Inside Weddings - - Inside - Oc­to­ber 29, 2016 Palm Desert, Cal­i­for­nia | Pho­tographed by Figge Pho­tog­ra­phy

Oc­to­ber 29, 2016 Palm Desert, Cal­i­for­nia Pho­tographed by Figge Pho­tog­ra­phy

Col­lege fresh­men Blair Tarnutzer and Mur­phy Troy had one spe­cial thing in com­mon: their height. “My friends set us up think­ing we’d be a per­fect match since we’re both tall!” laughs Blair. Con­nect­ing on their sim­i­lar hu­mor styles and high-con­fi­dence lev­els, the two be­came fast friends. “By the fall of our sopho­more year, I was taken,” gushes Mur­phy. As a pro­fes­sional volleyball player, grad­u­a­tion saw Mur­phy’s ca­reer take off over­seas as he com­peted around Europe, mak­ing the re­la­tion­ship a long-dis­tance one. “Our dis­tance over the years strength­ened my feel­ings for her,” the groom ex­plains. “My heart al­ways felt full, no mat­ter where we were in the world.”

Dur­ing his fourth pro­fes­sional sea­son, Mur­phy was play­ing in the beau­ti­ful sea­side town of Sopot, Poland, and ar­ranged for Blair and her mom to make a last-minute trip to see him. “I called her mother to see if it would be lo­gis­ti­cally pos­si­ble to get an en­gage­ment ring in three weeks,” re­veals Mur­phy, which prompted his fu­ture mother-in-law to quickly de­sign, or­der, and re­trieve her daugh­ter’s sparkler. Once abroad, the groom cre­ated a scavenger hunt around Sopot for his sweet­heart, end­ing with him on bended knee at the end of a pier. “It was so amaz­ing. It com­pletely cap­tured the essence of our re­la­tion­ship: find­ing ro­mance all over the world,” beams the bride.

Due to their busy sched­ules, plan­ning the wed­ding was an off-and-on process for the pair. Blair was pre­par­ing to take the bar exam to go into her pro­fes­sion as an at­tor­ney and Mur­phy con­tin­ued to play volleyball over­seas un­til he made the Men’s In­door Na­tional Team for the 2016 Sum­mer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. As the men took home the bronze medal for the USA mere months be­fore their Oc­to­ber nup­tials, “we were on such an Olympic high which turned into a wed­ding high!” ex­claims the bride of the happy time.

A year and a half after their en­gage­ment, Blair and Mur­phy pre­pared to join as hus­band and wife at the lux­u­ri­ous La Quinta Re­sort & Club in sunny Palm Desert, Cal­i­for­nia. As a na­tive to the state, the bride de­sired a prop­erty lo­ca­tion wherein her guests could re­lax by the pool while they mixed and min­gled be­fore gath­er­ing for the al­fresco cer­e­mony. At­ten­dees found their seats in sim­ple ivory lawn chairs fac­ing the al­tar. De­spite the heat, flo­ral ar­range­ments ac­cent­ing the space were filled with blooms in fall col­ors to com­ple­ment the sea­son: dark red and deep mer­lot blos­soms adorned each rus­tic urn. Blair stunned friends and fam­ily in a chic A-line gown as she met her beloved at the end of the aisle to re­cite their heart­felt, per­sonal vows. “I will never for­get those mo­ments,” di­vulges Mur­phy of their cus­tom­ized sen­ti­ments. Upon be­ing of­fi­cially joined in mat­ri­mony by their of­fi­ciant – the fa­ther of the groom – the new­ly­weds shared a kiss as “Let My Love Open the Door” by Pete Town­shend rang out.

Friends and fam­ily im­me­di­ately ad­journed to the re­cep­tion space to fur­ther en­joy the fes­tiv­i­ties of the evening. Long and round ta­bles taste­fully be­decked with sheer ivory and vel­vet blush linens rested un­der­neath an in­tri­cate in­stall­ment of fairy lights, the strings of which all met at the cen­ter of the space to cre­ate a tent ef­fect. Each ta­blescape fea­tured au­tum­nal clus­ters of marsala-hued blos­soms, golden leaves, and re­gal green­ery, as well as smat­ter­ings of small vo­tives. “We wanted to ex­ude ‘Cal­i­for­nia fall’ in the most ro­man­tic sense,” says Blair.

Along with the gourmet din­ner menu, the new Mr. and Mrs. pro­vided rev­el­ers with late-night bites of clas­sic com­fort foods as well as slices from their tra­di­tional wed­ding con­fec­tion and the volleyball-themed groom’s cake. “The part I was most in­ter­ested in was get­ting ev­ery­one on the dance floor,” muses Mur­phy. As the soirée ex­tended to well after mid­night, it was ev­ery­thing the duo hoped for. “We wanted ev­ery­one to be to­tally love-buzzed,” af­firms the bride. “The day was all about cel­e­brat­ing the new be­gin­ning we were get­ting – fi­nally liv­ing in the same place!”

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