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intimate joshua tree wedding at sacred sands // dustin + alexis

There aren’t enough 😍😍😍 and 🔥🔥🔥 emojis in the world for these two.

I met Dustin and Alexis at their friend's wedding that I photographed in Oaxaca. Dustin and Alexis had just started dating. Alexis had invited a friend as her plus-one, but the friend ended up not being able to make it. She had only been dating Dustin for a couple of weeks, but she decided to ask him to be her plus-one. And, here we are, five years later, and I'm photographing their wedding!

When Alexis told me they were planning an "intimate disco in the desert wedding" at Sacred Sands in Joshua Tree, I could not be more excited! They tied the knot in the most beautiful celebration. Literally every moment of the day was intentional and full of love. It honored their love for one another, their family + friends, and their heritage. They made me feel so welcome, and I have never felt more in my element when photographing a wedding.

I drove away from their wedding feeling so blessed that I get to capture days like this — days that they will remember forever … through the photos I took. Like, that’s just so humbling!

Dustin and Alexis left me the kindest review:

What drew us to Marissa is that not only that she is a fabulous photographer that shoots both editorial and candid styles, but that she has wonderful examples of shooting a wide range of skin tones, and most importantly multiracial couples! it was very important for us to both look like ourselves and not washed out or oversaturated in our wedding and engagement photos.
Not only did she knock those things out of the park, but she was warm and enjoyable to be around. She was available to communicate ideas, themes, venue changes, and even just some venting! Her timeline was timed out with what we wanted/needed and was clearly written out. Probably one of our favorite things about having Marissa as our wedding photographer is that she treated our kids with respect and made them feel comfortable in front of the camera to capture what are some of my very favorite images of them ever!
Thank you Marissa for being such a huge part of our special day. XOXO

Since I had the pleasure of capturing a wedding at this breathtaking venue in Joshua Tree, I'd love to share a bit about what makes this venue so magical:


Sacred Sands is more than just a venue; it's an experience. Nestled in the heart of the Joshua Tree desert, it offers a unique blend of natural beauty, tranquility, and rustic elegance. If you're dreaming of a desert wedding that feels like a fairytale, Sacred Sands should be at the top of your list.


Joshua Tree is famous for its golden hours. Trust me, there's just something different about the lighting in Joshua Tree. It is truly magical!


Sacred Sands offers cozy accommodations for you and your guests. You can stay overnight at the venue on the days before and after your big day. These rooms offer a beautiful backdrop for getting ready photos. And, the rooms can serve as respite for the bride and groom or other guests during your wedding day. You can even shower al fresco or relax in your own outdoor private soaking tub as you view Joshua Tree's famous sunsets.


This venue is absolutely stunning! You honestly don't have to do much as far as decorating goes. The stunning desert landscape and incredible architecture offer the perfect backdrop for your big day.

So, hopefully these photos speak for themselves to show you what an incredible venue this is!


Bride: @letushavecake

Groom: @palemoonphotography

Coordinator: @rocknwillowevents

Venue: @sacredsandsjoshuatree

Photographer: @marissakayphoto

Caterer: @sohotaco

Bartending: @mintbartending

Rentals: @sigpartyrentals

Florals: @sparksandsand

DJ: @tinaturntables_

Dessert: @sweet_poppys

Charcuterie: @locallygrazed

Dress: @amazon

Alterations: @bestalterationspecialist


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