Figure Skater Rosalynn Sumners' Alfresco Wedding in Palm Springs

Rosalynn and Bob

Photographed by: Max Shaboot PhotographyLocation: Palm Springs, California, United States

A year before Rosalynn Sumners would earn a silver medal in figure skating at the ’84 Olympics, her future husband, athletic talent manager Bob Kain, would fail in his attempts to sign her as his client. He would succeed, however, in winning her heart in 1989 while she was skating in the touring production that Bob created, “Stars on Ice”. Fifteen more years of romance later, the couple walked down the aisle on April 25, 2004 to officially become husband and wife.

Nothing came as a surprise to the couple during the planning process because they considered the experience very similar to coordinating one of their many ice skating shows. They collaborated only with the vendors they felt shared their vision and recruited the expert help of a wedding coordinator to oversee it all. When you’ve spent nine years being engaged, there’s time to consider exactly what you would want, so in only four months, Rosalynn and Bob created an affair in which every last detail reflected their personalities.

An engagement of such breadth deserved a wedding celebration of equal significance, so Rosalynn and Bob decided that both their wedding date and the location of their marriage should be symbolic of their enduring relationship. The couple decided to plan their wedding around an important milestone, Rosalynn’s 40th birthday, and hold it in a place so close to their hearts, the Coachella Valley’s desert, that they have made it their second home. On the weekend of their wedding, 185 guests gathered at the legendary La Quinta Resort and Club near Palm Springs, to help Rosalynn and Bob celebrate their marriage, surrounded by the Spanish charm of a romantic desert oasis.

When guests arrived at La Quinta, they were greeted in their rooms by welcome bags brimming with the essentials for a weekend getaway. Each burlap purse contained a hand written note from the couple, along with a candle, bottle of wine, chocolates and snacks, bottled water and bride and groom themed tissues to tuck away for the ceremony.

While friends and loved ones milled about the resort which was bedecked in a palette of platinum, moss green and burgundy, Rosalynn slipped into her wedding gown and experienced all the emotion that comes with finally feeling like a bride. Her gown, a custom made, hand beaded sheath in shades of white and platinum, was only her first ensemble of the evening. Rosalynn carried a stunning bouquet of gardenias, white calla lilies, phaelenopsis orchids and white roses while she walked down the aisle to “After All These Years”, the very song which she once skated to as her farewell to touring with “Stars on Ice”. Friends, singer Anne Cochran and pianist Jim Brickman, performed the song live as Bob waited for Rosalynn under an arbor covered with fragrant flowers.

After the touching ceremony, guests entered the reception area to find three small trees adorned with their place cards. Each card was attached to a beautiful cymbidium orchid and once the guests found their tables, both the men and women could remove the orchid from their cards and wear it throughout the evening.

Guests were seated at burgundy dressed tables under large parasols hung with glass candle vessels flickering against the nighttime sky. The centerpieces were exotic topiaries of green hydrangea, cymbidium orchids, green and burgundy amaranthys, freesia, champagne grapes, and black beauty roses surrounded by intermingling rose petals and votive candles. A gourmet meal that began with celery root soup and caprese salad was segmented by an intermezzo of three sorbets - mango, lemon and passion fruit - before guests were offered an entrée choice of Hawaiian snapper or a rib chop. In keeping with their attention to detail, Rosalynn and Bob employed an innovative idea to serve three mini desserts after dinner. In addition to their three-tiered carrot wedding cake, iced in rich cream cheese frosting and finished with fresh gardenias, tastings of raspberry tiramisu, chocolate banana cream pie and cognac chocolate mousse provided a little something for every discerning sweet tooth at the party.

After dinner, Rosalynn changed into a hot pink, fully beaded cocktail dress, signaling that the festivities were really about to begin. After Anne Cochran and Jim Brickman regaled guests with another live performance, this time a rendition of “The Gift” for the couple’s first dance, Rosalynn, Bob and their company partied in fitting style. For a wedding celebration that was over a decade in the making, a single night of celebrating wouldn’t do. The couple danced and reminisced into the early hours of the following day, commemorating the next stage of a love that had already stood the test of time.