And the cute ring bearer carried something surprising down the aisle!
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Christine and Josh
Christine Sandrock thought her boyfriend, Josh Littleton, was behaving a little strangely. The pair had spent the day together outside of Las Vegas, photographing the desert landscape, and Josh seemed uncharacteristically quiet. Everything made sense at sunset, though, when he proposed in a dry lake bed across the California state line. "I was just rehearsing what to say in my head," Josh explains. The pair snapped engagement photos, their faces beaming, as the sun's last rays faded from the desert sky.
Just eight months earlier, Christine, who owns a camera-accessory company in her hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, had been ready to give up on online dating. "But on the last day of my Match.com subscription, Josh wrote me—and he seemed fantastic," she says. Their first date was at a local bar, and "we talked until the place closed," Christine says. "The conversation was natural and easy," adds Josh, who works for the government. "Like we had known each other for a long time."
Their shared love of the desert and a desire for an intimate celebration led them to book Rock Reach House, a modernist private home near Joshua Tree National Park, sight unseen. From there, they gave planner Rachael Lunghi of Lace & Likes free rein over the celebration. "I adore her work, and I didn't want to see anything before the wedding," Christine says.
Exactly a year and one day after their engagement, on April 4, 2015, Christine and Josh were wed in a nondenominational ceremony, surrounded by 29 of their closest family and friends. The bride walked down the aisle as a harpist played "Halo," by Ane Brun, escorted by her father and then 4-year-old son, Lennon. "When Josh recited his vows to my boy, there was not a single dry eye," she remembers. Afterward, guests dined outdoors on beer-braised short ribs and garlic shrimp as another spectacular desert sunset cast a golden glow over the party. When night fell, the group headed back to the house for toasts and dancing, their path illuminated by the moon and a sky full of stars.
Photography: Bayly & Moore
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Josh's best friend became ordained to be their officiant. "It made it so incredibly special and intimate," Christine says.
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Christine's son served as ring bearer, carrying three arrows—one each for himself, Christine, and Josh.
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Josh's vows were hand-painted on a slice of agate.
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So Happy Together
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Menus, burned into pieces of deer hide, were also displayed at each place setting. Slices of agate, painted with guests' names, served as place cards.
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Location, Rock Reach House
Event planning and design, Rachael Lunghi of Lace & Likes
Catering, Carousel Catering Inc.
Flowers, Siren Floral Co.
Photography, Laura Gordon Photography
Stationery and calligraphy, Wildfield Paper Co.
Desserts, Over the Rainbow Desserts
Hair and makeup, The Transformation
Bridesmaids' dresses, Lulus
Groom's suit, Perry Ellis
Menswear, Banana Republic
Groom's shoes, River Island
Neckwear, Hey Sir
Arrows (for rings), Mineral and Matter
Macramé ceremony backdrop, Urban Outfitters
Ribbons, Froufrou Chic
Ring box, The Mrs. Box