Just because you’re tying the knot doesn’t mean you’re tied into an expected theme with Palm Springs weddings.
With all the midcentury modern hoopla that surrounds the area, couples might think every wedding looks the same. Think again. With balmy weather, towering palms that rustle on the breeze, and a timeless mountain backdrop, the Coachella Valley lends itself to sultry celebrations infused with exotic flair.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF KORAKIA PENSIONE
Featured in countless magazines and photo shoots, Korakia Pensione is Palm Springs’ most exotic boutique hotel.
Take me away. Several locales whisk your party outside the realm of Palm Springs as we know it. An icon of rustic romance, Korakia Pensione resort has long allured couples with its Mediterranean and Moroccan villas built in the 1930s and 1924 respectively. Behind the keyhole-shaped wooden entrance doors, hushed courtyards lead to gardens, pools, fountains, fire pits, and the historic guesthouses.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE LIVING DESERT
At The Living Desert, a Spirit of Africa Wedding features a tour of the African exhibits, live drummers and a close encounter with a leopard.
The Spirit of Africa Wedding package at The Living Desert includes a spin through the African exhibits followed by an outdoor ceremony in a tree-shaded grove complete with long wooden African benches and African drums.
Afterward, celebrate inside the District Commissioner’s House, designed to mirror the thatched-roof building that British Commissioners frequented during Kenya’s colonial period. Filled with early 20th century antiques and furnishings, a full wall comes face to face with the Amur leopard’s lair, separated only by a thick pane of glass.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARTISAN FLORAL EVENT DECOR
Orchids speak an exotic language, beautifully translated in these pool floats with candles and a boutonniere with feathers, both by Artisan Floral Event Decor.
Above Palm Canyon in downtown Palm Springs, the secret tiki room at the tropical Tonga Hut surrounds intimate private parties with carved masks, nautical artifacts, bamboo construction, and tapa cloth walls. Vintage lanterns lend a glow overhead.
Say it with flowers.
Talented floral pros can transform anything from a groom’s lapel to an entire room with some exotic buds. Build a bouquet of rare blooms or request a pool float that makes a swimming statement.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROY’S IN RANCHO MIRAGE
Hawaiian flavors and fusion fare take your event to the Pacific Rim at Roy’s in Rancho Mirage.
Table your ideas.
Linens, candles, lanterns, and centerpieces turn into a tablescape as exotic as you want it to be. Make each element count. Pinterest brims with ideas.
Add some spice.
Transport guests’ tastebuds with an unexpected menu that hints of faraway lands. Roy’s in Rancho Mirage, for example, prepares Hawaiian fusion fare for a taste of the Pacific Rim. Most caterers can whip up authentic cuisine and eclectic dishes to match your theme. At the bar, an exotic concoction like a spicy jalapeno margarita, delicate lychee martini, or sweet and limey Caipirinha (Brazil’s national cocktail) emphasizes the true flavor of your occasion. Add matching signage, with perhaps the colorful story behind the cocktail’s origins or its ingredients.
PHOTOS BY ASHLEY LA PRADE PHOTOGRAPHY
Moroccan tea glasses make a juicy-hued alternative to traditional toasting flutes.
Make a personal connection.
If you’re honeymooning in Morocco, jewel-toned Moroccan tea glasses make a colorful toast, as well as a useful take-home favor. If you met while teaching English in Asia or dream of setting out on an African safari, incorporate cultural elements that feel meaningful.
Don’t forget the “exotic” motor car.
Forgo the getaway horse and carriage and plan your escape in a red hot Ferrari, British racing green Corvette Stingray, jet black Porsche Boxter, sporty orange Lamborghini Huracán, or a ghost white Aston Martin DB9 convertible. A luxury automobile from the Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise makes a sweet ride for cruising around town on the honeymoon, too.
Lisa Marie Hart has been writing about weddings since serving as an editor at Bridal Guide magazine in New York City in 1999. Since 2006, she has been editor of the annual Palm Springs Life Weddings & Honeymoon Planner. Away from the laptop, she creates tiered cupcake stands for weddings and celebrations at www.highteaforalice.com