For Lauren Beck and Benjamin Nulsen, it was a match made in the hospital. The doctors first met in October 2013, during their residency at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where Lauren cared for patients during the day, and Ben took over for the night shift. And after dating for a few years, Ben planned a surprise engagement for Lauren, who thought her boyfriend was in Los Angeles interviewing for a fellowship. So when she walked into their apartment, she was shocked to see hundreds of balloons with photos of her and Ben hanging from them.
“He popped out of the corner and proposed!” she recalls, adding that they, along with his parents and her mom, went out to celebrate at one of their first date restaurants, Alta.
For their idyllic wedding, the couple discovered Colony 29 in Palm Springs, California, and set about planning a party inspired by Whitney Port’s wedding, which took place at the same venue. They especially loved that the property is an estate featuring six houses on-site, which meant they were able to have their closest family and friends stay in one place! And beyond the venue, the bride had a few non-negotiables—namely good music, her dogs as the flower girl and boy, an unconventional song for her walk down the aisle, and a candy bar—for her big day.
They worked with planner Nicole Alexandra Weddings to make all that happen on November 18, 2017, and even booked Whitney Port's wedding photographer, Hannah Costello, to capture their picture-perfect day as well.
Keep reading to see this Lauren and Ben's Palm Springs wedding, which was pretty, personal, and, most importantly, plenty of fun!
"Colony 29 was an artist colony in the early 1900s where Hollywood would come to vacation, so it had a lot of character,” says Lauren, adding that the several pools, hidden tree houses, and hiking trails also made for plenty of fun activities during their weekend buyout.
Lauren, who called herself a "non-traditional bride," felt drawn to different colored dresses when dress shopping. And her instincts were right because she ultimately decided on a blush-colored gown by Inbal Dror with a close-to-the-body silhouette. In fact, it was the very first dress she tried on! She adds, “I thought it might be the one, but I wanted to see all options, so I went to every bridal salon in New York and nothing compared!”
Lauren purchased her veil at Mark Ingram Atelier, and wore earrings borrowed from her close friend. The beaded flowers on her dress were accentuated by her bouquet of proteas and other blooms, put together by Rebelle Fleurs.
Ben wore a custom midnight blue Hall Madden tuxedo with black lapels, velvet crocodile print Giuseppe Zanotti slippers—no socks!—and Batman cuffs, because his favorite movie is The Dark Knight.
Lauren’s mom made the outfits for the couple’s flower girl—their miniature dachshund, Bella—and ring bearer—their pittbull/dachshund mix, Maverick. Bella wore a white sparkly dress with tutu-style skirt and flower collar, while Maverick dressed in a black tuxedo. Ben’s sister and her fiancé walked the dogs down the aisle. “Bella was very excited and vocal, barking and sniffing along the way,” recalls Lauren.
Lauren walked down the aisle with her mom as Fetty Wap song “Trap Queen” (her favorite song!) played. She met Ben at a flower-laden arch, perfectly set at the base of a mountain for their “I dos.” Ben also had a special song: the Zelda video game theme song, played by acoustic guitarist Jon Rule.
The couple enlisted Ben’s best friend, Alan, as their officiant, and he personalized the ceremony for Lauren and Ben. They also wrote their own vows, which included many anecdotes.
“Reading our own vows to each other was extremely memorable and special,” says Lauren. “When everyone clapped at the end, Bella barked in approval also, which gave everyone a good laugh!”
The newlyweds entered the reception to yet another special song: “Passionfruit” by Drake!
The bride liked the Art Deco feel of Palm Springs and used mostly neutrals and blush with hints of muted teal and gold as accents for her decor and color palette.
Small wedding details referenced their warm desert locale, like the mini pineapples that held the escort cards.
The dinner setting included hanging bistro lights for a romantic ambience, and floral arrangements in different sizes that included palm fronds and neutral- and blush-toned blossoms.
Dinner was served family style, and included chicken, steak and sides like burrata salad and charred brussels sprouts.
The couple left mini programs on reception tables, which served as a special nod to the bride's family heritage.
The dessert bar featured six types of candy, lemon bars, chocolate chip cookies, s’mores, banana pudding, cactus cupcakes, and a small strawberry and buttercream cake by The Sugar Philosophers.
“We wanted to focus on mostly current and top 40 rap and hip-hop music says the bride,” whose first dance with her new hubby was to John Mayer’s version of Beyonce "XO."
For dancing, Lauren changed into Converse wedges. The couple’s friends also surprised them at the end of the reception with bomber jackets embellished with "Mr. and Mrs. Nulsen," which they wore to their after-party at Seymour’s, where their DJ played until 1:30 a.m. and a food truck provided late-night bites.
Venue: Colony 29 || Planner: Nicole Alexandra Designs|| Bride’s Dress: Inbal Dror || Bride’s Shoes: Sophia Webster || Groom’s Attire: Hall Madden || Hair & Makeup: Tammy Yi || Floral Design: Rebelle Fleurs || Catering: F10 Creative || Cake: The Sugar Philosophers || Music: Jon Rule; DJ Smiles Davis || Invitations & Paper Products: Minted || Engagement Ring & Wedding Band: Kwiat || Rentals: Pow Wow Design Studio || Photography: Hannah Costello || Videography: Cinestory Films