Surprise, We’re getting Married! is the sign that greeted family and friends as they arrived at this couple’s home and what followed was a beautiful, intimate celebration captured by diana marie photography. It’s a family affair, with the prettiest backyard setup dining under the stars and a true celebration of love paired down to the simplest of details. See so much more right here.

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Al Fresco

From the Bride… Mike and I met extremely briefly through a friend in college. He had graduated from the same program I was currently taking and we probably said 2 words to each other. Years later, I just so happened to intern at the same advertising agency he worked for (in a totally different city) – one might say it was fated. The first time we hung out, Mike took me out for drinks and a movie for my birthday and after we went for coffee and talked. We talked so long that the coffee shop closed and we were forced to leave. Not feeling as though the night was over, we made our way to the 24 hour grocery store and wandered the aisles, randomly bought some sparklers and proceeded to the parking lot where we burned them down one by one, before finally saying goodnight. We started hanging out as friends, but over time realized we were together more than we were apart and have been ever since. In hindsight, that first night foreshadowed our relationship to come, as we’re rarely apart and we never run out of things to discuss, argue, or talk about – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Inspiration behind the day: We wanted to do something elegant and slightly vintage, that was pretty and special (above and beyond a normal dinner party), yet comfortable and casual. We wanted our family to TRULY enjoy the day, no drama, no effort, just a celebration of our families coming together. We spent the last 2 years of our lives designing and building our home, so it was only natural that we get married there. It’s a memory that will always live in these walls.

Favorite memories of the day: Besides marrying my best friend, this question is tricky. The surprise was OBVIOUSLY a highlight, though nerves and excitement make the memory slightly blurry. However watching my two nieces on Mike’s side, guide my youngest niece (on my side) down the aisle, to me, really symbolized our families coming together and filled me with joy. Late night sparklers with the girls, was also something I’ll never forget.

Music choices: The ceremony and our first dance were Jill Barber a favorite of ours. We had a very mixed playlist for the rest of the day, primarily bossonova at dinner and happy celebratory songs during the cocktail reception.

Advice for brides planning now: I have to admit it was nice to have everything under my control, as no one knew what we were doing so couldn’t offer their opinions, but at the same time we missed out on a lot of the ‘tradition’ of a typical service. My advice would simply be to be mindful of your family and friends that are being left out of the process and try to find ways to minimize their hurt feelings. This for me, meant making up special gift boxes and bouquets for my nieces who have always talked about being a part of our wedding and using some family heirlooms throughout the decor (Nana’s ring and Grandpa’s cigar box, etc) to make sure my Mom knew that great sentiment went into the planning – it’s the little things that matter.

Photography: diana marie photography | Videographer: Matt Dorman | Florist: Fleurish Design Studio | Makeup Artist: Rebecca Marie | Grooms Suit: Hugo Boss | ties: Moaning Minnie | Bride's dress (custom made): Lisa Van Hattem | Chairs: Pat's Party Rental | Rentals: Special Events Rental | Rentals: My Key Event | Wedding Cake & Caterer: General Chefery