We’ve seen enough Palm Springs weddings in our day that if we’re using a single one as *the* way to go, you know we’ve got something good on our hands. Julia and Jonathan are that perfect blend of stylish, laidback, and creative, which kind of makes them perfect for a destination wedding. Their effortless glamour and love of a good party would make anyone want to be a guest. Add in an iconic venue like Colony 29, and the magic that happens when Jenn Emerling and Hello Gem Events hook up, and you’ve got one recipe for the perfect modern desert nuptials. Engaged Cakies, get out your notebooks…
On the first look… The first look was unexpectedly special and emotional. Neither of us expected to be that moved, but just seeing each other for the first time in our full wedding get up, you realize the magnitude of the day and it just swept over us.
Julia wore Rime Arodaky’s Arwen crop top + Salem skirt from The Mews Bridal in NYC, which both featured crepe and embroidered tulle. See how gorg it is with her hair accessories at the back:
One stylish couple, right here.
To us, Palm Springs has a unique quality that blends playfulness, modernity, and timelessness in an effortless way, which was ultimately reflects who we are as a couple. We also have always wanted our wedding to just be a big party where all of our friends and families can enjoy themselves, and this was the perfect theme for it.
Colony 29 just has the wow factor in every single way. Other locations we looked at would excel at certain things, but everything about Colony 29 was perfect to us. From the ceremony space, the secluded palapa lounge area, the reception area, to all of the pool side areas like the cactus garden, all against the backdrop of the iconic palm trees and mountain skyline, it was just perfect. Also, we loved that we had the entire property to ourselves. Our families and wedding party stayed at the estate, which made our entire wedding weekend amazing. It was a three day party with our families and closest friends.
Such beautiful blooms by our guide member, Hello Gem.
Julia designed and printed their modern wedding menus herself.
Hello Gem also created this modern pink seating chart, which was a showstopper with all those flowers.
Jonathan tells it, It was important to me to make my father-in-law feel special on this day. In Chinese culture, giving away your only daughter is a very big deal, and I wanted him to feel special on this day as well. At one point my groomsman brought over a bottle of Mao Tai (super strong Chinese liquor) that he loves, and about 10 of us all took a shot with my father-in-law in the middle of us, and it was just a beautiful moment where I could make him feel like the center of attention and pay my respects.
Champagne tower for the win!
We actually thought we wanted Jenn Emerling as our photographer before we got with Hello Gem, based on all of the wedding pictures we had seen. We loved her style. It was classy with a fun twist, and she had a way of making colors pop and captured amazingly dramatic scenes. When she was Hello Gem’s first recommendation to us, we knew we had to have her.
Film by Made in Video.
J + J, on how they knew one another was “the one”…
Jonathan: Early on I realized that this was different. Everything just felt so exciting but comfortable at the same time. We joke but I really think one of the things that bonded us is that we both really, really love food and trying new restaurants, and can both eat an insane amount. We’d go to restaurants and order enough for 3 or 4 people, and when Julia was super into it, I felt this girl was the one. To this day we still over order, but usually eat everything.
Julia: There was never a single moment, but very soon after we met, I could not imagine life without Jon. My first two years right out of college were the hardest years I have ever experienced given the demanding nature of my new job. I was in Houston and Jon was in New York and we missed each other terribly, but we were lucky enough to see each other at least once a month—whether it meant him flying to Houston for the weekend or me flying to New York. My job was demanding and sometimes it meant working long hours in the office even when he was in town to visit. He was always supportive and encouraging throughout those years—he was my support system and continues to be my biggest cheerleader to this day.
Cheers to the happy couple!
Photography: Jenn Emerling / Videography: Made in Video / Venue: Colony 29 in Palm Springs, CA / Planning, Design, & Floral Design: Hello Gem Events / Hair & Makeup: Grace Lin / Cake: Over the Rainbow Desserts / Catering: Little Nelly / Bartending: Mr Bartender / DJ: The Flashdance / Rentals: Folklore & Signature Party Rentals / Wedding Dress (Arwen Top & Salem Skirt): Rime Arodaky from The Mews Bridal / Veil: Amazon / Shoes: Prada / Jewelry: Official Sisi Shop of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria / Engagement Ring & Wedding Band: Custom by Steven Kirsch / Groom’s Jacket: Boglioli / Pants & Shoes: Givenchy / Tie: Cifonelli / Wedding Band: Tiffany & Co