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Real Wedding | Lena + Eric

Tell us a little about yourselves!

We met working at a restaurant in Oakland and we’ve been together ever since (11 years!). He was a line cook, I was a server. We embody these original roles in our home life, where we treasure hosting dinner parties. I conceptualize the dinners and design menus, and invitations while Eric prepares food that remains magical to me after all these years.

I’m now working towards becoming a stylist on sets and Eric is the chef de cuisine at Daytrip, but we continue to love crafting fun dinners for our friends. We love opening the home we share with our chihuahua mix, Chapúlin, to our loved ones as often as we can.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

In 2020 we booked a gorgeous house, West & Wild, in Joshua Tree to celebrate my upcoming 30th birthday in with friends. Unfortunately as the June date got closer, it became clear that due to the pandemic it would not be safe to gather and celebrate there as we’d hoped to, but that house stayed on our minds.

When we decided to get married, we knew the space would be the perfect home base for us and our close friends that weekend. We planned the rest of the wedding locations around the house.

How many guests did you have?


What was your budget?

We had a tight budget, but we prioritized booking an amazing photographer (Angela Jazmin Studio), securing a cute venue with solid drinks, and having a great DJ!

Tell us about your outfits.

After searching for something vintage, I surprised myself by landing on the Meiere Midi gown in ivory from Kamperett. I loved its unfussy romance. It was perfect to move around in, which was key as (with MUCH help from our friends) we partially catered our own wedding. I brought in vintage with both a champagne colored jacket from the 1930s that I thrifted and a 1960s veil, inspired by Bardot’s wedding look in “…And God Created Woman”. I also wore a gold amethyst and diamond bracelet that belonged to my Mom.

Influenced by the 2023 super bloom in  Joshua Tree, I wanted my accessories and accents to be colorful. I wore flamingo-hued Jeffrey Campbell heels and toted a pink bubble clutch. My nails were shades of guava and periwinkle with crystal embellishments.

Eric had his suit made to measure by Beckett & Robb, he wanted something with a subtle flair that would be suitable for many occasions to come. Eric also wore a vintage Seiko watch that belonged to his grandfather

It was important to both of us to choose outfits and accessories that would be wearable for years. The wedding was an investment for our parents and us and we made sure we treasured what we spent the money on.

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

Time and hospitality.

It was important to spend as much time with everyone as we could. Because it was a big investment for us, we wanted the experience to last multiple days. The house we shared with our friends became headquarters for several events we hosted over a three day weekend. We brought our restaurant and hosting backgrounds into play to make the reception feel like one of our dinner parties. We welcomed our guests to the space, aprons on, champagne in hand for them.

People kept telling us that our wedding day was about US. We disagreed with this notion. While we curated an event that reflected our tastes and values, our guests were always the most important component of the event. It was about setting the stage for everyone to feel open, connected, and have fun! I made a zine for the day in which we wrote out our favorite memories of every single guest attending. I think it really helped everyone connect with each other and understand how important they each were to us.

Our wedding day was about honoring the people who’ve been with us on our journey, both as individuals and as a couple.

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

Representing my Mexican heritage and working with as many Latinx and woman vendors as possible was central to our vision. I longed for the feeling of a Mexican wedding where friends and family come together to make it happen with color and energy.

Our wedding was a stunning communal effort that captured that feeling! The morning-of we had friends ironing napkins I had hand-dyed, folding name cards, finishing floral arrangements, sewing the comb on my veil, steaming my dress, and, tying bows on rocks (thanks Mariana, Becca, Ness, Luís, Taylor, and Liz!). Our friend Jian came over to help us make tamales a few days beforehand and both him and our dear friend and celebrant, Donna, drove carloads of coolers and tulle down to Joshua Tree for us. Eric’s childhood friend Aaron braved the elements to play guitar at our ceremony.

We couldn’t have done it without them!

Any tips for couples getting married?

Our first tip: accept the help. It was an incredible experience to feel held by my community and to let go a little bit. Plus, every person whose help we accepted told us how special it was to get to be a part of the wedding in that way.

Our second tip: trust in God, but tie your camel. The possibility of rain had loomed for weeks, so while we hoped it would pass, we bought a ginormous tarp and made other preparations—just in case. Our entirely outdoor day ended up rained out and was frigid; the day was not shaping up to match the spring desert wedding fantasy we had envisioned.

Yet the morning greeted us all with a bold, lingering rainbow, and the cold brought everyone together, creating a shared sense of adventure. Our ride or die friends and family truly showed up for us, we all took everything in stride, and the day ended with a meteor shower.

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

Our photographer Angela Jazmin Studio and her husband, Luís, blew my mind with their warmth and professionalism. It was beautiful to work with native Spanish speakers who could put my family and I at ease by being able to speak our mother tongue. (Plus, the images were incredible!)

I appreciated DJ Ashleyanne’s extensive experience that was matched only by her kindness. Eric prioritized a DJ who could spin vinyl and Ashleyanne enthusiastically incorporated our family records into the evening, turning them into heirlooms.

Stacey Jones, our day-of coordinator, put us at ease. It was soothing to bounce ideas off of someone with so much experience. She balanced being supportive of our atypical vision, while helping us preemptively solve problems that might arise.

Tammie Moore at Desert View Conservation Area helped us make an 11th hour ceremony location change happen. We were thrilled to be the park’s second ever official wedding!

Photographer + Super 8 Film: Angela Jazmin Studio | Planning: The couple | Day-Of-Coordinator: Stacey Jones @1staceyjones | Styling, Flora + Stationery: The bride, Lena @lena.doing.things | Ceremony Location: Desert View Conservation Area, Joshua Tree CA, | Reception Location: Mas o Menos, Joshua Tree CA @masomenosbar | Celebrant: Friend of the couple, Donna Collins | HMUA: The bride (with help from her friend Mariana) | Eric's Hair: Rachel Hodgson, @hairbyrachelelena | Catering + Beverages: Tamales and salad by the couple & OG Tacos @ogtaco_co |

Cake: Cake Queen LA @cakequeenla | Entertainment: Aaron Sheppard (Guitar) & DJ Ashleyanne Krigbaum @wambamash | Lena's Nails: Cidalia Lemus @cmvlbeauty | Dress: Kamperett @kamperett | Suit: Beckett & Robb @beckettrobb | Engagement Ring: Melissa Joy Manning @melissajoymanning | Wedding Rings: Becca Compton @becca.compton | Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell @jeffreycampbell (Lena) &| Allen Edmonds @allenedmonds (Eric) | Aprons: Kate Austin @kateaustindesigns


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