Sitting across from each other in the classroom while pursuing their master’s degrees in clinical psychology, Darren Martin Hummel and Amanda Catherine Creasey were smitten from the beginning. As they started to spend class breaks together and looked forward to seeing one another each Thursday, Darren finally asked for Amanda’s number, and the rest was history. 

Wanting to plan a surprise romantic weekend in an effort to arrange a beautiful proposal, Darren chose to take his beloved to Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes, where he spent much of his childhood. After enjoying an elegant brunch at the picturesque property, the couple went for a walk along the ocean trail. At last, Darren bent down on one knee and presented a ring of his own design as he asked Amanda to marry him. 

When it came time to plan the wedding of their dreams, Amanda and Darren received an abundance of advice from their wedding planner, Ashley Port of BK Events, parents, and a number of friends from their own personal and professional experiences. 

“The greatest advice was to hire a full-service planner you’d want to consult almost like a friend,” shares Amanda. “Someone who takes the time to understand you as a couple, respects your aspirations, and doesn't see your wedding as merely another job or a giant math problem, but genuinely honors whatever significance you ascribe to this major event in your life.” 

Originally desiring a tropical destination wedding afar, Amanda and Darren opted for a semi-local destination celebration to ensure all of their loved ones could join in on their special day. Hoping to find a place where their family and friends would feel transported away from their everyday life and enjoy a romantic and relaxing weekend spent with each other, they selected Palm Springs, California, to honor their great love of the sun and warm weather. “We wanted everyone to have an unforgettable weekend – not just ourselves – and this extended to every facet of the weekend,” shares Amanda. 

Since the bride is admittedly notorious for her attention to detail, she pursued a look that pulled inspiration from the sunsets in Palm Springs and the vibrant pink hues of the venue itself. “The color scheme included organic metallics, much like one would see from stars, sun rays, rock crystals, and gems,” confirms Amanda. 

She also wanted to bring together the bright colors of daytime and the sparkle of an evening under the stars through the theme and décor. To further complement the metallics and iridescent touches of the design, the color scheme incorporated additional playful tones of pewter, lavender, taupe, soft pink, and deep cranberry, as well as hints of rose gold, gilt, and bronze to achieve the mystical and celestial theme they desired for the fête. 

“Part of what made everything so unique was the degree of personalization and the way each segment built into the larger theme of an immersive evening in the desert.”

The couple commenced the big day with an early evening ceremony in the desert. The bride reveals at that moment, all of her thoughts regarding the planning and details faded away. “I was by my father’s side, walking towards my future husband, and I knew that this – more than anything – is what would make today special for the rest of our lives,” reminisces the bride. 

Darren shares his most memorable moment as “the first moment I saw Amanda turn the corner with her father walking down the aisle,” he notes. “It is difficult to describe, but it made all the planning worth it. I felt immense love and gratitude knowing that the woman walking towards me would be with me forever; truly magical.” 

As the festivities continued into the beautiful evening, loved ones reveled in a variety of savory fare, sweet treats such as donut holes, fun cocktails, and double-chocolate shakes to honor the favorite dessert of Darren’s late father who had passed 10 years prior to the wedding. They also honored his memory by displaying a table in his honor with his baseball glove and baseball for guests to play catch.

The evening captured Darren and Amanda perfectly, weaving together personal touches to create an overall spirit that reflected much of their values, history, culture, and personalities. From the unique, vibrant florals and evil eye charms to honor the bride’s heritage, to a converted Volkswagen bus photo booth and a psychic to give readings to loved ones throughout the fête, guests were in for a special evening. 

“Part of what made everything so unique was the degree of personalization and the way each segment built into the larger theme of an immersive evening in the desert,” confirms Amanda. “Guests described the evening as magical, like they were being transported to a remote and special place.”

Offering advice to others planning their own special days, the groom shares: “I would encourage partners to consistently remember that the day they are planning is about their love for one another,” he smiles. “With that in mind, practice love, compassion, and support during the process. Much of the planning can typically fall on the bride, and I would encourage grooms to get involved as well.” The bride urges: “By far and away, plan the day for yourselves and invite others to enjoy it with you.”

Some of the links included may be affiliate; however, everything we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. When you make a purchase, we may receive revenue. Thank you for your support!