It was March 2020 when the Event Services team saw the first signs that wedding season was not going to be the same as previous years at Desert Botanical Garden. Couples who had been planning for months and years for one special day were seeing things rapidly change.
One such couple was Lorraine and Tim Fye. They started their wedding planning in 2019. Although having a rather short engagement period, they both knew they wanted a wedding that represented their life in Arizona.
“We wanted something that felt like our guests were in the Arizona desert,” says Lorraine, “But not really.” She mentioned that the Garden enhanced the beauty of the desert but was still in the city. Lorraine described the SteeleHerb Garden as, “surrounded with desert landscaping and smelled of fresh herbs”, which spoke to their vision of the perfect day.
With their wedding set for April 5, 2020, Lorraine and Tim were on a mission to get things organized and planned. By January 2020, a caterer was selected, and their photographer was contracted. Two weeks later invitations were ordered and sent to their friends and family—both local and out of state. By February, the DJ was under contract, officiant was scheduled and a day-of-planner booked.
With only 14 days before the wedding day, the Garden would need to close for 16 weeks. Lorraine recalled, “At first I thought I would just have to reduce my guest count, or maybe a backyard wedding. It all happened so fast.”
The Garden informed couples of the CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services recommendations, and have worked with each client to meet or exceed these recommendations. Just as quick as they organized their wedding, the Garden was working to find a new date. The Event Services team collaborated with the couple and their vendors to find a date that would work for everyone. Lorraine and Tim had a lot to consider, as they did not want to elope or postpone into 2021. The date that worked out was Aug. 15. Lorraine shared, “There were so many details that we thought were important, and we learned that they weren’t.”
In the end, Lorraine and Tim are now married. Not all of their family could travel, but they chose to have it videotaped as a memento and to share with family and friends. It was in the end, a perfect day.
Event planners are often asked about what couples should be doing with so much uncertainty right now. Stay in communication. Work with your venue coordinator to create multiple plans in case things have to change. TheGarden wants your day to be perfect too, and the team is here to help.