When it comes to weddings + events, there are those you want to recreate for yourself, and there are those that inspire you to dream up something no one has ever done before. Laura + Grant’s Black Rock glamping wedding is obviously the latter. Instead of starting with a theme or trend, they dreamt up places they loved, and didn’t settle until they thought of something that truly excited them: the Black Rock Desert.
Thanks to Melissa Gayle for sharing the photos below!
Our bride Laura Polkus creates nature-inspired skull art which inspired some of their wedding decor.
The couple made their own DIY ceremony arch and foraged the greenery and flowers locally (with permission).
Love how she accessorized her boho Rue de Seine dress!
The idea to get married in the Black Rock Desert was entirely Grant’s Dad’s idea! He and his wife Cheryl got married in Yosemite over 40 years ago and they encouraged us to pick a location that felt special to us that we could always return to. The potential magic of sharing this vast faraway place we deeply love with our families and close friends without all the lights and sounds of Burning Man lit up our imaginations and it was the first “venue” or wedding idea we were really excited about. We knew we would need some serious help to pull this off an we began digging through Instagram to find pictures from events in remote places and that’s how we discovered the amazing team at ‘Cause We Can Events. They were just as excited as us after our first conversation with them we knew they were our team!
Digging all this mens wedding fashion inspo! 76 of Laura + Grant’s friends and fam were able to make the desert trek with them.
In the middle of our vows, I looked up at Grant and just over his shoulder, a full double rainbow was arcing across the sky! It’s as if all the love that brought everyone there joined forces in the sky and celebrated with us! A tidal wave of joy washed over us and everyone just started cheering and laughing in disbelief. There was such a buzzing energy after that, I don’t know if we will ever get over it!
We wanted the environment to reflect both of us and the arch was Grant’s vision, built from reclaimed wood. The heptagon is his favorite shape because it’s the simplest shape that’s not constructible with a compass and straightedge but is possible with a ruler and compass. It was the perfect simple backdrop for our special day.
The Black Rock Desert can be a harsh and unpredictable environment, but also so so unique and different than most people have ever seen. Guests drove in over the hill to come across their “mini village” right in the middle of nowhere!
They were able to create a cozy glamping vibe with the help of Stout Tents.
Because we were asking some of our guests to step outside of their comfort zones we wanted the space to feel like a home, so we sourced some mismatched funky furniture through craigslist and setup comfortable lounges throughout camp and the “faraway lounge” ended up being the guests favorite spot to hangout and even coined the name “the confessional couch”!
The DIY wedding tables featured handmade linens (some of which dated back to Laura’s great grandmother’s home) and centerpieces by Grant’s mom filled with black Onyx rocks + local sagebrush as a nod to the wild landscape.
Naturally there was an epic desert afterparty to follow! Take a peek at the rest of their wedding in our gallery:
Laura’s planning advice: We found it helpful to start with imagining the feeling of what we wanted to create (wild, free, adventurous and comfortable), and then work backwards to figure out what logistics were needed to achieve that. Working with the BLM for a permit was so easy, we really care about that land and wanted to make sure we held a responsible, leave no trace event there. Our families were so supportive in encouraging us to create something that felt true to us. Jessica of ‘Cause We Can Events was amazing at getting multiple bids for similar services and that really helped us to find the best options for us and persevered when the options seemed to be running out! We also didn’t have a super concrete vision for every last detail to begin with and it was a thrill to watch it take its shape as we planned. That way when changes or sacrifices had to be made we were able to flow with it and be pleasantly surprised at how well it all came together instead of stressed because it didn’t match what we originally thought.
Such good advice! Congrats to Laura + Grant!
Photography: Melissa Gayle / Location: Black Rock Desert (city operated) / Planning: ‘Cause We Can Events / Flowers: DIY / Invitations: Minted / Tent Rentals: Stout Tents / Event Rentals: Red Carpet Events & Design / Catering & Bar: Big Blue Q of Tahoe / Art Car: Fired Up Management / Skulls: Laura Polkus / Ceremony Arch: Made by Couple / Dress: Rue de Seine / Groom Suit: Suit Supply