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Private Estate Backyard Wedding in La Quinta

Susan and Riley fell in love with La Quinta, California on a post-engagement mini-moon, and knew it would be the perfect place to tie the knot! Working with All Things Extraordinary as they planned from afar in Chicago, they selected a private estate surrounded by mountains, palm trees, and cacti for their elegant “backyard” wedding with a buffet-style taco dinner! Their desert chic soiree was a three-day affair and the party carried all the way from the margarita karaoke welcome party by the pool to the spectacular reception where guests danced the night away under twinkle lights and the desert stars. Mix and match Jenny Yoo and Lulu’s bridesmaids dresses in a palette of sage and slate were a nod to the natural surroundings, and greenery garlands graced the long wood reception tables. The entire event is perfectly organic and chic! Every moment is beautifully captured by the fantastic Damaris Mia Photography!

In their own words


How did you meet?
I met Riley on my first day at my job after college. We didn’t end up getting together until almost 2 years later. We had mutual friends who thought we’d be great together and Riley started finding ways to talk to me about computer issues since he worked in IT. One thing led to another and we’ve been together ever since!

What is your proposal story?
My brother was in town and I wasn’t suspecting anything. It was a Saturday morning and we were walking through the Gold Coast in Chicago to meet my brother for brunch. When we got to a park, there were the words “Riley + Susan. You + Me” in chalk. We’ve always said “you + me” to each other because we have always said that we’re on the same team. As I was reading it, Riley got down on one knee and I couldn’t say anything! Eventually both of our parents came out and we had a mini photo session with a photographer. Riley had a limo waiting and we drove around then met our best friends + family for brunch! We had a surprise party that night with all of our friends!

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
Keeping the wedding intimate and romantic was our number one thing. We wanted 75 people maximum and to have all of our best friends there because we have small families. Riley and I rarely spend time apart and we are so in love and we wanted to celebrate that and wanted it to be heartfelt and intimate. The mountains, candles, and string carnival lights did just that.

What were your favorite parts of the day?
By far the ceremony. Our officiate is a close friend and he knocked it out of the park. The most special was our vows that we read to each other. I think I wanted a whole 90 seconds before reading mine because I was so choked up from Riley’s. The photos taken at that moment are the most important to me. At the end of the wedding we all jumped into the pool. It was the perfect ending. As well as in n out burgers!!!

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Try and budget as much as possible in the beginning, and then when stuff comes up you”ll be able to splurge on what you really want :) And remember that it is your day, so make yourself happy first! Remember the meaning of it, to celebrate the love between you and your fiance.


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