WHEN it came to planning their destination wedding in Palm Springs, California, the most important thing about the event for Jason and Aly was that the party be equal parts style and substance. Known as “The Style Guys” and based in Calgary, Alberta, Jason and Aly are famed for their expertise in all things fashion, decor and design. They are sought-after experts for broadcast and print media—they can be heard weekly on Virgin Radio Calgary and seen on segments for E! Network and Cosmo TV. The theme they chose for their wedding was mid-century Palm Springs, encompassing a riot of pattern and colour, which was the guiding principle for all elements of the wedding day.
“We had the palm leaf as a motif on the design of our invitations and stationery to drive home the mid-century vibe,” Aly says. “There was no single colour we focused on for the day, we wanted ALL the colours represented, and even requested every guest wear a pattern of some kind. So many of our friends are stylists, designers, television personalities and overall fashion enthusiasts, so it was fun to see how they all tried to outdo each other. Even those who might not typically dress over-the-top showed up looking colourful and amazing.”
The pair certainly set the tone for fabulousness with their Mr Turk tuxedos (designer Jonathan Skow, who passed away in October 2018, was a fashion photographer and husband of womenswear designer Trina Turk). “We have been shopping his dapper California looks for many years and his had grown to
be a huge line coveted by celebrities and fashionable men,” Aly notes. “Jonathan helped us select the perfect patterned tuxedos, and wearing them was definitely one of our favourite elements.”
Jason and Aly (who began dating in 2007) are regular visitors to Palm Springs, so the location was a natural wedding choice. They hosted 140 of their nearest and dearest for a rollicking reception at Wang’s in the Desert, an award–winning pan-Asian resto that is one of their favourite local spots. The two admit it was a bit of an unusual venue for a wedding party, but somehow perfect as their wedding was a true fusion of cultures: Aly is from Tanzania and is an Ismaili Muslim, while Jason is from a small town in southern Alberta.
Before the ceremony, the grooms made sure guests got the party started with a cocktail hour. Both Jason and Aly’s parents walked down the aisle ahead of them and were met with hoots and cheers—a sign the party was definitely going to be a spirited one! The pair chose Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” as the location-appropriate song for the wedding party’s reception entrance—“Sonny was the mayor of Palm Springs,” Aly quips. For the first dance they picked Al Green’s “Lets Stay Together,” as they wanted something retro and classic. “This song’s lyrics are so soulful and loving,” says Aly.
Their first dance kicked the party into high gear, with the DJ playing a cool mix of ’80s pop, ’90s girl groups, gay anthems, songs by gay icons and modern club hits. That wasn’t the only amazing entertainment they arranged for guests: prior to dancing but after Jason and Aly’s speeches, drag queen Bella da Ball made a surprise appearance to help transition the party from dinner to dancing. “When guests arrived outside they were greeted by two more drag queens, one as Diana Ross and one as Lady Gaga,” laughs Aly. “It was truly the most fabulous party!”
Jason Krell and Alykhan Velji, May 19, 2019, Palm Springs, California.
Photography courtesy of Sydney Takeshta of London Light Photography.
Ceremony and reception venue: Wang’s In The Desert
Grooms’ tuxes: Mr. Turk
Wedding planner: Tiana Lloyd of Michelle Garibay Events
Officiant: Rev. Neil Tadken
Flowers: Soiree Design & Events
Lighting and rentals: Lights for Nights
Cake: Swiss Donuts
DJ: Digital Party Sound