Muriel and Alan met in the summer of 2011 when they set off for their summer gigs as camp counsellors on Catalina Island. After quickly forging a friendship over college radio (also due to the fact they were trapped on a desert island together) they went their separate ways; she returned to San Francisco and he went back to Vermont. They immediately settled into a routine of texts, calls, and Skype sessions before realising that their relationship was much more than just a summer fling.
Thus began the long distance era. In 2014, after years of bi-coastal visits, two respective semesters abroad, confusing time differences, and too many letters to count, Alan joined Muriel for good on the West Coast where they've lived together ever since.
Muriel is currently a photo/video producer and art director while Alan works in advertising. In their free time, you can find them riding bikes or obsessing over their Siamese cats, Dot and Arrow. "We decided on the Joshua Tree area because there’s nowhere like it! We always knew we wanted to do something small. We referred to our wedding as an “elevated elopement”- small and nimble but with more spectators then a traditional elopement. The remote desert landscape helped play into the vibe of being whisked away. Once we saw the color palette of 20 Palms Inn, we knew we could create an amazing environment for our special afternoon. We wanted it to feel very specific to us and to create a little bubble for our guests to become immersed in. The setting and venue definitely enabled us to bring that vision to life." Their day was lensed by The Shalom Imaginative.
Muriel and Alan had 28 guests present at their celebration. They knew, given how low-key and DIY their wedding would be, that they weren’t going to wear traditional wedding attire. Muriel's dress was something that she already had in her closet. "I bought it from this amazing vintage shop (People of 2morrow) in NY that always has the best pieces. They posted a photo of the dress on their Instagram and I fell for the combination of the pale pink and mixed metallics. I bought it thinking I’d treat is as a project (it was a little costume-y and originally a maxi dress!) and wear it to a future formal occasion…NEVER thinking it’d be my wedding dress." However, once Muriel and Alan got engaged and Muriel started looking at different options, it was always there in the back of her mind. "We landed on an overall color palate early on and after months of not being able to find something that felt like “the one,” I realised I had been sleeping on this gem." The rest happened pretty quickly. When Muriel bought it, she knew it was meant to be a mini dress. She took it to her tailor, and they decided to give it a 60’s vibe makeover. "I love the juxtaposition of wearing long sleeves and showing lots of leg- It felt very luxe but fun…Classic with a twist."
Matching a veil back to the dress proved to be tricky and Muriel was iffy on whether she wanted a veil anyway. "I felt that some sort of headpiece was necessary to elevate the look and make it feel more bridal. I landed on a floral “headband” inspired by Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding to Richard Burton." The couple's florist New Rose created the headpiece and did the flora for their wedding day. The headband, simple gold sandals from Pretty Little Thing, and minimal gold jewelry tied everything together." For Alan’s suit, the couple knew black would be too stark compared to the muted pinks, yellows, and peaches they were using throughout, so they landed on a charcoal grey suit from Suitsupply. "We wanted his look to be timeless but not too formal in comparison to everything else."
For Muriel and Alan, it was all about creating an homage to themselves. "We wanted to be really true to our personalities and aesthetic preferences. With that sentiment as our north star, it made it really fun to make decisions because we were the only people we needed to impress! We chose to forgo a lot of traditions in favor of creating a more low-key celebration." The couple did a quick ceremony and then pivoted over to a dinner party, which felt very authentic to themselves. "We’re not huge dancers so we were okay nixing a reception. Because we got married on a weekday, we wanted to be sensitive to people’s schedules. Looking back, it was a mellow, intimate, very pretty evening and we wouldn’t have done it any other way."
In terms of planning their wedding, having a clear creative vision early on helped Muriel and Alan in their decision making process. "Landing our color palette and venue really allowed for us to dive in and start making decisions. Wedding planning is similar to what I do as a day job so I was able to be really decisive and execute based on the vision in my head. Alan was an amazing sounding board."
Their biggest piece of advice to couples getting married? "Go with your gut and do what you like! If you need a second creative opinion tap a friend or leverage your network. You’d be surprised at how many people would love to help or can contribute awesome ideas if you get stuck."
Photographer : The Shalom Imaginative @theshalomimaginative
Ceremony location : 29 Palms Inn @29palmsinn
Reception location: Irene's at 29 Palms Inn @29palmsinn
Celebrant : The Vow Keeper @thevowkeeper
Styling + Planning : Muriel Schneider @____muriel
HMUA: Heather Rae @heatherraebang
Cake : Polly’s Pies @pollyspies
Decorations : Almamía Creative Co. @almamiacreative
Bride's Shoes : Pretty Little Thing @prettylittlething
Groom's Suit: Suitsupply @suitsupply
Groom's Shoes : Johnston & Murphy @johnstonmurphy