It’s not hard to see why Palm Springs is such a sought-after wedding location. Its breathtaking scenery, close proximity to the ocean and impeccable weather are only a few of the reasons why many travel from all over to say their vows in the resort-style city. While many Palm Springs weddings are elaborate affairs, Chris and Alison’s wedding reception at the Ace Hotel is the perfect amount of simplistic and stunning. Ryan Horban Photography documented Chris and Alison’s genuine love and their beautiful ceremony at a nearby church before the party traveled to the hotel for a marvelous soiree that lasted all night.
The Love Story
Alison met Chris under the hot summer sun on Lake Mohave, where she often spent summers with her brother on boating trips. Chris was a college friend of Alison’s brother, and that summer, he brought Chris along for the annual adventure. But it wasn’t until eight years later that they truly connected. “We fell in love rather suddenly and got engaged three years later,” Alison says. It was a Thursday, she remembers, and they were at Huntington Beach in California, standing outside of their favorite restaurant, Watertable, when Chris got down on one knee. As his knee dropped to the ground, the ring he was about to ask Alison to marry him with slipped out of his hands, coming to a rest just before falling down a nearby drain. He scooped the ring up, and Alison, of course, said yes, and they documented the moment by asking a passerby to take their picture. “It was an absolutely awesome night,” Alison says.
With a shared affinity for the desert, Alison and Chris wanted to get married in the desert resort city of Palm Springs, achieving the feeling of a destination wedding without traveling too far from their home in Orange County. Their ceremony was held at a church in Palm Desert where Alison’s great uncle was a pastor for 30 years.
Alison’s bridesmaids wore stunning marigold dresses made of flowing silk with a vibrant watercolor floral pattern, the colors blending beautifully with Chris’s orange calla lily and the groomsmen’s deep magenta boutonnieres. Alison held a bouquet of white flowers surrounded by overflowing, large green palms, which complemented her sleek, timeless dress by Nicole Miller. And the groom wore an extreme slim fit suit by Calvin Klein, which Alison says fit him like a glove.
The site of the reception was at Ace Hotel, a quirky yet simple setting with an industrial feel that didn’t require much added decor. They lit the space with a warm glow of amber uplighting and hung strings of bistro lights around the outdoor space. Tall vases filled with deep magenta haliconia flowers decorated the long tables where guests enjoyed an epic taco buffet with chicken, steak and veggie options with endless amounts of chips, salsa and, of course, guacamole. “The food was awesome, and people went back for seconds and thirds,” Alison says. To keep the party flowing, Alison and Chris decided to forego a traditional cake-cutting ceremony and instead had a waffle cone ice cream bar for dessert with four delicious flavors of Ben & Jerry’s sorbet and ice cream.
The D.J. played an eclectic mix of Chris and Alison’s favorite music, and the newlyweds shared their first dance to “Never My Love” by The Association, a song from the ’60s that Alison says is “one of our favorite songs that really strikes a deep chord in both of us.”
“Saying ‘I do’ was obviously memorable,” Alison says. “Chris got a tear in his eye — although he denies it. Also, we both attended cocktail hour and had a great time mingling and letting loose for the first time of the whole day.”
Team of Talents
Venue: Ace Hotel
Photography: Ryan Horban Photography
Wedding Planner: A Good Affair
Floral Design: My Little Flower Shop
Stationery: Vista Print
Desserts: Ben & Jerry’s
Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller
Wedding Suit: Calvin Klein
Wedding Rings: Simone & Son
Wedding Shoes: Betsey Johnson, Johnston & Murphy
Tie: Hugo Boss
Earrings: Alexis Bittar
Veil: West Coast Couture
Hair Stylist: Serenity Hair Salon
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