Lindsey Stratton remembers the moment she first locked eyes with Brandon Wood as if it was yesterday. The scene, which she describes as being straight out of a Hollywood movie, took place appropriately enough at a party in Los Angeles. “As cliché as it is to say this, the entire room blurred around him, and things became quiet, as though we were the only two people in the place.” Brandon recalls the same unforgettable experience. Six years after that magical evening, the major league baseball player proposed marriage on the balcony of a beach house overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and the duo began planning the wedding of their dreams.
The couple agreed that Arizona would be an ideal location to host their nuptials. Not only was the state conveniently located for the majority of guests, but the breathtaking scenery and temperate December climate provided the perfect backdrop for a winter wedding complete with an outdoor ceremony.
The courtyard garden of a luxury resort was the setting for the event, with picturesque mountains and statuesque palm trees towering in the background. In an effort to bring a touch of her favorite season to the desert, the bride developed a theme that combined the atmosphere of a winter wonderland with large doses of glamour, enlisting a frosty color palette of white, silver, and pewter. Glistening crystal ornaments dangled from Shepherd’s hooks on either side of an aisle that had been lined with snowy rose petals. Delicate strings of shimmering crystal beads mimicked falling flurries on the back of a wooden trellis that had been draped with billowing white fabric.
The ravishing bride – a model and former firefighter – dazzled in a fitted mermaid gown that featured a sweetheart neckline and a voluminous ruffle-tiered skirt. Her bouquet was a full and glorious collection of white and ivory roses with hydrangeas. “The moment Lindsey walked down the aisle and I got my first glimpse of my stunning bride was the most memorable moment of the day for me by a landslide,” effuses the groom. “Her beauty and elegance brought tears to my eyes.”
During the Christian service, the bride and groom joined together two separate pieces of a wooden cross to form one solid entity as a symbolic and memorable expression of their faith and their union. Being able to complete the ceremonious gesture in front of their closest friends and family made it all the more special for the bride. “It truly meant a lot to see so many people we love and care about witness the ceremony,” she says.
Following the marriage and cocktail hour, guests located their escort cards on a table adorned with illuminating candles, delicate floral nosegays, and an antique candelabra rising from a blanket of white rose petals.
The festive reception room was furnished with round tables, each showcasing one of two varieties of wintry centerpieces. The taller showpiece consisted of a “snow-covered” Manzanita tree that had crystals and candles dangling from the braches, while white roses and hydrangea flowers encircled the base. The second featured a blossoming arrangement of white roses, hydrangea, and snow-covered sprigs, all of which rested in a large silver bowl. Tables were then sprinkled with additional snow and glass votive candles. “I wanted everything to look very dreamy, whimsical, and elegant,” shares the bride.
Though Brandon participated in many elements of the planning process, he is happy to give his bride credit for selecting the minute details and glamorous touches that made the reception truly special and an accurate reflection of who they are as a couple. “Lindsey did an amazing job and worked extremely hard,” he admits. “I was there for moral support and to agree with a smile.”
One of the most eye-catching elements of the evening was the couple’s unique three-tiered wedding cake. The red velvet confectionery featured sweet cream-cheese filling and a rouched design created from white fondant. Resting between each square tier were four lighted crystal globes. “The cake was one of my favorite things,” beams the bride. “It’s awesome to see your cake glowing from across the room!”
During a delicious four-course dinner, guests had the option of enjoying either prime New York steak seared and drizzled with a red wine demi, or wild-caught Alaskan halibut crusted with pesto and accompanied by a Champagne velouté. The scrumptious feast was followed by an animated party that included hours of dancing and celebrating.
“The DJ literally had to kick us out of the room,” admits the bride.
Opting for a more a more enduring wedding favor, Lindsey selecting to give her guests crystal-embellished frames, each of which displayed a different photograph of the couple captured during their engagement session. “I thought something personal would be more special,” she reveals.
Like many couples, both Lindsey and Brandon agree that the day was over far too quickly, and wish they had taken a little extra time the morning of the event to relax and enjoy themselves. Even so, they admit it couldn’t have been a more perfect occasion. “I really wouldn’t change one thing,” says the groom. “It was such a memorable wedding in every aspect.” A fairytale ending, indeed, for two strangers who happened to meet eyes across a crowded room.