A less famous line from Neil Young’s Harvest Moon immediately comes to mind upon reading about this wedding, “let’s go out and feel the night.” The seclusion of Joshua Tree and the secret oasis quality of this quirky cool airstream park mixed with the moody design scheme and harvest moon air make it seem like guests must've been completely wrapped up in feeling this gorgeous wedding night.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Hicksville Trailer Palace, trust us when we say it’s beyond your granny’s wildest campsite dreams. Colorful, eclectic, charming, and surprisingly low key, this is one of those Joshua Tree venues that almost seems like it’s part of the park. Gianna San Fillippo from Chic Celebrations talks us through the design ideas for this celebration, how the bride scored a Back to the Future style DeLorean, no-show caterers, and more. Sounds like it was quite the wild ride!
Tell us a bit about the venue.. Why did the couple choose it?
We chose Hicksville Trailer Palace because it is quirky and unexpected and colorful and wild. All of those words also perfectly describe Maria and Nick. We started with a mood board that was full of sequins, a still from The Munsters, cacti, and fur coats…. it was very Macklemore.
Tell us a little bit about the vow renewal!
About 40 guests came to celebrate the couple. It was very mix and mingle as guests arrived. Maria was getting ready in The Pee Wee and gals would come in and out, give her hugs, have a drink. Nick and his best friend led everyone over to the ceremony spot (just a perfect desert clearing we chose nearby). Their son Jackson escorted his mom across the desert to the ceremony spot and down the aisle. They wrote their own vows to each other and they were so sweet and funny and totally them.
What made this venue a special spot for this gathering?
It was so totally isolated, that the guests could ONLY focus on the couple and the fun. There was limited cell service, there wasn’t anything nearby so there was a true intimate feeling in this wide open space. It was pretty cool. Coincidentally it was the night of a “harvest moon” so the sky was full of stars and this massive moon that made it incredible.
Why did you make the design decisions you did? What about This venue influenced your design direction?
My favorite thing about Maria and Nick is their sense of adventure. And they love it about each other too. The venue was so different that we had to embrace it in our design but we didn’t want it to be too obvious. Marias dress was full of sparkle so we brought that into the linens. A small cactus or piece of fools gold dressed every place setting.
Is there anything existing on the property or the town that you incorporated into the event?
We did a lot of our decor shopping at local Joshua Tree thrift shops. Those pewter chargers were 25 cents each!!!!!! We used mini cactuses on the table and Lauryl incorporated the most incredible colors and textures into the bouquet and flowers. With all of the trailers onsite, we had no fear of mixing metals and finishes throughout.
Fun fact - we had this weird idea of maria and Nick driving off from the ceremony to take photos in the back to the future car. Maria knows a hollywood car collector who has the actual back to the future car, like, from the movie! We tried everything, but with towing the car out and the rough roads in the desert couldn’t make it happen. All good - it would still be fab, right?!
Cut to 2 weeks later. Driving in on the day of the wedding, Maria spotted a delorean on blocks in someones driveway not far from the venue. She literally got out, knocked on their door and asked if it worked. Told them what was happening and they were thrilled and on board. They drove up right as the ceremony ended and Nick and Maria hopped in. It was so awesome. And a great example of helping others for no reason other than to make them happy and have a good time! What good sports.
Any favorite moments?
A nightmare turned favorite moment - the food truck caterer no showed (literally. first kept telling us he was running late, then just stopped answering our calls). Maria and Nick were so mellow, they just said “do your thing, what are our options?” There was one - Del Taco. It was about 20 minutes away and the only thing open. My assistant called Del and let them know we were coming with a crazy order and we rushed out. 45 minutes later the guests gathered around a gorgeous kings table, drinks in hand and dined on bean burritos, chicken soft tacos and quesadillas. And could not. be. happier. They loved it. The couple loved it. I loved it.
Another favorite - the couple danced to a favorite song and their guests had sparklers and surrounded them. It was so magical and perfectly them.
We’re such suckers for a cool trailer park and the kitschy quality out here in Joshua Tree is almost a hundred percent of the charm. But the story of the catering fail and then the bride and groom just rolling with the punches is refreshing. Besides, now we’re all craving tacos!
Photography: Tyler Branch // Venue: Hicksville Trailer Palace Joshua Tree, California // Event planning + Design: Gianna SanFilippo, Chic Celebrations // Florals: Lauryl Lane // Videography: Central Studios // Paper Goods: Tessa Shane, Nathan Walczak // Catering: Del Taco // Rentals: ModMix Studio
MEET THE CORRESPONDENT
Gianna San Fillippo