Destination I Do

A Pretty Palm Springs Wedding

Words by Sarah Padilla
Photos courtesy of Happy Confetti Photography

How does an international couple with family and friends across the globe choose where to hold their destination wedding? They go back to where it all began.

While Sabrina, originally from Montreal, and her Russian husband Alexander are currently living in the United Kingdom, their relationship first took hold in the United States. The couple attended law school together at Cornell University in Ithica, New York. But it was later, in California, where they truly fell in love. That made choosing a destination wedding locale easy. 

“We fell in love in California. We thought it would be a great homage to our love to get married under the sun,” says Sabrina.

And when Sabrina says sun, she means sun. The couple had no intention of getting rain on their wedding day, which is part of what led them to Palm Springs. The arid desert city in Southern California boasts more than 350 sunny days a year.

Sabrina and Alexander wed at the trendy Viceroy Palm Springs surrounded by about 50 of their favorite people. Like much of Palm Springs, the retro Viceroy evokes an old Hollywood vibe – but this modern couple put their own spin on the day.  

Their short, yet intimate, ceremony was held on the hotel’s lush green lawns, flanked by palm trees and a desert mountain backdrop. The ceremony included readings by the bridal party in both English and French, and the couple recited both traditional Catholic vows and personal vows they had written themselves.

“It was very important for us to make these promises twice,” says the bride. It couldn’t have been a better start to Sabrina and Alexander’s new life.

“It was certainly the happiest day of my life,” recalls Sabrina. “I remember my father holding my hand tightly as we were walking down the aisle. All I could see was the smiling, teary face of my fiancé and feel the touch of my father. It was a marvelous moment.”

Vendors: Photographer: Happy Confetti Photography,, Wedding Planner: April Seuss with The Bride and I,, Ceremony/Reception Site: The Viceroy Palm Springs,, Gown Designer: Ulla-Maija Couture,, Groom's Clothing Designer: Me [4] You Menswear,, Bridesmaids' Clothing Designer: Jenny Yoo,, Invitations/Paper Products: Alexandra Castonguay at Formidée Communication,, Guest Book: Smythson,, Cake: Jeannette at Juliette's Bakery

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall2013/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.

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