Joe Karnes of Fitz and the Tantrums Marries at The Ruins Outside of Joshua Tree National Park

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Samantha + Joe had been engaged for years and planned to elope, but with his busy tour schedule (he’s in the band, Fitz and the Tantrums), along with Sam’s work schedule, and the addition of a baby — timing was an issue! When their four year old daughter kept asking for a big celebration and to be a flower girl, plans of eloping changed! Sam + Joe realized they wanted to share the day with their community and they had a few weeks off before the band set out on tour again… So they jumped at the opportunity! S+J planned their wedding at The Ruin Venue in Twentynine Palms in just six weeks, with the help of planner Trish at The Walk Down The Aisle!! YES, you read that right — they planned the whole wedding in JUST SIX WEEKS!

Sam shares We wanted our wedding to be magical and spiritual, with a little edge. We envisioned dancing under the stars, surrounded by nature. We highlighted the natural beauty of the landscape by keeping things simple. We are not very traditional, and wanted it to feel more like a party in our backyard rather than a wedding. Most importantly, we wanted our day to be a celebration of our love. We kept the guest list small, to keep it intimate. My brother, Jared, married us; he included anecdotes that made the ceremony incredibly personal. Our friends Inara George, Mike Viola, and James King played the music for the ceremony. The cakes, antique seating areas, and hair and makeup were all done by friends. Having our friends and family play such important roles in our day was wonderful.

Let’s proceed to the party and see the whole celebration captured by Katie Branch, of Branch & Cole!

Fitz and the Tantrums Groom

How sweet is this tiny white chapel?! It’s part of the gorgeous Stargazing Desert Retreat – this would be a perfect spot to stay in Pioneertown and it sleeps 10! :)

butterfly grooms shirt

Joe shares I was fortunate to have my band’s stylist, David Royer, style the entire look with me. How cool is that butterfly dress shirt from Alexander McQueen?!

first look

ALL THE FEELS from this sweet first look!

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

butterfly & kite dress

Samantha wore a romantic + bohemian-inspired lace masterpiece from Kite and Butterfly. Sam tells us My amazingly talented friend, Emily Kate Warren, hopped on a red-eye from LA the night of the wedding for a job, and drove there and back within a few hours just so she could be there for me! She designed that hairpiece the day of with with a bunch of desert flowers.

feather bouquet

Instead of flowers, Sam opted for a feather bouquet from Mother Plucker.

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

Joe: The most memorable moment was the ceremony. Arriving to the site with minutes to spare to find everything running so smoothly with all the guests seated was amazing. And then the feeling of actually standing there facing each other and declaring our love in front of our family and friends was way more powerful than I anticipated.

Sam: It’s hard to choose just one! At one point in the ceremony, my brother said, “Look out and take in this moment”. It felt surreal to look around and see the desert mesa and Joshua Trees for miles, with our friends beaming at us. We asked friends to set intentions or us in the middle of the ceremony. I loved this. We really felt the love.

Towards the end of the party, we were all dancing under the twinkle lights. I looked up to see the entire sky filled with stars. It was so clear you could see the Milky Way. Then we hopped in our cars to go to Pappy and Harriets for an after party. We looked out the window and the moon was bright orange! We ended the night watching a meteor shower.

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Our friends played all the music! Inara George of Bird and the Bee, James King of Fitz and The Tantrums, along with Mike Viola. Our buddy, DJ BSTARR, really set the mood for the reception with his epic jams!

Our Musical Choices

Processional: Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles; She's A Rainbow by The Rolling Stones

Recessional: Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder

First Dance: Can't Take My Eyes Off of You by Lauryn Hill

desert ruin wedding

Many of the pieces here came from Trish at The Walk Down The Aisle; the furniture was provided by Sam’s friend, John, who is working alongside Trish to create upper desert rentals! 

tarot escort cards

We used animal spirit tarot cards by The Wild Unknown — I thought they’d be perfect as escort cards and table numbers, so I had a friend, Nithya John, calligraphy them! Sam Allen provided the other place cards!

feather plate setting

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Samantha shares I had not intended to DIY anything, but ended up making the centerpieces last minute! I mixed both succulents and feathers in bud vases, along with a bunch of crystals. 

tarot cards

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

The boulder-filled desert landscape surrounding The Ruin Venue made the perfect location for post-ceremony photos.

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

That golden light… Another favorite moment of ours was taking pictures as the sun was setting. We were in the most exquisite surroundings, just the two of us right after the ceremony. When we were walking back to the party, we stopped and inhaled the moment. We marveled at the gorgeous scenery and watched our loved ones in the distance enjoying the party. It was awesome.

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Fitz and the Tantrums Wedding

Wasn’t that stunning?! Congrats Samantha + Joe!!

Want to see more from their big day? Check out this clip from Margaret & Corey of Branch and Cole!

photography: Katie Branch // venue name: The Ruin Venue, Twentynine Palms, California, USA // planning: The Walk Down The Aisle // florals: feather bouquet made by Mother Plucker and chose feathers for the groom’s pocket, as well as for the table decor // wedding dress: Kite and Butterfly // hairpiece: designed by Emily Kate Warren // bride's shoes: See by Chloe // bride's ring: antique // hair stylist: Emily Kate Warren // makeup artist: Emily Kate Warren // groom attire: suit from Pierre Balmain and shirt from Alexander McQueen // groom's shoes: Top Man // groom's ring: groom's stylist was David Royer // videography: Margaret & Corey // paper goods: Place cards by Sam Allen // calligraphy: tarot cards by Wild Unknown, calligraphy on those by Nithya John // handmade details: Succulents by Lincoln Avenue Nursery // catering: Pizza 900 // cake: our friend Lou Becker // tabletop rentals: Table and chair rentals by Planks and Patina // furniture rentals: Equipment, plates, glasses etc from Signature Party Rentals // linen rentals: specialty rentals designed and sourced by John Douglas Design // specialty rentals: The Walk Down The Aisle // music: ceremony music by Inara George (Bird and the Bee), James King (Fitz and The Tantrums) and Mike Viola // officiant: reception music by DJ BSTARR

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