Utah Bride and Groom

Emerald Oasis

Little Sahara desert inspiration for your wedding day

Photography by Heather Nan

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Is rain in the forecast for your big day? Not to worry. All shows must go on, so proved photographer Heather Nan, whose goal it was to design a party scene infused with desert details. A sharp shooter who has seen hundreds of weddings, Nan exhibits passion for unearthing that “something new.” Yet despite a bad weather report, she headed 115 miles south of Salt Lake to the dunes and sagebrush flats of Little Sahara Recreation Center. What came of it was something she never expected: five ways—even through wind and rain—to have a white-sand wedding in a desert state most known for its red rock.

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

PITCH A TENT

Yes, canopies provide sun and rain protection (and thus should be a part of any outdoor party back-up plan), but who doesn’t appreciate practicality mixed with style? In party terms, a rental tent (transported and set-up by event companies) marks a party boundary within a large landscape. It can house hundreds—or just shelter a couple—for the ceremony, or “sweetheart table,” as seen here. Dress a basic rental with drapery, lights or lanterns for a completely custom look.

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

STRAY FROM THE NORM

“Don’t be afraid to stray from a traditional wedding color palette,” suggests Nan who, with the help of wedding planner Allison Baddley of La Fête, adds jewel tones like emerald and sapphire. Moroccan-inspired jewelry and watercolor invitations breathe life into an otherwise pale palette.

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

HANDLE THE HICCUPS WITH GRACE

Most couples dream of a flawless day, yet no party big or small is without its glitches. “My personal vision today was sun-drenched and bright. Basking in the desert sun—can you see it?” Nan asks. But the weather forecast called for rain clouds. “Though they weren’t the images I had in my head, the results had their own unexpected beauty.” Couples can easily do the same. “Embrace your story, your day.”

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

CHOOSE LESS FOR BIGGER IMPACT

“When planning a wedding, less is just more,” says Baddley. She focuses on must-haves like unique location, fashion, flowers and menu—the rest of the experience is up to the folks celebrating. “My message to most of my brides is: Don’t overdo the details because they get lost. There is really a fine line between making it classy and perfectly beautiful— and being overdone.”

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

SAVE MONEY. HIRE A PLANNER.

Listen up, couples. The dough spent on a planner is money, time and headache saved overall. With a contact list of verifiable vendors, it’s a planner’s job to execute events within a set budget and timeline. Most work with a variety of vendors, so couples still maintain control over the final product. “Truly. If you can only afford hourly consultation, do it,” says Nan. “The right planner will polish your vision, make it yours and save you time and money.”

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

Utah Desert Wedding Inspiration

VENDORS

Photography: Heather Nan Photography

Floral design: La Fête Floral & Design

Gown: Leanne Marshall

Veil: Gateway Bridal

Groom’s attire: Urbana Custom Clothier

Jewelry: O.C. Tanner Jewelers

Furniture and rugs: C.G. Sparks

Catering: Cuisine Unlimited

Paper: Wildfield Paper Co.

Pillows, place settings, flatware and cocktail glassware: Anthropologie

Pillows, napkins and napkin rings: West Elm

Makeup: Kristen Packard Artistry

Hair: Kali Chris Hair

Cake: Pippa Cakery

Ribbon and table runner: Silk & Willow

Venue: Little Sahara

Models: Susie Clawson and Garrett Noel

Ashley Miller
April 21, 2016

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