An Intimate, Romantic Desert Wedding at the O'Donnell House in Palm Springs, California

Set at a Spanish villa nestled into the mountains overlooking Palm Springs, Lauren and Mark Johnston’s early October wedding was the picture of desert romance.

“We booked the O’Donnell House without even seeing it in person first because it just fit the bill,” Lauren says. “It was a dream—and a no-brainer.”

With the help of the planning pros at Hello Gem Events, the pair pulled off an elegant, intimate affair with no shortage of jaw-dropping details. While the chic desert retreat’s lush, palm-shaded garden required little in the way of décor, the couple put their personal stamp on the al fresco reception space—an expansive stone terrace with panoramic views of the striking scenery—with welcoming farm tables draped in bold burgundy linens and cascading bouquets peach blooms. Gold-rimmed chargers and black cross-back chairs infused the décor with a refined feel. Taper candles and strings of bistro lights illuminated the scene with a warm, ambient glow.

“We decided to incorporate some DIY décor as well, including handmade M&L piñata letters that hung from the balcony over the reception area and a DIY escort display with keychains that led guests to their tables. We planned each table name after our favorite cities,” Lauren says.

After dinner, the newlyweds and their guests convened on the dance floor, where they let loose under the shimmering night sky.

“Our advice to couples actually comes from our officiant," the pair says. "He said to always remember to ‘focus on the relationship more than the event, and let the event be inspired by the relationship.’”