Laurel and Nader hoped for a wedding day that blended their cultural backgrounds and interests, which just so happen to be richly colorful and visually exciting. The day was highlighted by Sarah of Hazelwood Photography and the wedding venue, Korakia Pensione, which is rich in Moroccan architecture and brilliant design.
From the bride, Laurel: We envisioned the style and feel of our wedding as basically having a sort of gypsy bohemian 60s/70s rock n roll kind of vibe. We were very much inspired by our favorite music and places in the world. We wanted it to have kind of the look and feel of the famous trip to India that the Beatles took in the 1960’s to visit the Maharishi. I went to Marrakech several years ago, which is one of the most magical places I’ve ever visited and was also very much inspired by the gorgeous mix of Bedouin and French culture and Moorish architecture there, similar to that of Korakia Pensione, our venue. My husband is Persian so we also wanted to include some Zoroastrian elements and traditions as well. Essentially, I think we just wanted it to have the feel of traveling to a distant and exotic land and to be an eclectic mix of all of our favorite things.
I planned and designed the wedding myself so it was almost entirely DIY with the exception of our catering, furniture and florist. We are very fortunate to have an amazingly talented group of friends comprised of artists and designers who helped out with literally everything, with everyone bringing their own unique contributions to the table. For example, my amazing photographer and dear friend Sarah Morrison (Hazelwood Photo) has such an incredible eye that, in addition to taking our gorgeous photos, was also tremendous at bringing all of these beautiful elements together to truly visually capture the essence of our wedding. Another dear friend of mine, Michael Carbaugh, who is a professional art director with absolutely impeccable taste, was invaluable with sourcing and design throughout the entire process.
Rather than attendants I had four flower girls, each of whom had her own one of a kind traditional style Mexican sundress accessorized with huarache sandals and majolica rose flower crowns made by our florist. We even coordinated our looks with our officiant who wore a gorgeous white floor length Free People gown. Everyone wore white except me.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I highly recommend putting together a few Pinterest pages to use as your inspiration boards. I did one for the overall design/vibe of the wedding and one just for flowers.
We hired a traditional Indian band comprised of a sitar player, acoustic guitar player and drummer to do the music for our processional and during cocktail hour. I wanted them to play “Three King Fishers” by Donovan when I walked down the aisle, which they learned to play specifically for the ceremony and it was amazing. During cocktail hour they played a mix of traditional Indian sitar songs combined with some sitar songs from the 1960’s, such as Norwegian Wood by the Beatles. For the flower girls and for the recessional we played instrumental songs by a Persian guitarist, Behdad Mogadassi, that sound a bit like classical Spanish guitar music, yet with a distinctly Persian flair.
Wedding Location: Palm Springs, CA / Photographer: Hazelwood Photography / Event Design: Bride, Laurel Valencia (LaurelValencia @ yahoo.com) / Florist: Three Bunch Palms Productions / Wedding Venue: Korakia Pensione / Wedding Dress: Badgley Mischka / Headpiece and Jewelry: Vintage / Wedding Shoes: Miu Miu / Wedding Caterer: Lulu Bistro / Wedding Musician: Aloke Dasgupta / Tables and Chairs: Planks and Patina