A Bright Modern Destination Wedding in Palm Springs, California
Amy and Gabe
Amy and Gabe first laid eyes on each other at an LCD Soundsystem concert they attended with a group of mutual friends. Gabe happened to be on a date with someone else, but this inauspicious beginning eventually led to a dinner date, after which the pair were smitten. Exactly one year after Gabe proposed to Amy in Costa Rica, the couple wed in Palm Springs, California. The sleek-yet-fun decor of their venue, the Parker Palm Springs, inspired a modern Rat Pack-themed celebration complete with live jazz, martinis, and retro design elements.
The bride's bouquet combined garden roses, calla lilies, and parrot tulips. "I wanted to keep most things white during the ceremony and then add color at the reception," Amy says.
Matrons of Honor
The matrons of honor, Amy's best friend and her sister, clipped orange silk blossoms into their hair. One carried calla lilies; the other, parrot tulips. Their strapless chiffon dresses are from J.Crew.
The bridesmaids clipped these orange silk flowers custom made by M&S Schmalberg into their hair.
"I wanted to feel like I was going to a very fabulous party," says Amy of how she approached her wedding-day outfit. She chose an elegant strapless column gown by Lanvin, rhinestone-encrusted satin pumps, and dramatic chandelier earrings. As she walked down the aisle on her father's arm, guests got a glimpse of the amazing ruffles adorning the back of her dress. The groom wore a suit from Brooks Brothers.
The Ring Bearer
Amy's nephew Benjamin performed his ring bearer duties wearing a dapper three-piece suit and orange bow tie.
The Ring Pillow
The wedding bands (his cobalt chrome, hers platinum with pave-set diamonds) were carried down the aisle on this natty orange-houndstooth and charcoal-gray-ribbon pillow.
The couple's dogs joined their owners at the altar. Poly, the groom's Jack Russell terrier, donned a special dress for the main event.
Arthur, Amy's Cairn terrier, sported a gingham bow tie.
Parents of the Bride
Amy's parents strolled down the tree-lined aisle to live bossa nova tunes. "There were also some jazzy Miles Davis moments," says Gabe.
The afternoon of the wedding, a slight daylight-savings mishap was revealed: The 5 o'clock start time would fall after dusk, making the outdoor service darker than anticipated. Luckily, hurricanes holding candles, strung up in the trees on the Parker's croquet lawn, created a bewitching ambiance. "It wasn't totally the mode we were going for, but it turned out magically," says Amy.
Candlelit lanterns suspended from an olive tree illuminated the couple's exchange of vows. "All we could think was, Is this happening?" says Amy of the ceremony. "We both got really teary-eyed."
Sounds of Celebration
Ribbon-tied tambourines, kazoos, and other noisemakers were placed on guests seats, along with packets of confetti. As the newlyweds exited, everyone jammed on the musical instruments.
The Seating Chart
Guests located their reception seats by finding their names on the "key" to this vintage map reproduction.
During the jazz-fueled cocktail hour, partygoers helped themselves to classic mixed drinks, including Manhattans and margaritas. The hotel's map coordinates, printed on the napkins, continued the theme.
For the rest of the reception, music chosen by Gabe maintained the retro mood. Long tables were positioned around the dance floor while toasts were made. Though the weather was balmy, candles and orange flowers created an autumnal feeling.
On the Table
Guests feasted on braised short ribs and butternut-squash risotto. To dress up the table, Chilewich textiles (the company Amy works for) were used as table runners and also wrapped around vases and hurricanes.
Amy and her dad swayed on the checkerboard dance floor to "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke.
Each tier of the embossed fondant cake was a different flavor: almond with chocolate, red velvet with cream cheese, and chocolate with cookies and cream.
A "Tini" Thanks
Martini sets containing a jar of olives, vermouth, a petite cocktail shaker, a mini bottle of vodka, and a killer recipe were given as favors.
Jute Bags, U.S. Box. Olives, Impressions in Flight. Vermouth, Martini Extra Dry Miniature from thewhiskeyexhange.com. Cocktail Shakers, Keg Works. Vodka, Tito's Handmade Vodka from Tarzan Wine and Spirits. Stir sticks, "Beaded Colored Stirrers" from Pick On Us.
Photography: Amy Neunsinger
Location, Catering, and Cake: Parker Palm Springs
Event Planning: Jill Watson of The Pampered Bride
Flowers and Event Design: White Lilac Inc.
Stationery: The Wilderness
Music: Mark Wood Entertainment
Wedding Photography: Mi Belle Photography
Bride's Gown: Lanvin
Groom's Suit: Brooks Brothers
Invitation Letterpressing: Peter Kruty Editions
Save-the-Date and Menu Printing: Print Icon
Calligraphy: Anne Robin
Wedding Cake Sugar Flowers: Sweet & Saucy Shop
DJ: DJ Bobby French
Officiant: Richard Cadieux
Cocktail Napkins: ForYourParty.com
Ring Pillow: Cat Chow (price upon request, 646-247-7293)
Hair: Maggie Ritchie
Dogs' Attire: Rover