A destination wedding: Couple chooses to have outdoor ceremony and reception in Arizona

Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Bride: Kristen (Nelson) Burk
Livelihood: Registered nurse at St. Marys Hospital on CVSICU (cardiovascular surgical intensive care unit) I had my 10-year reunion at Mayo Clinic this past July.

Groom: Samuel Burk
Livelihood: Patient care assistant at St. Marys Hospital on the surgical trauma unit. Graduating from nursing school in December and starting on the same unit as Kristen in February. We will be coworkers!

Wedding date: Oct. 14, 2022
Where was your wedding and reception?
The Scottsdale Plaza

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Why did you choose that location?
We wanted a destination wedding. Sam lived in Arizona, and I did a travel nursing contract there and loved the desert! We did a ton of research for a resort so when people traveled down it would be a one-stop shop.

Did you have a theme for the wedding?
No real theme but we incorporated things related to the desert like succulents on our cake. Our backdrop for our outdoor dinner was Camelback Mountain. We also did our engagement pictures on Mt. Dow in Sedona, Arizona.

Tell us about the dress.
My dress was designed by Eddy K and was one of the first dresses I tried on. The gown is named Cairo and is from the 2023 Dreams collection. The gown was heavily sequin-embroidered fit-n-flare. It had ivory lace over ivory tulle, with beaded straps and a long train with beautiful floral appliqué. Eddy K matches gorgeous cathedral veils to his gowns which was one of my favorite parts of my dress.

Tell us about the flowers.
I wanted simple but elegant flower arrangements. Since we got married outside and had the beautiful desert surround us, we wanted simple for the ceremony. My bouquet had my two favorite flowers in them: white roses and white lilies. I wanted some greenery incorporated throughout. The bridesmaids had similar bouquets, just smaller, and they had Baby’s Breath throughout their arrangements. We had a gorgeous arch decorated with multiple types of flowers and greenery. Our table florals were simple with whites and greens and floating lit candles.

Other decorations?
We really kept the decorations simple since everything was already so beautiful and outdoors. The pathway to get to the ceremony site the plaza employees had all new flowers planted the morning of my wedding, which were absolutely gorgeous.
Tell us about the cake.
We did a three-tier vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. It was decorated with flowers and succulents. My mom ordered a beautiful gold topper that said Mr. and Mrs. Burk.

What was your favorite detail?
I feel like the set-up of the reception was just perfect, the tables were set perfectly and everything had so much thought put into it. I also loved my florist — she owns a family-owned business and you can tell she loves what she does and she is very talented.
What were you most nervous about?
Walking down the aisle.

What was your most memorable moment?
I did a first look with my dad and one with Sam. Those were so special. After our ceremony, Sam and I went into our suite and out onto the balcony where we were watching everyone leaving the ceremony site. They looked up and saw us and everyone was cheering for us, and then we kissed. It was such a special and exciting moment.