Real Weddings

These couples found perfection in this picturesque desert destination

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 Palm Springs Weddings - Real Weddings
Photo by Allana Taranto, Ars Magna Studio


Julie Bykowski and Andreas Marek

Cielo Estate, Palm Springs
After a weekend hike at the top of the tram and some fun in the snow atop Mt. San Jacinto, this pair from San Diego knew they would be back for more refreshing escapes and their wedding. Both love the outdoors and wanted to share that with their guests who flew in from the East Coast, the Midwest, and Europe (Andreas grew up in Germany). The couple sought an intimate setting for their outdoor wedding, where family and friends could gather, share meals, relax, and celebrate without having to drive to multiple destinations. Cielo Estate, a 1940s Spanish Mediterranean house, proved ideal. Views of Mt. San Jacinto made a dramatic backdrop for both the pre-wedding barbecue and the front-yard ceremony. Afterward, guests moved down the receiving line, through a fruit tree grotto, and into the back yard for a poolside party. “The flow of the house and the grounds gave a sense of privacy and intimacy, while easily accommodating our friends and family,” Julie says. “When we weren’t celebrating and relaxing at Cielo, friends played golf, had a spa day, took their kids to The Living Desert, and explored Joshua Tree National Park.” Before they left, Julie and Andreas shared one last favorite memory: leading family and friends up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and on a hike through the meadows of San Jacinto.

Leslie Bargar and Michael Suter

Palm Springs Weddings - Bargar & Suter

The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs
A restaurant editor for Los Angeles Magazine and a writer/director for television and film who has worked on Project Runway certainly know the Los Angeles scene inside and out. Lesley and Michael could have chosen any hot spot in their hometown to say “I do.” Instead, they chose an even hotter one: The Horizon Hotel in Palm Springs. “Floating in a swimming pool with a retro cocktail is my husband’s idea of heaven,” Lesley says. “Palm Springs was always our first choice. It had the feel of a destination, but was close enough to L.A.” So the wedding party took over the 22-room, 2.5-acre property for the weekend, with overflow guests luxuriating at the Ace Hotel across the street. The midcentury architecture — designed by William Cody in 1952 as a private retreat for a Hollywood couple and their friends — along with close-up mountain views and pool-focused courtyard created the instantly laid-back atmosphere the couple craved. The event was as stylish, hip, and full of retro cocktails as any L.A. event could ever hope to be — and a whole lot hotter.


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