Eloping with the Midcentury Greats

With the Palm Springs elopement trend in full swing, modern couples enjoy hitting the midcentury architecture circuit to take their first photos as newlyweds

Lisa Marie Hart Arts & Entertainment, Modernism, Weddings Planner 0 Comments


While some mod couples drive in to elope from Los Angeles or San Diego, Michele and Steve jetted in all the way from New Zealand.

Joined only by Michele's daughter, son-in-law, and little grandson, the couple rented a midcentury modern home for the week. Its authenticity made a quaint yet stylish place for their private backyard ceremony.

Photographer Christine Arnold captured the elopement while Sallie Albertina officiated. Following a champagne toast, the lovebirds set off for a retro-riffic newlywed photo shoot. Arnold explains the trend:


Inspired by a midcentury architecture tour they took, newlyweds Steve and Michele booked an architectural photo shoot with Christine Arnold.


What was the idea behind their midcentury photos?
Michele and Steve have been drawn to Palm Springs’ architecture for a long time. On this visit they booked an architecture tour, which inspired many of the images we captured together. They said they hired me for my creative, artsy, non-traditional style and wanted to hit up as many midcentury architectural highlights as possible. The bride’s son-in-law drove us around and we stopped at a bunch of neat places, shooting a few images, then moving on to the next.  It was a lot of fun for everyone.

What kind of elopement trends are you seeing in Palm Springs?
Mainly I meet eloping couples who are very busy with their careers, usually in their 30s and 40s, who just LOVE the Palm Springs aesthetic. The architecture, the lifestyle, and the overall vibe that is so unique to the area moves them to wed here. Several have been professionals who have family all over the world, and the logistics of trying to gather all of their loved ones for a wedding is just too much.


Now home to Chase Bank, this iconic building at Palm Canyon Drive and Ramon Road was originally the Coachella Valley Savings and Loan designed by E. Stewart Williams circa 1961.


In addition to midcentury homes, do you have other favorite spots to shoot elopements?
I love some of the smaller, boutique hotels and estates that couples are usually staying in; they are so private and personal. Absolutely perfect for these intimate events! I also enjoy simply going out into the desert and photographing them within the gorgeous desert landscapes.

Why is a top photographer so important for an elopement?
A professional, experienced photographer is just as important for a small wedding as it is for a large one. It's a one-time event that is highly unique and simply cannot be reproduced. Artistically capturing those genuine moments of joy and happiness is absolutely vital to reliving those moments through the years.


A mural at Palm Canyon and Racquet Club added a colorful pop to Michele and Steve's elopement photos.


Any tips for couples on taking their best elopement photos?
Relax and enjoy. There is no pressure when you elope—no timelines or family obligations. It's just you and your photographer. Take it all in, request backdrops that reflect your personality, and have fun!


• Christine Arnold Photography, (760) 485-1893; www.christinearnold.com

• Officiant Sallie Albertina, (760) 327-5927; www.palmspringsweddingminister.com

• Palm Springs Modern Tours, (760) 318-6118; www.palmspringsmoderntours.com

• PS Architecture Tours, (323) 578-6025; www.psarchitecturetours.com/


Lisa Marie Hart has been writing about weddings since serving as an editor at Bridal Guide magazine in New York City in 1999. Since 2006, she has been editor of the annual Palm Springs Life Weddings & Honeymoon Planner. Away from the laptop, she creates tiered cupcake stands for weddings and celebrations at www.highteaforalice.com

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