This Sacramento Couple Spent Two Years Readying Their Backyard's Garden for Their Big Day
When Sacramento residents Thuy Nguyen and Khanh Minh Le, who met at a Buddhist youth group event, got engaged in November of 2016, they had an ambitious plan for their wedding. "We felt that it would be really meaningful for us to get married in our very own backyard," says the couple. In 2017, they started a planning process they describe as "long and thorough," which included landscaping their yard, building a deck, pouring new concrete, and planting trees and flowers that Thuy, a florist, later used throughout the ceremony and reception décor. "Our vision was to have an organic garden theme with lots of flowers and blooms that we had chosen to grow years ahead," the duo explains.
On May 25, 2019, they realized that vision with a backyard ceremony and reception for 200 of their closest friends and family members. And despite last-minute worries—like a rainy season that flooded the backyard the week before the celebration and a day-of forecast predicting scattered showers—the weather held out long enough for the couple to say their vows outdoors at home, just as they'd hoped.
Those vows unfolded under a large tree, decorated with coral peonies. Paired with the potted floral arrangements on the aisle, the tree made for a colorful ceremony space—which ultimately previewed the vibrant reception (complete with a flower-filled dresser that doubled as a cake table!) to come.
Their DIY Invitations
Thuy designed and printed the invitation suite using the wedding's understated color palette of champagne, coral, ivory, and blush as a starting point. She included watercolor artwork for the bar menu and printed the final product on cotton paper with deckled edges.
A Perfect Fit
After trying on several wedding dresses that she liked, but were out of her budget, Thuy found a tulle beaded V-neck number from the Whispers and Echoes collection at BHLDN; it fit perfectly and, she says, reflected her personality. She added three-dimensional flower accents to coordinate with the theme of her nuptials, and paired the gown with a long veil, also from BHLDN.
Thuy continued her look's floral elements with her other accessories, which included a clutch dotted with jeweled bloom accents, flower-inspired hairpins, and Daisy perfume.
Thuy, a florist with Pineapple Petals Studio, made her own bouquet, which included coral peonies, ranunculus, clematis, roses from her own garden, hellebores, and honeysuckles. She created a "minimalist organic garden" look by keeping the shape asymmetrical and adding a pale ribbon tie.
The men wore boutonnières of ranunculus and dried flowers in peach, orange, and pale green shades, which complemented their dark suits by incorporating the event's light color scheme.
Lucky in Love
Before the ceremony, Khanh—in a dark blue suit from Zara—met Thuy for their first look. Though Thuy felt calm the whole time, the groom wasn't as relaxed. "I was really nervous at first," he says. "Then I was surprised at how beautiful Thuy looked, and after, felt that I was the luckiest guy in the world."
So Happy Together
For Thuy and Khanh, seeing their wedding day come together as they envisioned was worth all the hard work. Whether you're planning at home wedding or not, they say, "Don't stress over things out of your control."
In the Garden
The outdoor ceremony took place under a large tree wrapped in an oversized garland of coral peonies. Rows of wooden cross-back chairs were separated by an aisle lined with flowers, while the property's metal gate added a rich background element.
The couple chose not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen, but did ask Thuy's niece and nephew to perform flower girl and ring bearer duties. "They refused to hold hands during rehearsal practice," says the couple, "but somehow once it was time, they both put on their game face and did a perfect job."
With This Ring
After Thuy's mother and father walked her down the aisle, the couple exchanged promises in a service officiated by a Buddhist monk. "We wrote our own vows," says the couple. "No special quotes—just stories from our years being together."
Khanh made street-inspired signage that directed friends and family to the cocktail hour, where they sipped signature drinks while eating prosciutto-wrapped prawns, crostini with vegetable ragout, and twice-baked potatoes.
As Thuy and Khanh posed for portraits by the barn on their property, a few of their curious animals stopped by to join the photo session.
White frame stands created a simple background for the couple's calligraphed table assignments—and for eye-catching hanging floral displays and baskets of blooms.
The Best of Friends
Thuy and Khanh posed for portraits with friends and family throughout the evening, capturing precious moments with the people closest to them.
Dining Al Fresco
For the reception, the couple set up long tables in their backyard where guests ate and drank under white lights as the sun went down. Velvet linens, gold-edged glassware, and low centerpieces created an elegant atmosphere while the outdoor setting kept the event from feeling too formal or fussy. "We kept the wedding minimalistic, as we are a simple couple enjoying the simple things in life," they say.
Place settings included white chargers with a lace-edge design, brass flatware, and pale blue napkins with menus and place cards attached. Farm to Table Catering provided a meal that included braised short ribs, salmon, and glazed carrots.
A white sideboard served as a display area for a variety of desserts, including a red velvet cake decorated with three-dimensional pink flowers by Thuy's cousin. Other small cakes and cupcakes offered guests their choice of sweets, while an upper drawer offered a prime spot for an overflowing floral arrangement.
Their First Dance
The newlyweds took the floor for their first dance to "Phut Boi Roi," a Vietnamese love song; they both describe this spin as one of the most special moments from the whole day.
Photography, Meiwen Wang
Day-of Coordination, Natalie Choi
Catering, Farm to Table
Flowers, Pineapple Petals Studio
Videography, Imperial Productions
Music, Marcus Cappellazzo, Cappell Entertainment
Rentals and lighting, Celebrations Party Rentals
Bride's gown, BHLDN
Hair and Makeup, Joli de Jackie
Groom's suit, Zara
Live Art, Chasing Linen