This Destination Garden Wedding Took Place During Pride Weekend in Palm Springs, California

brides posing for wedding portrait in front of white stairs
Michael Radford

In November of 2015, Adrienne and Joanna were both reluctant to try out online dating—but less than a week after they took the plunge and signed up, they met for their first date. Their date took place right before final exams started for Joanna, who is now a public interest attorney, and she admits her study schedule went out the window as soon as she met Adrienne, a television producer (whose first internship was on the Martha Stewart Show!).

Adrienne decided to propose on their two-year anniversary, so three months prior, she flew home to Portland, Oregon, to shop for Joanna's ring with her mom, aunt, and two of her cousins. The night before the proposal, Joanna found out she passed the bar exam, paving the way for Adrienne to make a reservation at their favorite Italian restaurant to celebrate the results and their anniversary. Adrienne asked Joanna to get ready early that night to have a glass of wine on their porch before dinner, which is where Adrienne popped the question. "I wanted it to be personal and feel like us," Adrienne says, "so a sweet proposal at home felt perfect."

The couple decided to invite 121 guests to Palm Springs, CA, for a destination wedding that also coincided with Pride Week. Joanna is from New York, and Adrienne is from Oregon, so they wanted to choose a destination that would allow guests to fly directly there. To nail down all of the details, they teamed up with Sunna and Lauren from Bash Please, which the couple considers the best decision they made during the planning process. "What really set them apart was their dedication to creating a wedding that was personalized to who we are as a couple," Adrienne says. They went for a theme of desert landscape meets European garden party with a color scheme of flax, cotton, palo verde, cactus green, blush, and indigo.

01 of 18

Artful Touches

yellow and white wedding invitation suite with greenery
Michael Radford

Joanna and Adrienne hired Ella Jackson to paint a palo verde tree, a motif that appeared on the invitation suites, designed by Amber Moon, and throughout the big day's decor. Their paper set featured a mix of letterpress, calligraphy, and digital printing; all notes were tucked into a pocket illustrated with a desert landscape as a nod to Palm Springs.

02 of 18

Beautiful Brides

wedding couple posing under greenery wall with red flowers
Michael Radford

Adrienne, left, didn't want to hunt for a wedding dress, so she booked an appointment at BHLDN in the morning and went by herself with a cup of coffee in hand. She tried on just a few options and landed on an ivory lace ensemble with short sleeves, which she had previously seen online. "I ended up showing my best friend and future mother-in-law the dress to make sure that what I picked wasn't atrocious, but they loved it!" she says. She paired her gown with Gianvito Rossi leather sandals in off-white.

Joanna took the opposite approach: She invited her mother to fly in from Florida to go dress shopping with her in Los Angeles. "Initially I invited her because I thought it would be meaningful for her," Joanna says. "What I didn't know at the time, is just how much it would mean to me to be able to share that with my mom." They visited a few stores before finding her Mira Zwillinger gown with a hand-sewn embellished bodice and chiffon skirt. Joanna ditched the belt and had the dress altered to be strapless, adding a lining underneath the sheer bodice. The finishing touch? She donned Alexandre Birman sandals with a block heel and knotted detailing.

03 of 18

The Bouquets

pastel orange and pink wedding bouquets
Michael Radford

Adrienne wanted a classic bouquet with color, so her arrangement included scented rose lane, garden roses, local tuberose, and blooming oregano. Joanna carried a wild mix of oregano in bloom, flannel flower, scented rose lane, garden roses, sage, and nerine lilies. Both arrangements were created by Sophia of Isa Isa Floral.

04 of 18

Cool Flower Girls

wedding flower girls holding parasols in the sun
Michael Radford

The couple's nieces served as their flower girls. They wore matching white dresses and flower crowns, which were also made by Sophia.

05 of 18

A First Look

brides embracing during first look in front of greenery wall
Michael Radford

Adrienne and Joanna weren't sure about sharing a first look, but their photographer, Michael Radford, encouraged them to do so—and they're glad he did. "It turned out to be such a special moment where it was just us. We got to spend a moment together before walking down the aisle," Adrienne says.

06 of 18

Wooden Chuppah

wooden wedding ceremony arch with floral decor
Michael Radford

A mix of wooden bistro chairs and benches were set up for the ceremony, which took place on the venue's lawn overlooking a mountainside. As guests arrived, they were offered a "Blackberry '75" cocktail with Champagne, gin, blackberries, and lemon, garnished with berry and citrus wheels.

Adrienne and Joanna are both Jewish, so they decided to tie the knot underneath a modern chuppah. The structure was decorated with fall foliage, mostly foraged by the couple's florist.

07 of 18

Breaking the Glass

brides breaking glass during wedding ceremony
Michael Radford

Adrienne and Joanna walked down the aisle together—which was a mutual decision. "We got married when we were a little bit older, so for us, it didn't feel natural to have our families 'give' us away," the couple says. The couple asked their best friend, Parker, who was there when they first met, to officiate the ceremony.

The couple wrote most of their service themselves and decided to participate in a modified ring ceremony: Both of their families made a wish on their rings before their mothers brought them back to the altar. They asked their nieces and nephews to read an excerpt from the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage and concluded with the Jewish tradition of breaking glass. The newlyweds loved hearing Parker shout "L'Chaim!" after that celebratory moment.

08 of 18

Signature Sips

wedding cocktails on white linen table
Michael Radford

Come the cocktail hour, the pair offered a full open bar with wine and beer for guests, but also offered three signature drinks. The "Sage Bee's Knees" was a vodka cocktail with sage, lemon, and honey; the "Infante" included tequila, orgeat, lime, and nutmeg garnished with star anise; and the "Heart of Kentucky" was a bourbon sip with blood orange, ginger, lime, and soda. Appetizers were passed around, including chevre and fig jam tarts, potato and poblano rajas tostadas, and spicy fried chicken sliders.

09 of 18


string trio playing music for wedding
Michael Radford

Dart Collective treated guests to serene melodies during the ceremony, and continued playing into the cocktail hour—during which the musicians set up underneath a pergola with a stained-glass roof.

10 of 18

Find Your Seat

escort cards on wooden table outdoors surrounded by greenery
Michael Radford

A long farm table with a striped table runner displayed attendees' escort cards, which were printed on blush cardstock. Potted plants were placed on the back half of the table in vessels of varying heights.

11 of 18

Al Fresco

wedding long tables with white linens for outdoor reception
Michael Radford

The reception took place outside, where long tables and chairs were arranged for an al fresco dinner. Bistro lights were hung overhead.

12 of 18

Romantic Tablescapes

wedding reception long table with pink and gold decorations
Michael Radford

Tables were topped with crisp white linens and stoneware; striped napkins from Heather Taylor Home were folded on each plate. Spanish-style wine glasses and gold flatware with navy blue handles brought a casual vibe to settings. A mix of pillar and taper candles in glass votives were scattered along each station, along with local fruits.

13 of 18

Floral Focal Point

pink and orange toned floral centerpiece at reception
Michael Radford

The organic centerpiece arrangements incorporated blush-and-ivory florals and greenery and were placed in white bowl vases.

14 of 18

Handwritten Notes

simple wedding reception menu cards on place settings
Michael Radford

Along with a dinner menu, each guest found a handwritten note from the couple at their seat for a personal touch.

15 of 18

Sharing a Meal

brides and guests toasting at wedding reception dinner
Michael Radford

It was important to Adrienne and Joanna to serve great food on their wedding day—and they did just that, starting with a salad of roasted butternut squash with burrata, dandelion, and spiced pepitas. Guests had their choice of grilled hanger steak with herbed butter and Brussels sprouts or a slow-roasted Scottish salmon with roasted beets for their main course.

During the meal, several loved ones gave short, heartfelt speeches, which ended up being a highlight for the couple.

  • Important Etiquette Tips for Giving a Wedding Speech or Toast
16 of 18

On the Dance Floor

brides and guests dancing at wedding reception
Michael Radford

The pair decided to skip a traditional first spin and instead asked their DJ to help them keep the dance floor packed all night long.

17 of 18

Cutting the Cake

brides cutting cake together at wedding reception
Michael Radford

Adrienne and Joanna's three-tier confection from Susie Cakes included chocolate cake with mocha buttercream. They also offered a dessert station for guests, which included sea salt caramel pudding, fruit crisps, and gluten-free ginger cookies. For a late-night snack, the celebrants enjoyed short rib torta sliders and fries.

To couples currently planning their big days, Adrienne and Joanna say, "No one will remember the chairs you pick or whatever tiny detail that feels so important while you are in the midst of planning. At the end of the day, it's just about creating one amazing party!"

18 of 18


brides holding hands and kissing during wedding ceremony
Michael Radford

Photography, Michael Radford
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Bash Please
Videographer, Austin Hendrix
Flowers, Isa Isa Floral
Adrienne's Attire, BHLDN (gown); Gianvito Rossi (shoes)
Joanna's Attire, Mira Zwillinger (gown);Alexandre Birman (shoes)
Hair and Makeup, Page Beauty
Music, Dart Collective
Catering, Whoa Nelly
Bar, The Whaling Club
Cake, Susie Cakes
Rentals, Heather Taylor Home; La Tavola Linens; Casa De Perrin; Theoni Collection; Bright Rentals

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles