Weddings of the Year

It was difficult to choose — so much wedding goodness in one destination.

Lisa Rovito Weddings Planner 0 Comments

Palm Springs Weddings - Ideas and trends
Photo by Robert Marcos for PGA West


Here are some of our favorites from the past year. Take cues from these couples’ smart ideas and the innovative ways in which their local vendors made them happen. Yours could be next!


Palm Springs Weddings - Cakes

Cake of the Year:
Pastry Swan Photo Collage Cake

Wondering how to share with your guests all of those photos you’ve taken together? Deborah Quinn of The Pastry Swan Bakery collects couples’ favorite images, then transfers them onto edible sugar paper using edible ink in a color tone that matches the event. Each cake tells a personal story beyond words. “For this cake, we used photos of the bride and groom’s favorite vacations and moments since they met,” Quinn says. “The artwork in between the layers was a detail we borrowed from their wedding invitations.”

Photo by Avra Photography


Palm Springs Weddings - Transportation

Transportation of the Year:
Any Which Way Goes

From vintage Cadillacs to brand-new Rolls-Royces, from horse-drawn carriages to tricked-out golf carts and even helicopters, this year’s couples made their grand entrances and great escapes in style. Guests might think they know what’s coming next, but when the bride and groom arrive on horseback or when they fly off into the sunset, it’s surely a surprise friends and family will never forget.

Photo by Loren Scott Photography


Palm Springs Weddings - Place Cards

Place Cards of the Year:
Real Grass is Greener

Fresh and green, live wheatgrass fills these place-cards boxes, a whimsical spin on the table-seating display. Artisan Event Floral and Decor designed the custom-colored boxes to make a vibrant first impression on guests as they arrived at the reception.

Photo by Mulberry Photography


Palm Springs Weddings - Seating

Table Style of the Year:
Family-Style for Conversation

“At a time when connections are so important to people, long tables allow guests to talk with more people in a more intimate way,” says Cathy O’Connell of Celebrations of Joy, who coordinated this event at Parker Palm Springs. “Round tables, especially round tables of 10 that are typical at weddings, limit guests to talking with the people next to them. With long table seating, they have at least six people to engage in great conversation!” Family-style service, now popular even at very elegant affairs, also works best with long tables. O’Connell recently coordinated a luxurious party at The Living Desert that showcased family-style dining for 84 people all at one long table.


Palm Springs Weddings - Ring Bearer

Ring Bearers of the Year:
Let’s Hear It for the Dogs

Well-trained furry family members make endearingly dutiful ring bearers. Many walk down the aisle upon a simple command, finger snap, or wave of the hand. This dog carried a ring in style with a custom dog-collar corsage designed by Artisan Event Floral and Decor. The corsage bears the same look and the same flowers as those given to human members of the bridal party.

Photo by Christine Arnold Photography


Palm Springs Weddings - Flower Girls

Flower Girls of the Year:
So, What’s in the Wagon?

Ashley and Justin Stiles chose four flower girls to walk down the aisle at their Empire Polo Club wedding: Ashley’s niece Jordan Stiles; two daughters of a close friend, Mia and Lili Hallenbeck; and Ashley’s best friend’s daughter, Zoe Emery. The couple also chose Zoe’s brother, Finnegan, as their ring bearer. He was all of 3 months old. These little girls looked adorably sweet in their flower garland headbands, full-skirted silk dresses, and bloomers made by Ashley’s mother. And when the classical music started up, they pulled a wooden wagon down the aisle, complete with old-fashioned iron wheels and a sign on back that read, “The Ring Bearer.” Young Finnegan lay inside fast asleep, a heart-shaped ring bearer pillow used by Ashley’s parents’ in their wedding resting on his tummy. “When they went down the aisle, the guests couldn’t stop laughing and crying and taking pictures,” Ashley says. “The flower girls and the ring bearer brought such a sweetness to the wedding. It meant so much to me that all of those children were such a huge part of my life. I am grateful that their mothers were able to be in the wedding as bridesmaids and then have all their children play a role as well.” Albert Lewis, their photographer from Mulberry Photography, remembers it well: “It was a unique and heartfelt moment for sure. It was a bringing of all generations together, from grandparents right down to a newborn.”

Photo by Mulberry Photography


Palm Springs Weddings - Theme

Theme of the Year:
Pink, Pink, Pink!

Couples and their guests painted the town pink this year, and they knew how to work it. Ever versatile in its range of wedding styles and formality, pink showed up in the flowers, table linens, signature cocktails, and table numbers, along with dramatic lighting, shade-providing parasols, and bridal party ensembles. Pink is one of the few colors that pulls off a traditionally classic wedding as well as it does a cutting-edge one. Venues throughout the area report it’s hard to go wrong with this carefree and romantic color choice.

Photo by Robert Marcos for PGA West


Palm Springs Weddings - Location

Most Daring Couple of the Year:
On the Waterslide at Rancho Las Palmas

Spirited bride and groom Erin and Mark Meadows jumped in this cool, gentle lazy river while still in their wedding finest. Their entire wedding party joined them at Rancho Las Palmas’ on-property Splashtopia water park. And they didn’t stop there. The bride’s photographer father, Ted Rahn, captured their ultimate daredevil move: racing down the 100-foot waterslide together as man and wife, wedding dress and all. “There was a golf tourney for the guys, manicures for the gals the same day, a rehearsal dinner in the pool and waterslide area Friday evening, cocktails on the 6th tee with the wedding taking place on the 5th fairway on Saturday, brunch on Sunday, and then the wild ride down the water slide later that day.” Erin and Mark plan to return to Rancho Las Palmas for their first anniversary and rent the water slide area so they can invite friends to celebrate with them again. “The best way to describe this resort is ‘barefoot elegance,’” Erin says. “It has enough class to spoil you, but not so upscale that it’s pretentious. Expect first-class treatment from the moment you arrive. The staff is amazing and willing to do anything to make your event absolutely perfect. By the time we were making our dash down the water slide, everyone in the entire pool area was cheering for us, including the staff.”

Photo by Erin and Mark Meadows / Ted Rahn Photography


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