Curated Lists/Expert Advice

The Ultimate Guide To Planning A Palm Springs Wedding

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Photo by Claire Eliza at The Ace Hotel & Swim Club

As a frequent snowbird flocking to the desert for both shameless spa getaways & wild wedding fun, I know quite a lot about getting married in Palm Springs.

I fell in love with Palm Spring weddings a decade ago shooting some of my very first couples in the desert paradise. As it happens, I – Claire Eliza – photograph weddings often at the oh-so-cool Ace Hotel & Swim Club! There’s a certain magic that Palm Springs offers to couples that, thankfully, is easy to articulate.

Picture this: you say “I do” in a private mid-century estate, surrounded by succulents, impressive Saguaro cacti, colorful bougainvillea & waving date palms under guaranteed sunshine. Then, a technicolor sunset falls over your poolside cocktail hour while some of the finest caterers offer Latin-inspired fare. The party goes well into the night thanks to gorgeous weather & tantalizing libations of tequila & mezcal.

Convinced? Lucky for you I’ve put together this “wedding-in-a-box” guide which basically plans your entire Palm Springs wedding. Yep, I offer to you the insider details for the best venues, planners, photographers, florists & so much more…

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Photo by Claire Eliza at The Ace Hotel & Swim Club

How To Get There

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California, Palm Springs will likely be a destination for you & your guests. Luckily, landing in this desert oasis is quite easy!

1. Fly directly into Palm Springs – As a popular destination, Palm Springs has a super easy airport in the heart of town. While perhaps more expensive (West Coast travelers can often find flight deals!) you’ll save money on renting a car thanks to how small the town is. With Lyft & Uber’s affordable prices and many hotels offering free bicycles and shuttles, you’ll have no trouble getting around town.

2. Fly into Los Angeles (or even San Diego!) & drive – For cheaper flights, you can fly into Los Angeles or San Diego and take the two-hour drive to the desert. (Just make sure your journey isn’t during rush hour!)

Having your own car and an adventurous spirit will mean you can take excursions to nearby Joshua Tree National Park! I often use the app Turo on wedding trips to save money & time normally spent as car rental counters.

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Photo by Claire Eliza at The Ace Hotel & Swim Club

Where to Get Married & Stay

In my humble opinion, the best reason to get married in Palm Springs (aside from the weather) is the number of gorgeous wedding venues fitting for any style of bride & groom. You can find quirky boho rentals, gorgeous garden estates, mid-century hotels, Spanish-style villas & country-style ranches.

These are my 10 absolute favorite wedding venues in Palm Springs…

The Ace Hotel & Swim Club – I’m telling you, The Ace Hotel & Swim Club absolutely lives up to the hype! The hotel group synonymous with ‘cool’ renovated this mid-century pool house into a dreamy, desert oasis equipped with enviable chill vibes. With great food (their diner Kings Highway is my favorite breakfast in town!), Insta-worthy pool parties, colorful artwork & experienced wedding team, you’ll be too busy enjoying yourself to have a moment of wedding worry.

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Photo by Claire Eliza at Smoke Tree Ranch

The O’Donnell House & The Willows Historic Inn – If you’re googling “best wedding venues with views” here’s your Palm Springs answer. Uniquely tucked on the edge of the San Jacinto Mountains, this lush wedding retreat offers incredible views of rugged mountains and the palm oasis below.

Smoke Tree Ranch– Once a desert retreat for none other than Walt Disney, Smoke Tree Ranch offers an impressive level of privacy for your wedding weekend. With cottage accommodations spread across the vast properly rugged property (it’s all for looks!) & numerous spaces to choose from for each wedding event, you’ll feel like you rented an entire town in the Wild West for your wedding day.

Parker Palm Springs – If you’ve told any Palm Springs-ophile that you’re wedding venue hunting they’ve likely asked: “Have you been to Parker Palm Springs?” The hotel is a classic choice in the best way possible – if you want an experienced venue that can ‘do it all’ Parker Palm Springs can likely make your wildest wedding dream come true thanks to their incredibly experienced wedding team (just look at this elephant entrance!)

 

Cheers Babe Photo – The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Palm Springs – Bridal Musings 2
Photo by Cheers Babe Photo at The O'Donnell House
Villa Royale – Modern Love Palm Springs Event – Green Wedding Shoes – The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Palm Springs – Bridal Musings
Photo by Katie Pritchard via Green Wedding Shoes at Villa Royale

Villa Royale – If you’re looking for a space that embodies everything we love about Palm Springs, Villa Royale might just be it. The luxurious boutique hotel evokes daydreams of swanky private getaways of Hollywood’s finest thanks to its Spanish style architecture, mid-century modern decor, secluded garden, turquoise pool & tantalizing new restaurant ready to cater your party.

Casa de Monte Vista – We’re seduced by the Spanish garden vibes of the Casa de Monte Vista. Imagine cascades of bougainvillea, rustic old-world furnishings & an intimate al-fresco dinner under the stars.

Colony 29 – If you were fangirling Whitney Port’s Palm Springs wedding like us (sorry, not sorry) you’ll be delighted to hear her own wedding venue is available to us all! With six rental homes across seven acres, you can create your own wedding oasis amongst the palms & rugged rocky mountain terrain.

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Photo by Hannah Costello via Green Wedding Shoes at Colony 29
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Photo by Love Me Do Photography at Korakia Pensione

Korakia Pensione – Transport your guests to Morocco with a quick flight to the American Southwest. One of the most unique venues on the list, Korakia features gorgeous riad-style tiling & decor, a beautiful pool & all-white-walls that make you feel you’ve taken a magic carpet to the North African coast.

Frederick Lowe Estate – Your photographer will thank you for booking such a backdrop-filled venue for your wedding day. Enjoy 360-degree views, olive groves, palm trees, gardens & impeccable architectural design that undoubtedly will result in the most gorgeous wedding photos you could ask for.

The Cree Estate – This laid-back 1930s hacienda gives us more boho, western vibes in contrast to the many more mod venues around just see here in our own featured Cree Estate wedding on the blog!

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Photo by Love Me Do Photography at Korakia Pensione
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Photo by Claire Eliza at The Ace Hotel & Swim Club

Wedding Planners & Florists

Do as much as you like, but we think you deserve some Palm Spring spa days while your wedding prep team takes care of the details! Here are our favorite planners, coordinators, stylists & florists…

Wedding Planners, Stylists & Coordinators

Floral Designers

Elizabeth Dye – Villa Royale – Modern Love Palm Springs Event – Green Wedding Shoes – The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Palm Springs – Bridal Musings
Photo by Katie Pritchard via Green Wedding Shoes at Villa Royale

Wedding Photographers

I always tell my clients, from your wedding day you take away your spouse, your rings & your photos! You’ll want to remember these days for decades to come so take great care in choosing a wedding photographer you love. You’ll find my favorite local picks below, and my advice on how to choose a wedding photography style here.

Wedding Photographers

Brianna Broyles – The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Palm Springs – Bridal Musings 1

Furniture & Decor

Palm Springs is such a stylish town when it comes to architecture & interiors, so it’s no surprise that the area boasts plenty of collections of rental furniture & decor to peruse for your wedding space.

Furniture & Decor Rentals

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Wedding Caterers

With many of our ‘best venue’ choices, we factored in the ‘high delectability’ of their in-house restaurants & caterers. But for those who don’t provide the meals (or perhaps you have a particular taste!) we can recommend these caterers as well!

  • f10 Catering – Local Palm Springs catering featuring fresh & sustainable menus.
  • Whoa Nelly Catering – Southern California catering company specializing in seasonal ingredients.
  • Desert Dine – Experienced local catering company offering a wide variety of food & drink menus.
  • CV BBQ – Local food truck catering offering mouth-watering barbecue.
  • Taca Tacos – Local taco catering company.
Woah Nelly Catering – Modern Love Palm Springs Event – Green Wedding Shoes – The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Palm Springs – Bridal Musings
Photo by Katie Pritchard via Green Wedding Shoes at Villa Royale
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Photo by Claire Eliza at The Ace Hotel & Swim Club

Other Vendors

An insider tip: While most of the vendors listed above are local, the beauty of Palm Springs weddings is you have access to vendors throughout Southern California. So, if you don’t find your dream florist, the right DJ or maybe you’re dreaming of a specific food truck for your wedding – chances are you can find the right fit from LA, San Diego and elsewhere nearby!

So now, we gift you a few more favorite vendors, both local & located nearby frequenting the Palm Springs wedding scene…

  • The Flashdance DJs – One of the best wedding entertainment companies in the industry, located in LA
  • Wildhouse Ink – Local company creating modern invitations & signage.
  • The Quail & The Dove – Local videographer creating cinematic & unique wedding films.
  • Amigo Booth – Stylish & modern instant sharing photo booth rental.
  • Blushed by Brink – Top-rated wedding makeup & hairstylists located in Southern California.
  • Lindsey Jones Makeup – San Diego-based makeup artist specializing in natural beauty.
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Photo by Claire Eliza at Smoke Tree Ranch

Still looking for that perfect destination? Browse amazing real destination weddings here.

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