An Intimate Backyard Wedding in Northern California

  • By Jen Hart
  • California Wedding, Real Weddings
  • comments 0

Brian and Emily met the good old-fashioned way, at work. Only a week into the job, Emily overheard Brian speaking, and at that point, she may have known. She might not have known that she’d end up marrying him, but she knew he had that special something.

This couple had originally planned a wedding with a guest list of over 200 guests, but as 2020 went down for many brides, plans had to change. Their wedding turned out to be a 14 person backyard wedding in Northern California. The most important part of any wedding day is marrying your person, and even though they had to change plans, their backyard wedding was extra special. Love always wins. The wedding took place in Emily’s parent’s backyard, the place she spent her formative years. I’d like to think this must have been nothing short of a dream.

Cori of CoriAnn Photography captured their backyard wedding perfectly.

Emily is wearing our Violetta Lace Wedding Dress.

Our Love Story

Brian and I met while working at a day program for adults with disabilities. I walked into InJOY Life Resources in Bellflower, CA, for an interview for a job. When I walked into the office, Brian was there and greeted me, introduced himself, and showed me where I would be interviewed. About a week and a half later, it was my first day on the job, and I was reading the employee handbook when I overheard Brian interacting with one of his members. At that moment, I knew there was something special about him. For the next couple of weeks, I could not tell if Brian was flirting with me or if that’s just how he was. But then one day, Brian made the bold move of texting me after calling me for something “work-related,” and the rest is history.


The Proposal

The spot we got married was also the exact spot Brian asked me to marry him in July 2019. We had just arrived at my parents’ house in Penn Valley, CA. We were hanging out with my parents and their close friends when Brian decides to go for a golf cart ride. I was a bit hard to convince because I was tired, but I eventually caved, wondering if this was part of his big plan to propose (I knew some details). After a bit of my complaining and asking to go back to the house, Brian finally agrees to go back. When they pull in, the song “Simple” by Florida Georgia Line is playing, and there is a burlap sign that says “Will you marry me?” in the corner of the yard. I had a huge smile on her face and looks at Brain, and he says, “Oh! What’s that over there?” Which makes me laugh, and we walk over to where the sign is. We embrace for a while and whisper some stuff to each other, then Brian gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him. I am the happiest she has ever felt in my life and kisses him; then I take the ring out of the box, then finally I say yes. I begin to cry, and then my parents, family friends, the friend I will eventually ask to be my maid of honor, and three other friends I will ask to be my bridesmaids come out of the house congratulating them. Now I am crying harder. Then we spent the rest of the evening celebrating our engagement with champagne toasts and lots of food and treats!

The Backyard Wedding Dress

Finding my wedding dress was very exciting! When it came to actually plan our wedding, finding the perfect wedding dress was really the only thing I cared about. It was the one thing I was not willing to compromise on, and I knew the exact style I was looking for. I have had a wedding Pinterest board for years, so I have always loved planning my hypothetical wedding. But when we got engaged, I really narrowed down what I was looking for. I found Dreamers and Lovers after Googling “bohemian wedding dresses in Los Angeles.” Once I came across the website, I immediately sent it to my mom and maid of honor and said, “This is where I am getting my dress.” I had several dresses in mind when I went to my appointment, but the one I ended up choosing what not one of them. It was the 5th dress I tried on, and I immediately fell in love. There were other dresses I liked and could see myself in, but the Violetta was absolutely perfect. It had the laid-back bohemian style that I loved and looked bridal and made me feel like a bride. Not to mention, it is designed to perfectly hug your curves, so it is extremely flattering.

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The Proposal

Since we planned our wedding for the fall of 2020, it was not what we originally imagined. Our 200+ wedding in Camarillo turned into a 14-person backyard wedding in Northern California. We got married in my parent’s backyard which is the house that I grew up in. Cori Ann Shipley was our photographer and she did such an amazing job of capturing all of the beauty of the day. We had an absolute blast and were able to enjoy every part of it. We ate, drank, and danced until about 10:30 because our neighbors called the cops because we were being too loud.

The Ceremony

Our ceremony was what we like to call “short and sweet”. My husband’s best friend performed the ceremony and my husband and I wrote our own vows. I had tunnel vision the whole time so I honestly do not know how long it was or what any of the guest’s reactions were. My husband and I are fans of the show New Girl. If you are familiar with the show, I am sure you can recall Schmidt and Cece’s wedding ceremony in the loft where Schmidt says in his vows “I hope for as long as we stay together that I always remain someone that you wanna holla at”. My husband said those lovely words to me in his vows and it was absolutely perfect.

Future Plans

Brian and I do not have any plans set in stone for our future. We are just so happy to have each other as partners in this crazy world. This past year has really been difficult for many of us, but it has made us even stronger, and we are excited to take on all of life’s adventures together.