This Vibrant, Colorful Micro Wedding Took Place Right in the Couple's Backyard
Jess Hinojosa and Andrew Smith grew up together, so history was on their side when they reconnected and started dating in December 2012. When Andrew proposed in the couple's backyard six years later, things felt like they had come full circle—but neither of them imagined that they would ultimately exchange vows in the same spot. "We had booked our dream venue—the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, where we both grew up—and ended up planning a pretty large wedding," says Jess. Their guest list clocked in at 200 loved ones; their plans included a vast welcome dinner, a live band, and an after-party. "Then, lo and behold, the country started going into lockdown in mid-March—less than two weeks away from the day we had been planning for a year and a half," says Jess. Realizing it wouldn't be safe to move forward with their plans, the couple postponed—but their new wedding date in August became untenable, too.
"After the outright cancelation, we didn't really have a clear path forward," admits the bride. "Then, Andrew's sister, our officiant, reached out and told us she still wanted to marry us in August." Motivated to move ahead, the couple kicked things into high gear, and with little time to plan, decided their own backyard would make an ideal venue. "The main thing was that we wanted everyone to feel safe," says Jess. "We kept the guest list very small and did everything outdoors, which was great because we'd been gardening like crazy during quarantine!" Their original event was designed around a muted color palette, so the couple decided to go in the opposite direction this time, and embrace vibrant colors. "In some ways, it was great to have a planning do-over after the bigger Dallas wedding, because we could refocus on exactly what we both wanted," says Jess. The pair arranged a catering service from one of their all-time favorite restaurants and found a wonderful florist who was luckily available. They even made their own playlist that was curated to their taste. "All in all, it felt super authentic because we went with our gut feelings about what we wanted, rather than being influenced by a planner and a bunch of other opinions," says Jess.
Although the day itself was slightly fraught ("We had a hurricane heading straight for Houston, a plumbing issue the night before the wedding, and then a rainstorm and electricity outage right when the ceremony was supposed to start!"), all of the events leading up to the wedding served as day-of reminders that the couple was resilient and could persevere through just about anything. "And now we have amazing stories to tell our future kids and grandkids," says Jess. "For us, just going ahead with the wedding and starting our married life—even if it meant giving up the 'big' wedding we had planned—was totally worth it. And the day was so magical anyway, I just can't imagine my heart being more full that it was."
Home Sweet Home
The couple's Houston home served as the site of the micro wedding. "We got married right in our backyard," says Jess. "It's a special spot for many reasons, including that it's our first home together and where we got engaged."
Though the majority of the day's festivities would happen outdoors, the home's interior spaces were curated, as well. A myriad of rocks (a nod to the couple's mutual professions in geology), calendars, dried and fresh florals, and more defined the space.
A One-of-a-Kind Look
Jess wore the Rue de Seine wedding dress she bought for the original celebration, a look that stood out with a crochet-lace top and blush-beige tulle skirt embroidered with snowy flowers. "I knew I wanted a gown that was a little bit funky or unique," says the bride. "When I found out that the designer was from New Zealand where I lived for three and a half years, I fell in love—not only was the dress striking and one of a kind, but it had a deeper level of significance."
Andrew's look was all about the details: He accessorized with custom cowboy boots and a bolo tie by Stone Everett, which featured a specimen of native silver from Creede, Colorado.
Those unique motifs paired perfectly with his timeless suit from Hugo Boss.
Made with Love
"Even though I had an amazing florist, I had always planned for my mom to make my bouquet," explains Jess. "She is super talented with flowers, and she made a stunning arrangement that was vibrant and gorgeous and full of unique blooms." The mother of the bride collaborated with their florist so the bouquet would blend nicely with the event's other flowers, creating a cohesive look.
The couple did a first look in their side garden—one of their favorite spots in the yard—and Andrew's expression says it all. "It was such a rush of joy during that moment and right after," says the bride.
Color in Bloom
Andrew came up with the idea to have a floral arch installed along the back fence, and their florist Jackie Trejo came through with a unique composition in a riot of colors.
Jess and Andrew wrote their own vows, sharing anecdotes of their history with a mix of sentiment and humor. "Andrew's vows totally swept me off my feet, especially when he used a line from the Taylor Swift song 'Invisible String,' which was the song I had chosen to walk down the aisle to!" says the bride.
Just five family members gathered in person to witness the couple's ceremony, while extended loved ones tuned in via a live stream. Andrew's sister officiated the service, infusing the ceremony with laughter and one element of surprise: "She collected little notes from all of the family who wasn't there in person, which was so touching and sweet!" says Jess.
A Socially Distant Toast
Following the ceremony, the bride and groom popped inside the house to share a toast via Zoom with their immediate family members (and Jess' best friend) who couldn't attend.
Two tables draped in classic white linens composed the reception setup for the intimate gathering. Floral arrangements in simple glass vessels adorned the tabletops, adding pops of color to the neutral backdrop. As the bride and groom are both geologists, they chose marble-patterned plates for their place settings. Gold flatware added an equally opulent touch.
Gathered Here Together
The couple and their guests gathered on the back porch for a priceless group shot.
Photography, Marni Wishart Photography
Flowers, Jackie Trejo
Invitations, Paperless Post
Bride's Gown, Rue de Seine via Unbridaled
Veil, Sara Gabriel
Shoes, Badgley Mischka
Hair and Makeup, Solaya Spa and Salon
Groom's Attire, Hugo Boss (tuxedo); Stone Everett (bolero tie)
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Mociun
Cake, Common Bond Cakes
Rentals, Aztec Events & Tents
Favors, Flashing Blinky Lights