This Couple Transformed a Backyard Into a Vibrant Oasis for Their Tropical-Inspired Wedding

Sadie + Christian’s wedding was a breathtaking backyard transformation for the books. The two tied the knot at Christian’s parents’ home in Bakersfield, California, and we are so excited to give you a peek at the tropical poolside oasis they created.

Inspired by a Palm Springs vibe and the bright + colorful bougainvillea that grows throughout California in vibrant shades of fuchsia, red, orange, and purple, Sadie + Christian—with the help of event designer Nicole of Nicole Leza Planning & Design and coordinator Erika from Erika Amalia Events—filled the space with tons of bold sunny color, playful tropical energy, and bubbles. 

Bride Sadie is a wedding photographer herself, so she knows weddings inside and out. She knew she wanted something that felt different from the zillions of weddings she’s photographed, so she brought a pro’s wisdom + inventiveness to her wedding planning process to make her tropical wedding a reality.

We can’t get enough of Mary Costa Photography’s beautiful photos of this vibrant day. Let’s take a look!

Love Nest Creative totally nailed the bright colors and palm tree details of Sadie + Christian’s wedding invitation suite.

Before “I Do”

As a wedding photographer, and having been a part of so many weddings, I definitely planned a little differently than most people would.” Sadie says. “I tried to think outside the box and to think of all the small details that others might overlook. I ordered a custom backdrop for my getting ready photos because I knew the Airbnb was a little ‘plain’ looking for my taste. It brought in a little color within our color palette and I really wanted some portraits with some color for when I was fully dressed. 

Breaking news!! A custom newspaper like Sadie + Christian’s might just be the cutest way to introduce your guests to the day’s festivities! Snag a wedding day newspaper template you can customize and print to create your very own.

(And yes of course we caught that Taylor Swift quote headline!)

Lotta Love Floral Design brought SO much tropical-tone floral magic to Sadie + Christian’s day. This vibrant bridal bouquet is only the beginning.

“This was the most difficult part of the wedding planning process,” says Sadie of finding her beautiful off-the-shoulder structured bodice floral sequin appliqué dress from Tal Kedem. “I had pictured myself in a unique flowy dress with a slit in it. As a photographer, I really love those flowy dresses that make for the most beautiful movement photos.”

After hitting 15 different bridal boutiques all over California in her search, Sadie still hadn’t found any dresses that actually felt like “her.” But this one was different. “I tried on my dress and felt something in the pit of my stomach. I had this omg moment and I loved the way it looked on me. I hadn’t had this feeling with any of the dresses I had tried on before.”

“I remember the curtains being closed and seconds before they were opened to show my family I just lost it,” Sadie remembers. “I had my “I found my perfect dress moment” and cried the happiest tears! It was a really special moment for me because I had my mom and close family there to witness this special moment that I honestly thought was just a fake thing you saw on tv. The style was the total opposite of what I imagined I’d wear on my wedding day but was perfect.”

Christian and his crew looked super sharp and ready to celebrate in muted neutral suits from Fino’s Tuxedos and cheeky heart shaped sunglasses.

Sadie’s stunning textured braid and curls were created by Beauty By Corin, as was her radiant glam makeup look.

The sage green of Christian’s wedding suit is the perfect amount of color to compliment yet balance the bright + vivid tones of the day’s florals.

The Ceremony

Look at this lush poolside oasis! Christian’s family imported and planted additional palm trees and greenery to get their backyard landscaping ready for the wedding.

How sweet is this private, pre-wedding family moment?

Our main goal while planning our wedding was to transcend the backyard ambiance and not make it feel like a backyard,” says Sadie. “Nicole (our wedding planner, design & stylist) and I brainstormed together to come up with a fabric backdrop to conceal the house, incorporating all the vibrant colors from our palette.

Who needs flower petals when you have a bubble gun!?

This pearl-covered flower girl dress (reminiscent of the bride’s look! 🥹) was created by Rizzo’s Original.

Our Musical Choices

Processional: “Love Story” by Taylor Swift (violin version)

Recessional: "The Office" theme song

First Dance: “Lover” by Taylor Swift

Seriously in love with these fuschia + peach floral towers.

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

The most memorable moment of the day for us, was when we were exiting down the aisle as a newlywed couple to "The Office" theme song. It was a beautiful and memorable moment for us as we looked out and saw all of our favorite people there cheering us on as this new chapter in our lives. It was the first time that it felt real and we had that “Omg, we are married” feeling.

Explore our collection of our fave bridal headbands if you love the way Sadie’s hair accessory moment worked some delicate pearl accents into her look.

The Reception

Love Lettered By Maria created the day’s acrylic signage.

“I had this idea in my head that I wanted the house covered with colorful strings that we could playfully walk through but at the same time cover the house,” Sadie says. “I was told it wasn’t necessary by friends and family, and I quickly ignored those comments. It not only provided a brilliant burst of color but also served as the perfect solution to transform the space.”

Fun fact cocktail napkins are such an excellent way to personalize your cocktail hour and get your guest chatting.

What would a tropical-inspired wedding be without some tropical signature cocktails?

“So many times I notice my clients missing out on cocktail hour, or other parts of the wedding day because they are off taking sunset portraits,” says Sadie. “I knew I wanted to be as present as possible on my wedding day. We knocked out a ton of photos before the ceremony after our first look and were able to join our guests for cocktail hour! We planned dinner during sunset and snuck off for a few mins to snap a few sunset portraits (unnoticed). We felt truly present with all of our favorite people on our wedding day and this was so important to us.”

Loving the chic + tropical vibe of this pink seating banquette from Let’s Party Prettier!

Sadie + Christian’s colorful and punny seating chart was inspired by…

Truly tropical hard seltzers! (Their fave drink.)

This might be our fave shot of the billowing off-the-shoulder cape element of Sadie’s wedding dress.

Wait! Maybe it’s this one!! Check out the bridal capes we love if you dig the idea of a dramatic, flowy bridal cape moment.

Party Pleasers adorned the reception tables with peach glassware, colorful votives, and woven chargers for tons of chic tropical flair.

Loving the fun modern vibes of these arched acrylic table numbers.

Vibrant orange napkins from Walker-Lewis Rents added even more color to the tablescapes!

Truer words have never been spoken 🍕❤️ Grab your very own “All You Need Is Love & Pizza” neon sign from Etsy!

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

From the bride: My biggest advice for couples planning their wedding would be to hire a wedding planner! Not just any wedding planner wither, a planner who resonates with your style. I can’t say enough good things about design & stylist Nicole. She made the entire wedding planning process a breeze! Another thing I advise other couples planning their wedding would be to plan intentionally. At the end of the day, it’s YOUR wedding! Make the day about the two of you and don’t worry about what others say or think.

Sadie + Christian’s two-tier blush gold-accented wedding cake was created by Con Besos. Obsessed with the colorful sugar work and all of those fresh flowers!

We can’t say no to a tropical macaron! Take a look at our list of 14 wedding desserts to serve besides cake for lots of sweet alternative options.

Congratulations, Sadie + Christian, on your bright and tropical backyard wedding! All of your industry insider wedding planning wisdom is totally priceless. GWS wishes you two all the best!

photography: Mary Costa Photography // event design: Nicole Leza Planning & Design // florals: Latta Love Floral Design // makeup artist: Corin C Stull // groomsmen attire: Jerry Gamez // videography: Carlos Burgos Films // paper goods: Love Nest Creative // handmade details: Nicole Leza Planning & Design // catering: grills gone wild catering // cake: Con Besos // desserts: Con Besos // tabletop rentals: Party Pleasers // furniture rentals: Lets Party Prettier // linen rentals: Walker-Lewis Rents // music: Unique Soundz // photo booth: Patino's 360 // coordinator: Erika Amalia Events // acrylic signage: Love Lettered By Maria // bridal robe, alterations + flower girl dresses: Rizzo's Original