Christen and Billy’s California Desert Wedding
Christen Mitchell’s family has been going to the desert in California since she was young. When she and Billy DeLaney moved to Los Angeles, they started exploring the area more. After falling in love with Joshua Tree, they decided to hold their April 4, 2014, wedding nearby, getting inspired by the location’s colors, textures, and natural unpredictability
“We wanted to see what would happen if you moved a black-tie option wedding to a landscape that looked like Mars,” says the bride of the location, Dèsert Aerie.
The Bridal Bouquet
Moon Canyon created Christen’s bouquet of roses, amaryllis, ranunculus, and fritillaria.
Christen, a jewelry designer, created all of the pieces she paired with her dress.
The Get Down Boys freestyled music as the bride walked down the aisle. “It was too much pressure to pick just one song, so I told them to just go for it,” Christen recalls.
Christen entered the ceremony on the arm of her father, passing under a preexisting archway that had been spruced up with protea and wax flowers for the celebration.
A Special Keepsake
The crocheted textile is now in their living room at home.
Hand-painted rocks, with natural quartz scattered among them, anchored the ceremony structure.
140 loved ones joined them for the early-evening ceremony.
Christen’s nephews (in J.Crew) served as the ring bearers and her niece (in a vintage frock) was the flower girl. According to the bride, they stole the show.
The Bridal Party
Three of Christen’s friends were bridesmaids and wore white dresses of their own choosing.
A Special Gift
Christen wanted to give her ’maids something personal, so she designed a collection of jewelry for them. “They wore it with their own jewelry, and I loved how they mixed it to fit each of their personal styles,” she says.
The bridesmaids carried petite bouquets of larkspur and delphinium tied with leather cording. They also wore floral crowns.
Billy’s groomsmen looked sharp in J.Crew suits in hues that matched their surroundings.
Cocktails and Merriment
Since it took a while to get to the Joshua Tree location, the couple decided to keep guests there for a low-key reception. Pharmacie crafted custom cocktails befitting the desert setting, including a margarita made with tequila, cilantro, lime, and angostura orange bitters.
The signage for the cocktail menu was designed using several symbols Christen frequently incorporates when creating her jewelry, an idea developed by the couple’s event planners and designers, Bash Please.
The maid of honor and best man recited personal and comical toasts, which had the crowd (and the couple) in stitches.
Palo Santo sticks are used around the world for energy cleansing and blessings—similar to white sage, which the couple uses in their home. The sticks, which are thought to be holy and to bring peace, were a spiritual token of gratitude given to guests.
Bread & Water catered up a buffet of healthy and flavorful cuisine, such as a farro salad with roasted spring onion, oyster mushrooms, shaved radishes, herbs, and feta cheese.
Centerpieces With Character
Arrangements of air plants and flowers were mixed with tealights to dress up the round tables. The colors of the sunset inspired the palette for the centerpieces.
Small sticks wrapped in embroidery floss nodded to Navajo walking sticks and added to the centerpieces.
The Wedding Cake
The couple cut into a gluten- and dairy-free vanilla cake from BabyCakes.
Two Is Better Than One
A chocolate cake, topped with and surrounded by mini succulents, was also served.
A Night to Remember
Bash Please suggested having a neon sign reading “love is vast and infinite,” which Christen and Billy instantly adored. The sign was created to be a surprise in the middle of the desert that guests could see from the reception. It was lit up at dusk, and the newlyweds walked out to pose for photos before the words, which now glow on in the newlyweds’ home.
The following day, the couple and their guests continued the celebration, with a pool party and larger reception in Palm Springs.