California Backyard Wedding: Matt + Paul


For Matt + Paul, it was important that their day felt very personal – and more like an elegant party than a commitment ceremony. I love that they handed out flasks after the ceremony for the walk from the church to house – along with colorful parasols. How fun! And speaking of fun, just love their bow ties + converse sneakers! :) They also choose to skip the traditional first dance and cake cutting in favor of spending more time with their guests. Thanks so much to Caroline Tran for the photos, LVL Events for the lovely event design and congrats to Matt + Paul!


bow tie

bow tie



Our pre-church music was a playlist created by us both that contained our favorite songs (suitable for such an event) and was timed to reach a crescendo as we entered the chapel. Our vows were a surprise to each other yet very specifically intimate – we knew we represented the other well by the laughs we each got at the joke lines (why do vows have to be JUST serious when we’re all combos of serious and silly in our day-to-day lives?). I (Paul) really wanted a retro recessional (and NOT the wedding march), so we opted for a portable turntable playing Love’s Theme. 


Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

Well, after the vows themselves, seeing the house transformed into such a lovely gathering space. Matt’s aunt has commented that, for her, the most memorable moment was when they were waiting in the church after family photos and it was pretty quiet and then, suddenly the back church doors opened and the sun streamed in and a parade of the colored parasols and folks in suits and dresses and bow ties and plaid shorts sauntered in with a palpable energy of excitement and merriment. Unfortunately, we missed seeing that.



backyard wedding

orange florals

wooden table numbers

backyard wedding

wedding food

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

Start as early as possible, but don’t get tied down to your initial wants – it’ll all change up to the minute it's over.

photography: Caroline Tran // venue name: Little Brown Church, Studio City, California and The Ethel House // event design: Courtney Caplin Cotter of LVL Events // planning: Courtney Caplin Cotter of LVL Events // bride's shoes: Custom Converse sneakers, color coordinated to our suits // groom attire: Brooks Brothers // paper goods: Paper Source // catering: Elements, Onil Chibas // cake: SusieCakes // music: Morganne Picard // rentals: LA Party Rentals and Classic Party Rentals // floral design: Meghan Fickling // invitations: Paper Source