COVID-19 Backyard Wedding
William + Kayla
Disclaimer before reading this. What you’re about to read is super awesome and full of my random thoughts and rabbit trails. This will be the new format for our blogs in the future—you’ll get a little glimpse into what it’s like to talk to me. So, if you do end up reading this. I’m so sorry.
Let’s address the elephant in the room guys: yes, this is a COVID-19 backyard wedding. Does it matter? Hecks to the no. Want to know why? Because William and Kayla didn’t need no big wedding. They just needed a backyard, some chairs, close friends (not too close cause social distancing, duh) and family, pizza, and the two best photographers in the world (in our opinion). In Kayla’s words this is how she describes her wedding day. “Oh god. Um. English garden party with Cuban flair? (As a nod to William’s heritage) or maybe just vintage 70’s vibe. Say the vintage thing, or all three. #indecisive.” Clear. As. Mud. Kayla, wouldn’t have said it better myself.
Okay for real though, let’s talk about COVID. COVID has affected so many people in different ways. Our hearts go out to every couple who had to reschedule their weddings, to every vendor who lost most of their business this year, and everyone who’s plans have had a million and one hoops to jump through. But, we’re so happy that people like Kayla and William were looking at the glass half full and didn’t let a world-wide pandemic stand in their way. K + W’s COVID-19 backyard wedding, here we come.
They got creative by having less than 15 people attend (while social distancing) and have the rest watch a live stream on the computer (neighbors also celebrated from the comfort of their decks). They made sure every seat was more than 6 feet apart, and held everything outside so they could remain as safe as possible. This not only made all the guests feel safe, it made Mikayla and I feel a lot better when shooting. K + W knew that Mikayla is immune compromised, and constantly checked in to see if we were comfortable to shoot this wedding, which made us feel so happy to know that health was one of their highest priorities.
As you’ll see in the photos below, some people couldn’t make it to the wedding day because of COVID, so some people got even more creative and sent a cut out of their daughters to be their stand in flower girls. I wanted to photograph the flower girls in a field, maybe somebody would spoon feed them something like that one vine where people tried to spoon feed Ryan Gosling some cereal. Yeah, I’m hip, I still watch Vine compilations. Come at me TikTok.
I feel like Agape needs to do this for every wedding. We need to bring about 2-4 cutouts of Mikayla and I posing with our camera to every wedding and have random timers where a flash will go off. Or better yet, what if we had a motion detector where we have random phrases that compliment or insult people who walk by? Like, did you just fart? Or, you really wore that to this event? Too much? Meh. Okay, but seriously, though they didn’t plan on having a small intimate Covid-19 backyard wedding, they ended up loving every moment of it.
The first time we ever met, they talked about having this epic dance party surrounded by all their friends (Kayla is a dancer) and family. I even made a deal with Kayla that she and I (Luke) would both do a choreographed dance to Michael Jackson on the dance floor (I suck at dancing guys, it would’ve been amazing). Butttttt, Kayla and William are still having an epic dance party celebration next year in 2021 when it’s safe. So guess freaking what, photos or video will be coming of Luke dancing and most likely failing coming next year.
Another sweet aspect of K and W’s COVID-19 backyard wedding was that they wanted to keep the the wedding completely eco friendly. They wanted everything about it to be environmentally sustainable or earth friendly. So Recyclops (from The Office) thanks you K + W, and so does mother earf. We just dig that and thought it deserved mention because K and W are pretty rad.
The wedding decor was super minimal and chic, with little touches of a garden party thrown in with small whiffs of a 70’s vibe, and we couldn’t get enough of it. At the ceremony site, Kayla and William were standing on a beautiful rug while being flanked by pink flamingos, and their arch was topped with a handmade pom pom garland. The backyard had an epic forest/bog as the perfect backdrop to the whole shebang.
There were lots of laughing, silly faces, cry faces (sometimes super ugly ((mostly by me)), and nothing but sarcasm the whole day—and it was perfect. Did I mention that they also love to ride motorcycles and break into places? We thought we were hardcore; I think we’ve met our match.
Check out that motorcycle though. I’d say it matches their personalities. Motorcycles are like dogs looking like their owners. You can easily match a motorcycle to the person who rides it. I thought William was a pretty cool guy, but then I saw his motorcycle, then he was a REALLY cool guy. It’s science, people. If you have a motorcycle that doesn’t look like a grandpa bike or crotch rocket, you look cool. And yes, that was supposed to be offensive to grandpa bikes and crotch rockets. But I digress.
But I don’t. If you want to see an epic bike, check out mine here. Did I really just link to the Triumph motorcycle website? Yes I did. During a wedding blog? I’m sorry, but do you own my business? Back me up K + W, come on now. But I digress.
Right after the ceremony, we did toasts, and rode off into the sunset to an abandoned house to explore and take a few photos. We were met by a Karen in the distance watching us walk into this house, and, Mikayla not liking any kind of confrontation, wanted to get the beep out of there, but Luke being a born rebel was like, let’s freaking do this thing. Also to note, before you come for us, there were absolutely no signs on the property declaring no trespassing etc., etc.
So, naturally, we left the house is quickly as we could because police + wedding day doesn’t equal a good time, and we went back for the greatest love language of all time: pizza. We ended the night with Kayla and William dancing like no one was watching. I mean, look at one of the photos, her dad was paying more attention to the pizza then the dancing, #prouddad #pizzasogood #daughtertemprorarypizzaforever
The thing we loved most about this wedding? We felt so welcome. We legitimately felt like apart of the family by the time the night was over. K + W’s families/now one family are so loving and giving. The moment I got there we were offered drinks, and I’m like, this is my kind of party haha. Not only that, their sense of humour all match K and W’s. The whole day was constant making fun of each other. These are truly our people, because if you know anything about Mikayla and I, is that making fun of you is my number one priority.
At the end of the night, it was just K + W, her parents, a couple of siblings, and us, and we stayed for an extra 20 minutes just laughing and having a good time. I feel big weddings are so formal and you don’t get opportunities like this. It’s weird to say that, but it felt more authentic and intimate. Who knew that during a COVID-19 backyard wedding where social distancing took place, we never felt closer to a couples’ friends and family.
Photography is an art form. Photography isn’t just taking a camera and pointing and clicking. Sure, anyone can take a phone camera, a DSLR, or a point and shoot film camera and take a beautiful photo. But there is something magical that happens when a photographer is really connecting with their subject matter. There’s something amazing about capturing the real deep connections between two people. This kind of photography can’t be taught; it’s something that you learn by interacting with couples and having them let you in.
It’s so important to us to feel connected to our subject matter (couples)(or pizza, I mean come on). We try to build this intimacy between our couples so they let us in for little moments in their lives. This way, Mikayla and I can see their little quirks and see their little interactions that make them who they are. Whether that be through double dates, Mikayla and I cooking for them, video chats, or even having a game night.
I don’t want to get sappy guys, but their love just oozes all over the place. Not only in the way that they love each other, but how they love and stand up for others. These guys have been in a long distance relationship for so long and that in itself is a testimony to how much they love each other.
It’s so odd for Mikayla and I to fathom a long distance relationship, with us both working at Progressive and owning a business together. We’re together almost all of the time. I think the most we’ve ever been apart was 2 or 3 days in the past 6 years we’ve known each other. The thought of being apart from Mikayla for more than 3 days is something I don’t like thinking about, or even writing about.
This COVID-19 backyard wedding goes down as a fave in our books, despite being during a global pandemic and life being a little bit unsure and scary at times. Kayla and William, we love you and can’t wait to dance and celebrate again with you next year (and all of our future hangs that will happen). COVID may have put a wrench in many, many plans, but time and time again, love prevails (cheesy…but v tru). Your COVID-19 backyard wedding proved that.
Here, this sounds better: Love kicks COVID’s butt. Your COVID-19 backyard wedding kicked butt. Much better, much metal.
If you want to check out Kayla and William during their Kent Ohio engagement session, click that freaking link. You think this COVID-19 backyard wedding was cute and all, yeah? Well that engagement session was straight fire. There was tons of laughing, jumping, pushing, self deprecating jokes, and love (and some cool elevator action). Also, look out for those super sexy shoes that William is wearing.
Like I said above, this is going to be the new format for our blogs that feature a wedding or engagement session. Mikayla and I try to be as real as possible in our lives and our business. Social media can become daunting when you’re only trying to show the best of the best in your life. But, Mikayla and I love to show off our wins AND losses, bad jokes, cats, garden, motorcycle, ridiculous house projects, and the like, but, I feel as though the best thing we can do is show off the hard times in our lives.
If we don’t practice what we preach about opening up to our followers/friends/family, how can we expect our couples to open up to us? Our old blogs were kind of surfacey, where we were focused on how the day went, not how it felt… now, it’s going to be more intentional and full of personality (and much to your reading pleasure, full of us). I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of what we’re trying to start at Agape, and if you don’t like, that’s okay, you probably won’t be reading this far anyway.
Planning your own quiet backyard wedding or elopement? Or a last minute COVID-19 backyard wedding? Or just in need of some rad photographers to grab some ‘za with and socially distance hang? Shoot us a message and talk to our cats (aka the office administrators) for information! Now booking for the remainder of 2020 and all of 2021.
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