This Hollywood Couple Hosted a Star-Studded Desert Wedding at Merv Griffin Estate in La Quinta, California
Growing up in Los Angeles, Chloe Sonnenfeld, daughter of American filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld, inevitably developed some favorite haunts. So, when it came time for her beloved—Peter Brunette—to pop the question, he knew just where to do it. “I spent a lot of time at the Hotel Bel-Air with my family as a child, and Peter knew it was a very special place for me,” reveals the bride. “When we returned to the hotel room, flower petals were everywhere. We got engaged after being together for 7 years, so truthfully, I wasn’t that surprised!”
Knowing they’d be hosting their nuptials at the Merv Griffin Estate in La Quinta, California, the wedding theme was an easy decision. “We really wanted to use the scenery to inspire our wedding. So we picked colors that reminded us of Palm Springs,” Chloe describes. La Quinta sits a few miles southeast of the famous desert destination, so bright pinks and oranges were a must. “We also incorporated a lot of yin and yang symbols because the two of us are so different, but we work so well together. Other than that, we wanted the wedding to feel very personal to us—we relied on many parts of our personalities for the inspiration.”
A sunny March day dawned over the desert as both bride and groom readied themselves. Chloe put on her Galia Lahav gown, ideally suited for the occasion. “The dress had 3-D flowers covering it, which felt fun and unique. I wanted my dress to match the wedding vibe, so it was perfect!” With the toasty locale, Peter elected to wear an airy, cream-colored suit accented with Prada shoes and a coral bow tie.
Friends and family entered the scenic ceremony space—a lawn setting with towering palm trees and a majestic fountain in the background. Bridesmaids traversed the aisle in sunny yellow gowns while groomsmen sported light gray suits, perfectly complementing the groom’s cream ensemble. Finally, Peter and Chloe met at the end of the aisle to say their vows in front of a breathtaking creation. “The most amazing part of our florals was the yin/yang ceremony backdrop—it played a huge role in our day!” recalls the bride.
With the newlyweds’ families being prominent in Hollywood, the guest list of excited onlookers included Max Greenfield, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelo, Catherine O’Hara and more. In fact, Patrick Warburton officiated the entire ceremony. Attendees adjourned to the reception space after the “I dos,” finding their seats via a unique escort card display. “We both worked on the show A Series of Unfortunate Events, so our seating chart was really personal to us. It read, 'A Series of Fortunate Events,' and the escort cards were fortune cookies!” Chloe explains. “It was such a fun way to incorporate something we did together into the wedding.”
Round tables displayed crisp white linens contrasted with coral-and-blush chargers, low floral arrangements with bold blooms and funky yellow table numbers. String lights hung above the reception, suspended on a minimalistic arch structure. “With the help of our amazing planner Mackenzie, we made the decor bright and fun,” Chloe details. “We wanted every single aspect to have color in it, which we accomplished by using fun florals, amazing signage, and small details throughout. We loved that all the tables were different and yet worked well together. We also loved all of the fun vases on the tables!”
Though there were many memorable moments during their big day, one, in particular, stood out to Chloe. “The most special moment was the father of the bride speech,” she says, referring to her father, Barry Sonnenfeld—director and producer best known for films like Men in Black, The Addams Family and Enchanted. “My father is a comedian and jokester, so we were slightly nervous about how the speech would go! But, it turned out to be the sweetest and most heartfelt thing he has nearly ever said and brought the entire party to tears.”
The newlyweds’ main message to couples planning their weddings is, “Trust the professionals! We put all our trust into our planner, and I think by doing that, she was able to get so creative and come up with things we would have never thought of.”