Romantic Autumn Backyard California Micro Wedding

Lauren & Mikelle were one of the many couples affected by the covid-19 pandemic. They were supposed to get married in a winery in Los Gatos, California, but quickly had to change plans to a backyard wedding in Redwood City. The wedding was so much more intimate, romantic, and beautiful than they had hoped. Warm-toned fall florals paired with a teal-green wedding dress made for the most gorgeous fall micro wedding. These two were surrounded by their closest family and friends, and the love that Lauren & Mikelle have for each other was written all over their faces. 

How did you meet?

We met at a night club in San Francisco on September 19, 2012. Mikelle’s best friend pushed him into me on the dance floor. We ended up dancing together all night. After spending a couple of months getting to know each other, our relationship became “official” in December 2012. 

What is your proposal story?

Mikelle proposed in Tahoe on January 5, 2019. We rented a small cabin with two friends for a long weekend. We were upstairs alone in our room when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was completely surprised! Of course, I said yes. 

Tell us a little a bit about your wedding.

Well, this was not the wedding that we planned for. We originally planned a wedding at a beautiful winery in Los Gatos, but we had to move it to 2021. However, if this pandemic has taught us anything it is that you never know what the future holds. We were also unsure if we would be able to get married in 2021 due to this pandemic. We decided to get married on 10/10/20 (which was the date we originally wanted, but all the venues were booked). 

We choose to get married in my parent’s front yard because there was plenty of space for our close family and friends to enjoy the ceremony while social distancing. It is also beautiful so it was easy to set up for a wedding. I honestly can’t take credit for the décor. My parents and sister handled all of it. I thought we were just getting married in a driveway, but I came outside to beautiful lanterns and pumpkins

Tell us about your attire choices.

I have a beautiful white wedding dress sitting in my parent’s closet waiting for 2021. I wasn’t sure if I would have time or resources to safely get the dress altered. I decided to order an affordable wedding dress for our micro marriage. I ordered about 12 white dresses and returned them all! I was getting really frustrated because none of the dresses I ordered felt like “me.” I decided to branch out and order non-white dresses. I always loved the idea of a non-traditional dress and just hoped that I could make it a “wedding” dress. I ordered the green dress and immediately loved it. I sent photos to my sister and she confirmed that was the dress. From there, we slowly ordered pieces to go with the dress. We decided a veil would make the dress look like a wedding dress so we got to work looking for a light gold veil. We found one on Etsy and ordered it. I was a little unsure about how a gold veil would look, but once the whole outfit was together, I really loved it. My sister was a huge help throughout this process. I couldn’t have done it without her. 

My husband already had the suit so all he needed was a bow tie that matched the dress. My sister went shopping with him and they found his bow tie. 

Our bestest boy, Crixus, stole the show in his matching dog bow tie which was another Etsy find. 

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?

The most important thing to Mikelle and I was that our ceremony was safe for everyone. We really wanted to celebrate with all of our family and friends, but it was not possible with the pandemic. We could not ask our loved ones to put themselves at risk. We decided to put together the micro wedding with our parents, siblings, and bridal party. My brother and father set up a live stream via zoom so our guests could participate in the ceremony safely. 

Our goal was to keep costs down for this wedding. Our biggest splurge was the photographer and we are so glad that we asked Lauren to be at the ceremony. Even though it was not the wedding we planned, it is still part of our story. Plus, we love the photos! 

What were your favorite parts of the day?

My favorite parts of the definitely include the vows. My husband was so nervous when reading his, but they were so beautiful. 

Mikelle introduced me to Game of Thrones early in our relationship and it became one of the first things we watched together. I requested that we be introduced as “House McCaffrey Galligan” since we were going against tradition and taking on each other’s last name. Once Mikelle’s sister, who officiated, announced us, I had the Game of Thrones theme song start playing. I didn’t tell anyone (except my brother who was in charge of music). Both of our families are Game of Thrones fans so it was a great way to make it official. Everybody recognized it immediately and started clapping and cheering. 

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

We were looking for a florist in the area who would be willing to make a bouquet and boutonniere for a small ceremony. I remembered that my coworker had beautiful florals for his ceremony so I asked for the florist’s name. I contacted Sally and told her that I was looking for “fall” colors. I explained that I was wearing a hunter green dress and that I wanted the flowers to coordinate with the dress. She loved the non-traditional dress and was excited to create the flowers! I ended up adding a hair piece to my order and I was so glad that I did. It was perfect! The flowers were perfect and exceeded my expectations. 

Tell us about your wedding cake.

No, wedding cake! Just some funfetti cupcakes with adorable toppers handmade by my sister. 

Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.

My sister made these really cute cupcake toppers. She even managed to include my “gold” veil on one of the toppers for my cupcake. It was adorable! 

Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?

My parents decorated the tables with some of my grandmother’s hand made pieces to include her in the day even though she couldn’t be there with us physically.

They also ordered us these champagne flutes that are identical to the ones that they and my grandparents have. 

We have a lot more special traditions planned for the large ceremony next year.  

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

My only advice is make safety a priority during your pandemic wedding. Having a wedding during COVID isn’t ideal, but it will be part of your story and you will love it regardless. 

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