A Spanish-Inspired Wedding in Palm Springs
Lisa and Louis
Lisa, founder and CEO of Lisa Says Gah, and Louis, founder and CEO of Bühler Construction Company, met in San Francisco in 2010 while Lisa was on a business trip. At the time, she was a buyer at Nasty Gal and lived in Los Angeles. He lived in San Francisco and worked as a building contractor. After four years of long-distance dating, Lisa left her job to start her own company—meaning she could finally live in the same place as Louis. He built their dream home in Northern California, and the couple quickly settled into their new life together.
One year later, Louis—who is also a pilot and musician—had planned to fly with Lisa to Boonville, just north of Sonoma, for some quality time together. However, she was busy launching Lisa Says Gah and asked for a raincheck. Instead, Louis waited until Lisa had finished work and surprised her with a dinner and a proposal on their patio—less extravagant, but still just as memorable. They grabbed Champagne and quickly called friends and family to tell them the news.
A little over a year later, on November 11, 2016, the pair held destination wedding with 125 of their loved ones at the historic O'Donnell House, a 1930s Spanish-style home, settled in the mountains of Palm Springs. They chose the relaxing locale since it was close to Lisa's hometown, and was an easy trip for their mostly in-state guest list. Sophisticated, effortless, calm, and natural, the day was filled with personal touches—like planes, Dutch desserts, and an accordion—that only added meaning to the elegant-but-casual affair.
The couple's Paperless Post invitations featured a clean, modern typeface, watercolor cacti by Sara Combs, and the words "Spanish food and dance moves to follow" (brainchild of the bride), prompting guests to think about the fun night to come.
Lisa's wedding band (left) was a thin rose-gold, half-diamond band from Jewelry Exchange Co. Her custom engagement ring, designed by Louis, featured a marquise-cut diamond with an east-west setting. "He went through so much trouble researching diamonds. He even bought a loupe and took it with him," the bride says. "Most men fear this purchase, but I think Louis got a kick out of becoming an expert." Louis chose a simple gold band, also from Jewelry Exchange Co.
A Stylish Pair
Louis looked dashing in a custom dark-green wool suit by Tailors' Keep. He wore a Swiss flag pin on his lapel to reflect his heritage.
Lisa tried on 20 different wedding dresses before deciding on a Maiyet column gown. However, out of fear her choice was too basic, she ordered six more options online off of BHLDN, and ultimately chose this off-the-shoulder high-low Sachin and Babi satin dress from the company, wearing her original gown to the rehearsal dinner. She accessorized with pearl earrings and a matching necklace—borrowed from her mother—and white Mansur Gavriel pumps. "I loved the off-the-shoulder look, which felt modern yet classic," the bride says. "And I loved the length, which allowed me to show off my shoes."
Lawn with a View
The ceremony took place at the back lawn of The O'Donnell House with view of the mountains, bright pink bougainvillea, and palm trees.
The ring bearer and flower girl—Luke and Lily, Louis's sister's children—donned outfits from Nordstrom and wore seeded eucalyptus crowns for their turn down the aisle.
Lisa's father, Brad, walked her down the aisle to "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes. Her favorite moment of the day was watching the ceremony unfold before it was her turn to enter.
It's a Bird, It's a Plane!
In honor of Veterans Day, biplanes unexpectedly flew over the ceremony space as the couple exchanged traditional vows. The groom tried not to look up when it was his turn to speak, but guests and the bridal party couldn't resist catching a glimpse.
Take a Walk
Since Louis is a pilot and the couple owns a small plane, they thought it would be apropos to walk up the aisle to a fleet of programs-turned-paper aircrafts thrown by guests.
A Swiss accordionist played before the ceremony as guests arrived at The O'Donnell House, and again at the couple recessed, using his music to guide everyone to the patio for cocktail hour.
Guests were entertained by a mariachi band as they dined on ceviche and sipped on sangria and Old Fashioneds. "Mariachi bands are so fun and can be very elegant and classic, perfect to set the mood for the party at dust where everyone mingled, had drinks, and enjoyed the sunset," the bride says.
You're a Firework
The couple ended their cocktail hour with an (unplanned) bang. Veterans Day fireworks were set off at a neighboring lawn—the groom's favorite moment of the day.
"My most cherished piece!" she says of this custom red satin jacket from Côme Editions she wore to the reception.
A Prickly Poster
Plane and Simple
Calligraphed paper airplanes in champagne flutes served as the escort cards—guests' full names were written on the wings, and the table number was scripted on the tail.
River Wide, Valley Low
The reception took place outside, overlooking downtown Palm Springs. Guests sat under strings of bulb lights at tables topped with dusty rose linens, vases of blush garden roses, seeded eucalyptus, and salmon ranunculus, and glass cylinders holding white pillar candles.
Rose gold silverware from Signature Party Rentals flanked the menus, printed by Paperless Post, which matched the stationery thanks to Sara Combs' cactus watercolor scene (and guest's name calligraphed at the top). The card also listed the three-course Spanish meal catered by New Leaf Catering. Dinner began with a golden beet and arugula salad, traditional paella and herb-encrusted sirloin, and ended with dessert.
Guests also received a commemorative matchbox from Party Paper Presents featuring the couple's names, wedding date, and cacti.
Bust a Move
After dancing to "Blood" by The Middle East—a song the couple swayed to the first night they met—Lisa and Louis busted some moves to "What a Wonderful Life" by Elvis Presley with their parents.
At the reception, Louis serenaded Lisa with a ditty called "Cowboy," which he wrote for the occasion.
Lisa and Louis' cutting cake from Exquisite Desserts was a vanilla confection that was lightly frosted with lemon icing. A few fresh roses topped it off. Guests also dined on cupcakes and Dutch letters—almond-filled pastries—from Jaarsma Bakery, in Pella, Iowa, the Dutch town where the bride's parents met.
After the reception ended, guests traveled to a poolside balcony at the Ace Hotel for the after-party.
Photography, Michael Radford
Location, The O'Donnell House
Event Planning, The Events Department
Catering, New Leaf Catering
Flowers, Artisan Event Floral Decor
Rentals, Signature Party Rentals
Bride's gown, BHLDN (ceremony)
Bridesmaids' dresses, Reformation
Flower Girl dresses, Nordstrom
Groom's suit, Custom from Tailors' Keep