California Backyard Wedding: Jessica + Mike

bride wearing boots

Today’s wedding is fun, sentimental + just so sweet! It also features the largest bridal party we’ve shared here on GWS – 24 people! :) The location for their wedding was one of their biggest inspirations for the day. Jessica’s family owned and rode horses for most of her childhood. She spent many days + weekends on trail rides, at horse shows, and training in the backyard. It’s for those reasons that her parents’ backyard is a very special place for her and was the perfect location for their wedding. Big thanks to Sara Lucero for the photos and congrats to Jessica + Mike!

knitted tie

first look

first look

Love the bright yellow knitted ties!


wedding party

wedding party

Our biggest desire for our wedding day was to invite people into those parts of our lives and to make sure that each person knew the special ways that they have shaped us to be who we are as individuals so that we could be who we are now as a husband and wife.


white and yellow bouquet

ring bearer


hanging ribbon on poles

ceremony program

ceremony program


here comes the bride sign

here comes the bride sign

bride and groom

bride and groom

bunting banner

backyard wedding

It was so amazing to sit at the head table under the massive pine tree that my mom planted when I was toddler and to watch people from all different seasons and stages of our lives in one special place. They were sitting at tables eating and laughing where our old horse arena was. They were shooting arrows where I would play hide and seek as a young kid. They were playing horseshoes where our horse pens used to be – it was an unbelievably touching moment.

yarn wrapped bottles

i spy wedding game

thumbprint guest book

bow and arrows

bow and arrows

dessert table

candy bar

And their wedding film by Fruitful Films!

Planning the wedding was not the most stressful part of this transition by any means. I didn't realize that September 1 was our wedding, yes, but the week leading up to it was more than last minute wedding details. We were moving into our condo AND trying to plan and prepare for a 10 day vacation all at the same time. Any of those things alone could be stressful, but for them to be happening all at the same time was something else! Tangibly speaking, I would say to balance and prepare for those three things better than I did. Other than that, set yourself up really well to be able to just sit back and relax and watch the planning play itself out on your wedding day!

photography: Sara Lucero // venue: Murieta Equestrian Center + Bride’s Backyard // groom + groomsmen suits: H&M // cupcakes: Apryl Cuffel // paper goods: Mike McGowan (the groom) // dj: Jeremy Ricci of Dj Pro’s // veil: Gilded Shadows // garter: KrumpetsDesigns // sash: BeSomethingNew // flowers: Lori Fischer // hair + makeup: Emily Barton // cinematography: Fruitful Films

Interested in advertising with us?

for our current rates!


  1. Too cute! I love the shot of the ring bearer, it looks like it’s out of a magazine editorial.

  2. Jen! Thank you! Jessica and Mike are the greatest people around and seeing their wedding on GWS brings me such JOY! Also, how cool that’s it’s the largest bridal party ever on GWS? I love that we have that title! ;)

  3. love his tie! that’s such a cute wedding!

  4. Absolutely adorable wedding! Love how they decorated old bottles by wrapping yarn around them!

  5. LOVE all the sweet details! Adore the brides boots & boot socks with her Wedding dress. Too cute!

  6. Love her wedding dress; I’d love to know where it’s from!

  7. This wedding was such a blast! Great job on the photos Sara Lucero. So proud of you!

  8. What a beautiful wedding! I can’t wait to do a beautiful garden wedding like this. My name is Ellesse and I am from the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. I have just started my own business called The Letter Shed, specializing in custom wedding stationery, vintage couture paper decorations and graphic design. Anyone is welcome to have a look at our new website at, or like us on our page :)

  9. This is too cute! I love the yellow so much – how lovely is the grooms tie! Wow!
    Gorgeous details – full of heart.
    Looks like a wedding filled with so much love and joy.

  10. This is the best wedding by far! I love the joy and excitement you could see in the video. They were more than getting married this couple was uniting together with each other for a lifetime of friendship! Such Beauty!

  11. WOW!!!! This wedding looks amazing! It’s like a kanaval~!!!!!!

  12. i love this wedding! i especially love the bride’s dress. who is the designer?


  1. […] these crazy people? Well they are all on GREEN WEDDING SHOES today! And it’s the largest bridal party that’s ever been featured!! People like Jessica, […]

  2. […] wedding over on Green Wedding Shoes looked A-MAZING. A California backyard wedding with a huge bridal party, wooden signs, a dessert […]


Email me when there are new comments on this post. You can also subscribe without commenting.

GWS is a creative and supportive community of wedding fans and vendors. As such, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain profanity, are distasteful, personally attack individuals or do not contribute to the goals of our community.

You may not love every detail of every event, but please remember that the couples who share their weddings on GWS are real people and their wedding is a special day, so please be nice.