Anytime I spot the signature red and white striped awning of the Colony Palms Hotel, my little heart skips a beat. And today’s affair captured by Erin Hearts Court is enough to stop my heart dead in its tracks. That good, people, that good. It is positively brimming with one vibrant tid bit after another and loads of smiles. We love a smiley wedding around here. So in honor of fabulous awnings, gorgeous chuppahs courtesy of David Rohr Floral Studio and the lovely nuptials beneath them, I present a Palm Springs soirée done so, so right. See the full shebang here!
From Erin Hearts Court…For the wedding day, the two had decided to base their ceremony on the important aspects from both Ben’s and Tim’s favorite traditions, including a number of elements from Jewish weddings. Tim had long chided Ben for his “signature color” orange sunglasses, watch, shoes, cookware, and keepsakes; so it was only a natural that orange feature prominently along with Tim’s purple into the tulips and hyacinths, lighted LED waterbead vases, water bottles, and even orange and purple yamikas. They had water bottles with custom labels telling vignettes about how they met (collect all four!), and instead of place cards, made tins of custom printed M&M’s in orange and purple, each displaying a photo of this or that groom or the event date, and covered with a label indicating the guest’s name and table assignment. As guests walked in, they were greeted with French 75’s – Tim’s signature cocktail – to get the festive mood started. But when the ceremony began with the stiffly traditional Trumpet Voluntary, one close friend stood up and put a stop to the ceremony. “What’s this music? This is supposed to be a GAY wedding!” he shouted. On cue, the DJ changed it up to the Glee Cast singing Marry Me, and the couple’s friends danced in, pair by pair, to everyone’s delight.
During their ceremony, the grooms stood under a chuppah made from Ben’s tallit as their longtime friend Larry officiated with notes on his iPad; and seven friends and family members each offered their own blessings to the couple. They also continued a tradition from Tim’s family: sealing in a box a special private letter from each to the other along with a bottle of wine, to be read only if the marriage should ever be on the brink (hopefully never); or else to celebrate at their 25th anniversary (and they’ve already booked the Colony Palms Hotel for everyone to come celebrate in 2036). But the best part, according to all the guests, were the stories that Tim and Ben read aloud to one another under the chuppah: while they hadn’t compared notes beforehand, the two echoed each other fatefully and deeply meaningfully, as they put into relief the surprise and gratitude each felt to be with the other. Tim, a master of sentimentality, even commented that he had saved the cocktail napkin Ben wrote notes on the night they met in 2004… and then produced it from his pocket to wipe a tear from Ben’s eyes right there. At the end of the ceremony, Tim fulfilled the tradition of breaking a glass with his foot – in this case an orange “signature colored” wine glass that Tim’s sister had given Ben –and the officiant ceremoniously announced that “You may now change your Facebook relationship status to married.”
Champagne was passed to guests as they migrated from the ceremony lawn to the poolside to start cocktails at dusk, before candlelight dinner was served at tables all around the pool. The dancing started with a firework – literally, Katy Perry’s Firework – and included side trips to play costume dress up in the photo booth, to stand and enjoy the slide show of family and friends projected on the sidewall, and to rough and tumble in the grown-up bouncy house. At midnight, some paused to grab a milkshake or to make their own burger from the midnight burger bar; and by 2am, as though it were inevitable, guests ended up in the pool – in a mix of dresses, suits, and skivvies. And then, on Sunday, the two hosted all the guests at the luxe Palm D’Or residence on the property for an all-day open house, with a rotating menu of new meals and specialty cocktails every two hours. Friends came, ate, mingled, and meandered back to the pool and back to the house for more quality time. For Tim and Ben, the most important part was getting to spend so much time with people who are so important in their lives. But the ultimate compliment was the number of people who summed it up with this: “I’m going to have to go to more gay Jewish weddings.”
Wedding Photography: Erin Hearts Court / Venue + Catering: Colony Palms Hotel / Florist + Chuppah: David Rohr Floral Studio / Lighting: Event Illuminations / Paper Goods: Minted / DJ: Rick Dominguez / Photo Booth: Action Photo Booth / Design (Programs, Event Brochures, Custom Etched Glass + Candles, Etc.): Kocher Design / Bounce House: Armando / Sitters: Celebrity Sitters / Tim’s Attire: Paul Smith, Stefano Ricci, Hugo Boss + Cole Haan / Ben’s Attire: Paul Smith, Kiton + Santoni