Our wedding was one of the best days of my life. I know everyone says that, but for me, it’s the truth. Not because everything ran smoothly with every detail perfectly in place, but because I poured my heart and soul into planning our wedding. So to me, it was perfect. Almost four and a half years later, and I still take pride in the creativity that made our day so special. And now I’m excited to share it with you.

Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). While planning our big day, I knew I wanted to have elements that were fun, unique, and special to us. My hubby and I started our relationship long distance with two completely separate lives. One of my favorite things was hearing people who had known him for years tell me stories of his strong character, incredible work ethic, and heart for God. And of course, the occasional embarrassing story was always a cherry on top. Since our wedding guest list was going to be made up of all the people who knew us best, I thought it would be fun to create a “Brag Box,” where family and friends could share stories about Ryan and me for us to read together on our honeymoon. It was a big hit and we still have some of the stories. It gave our friends a chance to be a part of our day and gave us an opportunity to get to know each other even better as we started our life together.

Another special detail I knew I wanted was a lantern in memory of my grandfather. He was a significant part of my life and I knew I wanted to honor him in some way since he couldn’t be with us. I wrote a small sign with the words “Heaven’s Not That Far Away,” which is the title of a song I wrote in memory of him. While this may not have been a significant detail to most, it meant the world to me. If you are planning a special event and someone you loved dearly cannot be there, consider doing something similar that will make you feel as though they are right there, celebrating with you.

When it comes to the wedding ceremony, I think it’s really important to stay true to who you are as a couple. If you are more traditional, enjoy a beautiful chapel. If you’re free spirits, rock a flower crown in an open field. Be you.
Family has always been deeply important to me, so the opportunity to get married on my parents’ two and a half acre ranch was unbeatable. Ryan and I vowed to love one another beneath beautiful sequoias at the edge of a koi pond right in my parents’ backyard. We had a beautiful time of worship and communion, believing that where two or more gather, God is there. I will always cherish the fact that I entered into a lifelong partnership with my husband worshiping our God together. Sure, it was a little out of the box for a wedding ceremony, but it was our day and we did with it as we pleased. 😉

Now let’s be honest, lawn games are a no brainer for a backyard wedding. After we said “I do,” we transitioned into an hour of hors-d’oeuvres, wine and lawn games (while the groomsmen moved the ceremony chairs to the tables for the reception #savemoney).

And what’s a cocktail hour without a photo booth?

Kicking off the reception was one of my favorite parts of the night. Our groomsmen coregraphed a dance and it was a hoot! I was seriously thrilled with how well it turned out. It felt like the perfect way to let everyone know it was party time!

Those guys definitely set the pace for an awesome night of dancing! I highly recommend finding an amazing DJ and “The Cupid Shuffle.” We had guests of all ages on our dance floor all night long.

When it came time for the bouquet and garter tosses, we, again, did things a little differently. My hubby opted to put the garter around a football, which ended up being a blast!

And in my determination to avoid the dreaded “armpit picture,” I chose to “toss” that tradition out the window and try something new. For the bouquet toss, I invited all the married couples onto the dance floor for a couples dance. We then, over the microphone, invited couples to remain dancing if they had been married longer than 5 years, then 10 years, then 20… until we had the last couple standing. I then gifted the bouquet in return for some sound marriage advice. It was an awesome moment and I’m so glad we strayed from the way things were “supposed” to be done.

To say we wrapped up the night with our sparkler tunnel would actually be a fib. Ha! We reached the scheduled time for our grand exit, and though it was getting late, I wasn’t ready to leave! I was having a blast. So my dad, being a media director by trade, came up with the idea to stage the exit for pictures. It was hilarious and perfect. Ryan and I ran up and down the tunnel a few times to make sure we got the perfect photo. Everyone got a kick out of it, we got a great picture, then we all went back to dancing.

Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to stray from tradition, don’t stress when things don’t go quite as planned, and don’t let anything take away from the fact that it’s your day. Have fun! Be you. And I promise you, it will be perfect.

Share some of your unique wedding ideas in the comments below!


  1. Our yard never looked more beautiful, but you keep getting more and more beautiful, Sarah. I’m thrilled to see this post because now I can revisit the happy memories with a couple of clicks on TheParsonsPack.com. Yay!

  2. I absolutely LOVE your Parsons Pack Website!! I love how you shared your special day and I am so glad we got to share in watching you stand joyfully before God, pledging your lives to one another ! It was beautiful and every detail of the whole night was beautiful, honored God and exemplified the uniqueness of he two of you and your union! It’s been such a joy Sarah to watch you grow up into the beautiful, confident woman you are, who loves God and her family so well! Love you girl, and can’t wait to see what’s coming!😊❤️❤️❤️

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