Joshua Tree wedding
When Amelie contacted me about their Joshua Tree wedding, she told me she hadn’t initially wanted a photographer. Then she found my website, saw I flew my cat over from London, and felt she HAD to email me! We’re both English, and their cat Monty also took a flight across the Atlantic to live in California!
Like a few of my couples, they struggled to find an appointment for a California marriage license. There is such a backlog for a marriage license appointment in California, I have been recommending this company to my couples – CoupleLicense.
My lovely couple initially chose to elope in Malibu, but Joshua Tree held a special meaning for them. I personally am very happy about the location they chose!!! Joshua Tree certainly is a stunning place to say ‘I do’. Once we chose a date and location, the first thing I did was start researching permits for a Joshua Tree wedding.
Side note: I am ordained and was able to marry them whilst taking photos. That’s me in the photos in a fetching David Bowie mask and flares!
Do I need a permit to get married in Joshua Tree?
Yes! Yes you do! Not only do you need a permit for the ceremony, your photographer/videographer will need a special use permit. Both can be obtained by the incredibly helpful and responsive Jeannie at the National Park Service. For details on location options, permits and what is allowed, click here: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm
A wedding in Joshua Tree National Park
My couple had the fabulous idea to rent an AirBnB in Palm Springs with their close friends for the long weekend. It was 115 degrees when I arrived, and you can imagine my envy at seeing them all in the pool!! Amelie was not the only pregnant woman there, and both women coped admirably with the intense heat. The parasols were a cute touch too!
Amelie and Brian had chosen Hidden Valley to get married in, and I had a surprise for them. The week before at an engagement shoot we found a hidden valley within Hidden Valley! We had the whole little valley to ourselves which just added to the magic.
I performed the beginning of the ceremony, then we had to distribute tissues as Amelie and Brian said their heartfelt vows. Mark took them the rings, and again I was able to spend that moment behind the camera whilst they exchanged rings. A couple more minutes from me, and I prepared myself for this magic moment:
“I now pronounce you married. You may kiss!”
I love saying that part, not going to lie.
We didn’t spend a lot of time taking photos afterwards because of the intense heat. They did manage to empty a couple of bottles of champagne though! As always I’d like to mention Leave No Trace:
Leave No Trace principals
Plan ahead and prepare | Travel and camp on durable surfaces | Dispose of waste properly | Leave what you find | Minimize campfire impacts |Respect wildlife | Be considerate of other visitors.
Or, to put it simply:
Take only photos, leave only footsteps.
Joshua Tree is such a perfect part of California for a wedding. I am and always will be a water baby, but there is just something so magical about the desert. Please join me in wishing Amelie, Brian and the bump all the happiness for the future.