The magical colors of a desert wedding make for the perfect backdrop for a dreamy ceremony, but there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make sure the day goes off without a hitch. From spa treatments to help you brave the elements, to design touches that highlight the natural beauty of the landscape, we’ve rounded up the best tips for a desert-chic wedding from the teams at Kimpton Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona and Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel, our newest desert sanctuary.
Set the Scene
The perfect time of day for a desert wedding, ideal wedding decor colors, back up locations in case of weather shifts and flowers that can withstand the heat — all desert wedding discussion topics for Cathy O’Connell of COJ Events, a Palm Springs-area wedding planner. Here she provides her top tips for setting the scene.
1. Consider early June and September for non-peak time venue options at hotels while the weather is still friendly. It’ll still be on the hotter side during the day but will cool down at night, and you can always order fans for the wedding guests if the weather is on the warmer side.
2. Pay attention to sunset times. In some areas the sun sneaks behind the mountains earlier than sunset which impacts photography lighting and outdoor festivities. Remember to always rent parasols if guests are standing in the sun—even in November!
3. The desert landscape lends itself to natural and organic centerpieces which can be friendly on the budget and not fight with the background. Make sure your florist knows what flowers endure well in the heat, some florists who don’t work in the desert all the time don’t know that hydrangea wilts quickly!
4. Work with the natural environment for decor decisions and don’t be afraid of color. The desert has a lot of green and beige, but pops of color like coral, turquoise and blush can tie your décor together in a memorable way.
5. Fun fact: Coachella Valley is the “Date Capital of the World,” so including something date related on your menu could be a fun local touch.
6. Have a back up plan for rain—in Palm Springs, we only get around four inches of rain a year but random rain showers can happen in November, February or April.
7. Check the local area event schedule before booking your wedding date. Palm Springs hosts major events throughout the year, including Coachella and the BNP Paribas Open that fill hotels and restaurants, so you want to make sure you’re not sharing your hotel with another large group.
8. Finally, don’t over schedule your guests—allow them time to enjoy the hotel amenities like the rooftop pool at Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs.
Preparing your skin for dry desert air is a must for any bride or groom. Sonja Anduiza, Spa Director at Amara Resort recommends the following treatments, to be booked at least three weeks before the ceremony:
- For a natural glow, a great body treatment is our 90-Minute-High Desert Salt Scrub; an exfoliation of mineral rich salt and soothing lavender, rosemary and mint oils to stimulate circulation and encourage cell regeneration, followed by a relaxing full body massage with whipped Shea butter.
- For a treatment that reflects the spirit of Sedona, I recommend the Winds of Change massage where we use native rattles, sage smudging, crystals and oils to balance chakras and connect guests to ancient healing rituals.
From the red rocks of Sedona, to the Hollywood glamour of Palm Springs, a desert wedding at a chic Kimpton hotel is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.