Wedding Wednesday
Wedding Planner Tips

Wedding Planner Tips


Danielle & Rachel with Outstanding Occasions

Our friend Rachel from Outstanding Occasions has put together a list of reasons to hire a wedding planner to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch!

Often times we get asked by brides, or friends and family of brides-to-be on why we think everyone should hire a wedding planner for their wedding. Your wedding day is arguably one of the most important days of your life, so why would you entrust such a special day to a friend or relative to handle the details, rather than hire a professional? While we could talk about this topic for hours, and share real life stories, we thought we would leave you with our top 5 reasons on why everyone should have a wedding planner.

  • 1. They Help Alleviate Stress: Planning a wedding is and should be FUN! But, between managing a budget, interviewing vendors, determining proper etiquette and trying to please family, and friends, wedding planning can be rather stressful. A professional wedding planner is educated in all things wedding, and act as a huge resource for everyone involved. Having such a great resource by your side allows you and your fiance, family and friends to enjoy the planning process and focus on what the special day is really about.
  • 2. They Keep the Peace: In addition to wedding planning being stressful, it can also be a source of arguments and different point of views. Between parents, siblings, future-in-laws and bridal parties, someone is bound to have a different opinion or offer their two cents on what you should do for your wedding. Wedding planners can provide a fresh prospective, and offer ideas or advice to assist with the many different opinions. Having a wedding planner also helps you place the blame on an outside source while getting what you truly want for your wedding, allowing you to say, “My wedding planner recommends we do this…,” instead of saying “I want it this way….” Planners also act as your advocate. With so many opinions, decisions can be cumbersome. Our job is to help guide everyone to make the right decision for your event.
  • 3. They Make Selecting Your Vendors Much Easier: If you google “Wedding DJ”, there is no doubt hundreds will pop up in your search results. There are hundred of wedding vendors out there, and it’s easy to connect with ones that aren’t reputable. A professional wedding planner works with the best in the biz, and has the resources and first-hand knowledge on what wedding professionals match your personality, wedding style, budget and will provide you with the best service for your needs. Yes, we know that wedding venues do provide a preferred vendor list with their materials, but they are long lists that will take you hours to contact and interview each vendor. Our suggestions are customized specifically to you, which will save you a ton of time and energy!
  • 4. They Make Sense of Your Pinterest Board: In the age of Pinterest it’s hard to make sense of the hundreds of ideas you see every day. Your wedding planner helps makes sense of all those ideas dancing around your head or on your Pinterest board, and will even throw in a few ideas of their own. In addition to making sense of the floral and decor chaos, we will also ensure your wedding day design is cohesive, even if that means vetoing a few ideas that don’t fit well into your dream day.
  • 5. They Help You Create and Stick To Your Budget: Wedding Planners have been in the industry for some time, we know what things should cost and are skilled at making a realistic budget. We can help you navigate the many wedding industry price tags, balance your budget and help you prioritize what is most important to you for your wedding day. We also help brainstorm creative ways to afford items you really want, or look for even better alternatives. Wedding planners have also created strong relationships with wedding vendors, which can relate in cost savings for your rental and linen items.

These are just a few reasons why you should hire a planner, but as mentioned in the beginning, we truly could write a book about this topic!

Outstanding Occasions 
7525 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 478-0079

Prickly Pear Margarita Recipe

El Chorro’s Prickly Pear Margarita Recipe

We’ve enhanced the traditional margarita by adding prickly pear, the fruit of cacti native in Arizona. Crafting a drink made with fruit from the cactus plant, Agave’s cousin makes for the perfect cocktail to sip on Cinco de Mayo. Our culinary team seasonally harvests the fruit from the cacti on property.

The flavor profile is somewhat similar to strawberry with a sweet, light fruit base but less tart and less sugary, evened out further by brightness from fresh lime.


1.5 oz Reposado Tequila
.5 prickly pear syrup
1 oz Triple Sec
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz Sprite

Pour ingredients into salt rimmed glass full of ice. Garnish with lime. Repeat as necessary.

Wedding Wednesday
Winter Wonderland

From Amy & Jordan Photography


South Lawn

There’s a phenomena in the desert that only happens every once in a while, a moment when thin clouds sprinkle tiny drops of rain at the very same moment that the sun’s rays glisten through them. It’s one of the most breathtaking natural performances the desert puts on for us, and when it happens, the air smells fresh and crisp, and everything is just a little more magical. So when it happened this weekend, we soaked it all in. It couldn’t have been more fitting for the desert to put on one of its best shows for Gloria and Josh’s wedding day, as if the whole world was celebrating the two becoming one.

Read Full Post on Amy & Jordan Photography Blog

Ceremony Location: South Lawn
Reception Area: Classroom Bar 
DJ: Rosebud Entertainment
Floral Design: Sara’s Garden
Photographers: Amy & Jordan

Wedding Wednesday
Colorful Inspiration

Casa Paloma Wedding Lawn

Colorful Mexican Heritage Wedding


Megan & Tommy’s wedding matched their personalities perfectly; it was bright, colorful and full of life. We loved every detail from the vibrant ceremony backdrop to the cactus cake topper. (Did we mention there was a mariachi band?)  We’re thrilled to share their wedding photos featured on Style Me Pretty!

From the Bride:
When we boarded the plane to NYC, a part of me prayed and hoped that this trip would be our engagement trip. Could I really plan a day I had been waiting for my whole life? The answer was yes, and a venue and dress were selected in 48 hours. 
After we traveled back to Phoenix, Tommy and I stopped at El Chorro. We gleamed with excitement, from the gorgeous green Casa Paloma Lawn with views of Camelback Mountain, to the intimate all-white reception space. I knew decorating the space wouldn’t take much since this venue was classy and beautiful all on its own.View More:

As Featured on Style Me Pretty

Photography: Rachel Solomon
Videography: Forever Films
Floral Design: Hoot and Holler
Cake: Rude Cake House
Invitations: Shannon Kirsten
Escort Cards & Signage: Autumn Matney
Wedding Coordinator Imoni Events
Programs: B is for Brown
Table Numbers: Page and Mason

Wedding Wednesday
Spring Romance

Spring Romance in the Desert

Springtime at El Chorro is truly magical. The smell of citrus lingers in the air, vibrant greens adorn the property and budding flowers make the birds sing. Sarah and Chuck’s pops of pink and gold paired perfectly with our lush spring landscaping. We were so honored to be a part of their day full love, laughter and romance. Check out the Ruffled feature below!

As Featured On Ruffled

Pinkerton Photography

Wedding Planner:
Celebrations by Amy Bacon

Table Tops, etc.

Wedding Dress:
Kenneth Winston

Wedding Cake:
Piece of Cake Desserts

Wedding Stationery:

Place Cards + Chalkboard Sign:
Sugar and Chic Shop

Wedding Wednesday
Bohemian Chic

Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Feature

Wedding-Bohemian-Chic-insetWe loved watching our Bocce Lawn be transformed into a “Bohemian Chic” ceremony & reception space. Dramatic draping with bold colors balanced with soft, feminine textures made this styled shoot a Boho Bride’s dream. We were honored to be the canvas for this truly imagined an inspired vision. Check out the Grace Ormonde feature below!

As Featured on Grace Ormonde Wedding Style

Photography: Jane Z Photography

Makeup: Jacqueline Fancher with Scottsdale Skin and Makeup Studio

Wardrobe Stylist: Misty M. Doble with White Carpet Styling

Floral Designer: Carte Blanche Design

Event Planner and Designer: A Day To Cherish Weddings and Celebration

Bridal Salon: Uptown Bridal Boutique

2015 Meeting Trends

2015 Meeting Trends

Successful Meetings magazine has long been a trusted source of valuable information for business executives managing meetings, conventions and events. For more than six decades, the meeting industry’s leading publication has offered thought-provoking articles on effective off-site programs, including destination features, planning tips, expert interviews and industry trends. Polling the industry’s most respected professionals, the Successful Meetings 2015 Trends survey gathered unprecedented insight on the year’s emerging trends.

Below, El Chorro’s experienced Group & Event Management team highlight their top 3 trends for 2015.

  1. Participants > Attendees
  2. Engagement. It’s all about engagement. Laser pointers and PowerPoint presentations have been trumped by more visually enticing, and mentally stimulating, delivery styles. More than 70 percent of respondents to the Successful Meetings 2015 Trends survey identified creating a “compelling meeting experience for attendees” as their top priority for the year.

    Take your meeting to the next level by recruiting meeting-goers as active participants with collaborative tools. Of the Successful Meetings recommendations, our favorites include online communities, scrolling Twitter walls and audience polling. When executed properly, these tools encourage contributions before, during and after events.

  3. There’s an App for That
  4. An indispensable tool for every business professional, smartphones are also a valuable asset for meeting and event organizers and hosts. Aside from providing 24/7 access to email and business calls, allowing hardworking employees to venture away from their computers to conventions and events, smartphones also offer a variety of apps to enhance the attendee experience.

    While smartphones have long been used for onsite social media networking and engagement, Savvy event planners are now using the mobile devices for everything from group alerts and targeted announcements to replacing paper event programs, agendas, attendee lists and other event resources. Bizzabo‘s smart, all-in-one design handles the full event process from nuts to soup. That’s right, ticketing, marketing emails, networking, event app, CRM and event website all in one well-rounded tool.

  5. Value over Cost
  6. While more companies are gaining confidence in the economy’s return, there has only been moderate growth in meeting budgets. 40 percent of respondents to the Successful Meetings 2015 Trends survey expect meeting budgets to remain flat in 2015. Regardless of budgets, value is the bottom line for meeting and event planners.

    Event professionals are relying on increased efficiency, creativity and innovative solutions to deliver unique, high-value outings, without adding dollars to the bottom line. Recent trends include replacing decorative centerpieces with more functional options, like appetizer or dessert towers, and opting for virtual resources instead of printed collateral.

Wedding Wednesday
Spring Wedding

Wedding Wednesday: Jeff & Kacey’s Spring Wedding WeddingWednesday-May2015-inset

From the classic feel to the subtle pops of southwestern flair, we loved every moment of Jeff & Kacey’s spring El Chorro wedding! Jeff & Kacey incorporated light blues and greens with bright pops of color making their big day as vibrant and beautiful as themselves. Check out all of the photos from their El Chorro wedding from Pinkerton Photography below!

Pinkerton Photography Blog

Wedding Planner: A Day to Cherish Weddings
Linens: La Tavola
Floral: Petal Pusher
DJ: Citron Sound
Gelato Cart: Frost

El Chorro Happy Hour

El Chorro Happy Hour

Always welcomed and rarely missed, happy hour is a constant bright spot on the busy schedules of many. Whether you’ve survived an exceptionally taxing day at the office or are simply catching up with friends, happy hour is the perfect end to your day. Understanding the importance of happy hour, El Chorro offers a selection of deals on our signature sips daily from 4 to 6 p.m. and food specials Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.

Enjoy $3 glasses of house wine and domestic bottled beer or $5 El Chorro Margaritas and well drinks. Hungry? El Chorro favorites like Crispy Fried Shrimp, Grilled Street Tacos, El Chorro Beef Sliders or our famous Sticky Buns, all available for $5.

To top it off, we were named one of the Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in America by OpenTable, so feel free to relax and unwind on our patio, and take in the beauty of the Camelback and Mummy mountains set against an awe-inspiring Arizona sunset. For more details on happy hour, view our menu here.

Can’t wait for your next happy hour at El Chorro? Try your hand at our simple to make, yet refreshing, El Chorro Margarita.

El Chorro Margarita

El Chorro Margarita.

1 ½ ounces Monte Alban Reposado Tequila
¾ ounces fresh lime juice
¾ ounces triple sec and sprite

In cocktail shaker, add ice and all ingredients
Shake well
Serve over ice, garnish with lemon wedge

Wedding Wednesday
Dining Under The Stars

Wedding-Wed-rainy-day-inset-We didn’t let a little rain stand in our way of a picture perfect outdoor reception for Ellen & Reed’s El Chorro wedding! We love these photos captured by Jennifer Bowen Photography! Read all about their beautiful outdoor reception at El Chorro!

Read Full Post on Jennifer Bowen Photography Blog