A Bright Southwestern Wedding at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico

Ashley and Sam Santoscoy planned a bright bohemian desert wedding with cactus motifs and lots of handmade touches. The couple chose to host the festivities on the one-year anniversary of their courthouse “I dos” at the San Francisco Court House, inviting an intimate group of their closest family members and friends to celebrate with them. Wanting a low-key, casual fete, Ashley and Sam opted for a desert ceremony followed by tacos, prickly pear margaritas and dancing at Ghost Ranch. Ashley’s brother officiated the ceremony, and the couple exchanged vows they’d written themselves in the center of a circular stone labyrinth set against a backdrop of a dusty-red butte. “Possibly the best part of our wedding was the fact that there was absolutely no cell phone coverage at our venue,” Ashley says. “This meant that all of our guests were completely immersed in the experience. It’s such a rare occurrence these days and, although it was not at all planned that way, it made our day that much more special.” The reception was filled with vibrant DIY décor, which Ashley handcrafted herself. Colorful Mexican fans and strands of papel picado traced the venue’s rafters and walls, and woven runners and hand-painted crystal sugar skulls perked up the dining tables. Instead of traditional floral centerpieces, Ashley and Sam lined the tabletops with succulents and small cacti potted in miniature mason jars. Bearing a fondant cactus, fresh berries and a wood cake topper, the cake borrowed from the event’s bohemian desert theme. Ashley even made her own wedding dress, transforming a traditional Mexican tunic into a desert-chic stunner with turquoise fabric and crocheted lace. “Your wedding day is just a second in comparison to the lifetime you’ll be spending together, so make it fun, make it memorable and try not to take yourselves too seriously,” Ashley says.