©2015 Sun & Sparrow // Romantic desert wedding at Colony 29
FROM THE BRIDE // Mark and I spent most of our courtship getting to know one another on long hikes in Palm Springs, so the desert seemed like a natural fit to host this major life milestone and leverage it as our decor inspiration. We chose Colony 29 Estates because we wanted the venue to be unique, natural and really beautiful but not stuffy, and we tried to weave those adjectives into the rest of the wedding. The colors were pulled from the desert sunset, with shades of purples, pinks and melons, and you’ll see them pop up everywhere from the bridesmaids dresses to the flowers and succulents and table settings.
Mark and I both love to travel, and it was on our own respective holidays that we met, so we subtly and selectively pulled this motif throughout the decor as well. For example, we used a mix of themed props such as suitcases, a globe, binos and a gold-plated camera amongst photos of us from various trips we had taken together to decorate the welcome table. We also integrated it into our tables leveraging vintage-inspired post cards for table names, paper airplane name cards and a travel-inspired menu. I’m a big believer in little details counting, and I have to give major props to Mark Boyce and Crayon’s Catering for helping us pull off the vision for our day.
First off , I have to mention that in preparation of writing my response, I asked Mark for his favorite moment and it thankfully matched my answer! We would totally crush the Newly Wed game. 😉 The ceremony was my favorite part for many reasons. First of all, just like our choice of venue and decor, we decided, as a couple, on each element to be included in the ceremony: every song played, every reading read, our vows, our officiant, the family that participated in the ceremony…literally, EVERYTHING was carefully selected by Mark and me to represent us, our family and friends celebrating with us. This made the ceremony very personable and special to us as a couple. Some of our most memorable moments include the private last moments I got to spend with my Dad before we walked down the aisle, making the journey down the aisle to meet my future husband, my dad giving me away to Mark and then exchanging our vows.
One thing I knew for sure was that we were going to prioritize photography & videography in our budget. Photos (and music) to me act like a time machine and can transport you back to some of the best moments in your life. I knew this event was a big part of my story as an individual and our story as a couple, so it was really important for me to find a team that could capture the essence of how I/we felt in really beautiful photos.
I specifically chose Sun and Sparrow because we weren’t just in need of a photographer for our wedding day, but a team that was fun and creative with just a dash of crazy to join us on this journey that included 3 separate photo shoots: a Boudoir session for my husband’s wedding gift, the actual wedding day, and a Day After photo shoot. These two gals are, in one word, AMAZING. Just one look at the photos and there’s no doubt their talent is ridiculous, but they are also kind, funny, supportive and smart, and we are so thankful they were the team to help us capture this time in our lives. I must also give a huge shout here to Cheryl Nacario, who was my hair & makeup artist for all three sessions too and made me feel ridiculously beautiful. I now call these 3 women “My Dream Team”!
I apologize because I know many of you are probably getting unsolicited advice left and right from just about everyone in your lives at this moment about what you should (not) do for your wedding – friends, mom, grandma…mailman. Well, I also love doling out unsolicited advice, so here we go…
• Opt for a “Day After” Session! Seriously, you will thank me. • Choose the best vendor, even if they’re not the least inexpensive. You will be spending a lot of time and rely on these people, and I truly believe you get what you paid for. • Ask the DJ to send you a link to the version of your first song he plans to use. Our DJ decided to play the Portuguese version of our song, which made our choreographed first dance interesting because we knew our cues for moves based on the words! • Don’t be afraid to write your own rules. It’s important to consider friends and family in your decision making, but at the end of the day, it’s about you and your man, and you have to keep that central to your decision making process. So if you want cupcakes instead of a cake or a black dress instead of white, I say go for it! • In the words of Taylor Swift, “Shake it Off”. No matter how much you plan, something will go wrong and you have to roll with it. Case in point with our first dance. We were so fortunate we had GREAT coaching from our dance teachers Sara and Joe, so we were able to take a “the show must go on” approach and just danced through it. It certainly was not perfect, especially because I froze a little, but after we were done, my new husband leaned over to me and said “that was the first time you let me lead!” When I look back at that day, I will never forget him saying that to me – it still makes me laugh just thinking about it.
Now you didn’t think I would give out just ONE piece of advice, did you?!
When I reflect back on our entire wedding experience, the “Day After” Session was one of my favorite memories. We opted to do this session in lieu of an engagement photo shoot because I knew the timeline was going to be tight on the day of the wedding, and we wouldn’t be able to make it to all of the spots in Palm Springs we wanted photos at, like the quintessential Windmill Farm and one of our favorite hiking spots at Whitewater.
I loved the “Day After” Session for many reasons. As every bride will come to find out, there is this bittersweet feeling that comes with a wedding day. You dream, plan and coordinate so much for so long, and in one day, it’s gone. This Day After shoot afforded me the opportunity to hold onto this sweet time in my life for a few weeks longer, and for just that alone, it was worth it. It also allowed me the opportunity to get my hair and makeup done again, get back in my wedding dress and just have a lot of fun with my new husband without the chaos that comes with the day of a wedding. I am so lucky Tiff and Ellie were up for doing this unique photo shoot for us!