Wedding planning got you down? Eloping is always in fashion. In the desert, couples have gone all-out glamorous while planning a “no guests, no stress” celebration for two. “An elopement allows a couple to have a wedding that reflects their personal style with an ultra-romantic feel,” says wedding planner Cathy O’ Connell of Celebrations of Joy. While some couples elope to stick to a trim budget, others enjoy splurging on a tiny, but luxe wedding they couldn’t otherwise afford. “Palm Springs has many venues that perfectly suit a couple wishing to create an intimate celebration of their love,” says O’Connell, who has planned elopements at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (pictured above) and Parker Palm Springs. “From locations and décor to music and transportation, a wedding planner will manage all the details for a destination elopement, allowing a couple to show up and enjoy the moment.”
Michael Segal Weddings
The Photo Tour
Iconic Coachella Valley scenery serves up windmills and desert canyons, midcentury architecture, and modern cocktail lounges — alluring settings that inspire the wedding phenomenon known as the photo tour. Whether the day before, the day after, or even the day of the wedding, brides and grooms playfully pose against a variety of backdrops for their experienced photographer. Planner Gina Leslie of The WE Studio coordinates photo tours for couples who may be unfamiliar with the area, but want to capture colorful slices of Palm Springs. “We plan our tour to give them different vibes, such as glam, rustic, funky, desert, and so on,” Leslie says. On a photo tour, you can get a glimpse of the properties where your guests are staying and even take some pics while you’re there. Leslie explains that some private estates and other venues are limited in providing a variety of photo backdrops or private places that are out of the view of guests.
Michael Segal Weddings
Colony Palms Hotel
The After Party
With a decadently mild climate year round, Palm Springs has a way of prompting weddings outdoors to go deep into the night — thus, the after party. Post-reception pool parties, late-night DJs, ’round midnight food fests, and caffeine-fueled photo booth sessions are among current trends that transcend the specific style of wedding. Once people fly in to the airport or cruise in along Palm Canyon, a renewed energy seems to take hold. Suddenly, they don’t feel like going to bed when they can stay up until dawn, taking in the night air with good friends, a stogie, and a sip of something strong. (Food truck optional, but always appreciated.) You’ll need to check with your venue, as not all of them encourage such night-owl behavior. But if they do, with a little bit of planning, your party will have plenty of snacks, music, and space to let loose until the wee hours.