Couple Married Camping In Joshua National Park

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Joshua Tree is a magical place: imagine a dry, arid landscape of funky desert trees, sage–colored succulents, and prehistoric rocks creating the campsite’s ultimate pristine playground – the perfect canvas for an eclectic and vintage Southwest wedding.

Christie and Ryan spent a year collecting vintage rugs, fabulous tents, great furniture and a variety of decor for their wedding at the campsite. As their photographer Someplace Images said, “Their wedding was a treasure trove of unique elements” and we couldn’t agree more. Each small room in the ancient rocks offered a different activity for the guests: dancing, tarot reading, live music and much more.

The couple really created an “introvert” space, as they called it, and showed their beloved Indian Cove campsite.

Another notable DIY was their automatic pump hand washing machine, so the party could always stay hygienic. While this may not be the “seductive” detail, we think it is important and inspiring to show it when it comes to planning a wedding and hosting a party exactly the way you want and wherever you want: if there is a will, there is a way.

The dress and the outfit

Christie’s dress was vintage-the one her aunt wore at her wedding when Christie was a flower girl. We have modified the dress to update the look and make it more comfortable in hot weather by removing the silk long sleeves. Ryan’s costume was simple and something we chose online at Indochino during their BLACK Friday sale.

The Goal & the Vibrations

We wanted something relaxed, outdoor and friendly for introverts. We chose Indian Cove camping, the first place we camp together, both because of the sentimental value and because many of our friends and family were not there and we wanted to show it. We also thought (and were right) that the Joshua Tree Rocks would make a spectacular photo fall possible and would provide plenty of hiking and climbing activities during the day for weekend guests.

After securing the venue, we opted for a wider color palette with lots of sun-bleached dusty pastels with some bold hues for contrast. Since the rocks are relatively monotonous, we wanted to bring a lot of colors to make things festive.


We wanted all the native plants and flowers so we wouldn’t have to worry about introducing something invasive into a national park. Cactus Mart was great and allowed us to rent potted plants from them and walk around their property to get some buckets of toppings. Ryan’s father and Christie’s family friend Kiyomi did the arrangements and buttonholes.

Favorite moments

The whole day was so much fun, but our favorite part was when the sun went down, everyone had eaten and the vision of the whole place came alive. We had large carpets as a dance floor and several tents with different activities installed in each of them. The idea was to create small spaces where people could spend time and feel comfortable. We didn’t know if people would actually use the spaces we had created, so it was really cool to see people who love tents and hanging out on the outdoor rugs.

Our friend Sarah did tarot readings in one of the tents, which was a great success! The dancing people projected incredible, seductive shadows from 200 feet high onto the rock walls surrounding us, we had a solid group of people playing board games in one of the other tents, and there were two campfires. It was incredible to be surrounded by all the people we love and to see our vision come to life.

DIY Details

About a year before the wedding, we were looking for carpets, old linen tents, coffee tables, candle vases and oil lamps in thrift stores. Christie found a large bolt of flower-printed fabric at a flea market and used it to sew the tablecloths. She also poured all the pyramid-shaped candles with recycled second-hand pillar candles. We built our own hand wash basins with foot pump to make sure everything stayed clean in one place with no running water. We used reusable silicone stemless plonk glasses for our cocktails, which guests could take home as gifts.

So many others have helped us in small and big ways. Christie’s brother built the copper arch, Ryan’s brother and sister did the signage and helped with much of the decoration. A family friend made all of our cookies and Christie’s mom made a Hawaiian wedding cake.

Our dear friend Serena played organ for us in the alley and our friend Claudia officiated. Literally nothing would have worked without everyone intervening and helping with the details.


We splurge on good food, decorate the tent and jumped on so many other things. We did not have a cake, a formal table, a guest book, DJs or many other things typical of weddings.


Our first dance was pretty silly, “2 become 1” by the Spice Girls. We also played some of our own music for the guests. We haven’t had our honeymoon yet, we’re waiting for Christie to complete her PhD.

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