We had so much fun at Dana and Brian’s wedding! We were back at Miramonte Resort for the second weekend in a row, but they had a completely unique wedding utilizing all different areas of the resort, a new vendor team, jewish traditions included and a style all of their own. Nothing was the same as the week before, proving your wedding will always be unique to you and you can make it own.
I first met Dana on Skype through a referral from Peter Couture, their wedding planner. Peter Couture planning and Miramonte Resort? I already knew this would be a great day, but when I met Dana I instantly felt that comfort of talking to a childhood friend or long-distance cousin, this day went from great to AMAZING! And that it was.
It was a beautiful day in Indian Wells. There had been some watchful eyes on the weather reports for potential rain, but it was nothing but sunshine. (What else is really to be expected in the Palm Springs area?) Although the bride, groom and their guests from Seattle couldn’t tell, it was noticeably 10+ degrees cooler than the weekend before, which was such a relief. I don’t really like sweat in my eyes when I’m trying to see through the camera.
When I enter a bridal suite, it’s always to a sense of the calm before the storm. I know the bustling and excitement that is coming, but for these first few moments of hair and makeup, everything is so still and peaceful. Ladies were relaxed and basking in the wedding day pampering from stylists, family, and vendors alike. The anticipation slowly grows with talks of vows and the last-minute checklist of where things are and where they go, accompanied by ever-increasing reminders to stay on schedule.
And then comes one of my favorite parts of the day: “Are you ready to see your groom?” I love the private moments of walking with the bride and leading her to see her husband for the first time. The nerves start stirring, mixed with a heavy dose of excitement. The love really starts to shine now. As a recent bride myself, I know there is a swirling flood of thoughts in these few short moments of waiting. But those thoughts are different for everyone. As a wedding photographer, I’m sure mine were a little twisted from the average bride. Of course I had thoughts of my groom and my wedding day, but also I reflected on the fulfillment and relief that it was finally my turn! After coordinating this moment for hundreds of other brides, I had my own moment. But I still had thoughts of angles, lighting, and expressions, etc. (I’m still always a photographer!) I’m not sure exactly what thoughts were running through Dana’s mind in her moment, but those are for her. And that’s what makes the moment precious.
Guests gathered under the grand olive tree in the center of the resort—it’s my favorite ceremony site at Miramonte Resort. The setting was perfect. Just before sunset, allowing the tree to glow from the filtered sunlight streaming through, but also providing shade and comfort for the guests. Dana and Brian chose their friend, Ed, to perform their ceremony. It was only his second time officiating a wedding and he nailed it! It helps when there is such a great connection with the bride and groom. After all, he was the one that introduced them and he let everyone know he was taking credit for this day that brought them here. He shared heartfelt insights to both Dana and Brian; reasons for his confidence in the success of their marriage.
Dana and Brian wrote their own vows, sealing the life-long covenant to love, support, and run to each other every day for the rest of their lives. The deal was sealed with a kiss and a smashing of the glass. Now the excitement—and the hard part of marriage—really begins, but first LET’S PARTY!
Of all of the wedding traditions we have witnessed, none get a party started better than the Horah dance. The music, the excitement, the closeness of everyone. The laughter and joyful commotion. And of course the question on everyone’s mind; who’s hoisting up the chairs, and will they be able to hold the bride and groom? To this day, I haven’t seen anyone fall. A couple of times, they’ve come close, but so far, JYP weddings are free of Horah mishaps.
The celebration continued under the bistro lights on the candlelit mediterranean lawn. The lawn is my second-favorite ceremony site at Miramonte Resort (after their olive tree) but as a reception site, it can’t be beat! The tables were dawned with stunning centerpieces of manzanita branches with succulents and candles. Everything oozed romance in the this tuscan-inspired venue!
When everyone had caught their breath after the dancing, the blessing of the bread (which the father of the bride baked himself) and wine was said by a family member. It was followed by dinner and toasts, time to mingle, and the father-daughter and mother-son dances.
Luke and I even met some fellow Biola Alumni who were our contemporaries in school! We just didn’t meet officially until years later because they’re now friends with our bride and groom. It’s always fun to realize how small the world really is.
The dessert bar by Exquisite Desserts and dancing with DJ Chris Paul were moved inside the ballroom for the rest of the evening (grr, that lousy city noise ordinance). As our time with Dana and Brian was coming to an end for the night, they weren’t even close to tiring out. The music kept pumping, keeping feet on the dance floor, but for a few others, the fire pit outside called them to pleasant conversations under the stars. The video guest book booth had a steady flow of congratulators, and the overall atmosphere was filled with the support and confidence of a marriage meant to be, which will stand the test of time.
This was an all-star team that works well together to make your day perfect. If you are planning your wedding or know someone who is, this is who you want! Call us first, and then call them. 760.832.0763 or email us.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Miramonte Resort and Spa
Wedding Planner: Peter Couture – NoCarnations@gmail.com
Flowers and Decor: David Rohr Floral Studio
Cake: Exquisite Desserts
DJ: Chris Paul
Wedding Hair and Makeup: Holly Farley
Video Guest Book Booth: Heirloom Productions