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Charming and Creative Ideas for a Desert Wedding Theme

When most people imagine a potential setting for their upcoming wedding reception and ceremony, they normally think of exchanging their vows along the oceanside or in a secluded forest instead of the desert landscape. 

With open surroundings and warm weather, desert wedding venues still have so much to offer. Desert weddings have gained popularity in recent years for this exact reason among free-spirited couples who prefer a non-traditional approach to their special day. 

If you and your partner are the first of your friends and family to have a desert wedding theme, you might not know where to begin in the planning process.

a couple wearing desert wedding attire

How should I design my invitations with a desert wedding theme in mind? What kind of desert wedding dress should I wear on my special day? How do couples typically decorate their desert wedding venues?

Take a look at our guide to find the desert wedding inspiration that you need for your upcoming celebration in this arid scenery! 

 

What Are The Most Popular Desert Wedding Ideas?

As a newer kind of celebratory theme, desert wedding ideas are constantly developing as more and more couples exchange their vows in these unconventional locations.

Social media has become the perfect place for brides and grooms to share their desert wedding photos and provide insight for others who want the same aesthetic. 

Desert wedding venues tend to feature decorations that rely most on the natural surroundings while taking inspiration from boho and rustic weddings. Whether you’ve already decided to have a romantic celebration out in the desert or are simply looking for new ideas, check out our list to make the perfect desert wedding theme possible!

Invitations

Unless you’re lucky enough to be already living near desert wedding venues, tying the knot in this kind of environment often means you’re planning for a destination wedding. Have your wedding invitations reflect this fact by designing them in the style of maps or postcards. 

For couples who prefer other kinds of desert wedding inspiration for their invitations, think about using shades of light greens and pinks to emulate the unforgettable beauty of a sunset in these arid landscapes.

Make sure to include motifs of mountains, cacti, and horses to inspire excitement in your guests towards attending your upcoming celebration.

 

Desert Wedding Attire 

Before having your heart set on a particular ensemble as your desert wedding dress, don’t forget to consider the dry and warm weather that you’ll definitely experience on your special day. 

Ballroom gowns and mermaid dresses will definitely look marvelous in your desert wedding photos but at the cost of feeling uneasy in the heat. Find outfits consisting of crop tops and princess skirts to maintain that same glamour but with more comfort.

You can find even more desert wedding inspiration from bohemian chic attire.

 

Desert Wedding Accessories

A traditional wedding veil may seem like a no brainer for desert wedding attire to keep the sand out of your face, but that bridal accessory isn’t your only option. Hair vines and feather headpieces won’t feel out of place during your ceremony and reception.

Take advantage of your desert wedding theme by wearing jewelry with gemstones. These accessories will add an extra pop of color that will contrast well against the neutral colors of the barren scenery.

Your male guests can wear their own version of desert wedding attire by trading their solid color neckties for ones made out of Navajo textiles. A succulent boutonniere has never felt more appropriate than during a desert wedding.

Should you choose to incorporate Native American themes or styles in your wedding, be sure to do so respectfully and with consideration for the effect of cultural appropriation.

 

Persian Rugs

 

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Nothing says desert wedding theme quite like Persian rugs. These fabrics will look exceptionally beautiful in your desert wedding photos as table or aisle runners while keeping your feet from getting too sandy.

 

Tribal-Style Textiles

Decorating your venue with tribal-style textiles creates a cozy atmosphere that can’t be replicated with other desert wedding ideas for decorations. Mix and match these fabrics as the tablecloths and pillows throughout your venue.

 

Lassos

To evoke timeless images of the American frontier as part of your desert wedding theme, tie some rope into lassos and scatter them throughout your arid surroundings. This decor contrasts especially well when laid against Persian rugs and tribal-style textiles.

 

Terracotta Dinnerware

Give your guests the full desert wedding experience by having them eat their meals on terra cotta dishes. Desert wedding photos truly stand out from other romantic ceremonies with the use of this gorgeous dinnerware. 

 

Rustic Bells

 

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Make the most of your desert wedding theme by including some rustic bells. Placing this decor on your wedding furniture may seem like a forgettable detail, but your wedding party will definitely notice.

 

Arrow Decorations

Wooden arrows are another classic choice for decorations in desert wedding venues. This decor can work as signs that direct your guests with where they need to go during your special day. 

 

Bull Skull Centerpieces

For an edgier take on desert wedding ideas, consider using faux bull skulls as centerpieces or aisle decorations. Don’t shy away from painting them with your wedding colors if you wish to incorporate your artistic abilities during the planning process.

 

Barrels

Make some space to use barrels as decorations for your desert wedding theme and you won’t regret it. Barrels may seem plain decor on their own, so don’t hesitate to fill them with desert wedding flowers to grab the attention of your guests. 

 

Desert Wedding Cakes

 

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With desert wedding venues, less is thought to be more. Your wedding cake can reflect this fact by being made in a semi-naked or naked style. Play around with textures by asking your cake to be made in chevron or macrame details.

Be sure to decorate your cake with cacti and other desert wedding flowers to play even further into the theme of your special day. Look out for cowboy boots and horseshoes as wedding cake toppers.

 

Cacti Wedding Favors

 

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Planning with desert wedding inspiration gives you the opportunity to provide unique gifts to your guests that brides and grooms can’t experience with hosting other kinds of ceremonies. 

As plants that only need to be watered at least once a week, cacti are the perfect desert wedding flowers for couples who are hoping to send their guests home with a low-maintenance gift. Encourage your wedding party to name their plants and customize the cacti pots. 

 

Dreamcatchers

If you and your partner are looking particularly for desert wedding ideas that reflect the local culture, don’t think twice about giving out dreamcatchers to your guest list. These handmade willow loops will surely look beautiful as decor in everybody’s homes. 

 

Spices

For brides and grooms who are more interested in party favors that are useful but still work within a desert wedding theme, a sachet of spices is the way to go.

Your wedding party will definitely appreciate this gift, especially if they’ve been inspired to cook the same meals that you served during your wedding reception. 

 

Cowboy Hats

 

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Cowboy hats are no stranger to desert wedding venues. Get creative with these wedding favors by personalizing them and your guests are guaranteed to be impressed, or use them as photo props at your wedding reception!

 

Bandana 

 

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Bandanas are another timeless choice for party favors especially for couples who want desert wedding ideas that fit their budget. Don’t shy away from mixing and matching the designs that you are providing to your guest list. 

 

Desert Wedding Meals

Unlike other wedding themes, you might not know where to begin when choosing the food to be served during your romantic celebration in the desert. 

Find your desert wedding inspiration from the local cultures. If you’re looking at desert wedding venues in the Southwestern United States, your meals can originate from Mexican and Native American cuisine. 

 

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You can never go wrong with serving chili or nachos as appetizers to your wedding party. They’re guaranteed to thank you for a delicious meal if you provide tamales, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas as the main course.

 

Final Thoughts

One of the biggest perks of choosing from desert wedding venues is the availability throughout every season. At the same time, couples should avoid planning for their romantic celebrations to happen during the summer months so they can avoid the worst heat of the entire year.

a couple during their desert rose wedding

Choosing a desert wedding theme also means that you and your partner don’t have to worry about rain on your special day. Don’t forget to make a backup plan that’ll combat any unexpected high winds. Be sure to include heaters, blankets, and a fire pit if your ceremony takes place after the sun goes down.  

Let us know in the comments if any of these desert wedding ideas in this guide will make an appearance on your special day. We would love to know if you and your partner have decided on any other ideas to include with your desert wedding theme!

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Lauren Peterson

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