Not every relationship begins with love at first sight, as Maggie Lewis and Drew Miranda are proof. “The first time we met was when I was with a mutual friend of ours at a weekend breakfast spot and bumped into Drew and his then girlfriend!” Maggie recalls. Luckily, the second time proved to be the charm; the two met again six months later – this time both unattached – and have been at each other’s side ever since.

Drew discovered he wanted to marry Maggie while enjoying a visit to Chicago for a long weekend – their first trip together. “Travel is always a good make-or-break,” he explains. “It made me realize how many similar values we shared.” Drew proposed after they moved together from Arizona to Laguna Beach, California.

Since it was the place where they met, Maggie and Drew elected to host their nuptials in Scottsdale. “It was also a practical decision because my parents live there and all of Drew’s family lives there,” notes the bride. This proved to be a prudent choice, as Maggie found herself with a new job offer in Arizona while in the midst of organizing the celebration. “So in the last six weeks leading up to the wedding, we also coordinated a move and both switched jobs! I started my new job two days after the wedding!” tells Maggie.

The couple visited many Scottsdale venues before finding a perfect site that showcased the natural beauty of the region. “Our final choice was the Silverleaf Club because of the gorgeous setting that was a mix of Arizona with the feel of a Tuscan villa,” says the bride. Although Drew and Maggie worried that the May date would be too warm for guests, it turned out to be a lovely 62 degrees for the 6PM ceremony.

To complement the view of the mountains that acted as a backdrop for their wedding, as well as the desert hues, Maggie chose a color palette of soft white, pale grey, silver, mint, and pastel pink. The scroll pattern of rose petals adorning the aisle was the bride’s favorite part of the design. “It was so beautiful and unique – and was something special for the guests [to see] when they arrived,” she affirms. The couple exchanged vows at an altar situated between two oak pedestals decorated with 32-inch Garnier vases and mercury-glass vessels topped with antique green and ivory hydrangeas, as well as Emily, Quicksand, and Polo roses, vanilla Majolica spray roses, dusty miller, and touches of blooming pearl spirea, seeded eucalyptus, bay leaves, and other seasonal foliage.

The Episcopalian ceremony combined traditional and personal elements. Readings from a close friend of the bride and the godmother and aunts of the groom were featured, along with customary prayers. A string quartet performing mostly modern compositions added personal touches to the proceedings. The quartet played “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths – one of the couple’s favorite bands – before the bridesmaids and groomsmen entered. “Then when our bridal party processed, the strings played ‘In My Life’ by The Beatles because it made us think of all of the special people in our lives that had gathered for the wedding,” Maggie reveals. For her walk down the aisle, she selected the more classic “Christmas Canon.” “My jaw dropped – she looked stunning. I felt really lucky and honored to call her my bride,” recalls the smiling groom of his memorable first glimpse of Maggie. The recessional lightened the mood with Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and prepared everyone for the party ahead.

As with the picturesque scenery of the ceremony, Maggie did not want to compete with the existing Tuscan look – rugged stone walls, exposed wood beams, and warm neutrals – of the Members Courtyard. Soft lighting sourced by candlelight and chandeliers highlighted the crystal-and-silver candelabra centerpieces topped with floral arrangements matching those used during the vow exchange. “I was so blown away when I entered the ballroom. It was truly magical,” says the bride.

A surprise fireworks display provided one of the memorable moments of the day for the newlyweds. “Fireworks have always been one of my favorite things since I was a little girl,” explains Maggie. “I was truly shocked and, of course, touched by the special gesture from my dad.” The father of the bride worked with the wedding planner to orchestrate the ruse. As the cocktail hour ended, the photographer gathered all the attendees outside for a group shot, where they were instead treated to a 15-minute spectacle. “Most of our guests remarked that they wouldn’t even bother with any Fourth of July fireworks shows that year!” Drew exclaims.

The couple’s 135 loved ones then danced the night away to a 10-piece band that was very important to both the bride and the groom. “I actually nixed venues that could not accommodate the size of band that we wanted,” Drew admits.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the many elements that have to be considered when organizing a wedding. Everyone says this, but it is so true – pick three to four things that are really important to you and make those your focus,” Maggie advises future brides. Drew has similar recommendations for grooms: “Pick the few items that you are interested in and stick up for them – but let your bride run with everything else unless she asks your opinion,” he says. “The day is about both of you, but she has most likely been thinking about the details much harder and longer than you have.” Agreeing that they would not have done anything differently, Maggie and Drew left their wedding ready to start a new life together in Arizona.