We love an out-of-the-box celebration spot—especially when it has an eclectic history and offers loads of rustic-yet-hip charm. On most nights, Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown is a well-known desert destination for finger-lickin’ good barbecue and great live music. But it’s also an ideal space for couples that desire a laid back wedding with a bohemian, fun feel.
Fans of old Western movies may recognize Pappy and Harriet’s as one of a few buildings located on the main drag (okay, the only drag) of Pioneertown. This tiny outpost near Palm Springs, California was constructed in the 1940s as a movie set slash sleeping quarters for the cast and crew of several popular outlaw films!
In the 1970s, the “cantina” set was purchased and turned into a biker burrito bar. Then in 1982, Claude “Pappy” Allen and his wife Harriet revamped the location into a family-friendly restaurant.
Fast forward to 2003, when friends Robyn Celia and Linda Krantz bought the space and started inviting big name musicians to play intimate shows there. A new era was born, and for more than a decade, indie rock bands, country stars, and many a bride and groom have enjoyed memorable moments here under the desert sky.
Celebrating at Pappy and Harriet’s
A celebration set in an old western town doesn’t have to be kitschy or overtly “country” in nature. In fact, this place has a decidedly more hipster feel to it (although if a country theme is your heart’s desire, that would work too)! This is a great space for a family reunion, photo workshop or a wedding.
Going Steady Studios says this venue is an event planner’s dream, and they loved adding rustic touches to create a breezy, relaxed vibe for Ashley and Chris’s I Do’s.
The Ceremony Setting
The historic western buildings created a unique ceremony backdrop as the bride and groom exchanged vows in the center of the desert road, surrounded by their loved ones.
"Guests were seated around the couple to create a ceremony circle and, mid way through the ceremony, were given handwritten personal messages from the couple, to express their gratitude and include them in this moment." - Going Steady Studios
The wedding party couldn’t resist photo ops in front of the saloon and the old bowling alley where Roy Rogers used to be a regular (we wonder if this is where his famous drink was first concocted … anyone fancy some coke and grenadine?).
For the reception, the patio was adorned with native florals, macramé backdrops, feather banners and varied desert decor.
"The vibes here are decidedly laid back and welcoming, the decor (band posters and antlers galore!) is straight out of a 70's outlaw film and, almost every night, there's live music to keep the night rolling and rollicking. The patios out back (which could be rented out together) are an event planner's dream." - Going Steady Studios
Guests enjoyed a delicious meal and homemade mason jar pies at communal picnic tables created by Madeline from Madhouse Kitchen (Pappy's preferred dessert vendor). They are delicous!
The collection of buildings in Pioneertown includes a small cabin, dubbed the Little House, that can be rented—perfect for newlyweds on their wedding night, special guests, or getting ready for the big day. Rumor alert! Some say Gene Autry used to stay here when he was in town filming.
Leave the Ferragamos at home guys and gals. True to its desert location, this place has a lot of dirt!
Legendary bands and musicians have played on the Pappy and Harriet’s storied stage, including Vampire Weekend, Sean Lennon, and Robert Plant, to name a few. This space works perfectly for your DJ, live band, speeches or even your wedding vows.
"Genevieve, the DJ from Young Hearts, who works exclusively in the Joshua Tree area, kept the guests dancing all night. As the moon rose above the rocky hills and illuminated the Joshua Trees that dot the landscape, the stars appeared for one of those magical views that you can only really get when you are miles away from the lights of a city." - Going Steady Studios
Guests danced the night away under twinkle lights and twinkling stars