This Retro Desert Love Land Wedding Was One Big Party

February 15, 2024 | justine

High school sweethearts Kassandra and Jose celebrated 16 beautiful years together with a truly unforgettable bash. With its lively and electric atmosphere, Las Vegas was the obvious choice for their special day.  Their goal was to sprinkle retro magic into the mix, ensuring every guest felt the love and had an absolute blast. With the help of Junebug planner Ember and Stone Events, they absolutely nailed it! Using lots of disco balls, vibrant red hues, and personal touches galore, they perfectly blended retro vibes with the breathtaking desert scenery at their Desert Love Land wedding.

With its stunning desert landscape adorned with red rocks, cacti, and succulents, their wedding venue was a natural wonder. The ceremony was a sight to behold, with wooden crossback chairs and an altar adorned with florals and mirror balls, allowing the beauty of the surroundings to take center stage. The retro theme seamlessly transitioned into the reception, where guests partied the night away on an oversized checkered dance floor.

If you’re into dreamy desert vibes with a hint of retro flair, you’re in for a treat. This wedding day was filled with heartfelt moments and breathtaking desert panoramas, expertly captured by Erin Roberts. Prepare to be mesmerized as you scroll down and witness the magic for yourself.

The Couple:

Kassandra and Jose

The Wedding:

Desert Love Land, Las Vegas, Nevada

A Match Made in Retro Heaven: A Wedding Dress Inspired by Legends

I was inspired by Priscilla Presley’s iconic wedding look and Lana Del Rey’s glamorous retro style. I found the most incredible dress by House of Flora that combined both of these queens with a modern twist. It was a match made in heaven.

How Their Retro Desert Love Land Wedding Came To Be

As we started planning our special day, we aimed to create a high vibe retro-infused wedding. Our focus was to create a fun atmosphere filled with love that our guests could feel. We are high school sweethearts and have been together for 16 years, so we wanted our wedding to be a fun celebration. We couldn’t think of a better destination than Las Vegas. The energy of Vegas is electric. You can feel it in the air. Our guests arrived in Las Vegas, and we shuttled them in a party bus to the desert of Nevada. The desert has always been our favorite place, and we wanted our guests to experience its tranquility. I have a massive love for disco balls, so we sprinkled them all over the venue. Roses are the most highly vibrational plant on Earth, so there was an emphasis on roses. Our color palette popped amongst the natural colors of the desert. 

Navigating Wedding Stress By Embracing Release and Trust

There were times when I could have freaked out because things weren’t going my way, but I chose to release control and have trust and faith that everything would work out better than I could have imagined. The week of my wedding, our caterer canceled the week, three days before our wedding, to be exact. Luckily, I had been mentally preparing myself for this, so I took a deep breath and trusted that everything would work out. The day before our wedding, we had a caterer that was even better than the one we originally had.

The Unforgettable Impact of Ember and Stone Events

Ember and Stone Events rocked our world! They went above and beyond for us! They made the wedding planning process effortless. Hiring them as our wedding planners was my second best decision for the wedding, first marrying my best friend. We absolutely love Nikki’s energy. She was just as excited as we were. Not only were we impressed with this incredible team, but so were all our guests. We can’t thank her enough for all of her hard work, dedication to us, and attention to detail. Ember and Stone Events is a dream team.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Erin Roberts
Event Planning – Ember and Stone Events
Ceremony Venue – Desert Love Land
Reception Venue – Cactus Joes
Floral Design – Lively Bloom
Food Truck – Doppio Express
Cake – Cake Wagon
Hair Styling – Meg De La Cruz
Wedding Dress – House of Flora
Bridal Accessories – Julie Harris Designs
Rentals – Rsvp Party Rentals


Congratulations to Kassandra and Jose on their retro Desert Love Land wedding. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Erin Roberts for skillfully capturing the magical desert landscape and all the cherished moments shared on their special day. And a special shout out to Junebug planner Ember and Stone Events for planning everything! To see more events they’ve planned, be sure to check out their profile in our directory of the world’s best wedding planners.

If you’re eager to shake things up and host a one-of-a-kind celebration, dive into our guide for fresh inspiration. Whether you dream of desert vistas, retro vibes, or something entirely different, we’ve got you covered with tips and ideas to make your special day truly unforgettable.

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25 Wedding Mocktails To Serve on Your Big Day

February 14, 2024 | riley
newlyweds cheersing on the beach

Image by Mariah Treiber

The idea of hosting a dry wedding can be daunting. You want to ensure that your guests still have an enjoyable time with plenty of entertainment. But, we’re here to tell you that your love is worth celebrating, alcohol or not. Whether you’re opting out of serving alcohol on your big day because of venue restrictions, religious preferences, or just personal choice, we’re here to make things a little easier by rounding up some of our favorite wedding mocktail recipes. From faux-itos to virgin margaritas, there’s a recipe for every kind of wedding.

Tips for Making Wedding Mocktails

You may find that every time you go to a bar, you try to order a mocktail and it comes out to be just a glass of juice. While this is enjoyable to some, you should still be able to enjoy some signature mocktails on your big day. Although there’s nothing wrong with making drinks out of juices and sparkling waters, if you’re looking to mimic a real cocktail, consider adding a zero-proof alternative. There are countless brands out there, but some of the most popular include:

25 Wedding Mocktails We Love

1. Cranberry Basil Sangria

cherry basil sangria wedding mocktail

Credit: Delish

2. Tequila Sunrise

tequila sunrise wedding mocktail

Credit: Whisk It Real Gud

3. Pineapple Ginger Beer Mocktail

pineapple ginger beer wedding mocktail

Credit: Cup of Zest

4. Virgin Mojito

virgin mojito

Credit: 40 Aprons

5. Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Basil Limeade

strawberry basil lemonade wedding mocktail

Credit: Foolproof Living

6. Triple Citrus Kombucha Fizz

triple citrus kombucha fizz mocktail

Credit: How Sweet Eats

7. Cucumber Aqua Fresca

cucumber aqua fresca

Credit: Pinch of Yum

8. Coconut Mojito

coconut mojito wedding mocktail

Credit: Kale Junkie

9. Pomegranate Pomander Spritz 

pomegranate promander spritz wedding mocktail

Credit: The First Mess

10. Gingered Hot Cider

ginger hot cider wedding mocktail

Credit: The Kitchn

11. Lavender Haze Mocktail

lavender haze wedding mocktail

Credit: Censored Baker

12. Rosemary Elderflower Spritz

rosemary elderflower spritz wedding mocktail

Credit: Jihi

13. Cinnamon-Spiced Orange and Thyme Mocktail

Credit: Pick Up Limes

14. Caffè Shakerato

Credit: Little Sugar Snaps

15. Non-Alcoholic Aperol Spritz

16. Sparkling Blueberry Ginger Mocktail

Credit: Minimalist Baker

17. Virgin French 76

Credit: Mocktail.net

18. Champagne Punch

Credit: The Pioneer Woman

19. Blood Orange Pomegranate Mocktail

Credit: Simmer and Sauce

20. Peppermint White Russian

Credit: Art From My Table

21. NAgroni

Credit: Liquor.com

22. Rose Mocktail

Credit: Shutter + Mint

23. Spicy Peach Virgin Margarita

Credit: Healthy Little Peach

24. Grapefruit and Basil Mocktail

Credit: The Green Eyed Girl

25. Sparkling Pear Mojito Mocktail

Credit: The Dizzy Cook

Now that you’ve got some mocktails picked out to treat your guests to, it’s time to gear up for hosting your alcohol-free celebration. Luckily for you, we’ve broken down how to host a dry wedding! In many instances, couples who opt for a dry wedding hire unique entertainment. From lawn games to a tattoo artist, here are some of the best wedding entertainment options to “WOW” everyone.

Image by Brogen Jessup

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This Three-Day Ca Marcello Wedding Has All The Bridgerton and Great Gatsby Vibes

February 13, 2024 | justine

Whitney and Jack’s vision for their Ca Marcello wedding was to craft a remarkable three-day celebration, aiming to make every moment unforgettable for their guests, many of whom were experiencing Italy and Europe for the first time. They recognized the significance of this journey and were determined to make it truly special. With meticulous attention to detail, they achieved their goal with flying colors! Their wedding in Venice unfolded like a dream, seamlessly blending the city’s rich history with the timeless charm of the Bridgerton era and the opulence reminiscent of the Great Gatsby. 

On the big day, the pair’s group traveled in true Venetian style, with water taxis ferrying them to the historic church nestled in the heart of the city. After exchanging heartfelt vows, they all made their way to the villa, arriving in a scene straight out of a Bridgerton novel. Regency-inspired details adorned the affair–from delicate lace umbrellas and fans to flowing ballgowns and glistening gold jewelry–setting a tone of elegance and romance. As the evening progressed into the Great Gatsby-themed celebration, the atmosphere transformed with opulent decor and extravagant floral arrangements. The festivities were nothing short of spectacular, featuring show-stopping entertainment, two wedding cakes, a never-ending flow of drinks, and dancing that lasted well into the night.

Continue scrolling to indulge in every luxurious detail, each flawlessly captured by Andrew Bayda. We promise you’ll be enchanted, wanting to spend endless hours scrolling through these breathtaking photos and pinning them to your wedding mood board.

The Couple:

Whitney and Jack

The Wedding:

Ca Marcello, Venice, Italy

Setting the Stage With a Welcome Party Featuring the Unique Vibe of Venice

The festivities started with a welcome party at the Venice Hotel by the Grand Canal. The venue’s vintage charm and stylish atmosphere set the mood for the event. Choosing this famous spot by the water aimed to give our guests a real taste of Venice, with every detail reflecting the city’s special vibe. We served authentic Venetian dishes that delighted everyone’s taste buds. Adding to the ambiance, an accordion trio played classic Italian tunes as the sun went down. Then, we moved to the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel for a private opera. Walking through Venice’s narrow streets, guests soaked in the historic surroundings. The intimate opera setting made it feel like stepping back in time. This elegance carried through the rest of the celebration, along with plenty of champagne and drinks.

Kicking Off the Festivities in True Venetian Fashion With Water Taxis and a Historic Church Ceremony

The wedding day itself was a mix of Italian Bridgerton and Great Gatsby vibes. The wedding party and immediate family stayed at a beautiful Villa on the Grand Canal. The men got ready in one part of the house while the women buzzed around, ensuring we didn’t see each other. Venetian water taxis waited below, ready to take the wedding party through the canals to the ancient church. The church, which dates back to 900 AD and is filled with candles, has a romantic, historic feel. The priest, Don Luigi, entertained the guests as we exchanged vows and kissed despite the hot summer weather. After the ceremony, we had a private photo shoot while guests enjoyed drinks at a local bar, waiting for transportation.

Showcasing Bridgerton Vibes In Every Detail at Their Ca Marcello Wedding

At the Ca Marcello villa in the countryside, the reception flawlessly embraced the Bridgerton theme. Guests lined the driveway to welcome us as we arrived in a classic car. I stepped out with a new hairstyle, revealing the stunning back of my Mark Ingram gown adorned with a black velvet bow in my hair. The elegant charm of the Bridgerton era shone through with Venetian-lace umbrellas and fans, flowing ball gowns, and shimmering gold jewelry, creating a sophisticated and romantic atmosphere. The cocktail hour featured an oyster bar, artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and refreshing Aperol Spritz cocktails. A quartet serenaded the guests with classic songs, many of which were heard in the Bridgerton soundtrack.

A Spectacular Transition to a Great Gatsby-Themed Affair at Their Ca Marcello Wedding Reception

As the day unfolded, the transition to our Great Gatsby-themed party was marked by a lavish 5+ course dinner, heartfelt toasts, and a beautiful serenade from the quartet and saxophone player. Each guest found a hand-painted portrait of themselves at their seat, a unique wedding souvenir we had prepared. The extravagance reached new heights with a personalized firework show, two stunning wedding cakes, and a towering champagne tower. Our black-and-white checkered dance floor was surrounded by hanging lights and chic sofas and candelabras, allowing our guests to enjoy an intimate experience as they desired. The party continued with live music, a cigar bar, endless drinks, and dancing. Our guests were enthralled by the custom video projection on the backside of the villa, lighting up the unique venue and adding to the whimsical and enchanted nature of the evening. Our deliberate choice to make everything over the top, yet intimate and delicate in different ways, aimed to evoke the feeling of the Great Gatsby: a feeling of love and longing. We danced to “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey for our first dance, truly capturing the emotion of the evening.


Ending the Festivities With a Bang With a Venetian Island Excursion

On the third day, despite our minimal rest, the celebration continued with a private boat trip to the Venetian Islands, promising a charming and picturesque experience. Our guests eagerly joined in, relishing the tour of Burano and the wine tasting on Mazzorbo Island at the Venissa Estate, accompanied by cichetti, classic Venetian tapas. This day, we added a cultural touch to our overall celebration, ensuring that every moment was carefully planned and that Venice’s true beauty was showcased to everyone. In the end, our three-day celebration in Venice was hailed by our guests as the wedding of the century—a true testament to the seamless blend of timeless Venetian charm, Bridgerton elegance, and Great Gatsby opulence that defined our festivities. We are deeply grateful to everyone who helped bring this dream to life.

Cake Cutting and Fireworks: A Movie-Worthy Scene at Their Ca Marcello Wedding

The absolute highlight of the day had to be the cake cutting and the subsequent firework display—a scene straight from a movie. The show, lasting a good five or six minutes, left all of us standing there, gazing at the sky in sheer disbelief. Sharing that moment with my husband, a profound realization set in: “We did it. We’re married. All the hard work and planning have paid off. We did it!” At that moment, I felt like I could breathe again and enjoy the night with our friends and family. And that’s precisely what we did. It was the best night of our lives.

Sharing the Load and Finding Support During Wedding Planning

Embarking on the journey of wedding planning is a big deal, and the best advice I can give is to rely on your partner and the support of your family and friends. It’s tempting to do everything yourself, thinking you can handle it all. But the truth is, planning a wedding is a tremendous job, and it’s okay to ask for help. Your partner is there to share the load, and your loved ones are happy to lend a hand. Don’t be afraid to split the tasks and ask for assistance. Doing this will reduce some of the stress and create a chance for shared joy and teamwork as you work together to make your dream wedding a reality. Remember, you don’t have to go through this journey alone, and having support from those around you can make the whole process not only doable but also fulfilling.


Starting Off With a Warm Welcome Through Themed Welcome Bags

We went all out with welcome bags for our guests at the welcome party. Each guest received a jute tote featuring our wedding crest on the front and a personal tag and thank-you from us, the bride and groom. Inside the totes were mini Aperol Spritz, custom-labeled shots of limoncello, hand-painted Venetian masks, a box of authentic Italian spaghetti, sweet treats from Italy, and a custom wedding magazine detailing every aspect of our celebration. We wanted our guests to feel the love and effort we put into these bags, so we included stories about how we met, introduced our family and wedding party, shared details about each event, paid tribute to cherished family members who had passed, provided a map of all the festivities, and much more. It was our way of expressing gratitude and making them feel a part of our unique journey. And judging by the feedback, the guests absolutely loved it.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Andrew Bayda
Event Planning + Favors – Angel Lion
Ceremony Venue – Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista at the Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista di Venezia
Reception Venue – Ca Marcello
Floral Design – La Dogaressa Flowers
Cake – Pasticceria Racca
Officiant – Don Luigi Ramazzoti
DJ + Live Music – Slipstream
Videography – Whites Film
Invitation Design – Every Little Something
Makeup Artist + Hair Styling – Vera Osminina
Wedding Dress – Mark Ingram + Vera Wang
Bridal Accessories – Warron Barron Bridal
Wedding Party Apparel – V. Chapman Studio + Vera Wang
Rings – James Allen
Rentals – Latini Design
Wedding Menu + Ceremony Pamphlet – Dodo Design
Painted Portraits – Ansofie Van Rafelghem
Quartet/Saxophone – The Italy String Quartet
Event Lighting + Video Projection + Dance Floor + Chandeliers – Rava


Congratulations to Whitney and Jack on their spectacular three-day Ca Marcello wedding, brimming with Bridgerton and Great Gatsby vibes. Thank you to Andrew Bayda for flawlessly capturing every meticulously planned detail.

Planning a destination wedding of this caliber involves a lot of logistics and groundwork. However, with a trusted vendor team, you can relax knowing that every detail will be handled seamlessly. If you’re in the early stages of assembling your dream team, consider using our specially curated directory of the world’s best professionals to help make your wedding dreams a reality.

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