A wedding in the desert has its share of pros: gorgeous lighting, no one around for miles (except your guests), and in the case of this wedding – a lady in red. We’re really excited to heat things up today with Marinda + Henry’s desert wedding, shot beautifully by Ben Christenson. Here’s the story. She loves to make things – out of paper, yarn… basically any materials she can get her hands on. He is a performer, a skilled public speaker, negotiator, and terrific with people. To get through the wedding planning harmoniously, they divided the labor according to their respective strengths. That’s what we like to call love + it doesn’t hurt that they’re one of those couples that have complementary talents!
I picked out my dress before anything else. Once we decided on getting married in the desert, I remembered a vintage turquoise necklace my mom had bought me at a little street fair years ago. At that moment the dress and necklace became the inspiration for the rest of the wedding’s décor and colors.
I did the invitations myself. I designed the invite, had Spoonflower print it onto fabric (a few yards of the fabric, $200) then cut out each invite and sewed around the edges. This was definitely the biggest DIY project I undertook, but it was fun and I loved the result. I also took a one day workshop ($70) to learn how to letterpress, rented time to use a letterpress studio ($60) and printed the rest of the invite, which included a card with information about the other two events and the rsvp card (the paper was Lettra cotton rag from Legion paper and cost about $50 for more than enough – I still have a lot extra for other projects). I designed the plates (the part that prints the actual design) for the letterpress in Illustrator – it cost $60 to create the design in photopolymer. The envelopes were printed on our home printer. I saved a lot of money by doing all of the designs myself, by doing the letterpress myself, and by having my mom address the envelopes instead of hiring a calligrapher. I wouldn’t call them budget invites, because the cost of each wasn’t super cheap, (about $6.50 an invite for 70 invites) but for what we ended up with (unique, letterpressed and fabric invites) it was a bargain compared to what it would have cost to pay someone else to make them.
Henry is an awesome singer, so he sang the Beatles’ “In My Life” to me as I came down the aisle. It was definitely one of my favorite moments of the whole weekend – there were not many dry eyes in the room.
We knew we wanted a smaller sized wedding, with our closest family and friends there to share the day with us. The venue we chose could hold up to 80 people, and there ended up being about 70. We decided to have a destination wedding in Joshua Tree partially because our families and friends are spread out between the two coasts and Canada (we currently live in New York City), and because we really fell in love with the town, the desert, and the venue itself. Many of our guests (especially the East Coasters) commented that they would have never thought to go to Joshua Tree in a million years, but were so happy that we had brought them there.
We embraced the spirit of the desert, using a red cactus (flaming pencil cactus) on the tables as well as illustrations of desert animals for the table numbers (created by my talented friend Gaia). The venue was absolutely beautiful – it is a peaceful and striking place where every detail has been considered, and it is in a gorgeous locale. Scott and Steve (the owners) collaborated with us on every aspect, including the food. Having them as our de-facto wedding planners really helped, since we didn’t have a traditional wedding planner or stylist.
Marinda, you had us with your red dress! You + Henry had a fantastic wedding. Congratulations!
Photography: Ben Christensen / Bride’s dress: Red Yowying by Wai Ching (custom-made, $700) / Bride’s shoes: Claribel by Something Bleu at My Glass Slipper / Bride’s necklace: Vintage / Bride’s bracelet and earrings: Vintage, from Wind Walkers in Joshua Tree / Groom’s suit: Paul Smith in NYC / Groom’s shirt: custom made by Luigi’s on 7th Ave., NYC / Groom’s shoes: Barney’s NYC / Venue: Sacred Sands Bed and Breakfast / DJ: Smiles Davis / Personalized candy favors: Papabubble / Invitations: Marinda (bride)