One of the most sought-after wedding destinations in California in recent years has been the national park Joshua Tree. The rough beauty of this desert national park seems to inspire people to really look deep within themselves and rediscover what really matters to them.
That being said, in order to have a safe and meaningful experience in the desert, far from any major city, there are some things to consider. We decided to talk to wedding transportation experts at Cardiff Limo, who often have the pleasure of providing wedding transportation in the Joshua Tree National Park. They shared some ideas and suggestions that could help make your stay as memorable as you expect it to be.
The Date Is Important
The expressions ‘June wedding’ or ‘June bride’ suggest that our culture values the early summer weddings more than others. This tradition goes back to pre-colonial times in Europe – where early summer temperatures were pleasant and the weather was fair.
The deserts of California, though, are a different story. Joshua Tree is notoriously hot in the summer, making it less than an ideal setting for an outdoor wedding. Even morning and evening temperatures can be unpleasantly hot. On the other hand, November and February/March are ideal. It might be counterintuitive to plan an outdoor wedding in February, but the weather throughout the day tends to be balmy 60-70 degrees. Nights might be cold, so don’t forget to bring extra clothes.
Other periods of the year might be suitable as well, although you may have to contend with numerous visitors and even the incessant wind that often plagues the area in May and June.
Find a Suitable Location for the Ceremony
The national park is fairly big, over 1200 square miles (that’s about the size of Los Angeles), so you will need to narrow down the location, depending on what you want to see and how many people are going to attend the ceremony. Seeing how it is federally-regulated land, you will need a permit for the wedding, which means that you will be limited to certain choices.
For instance, if your ceremony is going to be attended by more than 25 people, you will have to organize it at the Indian Cove Amphitheater. But don’t feel down about this restriction, the location is gorgeous and there is seating available, so it will be more comfortable for people attending.
If you will only have a small group of people with you, there are plenty of other options available, including Live Oak, Split Rock and Quail Springs Picnic Area (although the last one is not available year-round). Your best bet is to come to the national park beforehand and see the potential venues for yourself.
How to Prepare for a Desert Wedding
Don’t forget that your preferred wedding venue is in a desert which is also a national park. This changes a few things when compared to a regular wedding. First of all, remember that you can’t leave anything behind. As a protected area, Joshua Tree needs to be kept pristine at all times. Everything you bring, you will also need to take away with you.
Due to the heat and the rough terrain, it is recommended that you wear comfortable clothes, and especially shoes. High heels and sleek Oxford shoes will simply not cut it if you’re going to walk around rocks and sand. In the same vein, make sure to have plenty of water for hydration and some serious sunscreen; yes, even in February.
You can have a free-standing arch and a small table for the guest book, but all of your candles must be battery-powered, so no live flame, and all of the flowers you have need to be fresh and not dried. You can’t have things that will cause litter, such as confetti, balloons, or rice, and, to the dismay of many a contemporary wedding photographer, drones are also prohibited.
While there are some constraints when enjoying the nature of Joshua Tree National Park, this location truly is spectacular and will likely continue to be a popular destination for weddings.