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DIY wedding at The Living Desert: Camille + Andrew

January 9, 2017
DIY desert wedding

SoCal Cakies, have you been to The Living Desert? It’s a zoo + gardens in the Palm Desert (imagine all the neat flora and fauna found there), where our bride Camille is from, and it just so happens to make a killer wedding venue for those of you with desert vibes + gorgeous photo opps on the must-have list. Camille + Andrew incorporated tons of DIY projects that you’ll see in the dreamy photos by Dawn Charles. In fact, Camille had such a blast creating their wedding signage that she ended up starting a calligraphy + design biz. Secret bonus of weddings—helping brides discover their hidden talents!

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C + A originally planned to say I Do in April instead of March (so it would be spring-y but not too hot), but with all the festivals going on in the area during that time, it was hard to find a venue let alone affordable accommodations for guests. Camille’s biggest planning tip is to check out what other events are happening in your wedding’s location, and make sure to reserve hotels in advance!

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Andrew and I would have been perfectly fine with a small backyard wedding, but we wanted to get married in a place that could accommodate all of our family and friends. I feel like our wedding felt small and intimate, despite having 175 people—and that’s exactly what we wanted. Our favorite thing to plan together was the wedding playlist that played during cocktail hour and the reception. We combined our love for folk music and oldies, like playing God Only Knows by the Beach Boys while we cut the cake, and Annie’s Song by John Denver for our first dance. I love that people got to see our personalities in that way!

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Some DIY projects included brown butter sea salt cookies for favors (yum), spray painted plastic pots with succulents for centerpieces, and of course—the signage. Find more ideas on Camille’s wedding Pinterest board.

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The one thing we did not want to skimp on was our wedding photography. And we are SO glad that we didn’t! We chose our photographer, Dawn Charles, because we absolutely loved her style. Her photography is soft, bright, and has an ethereal way about it, but is also timeless. I don’t know how she does it, but we couldn’t imagine our day being captured by anyone else!

Score one for unconventional venues. Cheers to the happy couple!

Photographer: Dawn Charles / Venue & Catering: The Living Desert / Coordinator: Stacey Watson / Florist: The David Rohr Floral Studio / Hair: Candy Wayman / Makeup: Trisha Daves / Invitations: Minted / Calligraphy: Feather and Ivy / Cake: Costco with flowers from Florist / Cake Topper: PS Weddings & Events / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Table Numbers: Confetti Momma / DJ: California DJ / Bride’s Dress: Daughters of Simone from Love & Lace Bridal & Tailor / Veil: Veiled Beauty / Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Earrings: Bride’s Mom’s / Rings: Jared / Makeup: MAC / Groom’s Jacket: Topman / Shirt & Pants: Zara / Shoes: Steve Madden / Tie: Original Penguin / Wedding Band: Sam’s Club