Intimate Backyard Wedding
This wedding by Marlin Munoz is truly special! Virginia and Christopher not only married one another on their big day, their two families also blended together. They wanted to honor that and stay faithful to who they are, so they kept things simple and natural. I love that Virginia chose to go barefoot! It adds such a charming bohemian feel.
More from the bride, Virginia:
We are a mid-life couple blending families, so we did not want a traditional ceremony. We wanted something organic and authentic–absolutely no pomp or circumstance.
I splurged and got a one-of-a-kind ensemble from the fabulously avant-garde couture store, Les Habitudes in Beverly Hills. There was no style number. I mixed two pieces: an off-white bustled taffeta skirt and a rose/taupe beaded bodice with an asymmetrical mesh shoulder sleeve. I also bought an off-white cashmere sweater that tied at the waist which I wore over the bodice when it cooled off in the evening.
I really don’t like wearing shoes, so I went barefoot–fitting for a backyard wedding.
I’m not a veil person, so I didn’t wear anything in my hair. The dress made enough of a statement – anything on my head would have been overkill.
We decided on a Quaker wedding because we loved the non-hierarchical philosophy. Instead of one clergyman officiating, each guest is considered an officiant and together the community “marries” the couple.
The guests (60 of them) sat in a large circle around us. Inside the circle of chairs was a circle of flower petals laid out on the ground. Chris and I and our two younger children–the flower girl and ring bearer–stood inside the petal circle. The circles symbolized our “sacred space.”
We said our own vows and then invited guests to speak. Some people had prepared speeches or poems, and some spoke off-the-cuff. When the guests were finished speaking, the ceremony was over. That was part of what made the wedding spontaneous and fresh: we didn’t know what people would say and we didn’t know the ceremony was over until it was over. Guests signed a wedding book signifying that they had “witnessed” our wedding–and so we we were married!
We had planned to get married at a more formal site, but when the economy crunched my husband’s business, we decided to move the ceremony to our backyard.
Five months before our wedding we bought an old craftsman home in a historic neighborhood, so the look and feel of that house – a bit frayed around the edges, but solid with great bones, that has stood for over 100 years – seemed appropriate for two middle-aged therapists creating a strong foundation for a new family.
We live in a section of Los Angeles called West Adams. It is supposedly one of the ten most historic neighborhoods in the country.
The flowers were purple–mostly lilacs and hydrangeas. The tablecloths were camel and the napkins were celadon green. We strung some twinkle lights around the pergola rafters and put votives on the tables with the centerpieces.
Be yourself, be comfortable, and don’t be afraid to break with tradition. Your guests will likely be delighted by a wedding that is not the “same old.”
Wedding Vendors (Los Angeles, CA):
Photographer: Marlin Munoz/ Venue: Bride & Groom’s Home/ Florist: Gilly’s Flowers/ DJ: Better Music Services/ Caterer: Papa Cristo’s/ Beverages: Bev Mo/ Cake: Lark Cake Shop/ Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas/ Valet Parking: Valet Girls/Hair & Makeup: Dedra Whitt/ Bride’s Dress: Les Habitudes/ Bride’s Jewelry: Claude Morady/ Flower Girl’s Dress: My Girl Dress/Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein from 3 Day Suit Broker/ Son’s Attire: Calvin Klein, J. Crew Crewcuts, Nordstrom
Love the sweater she wore at night!
This wedding was extraordinary! I love the idea of no frills, it’s bold & charming.
i’m dying over that dress! and the fact that she went barefoot.
What a beautiful and intimate ceremony!
Darling wedding and amazing dress!
This is how a wedding should always be… perfect!
her dress is so pretty! i love the set up of the ceremony as well.
really beautiful. i love the simplicity of it all.
She is glowing – and that purple bouquet is to-die-for!
So pretty. I love the simplicity of it all. And the advice at the end – fabulous! Really, the day is about two people in love, and a wedding should totally reflect that and them…that’s what it is all about…and they did it perfectly!
What an absolutely stunning bride! Such gorgeous hair, AMAZING skin…I’m completely jealous!! Such a naturally beautiful woman…I just wonder how much of it can be chalked up to love?
Love any backyard wedding and love she wore no shoes!
Wow, this is beautiful. Love the barefoot bride!! And what a stunning dress!
And the lilac……perfection!
WOW what a truly beautiful wedding! I am in love with the dress!
That is really sweet, I love that you did a Quaker-style, I’ve not heard of that before but it’s really special to have the most important people in your life officiate the ceremony! Too cute.
Oh my! I just love her dress. I kept scrolling up and down just to look at it from different angles. What a charming wedding! The circle of flower petals, the bright purple bouquet and happy faces all around (love that the bride is so generous with her smile) Congrats Virginia and Christopher!
You can see the sincerity in everyone’s faces. I love the way the bride is smiling! Her wedding dress is just gorgeous!
So nice to see a “mature” bride on this blog! Thanks for the variety– they are both glowing!
Is a Quaker wedding legally binding in California? I thought it was only legal in Pennsylvania.
It’s a beautiful wedding!
Wow- I love it! And thanks for introducing me to Marlin’s work- it is gorgeous!
Gorgeous!! I love the intimacy and personal nature of the whole day. And I am dying to know where she got her beautiful wrap sweater! If anyone reading this has a lead on this, I would be so appreciative! Congrats, Virginia and Christopher!! email@example.com
Absolutely love the flowers they photograph so well!
that dress is perfection. and I can’t help but think how amazing the lilacs must have smelled! absolutely beautiful!
What a beautiful wedding, and beautiful couple and family. She looks like Carrie Bradshaw in that dress. Georgeous!
Completely gorgeous, heartfelt and intimate. I love everything about this wedding!
What a beautiful dress!! I love that they decided to have all the guests marry them. All the guests could really be involved in this very personal, intimate wedding.
I really love that dress! What a great intimate wedding!!
Love from Spain
Great advice. And what a gorgeous, personal wedding. Congrats to the beautiful bride and her handsome groom.
omg! the bride is like a more-gorgeous real-life version of carrie bradshaw!!!
my heart leapt looking at your ceremony. just magical.
all the best to you and your handsome ‘mr. big’. 🙂
I want to go barefoot when I get married someday as well!
no frills, shoes – but a great day, love the wedding invitations. Amelia
What a beautiful celebration! Thanks for the inspiration on many counts. I wish you and your lovely family all the best.