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Mark & Jennifer // A Romantic desert wedding at Colony 29

Palm Springs Colony 29 wedding photographer

©2015 Sun & Sparrow // Romantic desert wedding at Colony 29

how she did it

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!

1 comment
  • MauraNovember 1, 2015 - 7:19 pm

    What time of year was this wedding? We’re looking into this venue and I love the flowers and foliage that are in bloom in these photos!ReplyCancel

Carissa & Stu // Colorful wedding at Studio 1342 in Los Angeles

©2015 Sun & Sparrow // Colorful wedding at Studio 1342


FROM THE BRIDE // Stu and I met freshman year of high school. We were in the same group of friends for many years, but never thought about dating one another. Stu was in band and I was on the drill team. We saw each other often and even hung out in the same circles.  Though we were always in together, we never talked much. I felt he was shy and I was very outgoing, so I didn’t think we made a good match.  After high school we basically parted ways and hadn’t seen one another since.  

It wasn’t until over 10 years later that we reconnected.  About two years or so ago, I began to see him at some friends get togethers and parties. I suppose you would say that the “Stars Aligned”. It was the night of Stu’s holiday work party when everything went right. He called me and asked me to hang out with him.  Unfortunately, he was a little nervous to ask me to the actual party, but we hung out afterward and we have been together ever since. I know that he is the man of my dreams because I can be with him night and day and it never gets old. I can’t believe that we hit it off on that holiday night.  Two years after that beautiful holiday evening, he proposed in Redondo Beach. It was a private and romantic evening where we shared an exchange under the stars. I’m so glad to be marrying my best friend and I can’t wait for our wedding day!

VENDORS  // Venue: Studio 1342  // Wedding planner & stylist: Nicole Alexandra Designs // Photography: Sun & Sparrow Photography // Rentals – La Piñata Rentals  //  Tables & chair rentals – Circa Party Rentals  //  Catering – Parks Finest  //  Flowers – Chloe and Mint  //  Bar – Goose on The Rocks

Josh & Stephanie // Redondo Beach engagement

how he asked-torrance wedding-photography

“I personally don’t find our engagement story as endearing as the story of our entire relationship, but at the end of the day it does sum US up pretty well. No couple is always “happy”, but I like to think think that we have always been pretty close to it.
I deducted that Josh bought a ring back in December, (him asking me an opinion on two rings online kind of blew it), but when Christmas, then New Years, then Valentines passed I figured that I had actually been mistaken, or he had been asking me what kind of rings I liked on a whim or to throw me off on my actual Christmas present (which I figured out anyway.)
On my mother’s 50th Birthday, my family went on a short 3-day cruise to Mexico to celebrate. The entire week before leaving I noticed that Josh had been very anxious. I assumed it was just because he is a business owner and work-a-holic and was having trouble leaving his Gym to his employees. Also, I thought it might have been because he had never been on a cruise before. The thought had crossed my mind that he might propose, but I figured that he wouldn’t want to purpose on my mothers birthday.
Our first night on the boat was wonderful. I am very close to my family and we were all had such a great time at dinner together. After dinner, my Father wanted us to meet on deck and give speeches to celebrate my mother. He kept skipping me, asking my sister, then my grandmother, and next my cousin. Finally, he let me talk. I was excited because I thought I had the best joke to open my speech, but of course, no one laughed. As soon as I finished the rest of my speech, I stood there pouting, barely listening as Josh went into his speech. As I daydreamed and continued to pout, I heard “Thank you for having a beautiful daughter who I would like to marry” and boom, he went down on one knee!
I pushed him and turned away from him. Honestly, all I could think about in that 30 seconds was that I had no idea how to plan a wedding!  I remember wishing I had paid more attention to my older siblings weddings. When I came to, I yelled “YES!” Everyone was so excited to share in our happiness. The funniest part of this whole engagement, is that Josh had told everyone in my family. How no one spilled it to me, I still have no clue.
I feel lucky to be engaged to my best friend and soul mate. No one has ever made me laugh like Josh does. No one has ever been ok with how much I read books and play video games. He is the most intelligent, tattooed, caring and surprising person I have ever met. He never ceases to teach me something new every day and always goes out of his way to take care of me. I’m so excited to look into our future and see our lives together, for many years to come.
©2014 Sun & Sparrow Photographers //  Makeup by Kelly Williams // Redondo Beach engagement 

©2014 Sun & Sparrow Photographers //  Redondo Beach engagement 
  • Julie SaundersApril 22, 2014 - 10:27 pm

    Love love love you 2!! And love these fabulous pics!! You look so incredibly happy and in love!! We are so excited for you!! XoxoReplyCancel

  • Julie SaundersApril 22, 2014 - 10:27 pm

    Love love love you 2!! And love these fabulous pics!! You look so incredibly happy and in love!! We are so excited for you!! XoxoReplyCancel

  • Fields FamilyApril 23, 2014 - 9:01 am

    so pretty!!! we love you guys and are so excited for you. the fields familyReplyCancel

  • Fields FamilyApril 23, 2014 - 9:01 am

    so pretty!!! we love you guys and are so excited for you. the fields familyReplyCancel

  • Auntie and uncleApril 23, 2014 - 8:55 pm

    Your pictures are so beautiful! It’s so hard to believe that you’re grown up….I still think of
    you as a little girl bossing
    Gavin around! We are so happy for you both! Congratulations and we love you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Auntie and uncleApril 23, 2014 - 8:55 pm

    Your pictures are so beautiful! It’s so hard to believe that you’re grown up….I still think of
    you as a little girl bossing
    Gavin around! We are so happy for you both! Congratulations and we love you so much!ReplyCancel

Rustic Desert Wedding // Kyle & Molly // Palm Springs wedding photographer


ENGAGEMENT STORY  //  Kyle and I got engaged on an incredibly special Saturday. We spent the morning in our final session of an eight week long ‘seriously dating and engaged’ class. We had talked about getting married but not when exactly we would be getting engaged. We spent the afternoon in San Clemente on the beach and walking around downtown. We love San Clemente and Dana Point and it was a warm and beautiful October day. All day I kept telling Kyle how perfect the day was, not knowing how much better it was going to get! We had dinner at a favorite Mexican food place near my apartment and planned to go back to my place, watch a movie and cuddle- our idea of an ideal Saturday night  . When we arrived at my apartment, it was filled with hundreds of roses. It was so beautiful, all lit up with all kinds of candles. I was completely shocked; I couldn’t even go into the apartment at first. I couldn’t understand what was happening until Kyle got down on one knee and asked me to marry him- with a gorgeous diamond ring! We spent the rest of the night calling our friends and family and excitedly coming up with ideas for our wedding day. It was such a surprise to me and the day was so special because we just enjoy being around each other so much- we were able to spend the morning working on our relationship, the afternoon enjoying each other’s company in one of our favorite places, and the evening eating delicious food and planning our lives together. An absolute perfect day and perfect proposal!


MOLLY’S FAVORITE DIY PROJECTS  //  I planned and designed the whole wedding myself.Often times during the process I thought I was totally crazy to do so. I felt a little overwhelmed with the projects, but I had soooo much help and support! My mom came out from Colorado for a week to help us with planning and details and my wonderful in-laws, Bob and Robyn, took on the huge task of making all of the chalkboard signs that we used for the ceremony and reception. We also had Kyle’s family and my younger sister help us out with the favors, live succulents in terra cotta pots. Not to mention all of the help from family and friends the weekend of the wedding!


One of my favorite DIY projects that we did for the wedding was the fabric ‘bunting’ we used as a backdrop for the dessert table. After choosing Palm Springs as our wedding destination, we knew what wanted the wedding to have a desert theme and really focus on the fact that we were in Palm Springs. Palm Springs has such a wonderfully retro yet modern feel to it and I wanted to use a coral to bring that out- contrasting with the desert around us and highlighting how fun Palm Springs is! Coral seemed like the perfect color to me. We also knew we wanted to use yellow because of the Craspedia we used for flowers and a little turquoise- my favorite color and oh-so-deserty. The bunting brought all our colors together in one place and I loved making it! It was something I felt totally in control of during the planning process!
We knew we wanted to incorporate a lot of terra cotta- so we did the favors as well as made the dessert stands out of terra cotta pots and plant stands. That was something we felt was unique and added a lot to the feel of the wedding.  The best DIY project, in my opinion, was the one that lasted! Our guest book was made by my very talented sister, Jade. She made the pages of the book by dipping the sides in watercolor to make them coral and bound the book with turquoise ribbon. We had guests write on chalkboards and have a Polaroid taken of them to paste into the book. It’s something really special that we love having and was a fun way for guests to interact during the cocktail hour.


VENDORS  //  Venue: The Cree Estate  //  Photography: Sun & Sparrow Photography  //  Catering: Ana’s Taqueria, Corona, CA  //  Rentals: Signature Rentals, Indio, CA  //  Flowers: David Rohr Floral Studio, Cathedral City  //  Cakes and Cupcakes:  Susie Cakes in Newport Beach, CA  //  Macarons: ‘Lette Macarons in Beverly Hills, CA  //  The Dress: Enzoani


©2013 Sun & Sparrow Photography // DIY Rustic Desert Wedding //  Historic Cree Estate Wedding


  • Casey FiglewiczJune 19, 2012 - 5:45 pm

    Love it. Epic job you guys! Best wedding yet!!ReplyCancel

  • alicynJuly 4, 2012 - 4:22 pm

    YES! This is the best capture of the Cree Estate I’ve seen yet! We are getting married there in Oct. and I haven’t seen many pictures that really capture the amazing energy and spirit of the venue.

    Lovely couple, gorgeous wedding! Love it!!!!ReplyCancel

    • photosisJuly 9, 2012 - 4:00 pm

      I wish that we could be there for you. Let us know if you need a photographer. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • SarahAugust 4, 2012 - 7:38 am

    This is a beautiful wedding! I think I’m going to copy some of your awesome ideas for the desert theme 🙂ReplyCancel

Barry & Jennifer Desert Love // Cree Estate Desert Wedding // Palm Springs wedding photographers


We were engaged in October of 2011 and, beyond a brief discussion regarding our desire for an outdoor “faux destination” wedding, we didn’t begin actively planning our Big Day until around six months out.  Following the prolonged “inspiration period”, we eventually decided to have a spring wedding at Cree Estate in Cathedral City, outside of Palm Springs on March 30, 2013.  We quickly started referring to our wedding by its catchy date, “03.30.13”.


During the planning process, we decided our priorities were to have a wedding that was relaxed, family-centric, and featured music that would make everyone dance!  We were most excited about the prospect of having all our friends and family meet each other, so we incorporated a table seating game into our cocktail hour to encourage our guests to interact.  A nod to Jennifer’s Chinese heritage was worked in with a red dress outfit change and a layer of taro-flavored wedding cake.   We also wanted to incorporate the beauty of the spring season and desert setting into our wedding theme.  We used a fiery, desert sunset color palette for the invitations, dresses and family-style table settings.  We also threw in a gratuitous use of eggs (it was Easter weekend after all), which included a giant paper mache egg that served as a card box.


But it was the universe, with all its magic, that helped us to accomplish our themes better than we could.  From the little bunnies and ducks running around the property, to the blooming cacti and lush grass, to the bright, round moon – it was already written that 03.30.13 was the perfect day to celebrate our new beginning as husband and wife.  The wedding turned out to be so much more than we could have dreamed.  The feeling of being surrounded by those you love, and feeling their love by their very presence, is indescribable.  There were so many special moments that overwhelmed us with love and happiness.  We are grateful to those who helped make the day possible.


• WHY WAS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO YOU & WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SUN & SPARROW?   //  All our friends who have gotten married advised us to invest in an experienced photographer to ensure we would have good photos to remember the day.  We were most excited to see photos of moments we weren’t able to fully take in because we were busy running around.  We chose Sun & Sparrow based on it price point, package offerings, and a great recommendation from Barry’s co-worker.  We worked with Tiffani throughout the whole process and absolutely loved it.


• DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BRIDES TO BE?  //  Find vendors whose instincts and tastes you trust.  Jennifer tried making a heart wreath for the ceremony altar, but it ended up looking like a disaster.  We were fortunate to be working with Britton of Tend Living.  She had the vision to rescue it, plop it among the cacti, and turn it into one of our favorite elements in the wedding – all on game day!


MY PINTEREST INSPIRATION  //   http://pinterest.com/zixin/wedding-2013/


VENDORS:   //  Wedding Venue:  The Historic Cree Estate   //Catering & Bartending:  Mike Faulkner of Simply Elegant //  Floral Design:  Britton Neubacher of TendLiving  //  Paper Goods Design:  Yvonne Hung in San Francisco, CA  //   Rentals:  Signature Party Rentals in Palm Desert, CA  //   Wedding Cake:  Over the Rainbow Cupcakes & Desserts in Palm Springs, CA  //    DJ & Dance Floor Lighting:  DJ Luis at Primetime Productions  //   Event Coordinator:  April Seuss of The Bride & I in Palm Springs, CA  //   Shuttle Transportation:  Lin Lines  //  Tuxedo Rentals:  Ryders Tuxedo Shop in Los Angeles, CA   //   Hair & Makeup:  Denise at Kelly Zhang in Pasadena, CA  //   Wedding Dress:  San Patrick (Cobalto) &  A Beautiful Day Wedding in Los Angeles, CA  //  Veil:  A shop on Maple Ave. in Santee Alley in Los Angeles, CA (only $55!) //   Rings:  Keith at KFK Jewelers, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA (Groom’s)  & Blue Nile (Bride’s)


©2013 Sun & Sparrow Photography //  Palm Springs, CA // The Cree Estate desert wedding photographers


  • David @ AiP Creative PhotographyJuly 3, 2013 - 7:52 pm

    Love the pic with her veil over half of her face! All great photos!ReplyCancel

  • BrittonJuly 5, 2013 - 11:18 pm

    Sweet Sparrows, you have perfectly captured the magic of this wedding and the deep beauty of Barry & Jennifer. They were a dream to work with in every way and in every moment. Sigh. Big big love to these two and looking forward to working with you again!ReplyCancel

  • Carissa KildallOctober 29, 2015 - 4:30 am

    Hi I would love pricing on your packages for my wedding in Indio on 10-8-2016b 🙂ReplyCancel

    • SunSparrowMarch 30, 2016 - 3:11 pm

      Hi Carissa, we would love to chat with you about your wedding day. If you would please fill out an inquiry form on our contact page, we would love to give you more information.ReplyCancel

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