It is such a privilege to be able to feature this wedding on my blog – my first hired destination wedding, outside of the PNW, as a planner. And this one was extra special because it was for another member of a family whom I have had the pleasure of working with before. Maggie’s sister, Molly, was one of my clients back in 2022. Molly’s wedding is also previously featured on my blog (check out Modern Wedding with Urban Vibes in Downtown Spokane), and a client I had an absolute blast working with. Something told me I was going to love working with Maggie just as much – that suspicion was correct.
When she first came to me it was about a year before her wedding, in October. I was absolutely honored to be asked to fly down to Palm Desert and celebrate such a special weekend with their closest family and friends. However, I did tell her I would not be able to give her an answer until February because my husband and I were starting to think about trying for our second child, and I didn’t want to make a commitment I wouldn’t be able to fulfill in case we got pregnant right away. Well, just like the first time around, we did not. So, by the end of February, Maggie and I got back in touch and I told her if she still wanted me down there, I would absolutely do it because I knew even if I got pregnant in March I would still be within the range of safe travel (which did happen, by the way).
I was very excited but also slightly nervous, from a planner’s perspective, to be executing a wedding in a space that I wouldn’t be able to see in person until the day before and work with vendors who I wouldn’t meet until the day of the wedding. Because of that fact, I made sure to give myself lots of time beforehand to reach out to the entire vendor team, introduce myself (I was the only vendor not from the area), make sure they had all the information they needed, and overall, just ensure everyone was on the same page. Lucky for me, even though the venue Maggie + Paul chose was an Airbnb, they host a lot of weddings every year, and both the photographer and caterer had been there before. Win for me! Reaching out to these vendors was a planner’s dream… everyone was extremely responsive, kind, and informative. We were all ready to work as a team and I was stoked to end my season on what was bound to be a huge high!
We (I made Chris go with me - ha) flew down to Palm Desert on a Thursday because I was not about to risk flying down on Friday and having something happen. Unfortunately, I feel that flying these days is one of the least reliable things you can do. I am happy to report that we had no issues! The one thing that did throw us for a loop though was the heat. It was unseasonably warm that weekend. And when I say “warm” I mean varying between 90-105 degrees, which was a huge shock for the 50-60 degree weather we just came from. Luckily everyone bucked up and didn’t complain (too much). The 3pm ceremony was a bit rough because there was absolutely zero shade on that ridge overlooking the beautiful valley, but by the time dinner rolled around the reception tables were (mostly) in the shade and it was starting to cool off a little.
Maggie + Paul had such a beautiful, intimate, and colorful vision. I am so thrilled with how everything came together. All the vendors showed up and worked their butts off - despite all of us melting into puddles for the majority of the day. Working destination weddings (especially as a planner) is no easy task and I give kudos to all those who do it on a regular basis or several times a year. I would love to do another destination wedding or event in the near future, but one a year/season is plenty for me! Thank you to this wonderful couple and I am so sad the Lukens family doesn’t have any more siblings to marry off - haha. Let me know if any cousins need a planner, guys!
Stellar vendor team:
Venue: Villa Leche
Planner: A Piece of Harmony Events
Photo: Mattie O'Neill Photography
Video: Audrey Alba Films
Caterer: Adriana's Cocina
Bar: Salud Mobile Bar
Rentals: Ricky's Party Rentals
Hair & Makeup: Hair by Tiffany