Photo by Cathy Smitch of I Was Framed, nails by Tori Rocha of Rockstar Nails, rings by Z’s Fine Jewelry, flowers by Judy Haenel of The Tulip Tree, Virginia’s House wedding venue owned and operated by Natalie M. Stahl

Real Life Weddings –
We Can Help!

The Northwest Women’s Network is home to women with diverse talents and connections, both inside and outside their primary representation in the group. Several of our members are obvious resources for anybody planning a wedding, great or small. Other members have “side gigs” that are also immensely helpful to anybody trying to tie the knot without finding themselves tied up in knots before their big day.
Here is a round-up of resources to keep in mind as you plan a wedding, renewal of vows, or anniversary celebration.


Virginia’s House – the Right Place for Special Moments

Virginia’s House is the West Valley’s original boutique event venue. Opened in 1998 by Arizona native Natalie Stahl, Virginia’s House has been the gathering place for all things celebratory. Their main business is weddings and receptions, but they also host bridal and baby showers, graduation parties, memorial services, fundraisers, photo shoots and charter school proms.
The CH Tinker home, also known as Virginia’s House, was built in 1913. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic places. The Stahl family has lovingly restored every last inch of the home. If these walls could talk, they would tell tales of the love that has dwelled here for more than 100 years.
Virginia’s House stands apart from other venues because of their exceptional customer service. Natalie gets to know each bride, hostess and family to get a better feel for their needs. It is not unlikely for families to return to Virginia’s House for other events in their lives. She especially loves brides that return for their baby showers. And if tragedy cuts that happily-ever-after short, Natalie and Jody Serey (Spirit and Light) have a standing offer for all couples married there – your memorial service is free (as long as Natalie and Jody are both still around).
This venue is also different with their pricing structure. They operate on a “flat rate” system instead of nickel and diming brides on the details – without ridiculous minimums and East Valley prices. They are flexible on the use of outside catering and your own vendors – and never charge a fee or fine for doing so. They understand that many couples have many talented friends and families and should be able to utilize their resources for their special day – not be strapped to a list provided by the venue.
Their preferred vendors are hand-picked and have worked together with Virginia’s House for years. They are all small business owned by real people – not corporations with no personal touch.
If you want personalized service, limited rules and reasonable pricing – give Natalie a call at Virginia’s House (623-435-0878). She would love to help you out. For complete information (and lots of pretty pictures), see the website at www.virginiashouse.com.

The Tulip Tree Because Flowers Are the Language of Love

The Tulip Tree, owned by florist extraordinaire Judy Haenel, creates a gorgeous selection of bridal bouquets, floral cake decorations, wedding ceremony flowers and centerpieces to fit any budget. Whether your wedding is a spring, summer, fall or winter event – simple or elaborate – they will provide beautiful flowers to make your special day even more unforgettable. Judy’s many years as a florist and award-winning designer have made her the unequaled expert in the West Valley, and far beyond.
The Tulip Tree and owner Judy Haenel have served Glendale, Arizona and surrounding areas since 1988. Family owned and operated, they are committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts, and are backed by service that is always friendly and prompt. For more information, visit www.tuliptreeflorist.com. To order, call 602-978-3097.

Picture Perfect on Your Big Day

Cathy Smitch is that rare photographer who gets the greatest shots without breaking the mood of a tender moment. She is wonderful to work with, whether a wedding is micro or OMG in size, and she actually loves people. Consequently, people love her.
She says about what she does, “I love capturing the best days of people's lives. I love giving them their photos that can, with one look, bring back the joy, love and wonderful memories and emotions of the day the photo was taken. When the day is past, it will live on forever through the pictures. My brides let me be their eyes for the day. While they are enjoying all of the events of their day, I am capturing memories for them that many times they didn't even know were happening, because they were so busy.”
Cathy also specializes in helping you capture engagement photos that set the happy mood for your upcoming wedding. For more information, contact Cathy Smitch at I Was Framed, 623-297-6198 or cathy.iwasframed@cox.net.

Put a (Custom) Ring On It!

Brooke Schiavone of Z’s Fine Jewelry says that many brides have jewelry gifted to them by their mothers, grandmothers, and other relatives that can be incorporated into new wedding rings. The idea of repurposing existing pieces is also appealing to the contemporary bride.

The past, the present, and hope for the future come together in a custom created wedding ring from Z’s Fine Jewelry. They are located at 7547 W. Greenway Rd, Ste. 580, Peoria, AZ 85381. Questions? Call brooked at 623-374-7706, or email brooke@zsfinejewelry.com.

Proceed Down that Aisle with Caution
by Victoria Mikoch, A Very Private Eye

Weddings are one of life’s most exciting and memorable experiences.
Before you walk down that aisle, there is so much preparing to do. However, the most important preparation is determining do you actually know who you are marrying?
Meeting that special someone comes from so many sources these days. Sure, there still are those high school and college sweetheart romances, or that special someone that caught your eye while walking the dog. But now there is social media, and on-line dating sites where anyone can be anyone! Have you seen Bravo’s recent true-story mini-series Dirty John?
If your Mr. or Mrs. to-be has been very evasive about their past, listen to your gut. Ask questions. Through my 30 years investigative experience, I have had clients from all different walks of life. They ranged from clerks to executives and CEOs. No matter what your level of education, no one is exempt from being conned. In addition, with so many couples waiting to get married at a later age, they have acquired more than those right out of school; the stakes are higher.
Warning signs are:
  • You met on-line; they were from another state or even another country and moved to be with you. They are pushing marriage.
  • You’ve never been to where they live. They are always coming over to your place. An excuse might be is their roommate is a slob, place being renovated, etc.
  • You’ve never met any of their family members. Or, parents are both deceased. They have no siblings or they too are deceased. Or, they are estranged from family.
  • If applicable, previous spouse is deceased.
  • You’ve never met any of their friends. No one from their side is invited to the wedding. An excuse is they have no friends they’d want to invite.
  • Do you know where they are employed? Have you been to their place of employment?
  • Future mate is evasive about finances. A very important step to make BEFORE saying “I do” is to ask your future spouse to give you a print-out of their credit reports. If they are reluctant – this is a huge red flag. A former client LIVED with her significant other for years. They finally got married in their town’s cathedral. It was a gorgeous wedding. After they returned from their honeymoon, the bride found a shoebox hidden in the closet and discovered many unopened envelopes. They were filled with statements from bill collectors to which he owed thousands of dollars. They had been sent to an off-site postal address so she never saw them come in the mail. Client called me just devastated and before I knew what was wrong she said “I’m going to file for a divorce!”
  • It’s even more difficult now to know your future spouse’s financial status because so much is done on-line and you might never see a statement. Collection calls come in on personal cell phones, not a home landline, so you’ll never hear the messages.
What to do before walking down the aisle:
  • If you’ve got concerns about your future mate – have a background check done to confirm they are who they say they are. Don’t ignore that little voice inside.
  • Get a copy of their credit report
  • Get a pre-nuptial if applicable.
Remember; 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. I hope you are part of the other 50 percent that have a long and happy marriage. Congratulations.

For more information, Contact Victoria Mikoch, 623-572-2665, or vimpi@att.net

Feel Great on Your Wedding Day, and Every Day

Dr. Misty Tivoli, DC urges everybody getting ready a wedding – including bridal party and family members – to some in for an adjustment. Healing Hands Chiropractic offers 4 adjustments for $69 a month, and a 1-hour massage for $50 per month. The office is located at 20165 N. 67th Avenue, Suite B132, Glendale, AZ 85308.
For complete information call 602-899-6100 or see www.drmistyaz.com.

Look ‘Sew’ Great on Your Big Day

Ami Fraus of Wise “A” Creations is the seamstress you didn’t think existed any more. She specializes in wedding gowns and accessories, and she is currently accepting a limited number of clientele for the upcoming wedding season. To contact Ami, call 623-977-1210, or email amifraus@hotmail.com.

Goodies Glass Inc. – A Clear Outlook for Your Big Day

Goodies Glass makes it easy to repair a chip or crack in your vehicle’s windshield during your busy wedding preparation time. They come to you! Quick response time, great rates, and expert service – what could be better?
Between February 1 and February 14, they are also offering a free chip repair to police officers, firefighters, and correction officers FREE OF CHARGE to show a little Valentine’s Day love. Call 623-215-8596 for assistance Valleywide.

Let Somebody Else Say Yes to Your Dress With Sweet Magnolias AZ

What do you do with all those beautiful dresses after the wedding is over? Save them from a life inside a dark closet.
Sweet Magnolias AZ and Montessori Kingdom of Learning is holding an on-campus Prom Boutique open to Ironwood High School (Peoria Unified School District) juniors and seniors in March to help girls in need get ready for their proms in style. They will be provided with a beautiful place to shop. And what is needed is beautiful dresses for them to wear. All sizes and prom appropriate styles are welcome. They are also glad to receive prom-type heels, purses, and accessories. If you have dresses to donate, a drop off location or pick-up can be arranged.
Donations of any amount are also gratefully accepted. 100 percent of every donation will go towards helping dress girls for prom and will qualify as a tax donation. Receipts for donations are available upon request.
Find Sweet Magnolias AZ on Instagram, @sweetmagnoliasaz. Contact Wendy at WendyTerrell69@gmail.com.

Cook Up the Perfect Gift

Susan Fitzgerald writes: “Change your life or someone else’s by selecting products that everyone will be thanking you for. Our Gift Registry allows that new bride to begin a bon LIFE as soon as the honeymoon is over! Our customers all say they wish they had known about us when cooking became a part of their lives! Shop from our Registry or set up your own for a great future in the kitchen!
At bon COOK we know there is a confident cook in all of us, and we’re on a mission to prove it! Our flexible bakeware, tools and custom solutions are thoughtfully designed to simplify and inspire every cook in any kitchen, whether professional or at home. We are passionate about creating opportunities where people gather together to rediscover the true meaning of getting social. To us, the kitchen is the heart of the home and we enjoy living and dining as Europeans do, by savoring fresh ingredients and gathering to connect with people around the table. bon COOK is as much a bakeware company as it is a spirit within us all. We invite and welcome everyone to live the bon LIFE!”
For more information, see susan.boncook.com, or call 623-341-9631.

Two Hearts, Now One Home

Many couples have to combine households when they get married. Audrey Hickman of West USA Realty can help you sell your current home and move into a new one, or help you and your sweetheart purchase your first home through a first-time buyer program.
If you need to sell because you family has expanded, you can receive a discount for both selling and buying a home with Audrey’s help. The transition can be easier, and stress eliminated. For current information, practical advice, and calming words of wisdom, contact Audrey Hickman at 602-397-0813, or email her at TheGoodEggRealtor@gmail.com.

Have a Good Hair Day on Your Big Day!

Your wedding day will be immortalized in photos that will probably be looked at by your grandchildren. Make sure your hair stands the test of time by holding up during your wedding festivities and the pictures that capture the moment.
Wendy Terrell of Moxie Hair Studio is the bride’s best friend when it comes to “wedding hair.” Find her at 602-989-2990. Her salon is located at 5710 W. Bell Road, #40, Glendale, AZ 85308.

Your Nails Are Ten (or Twenty) Good Reasons to Call Tori

Your hands will be on display the day of your wedding. Tori Rocha of Rockstar Nails can make them be works of art. Her skills both as a nail tech and a fine artist come together in some of the most beautiful treatment of nails (fingers and toes!) that you will have ever seen.
Call Tori Rocha now at 623-695-2789 to reserve your appointment ahead of your wedding day. Rockstar Nails is located inside Salon Zen at 14175 West Indian School Road, Goodyear, AZ 85395.

Without an Officiant, You’ve Just had a Party

Jody Serey of Spirit and Light is an experienced, highly trained, and seasoned officiant. She is bothered by very little during a wedding ceremony, including crying babies, “flower dogs” that have tired of wearing wreaths and ribbons, and sobbing great aunts. Her focus is always on the couple, and the expression of commitment they are making together. She is always happy to answer the call for a wedding, renewal of vows, commitment ceremony (very popular among senior citizens), and other celebrations and commemorations of life. She offers both non-religious and faith-based observances, and is accepting of diverse outlooks, philosophies, and cultures. For answers to questions, contact Jody at 623-561-0240, text her at 623-451-0834, find Spirit and Light on Facebook, or visit her website at www.spiritandlight.net.
This newsletter was created by SereyJones Publishers, Inc. Specializing in writing, graphic design, web sites, and social media, SereyJones creates content for ink-on-paper and digital applications of all kinds. Jody and David Serey have been a creative team in the Valley for more than 40 years. www.sereyjones.com.