Laura and Mish’s destination wedding at Alcazar Palm Springs was a weekend of celebrations filled with a mixture their Australian, American and Chinese heritage and punchy hints of hot pink in all the custom details. Guests were invited to the event with gorgeous original stationery by Sarah Labadie and both brides wore bespoke Gabriela Hearst gowns while they danced the night away under the cafe lights at their poolside reception. Hailley Howard was on had to capture all the love, joy and rad desert portraits in these lovely images.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Our wedding reflected our heritage – a wonderful mixture of Australian, American and Chinese cultures. We incorporated customs from each of our respective backgrounds. Additionally, because it was a destination wedding, the celebrations lasted over three days. We had our rehearsal dinner at Birba, then our welcome drinks at Eight4Nine, our wedding and recovery pool party at Alcazar.
We originally thought about getting married in Australia, but gay marriage was not legally recognized. At the time of our wedding, Australia was undergoing a non-binding same-sex marriage postal vote which divided the country. It was important for us to acknowledge during our ceremony that we felt that every couple who loved each other had a right to marry. Given we hired out the entire hotel, all our guests were treated to welcome boxes which were filled with Californian goodies and treats.
Tell us about the gowns and where/how you found them!
We both wore gowns which were custom designed by acclaimed luxury womenswear designer Gabriela Hearst. Gabriela and her team did an incredible job with creating silhouettes that suited each of our styles and bodies. Mish met Gabriela through work.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
- All the guests who stayed at our host hotel were provided beautifully curated welcome boxes with all local California products including wine, chocolates, candies, shortbread and even a hangover kit
- We designed our own stamp for our invites
- We designed the embossed stationery to reflect our fun Palm Springs vibe with pink and gold as the key colors
- We created several unique hashtags for our special day
- We had two special signature cocktail drinks, one was named after our Siamese cat, Mr Lee: “Hello Mr Lee” and the other was BK Heights – the suburb we live in New York City.
- Mish’s bouquet contained a picture of her and her late father
- All our ‘bridesmates’ received special thank you gifts including a monogrammed champagne flute, jewelry for the girls and pink flamingo socks for the boys
- We included several native Australian flowers in our bouquets
What was the most memorable part of the day?
At the reception towards the end of the night, we were all on the dance floor and Cyndi Lauper’s Time after Time came on. We both embraced each other and then we noticed that all of our guests had formed a circle around us and were dancing and singing to the song around us. In that moment, you could feel the love and electric energy. Love and joy permeated on the dance floor. All of our friends and family were bonding during this special moment.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
It all started on West 21th Street in New York City on a summer evening: Saturday, June 25 2011. New York State had legalized same-sex marriage the day before, giving the national gay-rights movement an historic victory. The energy in the city was electrifying and everyone was out celebrating Pride. Laura and her girlfriends had decided to drive up from Washington D.C. to celebrate Pride and attend one of the women’s parties at a swanky club in Chelsea. Mish and her friend Christine decided to check out the same party that evening.
While we exchanged numbers and started to talk for a few weeks after the party, nothing eventuated. We didn’t speak for four years until we reconnected at the beginning of 2014 when Laura sent a real time message to Mish on GChat. Mish was rarely visible on GChat so she was surprised to receive a message from Laura.
Then during the summer of 2014, while Laura was visiting New York on business, both her and Mish caught up over dinner. That began the rekindling of their friendship. They officially began dating in January 2015. Then during the summer of 2016 after an intense workout session at the gym, Mish proposed to Laura, with the help of their Siamese cat, Mr. Lee.
Photography: Hailley Howard // Planning: LVL Weddings and Events // Florals: Legado Design // Stationery: Sarah Labadie // Venue: Alcazar Palm Springs // Wedding Dresses: Gabriela Hearst // Cake: Over the Rainbow // Catering: F10 Catering // DJ: Cottrell Guidry // Video: Ragi and Amanda