7 Ways to Spice Up Your Greater Palm Springs Wedding

Seeking ideas to make your nuptials unique? Wedding planners share memorable moments they’ve helped to engineer.

May 11, 2024
Comedians intruded on this couple’s ceremony, surprising guests with unusual antics.
PHOTO BY CARMEN LOPEZ, COURTESY THE WALK DOWN THE AISLE

MAKE THEM LAUGH

Guests remember weddings with interesting experiences, and the best usually involve entertainment. Amber and Nick hired comedians to masquerade as their planner and officiant, who then proceeded to make all kinds of gaffes (one even stripped to a speedo as he proceeded down the aisle). “Guests thought it was a real wedding ceremony gone bad before they caught on,” says Trish Jones, planner and owner of The Walk Down the Aisle. The comedians returned during dinner to roast the guests.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Handwriting personal notes or inside jokes and positioning them at every guest’s place setting not only makes each person feel welcome — a meaningful way to connect when couples often don’t get to spend much one-on-one time with everyone at their event — they also serve to remind you how each person has encouraged you along the path to your special day. (Write them in advance to alleviate any last-minute scrambling.) “How you treat your guests and the experience you create matters,” says Cathy O’Connell, co-founder of COJ Events. One couple placed the notes in keepsake bottles.

Nick and Amber.
PHOTO BY CARMEN LOPEZ, COURTESY THE WALK DOWN THE AISLE
Members of a marching band performed during a reception.
PHOTO BY MI BELLE PHOTOGRAPHY, COURTESY COJ EVENTS

TEAM SPIRIT

If you and your partner or guests share in a particular fandom, celebrate that. Members of Northwestern University’s marching band made a surprise appearance at a La Quinta Resort & Spa wedding. “Northwestern was half the guests’ alma mater, and they jumped up screaming when the band marched in playing the school’s fight song,” says O’Connell, who helped the mother of the bride orchestrate the spectacle.

A FIERY FINISH

When in doubt, flames are a surefire way to make a statement. Fire dancers closed out a Joshua Tree wedding and combined their act with a light show. “It was very interactive,” says Claudia Casanova, planner and founder of One Darling Day. “Guests got to dance, then stop and watch the fire dancers perform. It was very Burning Man.”

Synchronized swimmers from Aqualillies put on a show in the pool.
PHOTO COURTESY AFTER THE ENGAGEMENT

SPLASHY SURPRISE

A synchronized swimming routine like those provided by Aqualillies can bring excitement to a reception. “They look fantastic, and it’s fun choosing your playlist and preferred swimsuit out of their long list of options,” says Courtney Tibbets of After the Engagement. “I find boutique hotels to be the best location for this spicy wedding surprise.”

A RACY LOCATION

One car-crazy couple demonstrated their need for speed by holding their reception at The Thermal Club, a residential community built not around a golf course but an automotive racetrack. Cocktail hour occurred outdoors amid an array of parked performance cars. Come dinner hour, guests migrated inside, and the newlyweds made their grand entrance driving a red Ferrari into the building through a faux wall.

At The Thermal Club, one couple drove a Ferrari into their reception.
PHOTO BY MICHAEL SEGAL PHOTOGRAPHY, COURTESY COJ EVENTS

SETTING THE BAR HIGH

The cocktail bar is typically a guest’s first stop at receptions. But some couples are adding weed bars to the mix. Casanova has planned two weddings where couples opted to include one. “A company comes in and sets things up, offering joints or different kinds of edibles, explaining to guests the possible combinations and the CBD and THC ingredients,” she says. “It ends up being very educational.”