A Colorful Garden Party in the California Desert

Real Weddings

When Lauren moved to Seattle in the summer of 2010, the only person she knew was her friend Leslee. Thankfully, Leslee and her husband had a flock of friends in the area, including AJ. So Leslee made sure that the two met, and the rest is history. In January of 2013, Lauren was so focused on planning AJ's birthday dinner that she had no idea he was planning her proposal. "He surprised me with a ring, then when we got to what I thought was his birthday dinner that night, it turned out that it was our engagement party!" the bride remembers.

The couple searched for a desert venue reminiscent of Lauren's childhood in Phoenix, and fell in love with Colony 29, a vacation rental in Palm Springs with a cluster of bungalows and an outdoor amphitheater with rocky outcroppings and lots of cacti. "They'd just started allowing events on the property, so we jumped at the chance," says the bride. With Valley & Co. at the helm and Llanes Weddings behind the camera, a desert cocktail party for 120 guests came to life on June 6, 2014.

Lauren wore a lace gown by Sarah Seven, choosing a modified A-line skirt perfect for catching a desert breeze. AJ wore navy pants and a tan linen vest to keep cool in the summer sun. The bride carried a bouquet of peonies in roses in shades of pink and yellow, capturing the Palm Springs vibe.

A venue with this much personality is pretty inspiring, so Lauren had her bridesmaids choose dresses in colors that matched the property's pastel hues.

The ceremony took place in the amphitheater, with guests sitting on mismatched vintage furniture and vases full of lemons marking the altar. Packets of confetti were handed out for guests to toss after the bride and groom said "I do."

On the lawn, tables were decorated with peonies and bowls of citrus fruit. Ribbons decorated the Adult Lemonade Stand, where guests enjoyed vodka lemonade and whiskey gingers.

A garden party wouldn't be complete without lawn games! Guests played everything from bocce to croquet.

After guests indulged in the taco bar, sliders, and grilled watermelon salad, they ate classic frozen desserts instead of wedding cake. "We served Otter Pops, push pops, Drumsticks, and ice cream sandwiches," says Lauren.

After dancing beneath bistro lights and chandeliers strung over the lawn, the bride and groom stayed out 'til late, hanging by the pool with their friends. Says Lauren, "We were so appreciative that they traveled to celebrate with us."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Colony 29 || Wedding Planner: Valley & Co. || Bride's Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: J. Lewis Jewelry || Invitations & Paper Goods: Treleven Design || Music: DJ Gary B || Catering: MIHO Catering Co. || Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Found Rentals || Photography: Llanes Weddings

Did you love this colorful ceremony and reception? Then check out another event, decorated in bright hues, in the video below!

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