Guest blog by Amanda Maldonado

Go big or go home, that's always the motto right?!  In this case we decided to have our cake and eat it too....go big AND go home!

Dan and I were decided to plan for a spring wedding due to the lovely AZ weather (and plenty of time to plan!!)! We have always had a very unique and urban style and wanted to incorporate that into our special day.

Mesa Arts Center (MAC) is a unique landmark located right in the heart of downtown Mesa at One East Center Street and we wanted to see how we could tie that in so we met with Terri Rettig, the program coordinator for MAC. We toured the facility and looked at many beautiful locations where they've had weddings before. As we walked around admiring all of the creative structures their large cement steps caught my attention... I asked what was up there and she said "our Joanie Flat Terrace." As we headed up the steps I felt butterflies in my tummy! As we reached the top we were presented with a flat cement area above the ceramics classroom and level with their dance studio. It was breathtaking! I stood in awe as I admired the view of the entire venue. I took a deep breath and said "this is it!" Stunned; they both just started at me. It was nothing but a flat cement terrace, but I saw it as so much more! Terri finally said "No one has ever had wedding here before. This will be interesting!!" (You're welcome all you lovely newlyweds & brides to be!) This would be our vision:

Upon arrival to the venue our wedding guests would be able to see the architecture of the buildings, each one unique in its own way, partnered with the sounds of running streams that travel throughout the property. Once upon the Joanie Flat Terrace they would see how one side offered a beautiful view of the First United Methodist Church of Mesa and the other side viewing the beautiful sail-like overhangs sweeping down from the sky grazing across the courtyard. Our ceremony faced the white sails and the scenery had just the right blend of futuristic design, urban style and just the right dash of natural scenery.

Mesa Arts Center wedding ceremonyMesa Arts Center stole our hearts! The Joanie Flat Terrace WAS love at first sight! (PS! If there are any concerns about accessing an event on an upper level the terrace is accompanied by an elevator to make it easily accessible!!)

Once the ceremony site was secured it was time to locate our reception site! What better place for out-of-town guests than right across the street!!! 12 West Main Event Center was another perfect fit for our urban themed wedding. When first entering the building the guests are welcomed to a cocktail area complete with a large glass window facing the heart of Downtown Mesa at Center & Main Street and an open area for conversation, bar, and appetizers. The front area is separated from the main hall with a large partition wall. Behind the wall you will find the main room which is a large open room. The entire venue is built with high ceilings and brick walls to create an open feel. The upstairs portion of the main room consists of a studio apartment equipped with four windows overlooking the entire venue! The studio is used as a bridal suite and has EVERYTHING a bride needs!!! Very spacious and complete with a full bathroom, kitchen, and living area. The basement area is perfect for the groom and his guys to prepare for the big day, too! A little space for all :)  

12 West Main interior

We loved this venue because it was more or less an open building to decorate however you choose. The building itself (inside and out!) was a statement but adding any special touches made it even more personal! We had the front entrance area equipped with photos of us, cocktails & appetizers being served along with a longtime friend/local musician Jacob Tyler Lucas playing guitar. The main hall comfortably sat over 100 guests with tables & chairs, sweetheart table, photo booth, cake table, full buffet, DJ and much more (with PLENTY of extra room for dancing!!!)

Since all of the venues for the big day were secured all we needed was to find the PERFECT rehearsal dinner spot. We decided on - The Landmark. After meeting the GM, Darren Ellis we knew it would be a great fit for our large dinner group! It's an elegant building with vintage red brick that has a long history in the area. It is able to accommodate many different sized parties and events inside or even outside on their quaint patio area.

Landmark Restaurant 

The food is American style cuisine and brings you as close to home cooking as you can get!!  A comfortable atmosphere with just the right lighting, ambience and service that is unbeatable! Not to mention The Salad Room. Something you truly to have to see to understand!!  (since original publication, this venue has changed owners and has been redesigned to be a wedding venue - Aldea Weddings at the Landmark)

 

One last "Venue" to secure, where to depart to once the most exciting day of our lives was complete?! We knew once we'd be done celebrating we still didn't want to leave our lovely downtown Mesa but also didn't want to be too far from home for brunch with the family the next day either!!!

Thank you to The Phoenix Marriott Mesa. After our wedding, upon entering our bridal suite we were welcomed with a bottle of champagne and strawberries and personal note from the staff. 

Marriott exterior
 
 
Planning and celebrating our wedding was an adventure that we will always cherish that was based in a city that is the perfect combination of elegance, beauty, and uniqueness. A city that truly stole our hearts. A place where we plan to start and grow our lives. A city rich with history, potential and memories. Go big AND go home - KEEP IT LOCAL. We Love you Mesa, Arizona!! And thank you Visit Mesa for the chance to share our story and unique experience!! 

 

 

Thank you for sharing your special day with us Amanda!

Here are some of her amazing wedding photos. You look beautiful Amanda! 

Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado

 
Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado
Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado

Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado

Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado 

Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado

Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado

Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado

Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado

Downtown Mesa Wedding Amanda Maldonado