After meeting at Coachella, there was only one destination for Margaret Albertson and Stephen Albertson to get married: Palm Springs, California.
The desert oasis is home to the famed music festival but also a hotspot for mid-century design, perfect for a couple that not only loves their tunes but architecture as well. As an interior designer herself, Margaret wanted to be very hands-on in the planning process. After settling on the Parker Palm Springs—"I love how Jonathan Adler designed it to make you feel like you’re traveling back in time,” she says—Margaret hired Sarah Dollar at LB Event Planning and Design and got to work. “It was an absolute dream,” the bride adds of working with her planner.
The duo came up with “magic hour in the desert” as the working theme, focusing on rust, mustard, and neutral tones as well as foraged-style botanicals, mountain shapes, handmade ceramics, and California-inspired cuisine. There were margaritas, of course, and a live band, but the best part, says the couple, was an intimate moment together before their reception entrance. “Time felt like it was standing still,” Margaret says. “It was really magical. I’ll always remember how big our smiles were.”
Read on for all the details of Margaret and Stephen’s desert wedding at the Parker Palm Springs, as planned by LB Event Planning and Design and photographed by Hannah Costello, below.
Los Angeles-based design studio Prim and Pixie crafted the couple’s invitation suite, which included a sketch of the couple in front of the wedding venue. “We included a lot of simple mountain shapes in the designs because we love the mountains in the desert,” Margaret adds.
Getting ready with my sisters, friends, and mom in the morning was the best. My sister, Katie, played my favorite ‘Sunday Morning’ playlist, and everyone was relaxed and excited for the day ahead.
Margaret took her mom shopping the day she found the dress. “Once I tried it on, we both looked at each other and didn’t even have to express how we felt about it,” recalls Margaret of the moment she said "yes" to her Sarah Seven dress. The winning dress featured an illusion lace gown with long sleeves, and to add her something blue, Margaret’s mother sewed a tiny blue bow into its bustle.
Margaret paired her gown with borrowed earrings from her maid of honor and Loeffler Randal slide heels, adding a cathedral-length veil just before the ceremony.
Designer Jenn Sanchez used foraged flowers as the base of Margaret’s bouquet, incorporating angel vine, greenery, and a mix of local blooms to finish off the look.
Margaret chose to wear her hair in long, loose waves. “Getting ready with my sisters, friends, and mom in the morning was the best,” she says. “My sister, Katie, played my favorite ‘Sunday Morning’ playlist, and everyone was relaxed and excited for the day ahead.”
The couple exchanged cards with sweet messages to one another before their first look.
“We originally met in the desert, so we thought it would be the perfect place to tie the knot,” Margaret says of choosing their wedding destination.
With a venue as photogenic as the Parker Palm Springs, the couple—and their wedding photographer, Hannah Costello—took photos around the property before joining the wedding party for formal portraits.
Margaret calls Stephen a “classic guy” when describing his wedding-day look. He opted for a black tuxedo from The Black Tux with a bow tie and a boutonniere of dried desert foliage.
Margaret’s bridesmaids wore a mix of green dresses from Show Me Your Mumu and Birdy Grey. “I loved the dark green because I wanted them to blend in with the scenery at the Parker,” Margaret says. “The grounds are just so lush and I didn’t want to take away from the beautiful natural setting.”
Margaret wanted the bridesmaid bouquets to feel “gathered” so she and the planning team scouted the venue's grounds for foliage. The resulting designs included cassia shrubs from across the street, which Margaret declares are one of her favorites ever.
Margaret’s four-year-old niece served as the flower girl, wearing a BHLDN dress and sparkly shoes.
A coffee table book about Palm Springs was repurposed as a guest book.
The ceremony décor included overgrown pampas grass arrangements behind the altar and along the aisles. Margaret says she wanted an overgrown and natural look for the displays, which her florist “nailed.” “I emphasized probably too many times that I wanted it to look like it was all foraged from the desert,” she adds.
The couple’s dog, Chip, was along for the pair’s engagement so the pup was, of course, included in the ceremony. On the big day, he wore a bowtie while the flower girl carried a pompom basket down the aisle.
Margaret’s parents escorted her down the aisle to a trio’s rendition of Coldplay’s “Lovers in Japan.”
We both chose to write our own vows because we truly wanted our guests to feel the love we share for one another.
The couple exchanged vows they'd written themselves inside a circle of gathered florals and greenery. “We both chose to write our own vows because we truly wanted our guests to feel the love we share for one another,” Margaret says, noting they included a promise to wake each other up with fresh coffee.
Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” played for the recessional as Margaret and Steve exited as husband and wife.
Since their pet was at the wedding, the couple named a cucumber-and-mint cocktail, "The Chippy," after him.
After the ceremony, guests transitioned to an alfresco cocktail hour, complete with watermelon margaritas and old-fashioneds.
Lounge areas included a mix of rental furniture, such as Moroccan-inspired shag rugs, mid-century leather chairs, and elegant sofa for extra seating.
Prim and Pixie designed the desert-inspired seating chart. At the top of the display, read a message "Stay Awhile" to encourage guests to relax and enjoy the party.
“The quick moment together prior to our dinner entrance was just so sweet,” Margaret says of stealing a minute alone.
Margaret admits she couldn’t decide between round or rectangular tables, so her planner included a mix of both. All were set-up below a canopy of string lights.
Round tables were topped with striped linens, small arrangements of romantic flowers, wooden chargers, and rust-colored taper candles in glass hurricanes. The finishing touch? Rust-colored napkins tied in a knot.
Farm tables, on the other hand, were topped with white runners, ceramic chargers, and larger arrangements of statement blooms. To coordinate with the striped linens on the round tables, napkins were done in the same material and draped at each place setting.
Naturally, the eclectic styles of the tables extended to the chairs as well. White industrial-style chairs accented the long wood tables, but mid-century-inspired wood chairs were placed at the round tables.
Gold flatware and tinted glassware completed the look on all the tables. The overgrown floral motif continued to the tabletops, with ceramic vessels holding a mix of foraged blooms and romantic flowers.
Margaret and Stephen sought out the "best" fried chicken sandwich on their first date in Los Angeles, so they were sure to serve fried chicken on their wedding day. The menu also featured a burrata and tomato salad as well as filet mignon.
After dinner, the couple’s guests hit the dance floor with music West Coast Music’s band, Midnight Special, and a dance party with local DJ Alex Updike. The couple set off on a honeymoon to Tulum, Mexico, after the celebration. “We wanted to completely unwind with a cocktail on the beach,” Margaret says. “We had no plans while we were down there. It was perfection.”
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Parker Palm Springs
Wedding Planner: Sarah Dollar of LB Event Planning & Design
Officiant: Dr. Charles Wood
Bride's Dress & Veil: Sarah Seven
Bride's Shoes: Loeffler Randall
Hair & Makeup: Natalie Malchev
Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu; Birdy Grey
Mother of the Bride Dress: Robert Ellis
Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux
Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux
Flower Girl Attire: BHLDN
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Kazanjian
Floral Design: Jenn Sanchez
Stationery & Paper Goods: Prim & Pixie
Rentals: Borrowed Blu; Creative Plant Rentals; Found Rentals; La Tavola Fine Linen; Lights for Night; Signature Party Rentals; Theoni Collection
Music: West Coast Music
Catering & Cake: Parker Palm Springs
Accommodations: The Parker
Photo Booth: Classic Photo Booth
Videography: Aaron Novak
Photography: Hannah Costello