It's been a long time coming that I hop on here and write about Laura & Grant's Black Rock desert Burning man inspired wedding. There have been a couple of posts about it already! One being on 100 Layer Cake and the other on Melissa Gayle's website. To be quite honest, I don't know where to begin when writing about this one. Laura and Grant's wedding was and still is a HUGE deal to us. I remember when the inquiry came in and Gabby said it was my right of passage to take it on so I said, "Heck ya! Let's do this."
Choose Wedding Vendors Wisely
Burning Man most likely holds a different meaning to everyone as it is a one of a kind experience. (DISCLAIMER: The 'Cause We Can Events team has never been to Burning Man, we can only speculate based on what attendees have told us). However, there are some people who have opposite feelings about said event and wouldn't return my call when I said "Hey! I am planning a Burning Man inspired wedding and would love for you to be a part of the team." With that, I quickly learned I needed to act fast to build a team that would be willing to make the trip out to Black Rock Desert. Long story short, this paragraph is strictly dedicated to say for those who said yes to this adventure will always remain in my top 5 "you must hire them" list. You can find a link to their website at the end of this post.
This was a unique situation as it was our first full build out from the ground up and the forecast was showing RAIN! Which under normal circumstances, this would be okay but as you can imagine the dry lakebed quickly turns into the stickiest mud you'll ever see. Attempting to be proactive, we did look into other options to move the location to a place that wouldn't be so risky but we decided collectively to take the chance! I think we can all safely say, we are glad we did.
We always talk about how we prefer the guest experience over the traditions of a wedding such as a garter toss, cake cutting, etc. With that in mind, we really worked through the guest experience and what that would be like. Not all guests had been to Burning Man so Laura and Grant made the decision early on that this was to be an enjoyable experience for all. This meant we were fully equipped with flushing toilets, hot showers, food served daily and of course a well stocked bar. The toughest vendor to secure was the restrooms but after three months of searching, we finally received confirmation that Quick Space would be joining our vendor team. Honestly, that was the most stressful part of planning this wedding so not bad!
Food & Booze
Plain and simple, every wedding should have good food and great drinks! We did some research and found Big Blue Q. If I could put them in my back pocket and take then to every wedding or event we planned, I would without question. Shane and his team deserve all the points for being professional, helpful and adventurous! We were the first to be able to use their new tap trailer for beers and so glad we did! Not only did it pour some great beers but also acted as a refrigerator for other items so we did not need as much ice. We only had to worry about keeping gas in the generator and the kegs running. Thanks to Big Blue Q the guests and vendor team were well fed and fell hydrated throughout the weekend!
We finally had the chance to work with Stout Tents on this project! Caitlyn and the rest of the Stout team had the biggest install of them all. We setup three 30' tipis... Yes, 90' worth of tipi went up to act as the center of our event. The guests dined in this tipi, found shelter in the rain and were able to do morning yoga! We also booked Stout for their sleeping tents that come fully stocked with REAL mattresses which is a HUGE deal when "camping" in the desert. As mentioned earlier, we also had hot showers for everyone to use thanks to Stout! Can you believe that?
Burning Man Style Entertainment
Obviously a Burning Man wedding would not be complete without an art car! We searched high and low for the best option available to us. Luckily, Laura and Grant have some friends who were able to put us in touch with Fired Up Management. They have a HUGE list of art cars they manage and were able to connect us with Mystic Flyer. This was a double decker bus fully wrapped with lights and a sound bath inside. They had a DJ play from the roof of Mystic Flyer ALL weekend. Amazing.
Environment / MOOP
This blog post would not be complete without mentioning that the environment came first with this event and should for all events. We worked closely with the town of Gerlach to make sure that we adhered to all the rules, including MOOP. Matter out of Place. Anything and everything that wasn't originally a part of Black Rock Desert must be removed. This means we leave no trace! Laura designed mugs and water bottles that were used by all guests throughout the weekend. We used kegs onsite which helped eliminate the amount of cans and bottles and the guests could use their mug to fill up!
All in All
With that, I bring the end of this Burning Man inspired wedding blog post. All I can say is, if you're planning to wed in the desert you need a solid team to back you! It's important to have a team that will be able to troubleshoot without you being bothered, a team that is not afraid of the elements and most importantly a team that is down for the adventure. We look forward to working on more events that challenge us in the best ways! Thanks to Laura and Grant for trusting us! We were able to create a temporary venue in the middle of the freaking desert. As we said on Sunday when wrapping up, "WE DID IT!! Now when can we do it again?"