Jessie and Omar - The Vows - Palm Springs, CA

March 10, 2016  •  10 Comments

From the bride and groom...

We have been a couple since November 2, 2006, Day of the Dead, a holiday that has been dear to our hearts ever since. To celebrate our 8-year anniversary we decided to go Guanajuato, Mexico. We were excited to visit San Miguel de Allende for their annual Day of the Dead celebration, “Las Calacas”. San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful colonial town full of color. It is often referred to as the heart of Mexico because of its geographical location. During sunset on November 2, 2014, while on a terrace that overlooked the town, I presented Jessie with a linocut print. It was an illustration of us as calacas created my friend Daniel Gonzalez, an amazing artist and printmaker. As Jessie opened the gift, I got down on one knee, presented her with a ring and asked her for forever, “para siempre”.

Instantly after our engagement in Guanajuato we began to plan our wedding. We knew that we wanted to get married in the Coachella Valley. Jessie was born in Palm Springs and I was raised in Cathedral City. Though we’ve been in Los Angles now for over 8 years, the desert is the place where we both met and both still consider home. After a couple of months looking at some traditional Palm Springs wedding venues and not finding anything that felt right, we finally realized that we needed to switch our thought process. We recognized that we were drawing too much inspiration from previous Palm Springs weddings featured in blogs, pintrest, etc. Plans were not starting to feel like us. 

We took a step back and genuinely began to ask ourselves what we truly wanted. We both consider ourselves to be somewhat creative individuals. Jessie is a photographer, while I am a graphic designer and media artist. We are both into spending time with family and friends. Some of the things we enjoy are hosting, traveling, having a few drinks, late night street food, cultural learning, music, art and design. We wanted to incorporate all of those things and produce a wedding that felt like us, while still keeping some traditional elements. We wanted to create and experience that felt like a day out with us. Something that feels familiar, but a little bit fancier.

The Palms Springs Art Museum was perfect for our ceremony. It is mid-century modern architecture nestled in the iconic San Jacinto Mountains with beautiful exhibition spaces and sculpture gardens. It provided us with the formal vive that we wanted for our ceremony and gave us the opportunity to be married surrounded by beautiful works of art. It was also the place were I got one of my biggest creative push. After the museum purchased one of my paintings for their permanent collection. A painting that I had created during a scholarship exhibition. We both immediately feel in love with the idea, but were quoted way out of our budget. Since we were working with a limited budget, we decided to split the ceremony and the reception spaces to save on costs.

I ended up finding Snapshot Palm Springs online. It is a photography studio that is perfectly located caddy corner from my first home in America after migrating from Mexico, three blocks away from Jessie’s childhood home and 1 block away from the elementary school we both attended. Snapshot was our blank canvas and it offered the outdoor dinner space we were looking for. We were allowed to bring in what we wanted and celebrate past the strict Palm Springs noise ordinance because of its location. Combined, both of these locations were perfect together. We were able to keep the formal vibe we wanted for our ceremony and have the more laid back familiar experience our friends and family are accustomed to from us at our reception.

For our wedding colors we were inspired by our Mexican, Peruvian and American combined cultures. We started with white for a base. Jessie is Peruvian from her mother’s side so gold was a must. We both knew that we wanted a midnight blue to compliment the white and help the gold accents stand out. We also wanted a color that would pop. The fuchsia color came from the beautiful bougainvillea filled trees that we saw while in Guanajuato and the bougainvillea that is prominent in the Coachella Valley.

Our wedding happened right after daylight savings so we had to plan accordingly. We were trying to beat the sun for outdoor photos and have a reception that started late enough to allow for a late-night party while not exhausting everyone. We also planned on having food throughout the night, which included late night tacos. Our tables were lined in rows outside to take advantage of the beautiful star filled desert sky. As you walked out to the outdoor space the tables in white linens were filled with candles, flowers, and traditional hand cut paper picado hung above. Accompanying the paper were string lights giving the paper pieces a soft iridescent glow.

A main component or theme of our wedding was family, especially our grandparents. We both no longer have our grandparents; they were an incredible influence to our lives individually and as a couple. We would have loved to share the moment with them. In the spirit and tradition of Dia de los Muertos we set up an altar in remembrance of them and others in our families who are no longer with us, to guide all of their souls to share on the occasion. During dinner a Mariachi came in to serenade us and played my grandmothers favorite song to pay homage to our gone but not forgotten family members.

The wedding turned out to be a crazy yearlong project. But looking back it was all worth it. It was the happiest day of both our lives and we got to do it our way, with all of the amazing support from our loving families and friends.


- Vendors -
Ceremony - Palm Springs Art Museum

Reception - Snapshot Palm Springs

Florals - Greenman Floral Design 818.720.7010

Coordinator - Anne Marie Campbell, Lizeth Torres & Marisol Schick

Paper Goods - Daniel Gonzalez, Print Gonzalez

Cake / Dessert - Mariana's Cakes 760.779.3693

Bride’s Dress - Alfred Angelo

Bride’s Shoes - Nina

Groom’s Suit: J. Crew

Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan

Tie: Penguin

Dj - Dj ODC, Pablo Rocha 760.851.8251

Videographers - Republic Films

Food - Rosa's Tacos Catering, Rosa #760.898.1172

Music - Mariachi Azteca de Oro, José Valdez, #760.808.1036

Photo Booth - Social Light Photo

Website & Art Direction - Jessie Penprase + Omar N. Lopez


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