Hey, I'm Codi! A western luxury wedding photographer in Northern California. Traveling near and far for love, I'm available for intimate destinations, elopements and more!
The sweeping desert landscapes, iconic foliage and sunny skies of Joshua Tree National Park have to make it one of my favorite places on Earth. There’s just something about the desert that makes it the perfect adventurous destination wedding location. And Sarah and Adam’s modern boho Joshua Tree wedding was no exception. I’ve been excitedly waiting to share all the gorgeous photos from this incredible day. In this blog I’ll be giving all my tips for planning your destination wedding in the desert and sharing more about my experience working with this amazing couple. Plus, I’ll give all the details on their boho disco wedding decor. So just keep reading to find all the Joshua Tree wedding inspo you’ll ever need…
Let’s start with these two adorable lovebirds. When Sarah and Adam reached out to me envisioning a desert destination wedding in Joshua Tree National Park, I was immediately sold. The fact that we clicked right away and they are such a lovely couple was a bonus. Even more exciting was the fact that they were planning to have an intimate wedding with their closest loved ones. I’m all for big celebrations, but there’s just something about intimate weddings that allows everyone to connect and truly focus on the couple. Plus, it makes for some beautiful and emotional wedding photos (cue the gallery below). From the sweetest first look under the Joshua Trees, to the outdoor reception under the stars, Sarah and Adam’s personalities were evident throughout every detail of the day.
By now you’ve probably decided that you’ll be having a Joshua Tree wedding (by the way, I don’t blame you ?). But there are a few things you should be aware of as you start your desert wedding planning. Here’s a few of my top tips for getting married inside the park…
When most of us think desert, we think dry heat and sunny skies. While both are true, one thing a lot of people don’t realize about Joshua Tree National Park is the temperature variations that can take place throughout the day. You can expect blue skies and warm temperatures throughout the afternoon, but early morning and evenings tend to be pretty chilly. Be sure to come prepared with layers that you can throw on and take off throughout the day. Think a cute bridal denim jacket or cozy blankets for guests to use once the sun goes down. Spring and fall are ideal times to get married in the park when temperatures are moderate outside of the blazing summer heat and oftentimes frigid winter conditions.
While park rules are relatively laid back, don’t plan to just show up and get married. Couples must obtain a Special Use Permit through the park. Any outside vendors you’ll be working with will need to apply for one as well. There is a small fee associated for every permit filed, about $120. Be aware that there are a few restricted days when you will not be allowed to apply for a permit. So be sure to confirm your date with the park office before sending out those save the dates.
Once they hear the news about your Joshua Tree wedding your guests will already know they’re in for a truly unique experience. If they want to get the most out of their visit to the desert, there are so many activities they can take advantage of during their time in Joshua Tree. I love the idea of including a visitors guide in your invitations to let them know what they can expect. The park has endless options for hiking, camping, biking and rock climbing. A few of my favorite spots in the park? Keys View to watch an unforgettable sunset, Cholla Cactus Garden for quintessential desert foliage, and Arch Rock to see stunning red rock formations.
For their wedding day decor, Sarah and Adam brought the party to the middle of the desert with their disco inspired design. Glittering disco balls were tucked into their floral displays that adorned the wedding ceremony space as well as their head table during the reception. Speaking of the floral design, the neutral flowers paired with pampas grass and greenery were perfect for the desert setting. Pops of pale blue and peachy pink throughout Sarah and the bridesmaid’s bouquets brought a fun element to the otherwise neutral boho design. A few other decor details I loved? They had cozy vignettes set up throughout the reception for guests to relax and chat. The neutral and rattan furniture had lots of boho pillows and comfortable cushions. Twinkling globe lights were strung over the entire reception. At the ceremony, they created an aisle out of patterned boho rugs framed by the iconic Joshua trees.
Some other special touches included freshly ground coffee in custom bags as favors for their guests. For their wedding guest book, they had a map where guests could pin the places that they traveled. And finally, which had to be my favorite part of the day, guests enjoyed wood fired pizzas made on site for dinner. I mean, who doesn’t love pizza?!
I’ll be heading to the deserts of Joshua Tree again this year, you can see all my upcoming travel dates here. Save time and travel fees by planning your session alongside my scheduled dates! But being that Joshua Tree National Park is one of my favorite places in the world, I have no problem going there again. Don’t see your location on my list? I’m always down for a new adventure, so inquire here about bringing me along! Trust me, I’m a great third wheel!