Wedding Planner Turns Bride in this Stylish Desert Wedding

Modern Desert Love Story

For her ten years in the wedding world, Arielle has sent hundreds of brides down the aisle. This time it’s her turn! She and Paul met in Vegas and fell in love on the dancefloor, so a desert wedding with plenty of dancing was a no-brainer. The couple found The Lautner Compound and got to work with LVL Weddings, designing their perfect celebration under the desert stars! Here’s what Arielle told us about their inspiration:

It was so important for me to make it personal to Paul and I and truly reflect our fun and funky styles and personalities. Paul and I are both creative professionally, so it was fun to create the blueprint to the celebration of our marriage. I also loved incorporating both feminine and masculine details that had our guests saying, “that’s for sure Paul,” or “that’s so Arielle.” Every detail whether big or small was intentional.

Lorely Meza joined the party in the desert and captured every detail along the way!

modern wedding invitation

How great is this invitation suite from Feel Good Paper Co? And take note of those triangles—they have a special meaning to the day!

wedding rings

Bridesmaids in Blush

bridesmaids rompers

We started the day with yoga with all my best babes. Jazzy from Bhavana lead our practice with the most amazing playlist. We flowed together in a circle on the grounds where our ceremony would be held later that afternoon. This grounded me to a space that I never knew I really needed until that moment. 

blush bridesmaid dresses

Arielle calls her girls her bridesbabes…we can totally see why! The ladies stunned in Shona Joy dresses!

triangle hoop bouquet

Triangles again! How utterly cool are these bouquets?? Here’s the story:

Music has always played a big part in our relationship, from concerts and festivals to random serenades to one another and of course, dancing until the sunrise when we first met. Music has always been our love language. Corie of Foxtail Florals came up with the brilliant idea of using triangle instruments as my bridesmaids’ bouquets. Triangles also signify strength, a trait that all of my bridesbabes share. Four of us even have triangle tattoos!


Modern Desert Love Story

Not to be outdone by the ladies, the gents were looking mighty classy in deep teal suits!

The First Look

Modern Desert Love Story

Of all the day’s events, Paul was pretty excited for the first look—and how great is his reaction?!

Modern Desert Love Story

No wonder…Arielle looks beautiful! She radiated in a Tara Lauren gown from Mary Me Bridal and a studded crown by Loschy Designs!

romper flower girl dresses

How adorable are these flower girl jumpsuits from Numi Kids?!

The Ceremony

Modern Desert Love Story

Totally digging the Roman numerals.

Modern Desert Love Story

Modern Desert Love Story

Our Musical Choices

Processional: Wedding Party & Family - How Will I Know (Acoustic Cover) by Sam Smith | Bride - Make it to Me by Sam Smith

Recessional: California Love by Tupac

First Dance: Nothing Without You (Acoustic) by The Weeknd into The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson

Modern Desert Love Story

It actually started raining during A + P’s vows! But nothing really mattered to them besides that magical moment—so perfect!

Modern Desert Love Story

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

A favorite moment was after our siblings pronounced us husband and wife (yes, they were our officiants), we danced our way down the aisle to Tupac's, California Love. What an unforgettable moment!


Modern Desert Love Story

Who says the groom can’t rock a second look?! Paul slipped on this rose jacket from The Black Tux after the cermony!

blush and dark bouquet

Close up of the floral perfection that is Foxtail Florals. Stunner!

The Reception

Modern Desert Love Story

Modern Desert Love Story

Aren’t you loving the triangles?

Modern Desert Love Story

Modern Desert Love Story

A + P didn’t want a formal sit down dinner, so they created high + low cocktail tables, a few lounge vignettes, and open seating to encourage a fun party atmosphere.

Modern Desert Love Story

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

Really know your venue layout and EVERYTHING all up front—the good and perfect, the bad, the not ideal and the ugly. Private estates are so unique but also come with their fair share of challenges. Set expectations up front. Make sure you have vendors that are familiar with a private estate. Understand what they provide and don't provide, understand your rental needs and lean on your planner to help you navigate through your bride brain decisions as some may be unrealistic ;)

Remember what you're doing. You're marring your BEST FRIEND, soulmate, the one person you choose forever. That was maybe the biggest challenge as a planner. In the beginning, I wanted all the details and all the things, but in the end, all that matters is that person standing right there next to you thats it. Be selfish, it's okay.

Hire PROFESSIONALS. We could NOT have made our dream day a come to fruition without every single vendor partner that collaborated on our day. My LVL babes rocked our world on the wedding day and in every way in between during the planning. Hire a planner and trust in their process. Have a vendor team that gets and understands you. You won't regret it. I promise.

Be in the moment. I made a promise to myself that although wedding planning is my everyday life and I have such a love for that piece of me, I wanted to be the bride. I didn't want to let a single detail worry me. Paul and I were in every moment, fully present. You worked so hard to get to this special day. So love every single minute of it!

Modern Desert Love Story

So in love!

For more from the day, check out this video from Hoo Films…the first look is so cute!! Congrats to Arielle + Paul from all of us at GWS!

photography: Lorely Meza // venue name: The Lautner Compound, Desert Hot Springs, California, USA // event design: Arielle Ortega // planning: LVL Weddings // florals: Foxtail Florals // wedding dress: Tara Lauren // wedding dress boutique: Mary Me Bridal // hairpiece: Loschy Designs // bride's shoes: Tipee Tacchi // bridesmaid dresses: Shona Joy // getting ready robes: Misguided // hair stylist: Design Visage // makeup artist: Design Visage // groom attire: Friar Tux and The Black Tux // groom's shoes: Kurt Geiger // videography: Hoo Films // paper goods: Feel Good Paper Co // calligraphy: Paul Ortega Designs // catering: Creative Catering // desserts: Surprise Cake Pops | A Sweet Savory // tabletop rentals: Signature Party Rentals // furniture rentals: Rustic Events // linen rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen // specialty rentals: Folklore Rentals // music: Elevated Pulse // photo booth: Union Photo Booth // sash: Davie and Chiyo // flower girl jumpsuits: Numi Kids // roman numerals: Etchey Shop // yoga: niyama.mama