One of the very first weddings that I did back when I was training to be a wedding planner was my sister Dana's wedding at the Twentynine Palms Inn in Twentynine Palms, CA. Dana's wedding was also featured on Style Me Pretty in early 2008.
Through the magic of google, my bride Simon found my blog as she was googling for images of Irene's Adobe at the Twentynine Palms Inn. Initially, Simon just wanted to meet with me for some ala carte consulting sessions on how to best plan her destination wedding. Simon is a song writer here in LA and her fiance Vince is the Creative Director for Absolute Radio in London. With an album to produce in Canada the month before her wedding and her fiance on the other side of the world, that consulting session turned into her hiring me as her wedding planner. Win/win for all of us--Simon and Vince were so cool!
Because 90% of the guests would be coming in from other parts of the world, Simon and Vince chose the high desert, 2 1/5 hours outside of Los Angeles as the place to wed. The funky Twentynine Palms Inn fit their artistic personalities perfectly and the inn gave their guests a few days to hang out and enjoy the beauty of Joshua Tree.
Simon, Vince, and I planned the wedding in about six weeks via email. Friends of theirs were chipping in to make this a special day: one friend was providing the photography, another couple was performing the ceremony. The Inn was providing a delicious vegetarian reception in the courtyard of the 100 yr old Irene's Adobe. Simon took the shopping list I gave her (candles, mason jars, Italian Lights, white papel picado, champagne, wine, etc etc) and crossed things off one day at a time.
The weekend of their April 16 wedding approached. And on April 14 that damn Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in Iceland. Thankfully, Vince and many of his guests had flown out of the UK before the eruption, but a few of the key players (our photographer and one of our officiants) was stuck as the volcanic ash covered Europe.
Thankfully, neither Vince nor Simon panicked over this, we just kicked in to cover all bases. Another friend of theirs, Robin, would photograph the wedding, and Zena would officiate the wedding without her partner Geoff. 65 guests were still able to make it, thankfully!
Because I never do weddings solo, I enlisted my husband to come be my muscle and hang lights and string paper banners. He's never worked a wedding with me before, so it was slightly interesting. He did a great job though, and I was a good boss. I think.
Simon and her girlfriends had stayed the night before the wedding at a casino in Palm Springs. With the spa and salon on site, Simon was able to arrive with her hair done and ready for a friend to do her makeup. Set up began and the day was moving forward, Volcano or no Volcano.
Their friend and officiant, Zena asked all guests to arrive to the ceremony site (the lawn by the oasis) early in order to write a message on pieces of felt that were tied together to make a banner for Vince & Simon to run through to complete their ceremony. Simon walked down the aisle to "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles and Vince played the ukulele during the ceremony while all guests sang "I'm Sticking with You" by The Velvet Underground. It was a touching and beautiful ceremony. Many of the guests took some great photos, so the majority of the day was able to be captured.
The ceremony ended at sunset and all guests paraded over to Irene's Adobe for the reception. Round tables were covered with mason jars filled with candles, Italian lights and white papel picado was strung around the courtyard, and the edges of the were lined with white lacy luminaries that my interns made. Music was provided by a couple that plays keyboard and jazz trumpet. The guests ate, drank, and toasted under the desert moon.
My favorite photo of my very awesome clients: