You know those people that just radiate cool vibes without even trying? That’s Allison and Josh. Their desert wedding was simple but absolutely breathtaking. And as we scrolled through their wedding gallery, we just couldn’t get over how adorable they are together.
Last year I took on a project that was a bit outside of our usual scope of work. My older brother popped the question last fall and we planned his intimate desert wedding. The best part of it all? He and his fiance opted for our trust package so their wedding day was full of gorgeous surprises. There are so many special details from their day that I’ve been dying to share and it’s finally time!!
Brock has always dreamed of having a giant, very traditional wedding with dancing and a lengthy guest list. Megan wanted to run away to a courthouse for a private wedding ceremony. So, how did we meet in the middle? The couple chose to keep their guest list tight, only 30 attendees, and held their celebration at Lost Dutchman State Park. The views are breathtaking and the compromise between traditional and non-traditional was such a fun challenge to tackle throughout their planning.
Brock and Megan decided early on that they wanted to forgo most of the traditional elements of their wedding day. If you and your fiance are having a hard time deciding where to start planning or how to allocate your budget, we can help you out. We recommend that each of you sit alone and list your top 5 priorities for your wedding celebration. Then, compare notes. The categories where you overlap will take priority and the rest you don’t need to worry about… really.
The priorities in our planning here were to have great photos, a beautiful film, and incredible food.
For photos, the amazing Lauren with Lunabear Studios was on site with us. Brock is a total ham and we knew he’d need a photographer that could capture his goofy side but reign him in for some serious photos too. I absolutely love Lauren’s use of light and color but my favorite part of her work is the way she captures joy in her clients.
For ceremony, I knew we wanted to create something gorgeous without taking anything away from the stunning view. So, we built a little wall of flowers to anchor the space and add some beauty while keeping the mountain as the main focal point. We played off of the colors in the desert with touches of pale yellow and blush alongside a mainly red and magenta color palette. Those red roses have me all in my feelings. They were perfection.
We were lucky enough to work with Moonrise Standard for catering and to say they knocked it out of the park would be an understatement. Derek sat down with Brock and Megan to learn about what they love to eat, then he created a custom menu for a three course meal that featured elevated versions of food they loved to eat. My personal favorite was the smoked chili and pumpkin bisque but every part of the meal was absolutely drool-worthy.
And finally, the reception space!! Our friends at Tremaine Ranch provided the furniture and tabletop accents here. We ordered linen from Linen Lark in an array of colors that faded from light to dark as the table progressed. The flatware and goblets from Tremaine Ranch brought in some much needed moodiness.
And that, folks, is how ya do it. This was such a special project and I loved the trust Brock and Megan gave us for their design and planning. If you are interested in letting us work our magic for your wedding, ask us about the Trust package!
This shoot feels so beyond words for me. The details are delicate and romantic. The cloudy sky lends an almost dreamlike light to every shot and my talented friend Brandy outdid herself with the styling. It’s the kind of wedding inspiration that makes me want to speak to you only in love poems. So rather than trying to describe to you all of the magic that is happening here, I’m going to let you take it all in for yourself. This is one of our favorite shoots of the year and I’m thrilled to be sharing it with you today.
We stepped into the dreamy world of Lunabear Studios to bring this bright, colorful shoot to life and today, it's featured over on Wedding Chicks! Scroll through for our favorite images from the shoot!!
I've somehow managed to build a life for myself that is about 80% magic.
I went to school in Chicago at Columbia College and it was there that I first met Lauren. We are both natural leaders and when our professor imposed a semester-long full-class group project, we more or less shouldered the entire burden of the work (group projects - am I right?) and through that, we realized we were also very similar ladies and our friendship naturally bloomed.
Lauren met Matt in class at Columbia as well and from the very beginning it was clear that these two had something pretty special. We won't talk about the first time I met Matt (at a super loud club in Wrigleyville for Lauren's birthday) and wasn't his biggest fan (two guys were vying for her attention and I wasn't totally sure who was who and it was loud and I hate crowds and just immediately decided I didn't like either of them). Needless to say, I am THRILLED Lauren ignored my opinion because over the years, Matt has become one of my absolute favorite people in the world.
Since college, the three of us have only become closer. During my extended summer stays in Chicago for work, I lived with them and our crisp summertime Chi nights were full of last minute ice cream runs, coffee-filled mornings, and countless Sunday family brunches. The life that these two have built together is so beautiful and happy that getting to witness little peeks into it has really affirmed my belief in true love. So, when Matt popped the question and wedding planning was in full swing, I was beyond thrilled when they asked me to do their flowers. And when I say, "They asked me to do their flowers" I mean "I demanded they let me do their flowers and they agreed". Moving right along.
Here's the thing people don't tell you about wedding planning: it's insanely easy for everyone's opinions about your big day to derail your ideal plans. Something I loved about watching Matt and Lauren's big day come together was seeing the way they honored their shared vision of what their wedding would be.
Here were the non-negotiables:
- open bar
- good food
- good friends
- kick-ass DJ
If you're in the thick of your own wedding planning, I'd highly encourage you and your significant other to sit down (separately) and make a list of the top 5 parts of your wedding that are the most important to you. Then, get together and see where your lists match up and make those your golden rules. Funnel your budget towards those items and agree to let the rest fall as it may. It'll make your planning a lot easier and it will help ensure that the wedding you plan is the one you really want to have.
OKAY! Back to Lauren and Matt!! They both come from graphic design backgrounds and are art directors so every details meshed beautifully with its surroundings. The invitation suite was designed entirely by Lauren and even featured a custom illustration of their venue that she had made into a wax seal.
Their venue was the Tribune Tower in downtown Chicago. The views were AMAZING. The ceremony was heartfelt, officiated by a lifelong friend, and had everyone crying. Ok, maybe not everyone but I was bawling all of my makeup off. Anyone else just immediately crumble at weddings? No? Just me? Cool.
After the ceremony, guests sipped on passed wine on the roof of the building and when the rain rolled in (Chi weather - am I right?) we all moved downstairs to Howells & Hood for toasts, dinner, dancing, and the almighty open bar.
Their decor was minimal yet impactful. We created small round centerpieces for half of their guest tables and adorned the remainder with simple, chic bud vases. The decor was filled in with fun signs and gorgeous candlelight!
Rather than having a bridal party, Lauren and Matt just made sure all of their favorite friends were invited to the party and photos were taken of everyone as we danced the night away.
The wedding was absolutely magical. The fact that I was able to contribute to it in some tiny way still gets me all choked up. As I said at the top, this life I have is about 80% magic and I'm just completely blown away by the people I get to share it with and the beauty we all get to create together.