Ali Macer and Max Vaughan have known each another since high school, but didn’t really connect until their 10-year high school reunion in November of 2014. A few weeks later, on December 16, 2014, they went on their first official date. And two years after that, during Christmas of 2016, Ali and Max went on vacation with Ali’s family to the North Shore of Hawaii. There, with the help of his brother, pro surfer Nic Vaughan, and surf photographer, Jim Russi, Max cleared the beach to propose with a 150-year-old family heirloom ring. “I was absolutely blown away,” she recalls.
The pair chose their third anniversary as their wedding date, inviting 220 guests to the Parker Palm Springs on December 17, 2017. “We loved that the property was stylish, but still laid back and intimate,” says Ali. With overgrown bougainvillea on site, snow-capped mountains in the background, and a design-focused setting, it was easy to envision an evening of Cali glamour, with warm gold accenting crisp black-and-white details. Jana Williams Photography was on hand to document the festivities as designed and planned by RO & Co. Events. Keep reading for a gorgeous peek!
Ali and Max loved that the Parker Palm Springs felt like “a super classy adult playground,” where they could wander through the grounds, get lost in hidden nooks, and really settle in for a weekend of celebrating. The bride and her ‘maids got ready on the property, where Max surprised Ali with diamond studs before she slipped into her gown.
Ali’s modern wedding gown put a unique twist on a classic silhouette, topping a fitted bodice and mermaid skirt with 3D flowers and lots of lace. “This Marchesa gown was so comfortable, I didn’t want to take it off,” she says. Max’s Armani tuxedo was also an updated take on a classic thanks to its midnight blue hue. “His oversized Gucci bowtie gave his tux an edgy look,” Ali adds.
“I’ve always known I wanted my bridesmaids in all white,” says Ali. “It was perfect against the Parker’s lush, tropical background.” Ali’s company, StyleLab (an on-demand personal styling site), helped coordinate and source the dresses, finding each bridesmaid a gown she loved. Each woman carried a single white protea, accented by lush greenery. Ali’s bouquet was a dramatic all-white creation of lilies, hellebores, and peonies, paired with ferns and leaves that had been painted white to fit right in.
The maid of honor’s daughter served as flower girl, walking down the aisle in a dress by Tutu du Monde. The groomsmen all wore black tuxedos with peak lapels.
A pop of color marked the outdoor ceremony site, where lucite boxes filled with palm leaves flanked the aisle. Each was topped with a gold compote overflowing with tea roses and feathery ferns.
The altar itself was framed by two trees, which acted as the perfect place to hang rose gold circles decorated with lilies, ferns, and gold-painted palm leaves.
Ali’s bridesmaids walked down the aisle hand-in-hand before the bride made her grand entrance. “I am one of five children and the only girl, so that walk was just as special for my dad as it was for me,” she says.
The couple wrote their own vows, filling their words with the emotion of their love story—so much so, they had the bride's brothers all in tears!
Max is a big surfer, so his surfboards were used as décor and as the guest book.
As guests wandered through cocktail hour, they found their table assignments tied to fresh coconuts. Ali and Max served drinks named after their nicknames. For him, the Crystal Max (a mix of tequila, lime, and fresh grapefruit juice) and for her, the Ali Baba (vodka, rose water, lemon, and ginger).
Inside, the ballroom was full of drama! Long tables were topped with black-and-white palm print runners and gold arrangements of more palms, which had been spray-painted gold. The gold was echoed below each arrangement with gold-rimmed plates and gold flatware.
Ali and Max’s red velvet wedding cake was paired with a indulgent dessert spread of banana pudding, peanut butter bars, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Guests snacked on all of the above before hitting the dance floor. “We had DJ Smiles Davis spin during the reception," says the bride. "I love her vibe, and it was awesome to see her in Palm Springs again for Coachella!” Late in the evening, the bride’s brothers surprised the couple with a silent disco after-party, keeping the celebration going (quietly!) until early in the morning.
Looking back, Ali has a few words of wisdom for those planning a wedding. “Do your best to enjoy the process,” she says. “Drink wine while you’re stuffing envelopes—it makes everything more fun! And if people offer to help you, let them!”
Wedding Planning & Design: RO & Co. Events
Venue, Catering & Cake: The Parker Palm Springs
Bride's Dress: Marchesa
Bride's Shoes: Gianvito Rossi
Hair: Alisha Cheney
Makeup: Lindsey Dickenson
Bridesmaids' Dresses: StyleLab
Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux
Floral Design: Of the Flowers
Ceremony Music: Patrick McArthur
Reception Music: DJ Smiles Davis
Favors: Compartes Chocolates
Cigar Roller: The Cigar Guys
Photography: Jana Williams Photography
Videography: Hoo Films