony Davis first met in middle school. Anthony was two grades ahead of Mariah, and they lost touch for a short period of time when Mariah switched school districts in the 7th grade.
“I remember thinking Anthony was handsome, athletic, and had a radiant smile,” Mariah recalls. “When he was around, I always had a sense of ease and comfort. Everything between us has always been so effortless and fun.”
The feeling was mutual, as Anthony notes, “I was struck by Mariah's beauty, intelligence, her sense of humor, and most importantly, her kind and caring nature. I knew she was everything I would ever need and more. From the first day I met her, I knew she was the one I wanted to grow old with.”
In 2011, they officially became a couple when Anthony asked Mariah to be his girlfriend at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium during the beautiful wild lights season.
“From the first day I met her, I knew she was the one I wanted to grow old with.”
A Surprise Proposal
In October of 2021, Anthony planned a surprise proposal in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The couple was surrounded by their daughter and closest friends. Anthony had gotten them tickets to the Aquarium in downtown Gatlinburg, and during the dive show they asked for a volunteer to come up front and participate.
“Anthony raised his hand and was told to bring a guest up with him,” Mariah says. “Together, we walked to stand in front of the tank where the diver swam up to the glass and asked us to both close our eyes. Little did I know the moment I had been dreaming of forever was about to happen. When I opened my eyes, Anthony was on one knee and the diver was holding a sign that said ‘Mariah, will you marry me?’ It was one of the best nights of my life and a memory I will cherish forever. Let the wedding planning begin!”
A Desert Wedding at L’Auberge de Sedona
The wedding planning process was a breeze for the couple, with Mariah’s sister being “one of the most talented wedding planners” around.
“We gave her full reign to plan and design our special day,” Mariah explains. “We joke that we were the dream couple to plan for because we completely trusted her, and her team, and gave them full creative control. Her team went above and beyond anything we could have envisioned for ourselves.”
“Our wedding was in Sedona, Arizona,” she continues, “at one of the most beautiful venues they have to offer. L'Auberge de Sedona has one of the most breathtaking views and was the perfect intimate setting for our special day. When we envisioned our ceremony, we knew we wanted to incorporate a floral focal point that didn't block or take away from the natural beauty of the red rocks. Our florist, Andrew Thomas Designs, brought all of our dreams to life and more.
He worked with the natural colors of the Sedona desert and blew all of us away with his talent. Our escort wall was custom painted on tequila bottles that doubled as a keepsake for our guests and was one of our favorite details. We had so many elevated details throughout the reception, from our monogrammed seating lounge, to a personalized 'Dessert with the Davis' ice cream.”
Other custom décor details included a personalized mirror sign on the bar that said, “Drinks in the Desert.” Another favorite was a small, yet special one – custom napkins that had the couple’s dog, Lady, sketched on them in gold foil.
“As we started this next chapter of our love story, we were overwhelmed with excitement and joy surrounded by sixty of our closest friends and family,” says the bride. “We had dreamt of this day for ten years, and it was so surreal to finally be married. We are so grateful for how perfectly our day was captured, and we will cherish every photo and video for the rest of our lives. Not a single detail was missed by our team of perfectly curated vendors and we wish we could do it all over again. Our honeymoon will take place in Hawaii in 2024 after we welcome the arrival of our second baby.”
Location, Catering & Cake: L’Auberge de Sedona, Sedona, AZ; Planning & Event Design: MMJ Events, Columbus, OH; Floral Design: Andrew Thomas Design, Cleveland, OH; Rentals: The Valley Events, Aiden + Grace, Dang Fine Rentals; Linen: BBJ La Tavola; Invitations: Ink and Ivory, Columbus, OH; Bridal Salon: B. Loved Bridal, Columbus, OH ; Hair & Makeup: Sedona Beauty Team, Sedona, AZ; Entertainment: Downton Browne Productions, Notes from Neptune; Officiant: Let’s Knot and Say We Did, Sedona, AZ; Cinematography: Serendipity Cinematography, Phoenix, AZ; Photography: Ashley Rae Photography, Phoenix, AZ