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  • Writer's pictureAbbie Cole Hillis

Intimate Backyard Wedding- LGBTQ+

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

When Courtney and Sarah started their vendor search they expressed some top key elements that were most important to them. They wanted someone who understood not only their vision but who they were as people, they wanted an intimate garden backyard party with their favorite people, LGBTQ+ friendly vendors were a must, and they wanted elements that signified their love. When Executive planner, Ryleigh, got to talk to them about their dreams, they quickly bonded over their love for an intimate gathering and their secret nerd sides - creating the perfect day!

Meet Courtney and Sarah, the two who met in Houston, Tx one night at a bar and never looked back! After meeting, they knew they had something special, and the rest is history. Their love for each other is evident the moment you meet them, and we loved getting to witness it all firsthand! They both love playing board games, traveling, rewatching Star Wars movies (ask Officiant Dani all about it), sharing shoes, being best friends, and are so excited to have a permanent sleepover together forever! It was the biggest honor to plan this day, and we are so excited to share all of the details with you.

These two became one at the beautiful and elegant venue of The Allan House in Austin, Tx. They wanted a garden-style vibe, and felt as though this was the perfect spot for them. This space was elegant, timeless, dreamy, and everything the couple had envisioned.

Courtney and Sarahs wedding was one of our favorites when it came to intimate love. With exactly 30 of their favorite people, we started the celebration with a quaint courtyard ceremony officiated by their best friend, flowing right into their first dance after they recessed down the aisle. This was a new favorite for us. It allowed for the guests to move quickly from their seats, transitioning right into cocktail hour, while Courtney and Sarah were beaming with newly married glow as they shared their first dance. After a short cocktail hour with live music, their guests accompanied them at one long dinner table for a private meal. The evening wrapped up with a courtyard style backyard house party. From Jenga, to water pong, and a glow stick dance party, Sarah and Courtney left the night full of yummy drinks, great company, and a heck of a time.

Everything about the night couldn’t have been more perfect. With a guest appearance from their sweet puppy, Lexa, to a Star Wars and Harry Potter themed "family crest", the special touches were just muah….. chef’s kiss.

Planner’s favorite moment:

As a planner, we see a lot of similar ideas when it comes to a wedding, which is why I personally love when something is different! All of the first dances were such a nice change up to see, and honestly made more of an intimate approach.

The Recession from newly wed bliss straight into a first dance was not only logistically planned due to timing purposes, but it was such a special moment with their guests standing to surround the newly weds. Following this, they went straight into parent dances where they each danced with both parents at the same time. This made it feel really special for everyone!

Courtney and Sarah knew they wanted their wedding day to be small, intimate, and special with their close friends and family there. One of the most unique parts of the day was their dinner table during the reception. This private plated dinner was something to talk about. The double sided elongated table allowed for all guests to converse from both ends and created that feel-good family dinner atmosphere. While dinner was happening, one of our favorite LGBTQ+ vendors, the one and only Sammie Zonana serenaded the party while playing the guitar, which added such a fun and personal touch! Having live music during your ceremony, reception, or both, is something we will always recommend!

This first look was one we will never forget. Courtney and Sarah expressed to us how happy they were that they decided to do a first look, and how special it was to them to have this time together. This moment created time for them to be alone, process the big day, and soak it all in. There are many benefits to a first look when it comes to utilizing time best, allowing you to join in for cocktail hour or have a early private dinner, photos finished before sunset, or calming your nerves, or our personal favorite; these intimate photos and moments that the couple will get to look back on and cherish forever.

We asked the couple a few questions regarding their day that we thought would be insightful and fun to share to all of our engaged and planning couples out there :)

Were there any important heirlooms, symbols, etc. that you incorporated in your wedding?

  • It was very important to us that our dog be included in the ceremony. She is a very important, big aspect of our lives and we wanted her to be there with us! We aren't without her much, and of course she was going to be there to see her moms get married :) We also made our own logo for the wedding crossing a wand and lightsaber with our initials. We put it on the napkins, name cards and the ping pong balls we had for the "fancy" beer pong. Our friends have dubbed it our family crest now, which is super cool!

What was something you wish you could tell other couples while they plan their wedding?

  • GET A COORDINATOR/PLANNER! By far the best choice we made. This took at lot of the stress away and kept us on track. Also, have the wedding YOU want to have, not the wedding your family/friends expect. You will be much happier when you do this. Remember, it's your day, not theirs!

What was your favorite part(s) of your wedding day?

  • We loved having our closest friends and family there to celebrate with us! It was also nice that we didn't really have to worry about anything the day of. All our vendors were on point. We could just focus on being there with each other and our guests.

It's so fun to see the tips and advice our couples have after they experience their big day. Every couple is different, but seeing other's perspectives is always beneficial. We know planning can be overwhelming, and you shouldn't have to do it alone!

The Allan House Austin Wedding

We love you Courtney and Sarah, and had the best time planning and being a part of your big day. We are wishing you nothing but years of happiness and celebration!


Caterer // Crave Catering

Planning + Design // Benevo Events + Ryleigh Groner

Photographer // Krista Sperry Photography

Alcohol // Crave Catering

DJ + Ceremony Music // Sammie Zonana Music

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