Real Weddings

Emily and Brian’s Backyard Wedding

Posted on December 23, 2020 by Ariana Baio

How did you meet?

Brian and I met on a night out in Morristown. His wingman (future best man) stole my friend away from me (future bridesmaid) so Brian could talk to me. Our conversation flowed so naturally, it felt as though we’ve known each other forever, so I gave him my number. After I left the bar, he ran after me to make sure I had his phone number. It was very cute. The rest is history.

He took me on the train to Hoboken to walk along the water. We went down the docks with the love locks and got down on one knee. He was so nervous, so I had an idea that it was going to happen. What I didn’t know was that our friends were waiting for us in a nearby bar to celebrate!

I have always liked a rustic, romantic feel for a wedding. The theme fell into place after I got my dress. Brian and I went with blue for the groomsmen, to match his eyes and mauve/blush for the bridesmaids. We used those colors throughout the entire décor. The lanterns were meant for centerpieces that could also line the aisle. The twinkle lights added a romantic ambiance to the venue. The ceremony was late so that the sun would set early enough for the outdoor reception.

We originally chose Ballyowen, Crystal Springs as our venue. However, due to the pandemic, we were unable to move forward with this. I was a Covid-19 nurse for the first few months of the pandemic, and Brian is an admissions director at a skilled nursing facility. We were working the frontlines for many months so planning a wedding went to the bottom of our list. We had just moved into our house, and decided we would have a small ceremony there. Our families and friends have sacrificed so much during these months to help support us and we thought a small party would brighten everyone’s spirits. Without our parents and friends, we couldn’t have cleaned up the house and yard enough to make this wedding as beautiful as it was. This team effort made it all the more special.

Emily and Brian's Backyard Wedding

We used Beefsteak to help us decide on food. They did the set up and the clean up for us. They passed around Caesar salads, slices of steak, and Italian dishes. We featured penne vodka and chicken franchise as other side options. This made everyone more comfortable during the reception. For dessert, we had the s’mores as our favors that could be used around the fire pit. The cake was two tiers of vanilla cake with one filling as strawberry and the other as cannoli.

I got my gown at I do I do Bridal in Morristown. They were extremely helpful throughout the process. I was never a flashy person, not really interested in glitter or glamour. As my consultant put me in more lace gowns, I knew this was the type of dress I wanted. By the sixth dress, the consultant looked at me and suggested I try on the dress I chose. As soon as she had me open my eyes in the dress, I started tearing up! I couldn’t believe how emotional and bridal I felt. When my mom and sister started crying, I knew it was the one for them too.

My favorite moment was being at the door with my dad right before I walked down the aisle. My dad and I are very close, but never the emotional type. He must have noticed how nervous I was because he turned to me and said, “I’m proud of you, little girl. You ready?” And with a big smile, he locked arms with me and brought me out. When my bridesmaid’s boyfriend, Joe, started playing “Thousand Years” I absolutely lost it. I tried to smile through it, but I was ugly crying the moment I looked at Brian. We talked about this day all throughout the hard months during the original wave of the pandemic, and we finally made it.

I knew that this might be the only time we get married, we weren’t sure if we would do something next year that was more towards the original plan. So, we wanted to make this as special as possible. One detail I couldn’t live without, was the arbor and the ceremony décor. My bridesmaids came over the night before and helped me hang the fabric on the arbor and the lights throughout the backyard trees and fence. They made my backyard into a beautiful venue. I still have the picture in my mind of all the girls on stools hanging and re-hanging the fabric until it looked right. My friend, Lisa, is amazing and had all of the tools in her car for us. They rearranged chairs and tables until it was perfect.

The arbor was so heavy after the flowers went up that it almost toppled over! My dad and future brother-in-law ran to the hardware store and was able to pin it into the ground. It was almost an absolute disaster. Thank goodness for family.

“Hold You Here” by This Wild Life.

Don’t wait to start your happiness. Even if it’s not what you planned originally, it will be perfect because you are marrying your best friend.

I am still on the frontlines with the increasing cases in the pandemic. We will be planning the honeymoon soon, but for now, we are needed at our jobs.

the details



Ceremony Location


Reception Location



Catalina Fargoso Photography

Bride’s Gown

Justin Alexander

Bride’s Shoes

Kaileep - Etsy

+ more