Intimate Desert Wedding

Serenity Escape Airbnb | Joshua Tree, CA

i really wish i could turn back the clock to lauren and christian’s intimate desert wedding in joshua tree. i love how these two designed a celebration around what truly mattered most to them. They wanted a serene setting focusing on them, their devotion to each other and their daughter Luna, while also having their immediate loved ones there. 

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I love anything hand-crafted and made with love, so naturally i’m just a sap over intimate weddings with all the diy touches. I love it even more when family is able to help and add their personal touch too. the smallest gestures like table setting can seem simple, but looking back adds so much meaning. My heart swells for wedding days like this. 

something lauren mentioned that she really liked about this airbnb for her venue, was how it was beautiful it was and ready for hosting. with a space like serenity escape, aesthetically designed for events, allowed her to focus on the details that mattered to her. the property even has a large joshua tree on the back side, with a wide open area for gathering where they had their ceremony. lauren rented the table and chairs and hired an (amazing) catering company, but a lot of the existing furniture and decor you see came with the airbnb. 

lauren and christian

intimate desert wedding in joshua tree california


I love that lauren and christian included a ‘ring warming’ section – for all of their guests to bless their marriage with a personal touch. I also love that Lauren & Christian decided to walk down the isle together to their ceremony. It was something new for me to capture and i just simply love when couples do what feels good to them, that’s symbolic to their love. its your day, you get to make the rules, babe. i’m there for all the anti-traditions the fuel you.

L+C were ordained by Christian’s close family friend, but instead of saying their personal vows at their ceremony, they took off for a few hours the night before to say them privately in the park. you can find me gushing about that and see more from that night @ the end of this post.

Southern California elopement photographer Joshua Tree elopement

christian’s grandma originally was suppose to make the ceremony, but last minute unfortunately couldn’t. so his uncle stepped in to facetime, so she could be live in person some way to see them. i usually edit phones in the isle out when possible, but because this was something so special to them, i wanted to keep it in. also, just know that even if family can’t make it, there are definitely unique ways to still include them in spirit. i love that they made this happen for his grandma. 

these two linked up with one of my favorite southern California catering companies; wheat & fire. if you enjoy pizza and most artisan style, gourmet and high quality, organic ingredients – please check these guys out for your event.  and promise me to try their tiramisu at one point in your life. it’s out of this world.

what i felt capturing l and c

was how in sync they were. the finishing each other’s sentence chemistry. their trust and loyalty is obvious in every moment, every laugh. the looks they gave each other were so fierce, so in tune. the kind of connection i could document all damn day. it’s pure joy — a phrase we throw around, but when we really think about it, is so rare to heart swells getting to create and document love like this. i feel it in my bones. i love you l and c, i’m so damn lucky to be typing this right now.

Joshua Tree intimate wedding photographer
elopement photographer video team - whiskeysage
joshua tree moon overlay

lauren and christians favorite moments to look back

L: Probably when Lauren & Allen stole us away for sunset pictures. We both had a happy glow to us since we had just committed ourselves to one another in front of the people who we hold most dear in our lives, it was everything we could’ve dreamed of and I’m so happy Lauren and Allen captured us during that time.
C: Looking back and just seeing how happy we both were. I have always been so used to taking pictures and throwing out that forced smile. But the whole time we had such genuine smiles and laughs. Looking back at our pictures always reminds me of how in love we are with each other and how excited we were to take that next step to forever together. 

L and C's advice to future couples getting married

C: I think the best advice we could give to others is to just follow your heart. Lauren is one of the most important people in my life and I wanted to be able to spend time with just Lauren to celebrate our relationship together. But I also wanted the people in our life that made our relationship possible, who had a direct impact on not only our relationship but our lives, to be able to celebrate something that they had seen grow over the years blossom into a beautiful marriage. 
L: At the end of the day, it’s YOUR day and it should be celebrated the way that you two deem most fit. And if that’s just you two eloping or having a big wedding extravaganza, as long as you can look back on your special day (or days) and smile, remembering how happy you had felt and still feel from it, then you’re making the right choice.

view their intimate desert wedding film here

personal plugs

 i often photograph with my husband, allen, but that was our fist time next to our brother-in-law, mike, of happy kamper films (who also filmed our elopement). i’ve watched and cried over his films for years. he’s an incredible emotional filmmaker. never in a million years would i ever think that i’d photograph a wedding beside him – and not just that, but we all camper together in joshua tree’s desert the week of this wedding. it was such a cool experience to hop from our campers to the wedding. so to say i’m excited to share their film below is an understatement. anyways it’s my blog so i can make this a little about me right? please consider having your day filmed. 

another personal plug. this is christian getting me and allen a beer. first off, it’s his day – if anything, we’re pouring you the drink, but he insisted and i knew he was enjoying playing host so i let him. but it’s not about the gesture, it’s about how they made us feel included, like family, like long lost friends. they even included a place for us at the table –  table that had less than 20 names. friends, this is so personal it makes my heart explode. im so grateful for these two trusting us to capture their moments over the two days. you already know i’m cryingin my keyboard and wishing i could hug you both so hard. love you both so much and so happy you celebrated this piece of history in your own way. xoxo

photography: whiskeysage

film: happy kamper films 

venue: serenity escape airbnb

dress: lulus

suit: the black tux

floral: Flores de Bosquez

catering: wheat and fire 

rentals: planks and patina

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