The idea for this shoot was to capture the natural beauty of the desert in Joshua Tree alongside the natural beauty of these two gorgeous brides for elopement inspiration. To accentuate the minimal, modern appeal of eloping, we chose dramatic, modern copper geometric accents for the decor contrasted with loose organic florals and plants, and minimally adorned but beautifully draped gowns in black and white. Our models are a real-life couple, Bridget and Kristi, who were planning their own elopement at the time of our shoot!
Bridget and Kristi met three years ago at an after-party for the Los Angeles Derby Dolls roller derby league, where Bridget is a skater for the Varsity Brawlers and Kristi quickly became her biggest fan. They love the vintage, retro style of Palm Springs, so Joshua Tree was a perfect setting for these photos since it was so close to one of their favorite cities. Bridget and Kristi officially tied the knot a mere three weeks after this shoot, at an intimate Hawaiian wedding with their closest friends and family. After their honeymoon they returned home to their dog and two bunny rabbits.
The inspiration shoot reflects Catalyst's mission by focusing on the essentials of an elopement—two people in love in a place that makes them happy—and letting go of many non-essentials. We had an all-female team of creative collaborators who are in a supportive local vendor community, and we chose a real lesbian couple because marriage equality, feminism, and diversity are important to each of the vendors involved, and we wanted to have a shoot that could reflect those values and attract similarly-minded clients.
Words and photos by Jessica Schilling Photography
Jessica Schilling Photography (@jessicaschillingphotography), a fine art photographer who specializes in film and intimate weddings, envisioned a modern metallic desert elopement, and captured Kristi & Bridget’s natural chemistry and all the lovely details our creative team assembled.
Renee Dalo of Moxie Bright Events (@moxiebrightevents) styled our vignettes to appeal to every couple--you don’t need a U-haul full of vintage accessories to create memorable moments, especially when Joshua Tree is your backdrop. This simple and stylish picnic-scape is attainable for everyone. Choosing a beautiful natural setting allows for maximum impact with minimum effort.
Nicole Bakes Cakes (@nicolebakescakes) made the most delicious and beautiful white chocolate covered Oreos accented with geometric candy sea glass. Martha Claire Florals (@marthaclairefloral) embellished the desert scenery with her colorful, organic, and free-form florals, including proteas in the bridal bouquet and poppies and kumquats in the centerpiece for something unique.
Kristi & Bridget look absolutely gorgeous in fashion by Joanna August (@joannaaugust) and Solstice Bride (@solstice_bride). The loose structure of the gowns flowed in the warm desert breezes as they said their vows. Angelina Panelli (@angelinapanelli) accented Bridget & Kristi’s natural beauty with hair and makeup styling for this amazing sunset shoot.
Rounding out the details, Andrea Fowler of Calligraphy Nerd (@calligraphynerd) created the most beautiful chic invitation suite and signage. Matching the copper accents of the decor, she painted a swoon-worthy quote perfect for two brides: “I love her, and that is the beginning and end of everything” - F. Scott Fitzgerald.