So, you’re getting in married in Palm Springs, one of my favorite places. As a Southern California wedding photographer, I love taking trips out to the desert to document fun-loving couples gettin’ hitched. If that sounds like you and your boo, you’re in the right place! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about planning a Palm Springs wedding – from budget to venues to cute coffee shops!
What’s the vibe of your Palm Springs wedding?
First thing’s first: what’s your vibe gonna be? Do you want an intimate yet boujee Palm Spring wedding? Or a bigger celebration that’s a little more laid back? I support all types of weddings, as long as it’s true to you and your love. Think about how many people you want there to party with if you want everyone to stay in one place (Frank Sinatra estate, anyone??) or in a hotel. I’ll be listing plenty of venue options to fit whatever vision you have for this!
In addition, decide how elaborate you want your celebration to be. Many modern couples are choosing to make an entire weekend (or week; if you really wanna soak it all in) out of their wedding. Complete with a welcome party, bachelorette event, you name it! If you have a smaller guest count with only people you hella vibe with, it makes it a lot easier to coordinate super fun events like this.
Set your Palm Springs wedding budget
Now that you know the vibe of your Palm Springs wedding, it’s time set a budget. I know it’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but it has to get done! As someone who has worked with countless couples to plan their dream wedding, let me give you a piece of advice. Hiring a local or destination wedding planner will change your life!! They’ll help keep you on track financially, as well as give you vendor recommendations that are within your budget.
If hiring a wedding planner is not in the cards for you? You’ll need to do some extra research when setting your budget. Choose a few vendors from each category that you’re in love with (except your photographer, ‘cause that’s already gonna be me). Then, from there, browse their website for starting prices. The last thing you want to do is set a budget and then realize it’s totally inaccurate because you didn’t know the price range of different vendors. Do your research, kids!
Vendors you shouldn’t skimp on: your photographer, your videographer, and your venue. Your setting and your memories are the most important aspects of your day! Keep in mind that weddings with smaller guest counts in a destination like Palm Springs can give you more flexibility and freedom to bring in unique elements and make the whole weekend an experience for your nearest and dearest.
When to get married in Palm Springs
Don’t forget that Palm Springs is in the literal fucking desert. AKA: late spring and summer weddings are basically out of the question because of the high temperatures! If you don’t mind above 100-degree temps (HEAVY on the “above”), then go for it. However, if you’re not used to that kind of weather, chances are it might turn you into a major bride or groomzilla. Things start to cool down a bit in October, with the daily climate averaging at about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to get married, in my expert opinion, would be during the months of October and May.
One of the upsides to having a Palm Springs wedding is that the best time to do it just so happens to be during the off-season! This means that more of your favorite vendors might be available and even potentially offer off-season discounts.
Palm Springs wedding venues
The allure of Palm Springs is the retro novelty and design around every corner. It feels like you’re being transported to a parallel universe where everyone loves color and leans into their eclectic side. Palm Springs weddings are perfect for exploring creativity, and the venue options are the perfect setting for your funky wedding weekend. Let’s dive in!
You know how I just said that everyone loves color in Palm Springs? Well, here’s your prime example. The Rainbow Getaway is for all the fun-loving couples who don’t want a traditionally styled venue. Instead, they want something totally out of the ordinary, making their wedding one to remember. This mid-century modern home turned colorful fantasy is independently owned, meaning you can book it through websites like Airbnb or VRBO. It can host a total of 10 guests with 4 bedrooms (6 beds total) and two bathrooms. If you’re having a super intimate wedding with just a few of your people, everyone can stay here! Or, if you have a larger guest count, your wedding party can stay with you, and you can rent a room block at a nearby hotel.
Formerly known as the Dinah Shore Estate, 432 Hermosa is one of the most iconic mid-century homes in the heart of Palm Springs. Staying at this estate will make you feel like you’ve traveled to paradise, and I guarantee you won’t want to go home. There are floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the home to bring out the beauty of the desert, dozens of the infamous Palm Springs palm trees, and views of the majestic San Jacinta Mountains. You guyssss… this estate is everything you could dream of!!
Not only is the design straight out of Architectural Digest, but the location is held to the same standard. The property is located in one of Palm Springs’ most sought-after neighborhoods that have been home to countless celebrity vacation homes. We’re talkin’ Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor. Yeah, those kinds of celebrities. The estate is exceptionally private, sitting on a 1.3-acre desert oasis compound with 6 bedrooms and 7 ½ baths. Don’t even get me started on the cocktail bar and grand piano. Just think of the late-night, semi-tipsy photos we could take here.
Swimming pool, cabanas, pool bar, fire pits… if your wedding weekend involves a pool party of any sort (which it totally should), The Sonoran is THE place to host it. This is a 38,000-square-foot outdoor Palm Springs wedding venue that’s modern and visually stunning. The Sonoran heavily utilizes the natural elements of the desert as natural decor, adding the perfect dash of color and texture to spice it up.
Ooohhh wow, where do I begin with this one? The Frederick Loewe Estate is a luxury, historic, 3-acre property that can only be described as magical. Similar to 432 Hermosa in many ways, but… elevated. Instead of floor-to-ceiling windows, the walls are simply just made of glass. There are 5,000 square feet of space inside, and every single room has UNMATCHED views of the desert/San Jacinto Mountains. Because the estate is set on a hillside boulder, you can also enjoy lavish views of the iconic Coachella Valley. This property is said to have the absolute best vantage point in all of Palm Springs… and not gonna lie; I believe that!
The Frederick Loewe Estate would be perfectly suited for couples wanting to have an intimate dinner party after their ceremony. The glass-walled dining room is equipped with enough room for 14 of your closest friends and family, with a large veranda covering multiple outdoor dining tables. For when you wanna take the party outside, you know? When you’re ready to a nightcap, you can head back inside to the original built-in living room bar to finish off the evening.
And if you’re not planning on having an intimate dinner party, there’s still plenty of space in the backyard for more classic reception tables! There’s also the opportunity to have a beautiful ceremony setup with an arch, aisle, and chairs. The options are truly limitless with this venue!
Okay, okay. I’m ready to give you some Palm Springs wedding venues that aren’t estates! This venue is for couples who want to incorporate nature heavily into their wedding and don’t want to do too much decorating. And what better place to do that than a literal botanical garden? You’ll be surrounded by florals, greenery, and over 3,000 varieties of plant species. The space where Moorten Botanical Garden holds wedding ceremonies (sorry, no receptions!) is located in the Palm Grove Oasis area of the garden, in the backyard of the Mediterranean-style onsite property. You can tie the knot here from November 1st through May 31st every year!
For all my artsy babes out there, the Palm Springs Art Institute is probably one the most breathtaking art museums around. The outside is sleek & modern while still maintaining the class Palm Springs desert flare. You can host your wedding indoors or outdoors, with multiple spaces to choose from, including the Elrod and Meyerman Sculpture Gardens (which would be at the top of my list). This is another Palm Springs wedding venue that would require minimal outside decor!
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ City Hall wedding but make it desert-style? If you’d rather get married just the two of you then have an epic party back at the estate, this would be a simple yet aesthetic ceremony location option.
Hotel wedding venues
If you’d prefer to get married at a hotel. I’ve got you covered. Most hotels offer room blocks (or, you know, total resort buyouts) so all your guests can still stay close by. These hotels are the best of the best in Palm Springs and will satisfy every eclectic bone in your body.
We love designer boutique hotels, right? Sands Hotel & Spa is located in the community of Indian Wells, which is about 40 minutes from Palm Springs. I’m not trying to get ahead of myself here, but their in-house restaurant, The Pink Cabana, has received worldwide recognition for its Mediterranean/Moroccan menu. Just imagine having your Palm Springs wedding at a super cute hotel and then enjoying a world-renowned meal with your guests. How can you say no?? They have 46 guest rooms with two suites and one presidential suite for the newlyweds to stay in. Each room has a completely different, unique personality, so your stay here will be an experience in itself! They encourage having a poolside reception, with cabanas and daybeds for you and your people to enjoy a chic desert vibe. I’m serious; I don’t know how you could skip out on this one.
Ace Hotel is a chain with resorts all over the world… we’re talking New York, USA, Sydney, Australia, Kyoto, Japan, everywhere! Their unique approach to hospitality makes them a fan-favorite for travelers looking for an out-of-the-box experience. The Palm Springs location is described as a mid-century oasis in the shadow of the mighty San Jacinto Mountains… so, where do I book??
But seriously, I should be planning a weeklong vacation here and just spend the entire time by the pool. Oh, did I mention they’re also a swim club? The pool is absolutely massive, so you and your guests will have the best time jumping in at the end of your reception. Ace Hotel offers spaces with up to 4,000 square feet of flexible, modular, creative space to host any type of wedding you can dream of. From the more intimate of affairs to the wildest of nights, this hotel is the “it” spot!
Okay, are you ready for this one? Don’t punish me for giving you all the best hotel recs in Palm Springs! Next on our list, we have the Avalon Hotel. This new-fashioned desert hideaway is nice and secluded, perfect for couples who want to spend their wedding weekend relaxing. Their eclectic range of 70 Spanish-style stays includes romantic studios and private villas that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to paradise. They have many spaces to choose from for your Palm Springs wedding, ranging from ballrooms to courtyards to patios to gardens to cabanas. They specialize in both small elopements (think: welcome brunch with a few of your peeps) and extravagant celebrations (think: hot air ballooning), so you can host your event here no matter the size!
Just browsing the Parker Palm Springs website will fill you with the desire to experience what they have to offer. Think of this hotel as… the desert estate that you could only dream of, but with a YACHT CLUB. You can buy out the entire estate for your wedding (144 rooms, the restaurants, and the Palm Springs Yacht Club) so that you’re completely surrounded by your people and only your people. This would be the ultimate destination for a large wedding weekend celebration where you want to prioritize guest experience over anything. They also offer exclusive experiences such as after-hours cocktails at the Palm Springs Art Institute, champagne receptions at the Frey House, and wine & food pairings with their Executive Chef. If you’re looking for luxury, you’re gonna get luxury at Parker.
Spicy margs, street tacos, and major Technicolor vibes. Need I say more? Suited for fun-loving couples who just straight up want to have a good time at their Palm Springs wedding. The Saguaro is near downtown PS, so you’re also super close to all that the city has to offer, including shopping, dining, and bars. They recently renovated their wedding spaces to include both indoor and outdoor options for your big day! For example, their Sago Ballroom includes a 1,175 square foot outdoor terrace with pool and mountain views, so you don’t even have to choose between having your wedding inside or outside. Check out their Pinterest page for a glimpse of how your day could look like here!
Last but certainly not least, on our list of Palm Springs hotel wedding venues, we have Villa Royale. If you’ve been up and down the coast of California, this hotel will give you major Santa Barbara vibes (check out an elopement I shot in SB here!) in the best way possible. It’s giving a hip, eclectic mix of old California architecture and stylish vintage touches, all wrapped together in a resort you’ll never want to leave. Their 3.5 acre-property will give you all the space you need to have the most epic Palm Springs fairytale wedding! You can (of course) buy out all 38 villas at Villa Royale if you want the ultimate desert seclusion paradise.
Best locations for wedding portraits
Other than the nooks and crannies of your wedding venue, photo locations around Palm Springs are plentiful if you’re looking to get out into the desert. For these spots, plan to take some time to drive. If you want to stay at your venue for the wedding day but still want photos at these locations, consider booking a separate wedding portrait session where you get dressed up again for stress-free photos. You can have both! Especially if you’re staying in Palm Springs for an extended amount of time, you might as well make the most of it and take some epic photos!
There’s not much to say here besides pointing out that there are massive windmills in the middle of the Palm Springs desert. You can see them on your way into Palm Springs, and they have become a pretty popular spot for some epic-looking photos! If you want the open desert vibe but with a twist, I’ll be sure to take you to the windmills.
If you just want some fun, downtown Palm Springs photos in your wedding attire, we can totally walk down Palm Canyon Drive and rock it documentary style. The Palm Trees lining the area give the ultimate Southern California vibes, plus we can stop to shop, eat, and drink!
I mean, technically, you could get married at Joshua Tree National Park (did you know that I have a blog giving you the 5 best wedding venues there?), but taking wedding portraits there is the next best thing! We could spend hours exploring this national park together, so I suggest carving out time for a day trip if you want some photos here.
Taking wedding photos in the most architectural & luxurious neighborhoods of Palm Springs?? Sign me the fuck up. The Indian Canyons neighborhood is tucked away near the San Jacinto Mountains, being one of the only communities in the area where the power lines don’t seep into the natural horizon. The sunset-viewing sessions here would be immaculate, so I’ll meet you there at golden hour, and then we’ll watch the sun go down!
So, not only can we take some super dope pictures at an air museum, but we can also take a sky trip over Coachella Valley while we’re at it. The Palm Springs Air Museum offers rides in one of their authentically restored World War Two aircraft! They have 6 different aircraft to choose from (with a wide range of prices, mind you), depending on how nerdy you wanna with it. If your boo is a pilot, they’ll be stoked about taking photos here!
Not to be confused with a regular ol’ mountain, Salvation Mountain is a work of art. It’s a literal man-made mountain that’s currently 28 years in the making, covered in half a million gallons of latex paint. Only in Palm Springs, right? This site is about an hour and a half away from Palm Springs, so again, plan for a day trip. They’re open from sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year!
Coachella Valley Town
Known as the City of Eternal Sunshine (and, well, as the location of the super famous annual music festival), Coachella Valley Town has tons of restaurants, parks, and live entertainment to keep us occupied for days! If you wanted, you could book a few nights here after your Palm Springs wedding just to see what all the fuss is about. The rich Hispanic heritage is what really makes this town unique… plus, the Mexican food is actually unmatched. Just saying!
The best Palm Springs coffee shops
It wouldn’t be a destination guide by Lauren Lucile Creative if it didn’t include some coffee shop recs! These are my must-visit Palm Springs coffee shops – perfect for the day before caffeine fix or having a family member make a coffee run the morning of the wedding! These stops would also be the perfect place to have a quick ‘n’ dirty date photoshoot the day before your wedding.
Ernest Coffe is one of the most popular coffee shops in Palm Springs for a good reason! The aesthetic is everything you could ask for, I hear the coffee is great, and their pastries look ah-mazing. The interior is giving cute bookstore vibes, while the exterior is surrounded by the infamous Palm Springs palm trees. Definitely worth checking out!
Website: Ernest Cofee
Cafe La Jefa
This cafe is a Latin-influenced coffee house and restaurant located in the recently renovated Flannery Exchange in Palm Springs. They serve breakfast and lunch every day, which can be enjoyed on their expansive outdoor patio! Their mission is to create an ambiance where guests feel inspired, relaxed, and ready to create.
Website: Cafe La Jefa
This Palm Springs coffee shop is open at 6 a.m. daily, so perfect for all your early risers! They’re known for their world-class organic coffee (I’m intrigued) and their in-house roasted beans imported from a woman-led specialty coffee brand. They also serve gelato (I’m sold) and have a wide range of chai drinks to choose from if you’re not a coffee person!
Website: IW Coffee
Facebook: IW Coffee
The great thing about Koffi Palm Springs is that there are tons of different locations throughout the city, so there will most likely be one near wherever you’re staying. They’re locally owned and operated, with their 70+ team members running the largest coffee retail and roasting operation in the Coachella Valley! How impressive is that? They’re celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2022!
Fine french dining, you say?? FARM isn’t technically a coffee shop, but a traditional provencal-style restaurant that feels like you’ve been transported to the South of France. In Palm Springs. They have a beautiful outdoor patio that I would highly recommend sitting at if you decide to dine here. They’re walk-in only for breakfast and lunch but reservation-only for dinner!
Palm Springs wedding inspiration
Now that you know how to plan a Palm Springs wedding, here is some real-life inspiration for how your day could look!
Let’s get you married in Palm Springs!
Now that you’re thoroughly convinced to have a Palm Springs wedding, it’s time to start planning! To get in touch with me to get the party started, you can fill out my contact form, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.