DeAndre “Dre” Glover knew he wanted to move from his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, but he wasn’t sure where he wanted to go. So the welder and founder of the Mustard Grain brand started using the work as an excuse to travel to the US and explore. A project brought him to Chicago for a month, and while he was there, he logged on to Hinge. This is where he came across celebrity hairstylist and salon owner Alexandra Brown. She’s also been a traveler: She’s lived in Los Angeles for a few years, and now she calls Chicago home while traveling for stylish clients.
“Our first date was a football game between the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots,” Alex recalls. It was October 2018, and the date the deal was done.
“We got engaged in July 2020,” Alex says. “Having lived in Los Angeles, I fell in love with nature and hiking – so Dre knew how much I loved going to Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. It has great hiking trails and waterfalls, and it’s as close to hiking in Los Angeles as we can be.” Reach it in the Midwest. Plan an intimate picnic in the woods at sunset with sushi and wine. It was so surprising and romantic!”
For their wedding, they wanted something similar that was both intimate and driven by nature. “Obviously having a wedding during a pandemic was something none of us expected, but thankfully, we always knew we just wanted our closest friends and family there,” Alex says. With their guest list set at 55, and knowing they wanted a destination wedding, they began searching on Instagram for the perfect venue. “We fell in love with the desert and traveled to the Palm Springs area and Joshua Tree several times while dating. We love the energy of the desert and all the amazing stars at night. We stumbled upon Le Chacuel while searching hashtags on Instagram for #palmspringswedding and #joshuatreewedding. We wanted something outdoors and intimate. Designed by two insanely talented women, this home in the middle of the Joshua Tree Forest was the backdrop of our dreams.”
In fact, they felt like the place was Especially they kept it a surprise from their guests at their October 16, 2021 wedding. “The guests were taken to the private residence via a small dirt road in the middle of the desert, and dropped off at the entrance to the property,” Alex shares.
Once the place was set, everything fell into place quite easily. “Overall, the planning process has been a lot of fun,” Alex says. “Dre and I pretty much knew the overall look we wanted after securing Le Chacuel, so it felt fun and straightforward when it came to choosing all of our vendors. We wanted the neutral, earthy colors and textures to complement the desert, but we added modern furniture and décor and a few street-style details to soften it up.” The overall bohemian feel that a desert can have, which really complements the overall architecture of the place.”
“We started the planning process about eight months before our wedding,” she continues. “The hardest part was being patient and waiting for sellers to respond to emails. Dealing with so many different people and companies can get overwhelming, so I found it very important to organize my emails and take a lot of notes in my planner.”
I got some help, of course, from the planning team at Fetelle Designs. Read on to see how their intimate, earth-toned wedding day turned out, photographed by Brooke Miller Photography.
Being in the beauty business, Alex got involved in skincare before the wedding. “I’ve had Precision Facials, Clear + Brilliant treatments, and hydra facials at SpaDerma medspa in Chicago, starting seven months before my wedding,” she says. “I also bought the NuFACE radio frequency device and used it before my wedding day and on the morning of my wedding day. It helps tighten and lift the skin – I love it!”
Seeing her the beauty of the big day? “I wanted to feel immortal, to be a refined version of myself,” she says. “I really wanted dewy, glowing skin and long, full eyelashes!” Her makeup artist used Patrick Ta Major Glow Body Oil on her chest and collarbones to give off the glow. For the hair, she wanted “half-stretched hair with the soft bounce of Velcro rollers,” she says. “I saw a picture of a bride that I loved on Instagram and tried it on before the wedding day. I loved that it was taken off my face, but the hair was still on my shoulder and down my back. I felt great glamorous.”
It was hard to decide on her manicure. “I’ve been going back and forth for a long time because my nails are my nails something. Instead of going natural or French, I went with a very dark chestnut color, which I really felt and was perfect for my October wedding.”
“I fell in love with Danielle Frankel’s unique designs that aren’t too traditional or overly bridal,” Alex says. She chose the designer Noah dress and wore a unique veil by Danielle Frankel. “I wore gorgeous gold BHLDN pearl earrings; an elegant gold bracelet from my sister-in-law, a borrowed thing; and my grandmother’s solid gold ring on my pinky finger.”
She carried an elegant, earthy-toned bouquet of neutral florals mixed with dried elements.
“Dre started in the morning with a run, and then his dad, who is a barber, cut his hair,” Alex says. “He showered and had a drink in the suite with his closest family and friends.” He is diligent in skincare too. “I make sure to always have a cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturizer on hand and exfoliate once every three days,” he says. He finished his preparations with a spray of Creed Aventus cologne.
The groom designed a custom tuxedo with PROVENANCE from Chicago-based Diana Michele. “He wanted a double-breasted jacket with a subtle floral pattern and a satin bodice,” Alex says. “Our names and our wedding date are embroidered into the lining of the jacket. His shoe is a YSL Wyatt leather shoe, which he chose for his fall wedding in the desert sands, and he wore palm-tree cufflinks to denote the location.”
“We rented boho rugs from the archives to another layer as our altarpiece, and purchased an outdoor driveway runner from Designing the Aisle,” Alex describes. “We grouped large flower arrangements in an arch behind us and down the driveway – a mix of dried and real flowers – and included a slew of large pillar candles.” She continues, “We made our party shows out of a template on Etsy and printed them out. Then we folded them up and cut two holes in the fold to tie a thick ribbon on the edge and dress them up a bit.”
“We hired a saxophonist to walk around and play ‘Tadow’ by FKJ and Masego when the guests arrived,” Alex says. “He has done the DJ very well and played along with some of the songs the DJ played.”
To start the party, Dre and his mother walked into Drake’s “Chicago Freestyle (Jeffon version only)”, then Alex’s father walked down the aisle to Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed.” “Dre and I loved waiting to see each other down the aisle for the first time,” Alex says. “It made this moment even more special and it was also exciting for our guests to witness.”
“Our party was the most important part of our wedding to us, so we wanted it to be very meaningful and special,” Alex says. “It was managed by one of our best friends, Aaron Bethel. We both thought of choosing him at once; he has such a good and deep soul. One of Dre’s friends read Khalil Gibran’s poem On Marriage. This poem felt very meaningful to Dre and I, as We wrote and read our own vows.”
The couple held a unity candle party with Beyoncé’s “Ave Maria” playing in the background. “The ceremony was deep and intimate, and it was something we really wanted,” the newlyweds shared.
They had an epic idea for pictures. “We love good old cars, and Dre’s dream car is the 1970 Lincoln Continental suicide-doors,” Alex says. “We loved the idea of incorporating this into our wedding photos and found one to rent for the day that was white inside my forest green leather.”
Gucci shoes by Alex were a staple accessory. “I knew I was going to need a platform or a wide heel for the desert sand and that was very comfortable,” she says, but she still lets Dre sweep her off her feet.
“The cocktail hour was very dreamy during sunset, and the appetizers that passed by included a red snapper ceviche and Fruit swordsAlex says. “Our bar was a refurbished trailer from a women-owned company, Nomad Cocktail Co., with our favorite drinks as our signature cocktails: an old-fashioned margherita and a spicy margarita.” The champagne display doubled as a seating chart, and guests signed their names in the coffee table book, At home in Joshua Treewhich the couple found on Amazon.
Two long tables are set on either side of the magnificent pool, with a sweetheart table for the bride and groom. String lights twinkled heard. “Our tables were covered with tons of candles and flowers from Joy of Bloom,” Alex says. “We bought fabric tablecloths from Etsy; we hung up the disco balls and included them in a large hanging flower arrangement above the dance floor which added so much to the cement!”
“The place settings were white with copper silver. There were brass goblets for water and clear glassware for other drinks,” Alex describes. “We had neutral marginal chargers that complemented the place cards well. Velvet Fox Designs created the best leather menus with a small wooden place card with a margin for each guest.”
There was a moment during dinner when we sat down and really looked at everything and everyone together in awe.
The pair swung to the song “Can We Talk” by Stephen Campbell before everyone sat down to dinner. “We wanted to bring what we love to our wedding, and we’ve always been obsessed with the taco truck,” Alex says. “We found a company called Soho Taco that brought in a taco cart where the chefs cooked tacos right in front of our guests – the taco truck couldn’t drive safely on the dirt road to the venue, so next time it was the next best thing. Guests were able to choose from five proteins They are different and they can customize everything.” The cart was also serving rice, beans, guacamole and fresh, homemade salsa.
“There was a moment during dinner when we just sat and really looked at everything and everyone together in awe,” Alex recalls. “It was a moment we will never forget.”
Parents’ dances followed, and the couple chose three songs: Alex and her dad danced to Celine Dion’s “Come To Me” and The Beatles’ “All My Loving”; Then Dre and his mother danced to “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men.
The newlyweds cut into a vegan caramel chocolate cake garnished with more dried flowers before the party really started. They stayed in California for a honeymoon at Rosewood Miramar Beach in Santa Barbara, and reflected on a wedding day that beautifully reflects their street-chic style. Other couples advise: “It goes by too fast and forms a hiccup – spend time together enjoying it all.” “And make time for dinner at the wedding!”