Backyard Black Tie Wedding: Tammy + Ben

bride and groom

From the get go, Tammy + Ben wanted their wedding to feel intimate, as if they were inviting guests to take a glimpse into their lives and how they fell in love. Their wedding and reception elements took guests on a journey through the seven years they’ve been together, reflected in elements like a dessert bar featuring sweets that Ben made Tammy when they first started dating, as well as hand-folded origami escort card chairs that were replicas of the one Tammy made Ben on their first date.

From Tammy: We wanted to have traditional elements but at the same time have unexpected twists that reflected our personalities and style. Our signature is to mix a lot of high + lows, so we loved the idea of juxtaposing a formal event in the backyard of Ben’s parents home, “backyard black tie” if you will. We knew right away that the most personal way we could make our wedding day was to have it on Ben’s parents’ property. We loved the idea of saying our vows someplace where no one had ever been married before.

Thanks so much to Caroline Tran for the photos and congrats to Tammy + Ben!


wedding rings

wedding party

white bouquet

For Tammy: Our first look... usually it’s the bride’s moment, but to see Ben, who is a t-shirt/jeans/hoodie software engineer, in his bespoke tuxedo for the first time took my breath away.

For Ben: Seeing Tammy walk down the aisle and knowing I was going to spend the rest of my life with this beautiful woman, brought tears to my eyes.

bride and groom


bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

hanging glass orbs

Processional: Somebody to Love – Queen (as arranged by Vitamin String Quartet)

Recessional: “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) – Scott McKenzie (as arranged by Vitamin String Quartet)

First Dance: By Your Side (Neptunes Remix) – Sade

hanging flowers


lace table runner

lace table runner

first dance

We planned our wedding from San Francisco, where we currently live. Because we weren’t getting married at an established venue, we had to do everything from scratch. Having a local event planner in Albuquerque proved imperative because she was able to negotiate all the rentals and coordinate the various vendors. Everything else we did ourselves, and we couldn’t have done it without Google Drive - it made it easy to share all our timelines and lists with the wedding party and vendors. Also, splurge on a great photographer - you can’t go back and capture the special moments once it’s over. Lastly, remember no matter how well you plan, something will pop up last minute so don’t stress and accept help from your friends and families!

photography: Caroline Tran // venue: private home in Albuquerque, New Mexico // event planner: Nikki Peone, Peony Events // floral design: The Flower Shop at Nob Hill // wedding dress: Monique Lhuillier, Bridal Galleria // shoes: Manolo Blahnik // bridesmaid dresses: Club Monaco // hair + makeup: Hair by Rosalie Wood, Makeup by Rebekkah Wiggins // groom suit: bespoke tuxedo, Seymour’s Custom Tailors // invitations + paper goods: The Aerialist Press, calligraphy: Rona Siegel // catering + cake: Dawn Sanchez Creations // music: cocktail reception by Luis Campos, dinner reception DJ Too Hot to Stop


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  1. I love the dangling bottles with red objects in them! Very pretty and creative :)

  2. SUCH a pretty wedding! I absolutely adore the combination of those stunning 3 rings!!

  3. How adorable is this bride. & her rings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. love the dress, the venue, the rings!!! what kind of stone is that?

  5. GORGEOUS bride and sweet story!

  6. This is so great for brides and grooms who aren’t sure of whether they can have a black tie backyard wedding. Thanks!

  7. Any chance you could post a link to the Vitamin String Quartet song? I love the group and that particular song and didn’t know that they covered it!

  8. So beautiful – love all the lovely touches.

    What is the stone in that engagement ring??? It is amazing. Anyone know?

    Thanks for sharing your special day.


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