Quirky meets colorful in this small backyard wedding day! We’re here for the vibrant florals, the chic wedding dress and the most adorable invitations and paper goods designed by the bride herself! When Megan + Mitchell first began planning their 2020 wedding, they envisioned a big bash full of fun with their loved ones. Unfortunately, like other couples, they had to scale back their guest list, but that gave them flexibility to get creative with decor and budget! The results are an explosion of color, whimsy and sweet sentiments!
We had started planning a much larger wedding before the pandemic hit, and while there were a lot of things we were sad to lose from our original plan, being forced to switch to a micro-wedding definitely allowed us to get more creative. Budget-wise, it gave us a lot more flexibility too. We asked some of our local friends (who were all Covid tested prior to the big day) to help us with shooting photos and video, baking our wedding cake and officiating the marriage, which took place in our own backyard. That’s not something we could have done with a 200+ person wedding. Now, we get to look outside and remember how special it was every single day!
Mary Costa Photography captured the most stunning shots! Scroll along with us and let’s take a look!
THE Most Adorable Invitations We’ve Ever Seen
We love it when our couples get creative, but we’ve got to take our hats off to the bride, Megan Roy, for these cheeky and whimsical invitations. M is such a talented illustrator and her designs really show off the couple’s personality!
The Bride and Groom
M looks stunning in this sleek and modern BHLDN gown. We had to know more!!
A lot of people have this experience, but I ended up with a completely different dress than I thought I’d get. In the beginning, I was all about the tulle, and texture, and big fun skirts, and wanted something really unconventional but still romantic. I went dress shopping twice with other people and tried on a lot of things like that, but always left feeling disappointed and I wasn’t sure why. Finally, I went by myself to an appointment and tried on the dress I ended up getting. In the others, I felt like I had been wearing a bride costume, but in this dress, I just felt like myself. It was a no-brainer after that.
Va-Va-VOOM! These colorful florals from Shindig Chic look good enough to eat! We love the vibrant oranges and yellows. Such a fun way to spice up a small backyard wedding.
Elwynn & Cass styled M’s updo and perfectly natural makeup look. So gorgeous!
We adore M’s two-tone Zara attire! It’s the perfect complement to M’s sleek bridal gown.
The First Look
Mitchell: The first look. I was pretty insistent about not seeing Megan's dress, and I didn't want to know any of the details about how she would look prior to the wedding itself. I was BLOWN AWAY when I opened my eyes for the first time and saw her standing next to me. Her dress was so quintessentially her: understated in the same ways that she is, and yet it made a statement in the most Megan of ways. After nine years together, I had yet another one of those, "I'm the luckiest guy in the world moments." I can honestly say that the first look was not only the best moment of the entire day for me but also one of the best moments of my life.
Megan: There were a few highlights for me! The first is when we exchanged gifts and realized, without ever having talked about it, we had gotten each other the exact same gift. The second was getting some very funny, unexpected video messages from my side of the wedding party, who weren't able to be there because of Covid. The third was when our friends Mary and George (Mary was also our photographer and George was our officiant!) surprised us with something special they had been holding onto for nearly a decade. (The story is further on below!)
Small Backyard Wedding Ceremony
They say it takes a village, and M + M’s friends were on board to make their day unforgettable. Their dear friend George Hrico officiated the ceremony with the perfect mix of tears and giggles.
Best part about a backyard wedding? Your furry family gets and automatic invite!
Can you believe M + M’s story about this little sketch? Talk about fate!
When we first started dating, Mitchell and I went to eat at Alcove Cafe in Los Feliz, and we sat at the table in the back that looks like a chessboard and has small drawers on the side. This is a treasured Los Angeles secret, but that table is special because many people who sit there leave notes in those drawers, and half the fun of sitting there is going through all of them and reading the secrets and stories and love letters that have been left behind. When we got our receipt, Mitchell turned it over and drew us on the back holding a heart balloon. Inside the balloon, it said “M from NH + M from LA.” He stuffed it in the drawer and we left and didn’t think about it again.
Until, on our wedding day, Mary and George (our photographer and officiant!) revealed that they had gone to the same restaurant, sat at the same table, and stumbled across our drawing by accident not long after we were there. Knowing that it had to be ours, they took it and gave it back to us nine years later. Such an amazing surprise and a really special memory from the beginning of our relationship!
Processional: Didn't have one! We just walked outside and did the damn thing.
Recessional: We turned the volume down on our playlist during the ceremony, but as it ended our friend Mike grabbed the speaker and turned it back up. It could have literally been anything - our playlist had over 22 hours of music on it - but what came blaring out of the speaker was "Holiday" by Madonna. It was kind of perfect and that's our song forever now.
First Dance: We weren't going to do a first dance but our friends insisted so we put on "When You're Smiling and Astride Me" by Father John Misty.
Small Backyard Wedding Reception
How CUTE are those place cards?!
Megan drew everyone’s pets on each person’s name card for the dinner table. M + M love animals and it was such a sweet personal nod!
Seriously, M is SO ultra talented! These paper goods steal the show!
The Creative Details of a Small Backyard Wedding
This mix-your-own drink recipe ring is IT!
How adorable is this cocktail cart?? It’s just one of the sweet decor details M + M brought in for their backyard wedding. If you’re looking for more ideas to plan the perfect event in the comfort of home, check out these 10 tips to throw your dream backyard wedding.
M + M’s friend, Jennie Palluzzi, crafted their wedding cake which had the SWEETEST hidden heart on the inside.
Newlyweds At Golden Hour
Get things done as early as possible. There's no reason not to. Oh, unless there's an unexpected global pandemic, then go ahead and scrap everything three or four or five times, start from scratch, and get very good at balancing all the moving parts while simultaneously explaining to your stubborn parents (who you love very much, hi Mom and Dad) that they "aren't allowed" to fly to California right now. Kidding, kind of. Our real advice is to trust your instincts! Always!
Having a wedding in 2020 was not easy, but it did put a lot of things in perspective. Ultimately, the wedding is just a day, we have the rest of our lives to celebrate with everyone who couldn’t be there in person, and we can guarantee we’ll be celebrating for a loooooong time to make up for all the things we missed out on this past year!
Congratulations Megan + Mitchell! Your small backyard wedding had heaps of creativity, color and love. We’re sure it’s got other couples dreaming of how they TOO can plan a stunning and memorable micro wedding. Thank you for showing us all how to pivot but still make it fun! Sending our best wishes! -The GWS Team
photography: Mary Costa Photography // venue name: Private Home, Los Angeles, California, USA // florals: Shindig Chic // wedding dress boutique: BHLDN // hairpiece: Shindig Chic // hair stylist: Elwynn & Cass // makeup artist: Elwynn & Cass // groom attire: Zara // paper goods: Megan Roy // cake: Jennie Palluzzi // officiant: George Hrico