Real Weddings/Rustic Weddings

Stylish & Laid-Back Palm Springs Wedding

Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 16

Vintage rugs, lounge spaces, BBQ, an easy-going sheath gown & a cozy fur – this stylish Palm Springs wedding had all the makings of a laid-back party and it looked wildly fun!

Gary & Candi wanted a destination wedding, yet one still reachable for all of their close family & friends. Being the lucky Southern Californians they are, they had Palm Springs at their disposal – the stylish, cactus & palm filled-desert just an hour and a half from LA, filled with cool architecture and laid-back vibes, the perfect place for their wild crew.

And what does one wear to a laid-back party in the desert? Grace Loves Lace, of course (you know how much we love the Aussie brand!) Candi wore the fun fringed sheath with a stunning fur jacket and the biggest smile ever – we can’t get over how much fun our bride & groom are truly having throughout the day and evening, so candidly captured by The McFarlands.

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Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 30

Our Love Story

For Christmas one year we decided not to travel home and instead get to celebrate the holiday together. We wanted to do something special for our first Christmas together so we spent a couple of nights at the beachfront hotel Surf and Sand in Laguna Beach. It was a perfect and relaxing way to spend the holiday.

On Christmas Eve Gary had made reservations at a nearby restaurant and unknown to me while we were gone he had planned for the hotel staff to go into our room and decorate it was flowers, candles and champagne. Needless to say, when we got back from dinner and walked into the room, I knew something was up! I went over to open the sliding door that faced the ocean and when I turned back around Gary was on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was so thoughtful and a night I’ll never forget.

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Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 17
Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 18
Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 1

The Dress

I had a really hard time finding a dress that felt different enough than everything I’ve already seen. I knew I wanted a bohemian touch to my wedding look and once I went to the Venice showroom of Grace Loves Lace and tried on the Edie gown with the fringe at the bottom I knew I had found it.

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Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 3

The Destination & Venue

I wanted to do a destination wedding but because not all family could travel so far, we decided to do what felt like a destination while still being accessible to everyone. We love the desert and Palm Springs is one of our favorite vacation places so we started looking for venues there.

Once we visited the Cree Estate we knew that was it. It was so beautiful with two different pools, huge palm trees and lush greenery everywhere you looked. I wanted our wedding to feel more like an intimate backyard dinner party with friends rather than a stuffy formal event because that’s just our personalities.

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Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 13
Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 15

Favorite Moments

One of the most special parts of the ceremony was the fact that my brother served as our officiant. It was a lot more personal that way and he did a killer job.

One of my favorite moments of the day was right after we were pronounced husband and wife, our wedding party shot off confetti cannons as we walked down the aisle. It was timed perfect and really kicked off the party mood.

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Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 7

The Photography

Eric was recommended to us by a friend and we could not have been more thrilled with our photos.

Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 9

The DIY Details

Since we were paying for basically the whole wedding ourselves, I really had to stick to a budget and did a lot of DIY touches including hand stamping all the cocktail napkins with a cactus and our initials. I went to a lot of flea markets to look for the perfect decorations and ordered a lot of items from Etsy.

Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 11

The Dinner & Desserts

We picked CV BBQ to do the catering because of the reviews and how easy they were to work with from the beginning. The food was amazing and really played into the backyard dinner party vibe, I mean who doesn’t love mac and cheese! I was inspired by the location itself for much of the wedding theme – the invitations had a desert scene with succulents and cacti, I found gold cactus vases for decorations and we even had cupcakes that looked like succulents to help decorate the dessert table.

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Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 8

Advice to Other Couples

We were on a budget so I used Excel to track all expenses and also any important due dates like final payments and RSVPs. My advice if you’re also on a budget is think outside the box – we ordered all our bulk flowers from Costco and had them delivered directly to the venue the day before and arranged them ourselves. I also used Craigslist and flea markets to find décor, saved by sending our save the dates via email and since our venue allowed for it we had all alcohol delivered from BevMo which is usually one of the biggest expenses but we saved a lot by doing this.

My biggest advice would be don’t get caught up in worrying too much – take some time for yourself and remember in the end what this day is really about.

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Stylish and Wildly Fun Palm Springs Wedding – The McFarlands 34

The Honeymoon

We took our honeymoon right after the wedding and it was perfect. First, we went to New Zealand and stayed in Queenstown for most of our time. We went paragliding, fun-yaking down the Dart River, took a plane ride over Milford Sound, went mountain biking and of course relaxed in the hot pools. We also drove across New Zealand to visit Mount Cook where we spent a couple of beautiful days hiking. We then flew to Fiji for 4 days and stayed at the most amazing resort called Tokoriki. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and I would 100% recommend it for other couples!

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