A Tropical, Mid-Century-Inspired Wedding at the Lautner Compound


When Shannon and Blake vacationed at the Lautner Compound in Desert Hot Springs, California, it wasn’t yet a compound; it was just four suites called the Lautner Hotel. But the couple was so enamored by the spot and Palm Springs—they love mid-century architecture!—that Shannon secretly vowed to say “I do” there. Fast forward years later, and the couple celebrated their wedding with 150 guests at the SoCal property. 

Shannon, a visual merchandiser, and Blake, an operations lead supervisor for UPS, leaned into the Palm Springs vibe for their décor, a mix of wood accents, pops of gold, and lots of mid-century modern touches. Of course, tropical flair came into the mix with monstera palms and birds of paradise as well as a little boho from the Turkish rugs that lined the aisle. It was all an ode to the couple’s favorite things, from retro hotel-inspired signage to dinner from a food truck.

“We wanted a wild celebration of love with our family and friends rather than a conservative traditional boring-wedding,” Shannon says. “I wanted to bring in elements of Palm Springs to be the focal points of the wedding.”

It didn’t start that way, though. Shannon admits that wedding planning was a challenge at times with a full-time job and her tendency to "want everything to be perfectly visually pleasing." “I found myself so crazy at one point that I looked into how much it was to rent llamas for a wedding because I saw it on a blog,” she adds. “I don’t even care or know anything about llamas!” She now advises couples to stick to what makes them tick, not the trends. She also credits her planner, Courtney Tibbets of After The Engagement, for making it all flow smoothly. "All I needed was my husband, two sweet dogs, good food, good music, and our love to have my dream wedding—oh, and maybe a cocktail in my hand,” Shannon says.

Read on for all the details of the couple’s greater Palm Springs party, planned by After the Engagement and photographed by Biancca Wallace

Shannon and Blake designed all the paper goods, including the invitation suite, with the help of Blake’s best man, a graphic designer. Blake actually proposed to Shannon in Palm Springs with a surprise photoshoot—photographed by Biancca Wallace, who also took pictures of their wedding day.

Shannon commissioned Portland artists Anna Joyce to make her five bridesmaids tie-dye robes. “Each color described each of my bridesmaids in a different way which made it so special to them,” Shannon says.

 Shannon wore a white silk bias slip dress with cowl neck and low back that she found at LOHO Bride in Los Angeles. “I knew I wanted to get married in a simple 90s-inspired slip dress. It’s very simple, rocker chic, and just ‘me,’” she says. Shannon accented the look with statement chandelier earrings and a tiered veil. 

The couple’s dogs wore matching shirts from Chomper and Sons with blue bow ties and later walked down the aisle with Blake’s best man. 

Walden Floral LA designed Shannon’s tropical-inspired bouquet, which featured giant monstera leaves, palms, and anthurium.

All I needed was my husband, two sweet dogs, good food, good music, and our love to have my dream wedding—oh, and maybe a cocktail in my hand.

Blake donned a gray bespoke suit from Enzo Design in Santa Monica. The suit, and the custom design process, was a gift to Blake from his future father-in-law, Shannon’s dad.

“We read our vows to each other privately during our first look,” Shannon says. “It was such an amazing moment: for a second, it was just us and only us confessing our unconditional love for one another.” 

“There is no such thing as a ‘chill bride,’” Shannon says. “You will cry over cupcake flavors at some point, and you have to snap out of it: look into each other's eyes and remember why you fell in love with your fiancé.”

Just get lost in each other, love each other, and enjoy the company of your closest loved ones who made it to such an important event in your life.

The wedding party dressed in all black: the groomsmen donned black suits from Zara with palm-printed ties and the bridesmaids wore black slip dresses with funky gold earrings.

The couple took photos at sunset in their 1984 Mercedes. “It was so magical with my veil blowing in the wind,” Shannon says. “We have taken lots of day trips and built great memories in that car. We knew we had to incorporate it into the wedding.”

The ceremony took place at the Lautner Compound. Inspired by mid-century design, the couple created an entrance sign that echoed retro motel signage, and they used Eames-style chairs for their guests. Rugs lined the aisles, and massive planters held tropical foliage like birds of paradise.

The real focal point, though, was the massive installation of monstera palms that formed a backdrop for their vows. “Walden Floral LA and I came up with an idea to l accentuate the wall by dressing it with different kinds of palms and monstera to give it extra flair,” Shannon says. “This was a great installation for people to take pictures in front of during the reception too.”

Shannon walked in with her father to Spirtualized’s “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space.” “One of my favorite moments of the ceremony was my dad lifting it over my head and giving me away to Blake,” she adds. 

A family friend led the couple’s ceremony, which featured lots of good music. Blake was “stocked,” says Shannon, to pick all the music for the celebration. That included tunes by Kurt Viles, R.L. Burnside, and Spiritualized.  

“Just get lost in each other, love each other, and enjoy the company of your closest loved ones who made it to such an important event in your life,” Shannon says of the wedding day.

The couple had a series of signature cocktails, including a Topo Chico-based mint julep mocktail in honor of Blake, who doesn’t drink. On the boozier side, they served Shannon’s favorite cocktail, a Moscow mule, as well as a signature shot.

Guests found their seat assignments on a statement seating chart.

Their love of mid-century design really took front and center for the reception. Eames-style chairs accented tables topped with arrangements of dried palm leaves and birds of paradise. Shannon says they forwent linens to keep the look modern and simple. Each place setting featured contemporary plates with brushed gold flatware as well as a menu inspired by the clipboards they often see at farm-to-table restaurants. 

A bit of a joke, the couple, whose initials are “B” and “S,” designed a cheeky neon sign, BS. They later got the same “logo” tattooed on their arms after the wedding. 

The couple took their first spin on the dance floor to Otis Redding’s “My Girl.”

In addition to a vintage airstream food “truck,” which served a meal of pollo asado tacos and fried chicken biscuits, the couple’s photo booth was also housed in a vintage van.

The couple’s two-tier cake was a work of art. First, the white cake featured three kinds of fresh berries and vanilla frosting. Secondly, it was topped with dried palm leaves, birds of paradise, and a vintage cake topper.

After cake, a dance party, and plenty of love, the couple set off to Greece for a honeymoon in Mykonos and Santorini. One way they are remembering the day though? Their DJ shared the full playlist with them after the celebration. “It’s our go-to road trip playlist now,” Shannon says.

 

 

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