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3 Phoenix Wedding Ideas - Think Outside the Resort

By: Shari Hearn

Phoenix and its surrounding areas of Scottsdale and Carefree abound in award-winning resorts and spas in which to hold your wedding. But Im not going to talk about any of them. Instead, this article focuses on thinking outside the resort for your Phoenix destination wedding. Think wildflowers, culture and zebras.

Desert Botanical Gardens

The Desert Botanical Gardens (1201 N. Galvin Parkway) is a lovely desert botanical garden located in red-rock Papago Park in North Central Phoenix. If youve never been to Papago Park, its like a little mini Sedona in the middle of Phoenix. (Okay, at least, thats what it reminds me of) And the Desert Botanical Gardens is the perfect venue to experience the flavor and appeal of the desert. It might be obvious, but Ill state it anyway, you may want to skip this venue in the summer months. The spring months would be perfect, however, as the desert blooms come to life. You can choose to have your ceremony in one of the courtyards or terraces, or in the Wildflower Pavilion. There is also a ballroom, Dorrance Hall, which can accommodate several hundred guests. Call 480-481-8109 for more information.

The Heard Museum

Located at 2301 N. Central Ave., the Heard Museum has been a Phoenix institution for more than 75 years. Encompassing more than 130,000 square feet of gallery and education space, the Heard Museum has one of the finest collections of Native American art and cultural exhibits. And, the exhibits arent the only things worth seeing at the Heard; theres also the interesting architecture and grounds, which include arched walkways, brick patios and lovely courtyards, which serve as picturesque backdrops for your wedding photos. The Museum is available Sunday Thursday, 6 to 10 PM, and Friday and Saturdays, 6 to 11 PM. The Wedding Facility Use Fee ranges from $2,500 to $4,000. Call 602-252-8840 for more information.

The Phoenix Zoo

Thats right, the zoo. We are thinking outside the resort, remember? The Phoenix Zoo is located at 455 N. Galvin Parkway, close to the Desert Botanical Gardens, and offers numerous lovely settings for weddings from 5 to 10,000 guests. You can choose from a variety of settings, including a Columbian rainforest, Tropical Ramada, gardens, and The Stone House Pavilion, with a 90-foot wall-to-wall window, from which you can view the Papago Mountains at sunset. And, yes, you can also provide your guests with a sunset tour of the zoo on the Safari Train. Call 602-273-1341 for pricing and more information.

Resorts and spas are great, and the Phoenix area definitely has a lot of them. But, for something different, add these wedding venues to your short list.

Shari Hearn is a writer and creator of Destination Weddings, where you can learn more about Arizona Weddings

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