Melissa + Joe are not the conventional type: she’s an Australia-based food + travel writer and television presenter, while Joe is a musician-turned-chef-turned owner of Romeo Lane, a critically acclaimed bar in Melbourne. It was clear from the get-go that they’d never go for a traditional wedding! After 3 months together, the two decided to get married and as a joke, rolled the dice to land on Joshua Tree. Perfect! With the help of a local friend and a couple of Google searches, Melissa + Joe pulled together a sweet + simple desert elopement:
We decided right away that we would elope. While we spend a lot of time involved in events on a large scale, we wanted to do things our way and not feel the pressure of a huge wedding. The internet is an amazing thing and I basically planned our entire elopement on set and in between takes! We found our photographer, Stephanie Williams of This Modern Romance, right here on Green Wedding Shoes and she is truly one of the most lovely and talented people I’ve ever met.
Let’s have a look, shall we?
Internet win #1: Melissa found a 60s bungalow in Flamingo Heights called Echo Ranch House, styled in Mojave Desert chic style, and (lucky bonus!) kept by the owners of local rental spot, Circa Vintage Rentals!
Internet win #2: Melissa’s dress was an off-the-cuff Etsy find, a powder blue 60s shift with silver and crystal starburst detailing from Garden Study Vintage! As for those shoes? Melissa says, Finding Charlotte Olympia pink satin stilettos on sale was just the cherry on my sundae!
Loving the bride’s 60s style as much as us? Here are a few ideas to bring home the look:
Get this: M+J had their hearts set on a florist but when that didn’t work out, they grabbed a few favorite blooms from a local flower shop, foraged some twigs near the house, and Joe created the arrangement himself!
The greatest perk to eloping is the flexibility it allows in case, say…Joshua Tree happens to flood for the first time in 5 years!! With their photographer stuck in LA, M+J took a few deep breaths and decided to postpone until the next day. A perfect plan, it turns out!
Our actual wedding day turned out to be a textbook perfect Joshua Tree day: blue skies, wispy clouds and that gorgeous golden light that makes Joshua Tree such a special place. We played Sinatra on the record player and drank Fernet Branca while getting ready, then we married outside beneath a rusty iron arbor and on a beaten up Persian rug—with a bar cart nearby for immediate champagne toasts. One of my oldest friends, Carolyn, read Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII and her husband, Loren, officiated with deeply funny, personal, and heartwarming words to make the ceremony every bit as small and special as Joe and I hoped it would be.
ANY day is a good day if it starts with champagne for breakfast!
Such a perfect little cake by Susie Cakes!
It's only as complicated as you make it. Don't feel the pressure to have a whole bunch of things you don't actually want.
Learn to go with the flow. I can promise you that despite best efforts, not everything will go perfectly and you're only jeopardizing your own memories of the day if you don't take a deep breath and remember that the main point is you're marrying the love of your life.
Do as much planning before the day. Write a list and check it off…or delegate it to a planner who can be accountable if you are super busy.
Find vendors that you like on a personal level as well as for their skills; they are sharing your most special day and are in your private space. You want to feel good about that.
Be flexible, listen to ideas other people might have about problem solving.
Have fun and don't sweat the tiny details because you will absolutely not remember them.
Most importantly—that old adage about taking a moment with each other at some point in the day to just be present and take it all in—is absolutely true. You will be glad you did it!
So sweet and perfectly you two! Congrats to Melissa + Joe!
photography: This Modern Romance // venue name: Echo Ranch House, Joshua Tree, California, United States // florals: Bride and Groom // wedding dress: Garden Study Vintage // hairpiece: Vintage // bride's shoes: Charlotte Olympia // bride's ring: Windfall Jewellery // hair stylist: Bride // makeup artist: Bride // groom attire: Filippa K suit and shirt // groom's shoes: Loake Brogues // groom's ring: Windfall Jewellery // cake: Susie Cakes // furniture rentals: Circa Vintage Rentals // officiant: Friend // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box