Bay Area Wedding Photographer | Eclectic Vintage Botanical Science Inspired Backyard Wedding – Part 2

This eclectic vintage botanical science inspired backyard Bay Area wedding is SO stocked full of goodness, we had to divide it all up into 3 digestible parts. Be sure to stick around as we reveal each one!!

Here’s what you can expect: our interviews with Jessica over at Storyboard Wedding – who styled and coordinated her sister’s botanical science inspired backyard wedding – as well as our interviews with the amazing couple themselves, Christy and James!

  • Part 1 – Where in the world this eclectic vintage botanical science inspired backyard wedding theme came from! Including floral, color palette, DIY design and inspiration.
  • Part 2 – Christy and James’ describe: their (hilarious) love story (which includes guns – yes, I said guns….), what it was like renovating their home for their wedding (oh, yes they did!), wedding traditions they kept and ditched. Plus getting ready photos and the first look
  • Part 3 – All about that epic DIY chalkboard ceremony backdrop and the stories behind it’s creation. Plus, wedding planning advice and tips from Christy!

Yeah… you might want to cuddle up with a cup of tea for this one!! Don’t say we didn’t warn you….

How did you two meet and when did you know he/she was THE ONE?


“This is actually one of my favorite stories to tell people because the way that we met is so completely random. We met at a gun range – no seriously!

I was in the middle of what you could say was a, “quarter life crisis,” and I decided to take up an offer from an acquaintance to meet up with his friends to go shoot some guns. Mind you, I have never really been into shooting guns nor have I ever really shot a gun before, but I told myself I could probably use the stress relief and to go and be brave.

I showed up at the gun range to meet my friend and I immediately notice James. I’ll never forget the way that he looked wearing his cool black Ray Bans and his Cheshire Cat smile. After about an hour or so of pretending to be super interested in what my friend was talking about, I noticed that James was starting to go around the group asking anyone if they would like to shoot his gun.

As he walked up to me my heart fluttered and I thought, “Oh Gosh…” as I literally had no idea what I was doing. Before my brain acknowledge the question, I heard myself saying ‘Hell Ya!’ (wait…what?!…haha)

While he was explaining all the basics to me, my eyes glazed over and all I heard was ‘la la la la’, while in my head I just kept repeating, “oh god oh god please don’t let me accidentally kill anyone in front of this really hot guy!!!!” – yes…that is indeed how my brain works folks.

Before I knew what I was doing, I found the gun in my hand and I was aiming at a target. Obviously, I was absolutely terrible. (shocking!)

After missing the target like, a LOT, James came up and wrapped his arms around me to you know …help me to aim. (giggles)

On the outside, I was trying to pay attention, but on the inside my heart was begging for CPR. It was like a jolt of electricity surge through him to me. That is when I knew that he was the one. It was as if two magnets that had been searching for each other finally met. I had never felt that feeling before with anyone. My entire world was vibrating.

After we were done shooting, the guys started to talk about finding a place to go swimming and BBQ. I couldn’t imagine not hanging out with James anymore, so I practically made my apartment sound like a freaking paradise. I used the highly technical and classiest bribe I could think of … “free food and beer!!??”

James and I spent the whole night talking. The next morning after everyone had left, I noticed that James had left his number written down in two different places in my apartment – one on my bathroom mirror and the other behind my blinds on my bedroom window. Obviously, I called him.”


“Christy’s version and how it all went down always makes me laugh, as my version is a little bit different.

When Christy showed up the first thing I noticed about her were these absolutely ridiculous glasses she had on! They were like something out of the matrix!”

Christy’s Interjection:



“ANYWAYS!!! They were really awful looking. After about an hour or so, I decided to go around and ask everyone if they had a chance to shoot, as I genuinely wanted to make sure that everyone had a great day.

When Christy got up to shoot, I was very nervous since she was shooting my Dad’s 357 Magnum. I felt that the responsible thing to do was make sure she was shooting with proper posture and form to prevent the gun from kicking back towards her face, so I put my arms around her to show her. And despite what Christy, my Dad and brother say – it was purely to help her be safe!

At the end of the day the group decided to go back to her apartment and I was the first one there. When I walked through the door I remember thinking ‘Jesus…!!!’ as I was completely taken back by her beautiful blue eyes. I hardly even recognized her. She had taken off those ridiculous glasses and had her hair down.

I was completely awe struck and instantly wanted to get to know everything about her. For me that was the moment I realized, she was the one.”

Interviews continue below gallery (told you, you’d be here for a while ;) ;) …


Why did you two decide to have the wedding at your home rather than at a wedding venue?


“While we were dating (pre-question popping) James and I had noted a few places we thought it would be cool to have a wedding at. Being that I didn’t want to jinx anything, I didn’t do any further research until James proposed. Once we started to really look, we were completely shocked at what the cost of a wedding was to have at a wedding venue.”


“When she started to tell me how much things were going to cost I thought, ‘we could just renovate our entire house instead!’. Christy and I were always hands-on DIY’ers – so I figured it made more sense to do it at home.”


“It made me laugh because I had read an article a long time ago about how a couple did just that. They completely renovated their home to have their wedding there – and I thought it was genius! I couldn’t imagine having an event THAT special anywhere other than our home.”

What was the process like of planning your wedding at your home versus a wedding venue and what was the renovation process like!!?


“Oh Gosh. (haha) It was A LOT of work. I don’t want anyone to think that it wasn’t. BUT, it was completely worth it!! We sat down about 10 months out before the wedding, and wrote down everything that we wanted to do month by month. I sort of laugh at that now because the one thing we didn’t really think about was the fact that we had, ya know…. actual jobs too!

Every spare minute we had for the next 10 months was spent on either home renovations, landscaping, or wedding planning. It was a little bit much. To make matters worse – at some point James had herniated a disc. Which made it impossible for him to move without being in constant pain. I felt really awful.”


“I started to get less concerned about how the house turned out and more concerned if I was even going to be able to make it down the aisle. At about 4 months out, my Mom and Dad started to come over every weekend to help us paint, do landscaping, and work on projects.”


“It was really crazy, and being totally honest, we definitely had many heart to hearts about what we had gotten ourselves into. (hah) The positive side was that our home was starting to look like something out of a ‘Martha Stewart’ catalogue, and every weekend we got a chance to hang out with James’ parents. We had the opportunity to form a great bond that I think in normal circumstances would have taken years. Working together as a family every weekend for the goal of having our home be ready for the wedding day, really tied us all together in a way that I am so thankful for. Having our home be exactly how we’ve always dreamed it could be, was really just the icing on the cake!”

Let’s talk traditions! What did you: Keep, Ditch, and Make Your Own? (continues in part 3)

Kept: We had a wedding!

“We kept the tradition of ‘having a wedding’ – which I know that sounds rather simple, but overall we had all the fundamentals of a wedding but of course we tweaked everything to make it the extension of ourselves.”

Ditched: Not being able to see each other before the wedding.

“We ditched the tradition of not being able to see each other before the ceremony. In the months leading up to the ceremony I was firm on my decision to not see James until I walked down the aisle. However, a few weeks out I couldn’t imagine planning this HUGE day together, and only seeing him at the end of it. I was also a nervous wreck the week of the wedding, so we decided to do our first look and all family photos prior to the ceremony. This was the best decision we made for our entire wedding! The rest of the night was a complete breeze and it really took the edge off. The best part was that prior to the ceremony, James and I sat in a room by ourselves while our guests had a ‘pre-ceremony’ cocktail hour. It gave us a chance to just be goofy with each other and chat right up until the ceremony. It was fun to be giggling with my fiancé and then 30 minutes later, hugging my husband!”

What do you think your guests enjoyed most?

“The Shoe Game Story! Out of all the things we did, we got the greatest praise about the Shoe Game Story. I read about it a while back when I was planning and picked out about 15 or so questions, stuck it in a binder, and never looked at it again – until it was game time. I also kept it pretty much a secret from James as I wanted us to have truly genuine answers. When it came time to play the game, I filled James in on the rules and my sister lead us off. At first, I think the guest were like, “ok they planned this,” as the first couple questions we agreed on. It wasn’t until there was one that we disagreed on unknowingly, that our guests erupted with laughter! I’m pretty sure it was the question on who the better driver was… haha.

By the end of the game, our guests were completely engaged and even placing bets on who would say what. I think everyone really enjoyed seeing that even a couple that just got married still has their differences, and that it is ok!”

The Team:

Photographer: Angie Capri Photography // Florals & Styling: Storyboard Wedding // Wedding dress: Maggie Sottero – Chesney // Sash: Wtoo Bridal Accessories by Watters Bridal // Veil: Bel Aire Bridal // Hair: Katie Miller, Vamp Salon // Make Up: Erika Miller, Vamp Salon // Shoes: Betsy Johnson // Jewelry: Bauble Bar // Cake: TL Cakes of Brentwood // Invitations: Ink Topiary // Wooden “His” & “Her” signs: Host & Toast //  // Rentals: Got A Party // Food: Kinder’s BBQ // Venue: Private Residence, Brentwood, CA