planning a small wedding

March 8

Intimate Backyard Wedding in Modesto, California

These Tuesday delight “I, Do’s” have us just smitten. With their furry friends next to them at the alter, a smores bar and their closest guests, this couple tied the knot just the way they wanted to. This intimate DIY backyard wedding felt just right for Cortney and Craig who wanted a vintage yet smaller feel for their big day. Spoiler alert: Cortney’s dress is vintage from 1962 and she only paid $600 including alterations. Now onto the photos captured by Dawn Kelly Photography

black and white photo of bride getting ready

bride putting mascara on

vintage photo of wedding dress hanging up in window

vintage photo of bride getting help putting her dress on

grey and yellow polka dot bow ties on a wooden table

How the couple met….

Cortney and Craig met at the restaurant where she works as a waitress.

(She’s finishing up nursing school now.) He saw her when he came in, then when he returned he asked to be seated in her section. He asked her out and she went and they’ve pretty much been inseparable since.

Within weeks they knew they were meant to be together, and when they met each other’s families and saw how similar they are, they knew they’d have a long and happy marriage. He proposed in Yosemite. They’d gone for the day and she didn’t know he’d picked up the ring they’d picked out together in SF a few weeks before. He asked a stranger to take their photo and Cortney told him to stop embarrassing her and stop fidgeting. Haha… When he got down on one knee she started sobbing and couldn’t talk, and snot was running from her nose, which we all laugh about because Cortney used to model professionally, so you can imagine this really gorgeous girl all snotty.


converse and bow tie under antique lamp

backyard wedding setup in the grass with hanging lights

white chairs with big yellow bows around them in the grass

backyard wedding setup with chairs standing tables and lights

black and white photo of bride standing with bouquet

bride and father walking her down the aisle

bride and groom saying i do in front of wedding guests

bride and groom holding hands at wedding ceremony

backyard wedding ceremony bride and groom at the alter

woman putting ring on mans hand

man and wife walking hand in hand out of backyard wedding ceremony

bride and groom holding hands and smiling at eachother in the backyard on the grass

bride and groom giving eachother weird faces

bride sitting in the grass with her dress spread out

bride and groom sitting in the grass

bride and groom in the grass with their dogs

bride and groom playing in the grass with their dogs

bride looking down at grass and groom looking at bride

bride holding colorful wedding bouquet

From the Photographer…

The couple chose to get married at their house and only had about 40 guests.

They had no bridal party, but included their dogs instead! Craig landscaped the entire yard and built the bar from the ground up. They also set everything up themselves and a friend did their flowers. The only vendors they paid were us (photos) and the caterer, Blodgett Catering. The food was SO GOOD! For desserts they had root beer floats and s’mores. They kept the wedding very vintage.

backyard wedding lit up at night

backyard wedding reception set up champagne for the bride and groom under an umbrella

mason jars with bride and groom written on them

bucket of champagne and wedding bouquet laying on table

groom in bat man suspenders at wedding reception

bride and grandmother hugging

smores bar at wedding reception

bride and groom feeding eachother a smore

bride and groom eating smores at wedding reception


Photographer: Dawn Kelly Photography // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Do you have a Real Wedding or Engagement Submission? We would LOVE to see it! Please see our submission guidelines here and we hope to hear from you!


January 16

Small Wedding on a Private Estate

Today, we are sharing a seriously stunning styled shoot! Perfect for winter or fall, this wedding decor touches on every type of splendid detail you could hope to have on your wedding day.

From the elegant burnt orange and green decor, to the whimsical soft pink wedding invitations, we can’t stop staring at these wedding colors that seem to complement one another so well. If you are a foodie at heart, the intimate reception dinner will definitely make you wish you had a seat at this table.

Whether you are hoping to elope with your loved one, or have dreams about intimate weddings, this inspiration will make your heart swoon. This intimate wedding shows you that you can still have a chic wedding, with all the bells and whistles, without being surrounded by hundreds of people. If a small gathering sounds like the best way to celebrate your nuptials, don’t be afraid to give a small wedding a try. No matter what you hope for, make sure it’s true to the two of you!


Photography Credit:  Vicki Grafton Photography

white pink and gold metallic foiled wedding invitations |wedding paper divas

private estate house in Marshall, virginia

farm land in the fall, with rolling hills and orange red trees

autumn wedding tablescape for a farm reception


wedding invite on a reception plate for a fall wedding with orange and green wedding colors

close up of orange candles and biscuits on a fall wedding table

private estate wedding ceremony in Marshall VA

bride and groom laughing with the Pastor during ceremony

winter flower bouquet with white and mint colors

bride and groom kissing during a farm wedding on the lawn

cocktail drinks being held during a wedding cocktail hour

people eating steak red meat during a wedding reception dinner on a farm

people toasting and giving a cheers to the newly married couple during dinner

white and pink wedding stationery |wedding paper divas


Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas
Calligraphy: Julia Ha
Paper Styling: Linda Ha Events & Design

Design & Planning: Middleburg Events Studio
Venue: Maple Spring House (Private Estate) in Marshall, VA
Florist: Nature Composed

Food: Federal City Caterers
Welcome Basket: Marigold & Grey

Wedding Dress + Jewelry: Hitched Bridal Couture
Suit: Highcliffe Clothiers Ltd.
Hair Stylist: Jewel Hair Design
Makeup Artist: Jan Scott Makeup Artist

Furniture Rentals: Bella Villa Shop
Table Runner: Silk and Willow
Table Lighting: Rebekah Graves
Furniture and Dinnerware Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.

Do you have a Real Wedding or Engagement Submission? We would LOVE to see it! Please see our submission guidelines here and we hope to hear from you!