Little Sahara desert inspiration for your wedding day
Photography by Heather Nan
Is rain in the forecast for your big day? Not to worry. All shows must go on, so proved photographer Heather Nan, whose goal it was to design a party scene infused with desert details. A sharp shooter who has seen hundreds of weddings, Nan exhibits passion for unearthing that “something new.” Yet despite a bad weather report, she headed 115 miles south of Salt Lake to the dunes and sagebrush flats of Little Sahara Recreation Center. What came of it was something she never expected: five ways—even through wind and rain—to have a white-sand wedding in a desert state most known for its red rock.
PITCH A TENT
Yes, canopies provide sun and rain protection (and thus should be a part of any outdoor party back-up plan), but who doesn’t appreciate practicality mixed with style? In party terms, a rental tent (transported and set-up by event companies) marks a party boundary within a large landscape. It can house hundreds—or just shelter a couple—for the ceremony, or “sweetheart table,” as seen here. Dress a basic rental with drapery, lights or lanterns for a completely custom look.
STRAY FROM THE NORM
“Don’t be afraid to stray from a traditional wedding color palette,” suggests Nan who, with the help of wedding planner Allison Baddley of La Fête, adds jewel tones like emerald and sapphire. Moroccan-inspired jewelry and watercolor invitations breathe life into an otherwise pale palette.
HANDLE THE HICCUPS WITH GRACE
Most couples dream of a flawless day, yet no party big or small is without its glitches. “My personal vision today was sun-drenched and bright. Basking in the desert sun—can you see it?” Nan asks. But the weather forecast called for rain clouds. “Though they weren’t the images I had in my head, the results had their own unexpected beauty.” Couples can easily do the same. “Embrace your story, your day.”
CHOOSE LESS FOR BIGGER IMPACT
“When planning a wedding, less is just more,” says Baddley. She focuses on must-haves like unique location, fashion, flowers and menu—the rest of the experience is up to the folks celebrating. “My message to most of my brides is: Don’t overdo the details because they get lost. There is really a fine line between making it classy and perfectly beautiful— and being overdone.”
SAVE MONEY. HIRE A PLANNER.
Listen up, couples. The dough spent on a planner is money, time and headache saved overall. With a contact list of verifiable vendors, it’s a planner’s job to execute events within a set budget and timeline. Most work with a variety of vendors, so couples still maintain control over the final product. “Truly. If you can only afford hourly consultation, do it,” says Nan. “The right planner will polish your vision, make it yours and save you time and money.”
Photography: Heather Nan Photography
Floral design: La Fête Floral & Design
Gown: Leanne Marshall
Veil: Gateway Bridal
Groom’s attire: Urbana Custom Clothier
Jewelry: O.C. Tanner Jewelers
Furniture and rugs: C.G. Sparks
Catering: Cuisine Unlimited
Paper: Wildfield Paper Co.
Pillows, place settings, flatware and cocktail glassware: Anthropologie
Pillows, napkins and napkin rings: West Elm
Makeup: Kristen Packard Artistry
Hair: Kali Chris Hair
Cake: Pippa Cakery
Ribbon and table runner: Silk & Willow
Venue: Little Sahara
Models: Susie Clawson and Garrett Noel