Remember when you could get on a plane and travel halfway across the world for a nice little holiday, and possibly even an elopement? *sigh* Yes, we didn’t know what we had back then — but we’re standing in full solidarity that those days will return. And when they do? We’ll hear more stories like that of Zoe and Zac, the fun and adventurous couple who traveled from Australia (just before quarantine) for their Joshua Tree elopement! Actually, they booked a ticket to Los Angeles for a kid-free holiday and decided on a last-minute elopement — sequin wedding dress included — to make the trip more memorable than ever. Here’s Zoe with the story:
Nobody believes us, but we were only going for a holiday before we decided to elope. We just decided to throw in some extra spice and surprise our friends and family! After the shortest conversation in history about eloping, we were ecstatic at the idea. Marrying each other with no fuss. It was us in a nutshell. We went full speed ahead, even though our trip was in 5 weeks. We love each other so much, we had just never had any time for ourselves with toddlers running about. For over 4 years now, our lives have been immersed in parenthood and WE LOVE IT! We finally found some time to do something special for us. I honestly wanted to look into Zac’s eyes and connect with him on the deepest level we’d met at in years — without a toddler asking where her left shoe had gone. LOL! Our one and only goal was to be 100% present in the moment and watch that golden sunset as husband and wife.
Photographer Tida Svy tagged along to capture all the fun, sweet, romantic, and incredibly happy moments from Joshua Tree to Palm Springs!
Dried Palm Leafs for a Joshua Tree Elopement
Zac + Zoe held the ceremony at the gorgeous Desert Wild Joshua Tree Airbnb, just outside of Joshua Tree National Park. The desert landscape and golden sun were the design inspiration so Vanessa at Cultivated by Faith created the most beautiful rust and neutral florals!
Psst: you guys know you can rent this place, right? Swoooon!!
Can’t you just feel the joy? These two have the best smiles!
The Beaded Midi Bridal Dress
So, how did Zoe find her (first!) dress with just a few weeks to plan? Here’s the story:
WELL! Having organized the entire elopement in 5 weeks, I was on a bit of a time frame for the dress LOL. I was in panic mode for a while there, but I had seen a gorgeous dress online at Pallas Couture. Although I wasn’t sure it would actually suit me, I went full speed ahead and had her fitted immediately. I had to act quickly for a last-minute elopement! I felt like a little bit of white was necessary on our wedding day for my grandma when she sees photos since she didn’t get to see me on the day.
Newlywed Photos in the Desert
Zoe admits to washing her hair around 1 am the night after a marathon Disney day and before the wedding (#goals). But Jen Plus Colour came into tame the pretty locks while Glam My Face by Sara gave her a beautiful desert glam look!
Quick Change in Palm Springs
The Silver Sequin Wedding Dress — No. 2!
Zoe’s no. 2 did NOT disappoint — and she had us cracking up with the story behind the quick change!
Being true to myself, I had to bring something to the table for a bit more of a unique vibe. So, I slipped into the gorgeous Alex Mearing gown mid desert photoshoot. Now, when I say slipped I mean worked up one hell of a sweat mustache and looked like I had just finished a gym workout in the back of my photographer’s car by the time I was gracefully buttoned into the dress. Would not recommend changing wedding dresses in a back seat BUT I had to spice things up and bring my look back down to something more me.
If the sound of elopement blows your hair back, do it! I had so much fun organizing everything myself because it was so small and simple. There was quite literally nothing to stress about. If you are a bit of a unique or quirky soul, show it! I love people that don’t follow the rules – they are more fun. If any changes need to be made, roll with it. You just never know where you might end up and how cool it will be. Instead of Beverly Hills courthouse in a white linen slip dress, I ended up in the middle of the desert in a gorgeous Airbnb in silver sequins. I loved the sound of anything as long as I was going to do it with Zac️.
You may recognize Zoe’s look from our brides in sneakers roundup! And how good is a silver sequin wedding dress at golden hour?!
The amazing benefits of planning an elopement Joshua Tree – that light! How dreamy!
Our day was full of them. I have so many special, real moments that I hold close to my heart. But honestly, when I look back on the day RIGHT NOW the one thing that makes me laugh and smile the most is how happy and relaxed we were. The fact that we were getting married the following day at noon and we were at Disneyland until 10 pm with churros in one hand and hotdogs in the other HAHA! We were having a blast and we did not get caught up in rushing off to the Airbnb to “get ready.”
To me, that speaks such volumes of who we are as people and what we stand for. We just wanted to get married. It was all about enjoying ourselves and that’s what we did. This story makes me happy just thinking about it. It’s exactly what we wanted. I can confirm I was up washing and blow-drying my hair at 1 am in the bathtub the night before. So funny.
Zoe offered a few final words in favor of seeking out the best people for your day:
When it comes to choosing your vendors, pick the real ones who fit you best. It was so lovely to meet all of the special humans we had chosen. It wasn’t just about what the service they were offering, it was who they were as people. Leaving our entire family, friends, and our daughters behind in Australia, we wanted to feel comfortable and relaxed. We ended up having our florist and her husband as our 2 guests…they were next-level awesome. This day meant so much to us. We met some of the most beautiful people who I will hold close to my heart for a very long time. They made our elopement everything that it was.
photography: Tida Svy // venue name: Desert Wild JT, Joshua Tree, California, USA // florals: Cultivated by Faith // wedding dress: Pallas Couture (white dress) // hair stylist: Jen Plus Colour // makeup artist: Glam My Face by Sara // groom attire: Politix Menswear and Lack of Color // groom's shoes: Universal Store // officiant: Richard Cadieux // silver dress: Alex Mearing