Photography: George J Rockett & Zoe London | Words: Zoe London
I know it really isn’t for some at all, but for us, a destination wedding was just perfect.
Everyone’s idea of their dream wedding is so unique, and so special. It’s one of the most exciting things about joining the wedding planning lark, you get to see so many stories, so many happy tales of each individual daydream and I love that. Everyone has different priorities, some favour closeness to home, others want a giant soiree with ALL their family. For us? Well, we just wanted what felt relaxing to us. What felt quiet, treasured and well, almost like our little secret. There’s no better way to keep a little secret shindig than to place it right in the middle of the desert, with no one around for miles.
I’m sure you’ve seen on my socials and earlier posts but we have chosen to wed later this year in Joshua Tree CA, in the US. It’s actually where we got engaged. For us it holds such treasured memories of holidays and journeys taken together, and of course the engagement. It kinda came as a bit of a no brainer when we chose the venue that it were to be there. It’s warmth not only in weather but in people is felt within minutes of arrival. It’s remote yet friendly vibe makes you feel like you’re on the edge of the Earth, but with all your home comforts. You question everything about your existence yet feel so validated in your own personal journey. It is both beautiful and surreal, emotionally and mentally. For us it is solitude, and a little slice of heaven. It’s old Americana aesthetic fills our vintage hearts with joy, yet it’s modern approach to clean living, clean eating and environmentally friendly sustainability is something we could only dream of – living in such a metropolitan city as London. It looks like old Hollywood, and it feels like a movie set. To us, it is perfect.
There’s definitely some pitfalls about organising a destination wedding, and not one that is at all close to home – Google tells me it’s 5,831 miles away from my house – but it’s a challenge we’re willing to take on. Why? Because with such a small volume of attendees, such a relaxed approach and the friendly people of Joshua Tree on hand, it’s not actually as hard as it sounds. Sure, I find myself on calls and wedding emails at 11pm at night from my bed, but it’s a small price to pay. Another sacrifice lost is half our family can’t come. I feel guilty and also sad that they wont be there, but I know in my heart of hearts this is right for us. They all support our decision and look to our London wedding to celebrate with us, and I know it’s going to be so special. More on that another time.
I think our day will feel like the ultimate holiday, the road trip of a lifetime and our dream day under the stars. I can already picture us eating all together on the same table, everyone pitching in to help me and George get ready in the morning, setting up the venue the day before, and the small gathering stood around us while our ceremony takes place. I can see us dancing to our playlist, our shoes kicking up the dust of the desert beneath our feet and the stars shining in perfect visibility above us. It’s low key, and just how we want it. We’re getting the incredible opportunity to take our family, bridesmaids and best men on the trip we took together, and that, gosh that, was when I knew this was right for us.
I think there’s a lot to consider when thinking about a destination wedding, but I really do think ultimately you need to listen to yourself and your partner. You might feel pressure to do things a certain way, or to uphold a tradition, but you must put yourself first. It is your day after all, and you know you better than anyone. I’ve been telling my mum since I was a kid i’d wanted to get married abroad – and this is my dream wedding.