Jamie Mounger and Ben Thacker first met in 2015 during their freshman year at Gonzaga University. Over the years, their social groups began to mesh; and even though they started out as friends, the two were inseparable by senior year.
“We had many classes together, and when we weren’t studying for accounting, we could be found cheering on the Gonzaga basketball team, running, or spending time with friends at a famous bar in Spokane, Jack and Dans,” Jamie says. “We bonded over our shared passions for family, faith, friends, and sports.”
After college, Jamie and Ben moved back to Seattle, and Ben started shopping for engagement rings with the help of Jamie’s mother and sister.
“I had heard stories about Jamie’s aunt and uncle’s wedding at Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage,” Ben explains. “Jamie always had described this as her dream wedding, so I knew that was the place to propose. I popped the question on the lawn with our extended families watching secretly from inside.”
“We bonded over our shared passions for family, faith, friends, and sports.”
A Destination Wedding Weekend in Palm Springs
Within days of the proposal, Jamie began the wedding planning process with her mom and sister. They immediately decided that Thunderbird Country Club would be the best Palm Springs wedding venue and brought Elite Events on board to bring their wedding vision to life.
“With the wedding in Palm Springs, we knew this would be a destination wedding for most of the guests that we invited,” Jamie shares. “The wedding weekend kicked off with a welcome party on Thursday night hosted by some of our great friends. On Friday night, we had a rehearsal dinner followed by a cocktail and dance party which was hosted by other close friends.”
“These welcome parties set the tone for the wedding weekend and got people excited for the big day,” Ben adds. “The wedding day was sunny and 85-degrees with no wind.”
A Custom Palm Springs Wedding Dress by Galia Lahav
For her bridal look, Jamie had a custom Galia Lahav gown that featured a bodice and skirts from two separate dresses. Together, they were combined to create the perfect Palm Springs wedding dress for the big day. She also changed into a short party dress with a long bow for the afterparty. Being more of a sneakers girl, she changed into her bridal Golden Goose tennis shoes as soon as she could. She even walked down the aisle in her sneakers, but nobody could see them under her Galia Lahav wedding dress.
The Wedding Day
With family being such a huge priority for Jamie, she wanted to incorporate them into her wedding day as much as possible. The wedding party was a sizeable one as well, with 12 groomsmen, 12 bridesmaids, and 2 junior bridesmaids.
“I could barely sleep the night before the wedding because I was so excited to marry the love of my life,” the bride recalls. “The events leading up the wedding were so special and fun. We felt so lucky to be surrounded by amazing friends and family. My grandpa officiated the wedding which was very special to us; and my other grandpa, although he could not make it to the wedding, wrote a prayer that was read before dinner. We are very close to our families and wanted them to be an integral part of the big day.”
After the ceremony, the bride and groom snuck away for a photo shoot with their family’s cherry red vintage Mercedes. Meanwhile, guests enjoyed signature cocktails featuring mini cones filled with a custom flavor of popcorn made specially for the bride and groom.
“Thunderbird Country Club is famous for their rotating flavors of specialty popcorn,” says Hannah Mitchell of Elite Events, “so we wanted to add subtle special touches to the wedding that were homage to the country club where Jamie grew up going. They had funfetti cake for their wedding cake. Being candy fiends, they also had an epic candy station inside the after party in the ballroom. Paired with In-N-Out as the late-night snack, it was a huge hit!”
Favorite Wedding Moments
As if having a family-filled celebration, idyllic weather, and their dream Palm Springs wedding venue weren’t enough, the couple’s wedding décor made the event even more memorable. The bride was awestruck by the reception reveal, when Hannah took them to the lawn so they could see the space before guests arrived.
“I was amazed and so happy with how everything turned out,” she says. “The reception décor was even more beautiful at night time! We had a mix of mirrored tables and tables with linens. The string lights reflected off of the mirrored tables and created this beautiful glow. The hanging flowers were also one of my favorite touches.”
“One of my favorite moments from the wedding was when the dance floor first opened up,” says the groom. “I had never seen or experienced a wedding with so much energy and excitement. I will never forget that feeling. The day after the wedding, we flew to Tahiti for our honeymoon. We stayed in an overwater bungalow on the island of Moorea. We enjoyed relaxing on the beach after a busy weekend and reminisced on some of our favorite moments from the wedding weekend.”
Location & Catering: Thunderbird Country Club, Rancho Mirage, CA: Planner & Event Design: Elite Events, Seattle, WA; Floral Design: Butterfly Floral & Event Design, Los Angeles, CA; Cake: Exquisite Desserts, Palm Desert, CA; Rentals: Revelry Event Designers and Bright Event Rentals; Tableware Rentals: Casa de Perrin; Linen: BBJ La Tavola Linen, Los Angeles, CA; Ceremony Dress: Galia Lahav; Bridal Salon: Nyanza Bridal, Seattle, WA; Reception Dress: Alexia Maria; Cinematography: Daniel Sims Video, Seattle, WA: Photography: Erica Streelman, Seattle, WA