A few short months after Taylor Wolff moved from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, she attended a local friend's goodbye party, and spotted Adam Syarc. "I sat down next to him and we clicked immediately," Taylor remembers. They had been dating for almost three and a half years when, overlooking Melbourne from Adam's best friend's parents' rooftop, Adam spontaneously proposed. Says Taylor, "He didn't even have a ring — he used his friend's grandmother's wedding band. It meant a lot because his friend's grandparents had been married for 55 years." A month later, Adam and his fiancée headed back to where they'd had their first date, and he presented Taylor with a beautiful ring he'd designed himself.
Though the pair lives in Australia, the knew they wanted to have their wedding in America. Palm Springs was relatively accessible, and had a special place in Taylor's heart: She grew up visiting her grandparents in the area. "We wanted somewhere our guests could join us for the weekend and really get to know one another as our worlds collided. We chose Smoke Tree Ranch because we could all stay on the property. It felt like adult summer camp!" Taylor describes. While planning a wedding from across an ocean was a challenge, a fantastic wedding planner, The Events Department, and a close family friend who served as a stylist helped Taylor and Adam create a desert chic wedding that was fun and family-focused. From towering cacti and Persian rugs to vibrant flowers and a few DIY projects tackled by Taylor's maid of honor, this wedding was personal, stylish, and unique. Check out the photos by Claire Eliza!
Taylor and her 'maids spent the morning of April 22, 2016, reminiscing and getting gussied up before the bride donned her Anne Barge wedding dress, striped with ribbon over a champagne-hued lining. Her bridesmaids chose grey Joanna August maxi dresses in a variety of styles.
She and Adam chose to not see one another until the ceremony, so instead Taylor had an emotional first look with her father.
Taylor loved her gown's Art Deco-vibe, and we're obsessed with how it matched the graphic stripes on Adam's socks! She finished her look with side-swept waves and a vibrant bouquet of anemones and peonies.
Adam wanted a Rat Pack vibe for his groomsmen, so they all wore navy tuxedos with tailored white shirts. His nephews served as page boys, in suit shorts and bow ties, and carried signs down the aisle, leading Taylor to Adam once the ceremony was underway. "They talked about their jobs for months, and all weekend couldn't wait to put their outfits on!" Taylor remembers.
The ceremony took place in the middle of the road, with rugs serving as an aisle runner and umbrellas arranged to protect guests from the desert sun.
The couple had a traditional ceremony, with Taylor's parents escorting her down the aisle as she and Adam saw one another for the first time. While the weather had been calm all week, a crazy wind storm came through just a few minutes before the ceremony. "It could have caused a few freak outs, and we had to skip our table assignments or else they would have blown away, but it made for some beautiful pictures and funny moments," says Taylor of the gust that caught her veil — so much so that Adam ended up wrapping the veil around him during the recessional so it wouldn't carry his bride away!
The desert backdrop was totally stunning, full of unique varieties of cacti that made for an incredible settings for portraits.
Says Taylor, "Planning our wedding was so fun, even from afar! I loved doing the research and collaborate with our vendors, my mom, and our stylist. It also forced us to go with our gut, since we didn't have the opportunity to go back and consider other options or ideas."
At the outdoor reception, farm tables were surrounded with cross-back chairs. Instead of big centerpieces, the pair chose more simple garland arrangements — a choice that worked well for serving their family-style meal. Greenery and vines were accented with vibrant blooms, and wine was poured into delicate gold-rimmed glasses. "My mom sets a great table, so she was in charge of all the rentals," says Taylor.
At the bar, guests grabbed Aperol spritzes and California wines. For dinner, family-style trays of salmon and steak were passed around each table, and guests could dig into as much or as little as they'd like. "It really encouraged everyone to mingle and get to know each other better," the bride says.
We adore the couple's photo booth, set up inside a vintage VW Bus and decorated with vintage-inspired props and baskets of flowers. Next to the dance floor, a lounge area of mid-century furniture encouraged guests to relax between the DJ's sets.
Adam and Taylor's first dance was to "Let's Stay Together" by Marvin Gaye before letting their DJ take over. "We had so much fun working with him. We had one song we wanted to play, where our guests would get on the ground and Adam and I would pop up and dance furiously. It was everything I'd envisioned!"
Instead of cake, the pair served a spread of donuts — including ones that spelled out "Taylor + Adam!" Flavors included funfetti, maple bacon, coconut, chocolate, and red velvet.
"Don't sweat the small stuff," Taylor advises. "The imperfections are what create the best stories and memories, so focus on being in the moment and enjoying the best day of your life!"
Venue & Catering: Smoke Tree Ranch || Wedding Planner: The Events Department || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Anne Barge || Hair & Makeup: Mobile Bridal Salon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August, from Bella Bridesmaids || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Floral Design & Invitations: The Design Hunters || Music: DJ Zephyr || Cake: Over the Rainbow Desserts || Rentals: Signature Party Rentals || Videographer: Anchor Pictures || Photographer: Claire Eliza
Looking for more California wedding inspiration? Then check out the gorgeous celebration below.