This might just be the most dazzling, magical wedding we’ve ever photographed. Welcome to a colossal adventure in Pioneertown which is the cutest lil’ western historic town you ever did see, just about 30 minutes from Joshua Tree. Amidst this historic neighborhood of old-timey weirdness, we were immersed in cactus, rustic barns, an old-west troupe performance, boho vibes, broken-down-vehicles, horses, and more. This ultra-creative Pioneertown wedding between two wild and adventurous souls took us on a horseback ride through the wild west vibes of the high desert into this mystic boho dream.
From literally snuggling baby goats in the heart of an old west town, to wrangling a wild west troupe as a stand-in wedding party, to serving drinks from a bathtub, to the most boho-glamorous barn draped in antlers and dry florals and peacock chairs and banners (did we mention their ‘seating chart’ was a table full of shot glasses?). Rachel & Ilya took a break from a delicious dinner to wander down dusty desert roads and find utter sunset magic wrapped in an old Mexican blanket, and then returned to heartfelt speeches and an epic first dance performance, followed by a wild dance party. So yeah, you could say it was a good day and then some. This one was absolutely unforgettable for these two wild things and for their guests… and for us. Here’s to their forever in limitless and wild love. Read on for more details… (and then if you want more after that, we were featured on Green Wedding Shoes, too!)
So first things first—fashion heaven. Rachel’s to-die-for blue and white Rue de Seines floral wedding gown took our breath away, and that crystal and brass crown was the stuff dreams are made of. Bejeweled in moons and stars jewelry, she get ready with a gaggle of friends. We loved how they rallied their closest friends together even though they didn’t actually have an official wedding party. They said they wanted to hang with their besties without making them need to purchase anything or have any special responsibilities on their day, and we totally get that.
So, this day just kept getting better and better. We kicked off their time together with an incredible first look in front of the Pioneertown Motel. With hearts pounding on both sides, Rachel wowed Ilya with just about the best first look reaction we could imagine. He was to say the least, dazzled. Their adorable tenderness to one-another was palpable in all the little ways their heart-eyed magic shone through. Then they roamed their way around this vintage desert town while their guests took in the Wild West Mane Street Stampede show.
So that brings us to their weird, wild, and wonderful ceremony. This took place at the Pioneertown Soundstage, which is a historic barn that’s right on Mane street. It serves as a reception space inside, and a gorgeous rustic wedding space outside. Complete with hay bales topped with Mexican blankets, guests were encouraged to don their most western glamor A-game for this big day. I can’t really find a way to explain the epic wow from the crowd as Rachel & Ilya knocked their guests’ socks off riding in on horseback into the ceremony. Can you even? And of course, this couple’s sweet pup along with the whole crowd of revelers watched and bawled while Rachel & Ilya shared the most impactful, tender-hearted, tears-and-laughs-filled vows.
So kicking off this party wasn’t half-bad either. This space was decked-out with the most inspired bohemian wonderland of peacock chairs, twinkle lights, rustic bunting, farm tables, and dried flowers galore. And then we filled that space with the most joyful people nearly bouncing off the walls at their excited to see this couple finally hitched. Pup ran free throughout the dining space visiting from person to person like he owned the place. All the while colossal speeches were being shared, hilarity was abounding, and happy tears flowed freely.
I know often it can be tricky to find time for folks to squeeze in a portrait break when time feels so precious on your wedding day. But I have gotta see, the following images pretty much perfectly express why I think it is so worth making time for portraits. When all you have is a quick five minutes we can make definitely make a handful of lovely portraits… but when you allot real time for portraits, it’s how we make magic. Having enough time to actually wander the streets of Pioneertown with a colossal desert background—having enough time to actually relax, have a great time, and just enjoy the moment together—that’s where the best images come from.
And then the dance party got lit. These two planned a surprise twist during their tender first dance. Jaan pehechaan ho set the tone for their midcentury moves, and then everyone filled the floor with energy and joy and light and love and the most epic shaking of tail feathers. It was a real barn-burner! This day is still knocking us right out.
Talent Roll Call
Photography: Let’s Frolic Together / Venue: Pioneertown / Reception : Pioneer Sound Stage / Getting Ready Venues: Harriet House , Homestead Modern , Pioneertown Motel / Coordinator: The Walk Down The Aisle / Event Designer: Corbin Winters of Pow Wow Designs / Catering and Cake: Lindsay Culver at Miho Catering Co. / Stylist: Christina Bushner / Florals: Layered Vintage / Beauty: Jill Colwell Pro Makeup + Hair / Dress: Rue De Seine from Lovely Bride, Pasadena / Alterations: A Stitch in Time, L.A. / Accessories: Amaroq & Child of Wild & Nanette Lepore / Tux: Asos / DJ: Supermoon DJ’s / Rentals: Pow Wow & Hostess Haven & Signature Party Rentals & Skywild Design / Entertainment: Mane Street Stampede / Stationery: Minted / Assistant Photographer: Erin Brant