Mark & Marissa
Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
Mark & Marissa’s destination wedding at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage was a wedding to remember!
First, I must say that from the onset of our communications, Marissa & Mark were an absolute delight to get to know and photograph. Their wedding style reflected their personalities perfectly! From Marissa’s dream wedding gown by the amazing Hayley Paige to their exquisite floral arrangements of monstera leaves, panda anemone, ginger and a lovely protea which could be seen on her custom round wedding arch! This stylish black and white destination wedding was “all the things” you could dream of!
As always, I asked our lovely Bride to give us a little glimpse into their love story, here is what Marissa had to say …
The Story of Mark & Marissa
“The internet is a marvelous place! Where else could you read this blog, get a recipe for a one-pot-dinner-under-30 minutes, and find your future husband?! Luckily, and not necessarily in that order, I found all of those things. Starting with the guy.
We are both hard-working, time consumed, adults who decided to put our trust in the infamous Bumble app. I almost deleted my account one evening, but decided to give it a few more swipes before losing hope. His dimples may have caught my eye to begin, but his love for family, in particular his son, camping, the Angels, and all things off-road drew me in. One date led to another, and before we knew it, I was accompanying him on off-road races, and he was meeting my family. We balance each other. I, the Assistant Principal, rule-following, list-making, organizational queen. And Mark, the Salesman, rule-breaking, off-road rebel. I keep his safe and he keeps me adventurous.
Mark proposed on my dad’s 60th birthday last year at their vacation condo in Rancho Las Palmas. It was a grand plan and everyone was in on it besides me. We were having a family birthday Olympics for my dad with cannon ball contests, Jenga and corn hole games, and lastly, a closest to the pin competition. I was putting for the win when Mark interrupted me on one knee. I was completely taken by surprise, ugly tears and all, and it was even more special being surrounded by the people I love the most.
Wedding planning began after a quick trip to MotoGP in Spain and chasing the Baja 1000 race in Mexico. We knew we wanted a wedding that encompassed all things “us”. Beautiful desert landscapes and night skies, our nearest and dearest family and friends, a ceremony that is completely personalized, Mexican food with margaritas and beers flowing, and dancing the night away. With the love and support of our family, we pulled off one completely magical evening.
My favorite parts of our wedding are almost entirely because of our amazing vendors (I guess a stud of a husband helped, too!). The Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa was the perfect wedding location, as it is special to my family and the place where we were engaged! With the help of Carly McGarry, the Catering Sales Manager, our every wedding desire was met and exceeded. Their amazing chef customized our menu and I’ve never heard more people compliment the cuisine at a wedding. Our fabulous Wedding Coordinator, LeeAnn Collins from Events by LC, lifted every OCD concern of mine and coordinated the chaos without breaking a sweat or busting a blister. She whisked away my overly-organized totes and orchestrated a masterpiece. Thankfully the resort is naturally beautiful, but some bistro lighting by Show TD Event Production made it twinkle under the desert stars.
We decided upon a non-traditional alter during our ceremony using our beautiful florist’s talent and a circular stand coveted with palm leaves and tropical florals. Meghan from Flowers by Mae Mae brought my vision to life incorporating detailed textured florals with resort-style greenery. A mixture of centerpieces gave our reception personality and beauty. We opted for a refreshing ice cream and churro bar for an evening treat, but had a perfectly petite cutting cake crafted by the famous Exquisite Deserts, a famous local bakery.
Favorite Wedding Moments
One of my favorite moments was our first dance. I have never felt more beautiful than I did when I was in Mark’s arms dancing to Dierks Bentley’s “Woman, Amen”.
It helped to have va-voom hair and makeup by my one and only Privé Beauty Group stylists Shay Brown and Vanessa Obmann, a golden bronzed bod by Jeanette Toomey from Knockout Tan of Rancho Cucamonga, and a sequin-detailed beauty of a gown Blush by Hayley Paige to twirl in. We danced the night away with classic jams and crowd pleasers from our emcee and deejay Chris Wenger, owner of Oh Hey DJ! who kept the dance floor full! We cannot wait to relive our wedding on the big screen through the lens of our videographer, Drew Wyman, from Scrap Media Films. Since we honeymooned at Sandals Negril, Jamaica, we plan on hosting a Jamaican-Jerk Chicken dinner with plenty of Red Stripe to preview our film with family!
One person who made both our engagement and wedding special, is none other than Erica herself, from Erica Mendenhall Photography. She made sure to take time to get to know us and understand our vision for our images. She made us comfortable in front of the lens and let us truly enjoy our day. She was all for climbing sand dunes for our engagement
pictures and was down to trek into the golf course to the exact hold Mark proposed on for our first look. She took time to photograph a first look with my father, too, which meant a lot to me.
I know brides all over the world say their night was perfect. I am proud to be one of them in agreement. Collectively, we were told before hand that our night was going to fly by. We were purposeful in taking plenty of moments to slow down, take in the love and beauty that surrounded us. We made every moment of October 6th reflect our personalities and emulate our love for each other. We brought together two families who will hopefully join us in saying it was an evening they’ll never forget. It is a very humbling place to be in when you can sit back and say, THAT was one hell of a night.
Friends, it was an AMAZING wedding day! The love between Mark & Marissa beamed in every photo. Their first look, to the kiss as Mr. & Mrs. to their sparkler grand entrance, stunning first dance – such emotion could be felt by everyone watching them on the dance floor and of course, the sweet words given during the toasts.
Thank you Mark & Marissa for entrusting me to preserve history on your wedding day! What a night indeed! May your love for one another continue to grow deeper for years to come. Hugs! Erica
— Now, you MUST get to scrolling friends, it’s a jaw dropping gorgeous wedding you won’t want to miss! —
First Look with Bride and Groom
Father Daughter First Look
Congratulations Mark & Marissa!
Photography: Erica Mendenhall Photography | Wedding Venue: Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort | Wedding Planner: Events by LC | Florist: Flowers by Mae Mae | Cake: Exquisite Deserts | Videographer: Scrap Media Films | DJ: Oh Hey DJ! | Makeup & Hair Artist: Prive Beauty Group | Wedding Gown: Marry Me Bridal – Blush by Hayley Paige “Pepper Gown” | Grooms Wardrobe: Men’s Warehouse | Lighting: AMP’D Entertainment