Anthony and I literally found love in our own backyard. On our first date, while chatting over drinks, we discovered that we’d both just bought houses right behind each other and were backyard neighbors. I like to tease Anthony that he probably spent much of those early days spying on me and he likes to joke that he’s just in it for access to my swimming pool. That first date three years ago took us down an amazing path that lead to our beautiful wedding at Le Jardin in Zillah on Sept. 8, 2018.

As soon as we saw the expertly manicured Le Jardin venue and met with its eager-to-please owner, Marty, we knew that it would be the perfect place to host our wedding. We chose rich, jewel-tone colors like fuchsia, burgundy, purple, and navy to add a nice contrast to the lush greenery of Le Jardin’s gardens. We worked with Kristy from KB Floral on our arrangements and she helped bring our vision of an elegant, hanging floral centerpiece to life. The anchor of our reception area was a whimsical, linen-draped tent, covered in twinkle lights and hanging candles — it felt like a magical fairyland. One of my favorite personal touches was spending a sunny weekend in May with my mom, planting dozens of gorgeous blooms that would grow throughout the summer and be used to adorn our ceremony space.

The ladies of the bridal party relaxed with mimosas while getting ready in a private room at Belu Salon, while the men convened in a suite at the Best Western in Zillah, just minutes from the venue. Charli at Belu Salon was such a pleasure to work with and made sure everyone’s hair was styled perfectly. Makeup services were provided on-site by Olivia Luna from Mac Cosmetics and she made sure all the ladies looked stunning. The wedding gown was found at I Do Bridal during a fun weekend trip to Seattle and the groom and groomsmen wore matching navy suits from JC Penny. By 5 p.m., everyone was looking their best and ready to walk down the aisle.

Wanting to create a unique and meaningful experience for ourselves and our guests, Anthony and I chose to include a traditional Yoruban tasting ceremony to our wedding. This consists of the bride and groom tasting four “elements” (sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy) to represent the various aspects of life and marriage. It was such a heartfelt tradition and brought both laughter and a few tears from our guests.

Following our ceremony, guests celebrated with champagne and blackberry lemonade cocktails while we snuck off for some sunset photos with the incredibly talented Rico Photography. In keeping with our personal style, our guests enjoyed a pizza bar courtesy of one of our favorite local eateries, Bron Yr Aur in Naches. And for dessert, we bucked tradition and served mini pies for guests, while we cut into a specialty peach pie from The Bake Shop at Johnson Orchards.

After dinner, our friends and family created silly photo keepsakes thanks to Pic Me Photo Booths of Yakima and tore up the dance floor to the fun beats of DJ Good Vibrations. The night of partying was kicked off by a surprise fireworks display created by Alpha Pyrotechnics of Ellensburg. We used the wedding website Zola to establish a honeymoon fund and, thanks to our generous loved ones, took the trip of a lifetime, splitting time between Dubai and a private island in the Maldives. We couldn’t have imagined a better way to start our life together and were able to create the perfect day that completely represented us.

- Written by the bride and edited for length.