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If you are renewing your vows or simply looking for a shared, intimate, spiritual experience, Enchantment Resort offers an Apache blessing ceremony. Apache elder Bob Bear travels to the resort and performs the rite, often on the deck of the couple’s private hacienda. Couples can also reserve the resort’s tipi and the Crystal Grotto in Mii amo (Enchantment’s destination spa) for 30 minutes – each holds about 15 guests.
Alexa Hokanson, Enchantment’s marketing manager, says the motto of the resort’s Native American programs – “Enchantment is authentic” – is not just a slogan. Bob Bear is not a performer, she says, and the blessing ceremony is more suited to small groups.
Bob Bear “is sharing a very genuine part of his beliefs with others” when he performs the ceremony, Alexa says. “It’s less appropriate, I think, for a crowd.”
Fees for the blessing range from $250 to $500 – the cost of an honorarium given to Bob Bear to cover his travel, time and supplies. Alexa says guests often celebrate after the blessing by making reservations in one of Enchantment’s two restaurants or by ordering room service. Enchantment generally does not allow traditional wedding ceremonies or receptions at the resort. For more information, call 800-522-2282 or visit www.enchantment.com.
Chapel? Altar Your Plans
Many brides-to-be come to Sedona with dreams of saying “I do” in the stunning Chapel of the Holy Cross but, unfortunately, Chapel supervisors say “We don’t.” The Chapel has not been available for public weddings since it ended its days as an active parish in the late 1950s, says Marcia Kiefer, Chapel supervisor. Space and time constraints make it impossible to hold ceremonies there, she explains.
Still set on finding a red-rock chapel of love? Marcia refers couples to the Church of the Red Rocks (54 Bowstring Dr.; 928-282-7963), which enjoys stunning views from within the sanctuary.
Ask the Professionals
Your mom insists you get married in a church, your future father-in-law wants a karaoke machine, and your sister lobbies for a bridesmaid dress that shows off her tattoos. Who can act as a cooler head when planning for your perfect Sedona wedding threatens to spiral out of control? Try the Sedona Wedding Professionals Association, with more than 70 accredited members from Sedona and Northern Arizona, including planners, officiants, florists, caterers, photographers and videographers, resorts and bed and breakfasts, limo companies, salons, makeup artists, tuxedo renters, bakeries, and photo processing labs.
Weddings are good business for Sedona. Laura Lane, SWPA marketing chairwoman and owner of Sacred Unions (928-203-7888; www.mysedonawedding. com), cites a Weddingchannel.com survey of more than 900 recent brides in summer 2005, which found 35 percent of respondents had a destination wedding, with the party typically spending four or more nights at the ceremony’s location. SWPA chairwoman Amy Lionberger, owner of Bliss Extraordinary Floral (928-203-9992; www.blissfloral.com) says her company works on more than 300 local weddings each year.