Barrett and Aaron held their wedding at the Avalong Hotel and Bungalows in Palm Springs.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY BROWN
With Aaron’s family in Hawaii and Barrett’s in the Big Apple, these gents, who live and love in Washington, D.C., dreamt up a viridescent destination wedding at the halfway point in sunny Palm Springs. The dapper duo first encountered the desert when they flew in for Coachella festival in 2019 and were instantly enchanted by the weather, the midcentury architecture, and the marvelous scenery.
“There’s such a mixture of natural beauty all in one spot, it just doesn’t compare to anywhere else we’ve been,” says Barrett, who proposed to Aaron at the end of a muddy hike while vacationing in Kauai. “It also doesn’t hurt that Palm Springs happens to be a well-known LGBTQ+ community and haven, and we feel so welcome here every time we visit.”
“The night before the wedding, turn off your cell phone. The wedding goes by so fast, and you want to be in the moment.”
Once a laid-back hideaway for the likes of Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe, the chic and secluded Avalon Hotel & Bungalows played host to a heartwarming ceremony and upbeat reception, which included a choreographed first dance along with a lively hora (or chair) dance. To incorporate a touch of Big Island tradition, Aaron’s grandmother arranged for fresh maile leis from Hawaii (representing love, devotion, and blessing) to be part of the ceremony, and his father led the party in a collective group toast known as a banzai.
The after-party thumped into the wee hours at hot spot Hunters Palm Springs, where a friend reserved a table with bottle service. “We truly felt like celebrities well into the night,” Barrett gushes. “After the wedding, we stayed in the Palm Springs area for about a week — a couple of nights in Joshua Tree by ourselves, and the rest of the week in a house that we rented with a handful of our best friends.”
Planning by One Darling Day; grooming by Makeup by Keturah; florals and seating chart by Hello Gem; DJ via Dart Collective; catering by Avalon Hotel & Bungalows; cake by Exquisite Desserts; rentals from Signature Party Rentals; paper goods by Bourn Paper Company; groom attire by Suit Supply.