Something Blue Wedding Photography

How to Design Your Tucson Wedding for All 5 Senses

By Kim Hess


Appealing to the Sight, Sound and Smell senses at a Tucson Wedding

Bride and Groom at Hacienda Del Sol

Tucson is one of the sunniest cities in the U.S., so why not have an outdoor wedding?
(No rain to mess it up!) There are several breathtaking vistas for your backdrop.  Make your wedding memorable  by appealing to all five senses.


Choose from the flowering desert, rolling hills, rocky canyons and, of course, the
mountains! The city is surrounded by four major mountain ranges. Imagine saying “I do”
with a brilliant Tucson sunset behind you. Or get married at Catalina State Park, with
nothing but green trees and majestic mountains enveloping you.
If you prefer to get married indoors, don’t forget to decorate with things that make this
area unique. The desert is full of vivid greens and browns, so consider those colors for
table decorations, along with clay pottery. Cacti almost goes without saying, and some

weddings even incorporate geodes and animal skulls. Whether you choose outdoors or
indoors, Something Blue Photography will capture it all for you to look at for years to
come. Send me info on your packages. Click HERE



If your wedding is in the desert, your guests will be treated to the sounds of nature.
Many birds call the Sonoran home. You may hear quail, doves, and cardinals. Other
creatures making themselves known include whiptail lizards as they dig and search for
prey, making rustling noises. You could hear the buzzing of cicadas. And, at night,
coyotes may howl in the distance.
Want the sound of music in the air? Play some romantic tunes from Tucson’s very own
Linda Ronstadt like, Don’t Know Much or All My Life. Or have the DJ spin some songs
about the city, itself, like Bruce Springsteen’s Tucson Train, The Pretenders’
Thumbelina or Jim Campbell’s The Lights of Tucson.

Smell It

Smell is the sense that’s perhaps the closest linked to memory. Some describe the
scent of the desert as sweet, dusty, and earthy. One of the most distinct scents is that of
the creosote bush, especially after it rains (this bush is not related to the chemical
creosote found in chimneys). The bush can flower any time of the year, after a rain, with
bright yellow blossoms. Decorating with the creosote bush creates a unique, aromatic
atmosphere for your wedding.
If you’re having a backyard wedding, be sure the lawn is in tiptop shape. The pungent
aroma of freshly cut grass appeals to most people. (That’s why mowing the lawn is
defined as a therapeutic activity.) Smelling cut grass it in the future may remind your
guests of your wedding day. You can add potted succulents and desert herbs, such as
white sage, around the yard as decor.

Taste It

Sonoran Hotdogs

Late night snack at a wedding is a Sonoran hotdog

Make your reception memorable with a menu that includes the best of Tucson cuisine.
Our city is made up of people from several cultures, and so is our food. Treat your
guests to chimichangas, deep-fried burritos that originated in Tucson. Offer Navajo
tacos, which are like a tostada but served on fry bread. And for a truly unique menu
item, serve Sonoran hot dogs. This dish originated in the Mexican state of Sonora but is
now a true staple of Tucson cuisine. The hot dog, which can come wrapped in bacon
and stuffed with chili, offers your guests an explosion of flavor.

Feel It


Bride and Groom at Sunset kissing

Bride and Groom at Sunset

It’s easy to add texture to a Tucson wedding. The city has more Saguaro cactus
surrounding it than any other place in the world, some that grow higher than 50 feet.
Many couples incorporate them into their wedding photos. As far as wedding
decorations? There are plenty of cactus species to choose from to keep it authentic,
and your guests may feel compelled to touch the needles! Remember, it’s illegal to take
cacti out of the desert, but you can purchase them from legitimate greenhouses and
nurseries. Showing them off in terra cotta also adds texture, as the pots have a rougher
surface than glazed pottery.

Other ways to appeal to the sense of touch in a Tucson wedding include turquoise and
silver jewelry for the bride and her attendants. Consider using woven Native American
blankets at the reception, especially on a cool night, when guests need warming up.
Kim Hess is a nature lover and wedding planner who enjoys incorporating a hometown
feel in the ceremonies and receptions she designs. She also enjoys tasting the food at
venues around the country, so she can recommend the best wedding

Kim Hess is a nature lover and wedding planner who enjoys incorporating a hometown
feel in the ceremonies and receptions she designs. She also enjoys tasting the food at
venues around the country, so she can recommend the best wedding day feasts. (Hey somebody’s got to do it!)


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