joshua tree wedding

by Grace Bonney

I haven’t posted a wedding in a while, so I was happy to hear from photographer Tyler Branch about a wedding he shot in Joshua Tree. A dear friend of ours is planning a desert wedding so I’ve had visions of dusty romantic vistas on my mind for a while now. This gorgeous ceremony and reception mark the big day of Sonja and Jonathan, who tied the not at a private home and then celebrated at the 29 Palms Inn in Joshua Tree. Sonja is the founder of Unique LA so she knows a thing or two about great style. She planned the entire wedding and came up with a slew of fantastic DIY projects for the decor (she even went to get the flowers herself the day of). With the help of friends like Danni from Oh Hello Friend, she was able to create a really stunning event. I was so smitten with the faded, gold-tinged feel to the entire day that I couldn’t resist sharing it here. Thank you to Sonja, Danni and Tyler for sharing all the details.

All photographs by Tyler Branch

Sonja made custom goody bags, envelopes and key tags for each guest. The bags were stuffed with treats and things to read and the envelopes were filled with crystals and a custom key tag with the phrase “We Are All In This Together”.

Sonja and Jonathan’s good friend Ben Goldhirsh, founder of GOOD, officiated the wedding. As a wedding gift, artist Keith Scharwath (whose home was on D*S last year) crated a hand-painted sign for the ceremony that says “We Are All In This Together”. The sign now hangs above the couple’s front door.

Custom fans and bags for guests

For her bridal shower, Sonja asked guests to bring a tea cup and saucer. She used the teacups to hold the flowers on the dinner tables and the saucers were combined with brass candlesticks to create serving dishes.
(Learn how to make your own here)

More photos and wedding details after the jump…

Sonja made a wide range of hand-painted signs using neon pink paint and wood veneer. Typewriters were provided to leave love letters for the happy couple.

For the seating cards Sonja used simple kraft tags. She made a stamp with the table numbers on it, so she simply circled the table # for each card according to guest name. She then made a button for each guest by typing their name (with an old fashion typewriter) onto a piece of paper. She tore out pages from W Magazine fashion spreads that had colors and/or backgrounds that she liked and then pinned the buttons onto the cards for a finished seating card.

Guests traveled from far away as Canada and the East Coast for this desert wedding, so Sonja and Jonathan made sure their desert vacation was full of sparkle. The evening was full of gold details and ended with gold sparklers to light up the night sky.

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  • We stayed in that house for our honeymoon! Our friends got married the week after us in Joshua Tree, so right after our wedding we flew from RI to California and got to spend a few days in that awesome house. It was pretty rad.

  • this is a beautiful choice in location of the wedding. there’s something so romantic about joshua tree, but so desolate at the same time. one of my favorite places in the states, definitely.

  • Amazing house by Robert Stone you can rent a similar one through themodernhouse.net… Maybe one day… Lovely wedding too.

  • Beautiful wedding! You have to be careful when coming to the Joshua Tree area, it has a way of capturing you. I came for a vacation, then bought a weekend house, then moved here full time!

  • THANK YOU Grace for showing our Big Day with the world! And thanks to all for the great comments… Tyler and his wife Katie did such a great job capturing the day, and I will always be forever grateful to the architect/owner Robert Stone for allowing us to use his desert homes for the ceremony.

    Kay W, Jill, etc. you are SO right about Joshua Tree! It holds such beauty and magic, and while it’s incredibly expansive it can also be very intimate. We held wedding activities from Friday-Sunday so our guests could experience the desert and have a getaway… We all enjoyed the hot sun and stunning landscapes during the day and then enjoyed the stars at night. :)

  • Gorgeous wedding, but oof, sparklers in a dry desert are so dangerous! Please don’t do this! I’m lucky enough to have grown up in Joshua Tree and just one spark gone awry can damage so, so much. The desert is delicate enough as it is.

    That said, this wedding is gorgeous! I love seeing my hometown featured so proudly. The desert does indeed have a way of capturing your soul.

  • We honeymooned in JT last year…it is a special place! Sparklers in the desert seem a bit sketchy though, or are there some kind of magic low-heat sparklers I don’t know about??? That would be cool (literally, HA).

  • This looks amazing, my fiancé and I are location hunting in Joshua tree right now, and I love this Robert Stone house! Does anyone know how to get in contact with someone to rent the house? Any help would greatly greatly appreciated!