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Safari Inspired Palm Springs Wedding

Photos By: Annie McElwain

When bride Lisa didn’t know quite where to start in planning her wedding, she turned to the most natural of inspirations: her home shared with groom Lenny. The couple picked fabrics and colors that reminded them of some favorite motifs — wallpapers, upholstery, or a favorite t-shirt. Leave the rest to the dream team of Annie McElwain, Sitting in a Tree Events, and The Floral Lab for one beautiful wedding recipe!

bride and groom

From the bride, Lisa: In the perfect world we would have had a backyard wedding, but unfortunately our backyard isn’t big enough. We chose the La Casa courtyard at La Quinta Resort for it’s backyard vibe and because we knew the resort would be a perfect place for our guests to spend a relaxing weekend. We set the date almost sixteen months before the wedding so we had plenty of time to figure out exactly what we wanted and make or find all of the personal touches. There were several sunrise trips to the Rose Bowl flea market to find vintage furniture and suitcases, hours spent on eBay finding vintage table coverings and blue mason jars and many late nights spent with the sewing machine or hand stamping place cards but it was so worth it.


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newlyweds with son

We didn’t have a color scheme or even a theme in mind but we knew that we wanted everything to have our personal touch on it. With this in mind, we chose a few fabrics that reminded us of things in our home (wallpaper, a chair covering, a favorite shirt) and we used them as a jumping off point for the rest of the design. Along with my mom and my bridesmaids, I sewed runners for every table, pennants to decorate the cocktail hour, and favor bags to be filled with my mother’s homemade salted pumpkin caramels. I used the same fabric as a backdrop for the “safari” table in the cocktail hour. As a big thank you to all of the guests that contributed to our honeymoon safari, I mounted papier maché animal heads in vintage picture frames (collected from Goodwill) and staged them with vintage suitcases and a homemade chalkboard sign thanking our guests. We continued the “safari” theme with hundreds of miniature animal figurines that we spray-painted gold all over the dining tables.


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We customized the family style dinner menu to serve things that we often make at home and served wine from a vineyard down the road from my parents’ house. We couldn’t decide on just one cake so we chose a lemon/rosemary olive oil cake and a salted-caramel chocolate cake. Everyone said the food was wonderful (we didn’t have time to eat!). We loved DJ Swon who kept everyone dancing for hours and I am so happy that we chose Magnolia for our photo booth- we have great photos of all of our guests. It was truly the best party that my husband and I have ever been to!


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bride and groom outdoors


View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Location: Palm Springs, CA / Venue: La Quinta Resort, Palm Springs / Photographer: Annie McElwain / Day of Coordination and Styling: Sitting in a Tree Events / Florist: The Floral Lab / Wedding Dress: Custom / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Makeup: Leah Riehl / Hair: Renee Adams / Groom’s Suit: Theory / Groom’s tie: Custom by Tux and Tulle / Wedding Cake: Juliette’s Bakery / DJ: DJ Swon of Red Shoe LA / Photobooth: Magnolia / Videographer: Aqua Vivus

4 Comments on Safari Inspired Palm Springs Wedding

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