Megan and Austin — Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, Sedona

One of the most unique places to get a married in Sedona is within the confines of Tlaquepaque, a varied commercial destination along Oak Creek, designed to recreate a Spanish Colonial village from central Mexico. Large weddings command the wide corridor between the main buildings. Smaller ceremonies have the choice of the enchanting Chapel – also crafted in the image of such edifices in Latin America – or the cozy courtyard of the southernmost building, where revered remnants of the towering sycamore arbor that once dominated this land share the shading duties with the two encircling stories of Old-meets-New World architecture. The arches of a suspended passage way can frame the timeless moments of a ceremony in a way that photographers usually only dream about.

When Megan and Austin were introduced to each other by friends a few years ago, their growing affection included visits to the High Country, with a special connection to Sedona. They were taken by Tlaquepaque’s charms, which made it an easy choice for their nuptials. As the photographers toured them through the place’s scenic nooks and crannies for first-look images, I happily talked sports with the best man, an avid rugby player. And during the ceremony’s personal vows, the groom’s thoughtful words made the glowing bride shed a tear of joy, before he playfully lamented her devout love for the under-performing Arizona Cardinals football team as a reason for her enviable patience and unwavering devotion. What a lovely pair they made, kissing as spouses for the first time as the bell tower reverberated for them. It was yet another special moment for me to be associated with, unique in its location’s variables but, when distilled, as deeply meaningful and as any exterior ceremony in any northern Arizona backdrop.

Tlaquepaque’s venue choices and onsite organization makes it the best option for a Sedona wedding that does not directly involve Red Rock vistas (save for a possible quick glance through the Sycamore branches at Snoopy Rock, holding court on the bluffs to the north!).