Travel Themed Christian Wedding | The Living Desert Palm Springs

We LOVED our wedding day!

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Sure, there were a few things that didn’t go as planned, but God was present and brought it together perfectly! It was forecasted to be a typical desert day at 95+ degrees. People come from all over the world to have their wedding in Palm Springs partially due to the predictable sunshine. A week before our wedding, the sunny forecast gave way to reports of rain and storms. Seriously?! Let the prayers begin!  Still, our plans continued, and all the final details were coming together. My stress began to melt away once I arrived at the rehearsal. With our wedding party and vendors hard at work, Luke and I were blown away as we watched months of DIY wedding projects come together. It was looking beautiful! But while my stress levels continued to drop, I was still nervously watching three weather apps. One said rain, one said no rain, one said partial rain. I said more prayers.

livingdesertwedding-803Luke and I were really excited about our wedding food. We decided to forego the traditional chicken, steak, or fish. Who doesn’t like pizza, pulled pork sandwiches, mac ‘n cheese bites, chicken tenders and salads? We hired Wheat and Fire for their delicious organic on-site wood-fire pizza. The on-site catering at The Living Desert, Taste, was providing appetizers and side dishes. But as our rehearsal was about to begin, Stacey and Heather sat us down to inform us that the 2 major food distributors in the nation had gone on strike three days before our wedding and they had just found out with one day to spare. That meant most of the food we had been so excited about—the food we’d been telling everyone about—wouldn’t be there. But Heather saved the day, driving all over Riverside County to get enough similar food to feed everyone on our wedding day. And it was still delicious and different, and everything we wanted or a close variation.  Thank you, Heather!

As I woke the morning of, I checked the weather report again; still periods of rain—exactly when the ceremony was supposed to start! But I know God listens, and I sent up another prayer. Please, cancel the rain, or move it up!  But if that’s not an option, give me peace and a light heart about it. The hustle and bustle of bridesmaids and groomsmen scurrying about had commenced. Family and friends came and went throughout the morning as I sat as still as I could in my chair letting the ladies from The Hair Studio do what they do best.

The Living Desert, Innersong Photography, wedding venue, Palm Desert Wedding, Wedding at a zoo, boutonnière, Adventure Wedding, travel themed wedding, map flowers, It was time to go. My mom and I were the last leave the Worldmark Resort. As we drive down Portola, the rain drops began dancing on the windshield and the ominous black cloud capped the mountain ahead. Nooo! No rain! Before I could finish my thought we had passed another mile or so and the rain stopped. It was only a small patch. Thank you, Jesus!

Thirty minutes late to the Living Desert, we rushed inside and quickly got to business. Jess with Inner Song Photography, grabbed my wedding dress, engagement ring, and other details to photograph. Her husband, Justin, was busy with Luke and the groomsmen. The bridesmaids quickly got dressed while also making sure I ate something. Soon, it was time to see Luke! I can’t express in words my excitement to see my groom! It began to sprinkle again, but I didn’t care anymore. My handsome man was in my arms. We rushed through wedding party portraits in attempt to start the ceremony on time. I still have no idea how late we really were. We ran out of time to get portraits with my bridesmaids and groomsmen on the wedding day, but I was blessed to have another chance. I am so glad my mother-in-law requested that the wedding party be present and in their wedding attire for their celebration party 2 weeks later. Thank you, Jan!

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Shortly before the ceremony began, plastic was pulled off the chairs and all of the decor was quickly set in place. The huppah and aisle decor was breathtaking against the desert foliage and waterfall. I tried to stop and look around as often as I could so that I would remember as much of the day as possible. Even still, I don’t remember all of the Godly wisdom and prayers spoken over us by our pastor and mentor. I can’t tell you everything Luke wrote in his vows (mostly because he wrote so much!), or the speeches from parents and best friends. I’m incredibly grateful to Marc, with the Emotion Picture Studio for immortalizing it all in a beautiful video that captured the essence of our wedding day. Thank you, Marc!

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How unique is it to have exotic animals at your cocktail hour that you can interact with? ‘Mr. Prickles’, the high-fiving porcupine was a crowd favorite. The hawk posed for every camera, the armadillo couldn’t wait to get the dance party started, and the gecko tried to nestle in my hair. We missed the New Guinea Singing Dog and the Eurasian Eagle Owl, but the 5 other animals we had were a hoot and a huge hit with our guests.

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Michelle, with Chic Productions, along with help from friends and Stacey with the Living Desert did a masterful job at executing our vision for the reception. We had so many little details from handmade runners to custom designed escort cards, to trivia game pieces that mimicked customs forms and boarding passes. The trivia game brought loads of laughter and entertainment as tables were released for dinner. We wanted to highlight our photography, so we had self-designed, printed, and handwritten postcards for table numbers and 2 fine art prints displayed and given away to winners of our bouquet and garter tosses. The father-daughter and mother-son dances were complimented each by slideshows our parents made showing our lives through the years. The slideshows gave wonderful context to our relationships with our parents, while also giving guests something to watch complementing our dances and allowing for better pictures.

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It truly was an amazing day! The rain stopped right before the ceremony, left a beautiful sky full of billowing clouds, dropped the temperature by 20 degrees, and gave us a perfect desert spring day. God was there and there was no denying it! From the weather to our vows to the joy in everyone’s eyes and the overwhelming love and support expressed by family and friends, we were so blessed. The only complaint I have is that it went WAY TOO FAST! Can we do it again… not the planning, just the wedding day?

See it all for yourself. Watch the video by The Emotion Picture Studio and/or browse the photos by Inner Song Photography.

Photo Gallery: https://jenniferyountphotography.shootproof.com/gallery/Jen+Luke/

Wedding photos by InnerSong Photography and guests

Watch our cinematic short by The Emotion Picture Studio / Ashley Productions

 

Wedding Vendors:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden

Day of Wedding Planner: Michelle with Chic Productions

Wedding Photographer: InnerSong Photography

Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal

Hair and Makeup: The Hair Studio

Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Two t’ Suite & solo by a friend

Officiant: Pastor from Granada Heights Friends Church

Wedding DJ: California DJ

Catering: Wheat and Fire & Taste (the Living Desert)

Dessert Bar: Exquisite Desserts

 

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