Originally, Kelley and Jonathan were going to hold their ceremony at a beach house in Malibu. After that, a big wedding reception was to commence a week later in San Francisco. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, those dreams were shut down. However, the couple was determined to keep their date.

So, they started planning an intimate backyard wedding with only eight of their closest friends and nearby family. In fact, their families watched via Zoom and shared their love during toasts and video calls before and after the ceremony.

Silver Linings to an Intimate Backyard Wedding

Kelley told me that one of the benefits of having a smaller guest list was more budget for flowers - and the flowers, from Wildly Curated Florals, really elevated this intimate backyard wedding to something special. They created a backdrop with a floral curtain and triangular shelf, flanked by arrangements in fall colors and pops of lilac, lavender, and blue thistle. One of the most moving details of the wedding: on the shelf of their display, they scattered the wedding pictures of Kelley and Jonathan’s parents and grandparents.

Looking back on the experience of an intimate backyard wedding, Kelley said "Although we didn't have the wedding we originally planned, the wedding we had was so much more intimate and special. We'll remember the ways we had to creatively incorporate all the loved ones who couldn't be there; and the joy of celebrating with a select few who loved and supported us before and after we fell in love."

Quirky Details and Authentic Friendship

Photographing this intimate backyard wedding really felt like I was capturing the coolest friendship group doing their thing. Everyone pitched in to help set up the socially distanced tables and displays. Indeed, there were so many details that were so full of personality: the way that the wedding party kicked off their morning by watching all the love scenes from Steven Universe, or how Kelley walked down the aisle with her dog (incredible!)

Kelley said it best: "You can't control everything, but if you listen with love, prioritize what matters most, and run with the punches, you may end up with a ceremony that's even better than the one you always envisioned!"

Looking for a photographer for your own love story? Let’s talk!

Talented Wedding Vendors

Photographer: Nikk Nguyen Photo
Florist: Wildly Cultivated Florals
Rentals (Triangle Shelf, Couples Table, Glassware, Trays): Bee Lavish Vintage Rentals

Wedding Dress: Floravere 
Suit: Bonobos
Cake: La Patisserie
HMUA: LUSTREBella


Before you jump into the photos, check out what this couple had to say about working with me:

"We're absolutely in love with our wedding album! We contacted Nikk to document our backyard wedding and he responded nearly immediately. We chose Nikk because of his gorgeous portfolio and calm professionalism. On our wedding day, Nikk arrived on time and went to taking photos almost immediately. We mostly forgot he was even there, which made for really relaxed and natural photos of our day. He was also super helpful in getting the more specific photos we wanted like signing the license, putting on boutonnières, and my time with my parents right before the ceremony. Thanks to Nikk, we can share our love with all the people who couldn’t make our intimate wedding. And the pictures are absolutely stunning!"


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