A Desert Sunset Inspired This Wedding at The Living Desert Zoo and Garden in Palm Desert, California
For their interfaith wedding in Palm Dessert, California, Haley and Brian let the area's natural beauty, especially the picturesque sunsets that blanket the desert at night, inspire the look of their celebration at The Living Desert Zoo and Garden. "We were truly inspired by the beautiful mountain range and botanicals of the zoo," shares Haley. "Our ceremony took place during sunset, which helped define our color palette of pale pinks and dusty blues. The style of our wedding was desert-chic meets modern minimalist."
Beyond planning a visually beautiful wedding that highlighted the locale, it was important for Haley and Brian that their day be steeped in meaning and celebrate their interfaith relationship. "My family is Jewish and Brian's family is Catholic. It was really important that we bridge our different faith backgrounds as well as make everyone feel included and comfortable," says Haley. "We decided to get married by both a Rabbi and a Deacon. From the Jewish traditions, we were married under a chuppah, signed a ketubah, danced the horah and Brian broke the glass. We also received the traditional Catholic blessings and had our friends read from the Old and New Testaments. The ceremony was full of love and felt very unifying."
While Haley and Brian hired pros for many components of the wedding, one item they chose to add their own DIY touch to was the invitation and stationery design. "I designed our save the dates, invitations, and menu/place cards," says Haley. "Jess of Letter & Ink helped us with printing and addressing. Our paper goods brought in motifs from the desert—the sunset, mountain range, and illustrations of the iconic windmills." When it came time to design the menu cards, Haley got creative with how to convey to the catering staff which meal selection each guest had chosen. Instead of putting an icon of a chicken or a carrot atop the menus, "we incorporated personalized menus that reflected a different color based on the meal selected by each guest."
In addition to stationery, the couple relied heavily on bringing in unique textures from mixed metals and floral arrangements to add to the event's decor. "For the ceremony, we chose a copper chuppah for the structure which served as the focal point for our guests as they entered the space. The backdrop to that was the beautiful desert mountains, creating a perfect setting as the sun sets. Additionally, the aisle was lined with florals to add a romantic feel from the very beginning of the evening. For the cocktail hour, we chose specialty dusty blue linens for a pop of color and incorporated small contrasting floral arrangements on each table. For the reception, we wanted to create a very romantic feel and chose to focus on heavily candle-lit tabletop decor to achieve our vision. We incorporated a mix of pillar candles, taper candles in brass holders, and gold candle votives. We mixed long wood farm tables with rose-colored runners with round linen-covered tables. For the place settings, we chose a matte white charger, gold flatware, and specialty gold-rimmed glassware with light blue napkins. We then repurposed the aisle flowers to the front of our sweetheart table to create a lush appeal accented with taper candles and crawling smilax on top of the table," says Haley of the decor choices for the couple's Palm Dessert wedding."
Looking back on the wedding day, Haley points to the ceremony as a highlight of the celebration. "The ceremony was my absolute favorite part of the day. Walking down the aisle was overwhelming in the best way. It was incredible to turn the corner and see the smiling faces of all of the people who are dear to us. I was struck by what felt like a wave of love and energy and I immediately started to tear up. My father, unfortunately, passed away 6 months before our wedding, so my mom, stepdad and stepmom walked me down the aisle. Seeing Brian under the chuppah which was covered by dad's tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) was surreal and so special."