Arizona becomes a scenic spot to say ‘I do’

A couple ties the knot in Tombstone. (Photo courtesy of Richard Fenton)
A couple ties the knot in Tombstone. (Photo courtesy of Richard Fenton)

From an Old West wedding, to the Grand Canyon, the grandeur of the red rocks in Sedona or an elegant resort in Scottsdale, Arizona’s options for wedding locales is endless, and unique.

A Tombstone husband and wife duo can plan, execute and officiate a unique 1800s wedding, providing couples with the honest small town feel.

“We have a mixture of couples from Tombstone, Southern Arizona, the U.S. and even international,” said Richard Fenton, owner of Tombstone Weddings. Especially in the winter months, Arizona experiences an influx of international visitors, with a majority coming from Canada.

Old West weddings may not be for everyone, but that’s not a problem in Arizona.

The Grand Canyon, an iconic landmark in Arizona, sees its fair share of small local weddings. Standing on the north or south rim with one of the Seven Wonders of the World is a memorable setting.

Alexandra Fraser, a consultant at Weddings in Sedona, explains that the main draw of Sedona is its captivating landscape, “but it certainly helps that as a resort community, Sedona offers many premier services.”

Weddings in Sedona plans roughly 120 weddings every year, and in its busy season they can be working with as many as 30 couples a month.

Amy Mancuso, owner of Amy Mancuso events, an elite wedding planning agency in Phoenix, has planned her share of luxury weddings in Arizona, far different from ceremonies occurring in Tombstone.

“Forty percent of my clients are destination clients,” said Mancuso. She believes that Arizona is one of the top locations in the country for weddings due to the consistently fine weather and the variety of venues available for ceremonies and receptions.

Mancuso works mainly with luxury clients who get married in private homes or at major resorts in the Phoenix area, however she does work with couples who choose to get married in Sedona and other parts of Arizona.

The Old West atmosphere of Tombstone and its deep history is a huge draw for tourists and visitors from all over Arizona, U.S and even internationally.

Tombstone Weddings, a local Tombstone business, allows couples to go back in time and celebrate their love, Old West style. Fenton is the co-owner of Tombstone Weddings and an ordained minister who officiates the ceremonies

Not all brides and grooms are looking for a stereotypical wedding; many are interested in a quirky and unique event.

Instead of a classic white gown, Richard’s wife, Diane Fenton, owner of Tombstone Weddings & 1800s Clothing Rental, can outfit a wedding party in authentic Old Western and 1800s apparel.

Tombstone Weddings clients are a mixture of couples looking to renew their vows and couples who want to celebrate their love with a unique event, according to Fenton.

Lauren Niday is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact her at laurenniday@email.arizona.edu. 

Click here for a Word version of this story and high-resolution photos 

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