A Palm Springs Wedding at The O’Donnell House – Kelly & DougNovember 20, 2018
I have wanted to photograph a wedding in California ever since I started this crazy, awesome photography business 12 years ago and this year I photographed two weddings in California! It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears (quite literally) but I finally did it!
Kelly and Doug’s wedding at The O’Donnell House in Palm Springs was a stunner! They are both artists and writers and have a strong appreciation for architecture and history as well as the desert, and Palm Springs holds a special place in their hearts. Kelly, with a keen eye for art and design thought through every little detail; from her own wedding ring and shoes that she designed herself, to Doug’s Ivory tux jacket and her Wtoo wedding gown with a sequin design that reflected the architecture of Palm Springs. She also incorporated plants and flowers in her bouquet and center pieces that are specific to the area such as the palms and protea. Another special note is that Kelly and I, along with my husband and two of the girls in the wedding party and their husbands all went to Grad school at Cranbrook Academy of Art, so this was not only a time to celebrate the wedding of Kelly and Doug, but also a reunion of friends. This was a dream wedding for me to photograph on so many levels! Many thanks to Kelly and Doug for being the beautiful and generous people that they are. And thank you to Jessica (bridesmaid/secret photographer) for the extra photos!
From the bride and groom:
To us, the desert is a magical place. The landscape naturally reverberates and energizes us,
maybe because it’s so arid and bright as opposed to our current hometown of Seattle’s wet
and dark winters, or maybe because the landscape is so foreign and unusual compared to
growing up in Ohio. It’s no wonder that over time creative people flocked here and built
homes with an architectural style that defined an era. And perhaps it’s no surprise that
Hollywood celebrities and notables, including the Rat Pack, partied here. It was through this
lens that we visited Palm Springs over the years and admired the storied and exotic
landscape. And on a fateful trip after getting engaged, we had the inkling it was the perfect
backdrop for our wedding.
Palm Springs is especially focused on love and acceptance, so it lends itself readily to
celebrations of love and the exchange of marriage vows. And working with local vendors to
throw a party was a surprisingly pleasant exercise; by and large the wedding vendors we met
were friendly and genuinely fun to work with. Not to mention the desert backdrop yielded a
luxe, resort feel for our festivities. The best part was our wedding venue, the Ojo del Desierto
(eye of the desert), that provided a bird’s-eye view of downtown and simultaneously offered
an historic backdrop, exuding an old Hollywood vibe for our wedding day nuptials and
On the big day we underlined the 1920s feel of the O’Donnell House, built in 1925 in a
Mediterranean Revival style, with accents that let the beauty of the desert surroundings
emerge. Many details were picked for their marriage of old and new—Kelly’s gown was a
modern Wtoo strapless silhouette with an art deco-inspired sequin overlay while Doug’s ivory
tuxedo jacket combined a modern cut with a throwback style. At the reception, ghost chairs,
acrylic signage, and abundant palm leaves added a modern sensibility yet emphasized and
elevated the desert landscape. The palette of greys, greens, and gold (echoing Kelly’s
engagement ring) set the tone for the evening, highlighting the bougainvillea and palm trees
dotting the grounds of the home and immersing guests in old world elegance.
Vendors: Ceremony & Reception: The O’Donnell House, Catering: Les Vallauris, Wedding Planner: Lisa Sipe with The Events Department, Cake: Exquisite Desserts, DJ: Chris Paul, Wedding Gown & Shop: Wtoo, Calla Bridal, Bride’s ring designed by Kelly, setting done by: J. Lewis Jewelry, Groom’s Tux: The Black Tux, Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way, Vintage Bracelet: CloeNoel, Earrings: Baublebar, Hair & Make-up: J. Russell Salon, Flowers: The Bloomin Gypsy, Officiate: Marry Me Wedding Ceremonies, Jen Bean, Invitations: Minted, Brides Shoes: Shoes of Prey, Ghost Chairs: Signature Party Rentals,The Bridal Party got ready at: Amin Casa
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