gay desert wedding

Love You to the Bone – Desert Elopement Styled Shoot

Ready to be transported to the Palm Springs desert for the latest Style + Shoot? This day was pure magic… and definitely my most badass wedding session yet.

Between client projects, engagement sessions, and micro-weddings in January, I somehow found time to launch a new series of educational photoshoots. Style + Shoot is a new monthly(ish) content creation series for photographers and small businesses in Southern California. You know I love collaborating with other photographers (see: Light + Melanin and my mentorship sessions), and Style + Shoot is an opportunity for industry creatives and photographers to get WILD and push your limits, all while highlighting small businesses and local brands.

To plan this session, I partnered with two of my faves: Arturo from AHR Florals and Jess from Plan Prep Party. We’ve done a couple weddings together, and they’re my artsy soulmates — I love working with them because no idea is too crazy. 

We’ve been dreaming of styling a desert wedding together. Of course, we wanted to go against the grain and do something different than a standard boho desert elopement. Style + Shoot was the perfect opportunity. So when Arturo told us, “I’ve been obsessed with pussy bows and bold REDS,” we knew this was going to be fun… I’m sorry, were you expecting something basic? Never heard of her.

Style + Shoot is all about creating opportunities to expand your portfolio, and create the type of work you want to see in the world. I was pumped to take an artistic, editorial approach to this LGBTQ+ wedding session. What an opportunity to show that gay weddings can go way beyond the matching suits and rainbow decor stereotype (peep my Love in Black & White session for more inspiration).

Combine Arturo’s flower sorcery with some artful styling by Jess, and we captured a bougie queer wedding that’s anything but basic.

I stumbled upon our goddess boys, models Adrian Patterson and RJ Chumbley, on Instagram (of course), and Oh. My. God… instantly blown away by their gorgeousness. They were so sweet and amazing when I reached out to them — they made it so easy to just run off to the desert, and make crazy, artful magic together.

Let’s talk outfits. So many amazing non-traditional groom details, like feather earrings and a mesh (!!!) shirt under RJ’s linen suit jacket. Adrian and RJ looked like they stepped off the stage at Coachella in their off-white suits and black leather boots. Major wedding inspiration for queer, gender-fluid, and non-binary couples, but honestly, this postmodern, avant-garde wedding is goals for any creative couple.

We set three distinct scenes for the desert elopement styled shoot: a fringed floral archway altar, a cozy ‘lil love nest lounge, and a bold tablescape complete with a showstopping fantasy cake.

This architectural dream cake from Peggy Liao Cake was perched on an acrylic pedestal (spot the tiny tumbleweed inside), surrounded by desert roses. An experimental, postmodern vibe that I am 100% here for.

Their chemistry is just incredible. Even though the Style + Shoot had an editorial vibe ripped straight out of Vogue, we still captured some cool wedding traditions (jumping the broom!) and details from your typical wedding photo checklist: wedding ring photos, bouquet details, and even a recessional (without a traditional aisle).

For our final look of the day, Adrian and RJ changed from their structured altar outfits to more airy, feminine looks, complete with — you guessed it — pussy bows. I can’t get enough of this look. The gold jewelry in Adrian’s twists… RJ’s tats peeking through the sheer blouse… the best manicured brows in all of Southern California. Completely unreal. So exciting to create arful, editorial images with queer love shining at center stage.

Wanna come along for our next Style + Shoot? Join us for some camping couple snuggling magic in Anza Borrego!


Photography + Art Direction: The SoCal Standard

Bouquets and Floral Installation: AHR Florals

Styling and Decor: Plan Prep Party

Models: Adrian Patterson and RJ Chumbley

Videography: RS Vids

Silk Ribbons: Hey It’s Oh So Pretty

Desserts: Peggy Liao CakeRentals: Witty Rentals








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SoCal Standard is a San Diego + Baja California Mexico based wedding photographer and videographer creating emotive imagery with an editorial flare.


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