Megan and James’ wedding day proves that a low-key affair can be pretty magical too. On a late summer’s afternoon, in a truly intimate ceremony surrounded by immediate family and just one friend each, the couple exchanged their vows beneath an apple tree in the bride’s parents’ garden. The ceremony was followed by a backyard reception where guests toasted the happy couple, and a candlelit dinner filled with delicious food, and lots of love – simple and sweet and just the way we like it!

Special thanks to Rose Dykstra of Simply Rose Photography for sharing all the lovely photos with us.

Intimate BC Backyard Wedding

Megan, 34 & James, 32

Vancouver, British Columbia

Wedding Date: August 22, 2012

Number of Guests: 16 including baby Alexander (Born March 18th, 2013) who was in my tummy at the time

Wedding Cost: $15,000 (including dress and rings)

Wedding Ceremony Location: My parents’ backyard in Dunbar

Wedding Reception Location: My parents’ house and backyard in Dunbar

wedding ringd

pink and white garden rose bouquet

Bride and Groom portrait

bride and groom in vancouver

bride and groom portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We met one another and fell in love really quickly and decided that we wanted to spend our lives together.  We felt like it was more appropriate to plan a small and intimate wedding to share with those closest to us.  I was also three months pregnant at the time (James would like everyone to know that we planned the wedding before we found out about the pregnancy!) and we felt like having something much more low key….it just felt right for us.

bride portrait

groom in colorful bow tie

groom portrait

bride portrait

groom in red socks

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

We didn’t really face any challenges quite honestly.  All I would recommend is that if you can avoid being pregnant while planning a wedding it would probably make the whole process a little easier!

bride and groom kissing on the steps

bride and groom by the ocean

bride and groom kissing my the sea

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

We just kept it to immediate family and one friend each – it wasn’t too complicated.

bride and groom portrait in Vancouver

bride and groom beneath a willow tree

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

We didn’t have any issues, as our families understood and respected what we wanted.  I think that my parents were actually really happy that it was small!

wild black eyed susans

Mother of the groom


groom pinning on his boutonniere

hanging mason jar lights

backyard wedding reception

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Marrying the true love of my life.

bride walking down the aisle with her father

intimate backyard wedding ceremony

bride and groom at the backyard altar

groom looking at his bride during ceremony

bride looking at the groom

groom putting ring on bride's finger

bride and groom at the altar

bride and groom first kiss

joyous bride and groom

bride and groom greeting guests

What were the highlights of the reception?

Sitting around a candlelit table, sharing our love with the people who mean the most to us.  Listening to Vandjango live in the backyard and enjoying delicious, amazing cuisine and service from Culinary Capers.

champagne for wedding reception

wedding canapes

backyard wedding reception musicians

pink, white and blue wedding centerpiece

pink and white rose centerpiece

crystal chandelier

wine glasses set up for reception

wedding buffet

wedding buffet

guests serving themselves t buffet

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Getting to spend time with each and every guest and sharing every moment with them.  The relaxed atmosphere was definitely something that everyone at the wedding (including us) found the most enjoyable – a wedding should be fun, not stressful!  The best thing for me personally was seeing how much my husband enjoyed himself and knowing that the evening was exactly what he wanted.

wedding toast

groom at intimate wedding reception

bride and groom speeches

bride and groom kissing at reception

wedding vintage tea cups

wedding desserts

wedding desserts

backyard wedding reception at night

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Go for it, it was the best decision that we made – it was a magical evening.  Be prepared to do a lot of the planning yourself and find a spot that has sentimental value – hopefully your parents are as open to having a wedding at their house as mine were!

bride and groom cutting the cake


Catering: Culinary Capers & Party Art Design

Flowers: Quince Fine Florals 

Photography: Simply Rose Photography

Music: Vandjango 

Dress: Chloe Angus Design

Makeup: Mika at Mika Does Makeup

Rings: Harlings Jewelers (Paolo Diligenti)