The Southwest region of the United States is a unique place for destination weddings. From picture-perfect mountains and canyons, to ancient native cultures, this remote part of the world has its own signature ambiance that lends itself to creating unforgettable wedding weekends. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is a particularly stunning property for weddings in Arizona, catering to couples who are on a wedding venue search for that idyllic blend of relaxation and refinement. A destination wedding in Arizona may not require guests to travel very far by plane, but they will surely feel as if they’ve landed in their own little wonderland, worlds away from their everyday lives.

“Surrounded by the canyons of the Tortolita Mountains in Tucson, Arizona, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain offers the feeling of a true destination,” describes Madison Taylor, the hotel’s Senior Catering Sales Manager. “Even with the comforts of local conveniences just minutes away. The secluded setting creates a quiet retreat where wedding guests can indulge in a wide array of experiences and put all of their focus and energy on the guests of honor.”

True to the brand’s credo, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain maintains a “relaxed yet refined” ambiance. While it is a popular venue for weddings in Arizona, it’s just as wonderful a place to visit for honeymooning couples, solo travelers, and families.

“At the resort, guests can relax and unwind at our Forbes 5-Star Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, which features ten treatment rooms and a private saline pool,’ Madison shares. “For those looking for a challenge, there are 27 holes of championship golf, designed by Jack-Nicklaus. Our adventure-seekers can immerse themselves in Tortolita Mountain’s hiking and biking trails. And those wishing to live that resort life can soak up the Arizona sunrays poolside – with chips and fresh guac, of course.”

In addition to a variety of activities to fill an entire an entire wedding week or weekend, the resort features six dining establishments that will satisfy even the most distinguished palates. Golf aficionados may choose to enjoy lunch a Cayton’s Restaurant after an afternoon of golfing, and kick back with refined Southern dishes and craft beers. Ignite – the property’s live music venue and cocktail bar – provides the perfect meetup location for couples and their guests to convene over cocktails and gastropub fare. And Madison recommends the breakfast buffet at CORE, which would be a welcome post-wedding day indulgence.

Multiple event spaces make The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain the perfect backdrop for weddings in Arizona, no matter what design and décor vision a couple may have. Madison especially favors the Kiva Room and Patio for rehearsal dinners, as it features a dramatic stone rotunda with sweeping views of the desert and golf course. This presents an exquisite vantage point to admire Arizona’s famous sunsets. Its removal from the resort grounds also makes it an ideal setting for an evening of stargazing, right in the “stargazing capital of the world” – yet another activity couples should add to their wedding weekend itinerary.

After the big day, newlyweds can linger for an extra few days to unwind from the festivities and take advantage of the property’s signature spa.

“What better way to close out your wedding weekend and celebrate the beginning of your new life with your loved one than with a signature Together Massage – 80 minutes, of course,” says Madison. “Our dual treatment rooms offer a private patio and deep soaking tub, so your rejuvenation can continue once the spa treatment concludes with champagne and strawberries.”

With the American Southwest being home to so many Native American tribes and traditions, it was important for The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain to pay homage to its land and culture. Tucson, Arizona has a rich history of Native American adventure stories, which the resort brings to life with its daily “Spirit of Adventure Celebration.” This experience includes storytelling and a performance by a Native American flautist. Foodies will also appreciate that in 2015, Tucson became the first city in the USA to be named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy – recognizing over 4,000 years of agricultural heritage and the use of ancient grains.

“Even after ten years of working on this property,” says Madison, “I am still finding new things to fall in love with. For me, it is our Ladies and Gentlemen, and the genuine care and comfort that they provide to our guests. Our visitors arrive as guests, and most often are leaving as family. Any lovely building can call itself a nice resort, but our people are what make it a Ritz-Carlton.”

>Written By: Lauren Malamala