A love-filled backyard wedding with Courtney and James holding sparklers.

Courtney and James’ Love-Filled Backyard Trempleau Wedding

One of the greatest joys as a wedding photographer is capturing the celebration of two true friends who marry each other. These two are some of the most amazing human beings I know; Courtney is the kind of person who exudes care and understanding. There have been countless times I’ve come to her for advice because I know she’ll be the voice of reason, with a steady and clear-eyed way of looking at things. 

James is the friend who is the yin to my yang. He’s got an explosive mindset for growth, and he challenges me in all of the best ways when it comes to creative and personal issues. He’s not afraid to back down, but he’s always open, fair, and ready to listen. Every creative person should have a James in their life!

Destination Engagement Session in Denver

There’s no rule that because you live in Wisconsin and you’re getting married in Wisconsin, you have to do your engagement session in Wisconsin. In fact, it makes for some really special photos when you go to a location that feels more like a vacation than home. 

So off we went to one of my favorite places to get high on Love in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for some fun and intimate engagement photos. The trip was full of laughs, long talks about life, some great photos, and pizza. Because when life is good, there should be pizza.

During our travels to locations, we had a bit of a fright; a serious rollover accident in another lane occurred. Courtney and James didn’t even hesitate, pulling over immediatly to offer aid while people sped by. Thinking of others comes as naturally as breathing to them; that’s just who they are.

A couple walking down the road during their engagement session in colorado.

Why Choose a Backyard Wedding

The last few years have been challenging for weddings, and Courtney and James chose to have a backyard wedding in Trempleau at her Dad’s home with their closest friends and family. While Covid has been hard on everyone, it has shed new light on what’s really most important, and weddings are definitely being planned with more intention now. There’s nothing wrong with a traditional venue, but with restrictions, many couples are finding that guests and family members feel safer in more intimate gatherings.

The backyard wedding is an obvious choice for someone who loves being outside, but there are so many more reasons to have one! The sentimental factor is one of them; at an at-home wedding, you get to celebrate in a space that’s already filled with love and memories. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, the backyard is the place where you grew up, played games, celebrated birthdays and holidays, where you’ve shared backyard campfires or backyard barbecues. There are so many memories that tie into a home, and that’s what makes it such a rich and powerful place to hold your backyard wedding celebration!

The backyard wedding is a return to sanity in a crazy world, a chance to slow down and really savor the moments of life. This backyard wedding was full of games, laughter, joy, a little bit of drizzly rain, and love – it’s everything I hoped for Courtney and James!

Backyard Wedding Celebrations in Wisconsin

As any good wedding day should start, there were mimosas and laughs for the girls, and wisecracks and inside jokes being thrown around by the guys. I love the dynamic of the wedding couple getting ready in the same place without seeing each other. It lends a kind of excited tension that makes everyone a little giddy!

Courtney and her dad also did the first look out on the backyard porch before the wedding, which I totally love. This is such a nice tradition that has evolved over the years and can make for some really heartfelt and emotional photos.

The weather was perfect for the ceremony, and both Courtney and James were radiant exchanging vows under the string lights; there were a lot of happy smiles and not a lot of dry eyes! It was exactly the ceremony they wanted; short, heartfelt, and in front of the people who matter to them the most.

Backyard Wedding Games and Love All-Around

Any chance to include a game in the celebration is one that any self-respecting Wisconsinite is here for. Beer and bags? Count us in! At your own backyard wedding, there are NO rules! (well, except for noise ordinance and things…but this backyard wedding had that all figured out).

There were kids doing gymnastics on the lawn, there were champagne shake-ups, there was epic dancing on the lawn. Another great thing about backyard weddings? And endless outdoor space for a dance floor!  There were sparklers and shots, and so, so much love. This was exactly the backyard wedding that was right for them, and it’s one that will be remembered by friends and family for a long, long time.

Thank you, James and Courtney, for choosing me as a friend and to document your day. It was as epic as we all imagined.

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