This Backyard Wedding Had a Surprise Proposal That The Bride Didn’t See Coming!

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

Liz and her now husband Chris love to host parties in their backyard where he cooks and she make sure all the guest’s cups are filled! Their wedding felt like an elevated version of that – picnic tables without a seating chart and friends all gathered together to celebrate! For decor, the couple really wanted to show off their love for plants, but also bring some uniqueness you wouldn’t necessarily find at other weddings.

Liz told their florist, Katie, at Going Steady Studios, “the weirder the better!” and gave her full creative control of what she wanted to do! The bride sent over an inspiration board, but after that, told her to have fun! Using produce and a lot of greens really let the quirks and natural beauty of Liz and Chris’ Los Alamos venue, Bodega, shine on their own!

With planning and event design by Onyx and Redwood, and every moment captured by photographer duo Gina and Ryan… the couple was in GREAT hands!! Get ready for an intimate (but casual) backyard celebration featuring a colorful wedding dress, and perhaps a surprise proposal?! You’ll see what we mean 😉 Here we go!

You’re Invited to a Boho Dream!

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

These flat opened-toed Jimmy Choos are so beautiful…and a comfy option for brides who don’t want to walk in heels all day!

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

A round of applause for this DRESS!

We asked the bride to share a little bit about how she found this absolute gem! “It was my very first appointment. I had made an appointment at LOHO Bride and the morning of my appointment saw on their Instagram stories, the Hermione de Paula dress I ended up with. I had chosen a handful prior, and after trying them on, asked my stylist if the dress was available to try on. Just my luck, Hermione was having a trunk show there. I tried it on and just couldn’t take my eyes off it. I hadn’t sought out an unconventional wedding dress, my only mindset going in was to be open-minded.

After putting it on, I just knew. I felt like myself in it, and just fell in love. I really felt like it was serendipitous because if I hadn’t made my appointment during that time, I would have never seen or tried on that dress, so I really feel like it was meant to be!”

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

During our first look when Chris proposed back to me!

Fun story - I was the one who originally proposed to Chris! It was in Los Alamos, so this town has a lot of meaning to us. Fast forward, I knew he was eventually going to propose back with a ring. I learned he bought my dream ring, but he broke down and told me it was supposed to come in October, which was after our wedding date. Of course I was bummed, but didn't let that get to me, because the wedding wasn't about the ring. I had mentioned to Chris that brides often buy cheap rings from Amazon to take to their bachelorette parties. He ended up buying a $13 one so we'd have it in our wedding photos. So during our first look I was very, very excited to show him my dress since he had absolutely no idea about it in any way, and then, right after he turned around to look at me (he loved my dress btw!), he said, "I have a surprise for you too" and got down on one knee and proposed back to me with my dream ring. I was shocked and had absolutely NO idea, so it was a veryyy fun surprise! Also, after, I learned he had the ring when he bought the 'fake' one to throw me off...a super fun and meaningful memory I'll always have.

Also, Chris and I met under a disco ball in our best friend's shed. They surprised us the day of our wedding with the original disco ball, and our wedding planner, Jess, hung it up and we had our first private dance underneath. All the feels were had!

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

The groom sure knew how to accessorize! From his hat to the bolo tie, he nailed the bohemian groom vibes!

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

The Ceremony Details

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

Their wedding aisle was adorned with fun patterned rugs and their guests sat on benches to really lean into that backyard feel!

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Our Musical Choices

Processional: I Only Have Eyes for You - The Flamingos

Recessional: Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins) - Father John Misty

First Dance: Holy Shit - Father John Misty

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

The Backyard Reception

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

For decor, the couple really wanted to show off their love for plants, but also bring some uniqueness you wouldn’t necessarily find at other weddings. Liz worked with Going Steady Studios because she loved how her work was fun, unique and completely different from anything she had seen before. The venue was already so beautiful on its own L + C didn’t want to overshadow that and really wanted to bring fun, weird florals to it instead!

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

“Chris and I love to host friends and family in our backyard and we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of that, just a little more elevated. Our backyard parties are extremely casual, where Chris will be smoking something, firing up the grill, or making tacos on the flat top, and will just serve to people when ready. More times than not, we’re all just standing around, eating in a circle and laughing.

We knew we didn’t want a seating chart when it came to our wedding since most of our guests knew each other and the idea was to reconnect with people they hadn’t seen in a while, while also making new friends.”

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

“Our food was a total reflection of us – really, really good food but absolutely nothing pretentious about it. Pinyon Ojai served delicious west coast oysters, fresh farm to table veggies and made pizzas in their mobile pizza oven; there were no table numbers, and no one was being called to grab food, our guests just got up when they wanted and ordered the pizzas, our goal was to have it like a pop-up style, which we successfully pulled off! It was super casual, and so so so good!”

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA
Our Advice To Those Planning Now

It's easy to get caught up in everything you see on the internet, but remember the wedding comes down to you and your partner and celebrating your love; everything else is just an extra cherry on top!

Backyard Party with a Surprise Propsal in Los Alamos, CA

The couple shares that a wedding is a tale as old as time…the day goes by fast! But, with that said, it’s (hopefully) one of the most fun and meaningful days of your life! Don’t take anything too seriously, and don’t stress too much, because the bride promises, it’s going to be amazing no matter what! You get to marry the love of your life! What’s better than that? …Amen!

Cheers to you Liz and Chris! And to many years of love and happiness!

Want to see more from the couple’s big day? Check out this highlight reel by Grimace Films!

Post Divider Line

photography: Gina & Ryan // venue name: Bodega, Los Alamos, CA, California, USA // event design: Onyx & Redwood // planning: Onyx & Redwood // florals: Going Steady Studios // wedding dress: Hermione de Paula // wedding dress boutique: LOHO Bride // hairpiece: NA // bride's shoes: Jimmy Choo // bride's ring: Katkim // hair stylist: Emily Lynn and Company // makeup artist: Emily Lynn and Company // groom's ring: Etsy // videography: Grimace Films // paper goods: Husband - Chris Abouabdo // catering: Pinyon Ojai // desserts: Pinyon Ojai // furniture rentals: Avenue Twelve // specialty rentals: Santa Ynez Events // music: Second Song // officiant: Bride & Grooms Brother & Sister // photo booth: Second Song

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