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The Big Day


Tips and Trends for a Fall Wedding: Q+A with Senior Catering Manager Kellie Mendoza

We sat down with Kellie Mendoza, Senior Catering Manager at Tempe Mission Palms, for insight on creating the perfect fall wedding.  

What trends are you seeing right now for fall?

Lots of trends from brunch to morning ceremonies and food stations with favorite items chosen by the couple. I’m also seeing decorative objects such as figs, leaves, fall twists on food like butternut squash enchiladas, pumpkins, mini desserts and dessert stations, and anything with siracha. For dresses, I’m seeing simple lace wedding gowns with full sleeves.

What is your favorite spot on the property for nuptials or reception?

Fountain Circle. It is a space that has never been used before prior to October 3, 2015 when we had our first wedding ceremony there. The Fountain Circle, or Valet Area, is beautiful! It has the grandest fountain (surrounded by palm trees and a spectacular view of ASU and the City of Tempe in the background). It showcases the vibrant vibe of Tempe. It’s also still very new which gives couples the fun feeling of getting married where no one else has been married before.

What are some unique, customizable options available?

Guest Flow: We are not limited to combining certain ceremony spaces with cocktail hour and reception space. If it is open and available, we can book it. This gives couples looking at our property at least 15 different options of Guest Flow at our hotel. It’s pretty awesome to be able to pick and choose the areas that you fall in love with the most.

Wedding Menu: At the tasting our couples will choose a few different types of salads and entrees. We get to taste and customize according to their palate.  For example, we can omit certain salad toppings, add salad toppings in, switching the salad dressings, try a different entrée vegetable, omit cheese and/or sauces for entrees, and so on. It’s always so much fun to customize according to different likes and dislikes.

Ceremony: We have six different locations on property for ceremonies. You would never know it though. Most of the ceremony locations have different options for procession and set up. There are lots of ways to change it up here!


What is an example of one of your most memorable celebrations on property?  

The October 3rd, 2015 wedding in Fountain Circle. It was our first ceremony there. It was absolutely beautiful and so special for this couple to get married in a space where no one has married before. The bridal flowers, flower columns flanking the bridal party, petals swirling in the fountain, and aisle décor were all perfect. They were so appreciative and loved every aspect of it. It really wow’d the hotel staff as well and showed that if you just think outside the box for a little bit, you can make anything happen. Dreams do come true!

Your ideas for a fall wedding?

Some ideas: mini pumpkins as place card holders; fall leaves inside mason jars; orange-hinted candleholders lining the aisle; cinnamon stick coasters or bases for flower centerpieces; pinecones in centerpieces; wood branches, pumpkins, candles and flowers for fall vignettes.

By Destination Resorts

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