A James Bond Wedding in Palm Springs


Two words: synchronized swimmers!

Angela, Facilities Manager & Greg, Production Assistant

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: Bond. James Bond. A Modern Vintage Wedding.

Soundtrack for reading: “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone

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My groom only wanted one thing for the big day and it was to wear an ivory white dinner jacket like Sean Connery in the James Bond movies. We used his request to inspire the day and found a modern yet retro vacation home in Palm Springs. Casa Verona is managed by Room Service, a retro furniture and linens store chain in California. The venue was perfect for us as it fit our aesthetic. We both love ’60s, ’70s, Jonathan Adler, Missoni, and James Bond movies. We were lucky as the venue just completed the mosaic tile installation surrounding the outdoor fireplace a few weeks before!

To continue our Bond theme, my gift to the groom (and many male guests) was a performance by Aquatech, a group of synchronized swimmers from Los Angeles.

I purchased the gold vases and planters and worked with My Little Flower Shop for an affordable floral design and they exceeded my expectations. We chose succulents to fit with the Palm Springs theme. We used our engagement photos for our table numbers, guestbook silhouette created by Nella Designs, and matchboxes printed through Foryourparty.com. The table numbers were DIY with gold frames from the Dollar Tree. We chose matchboxes as some of our favors as a nod to our meeting through Match.com. We gave away parasols and fans for guests who may be impacted by the sun during our ceremony. We used decor from the house to set the tone and to decorate the ceremony space. The Kindle giant table lamps rented through Classic Party Rentals were my favorite element that provided heat and light to the reception space.

We served BBQ by Coachella Valley BBQ for cocktail hour and dinner and the guests loved it! Many went back for seconds and raved about the tri-tip in particular. Desserts were designed by Exquisite Desserts. Samantha and her team are geniuses and everyone loved the dessert table. At first I felt silly using our Storm (X-Men) and Silver Surfer action figures as cake toppers, but they reminded me how they had special meaning to me and Greg. It turned out guests loved them!

At the end we had a pool party after party with s’mores.

Favorite Thing About The Wedding

Synchronized Swimmers!


The Info:

Photographer: M.A. Photography | Location: Palm Springs, CA | Venue: Casa Verona | Wedding Dress: Designed by Maggie Sottero, bought at Glamour Closet in SF | Angela’s Second Dress: Coldwater Creek | Bridesmaids Dresses: Banana Republic, and they wore their own black booties | Greg’s Dinner Jacket: Jos A. Bank | Favors: For Your Party | Guest Book Sign: Nella Designs | Makeup: Chelsea Nicole Makeup | Synchronized Swimmers: Aquatech | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Event Planning: Happily Weddings | Bartending: Night & Day Productions | Desserts: Exquisite Desserts | Invitations: Bella Figura | Food: Coachella Valley BBQ | Floral Design: My Little Flower Shop

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  • MisterEHolmes

    What a great concept and beautiful wedding! (I loved the Storm and Silver Surfer, too!) Killer!

  • StevenPortland

    Wow to both of your dresses! And the swimmers — what an utterly fantastic idea! Everything was beautiful.

  • elle em

    oh.my.god. just perfect! the location! the aesthetic! you can just feel the love and fun and dancing. looks like it was a dream of a wedding!

  • Lisa

    This might be the hippest wedding I’ve ever seen, in a good way.

  • http://baltimorebeginner.wordpress.com ohyeahofcourse

    Great idea to rent a home! Airbnb, here I come!

    • Meg Keene

      Do your research. It’s not quite as easy as it looks, because you have to find an owner (on AirBNB or VRBO) that will let you hold a large event on the property. Those properties exist, but they’re pretty rare. We did a lot of research on this and came up with a LOT of nos. Mostly you need to stick to properties that are designed for events.

      • http://baltimorebeginner.wordpress.com ohyeahofcourse

        Good to know, everyone! I should mention that I’m not engaged or anything, but I’m just a fanatical researcher for just about everything. Glad to know many people have already done the legwork, though.

      • Angela

        Thanks Meg! VRBO/Room Service identified this home as available for parties and weddings but we pushed them to their limits haha. Most vacation homes do not allow weddings but this one did and when we did the math and it still came out cheaper than a traditional venue for us.

        Yes, it was quite a feat and if you do not have project management experience I would not recommend this route. Or find a home that has an On-site Property Manager. We were fortunate to have an awesome day of coordinator, Happily Weddings, and Classic Party Rentals helped out a lot. We still had issues with the house but the owner was not available to resolve which wouldn’t be an issue in a traditional wedding venue.

    • Emily

      We originally wanted to rent a beach house for our wedding, even 20 months out, we had a really hard time and the 2 houses we did find ended up being more expensive than most of the traditional venues in town once we calculated catering, INSURANCE, renting everything, finding a parking/shuttle solution, booze etc.

    • NicoleT

      I want to add a third voice to this and say that Meg and Emily are *totally* right. Another thing is when you do rent a house, sometimes you’ll only be able to rent part of the house. So you’ll be able to use the “guest house” area and the backyard, etc., but the owners will be in the main house and will keep the main house off limits. So they might be sitting in there watching your wedding…
      Also, it can definitely be more expensive. Parking alone can add a lot of extra money, especially if you need to get a shuttle as well.

      • Angela

        Yes, parking actually affected our venue choices. But we had a small wedding party and guests were able to park on the street, no valet required!

    • sara g

      Careful… it sounds like a fabulous idea at first, and we briefly entertained it when looking for our venue, but most owners won’t let you have a large event on the property, and even if they will, you’ll have to worry about:

      -Parking
      -Chairs/tables/linens/tent if it rains
      -Catering — the owners may not let the caterers use the house’s kitchen, even, so they’ll have to bring in all their own equipment
      -Insurance/liability
      -Alcohol permits

      In the end, it’s probably worth it to go with an actual event space, or if you’re going more non-traditional, at least try to have somewhere you won’t have to worry about some of the items I listed above.

      • Angela

        Yes, we had to be very careful and we cleaned up EVERYTHING ourselves. Also, I mentioned previously, weddings were allowed at this venue. Having a smaller wedding definitely helped with everything mentioned, would not recommend this route for a large wedding.

      • Sparkles

        We used a community space that hadn’t had weddings at it before, and I can imagine it might be a bit more of a logistical issue with a house, but all of the things on your list were pretty manageable for us (and we planned it in 3.5 months), if you can find the venue. The only thing from your list that I don’t have experience worrying about is parking, but you could probably manage that if you’re creative (school bus from a public parking lot nearby?).

        There’s a good article on here somewhere (I think under Logistics) about rentals, our caterers were amazing and didn’t need a kitchen, insurance was easy enough to get from my insurance broker, and alcohol permits were pretty easy to obtain.

        It’s not no work, obviously, but I don’t think it’s as much work as you’re making it out to be.

        • sara g

          I think a lot of it is really just circumstantial… depends on the area you live in, how many family/friends you have nearby to help, what your budget is, how large your wedding is, etc. That’s awesome you were able to pull it off! We really wanted to have ours at a big vacation lodge type place, but we only found a couple that would even allow weddings, and the rest of the logistics were just too much of a hassle or too expensive to work around.

          I’m mostly just wishing I would have known how difficult it can be to have a wedding at a non-traditional venue, because we wasted the first couple months of planning trying to make it work when it really wasn’t possible. Again, I realize it can totally work in some cases, I just think it’s a good idea to be fully aware of the potential issues before moving forward. :)

  • Lindsey d.

    Gah! I want to be as cool as you too one day! And synchronized swimmers! AH!

  • Kayjayoh

    1. OMG, you had water ballet at you wedding!

    2. OMG.2 thise cake toppers!!

  • vegankitchendiaries

    Bam! This wedding is TIGHT! +5 million bonus points for that reception dress, the killer ring, and THOSE EARRINGS ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?

  • Stephanie B.

    I love Greg’s shoes! And your Storm and Silver Surfer cake toppers are fantastic! (We used Batman and Catwoman, so I’m partial to comic-book cake toppers.)

  • NicoleT

    I was hooked by the first sentence about the groom wanting to wear a white dinner jacket! Holy crap. This wedding looks awesome! It seems classy and fun and it was James Bond-y without being crazy excessive (like you would see in The Kn*t). Fashionable with love and heart!

  • Lada

    two words: synchronized swimmers! best wedding idea ever

  • Ariel

    Man, I wish I had been invited to this one!

  • Sarah

    Wow what a beautiful wedding!! Those swimmers look great, what a fantastic idea. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • ruth

    Listening to Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” and looking at these simultaneously hip and happy photos was like going on a 2 minute vacation, in the midst of an otherwise stressful day, Thanks for sharing!

  • JSwen

    Awesome and unconventional venue choice! Love the pool!

  • JDrives

    That reception dress is redonk, in the best way possible. It’s got me rethinking my one-and-done wedding dress decision!

  • Fiona

    This is the most wonderful. I love the theme!!!!
    Also, the bride and groom are GORGEOUS.

  • Mrs. Peterbot

    Just…LOVE everything about this.

  • ART

    I love this! I love Palm Springs, you guys look amazing, and this looks like a blast.

  • M.A. Photography

    What I loved the most about your wedding was you. You allowed me as your photographer do what I was hired to do… capture fun creative memories (pictures). Thank you for being… You. With Love, Renee maphotography.net

  • Class of 1980

    Very cool wedding. Love the sparkly top on that dress.

  • Briana

    Love it! Especially the reception dress and the bridesmaid boots! and synchronized swimmers? WHAT!

  • lady brett

    oh! the synchronized swimmers are so james bond.

  • KEA1

    Jaw. On. Floor. You two are gorgeous and everything about this wedding looks incredible. May your life together be as beautiful, love-filled and badass as everything about this wedding seems to be!! :)

  • Lorelle

    That jacket is on point, the ring is to die for, and I love everything about this!

  • Shotgun Shirley

    I love everything about this wedding.

  • LaShay Harvey

    OMG!!! Can someone find the details on her ring for me STAT?!?!? It’s gorgeous!

    • 909girl601world

      Yes! I was hoping for details on her ring as well.

    • ipreferangie

      Thank you! It is custom-made by Kate Szabone on Etsy. She is fabulous!

      https://www.etsy.com/shop/kateszabone

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  • Jen

    Woohoo! Go team Melancon! And my back of the head shot made the cut. So much fun…who wants to do it again? ;p