Sharing personal vows in a ceremony that was self-officiated, Mindy and Kristina had a very unique and personal Palm Springs Elopement.
Tell us about your favorite memory.
When we were first dating, Mindy had planned a surprise date night for us where she wasn’t going to reveal the exact location until right before we were about to meet. As I was calling to find out the location, Mindy wasn’t picking up.
Eventually, a stranger answered Mindy’s phone – “Hello, friend of Mindy? – only to reveal that Mindy had accidentally left her phone in an Uber!
I asked where the driver dropped her off and quickly directed my Uber driver toward the Palace of Fine Arts. I walk up, and Mindy is sitting there by the water with a full picnic set up. She had been wearing jeans with a hole in the pocket, and her phone had just slipped out. She thought she had already texted me the location (she hadn’t), so she was just sitting there hoping I would show up.
There she had been for over an hour. And all these people kept walking by, thinking she was getting stood up.
Tell us about the proposal.
One of the amazing side effects of coming out is this feeling that we have authorship and freedom in all aspects of our lives — big and small. Deciding to spend our lives together didn’t have to follow a familiar formula or meet an expectation set by people that aren’t US.
We had always had casual conversations about how to make the widely accepted way of proposing work for us. Like, “Which one of us gets down on one knee?” Proposals can be fun and fabulous, but we decided that having a mutual conversation about why we wanted to make this commitment was a much better fit for our relationship and the tone we wanted to set for our marriage.
So, there wasn’t a big surprise or photo-worthy moment. Just two people reflecting on our joy and saying, “Let’s do this.”
We shopped for Kristina’s ring at the first place I ever bought her jewelry, No. 3 in San Francisco. She chose a ring that matched her vision but also was comfortable to wear day to day. In addition, she has an extra band that fits around the ring, with two small diamonds symbolizing “you” and “me.” I found a simple signet ring in gold on ETSY that works with my very minimalist jewelry style.
Why did you decide to elope?
We spent a lot of time discussing how we wanted to enter into this commitment, exploring all the possibilities from big to small. While we loved the idea of having an event where all the people who love and support us could participate, planning something like that started to feel overwhelming. Especially considering our plans to start a family this year.
At first, we thought we would invite a few people. But it was impossible to limit the list once we started down the path of the people who we most wanted to be there. So, we kept it to just us.
How did you tell your loved ones you had decided to elope?
We’re blessed with so many friends who have known us before and during our relationship that we were so excited to share our news with. We hung by the pool and had a blast just texting/calling friends with the news.
For the family members that do whole-heartedly support us, we were so grateful for their acceptance, love, and genuine happiness for our love.
For the family members that have had a more challenging time navigating our choice to be together, we hope that one day they will rejoice alongside us – and at once, live in the freedom of letting people be who they are.
A day we truly hope will come.
Until then – love is love is love.
And, how did you elope? What was the elopment day like?
We now live in Denver but wanted a California marriage license – since that’s where we met. So much about our relationship is about brightness and joy. So we were yearning for a sunny and warm spot to seal the deal.
Palm Springs felt like the perfect choice.
We wanted a relaxing day without a ton of heavy lifting for the ceremony, so we chose to base most of our day at an amazing Airbnb near downtown. It was quirky and unique, with a vibe that felt collected and natural. Like you were hanging out at a good friend’s house.
Since it was just us, we felt it would be weird to have some random person we didn’t know as an officiant – so we self-officiated. We chose some special songs to us, wrote our vows, and did our own version of a handfasting ceremony.
It was so special and comfortable. With both of us repeating many of the same themes in our independently written vows. Kristina kept interrupting my vows to say, “We said the same thing!” It was just us and that helped us feel more present, grounded and focused on each other. And that’s what matters most.
We then did a little jaunt through PS, through the Ace Hotel, some neighborhood streets, and a little desert location right on the edge of town.
The next day we drove to the courthouse, and a city employee named Alma, standing behind some glass, put on a bright red judges robe and made it legal.
Dancing With Her Recommended Vendor
Photography by The Hendrys
Airbnb Mid-Century Luxury at The Birdhouse
Cake Sweet E’s Bake Shop
Dress Boutique The Altar Bridal
Dress Designer Pronovias
Earrings We Dream In Colour
Engagement Rings No. 3 in San Francisco
Florist Golden Heron
H&MU Desert Honey Artistry
Planner & Stylist Opus Events Co
Prop | Furniture Hire Circa Rentals
Suit Designer Reiss
Shirt Tory Burch
Vow Books Luna Paper Company