Brook & Sandon Tie the Knot at Spencer’s

portrait of bride and groom on their wedding day in palm springs california
Brooke + Sandon shot on Kodak Portra film

I love photographing weddings at Spencer’s Restaurant. It’s a beautiful location for a classy and romantic wedding, and with the details that this bride and groom had planned, I knew it would look amazing. 

My style of wedding photography can be described as editorial meets fine art. Spencers Restaurant weddings provide a gorgeous backdrop and are a great match to my style. 

I’m a wedding photographer who uses traditional photographic film which results in a different look than with digital. I love using Kodak Portra film for it’s beautiful neutral colours and the final results that I can achieve with this.

When I think of classic Palm Springs, Spencer’s is one of the wedding venues that instantly springs to mind. This wedding was classic in itself, but also, on the old grounds of where Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz would party, play tennis, and sip (or guzzle) martinis. In style, shape, form, and palette, this was a glamour inspired classic Palm Springs wedding through and through. In terms of wedding photography and working there, its wonderful, seamless, and the staff there truly makes it a joy. It is the behind the scenes stuff that is partly to thank for making all the wonderful things happen on a wedding day. 

Before You Put That Ring On It

The girls and guys had their own bungalows at the Avalon in Palm Springs. What was super great about their rooms were the crisp white lines and decor – which made shooting film really fun – and just overall added a graphic element to the photos with the clean lines of the mid century architecture. My to be married friends, if I can ever make a suggestion for your getting ready photos – keep your rooms clean! Your photos (and photographer) will thank you, I promise! It allows me to capture the essence of the space, behind the scenes of the bride and her pals being in the space, and honestly…the tidiness will create feelings of calm.In this beautiful space, Brooke had her hair and makeup done by our friends at J.Russell. Her hair style was meant to go from day to night, with the hair pins coming out to give her curls during the reception. Not all brides plan their hair styles for the 10 hours ahead, so I thought that was a great tip. 

bride in a lace robe getting ready before her wedding at the Avalon Hotel
Portrait of a bride right after her hair and makeup was finished
Hair stylist grooming a bride on her wedding day
Hanging wedding dress at the Avalon Hotel in Palm Springs
Long veil that is dyed ombre from black to white.
Groom on his wedding day
Bride being attended to by her bridesmaids
Father of the groom putting cufflinks on his son on his wedding day
Portrait of the bride from behind, shot on Kodak film
portrait of a bride with her veil and engagement ring.
Bride waiting outside her hotel room at the Avalon hotel while her family members wait behind her.
Portrait of the groom on his wedding day at the Avalon Hotel in Palm Springs

Gotta Get to Spencer’s On Time

With no first look, we kept the boys and the ladies separate while we photographed their portraits in the sunny streets of downtown Palm Springs. You can’t come to Palm Springs without having photos to show for it, and what better token than to roam the streets with the palm trees and architecture. It was still rather bright in the day, and with a parade in town, we avoided areas with crowds, people, and cars. You gotta look, but there is always one quiet palm tree lined street somewhere around here.

Portrait of bride and her bridesmaids in the streets of Palm Springs, California

This street is one of my favorites because of its close proximity to the mountains, the venue, and its usually empty being so far back from the main road. And all those palm trees sure help too! The location is postcard perfect for photos.

Portrait of groomsmen with the mountains behind them, in the desert.
Brideal portrait with palm trees in the street as the sun crests the mountains behind.

A Classic Palm Springs Wedding

The couple’s wedding had an elegant palette of white, gold, and black – hints of rose red. Super chic, elegant, and just slightly formal. The talented Vasobello made our wedding crew and just wait till you see this wedding arch…

Wedding arch with flowers and bougainvillea at Spencer's Restaurant in Palm Springs.

So gorgeous! It was one of those things where no matter how much you shoot…it doesn’t come close to the intensity and beauty of seeing it in person.  To see another Vasobello collaboration check out this luxurious styled shoot.

Wedding day sign in table using Jenga pieces.
Jenga pieces as their sign in!
Empty reception room at Spencer's Restaurant with colors of gold and black

Old school but modern, nostalgic but contemporary…Spencer’s is one of those places where you can just feel the past around you – the views from all the windows show the mountains, the city, the palm trees, and the familiar tennis club down below. We thought the gold chiavari chairs and the white roses and hydrangeas were such a clean and fresh combination.

To The Outdoor Chapel

Weddings at Spencer’s most often happen at one of the two outdoor lawns just above the reception space. It’s quite a beautiful space with desert flora, cactus, and the tall mountains behind. For photos, the timing always works as the sun tends to crest behind the mountains a couple of hours before sunset is due. Usually, this is prime time for wedding portraits and to get the sun peeking as its cresting or right when it goes down, makes the light just right.

Photo of Palm Springs palm trees , shot on Kodak film

Sandon’s smile when he sees Brooke for the first time is so so sweet.

Black and white film image of the groom seeing his bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle
Film photo the bride and groom during their ceremony in Palm Springs, California.

The couple had their good friend officiate their wedding. Its always a nice touch since friends and family will always know a couple the best.

Black and white film photo of bride during her ceremony.
Black and white film image of bride and groom right after their first kiss during the ceremony.

It Started With a Kiss

Kodak Portra film image of bride and groom right after the ceremony.

A few quick of photos of the newlyweds, and we went on to party the night away. Autumn is pretty amazing here in the desert – everything was blooming!! They were eager to party on so we kept the photos quick, real, and true to the moment. We had quite a bit of practice with our engagement sessions so we were able to shoot quickly in this naturally beautiful desert space.

Portrait of bride and groom in front of blooming bougainvillea in Palm Springs
Bride and groom portrait in front of bougainvillea and cactus garden right after their ceremony. Image was shot on Kodak film.
Bride and groom reach in for a kiss on their wedding day with cactus behind them.
Casual portrait of bride and groom on their ceremony lawn, with bougainvillea behind them.
Bride and groom with bougainvillea behind them with bride and her ivory rose bouquet.
As they walk away, bride and groom take a look at each other on a stone walk way.
black and white film photo of bride and groom during their first dance at Spencer's Restaurant during the reception.
mother of the groom has a celebratory toast with friends and family
Groom gives the gold sequined clad bride during one of their dances.
Photo of friends and family having a good time during the reception at Spencer's Restaurant
Family and friends form a conga line during a wedding reception at Spencer's restaurant.
Bride dances with her father on the dance floor as a party commences during the wedding reception
Bride and her good friend dancing on the dancefloor at Spencer's Restaurant.
Bride and father of the bride enjoying their father of the bride dance during the wedding reception.
Groom and his mother enjoying their mother and son dance during his wedding reception

A big thank you to the wonderful team that made this magical day and night happen! The majority of images in this post was shot on Kodak film – if it looks like film, its because it is!

Venue/Catering: Spencer’s , Florist: Vasobello , Film Lab: PhotoVision Prints

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