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A Modern Joshua Tree Wedding Planned in Three Months

by Staff

When it comes to love, many people would argue that timing is everything. But, as Sage and Theodore (Teddy) Soulopulos’ love story proves, a strong connection can conquer all—yes, even time. “Teddy and I met in September 2014 when he was entering his senior year of college,” Sage explains. “We had both just left long-term relationships and were ‘sewing our wild oats’ as they would say. Neither of us were looking for a serious relationship, but the spark was instant and we couldn’t deny our chemistry.” 

Nearly five years later, Teddy got down on one knee and proposed during a long weekend trip to Yosemite National Park. “His brother, Mike, works with companies to photograph their products in nature. The ‘excuse’ behind this trip was his need to get content for a blanket company,” she says. “Just as I thought the day was going to be over, Mike suggested one more spot. We went to a spot that overlooked Half Dome, and for the first time all day there was not one other person in sight. I posed with the blanket and Mike suggested Teddy hop in to take a few of the two of us. My heart was going crazy as I knew this was the moment.” 

Originally, the couple planned a three-day wedding celebration in Florence, Italy for September 29, 2020. However, the looming pandemic threw a wrench into their planning. But, just like the beginning of their relationship, their strong connection persevered. Sage and Teddy canceled their Italian wedding and booked Invisible House in Joshua Tree for January 23, 2021—three months before the festivities were to take place. 

“I wanted to find something that would not hold us down to traditional contracts,” the bride shares. “Going from Italy to a house in California, we knew we had big shoes to fill and we wanted to do something extraordinary. When I started looking more at the photos, the vision [came] together in my head and I knew I could transform the space.” 

So, how did the couple transform a rental house into their dream venue in a few month’s time? Read one for an intimate look at the special day, as coordinated by Aubrey Huffman of Details Darling and photographed by Sydney Noelle Photography.

“The house is called ‘invisible’ because it truly melts into the background as it is completely mirrored,” the bride says of the venue. “During the day, you see the reflection of the desert on the glass windows and during the night, you could see all the of the lights reflecting off the walls. The house is designed to look like a skyscraper fell on its side, so it is quite long. Inside, there is a 100-foot-long pool and three bedrooms.” 

The bride flexed her DIY muscle by designing the event’s save the dates, invitations, and menus. “I saw a photo of watercolor invitations online and I knew I wanted to try to replicate this,” she shares. “This part definitely took me the longest, but the results were so worth it. This was one of my favorite touches of the wedding. Every one was a little different and unique, and I will treasure these forever.” Sage adds that each invitation was finished with a silk ribbon, vintage stamps, and a wax seal.

As a hair stylist—and former owner of a San Diego-based hair salon called Style Lounge—Sage opted for a partial updo soft curls and a natural makeup look. “Being in the beauty industry, I find myself wearing a lot of makeup, lashes, [and so on],” she shares. “I really wanted to look like myself for this day. I wanted to appear as elegant and timeless; not a painted version of myself.” 

Sage primped with her inner circle before slipping into her Galia Lahav wedding dress. 

The second I put it on, I was so comfortable.

Sage admits she never thought she’d wear a blush ballgown on her special day, but she couldn’t ignore the strong connection she had with this showstopper. “I thought I knew what I wanted when I went to try on dresses: tight-fitting, sexy, low cut,” she explains. “The one time my mom went shopping with me, she asked me to try on a more ballgown style. The second I put it on, I was so comfortable! In that moment I realized, I can wear a tight, sexy dress any day of the week, but when can I wear a huge ballgown? That and the fact that now I could eat on my wedding day without busting my dress, sealed the deal.“

Fitting for the fiancé of a hairstylist, an on-site haircut started Teddy’s wedding day prep.

After grooming, the groom changed into his Bonobos tuxedo. Rounding out his look were two gifts: a black braided David Yurman bracelet he received from his mother and a silver Cartier cufflinks, which his bride gave him for their wedding. 

Photographer Sydney Noelle captured the couple’s sweet first look prior to the ceremony.

Additionally, the couple tapped Ashley Bee Photo to record all of the day’s moments, big and small. “We started with the smallest package from our videographer and ended up buying literally everything,” Sage shares. “Pictures are amazing but you will want to relive this day over and over. I wish I also had my own video camera because these things take a long time to get back.” 

A quick sprinkle of rain added some fun to the wedding day portraits.

Though the couple originally planned an Italian getaway, their Joshua Tree location was the perfect style match. “I feel like the house alone was very personalized to myself and Teddy,” Sage says. “It is modern and unique, the cement floor inside and tall ceilings felt like a place we would design for ourselves.”

Since Sage selected a blush gown, she gave her bridesmaids full permission to wear white. “We wanted the wedding to be black tie, so I was looking for a silky dress that was floor length but also not boring,” she explains. “I really wanted my girls to look amazing. I wanted them to feel sexy and beautiful.” Ultimately, the bridesmaids stunned in silk dresses from Sabo Skirt, while the groomsmen looked dapper in suits from Generation Tux.

Sage and Teddy’s guest list featured 50 of their closest family members and friends. However, the most important guests were arguably their two dogs, Maple and Pita. “They walked down the aisle with each of my sisters, and they did amazing,” she shares. “Everyone loved it. It was such a special touch that I know I will always look back on and cherish.” 

The ceremony was held on the 90-acre property that surrounds Invisible House. “I knew I wanted to play off the landscape and have very minimal decorations so the natural beauty of the desert came through,” Sage explains. “We set up two white pillars with florals in front of a large Joshua Tree. Simple clear chairs allowed the ceremony to really feel like we were just in the desert.” 

The bride glided down the aisle with her mom and stepfather in tow. “Our wedding song was ‘Show Me’ by Big Wild and Hundred Waters,” Sage notes. “We knew this would be our first dance song, but one of my friends, Jules, had the idea to sing an acoustic version as I was walking down the aisle. I immediately fell in love with the idea. I put her in contact with the guitarist Mike Wilson, [who] we hired to perform the ceremony, and they worked out a duet.” 

Sage’s brother-in-law presided as the wedding’s officiant, and peppered inside jokes and thoughtful memories into the ceremony. “I knew we would be crying, but everyone was laughing so much, I was on the ground at one point,” she says. “He quoted some of our favorite films like Harry Potter, recited a rap from Method Man, and incorporated one of my favorite scenes from Friends.” 

Of course, the thoughtful touches did not stop there; Sage and Teddy wrote and exchanged personalized vows. “Our wedding was all friends and our parents. Neither of us are very close with our extended families, but we have big dreams to have children of our own,” the bride says. “A favorite line from mine was, ‘We may not have generations of photos hanging on our walls, but we have each other. This is our starting point. You and I are going to make something special.’” 

As for Teddy? The groom said, “You are stunningly beautiful and breathtakingly gorgeous—you are the embodiment of elegance. I so admire the heart you have, how you care for others, and how you stand up for what you believe in. I’m so incredibly proud of the woman you have become.”

Once they slipped on their Marrow Fine wedding bands, Sage and Teddy sealed their love with a kiss. 

The happy couple recessed down the aisle, with their favorite people cheering them on from the sidelines. 

Once the ceremony was over, guests entered the house for the reception. A long table and whimsical touches lined the structure’s 100-foot pool. “From the beginning, I wanted to hang flowers from the ceiling,” Sage adds. “I wanted to create an ethereal, dreamlike space that was also very modern, which reflects our style. I love clean edges and crisp lines that would contrast with a natural landscape and organic florals.” 

The couple tapped San Diego-based catering company Harvest Kitchen to prepare a mouth-watering menu. Highlights an arugula, pomegranate, and pine nut salad with a lemon olive-oil drizzle, as well as a choice of two entrees: tri-tip steak with crispy Brussel sprouts and winter mash or salmon with chimichurri and truffle risotto. 

Thirsty? Guests could select one of our signature cocktails, which were all named after the couple and their dogs. “’The ‘Teddy’ was a whiskey sour: ‘classy by definition,’” the bride recalls. “‘The Pita’ was an old fashioned with a flambéed orange peel: ‘an old fashioned, but make it cute.’ The ‘Maple’ was a gin and elderflower cocktail with a finish of lemon and Prosecco: ‘sweet and sassy, she runs the world.’ And ‘the Sage’ was a tequila cocktail with hibiscus: ‘she’s the bride, so obviously the best drink.’” 

I was filled with so much pride and joy when I saw my vision come together.

The Invisible House was decked out with custom signs, disco balls, and a floral photo-op moment—just as Sage had envisioned. “When we were planning in Italy, most of the process was left to our planner since we could not be there every step,” she says. “I was filled with so much pride and joy when I saw my vision come together. I single-handedly planned our dream wedding in three months and it far exceeded what we had originally planned in Italy.” 

Though Sage spearheaded the planning process, she did enlist Aubrey Huffman of Details Darling to make sure the day went off without a hitch. “She helped bring everything together and ran the show day-of,” Sage notes.

For dessert, the couple skipped tradition and selected two cakes, one of which had a special meaning. “Our wedding happened on my mom’s 50th birthday,” Sage explains. “Speeches followed dinner, and I made sure my mom went last. As she finished, I took the mic and we brought out a birthday cake for her and everyone sang her happy birthday. She loved it and couldn’t stop crying.” 

After dinner, guests jammed out to an electrifying playlist by Guy Worden. The newlyweds kicked things off with an encore of “Show Me.” Later, Sage danced with her father to “And We Bid You Goodnight” by Grateful Dead, while Teddy and his mom swayed to Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.”

Admittedly, canceling a destination nuptials and planning an entirely new celebration in three months is by no means an easy feat. When looking back on it all, Sage notes it’s important to focus on what you want out of the big day. “When I decided to take control of the situation, things became so much easier. Do what you want and only you, invite who you want and spend your money on things you will remember,” she advises. “Guests won’t remember what they ate, but you will look at your photos everyday for the rest of your life.” All that matters is that the loved-up couple has the best day possible, just as Sage and Teddy did. 

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