A Modern-Designed Destination Wedding in the Desert of Southern California
Andi and Carissa
A year after moving to Los Angeles, Andi and Carissa began planning their dream wedding in Palm Springs. They wanted the affair, set for March 27, 2011, to have a vintage, industrial, and organic feeling to play up the desert setting. The TV producer and advertising copywriter set out to craft their ultimate wedding weekend, with help from and participation of friends and family.
Inspired by the large letters on the outside of their event space, Andi and Carissa incorporated their initials into the stationery suite. They worked closely with their friend Sara Rodriguez on the design, and wrote the text to convey the weekend's celebration of love and commitment. To tie in the natural theme, the invites were printed onto kraft paper by Certified Printers and noted "hootenanny to follow" at the bottom.
The information card, printed on ecru vellum purchased at Landis Stationery, guided guests to the couple's website. The response tag cards were paired with kraft envelopes. The suite was mailed out in gray string-and-button envelopes from Envelopper, Inc., and sported labels the couple made with a downloaded font.
The Welcome Bag
Upon check-in, guests received a reusable bag, which contained a welcome letter, travel-size Avalon Organics lotion (bought in bulk at Whole Foods!), candy, bottled water, vintage magnets from the Palm Springs Visitors Center, water guns, a custom map, and "MarryMint" cookies made by the couple's friend Katie.
The map, made by Carissa and her coworker Jose, outlined local hot spots and places of interest.
The couple selected the Ace Hotel and Swim Club for their intimate destination wedding. It hosted not only the festivities, but all of their guests. "It felt like an extension of our style, and its environment offered a unique experience for our partygoers," Andi says. "Plus, Palm Springs in late March was a great respite for our many East Coast friends and family."
The hotel customized a marquee in honor of the brides.
Both ladies wore J.Crew dresses. Andi accessorized her frock with blue Stuart Weitzman pumps she had spotted on Bluefly.com, Kendra Scott "Ora" drop earrings, and a veil she made using materials bought on Etsy.com. Carissa paired her pocketed gown with Maria Tash diamond earrings and Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.
The desert provided a beautiful backdrop for portraits with photographer Katie Robertson.
In addition to traditional portraits on hotel's grounds, the couple posed in front of the first two letters of the hotel's sign, along with an ampersand sign Carissa made.
A Hidden Detail
Carissa stenciled the wedding date on the bottoms of their shoes.
Cachet Fiore created bouquets of succulents, chrysanthemums, pincushion flowers, lotus pods, rice flowers, protea, craspedia, anemones, and dusty miller leaves.
The Bridal Party
A Special Guest
Angus, who belongs to the couple's friend, dressed to impress at the wedding of his "aunties."
Inside the kraft paper-covered program booklet, Andi and Carissa welcomed their guests, explained the tradition of the huppah, introduced the bridal party, and thanked those who helped make the wedding day extra special. They also outlined the ceremony -- including invocations, a trio of special readings, the vow exchange, and benediction.
After their parents and siblings walked down the aisle (to George Harrison's "Give Me Love"), Andi and Carissa walked down the aisle together to Cat Power's "Sea of Love." They made the huppah themselves, using steel piping and muslin fabric, and personalized their ceremony by pulling inspiration from Judaism and Buddhism, as well as Native American and secular cultures.
The couple exchanged simple eternity bands from XIV Beverly Hills during Song of Solomon 6:3, "I Am My Beloved's and My Beloved Is Mine."
Empty dog-food cans were repurposed into take-home escort cards holding various succulents purchased at the Los Angeles Flower Market. Small tags with table numbers and guests' names were attached with miniature clothespins.
The pair's friend Sara and her fiance made a sign for the happy couple.
As the sun set, the 70 guests enjoyed the mountain and desert views poolside.
To enliven the space, glass jars stenciled with the pair's initials and filled with succulents were placed on tables. Metal jars potted with greenery and flowering plants also added a special touch.
The square and rectangular tables that filled the Commune space of the hotel were covered with natural linen cloths to keep with the "desert chic" and "industrial modern" aesthetic.
Wood blocks outfitted with succulents, craspedia, and vintage metal numbers from Etsy vendor Junk Genius adorned the tabletops perfectly.
Made With Love
Carissa personalized one of the wood blocks with nails and green twine.
The family-style dinner prepared by the hotel included grilled-fennel and roasted-tomato salad, roasted beet and manchego salad, garlic and herb-roasted chicken, grass-fed New York strip steak, BBQ pork sliders, and vegetarian potpie. Mashed potatoes, cotija corn, roasted vegetables, and biscuits and cornbread were served as sides.
The menus were printed on large tags and placed at each place setting.
The DIY signs that adorned the backs of Andi and Carissa's chairs were printed at home. They used the Travelling Typewriter typeface.
The Photo Booth
Guests posed in front of a fabric backdrop.
Andi and Carissa danced to the Beatles' "Something," then DJ Chris Paul spun the rest of the night -- and even had Andi's dad on the dance floor, to jitterbug.