Maricela and Russell Dance their way to marital bliss!

Ballroom Dancing. Those will forever be the two words that I associate with Maricela and Russell’s Arizona Biltmore wedding.

Sure I could add on Christmas time, St. Mary’s Basillica, or ’57 Chevy. But even with all those amazing options, I think I’m going to stick with ballroom dancing… you’ll see why.

(Russell’s face the first time he saw her that day! I LOOOOVE this picture!).

Maricela and Russell got married right after Christmas, and taught me a lesson in just how amazing a post-Christmas wedding could be (not that I really had any doubts before)! The benefit of a post-Christmas wedding? Free decorations of course!

(Like all the Christmas shinys they got in this picture!!).

Just stepping foot into both St. Mary’s Basillica (where they said their vows) and the Arizona Biltmore (where they threw the party) were quite memorable moments in themselves.

St. Mary’s had absolutely stunning red poinsettias scattered all around, with glowing Christmas trees outlining the edges. It was the perfect compliment to the magnificent gold decor that is a staple of elegance in the Basillica.

The Biltmore was like the equivalent of Comicon for Christmas freaks! It was a magical fantasy land for the cookie eating- deck the halling- Christmas crazy – Rudolph fan.

They had everything, including a massive gingerbread house display (co-created by professional bakers AND architects of course!), a train set running around ANOTHER gingerbread village, and a larger than life Christmas tree proudly glittering on the front lawn.

You name the red and green Santa fanfare item, and they had it (except snow, they definitely didn’t have snow).

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And of course the deep reds and golds that Maricela and Russell displayed before their guests in the Grand Ballroom for her reception just complimented the Christmas wonderland sitting just outside the ballroom doors magnificently!

By the way, MUCHO credito goes to the wonderful Daniel Duran (from Duran Events LLC) and his assistant, Alyssa, for their mad skillz in wedding design, planning, and carrying very fragile things around in a very quick manner (a plus for any wedding coordinator).

They did a fabulous job pulling together all the people, places, and things that made this wedding what it was. Bravo guys… and thanks for being some of our favorite people ever.

Now, about the ’57 Chevy. I don’t think I really need to explain why that will always remind me of this wedding, just look!

If you’ve been following Radiant for long, you know that it is my (Breanna’s) calling in life to get the perfect shoe shot (well not really, let’s hope there’s something a little more substantial than that in my destiny!), and thanks to Maricela and Russell’s great taste in transportation, I just may have achieved all my hopes and dreams in this one shot!

PERFECT isn’t it?!?! Shiny, ruffles, silver, classic car, bling, Jimmy Choo, red toenails, bokeh background lights… sigh.

And now about the ballroom dancing…

What better way to commemorate such a special occasion of joining two people together than through your family’s favorite past time?! Provided your family’s favorite past time isn’t cage fighting or turtle racing that is (yes, turtle racing is a real thing).

Maricela, along with her mother, father, and brother, are all competitive ballroom dancers! Yes, for real! When it comes to bonding family activities, this family has the corner on the unique activities market! Instead of their only family togetherness time being gathered around a meal at the dining room table, this family glams it up, puts on their dancing shoes and dances out a production of Peter Pan (ballroom style) together! Oh wait, you’re telling me every family does that? Where have I been?!

To kick off the dancing entertainment at the reception, Maricela and her bridesmaids performed an AWESOME choreographed dance, that led right into a series of ballroom dances performed by both Maricela and Russell’s family members… finished off with a grand finale by the guests of honor themselves.

(Yes, that’s how you get to wear TWO wedding dresses… just make one of them a ballroom dancing gown!)

Once the more professional dancers finished their routines… the other professional dancers, known as “the wedding guests” began their routines.

I say that because I don’t know if I have ever seen a group of people more naturally gifted at dancing than the people at this wedding!

It must be genetic or something (or maybe it was the ballroom dancing lesson all the guests participated in earlier in the night!) because I swear that every single person of all ages on that dance floor throughout the night seemed to instinctively know how to “drop it like it’s hot”!

(I just put this picture in because this baby’s so adorable and it makes me laugh every time!).

Needless to say, it was an incredibly fun party that was the perfect compliment to the incredibly beautiful ceremony and perfect December day. Congratulations Maricela and Russell, for not only having a fantastic wedding, but for finding your other half and getting started on your happily ever after!

Click to see the rest of Maricela and Russell’s wedding photos here.

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January 11, 2012 - 9:03 pm

Alissa - It was so great working with the two of you for the day of. You truly made it memorable. Perhaps Daniel and I will be working with you again on a future project! Best to you both!


January 13, 2012 - 12:55 am

Nicholas Leong - As usual, you take such lovely pictures that I can only dream of taking!

Been a while since I commented but I am still your biggest fan!

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