Michelle and Nick chose Palm Spring’s Korakia Pensione as their wedding venue because “…nestled in the mountains—it felt like a Moroccan/Mediterranean dream in the middle of the desert.” Orange Blossom Special Events embellished that Moroccan dream and led the design team in creating a stunning day filled with bohemian touches and rich red, pink and white roses in arrangements by The Bloom of Time. Our friends at Jenny Smith & Co. captured all the details, the gorgeous venue and all the joy of the couple so perfectly in these images.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Palm Springs has always been a special place for us; we have a lot of great memories in the desert and it’s where Nick’s father used to live. When we looked at different venue options in the area, we visited Korakia first and we completely fell in love with it. Korakia charmed us with the lush bougainvillea and palm trees. We loved that it was nestled against the mountains – it felt like a Moroccan/Mediterranean dream in the middle of the desert. Each room is unique and we rented the entire hotel to ourselves – what made it special was that everyone at the hotel was a guest at our wedding. It felt like a weekend retreat! We did yoga in the morning before the wedding and ate breakfast together; it was truly a special weekend to have all of our family and friends in one place. We thought it was unique that Korakia makes guests feel like everyone is on vacation, not just the couple getting married!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I started looking online to get an idea of what I would want my dress to look like. I stumbled across the Nicole Miller website and on a whim decided to book an appointment to try on the gowns. I didn’t think I’d find my dress when I went – but after trying on my 4thdress I knew it was the one. I knew I wanted a form fitting mermaid style gown and I’ve always loved lace; so this dress felt like the perfect fit for me. I didn’t hesitate – I bought it then and there.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
I should have had 6 bridesmaids. A month before we were engaged one of my best friends passed away from cancer. Her absolute favorite stone was emerald, so on my wedding day I decided to wear emerald earrings in her honor. For the catering, Nick and I are both vegetarian. We wanted to have a wedding that felt like us, so we decided to make our entire catering menu vegetarian! They did an excellent job. I also ordered personalized napkins to be used during the cocktail hour; which had a special message to our guests thanking them for being a part of our wedding. During our ceremony, we had Nick’s sister Mira read a passage from my favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It magically turned out to be the perfect passage to be read; and it was years ago that I had fallen in love with it – so it was not a coincidence that it was read at our wedding day:
“When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke—the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was certainly an omen—the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life. The omen he had sought to find with his sheep and in his books, in the crystals and in the silence of the desert.”
“It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”—Paulo Coelho
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Nobody ever tells you about the rush of feelings you get as a bride (and groom too) when you’re waiting for the ceremony to begin. There’s nothing you can do to prepare for it and it’s a powerful moment you have with yourself. Hiding in the car (before my entrance) and watching the ceremony begin was a wild experience; I was filled with so much love and excitement and nervousness at the same time. I’ll never forget that feeling of seeing Nick for the first time as I was walking down the aisle. We also didn’t know if my dad would be able to walk me down the aisle due to his Alzheimer’s. We didn’t know if he would even be aware of what was happening that day. One of the best feelings was seeing the smile on his face when I came out of the car as he prepared to walk with me during the ceremony. It was evident he knew exactly what was going on; and it was the greatest gift I could ever ask for to have him present and by my side that day.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
I’ve known Nick’s best friends longer than he has. We kept missing each other at social gatherings but one summer we finally met at a BBQ during Memorial Day weekend. It was the summer I decided I was bored with LA and was moving to NY. So we met and 6 weeks later I moved across the country. He told me he didn’t want to do long distance and my response was “so when are you going to visit me?” A year later I moved back to LA and Nick and I went on several backpacking and hiking adventures together. When he proposed, he took me on his favorite hike in LA. He completely surprised me, I thought that he would be proposing during a Paris trip we had planned that summer!!
Photography: Jenny Smith & Co. // Planner: Orange Blossom Special Events // Florals: The Bloom of Time // Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas // Venue: Korakia Pensione // Dress: Nicole Miller // Makeup: Susie Moldavon // Hair: Done personally by the bride // Videography: Rebecca Blue Media // Catering: F10 Creative // Bartending: Mint Bartending // Officiant: LA Wedding Woman // Photo Booth: Classic Photo Booths // Rentals & Lighting: Signature Party Rentals // Rentals: Planks & Patina // Dessert: Top Tier Treats // DJ: Dart Collective