Planning a Desert Elopement? Read This First.
We recently got our hands on photos of one of the most gorgeous elopements we’ve seen in Joshua Tree and couldn’t wait to share. Designer Jaime of Wild Heart Events walks us through how she came up with the inspiration...
by Alyssa Brown

We recently got our hands on photos of one of the most gorgeous elopements we’ve seen in Joshua Tree and couldn’t wait to share. Designer Jaime of Wild Heart Events walks us through how she came up with the inspiration behind such a beautiful bohemian photo shoot below, and *spoiler alert* the setting is inspiration factor number one. Who wouldn’t feel inspired by the golden light, magical flora and eclectic local style of Pioneertown and this awesome ranch spot.

Set in the wild, rambling desert expanse just outside Joshua Tree National Park, Rimrock Ranch is an oasis of rustic cabins, vintage Airstreams, a lodge and a seriously stunning modern house. Sprawling across eleven acres, the setting is serene and dusty, just like the original landscape that was a regular retreat for Old Hollywood actors like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. To say there’s history on this land is an understatement, but it’s best experienced firsthand. Read on below for all the inspiration behind this stunner, and be sure to hit up La Copine for supper if you make it out that way!

Photography by Jake and Necia

Tell us about this dreamy desert elopement inspiration shoot!  

Where can we start… we love all of the feels that the desert evokes from the spectacular sunsets to majestic wildlife, native plants and warm breezes. Rimrock Ranch is such an iconic desert destination… historic cabins that Gene Autry and Roy Robins used to hole up in, cool campers and plenty of fun, kitschy elements to make your eclectic heart go wild! 

We're loving the color (and texture!) palette: what went into the design decisions?

With all of the fun elements already in place at the venue, we wanted to play off the neutrals of the desert but bring in some celestial, bohemian and vintage elements. Combining ethereal and bohemian can be somewhat of a challenge to not go overboard in either direction, but remembering that less is more is important! We hand-stitched silverware pockets from vintage textiles and the crocheted water glass coasters evoke so much nostalgia! Combining these vintage bohemian elements with flowing textiles and the most beautiful free-form florals by Idlewild perfectly encompassed the feeling we get from the high desert.   

Coordinating all of this in the desert must have its challenges! What was the biggest key to your success?  

One of the main considerations of coordinating in the desert is the timing of the light. Their golden hour is REAL! You have to be set and ready early but then be patient for that good, good light… you will know when it hits. In any event, in any location, we are essentially planning the timeline around the setting of the sun.  

What would you say is the "must have" list for a desert elopement?  

For a well-styled elopement, it is all about the style of the bride and groom, a good bouquet and that magic light. We love desert inspired dress designers such as Grace Loves Lace, Rue de Seine and Watters. We put our bride in some amazing Charlotte Stone shoes that we were all envious over. The guys can also get funky with color and pattern!  

Is there anything you wish you either brought along or left behind? 

We tend to bring too much to style with, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing… just more to pack and unload! We love to have plenty of elements to play with until it all looks perfect.  

Top piece of advice for couples looking to elope in the desert? 

Hire professionals! Even though it is an elopement, those memories will last a lifetime and you will only have the photos/video to remember it all by. Hiring a designer to make it all cohesive and direct the big day will be worth it in the end. You will regret not spending the extra money on the dress you really loved, or a beautiful bouquet. We like to look at it like you are hosting the ultimate dinner party for an intimate group of your family and besties… it should still fully reflect you as a couple even though it is not a large-scale wedding!


Venue: Rimrock Ranch | Designer: Wild Heart Events | Photographer: Jake and Necia | Florist: Idlewild Floral | Rentals: Party Pleasers | Stationary: Moontree Press and Sophia Loves Letters

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about the correspondent
Jamie Kostechko
Event Designer
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Jaime has her bachelors from UCSB in sociology, forging her path handling events and décor within the hospitality and wedding industries since 2008. She is one of the leading bohemian event designers with features in People magazine, Vogue, Domino, Loverly and Popsugar. Jaime is a presenter and mentor for the inspire design conference in New Orleans and the curator of the Jam Event. - Website

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