In the wedding photography world, independent business owners like me often talk about finding our "ideal clients": those couples who we love working with, and who are the perfect embodiment of our brand and values...

For me, J+A are those IDEAL CLIENTS...the perfect couple that I love to work with. They are effortlessly cool, deeply in love and truly best friends (they are uniting after 10 years together), and focused on all the RIGHT things for their celebration: making memories with their chosen family, laughing, drinking, dancing, crying happy tears.

Couples like J+A are the perfect fit for my candid, documentary approach: they care more about authenticity than perfection.

They're not afraid to be REAL, and they place their trust in me as their photographer to capture that realness.

This isn't my first blog post about J&A, and it certainly won't be my last: their DIY "Glam Garden" love celebration was so cool, and chock-full of ideas and approaches that I know will inspire other likeminded couples. You can read about PART ONE of their union, a self-uniting ceremony at a historic home in Philly PA:

Today's blog post is all about PART TWO of their union, the DIY "Glam Garden" backyard Love Celebration they hosted at A's mom's home in Bayport NY.

All their friends (chosen family) kept joking: "Don't say the 'W' word!"

This was way cooler than a "wedding". This was their own unique celebration, totally tailored to their love and their values <3

Newlywed wears vintage metallic gold dress at backyard celebration.
Newlywed wears a vintage suit jacket with custom wing applique and vintage brooch at backyard wedding.
Bride gets ready with best friend styling her hair.
Friend of the bride playfully scolds the couples dog for barking all morning.
Bride getting ready with best friend surrounded by the clutter of a wedding day.
Bride sprays hairspray while doing her own hair on her wedding day.
Bride arranges artificial flowers in her hairstyle while looking in the mirror.
Best friend of the bride places silk flowers in her hair on the morning of her celebration.
Groom writes their vows and promises by hand on the morning of their wedding day.
Groom places their vows into the breast pocket of their vintage suit jacket.
Bride applies face powder on her partner while helping them get ready for their celebration.
Couple and best friends get ready together and laugh together on the morning of their celebration.
Two partners putting on shoes and boots together on the morning of their union.
Bride adjusting their partner's suit jacket details.
Bride admiring their partner's outfit on before their ceremony and celebration.

First, J+A got ready together, which is infinitely cooler (and less stressful) than getting ready separately and having to hide from each other all morning.

Their dog DJ Roomba was having none of this, and barked all morning. After a playful scolding from one of J's besties, the pup was eventually moved to another location for the benefit of all. He was the only guest who did not have a blast ;)

J+A also had the wedding episode of Parks and Rec playing on an iPad in the background while getting ready <3

Couple attends their friends' backyard celebration.
Guests in sparkly and colorful dresses pose together.
Young couple laugh and embrace and backyard celebration in Bayport NY.
Aunt and young nephew laugh together with loved ones during celebration.
Friends of the couple travelled several states to celebrate their union.
Vintage and upcycled glassware from local thrift stores decreased the carbon footprint of this green wedding.
DIY beer wall and wine wall for self serve open bar at backyard wedding.
A guest pours kombucha in a Bayport backyard.
A buffet of local vegan food was served in an open air backyard art studio in Bayport NY.
The bride opens a bottle of champers at their DIY offbeat wedding celebration.
Two guests wear hats chat outdoors while enjoying the early May weather.
A youngster plays boardgames with a relative in the Kids play area.
The couple's friends all pitch it to help set up decor for the wedding celebration. A man in a fedora sets up chandelier
The bride talks with her mother at her backyard celebration.
Kids enjoy games and toys in a special kids play area set up on the back porch.