Michael and Steve Get Marry At The Parker Palm Springs

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All engaged couples look forward to the day they’ll say “I do,” but for Steven and Michael, the anticipation leading up to their wedding was years in the making. When the time came to pick the “where,” the two grooms didn’t hesitate: Palm Springs, California. “We wanted to give people a reason to come to someplace that they normally wouldn’t go,” says the couple. “We also wanted to give them plenty to do outside of the wedding and reception celebrations by combatting the ‘six hours and you’re done’ syndrome of typical weddings. We allowed people an experience and a vacation, as well as a damn good party together.” mdblogqe0003 mdblogqe0004

All engaged couples look forward to the day they’ll say “I do,” but for Steven and Michael, the anticipation leading up to their wedding was years in the making. When the time came to pick the “where,” the two grooms didn’t hesitate: Palm Springs, California. “We wanted to give people a reason to come to someplace that they normally wouldn’t go,” says the couple. “We also wanted to give them plenty to do outside of the wedding and reception celebrations by combatting the ‘six hours and you’re done’ syndrome of typical weddings. We allowed people an experience and a vacation, as well as a damn good party together.” mdblogqe0005 mdblogqe0006 mdblogqe0007 mdblogqe0008 mdblogqe0009 mdblogqe0010 mdblogqe0011 mdblogqe0012 mdblogqe0013 mdblogqe0014 mdblogqe0015 mdblogqe0016 mdblogqe0017 mdblogqe0018 mdblogqe0019 mdblogqe0020 mdblogqe0021 mdblogqe0022 mdblogqe0023 mdblogqe0024 mdblogqe0025 mdblogqe0026 mdblogqe0027 mdblogqe0028 mdblogqe0029 mdblogqe0030 mdblogqe0031 mdblogqe0032 mdblogqe0033 mdblogqe0034 mdblogqe0035 mdblogqe0036 mdblogqe0037 mdblogqe0038 mdblogqe0039 mdblogqe0040 mdblogqe0041 mdblogqe0042 mdblogqe0043 mdblogqe0044 mdblogqe0045 mdblogqe0046 mdblogqe0047 mdblogqe0048 mdblogqe0049 mdblogqe0050 mdblogqe0051 mdblogqe0052 mdblogqe0053 mdblogqe0054 mdblogqe0055 mdblogqe0056 mdblogqe0057 mdblogqe0058 mdblogqe0059

Not surprisingly, the couple’s loved ones immediately jumped on board for a destination wedding in Palm Springs. “Our guests were thrilled for us – we were finally able to get married after almost 20 years together,” recall the newlyweds. “As a same-sex couple, we had a domestic partnership for almost 15 years, but have only recently been able to legally marry in California. We were able to honor our love, our families and friends and, most importantly, our fathers who had both recently passed away.”

Michael and Steven apparently had their fingers on the pulse of Palm Springs by picking one of the busiest weekends in the city’s history to get married. “The Parker Palm Springs is a destination unto itself and we chose what turned out to be the busiest weekend in the history of Palm Springs: President’s Day weekend, Valentine’s Day weekend, Modernism Week, a major bike race event, a few scattered gay events and a visit by President Obama himself. When the hotel turned out to be available, we took it as a sign and jumped on it. It was about as perfect a location as anyone could ask for.”

When Michael and Steven look back on the overall process of planning their dream wedding, they have an honest and heartfelt reaction. “Amazing, stressful, exciting, stomach churning – but in the end, so worth it! There are two things we tell people when it comes to planning a wedding: 1. Don’t even think about trying it without a wedding planner and 2. Make sure you have a greatphotographer. I recently told someone about our photographer, Michael Segal, and said, ‘You should set your wedding date around his schedule.’ Yes, he’s that good!

“Regarding our wedding planner, we chose Cathy and Dorry with COJ Events because the weddings on their website were very individual and distinctive. A lot of wedding planners seem to have a ‘look’ that permeates all of their weddings. We wanted to make sure ours was distinctive. They were there for us every step of the way. As producers, we both have definite ideas and they helped us figure out which ideas made sense and gave us ideas we had never thought of.”

The couple put extensive thought into every aspect of their wedding – including their wedding website. “We used WIX to create it. We wanted a comprehensive resource that people could go to with details of the weekend, things to do, places to eat, great shopping, etc. Also, rather than gifts, we used the website to set up links to two charitable organizations (American Youth Symphony and the Point Foundation) that we support, encouraging guests to make contributions if they felt they wanted to recognize our wedding. We very much liked the idea of a charitable organization benefitting from our wedding and the two of them very much did!”

The couple made the most of their wedding weekend by hosting a family/welcome dinner, a cocktail party the night before the wedding and a brunch the day after the wedding. “We expected to spend more [on a destination wedding] given that we were hosting a wedding weekend, but it was well worth the effort and expense.” Having a multi-day event also served other welcome purposes like allowing their family and friends the time to really get to know each other and for the couple to show off their recently acquired Palm Springs vacation home.

After years of waiting to make their love official, it’s safe to say that Michael and Steven pulled off a weekend of events that was well worth the wait for everyone involved! The couple has some final words of advice for other couples planning a wedding away. “Participate in the day! Don’t let your best man or maid of honor host and handle things. We pretty much hosted the entire weekend – most importantly, we hosted the wedding and the reception. People enjoyed our participation in the wedding, but it really made the weekend memorable for us. The day is still very much ingrained in our minds and souls. One last thing…couples should really think about planning a wedding and a reception that reflects who they are as individuals and as a couple. The more personal it is, the more memorable it will be for you and your guests.”

Credits:

Photographed by Michael Segal Photography

Event planned by Cathy O’Connell from Celebrations of Joy

Venue: The Parker Palm Springs

Flowers by Maggie Jensen

Rentals by Classic Party Rentals

Lighting by The Lighter Side

Linens by Erin O’Donnell from BBJ Linen

Transportation by Lion Transportation

Sounds by randy from SIR-USA

Ceremony music: Level – Ben & Rachael

Pianist: Thomas Lauderdale – Pink Martini

Vocalist: Meow Meow

DJ: Tony from Red Shoe