A Fashion-Forward Wedding Welcome Party in the Moroccan Desert

The stunning event was full of bespoke designs.

Oliver and Camille Fly at Moroccan desert welcome party

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

As a fine art wedding photographer, Oliver Fly's life is surrounded by romance. So, it was no surprise that he would first meet his wife by chance along the banks of the Seine in the City of Love. Camille McGarry, a copywriter and founder of Studio McGarry, went to catch up with friends after work at a Parisian restaurant in August 2020. "While I was having some rosé and chatting with my girls, I saw at the total opposite of where I was sitting this handsome man," Camille remembers. "I couldn't help but to stare at him, and him back at me. After hours of eye contact, he finally came to me to offer me a drink, and the rest is history."

The pair formed a partnership in life and work, traveling together to locales around the world to photograph and write about destination. "In January 2022, we had this trip to Kenya planned for work, but at the beginning of the month, I caught Covid really hard," shares Camille. "At some point, we didn’t know if we could make it to Kenya as I was still not feeling better weeks later. Oliver was very concerned by the situation." Not only was he hoping for Camille to not be sick, but he was also planning to propose on the trip. Luckily, she felt better just in time.

"Wildlife conservation and nature is a subject very dear to our hearts," says Camille. "Oliver wanted to ask THE question in a moment that was true to us. What better moment than a late morning in the Masai Mara with giraffes only a few feet away." He ended up surprising her by getting down on one knee on the terrace of their tent.

After spending half a year in Marrakesh during 2021, the couple knew they would want to return to Morocco for their nuptials. They decided upon the desert retreat Les Roches Noires in Scarabeo Camp for their welcome party. "The strength and character of the environment was clearly a powerful way to launch our wedding celebration," reflects Camille. "What was important to us was for our guests coming from all over the world to explore every aspect of Marrakesh: the desert for the welcome event, the Palm Oasis on the wedding day, and the Medina for the brunch."

The first event also had a specific dress code. "We couldn’t resist a fashion twist for the welcome event," shares the bride. "This is why we’ve decided on a theme: Austin Power takes over Morocco. As it was an intimate wedding, and all the guests didn’t know each other well, we wanted them to mingle and have fun! What better way than to be dressed in some very colorful clothes with a Moroccan twist?"

Ahead see all the details from the desert celebration for 65 guests, planned by Mylene and Geoffrey of White Eden Weddings and photographed by Rebecca Yale Photography.

Les Roche Noirs Scarabeo Camp in Morocco

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

The couple describe Les Roches Noires as "remote, yet so elegant and graceful." The pair note, "We did choose the place, but as artists at heart and passionate people, we do know the importance of creativity." So, they tapped married duo Mylene and Geoffrey of White Eden Weddings and floral designer Perrine Guyonett of Miss Rose by Perrine to define the ambiance of their event. "Perrine, Geoffrey, and I went for a quick 48-hour trip to Marrakesh in September, to see the venue for the first time six weeks before the wedding," says Camille. "They had their idea of the design, and then the wheel was in motion."

wedding welcome bag with invitation, hat, florals, and food

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Guests were greeted with charming woven welcome bags upon arrival to the event. Every bag included paper goods, treats, and a fez cap.

wedding welcome party tent with neutral tablescape

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

wedding tablescape with neutral linene, taper candles, and spices

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

"The main idea of this special event was to transport guests, mostly coming from Europe, to a warm and authentic Moroccan atmosphere," share wedding planners Mylene and Geoffrey. "What better than colorful spices and textures to transcript this vibe?"

tablescape with woven charger, taper candles, spices, and dried florals

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

table centerpiece with spices, rocks, and taper candles

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

"The venue being located in the heart of the Moroccan Agafay desert, Perrine and us took advantage of what’s most local and meaningful in a visual aspect to create a one-of-a-kind table decor inspired by each color of spices locally used in the true Moroccan gastronomy," note the planners. Camille adds, "Perrine designed the candlesticks to fit the design perfectly. We roamed around the city to find the exact spices that will match the color palette and scout for local flowers and trees."

outdoor seating area with layered rugs, couches, and tables

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

table in dessert with dried florals, lanterns, and suitcases

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

escort cards in tray with spices

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Near the main tent was a beautiful arrangement of curated objects like suitcases, lanterns, and books. It also was the location of the escort cards, which were arranged upon a tray of spices. "Christelle from Crème de Papier worked around the vibe for the stationary," notes Camille.

illustrated cocktail menu on bar

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

tagine in ceramic dish

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

"As we got married in Morocco, we wanted our guests to discover the local culture and gastronomy," note the couple of their destination wedding experience. "However, we didn’t want our guests to eat only Moroccan specialties during the entire wedding weekend. So, we decided to keep the traditional gastronomy only for the welcome event as it was in perfect harmony with the theme and location." Guests enjoyed tagines in bespoke ceramic dishes, couscous, Moroccan salads, and pastilla de lait.

groom in tan suit and bride in white robe and sunglasses

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

bride and groom embrace while laughing

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

While guests wore color for the event, the bride and groom stood out in neutral hues. Oliver wore a beige tuxedo without a bowtie to blend in with the surrounding desert atmosphere. Camille decided to design her own custom look with her tailor, complete with a silk crêpe coat, top, and trousers. She defined the style as "Moroccan but with a '70s twist." The bride says, "We were looking for something feminine, fun, and fashionable. The trouser and top was to give a modern touch."

guests in colorful attire at desert welcome party

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

bride and groom arrive to event on camel

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Camille and Oliver hid away as their guests arrived. Once everyone was there, they made a grand entrance on a camel to live music. The bride describes that one of her favorite moments was "seeing all our guests from up there, cheering us, and discovering their outfits for the first time."

welcome party under tent at night

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

guests cheers at welcome party table

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Not only did the couple fall in love with the welcome party design, but they truly felt the joy of their guests who took part in the experience. "Just seeing them mesmerized by the dinner, and saying ‘it’s more than a wedding, but an experience that you are sharing with us’ meant so much to Oliver and me," says Camille.

bride and groom dance to live music under tent at welcome party

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

"When the sun was nearly setting, a group of musicians played some traditional songs to lead us to the cocktail area, higher up to enjoy an amazing view over the stone desert," remember the couple. "This was the promise of an amazing evening! The most amazing part is that there was no power at all. Only three musicians, two friends that improvised a song for us, and 64 super happy people."

Wedding Team

Reception Venue Les Roches Noires at Scarabeo Camp

Planner White Eden Weddings

Bride’s Attire Custom

Jewelry PD PAOLA 

Shoes Loeffler Randall

Hair and Makeup Trine Juel

Groom’s Attire Rives Paris

Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands De Beers

Floral Design Miss Rose by Perrine

Invitations and Paper Products Crème de Papier

Music Scarabeo Camp

Catering Scarabeo Camp

Photographer Rebecca Yale

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