SoCal Weddings



Get In touch


Destination Weddings

Palm Springs Wedding + Elopement Planning Guide

Palm Springs is a stunning location to host your wedding, whether you’re from California or traveling out of state to visit! As a Southern California intimate wedding and elopement photographer, I’m here to give you ALL the tips and tricks on how to plan the most epic day in Palm Springs! What Type of Palm […]

Palm Springs is a stunning location to host your wedding, whether you’re from California or traveling out of state to visit! As a Southern California intimate wedding and elopement photographer, I’m here to give you ALL the tips and tricks on how to plan the most epic day in Palm Springs!

What Type of Palm Springs Wedding or Elopement Are You Having?

Don’t be afraid to dream big here! First up, what’s your ultimate wedding vibe? Are we talking about an extra intimate “just us” kind of day, or are you picturing a joyful gathering with your favorite people? Think about what lights you up most, because, at the end of the day, this is your happily ever after in the making!

Next, let’s chat about budget and dream weddings – you can totally have a swoon-worthy day without breaking the bank. Elopements can be oh-so-romantic and, most of the time, easier on the wallet! They let you splurge on what really matters to you—maybe that’s having the ultimate destination location or hosting your friends and family for a private catered dinner. 

While we’re on the topic, what’s a wedding without some feel-good moments? If you’re the type who loves to share life’s big highlights surrounded by your people, a small wedding can be just the celebration you’re looking for. It’s about those belly laughs, happy tears, and dance moves that only come out with family and friends. So, what do you say? Are you ready to make your Palm Springs wedding one for the books?

When Should You Plan Your Palm Springs Wedding?

Spring (March to May):

Expect nothing but cozy vibes with temps that are just right—think mid-70s to just below 100, usually, degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine saying your vows while the desert literally blooms around you. The weather is more comfortable than most other seasons in Palm Springs, making it the perfect time to plan your wedding or elopement! Sometimes there can be windy moments in spring but that’s all year-round in the desert. Temperatures are much more bearable than other seasons.

Summer (June to September):

Okay, summer in Palm Springs is no joke – it’s sizzling! Daytime temps can shoot past the 100-degree mark. Although the evenings can be comfortably warm, it’s usually not worth it unless you’re planning an indoor elopement. If you’re dreaming of a daytime outdoor wedding, you might want to reconsider and opt for winter, spring, or fall!

Fall (October to November):

Fall swoops in like a cool breeze after summer’s heatwave, bringing us temps in the 80s and 90s during the day. As for the nights, they’re that perfect level of cool where you can dance under the stars, celebrate in a fancy retro hotel, or even go camping if you’re more of the adventurous type!

Winter (December to February):

Winters are very mild in Palm Springs – daytime temps in the 60s to 70s – making it a hotspot for visitors wanting to enjoy outdoor activities without the risk of heatstroke! Evening temperatures tend to drop, so consider limiting your celebration to the daytime before the earlier sunsets. Book early for fall or winter weddings! 

Choose Your Palm Springs Wedding Venue 

You’re certainly in for a treat, as Palm Springs is practically overflowing with magical spots that are perfect for saying your “I do’s” in style. Let’s peek at some venues that would be perfect if you’re having an intimate wedding with a few guests!

The Parker Palm Springs
This place is the epitome of luxury meets style, where gardens that belong in fairytales meet the kind of chic that only Palm Springs can offer. It’s a mash-up of modern sleek and vintage charm. Imagine exchanging vows in an outdoor garden that could be a Monet painting or dancing the night away in private villas or poolside. And the dining is simply to die for!
Website: The Parker Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione
Think of a Mediterranean escapade but closer to home. This venue is brimming with romance, complete with serene courtyards and the kind of mountain views that will surely take your breath away. Take your pick from all of the charming outdoor settings inspired by Moroccan architecture – I guarantee you’ll love every one of them!
Website: Korakia Pensione

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
Imagine saying your vows while overlooking the sweeping vistas of Coachella Valley. It’s luxury with a capital ‘L,’ featuring event spaces that are nothing short of regal. Choose between expansive outdoor venues and grand ballrooms that redefine elegance. And let’s not forget about the customizable wedding packages that’ll make your dreams come to life!
Website: The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

Avalon Hotel and Bungalows
If the words ‘chic’ and ‘intimate’ speak to you, this mid-century modern haven is your dream come true. It’s got gardens for days and the most tranquil atmosphere you can imagine. How does a poolside ceremony sound? Or perhaps you’d prefer to celebrate love in a private bungalow? Either way, sophistication is the name of the game here.
Website: Avalon Hotel and Bungalows

The Saguaro Palm Springs
This one’s for the couple that loves a pop of color in life! With a pulsating vibe and modern desert flair, this venue truly captures the essence of Palm Springs. Outdoor spaces that burst with color, ballrooms that are effortlessly stylish, and accommodations that keep the party mood going.
Website: The Saguaro Palm Springs

The Ace Hotel Palm Springs
The Ace Hotel is a perfect blend for smaller or larger intimate weddings and is super fun with LOTS of retro vibes! It has options that every quintessential Palm Springs wedding could possibly need. Rent a vintage car for couple’s portraits and party all night long at this beautiful and fun venue!
Website: Ace Hotel Palm Springs

Choosing a Palm Springs Wedding Photographer 

Choosing the right photographer for your Palm Springs wedding is no easy task! There are multiple ways to ensure you’re hiring a photographer who will be the perfect fit for you, so let’s chat about it. 

Read Reviews and Testimonials: First things first, do your research on what other couples are saying. You’re after someone who’s professional, reliable, and will enhance your Palm Springs wedding experience! Take note of any common themes in their reviews and determine if that aligns with what you’re looking for out of a photographer. 

Curious as to what my couples have to say about working with me? Check out my Google Reviews here!

Meet in Person or via Video Call: Next up, let’s get face-to-face—or screen-to-screen if that’s easier. Scheduling a chat helps you get to know the photographer on a more personal level. You’re gonna share some pretty special moments with them, so it’s super important that you enjoy their company and feel comfortable with them. Talk about what you want to capture, how you envision the day, and just get a sense of how they communicate.

Make Sure Your Values Align: Lastly, dive into their website. Do their values mesh with yours? Do they have experience shooting the kind of celebration you’re planning? This part’s key, because you don’t want just any photographer – you want YOUR dream photographer. 

A Bit About Mattie O’Neill Photography…

Of course, I would love to be your Palm Springs wedding photographer – after all, it is one of my FAVE locations and just down the street from me! If you’re looking for a photographer who will assist you with timelines, put you at ease, and become a friend in the process, it sounds like we’d be a great fit. I love working with couples who are planning a day completely unique to them, crafting an experience that you’ll never forget. Once you get to the end of this blog, I give you the next steps for getting in touch with me!

Determine your Palm Springs Wedding Aesthetic

Palm Springs is such an eclectic wedding location, so why not choose an aesthetic that compliments the vibes? Here are a few themes you can incorporate into your Palm Springs wedding:

Embrace the Desert Landscape: The desert landscape here is just begging to be part of your wedding day – think of natural and organic elements. As for colors, go for those warm earth tones or dusty pastels, and don’t shy away from the bold hues of desert blooms.

Mid-Century Modern Influence: Palm Springs is like the capital of mid-century modern chic. If you’re into that sleek, retro look, this is your playground. Hunt down venues that scream 1950s flair, or spice up your space with furniture and décor that gives a nod to this iconic era!

Outdoor and Desert-Inspired Venues: Now, listen, you’ve got gardens, you’ve got palm trees, and you’ve got endless desert skies. Nature’s doing all the hard decorating work for you! There are lots of venues that incorporate the outdoors if that’s what you’re going for.

Bohemian and Relaxed Vibes: If you’re the laid-back, free-spirited type, Palm Springs has got your boho dreams covered. Picture this: macramé details, rattan furniture, and maybe a floral crown or two. Add some dried flowers and you’ve got yourself a boho wonderland!

Tropical and Palm Springs Oasis: Yep, this desert can go tropical, too! Think palm leaves, vibrant flowers, and patterns that make you wanna dance. Color-wise, go big or go home. Greens, yellows, and maybe a dash of fuchsia or coral, if you’re feeling bold and funky!

Minimalist and Modern Elegance: If ‘less is more’ is your mantra, you’ll find your minimalist haven here. Sleek venues, a subdued color palette, and just a sprinkle of elegant details will get you that timeless, modern elegance.

Desert Chic: Imagine this—desert beauty meets luxe. We’re talking venues that have those modern comforts but are still sooo in touch with the desert surroundings. Add some glitz and glam with metallics, chandeliers, or plush textiles, and voila! You’re rocking desert chic like a pro.

California Marriage Laws – How to Legally Get Married in Palm Springs

Don’t forget to make sure all of your legal bases are covered for your Palm Springs wedding! Here’s an overview of things to keep in mind:

Obtaining Your Marriage License:

Both you and your partner will need to apply for a marriage license from the Riverside County Clerk’s office. You can either apply online or in person at the clerk’s office! The license is valid for 90 days from the date it’s issued. 

Application Requirements:

When applying for your California marriage license, you’ll need to provide valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID. You’ll also need to provide your Social Security numbers (or individual taxpayer identification numbers) on the application.

Waiting Period:

In California, there is no waiting period between obtaining the marriage license and getting married. Woohoo! This means you can have your wedding ceremony immediately after receiving your license.


The marriage ceremony can be performed by a California priest, minister, rabbi, judge, commissioner, assistant commissioner, or a judge or magistrate from another state. You can also have a friend or family member become a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages for a Day to officiate your wedding if you’re having guests! This is a great way to add a personal touch to your Palm Springs wedding. 


California law requires at least one witness who is at least 18 years old to be present during the marriage ceremony. If you’re not having guests, then no worries – I can be your witness! Both the officiant and the witness must sign the marriage license.

Marriage Certificate:

After the ceremony, the officiant and the witness will sign the marriage license, and it must be returned to the Riverside County Clerk’s office for registration. You can then order certified copies of the marriage certificate for legal purposes.

Congratulations – Now You Can Plan Your Palm Springs Wedding or Elopement!

YAY! Now that you know everything about planning your Palm Springs wedding or elopement, it’s time to officially start the process. As promised, if you’d like to get in touch with me about photographing your day, you can inquire via my contact form and I’ll get back to you soon! Before you do that, I recommend checking out my Southern California wedding packages to get an idea of how much coverage you’re looking for. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Hi! I’m Mattie - Your Animal-Obsessed, Adventure-Seeking, Travel-Enthusiast Southern California Wedding Photographer

I’ve been on both sides of the lens, and it’s my mission to capture the unscripted, genuine moments of your special day! I pour my heart into taking (and editing) your photos to give you epic portraits that you’ll cherish forever. Whether it’s a mountain-top elopement or a cozy backyard ceremony, I’m all in. Let’s plan something that is uniquely yours, filled with laughter, love, and maybe a few happy tears - mine included!

Think of me as your right-hand girl for planning an intimate, nature-focused, or non-traditional wedding or elopement.

Inquire Now & Let's Work Together

Destination Weddings

Southern California Weddings

Pricing & Information

Pricing & Information