Let me start by saying – this was NOT your average backyard intimate wedding.
When I found out that Emma was planning her entire wedding herself and most of the details including the florals and stationary would be DIY, I was shocked! I’m lucky enough to be friends with some of the best award-winning wedding planners, designers, florists and co-coordinators in California with decades of industry experience who I know would be MORE than shook. But I had zero reason to be skeptical, because what Emma and the team created was one of my favorite weddings of 2021.
The result? Sophisticated design, black and white details and a classic car entrance that brought a magical serving of old-school hollywood glamor to the backyard of her parents Merced home for Mr. and Mrs. Miller’s unique celebration, and a day full of surprises that belongs on the front page of ANY wedding blog!
If you’re thinking of having an intimate celebration for your wedding day, want a private party or just because you want all the creative control during your once in a lifetime big day – make sure you have a Pinterest board at hand because this post is for YOU! It truly is the ultimate inspiration for a backyard wedding that feels unique and anything but ordinary.
The Millers opted for a classic aesthetic for their details and design – a clean, monochromatic palette with nods to vintage hollywood movies like James Bond which took the luxe theme of old-school glamor to a whole new level. I loved that they chose a neutral palette because it upscaled their residence into the perfect canvas that made every accent intentional, and in wedding trends neutrals never go out of style – it’s my biggest tip to making sure your big day always feels timeless whether you’re getting married in 2023 or in 20 years!
For me, the star of the show was Emma’s florals! She said she knew exactly how she wanted them, and didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a vision she could execute herself. So she spent 8 hours cutting, bucketing and pruning the 500 proud white roses which TRANSFORMED the venue the Thursday before the wedding and my jaw hit the floor when I saw them. They were gorgeous, luxurious and you couldn’t tell they were ‘homemade’ for a second. I was honestly so inspired by Emma – being a bride is stressful enough, but on top of that she worked so hard to put everything in place to pay homage to her love of creativity and make sure that her vision came to life in the most perfect way. I couldn’t admire her dedication any more if I tried!
Some of my other favorite details were their monochrome white wedding cake with vintage buttercream piping which stood on top of a platter of roman pillars (which has since become super popular on Instagram… but Emma and Mitchell were ahead of the trend!) the striking balloon wall and of COURSE the black and white classic thunderbird that Emma surprised Mitchell with for her grand entrance. I love a classic car exit, but this unconventional entrance stole my heart! Scroll down to see Mitchell’s reaction… It’s a great one!
When it came to portraits, I guided Emma to move and dance a lot because I had to showcase her beautiful gown! The dress she chose was a contemporary, pure white princess-style gown by Milla Nova with a full skirt and unique tie straps – an on-trend mix of modern and traditional that was perfect for the summer season and made the most beautiful shots!
After their golden hour portraits, Mr. and Mrs. Miller ended their day by riding off into the sunset in the classic Ford Thunderbird (complete with the ‘just married’ garland!) in true hollywood fashion – a departing homage to all the greatest classic love stories like Grease, The Breakfast Club, Bond and The Graduate… a list theirs is sure to become a part of!
I’m currently booking weddings for 2022, 2023 and beyond — Book your North California OR Destination wedding with Marisa Ruth Photography by inquiring via my website and for more luxury wedding concepts, real wedding and elopement inspiration and my top wedding vendor, venue and location recommendations for 2022/2023 in Northern California and beyond for your own wedding click through to my blog and follow me on Instagram!
Makeup: Melissa Cortez & Kristen Nicole
Bar: Tipsy Pony Bar
Pizza: Little oven pizza
Planning and Florals: Emma Miller
Lighting: Light Up the Walls
Gown: Milla Nova