A Colorful, Whimsical Wedding in the California Desert
In 2007, Margot Rubin and Zeke Sulkes met on their first day of classes in Northwestern University's theater department. They both felt an immediate connection, became fast friends, and started dating a few months later. After graduation, the pair moved to sunny Los Angeles, where Margot works at Warner Brothers and Zeke is a musician getting his Master's degree. One day, Zeke took Margot on their favorite hiking path at Griffith Park for a night stroll—which was supposed to end with a proposal. "We pulled up to the parking lot and got ready to hike, until a park security guard chased us back down the mountain. We came back the next day and were more successful. It was hilarious and joyous and romantic and real!" says Margot.And so, on April, 1, 2017, Margot and Zeke tied the knot at The Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, California. Guests traveled from across the country to attend the desert-themed ceremony, which included bright colors and plenty of whimsical touches, the perfect way to celebrate April Fool's Day. "It was the most moving, love-filled, connective, joyous weekend of our lives!" says Margot.
Margot and Zeke wed at The Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, which is a just few hours away from their hometown of Los Angeles. "We chose it because we have a deep emotional tie to the desert, and because it was a venue where everyone could stay for the entire weekend and be comfy," says Margot. Bold signage touting the wedding was placed around the location.
Zeke sported a suit by Ted Baker for the big day. After trying on about 50 gowns, Margot ended up with a Lazaro wedding dress featuring French lace, silk, and a beaded gold belt. Her engagement ring was shaped like a hexagon—"because the six-sided shape is the most perfect shape that occurs in nature. It represents communication and commitment," she says.
Margot paired her elegant dress with Kate Spade shoes. "I loved the bow on the top of the shoes and the gold glittered heel. It felt like a fun little surprise under my dress!" she says.
Just before the ceremony, Margot and Zeke took portraits on the grounds of the resort with photographer Marissa Maharaj. "The photos before the ceremony were an incredible chance for Zeke and I to check in with a moment of joyous reflection before the event began. To be in the desert together with that backdrop on our wedding day...it was amazing and emotional," says Margot.
The Ceremony Site
The 5:30 p.m. ceremony took place under an olive tree on the grounds of the resort. A customized chuppah adorned with king protea, orchids, roses, anthurium, and plenty of graphic greenery anchored the site. The tallits from the couple's Bar and Bat Mitzvahs graced the top of the structure.
To kick off the ceremony, Margot's sister, Bette, and Zeke's brother, Gabe, walked down the aisle, followed by Margot's grandparents. Then Klezmer band Klez is More played a rendition of "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys as Zeke and Margot processed with their parents. The couple's rabbi led the ceremony—he has been Margot's rabbi throughout her life, and he even conducted her Bat Mitzvah. "It was the most present I've ever felt in my life standing, under the chuppah together," says the bride.
Margot and Zeke were all smiles as they recessed to "I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles.
Whimsical signs—which were "not unlike ones Alice followed through the looking glass," says Ashley Bryant from Mein Schatz Events—directed guests to a garden. There, they dined on passed appetizers like tuna tartare and chicken skewers. DJ Michael Antonia of The Flashdance played soft ambient music in the background. Guests showed off their festive attire, which Margot says was tropical, floral, and fun.
As a nod to April Fool's Day, the couple decorated the wedding venue with punny signage by Mein Schatz Event. "We wanted to play up the April Fool's Day theme without placing any whoopee cushions on anyone's chairs! Signage was an easy way to keep things light-hearted while still being functional," says the bride.
The Escort Cards
The escort cards were printed on colorful pieces of paper. Nearby, the couple displayed framed photos of their relatives (parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents) at their own weddings. "We wanted them to all be a part of our wedding as part of our heritage," says Margot.
The reception took place on the estate's secluded lawn. One long 30-person head table was positioned in the middle of other rectangular tables. In terms of design, the couple drew inspiration from the desert location of Palm Springs, as well as the spring season. Event designer Ashley Bryant of Mein Schatz Events recalls, "After getting to know Margot and Zeke, I knew we had to come up with a color palette as fun as they are. We knew we wanted to go in a tropical direction." So they decided to decorate with aqua, coral, and fuchsia—a combination reminiscent of a tropical island sunset in the desert.
"We wanted the centerpieces to have lots of elements styled together to create a cohesive look that felt layered and fun," says Mein Schatz Events. Honey and Poppies designed the eclectic centerpieces with lush focal florals mixed with smaller satellite pieces, air plants, and fruit. The showstoppers were arranged with subtle pink color blocking for visual interest and included ranunculus, pieris, roses, orchids, and lilies, along with graphic greenery.
The Place Settings
Each place card displayed a fun fact about April Fool's Day. "We had done a ton of research on April Fool's Day and its origins, as well as some famous pranks played throughout the years. Without pulling the wool over anyone's eyes, we wanted to always have a playful nod to this fun day!" says Ashley from Mein Schatz Events. One such example, shown here, was, "In England, instead of being called a 'fool' on Aprils Fools' Day, you could be called a 'noodle,' 'noddy,' 'gobby,' or 'gob."
Margot and Zeke compiled a colorful candy bar filled with lots of goodies. Fan favorites included chocolate-covered gummy bears, oversized jaw breakers, and rock candy.
They also served a gluten-free vanilla cake by Exquisite Desserts.
Under the Twinkling Lights
As night fell, string lights gave the reception a magical glow, and guests migrated to the dance floor where Zeke says he could have stayed forever. "The Miramonte property has a Tuscan Villa vibe, so it was almost as if we were dining al fresco under the stars," says Ashley from Mein Schatz Events. During the evening, the couple's families performed a musical toast, singing original lyrics to the tune of "Tomorrow" from Annie (they replaced "Tomorrow" with "To Margot") coupled with songs from the musical Hamilton. "It was amazing—standing ovations followed! Our minds were blown," says Margot. After the reception, guests moved inside, where they danced the night away at an after-party.
Photography, Marissa Maharaj
Location and catering, The Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa
Event planning and stationery, Mein Schatz Events
Flowers, Honey and Poppies
Videography, McDuff Productions
Cake, Exquisite Desserts
Rentals, Signature Party Rentals
Bride's gown, Lazaro
Bride's shoes, Kate Spade
Makeup, Lindsay Knight of Flawless Faces Beauty
Groom's suit, Ted Baker