6 Dazzling Desert Wedding Venues in the Sophisticated Southwest
With the rise in popularity of rustic weddings, decorating with succulents, and infusing Southwestern bohemian accents into décor, many couples now also desire a desert wedding location to complement an authentic Southwest theme. The gorgeous sunsets and exceptional mountain views that characterize desert destinations create stunning settings for celebrations that are both unique and picturesque. And since the desert features temperate weather year-round, the romantic oasis is perfect for both outdoor weddings and ballroom events.
From Scottsdale, Arizona, to Las Vegas, Nevada, and even Palm Springs, California, there are a wide range of desert wedding venues that offer exceptional event spaces, luxurious accommodations for out-of-town guests, and exciting activities for loved ones to enjoy throughout an extended weekend. We teamed up with the wedding specialists at Starwood Hotels & Resorts to scope out some of the best desert wedding venues. View six of our favorite destinations, below:
1. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Couples desiring a luxury desert venue will find The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, attractive for an indoor or outdoor event. Set on an award-winning golf course, the resort features all of the luxurious amenities brides and grooms desire in an incredible desert atmosphere that boasts cotton candy sunsets, a full-service spa, and dreamy views of the surrounding desert mountains and lush, green golf course. A grand ballroom featuring glistening chandeliers offers the perfect setting for an opulent reception, while romantic outdoor courtyards provide sensational settings for soirées under the stars.
Photos courtesy of The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
2. The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort
Nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort is the perfect place to host a luxurious desert wedding. Surrounded by mountain views, cacti, and palm trees, the elegant property is also in close proximity to an incredible shopping district. Couples are encouraged to host an outdoor ceremony and then move the festivities into one of the grand ballrooms on property for a stylish reception. Out-of-town guests will love the sophisticated guest rooms, and the couple and their wedding party will find the multi-room casitas ideal for pre-event accommodations.
Photos courtesy of Ben & Kelly Photography
3. The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
Two hours south of Arizona's capital city, The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson offers a pristine Southern Arizona desert setting to locals and visitors alike. Nestled amongst the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this breathtaking resort in the Sonoran Desert offers a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and a tranquil Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa for the couple and their guests to enjoy. A variety of venues are available for guest lists of up to 650, making this destination ideal for larger celebrations as well as intimate gatherings designed with a distinct desert vibe.
Photos courtesy of Chard Photography
4. Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa
For a true desert experience, couples will enjoy hosting a wedding at the Native American-owned luxury property, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa. An exquisite spa and golf club rich with the cultural heritage of the Gila River Indian Community will attract brides, grooms, and their loved ones, and guests are invited to experience all the desert destination has to offer by taking riding lessons at the equestrian center or discovering Rawhide, the 1880s Western town adjacent to the resort. Children in attendance will love the pools on property that feature exhilarating waterfalls and an 11-foot waterslide designed to look like the ancient Casa Grande ruins. With the temperate desert climate, outdoor soirées are available year-round and provide beautiful vistas, sunset ceremonies, and even fireworks.
Photo courtesy of Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa
Photo by Artistic Image Photography by Dee
Photo by Brooke Photography c/o Arizona's Finest Wedding Sites Magazine
Photo by Melissa Jill Photography
5. The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
A wonderful destination for couples with loved ones living in both California and Arizona, The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, California, offers a beautiful meeting place for a close-to-home destination wedding. With picturesque mountain scenes and a serene desert retreat, the golf resort provides a wonderful place to exchange vows during warm days and cool nights amidst the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. With over 31 potential wedding venues on property, there is sure to be a space that offers the perfect setting for your fairy-tale wedding.
Photos courtesy of The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
6. The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & SpaWhen most people think of a Las Vegas wedding, they envision a quick vow exchange or elopement at a chapel; however, Las Vegas has a number of gorgeous desert venue options that provide a more sophisticated experience. The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa is located less than 30 minutes from The Strip, so guests can indulge in all that Sin City has to offer following the nuptials. Gorgeous lakefront weddings will transport guests into an exotic desert oasis, and striking ballrooms offer exceptional canvases for elaborate affairs with guest counts of up to 1,200.
Photos courtesy of The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa
The desert offers too much sun and not enough water? Consider these Mexican and Caribbean wedding venues, romantic wedding locations in Hawaii, or see other types of wedding locations.