LA couple Rob Woronoff and Tom Tarr got married on a warm and sunny Greater Palm Springs day. It was an outdoor affair where Rob wore beige linen and Tom wore blue. Some sixty family members and friends gathered as they exchanged their vows amid waterfalls and the desert flora of Spencer’s Restaurant on West Baristo Road in Palm Springs. And when the sun set on the evening, the party moved from outdoor dinner to indoor dancing.
Woronoff recalls the event was both elegant and effortless because the newlyweds allowed Spencer’s to handle everything. “We just had to bring the flowers and the people,” Woronoff says.
LGBT couples looking to get married in Greater Palm Springs can replicate the Woronoff-Tarr experience or create their own special day ranging from the inexpensive to the lavish. (One power couple recently spent over $250,000 on their week-long celebration which included a Ferris wheel and fireworks.)
No matter your budget, Greater Palm Springs is picture-perfect for tying the knot. Here’s a few tips from our local experts.
For starters, Richard Cadieux, owner and event planner of Joyful Weddings & Events, stresses knowing what you want. According to Cadieux, this sounds simpler than it is, particularly in the LGBT world where many gay men, like their straight counterparts, know or care little about weddings, and many lesbians have never been bridesmaids.
Once couples decide what they want, it’s time to go shopping.
They can follow Woronoff and Tarr’s lead and turn the whole thing over to a one-stop wedding planner like Spencer’s. Or they can go to a plugged-in wedding planner such as Gregory Goodman.
Goodman is a founder of Weddings Warriors, a network of valley wedding vendors. The Warriors give couples direct access to venues, clothiers, stylists, caterers, bakers, music, venues and more in Greater Palm Springs. Of course, Goodman can supply flowers through his very own My Little Flower Shop.
The process can be simplified even more when couples choose an officiant to perform the ceremony who also is a wedding planner. An officiant/planner such as Cadieux can customize the affair.
For example, comfort and privacy might be paramount when choosing a venue or writing vows, per Cadieux, who has presided over some 1,300 weddings. “How do you write your vows when Grandma is present and she might not understand your life?” said Cadieux.
Planners can steer couples to the many wedding venues that Greater Palm Springs offers, such as these hotels:
- Parker Palm Springs, a platinum venue where a five-hour party in the lush outdoor setting may also include a suite for the couple on their wedding night.
- Monte Luna at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage boasts a natural setting with a private lawn surrounded by mountain views, palm trees and vibrant flowers.
- One of the many LGBT resorts or Small Hotels of Palm Springs (SHoPS) can be rented en masse for the wedding party.
Getting married at a palatial estate is another flexible option. Greater Palm Springs is home to several such venues, including:
- The Sinatra House, Frankie’s original Palm Springs estate. Sinatra’s pad has four bedrooms and can accommodate up to 150 guests for cocktails around the piano-shaped pool.
- The Galvan Estate also has four bedrooms and settings for intimate, romantic weddings and receptions.
“When all is said and done in this post-Prop 8 time of marriage equality, a wedding is a wedding. There are either more boutonnieres or more bouquets,” said Goodman. “And in the valley, LGBT couples can mount as elegant a day as anyone. It’s the law of the land. And the Greater Palm Springs area should be at the top of your list.
Ready to say I do? Learn more about planning the perfect wedding in Greater Palm Springs.