As Jaime and I descended into the Coachella Valley for Emily and Robert’s Palm Springs Garden wedding, and the mercury passed the 100 degree mark, we knew this would be a special weekend and we looked forward to the intimate affair. There’s no bigger honor than being asked to photograph the wedding of one of your best friends…and I feel, no greater test as a wedding photographer. You’re always trying to do your best work and remain centered, but when you have so much history between you and your subjects and you’re trying to balance so many emotions with objective, steady coverage of the events taking place, it’s a unique confluence factors. Rob and Emily were married at the Moorten Botanical Gardens, a quiet and secluded succulent-sanctuary on the outskirts of town surrounded by close family. As it was the summer solstice, everyone knew it would be on the warm side but, as ceremonial sage was incensed – the closest thing to a miracle one could hope for during a wedding ceremony happened. The remorseless desert sky became diffuse with high overcast clouds and, although the recorded temperature was 108, it felt perfect. As the sounds of King Tubby filled the air, Emily emerged from the second-floor tower room of the Spanish-style hacienda and greeted her parents down below. After a short and sweet ceremony, Rob and Emily exchanged vows with steamy eyes and, as the two families looked on, holding hands and leaning into each other overcome with joy, the two kissed and were married! After a LOT of hugging and some very sweet family photos, we meandered around the grounds of the gardens, through the Cactarium, and eventually made our way down the road to an open space where we walked around amidst the towering San Jacinto Mountains and the vast, empty sky for more photos. We all made our way to Le Vallauris, an incredible French restaurant in the heart of Palm Springs for dinner, a Yeni Raki toast and a few speeches. The evening ended with just a remaining few sipping Crown Royal and smoking Cuban cigars outside the hotel as we reflected back on the day and the years leading up to it. It was a perfect day.