Cactus and Lace
by Charlene Paul
Photos by Rey of Light
Picture in your mind what your dream destination wedding would look like. Would there be picturesque mountains smelling of pine trees and fresh air? Maybe you would prefer a sandy beach with swaying palm trees surrounded by crystal clear blue water. How about the quiet beauty of a lush vineyard? Your vision might include a rustic barn, complete with sawdust and straw on the floor. No matter what you envisioned, however, I will bet the Mojave Desert, with its arid landscape, cacti, desert critters, and ample rocks and dirt probably didn’t even cross your mind. But one look at the Cactus and Lace website, and your mind might just wander to desert critters, red rocks, and of course, cactus.
Owners Lory Fabbi and Rachel Garcia have put together a top-notch team that specializes in small, intimate, romantic elopements and personalized weddings in the scenic Valley of Fire, fifty-eight miles north of the Las Vegas Strip. When asked why someone would choose to come to the desert for their wedding, Fabbi replied, “Most of our brides come from places that don’t have this landscape.” She continued, “One bride remarked how quiet it was. Coming from a large city, a lot of our brides are used to the noise of big city living. It is just so peaceful. It is just you and your little wedding group.”
The team at Cactus and Lace work hard to provide a personalized wedding experience with little effort from the bridal party. With the help of Skype, Fabbi and her team meet with the bride, and sometimes the groom, to get to know them on a more personal level. Most of them have a Pinterest board with ideas for their dream wedding, and that helps the Cactus and Lace team get to know their likes and dislikes. Whether she is traditional or Boho, the team at Cactus and Lace work together to provide an effortless wedding experience.
“We have three basic styles to choose from. Once they have made their choice, we take it from there and design something specific for them,” Fabbi explained. “Most of them like the soft and dreamy look of Desert Romance.” Even though it is the same style, each bride brings her own individuality as to what she really wants. After talking and Skyping, the brides trust Fabbi and her team to just get it done. The bride and groom will see the landscape and setting for the first time as they arrive on the day of their wedding. “The looks on their faces tell us all we need to know,” says Fabbi. “Most can’t believe we were able to incorporate their ideas into something so stunning.”
The team at Cactus and Lace really do take care of everything, the limo, the cake, the flowers, the decorations, and the photography. Some of their brides come from 4,000 miles away, so the team does all in their power to alleviate stress. They want the day to be sweet and peaceful and calm, just the best day of their life.
Some people might be concerned about desert critters. They are definitely out there, but they rarely make an appearance. One wedding party was lucky enough to have a desert bighorn sheep come down for a photo op. An occasional lizard might skitter by, a desert tortoise might lumber on, or a chipmunk may scamper over the sand, but they have never had a snake slither in for a visit. Because it is a desert, Fabbi suggests her brides bring along an extra pair of flats so they can wander from place to place.
Although they haven’t been bothered too much by native desert creatures, there was one night the team thought they might be in trouble. Fabbi locked her keys in her car while the team was loading up. She called her husband to bring the extra set, but had to wait about forty-five minutes for his arrival. In the meantime, it got dark – really, really dark. Suddenly, they saw two gleaming red eyes. The creature they belonged to skirted the venue. They were a little scared, but the little red desert fox was not at all ferocious, not something to be frightened of.
Valley of Fire does not allow weddings without a special permit that is granted by the Nevada State Parks in Carson City. There are regulations that must be complied with, a lengthy application, a large insurance policy, and a Nevada state business license. “It took months and months to get it all together,” explained Fabbi. “But it was so worth it.”
Fabbi says they have been blessed to have their vendors and officiants close by. The Front Porch in Overton, Nevada provides the flowers, and most everything else is in Las Vegas.
The ladies of Cactus and Lace work well together. Lory is the sensitive one. Rachel is a bit of a wild child who loves artistic photography. Amanda works behind the scenes and pours the champagne. Alexandra loves anything vintage. Reyanna is their professional editing retoucher and back-up photographer
Because they are photographers first, they know how to pose people and stage things to make them as beautiful as they can be. As they say, “One picture is worth a thousand words.” Their goal is to convey the love between the couple and the beauty of the surroundings. They believe they create something that will be a legacy for the brides and their families a hundred years from now.
“I love marriage, just the thought of it” said Fabbi. “It can be one of the hardest things two people can do, but anything worthwhile is worth working for. Being in the wedding business, we promote marriage.”
If you are looking for a unique place for a small, intimate wedding, commitment ceremony, or vow renewal, contact Cactus and Lace. Fabbi and Garcia and their team will see to it that your day is one to remember. Visit www.cactusandlaceweddings.com for more information.