Joshua Tree Desert Wedding Inspiration at The Ruin Venue
When MyWedding reached out about pulling an editorial together for their Summer 2017 shoot, we jumped! With the only stipulation being that they wanted a “desert environment” they gave us carte blanche to develop the remaining details on our own. This flexibility allowed for our ideas to run wild and free.
For us, the environment and the event space always heavily influences the design. I started by envisioning my ideal venue for the shoot— a desert locale with majestic views. After scouring Southern California, we discovered The Ruin, a beautifully imperfect venue in a magical space. It’s literally an old, abandoned stone house set amongst the Joshua trees in Pipes Canyon in the high desert in Pioneertown, CA. The venue is now used to host special events and the owners are building lodging on-site to accommodate event-goers. It was the perfect location to house our editorial and once we found it, it greatly influenced our design decisions.
With the location in place, we sought out inspirational imagery and materials that would guide the process. With the environment as our inspiration, we chose washed out desert hues of sage, sand and desert rose and added a pop of rich green for balance and a bit of drama. I became obsessed with incorporating the pink Anthropologie dishes into the editorial, and many of the design specifics were chosen to complement them. Tono & Co’s breezy ribbon and linen was another must-have that guided the development of the visual story.
From there, we chose a team of artists that could help achieve that vision. The airy, romantic style of Birds of a Feather’s photography was the exact look we wanted. We walked the property together to plot out the best locations for each scene. Lavenders Flowers created incredibly gorgeous designs inspired by the desert location. They even foraged local brush on-site to add to the bouquet and the living room mantle. The combination of pattern and sleekness of Circa Rentals’ inventory was the perfect match. La Happy Designs’ beautifully organic, yet sophisticated invitation suite with water color, hand illustration and calligraphy sets the tone for the whimsical wedding event.
The venue has a framed structure with hanging lights. We used it as a frame for our ceremony space and wrapped a simple loose weave fabric to create a whimsical backdrop. The potted cacti and rug keep the altar space grounded and simple white industrial chairs complete the look. The house ruin’s “living room” became a lovely lounge space with a cozy furniture vignette nestled around the fireplace. The mantle was the perfect location for our fun paddle cactus escort card installation. The dining room housed our dinner table with lots of colorful floral arrangements, taper candles and place settings.
We worked with Solstice Bride in Venice to choose a simple, spaghetti strap gown and translucent cape by Alexandra Grecco. It was a simple look and yet created a ton of drama with the wind grabbing the cape. Our bride looked like she was floating. Solstice provided incredible accessories, including a back necklace by From Isla in the perfect shade of aquamarine that delicately grazed our bride’s skin, as well as an unusual, yet gorgeous hair piece from Olivia the Wolf. Janel Benson from Fiore Beauty describes the hair and makeup look they developed best: “We were having a complete love affair with the warmth of the desert and wanted to tie that in with the tones we used to highlight the model’s features, keeping the hair romantic, yet soft and moveable.”
For dessert, Sweet and Saucy Shop created a gorgeous 3-tier cake with a custom gold graphic design inspired by the patterned glassware on the dinner tables. An organic watercolor motif was also incorporated as a nod to the watercolor elements in the paper goods. Handmade sugar flowers completed the beautiful look. The environment itself was the most beautiful setting for portraits with our lovely model bride, Bianca. Her ring was beautifully housed in a velvet ring box from The Mrs. Box.
While I generated the initial vision, it evolved so beautifully because of the talented team of artists I enlisted who were interested in collaborating on the design and making it even better together. It was a harmonious match of artists from concept through shoot day. We had the best time on-set seeing our vision come to life even stronger than we had imagined on paper. The Summer 2017 issue of MyWedding is on newsstands nationwide today. It’s really beautifully composed publication with tons of info and insiration for brides and grooms to be. You can find the issue in the following locations. Go out and grab yourself a copy!
Shoot Concept, Design & Styling:RO & Co. Events // Venue: The Ruin Venue // Photography: Birds of a Feather // Stationery: la Happy Design // Hair/Makeup: Fiore Beauty // Floral Design: Lavenders Flowers // Cake: Sweet and Saucy Shop // Rentals: Circa Rentals // Bridal Salon (provided gown, cape and accessories): Solstice Bride // Bridal Gown and Cape: Maia gown by Alexandra Grecco Annika Cape by Alexandra Grecco // Accessories: Jacinta headpiece by Olivia the Wolf // Crystal comb by Naturae Design // Aquamarine Backless Necklace: From Isla // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box // Linen/Ribbon: Tono & co. // Table Settings: Anthropologie.