A Garden-Inspired Backyard Wedding Accented in Blue at a Private Residence in Martinez, California

You’ll feel like you walked into a secret garden at this bohemian-style DIY wedding. Since Aly Pickersgill (23 and a filmmaker) and Christian Holmes (

You’ll feel like you walked into a secret garden at this bohemian-style DIY wedding. Since Aly Pickersgill (23 and a filmmaker) and Christian Holmes (23 and a filmmaker) wanted a smaller wedding with a guest list of 70 people, the couple had their ceremony and reception in Aly’s mother’s backyard in Martinez, California. “We knew we wanted something intimate and special, and a venue would be too big and impersonal for us,” Aly says. “I loved the idea of a secret garden and being among nature.” Aly embodied a boho vibe with her dreadlocks styled into an updo accented with flowers, along with her long cream wedding dress with fabric flower drapery starting from the straps going down to the waist. The backyard with twinkling lights strung from above was decorated in all-blue accents, from the stones scattered around the dining tables to the napkins wrapped around the silverware, photographed by Tony Fitzgerald Photography. The couple made all the wedding day decor, from the mason jars filled with candles that hung from trees to the bathtub filled with water that had floating ivory and blue hydrangeas, purchased from Deb’s Flower Market. The DIY touches incorporated into the intimate garden wedding tied together with blue reflected the couple's creativity and free-spirited nature, just as they had envisioned. “I loved that everyone wore blue and it made it feel like a whole event encompassing every person,” Aly says. “The music was kind of weird and upbeat, and everyone just seemed so happy to be there.”

The couple's gold wedding rings that were exchanged at the ceremony were propped up on blue stones supported by the blue-and-white-striped ring pillow. Aly's engagement ring was positioned in the middle, which was silver in a diamond shape accented with a round-cut sapphire in the middle of two round-cut diamonds. The rings were designed by Brilliant Earth.
Blue Fabric Flower Crown
Aly wore a long cream wedding dress that had a fabric-flower sash starting from the shoulder straps and going down to the waist. The dress was part of Anthopologie's wedding brand collection, BHLDN, which she purchased as a secondhand item.
Blue and White Fabric Flower Boutonniere
Christian wore a dark blue vest with a silver collared dress shirt underneath, accented with a blue tie that went along with the color scheme. His groomsmen stood beside him, wearing collared shirts and ties that were blue as well.
DIY Blue Hydrangea Bouquet
Aly wore her dreadlocks in a braided updo on the wedding day, and her hairdresser accented her hair with white stephanotis flowers that complemented her cream-colored bohemian dress.
Ivory Stephanotis Hair Flowers
The ceremony and reception took place in Aly's mother's backyard in Martinez, California. The theme was secret garden, with natural elements filling the space, twinkling lights strung from above and accents of blue seen everywhere guests turn. Aly made bright blue pillows lined up in rows for guests to sit on during the celebration.
DIY Whimsical Guest Book
Aly and Christian stood with their three flower girls, who all wore blue floral dresses with bright blue straps that also weaved into a belt. The dresses matched nicely with the blue hydrangea bouquet that Aly walked down the aisle with. Each flower girl wore her hair in a different style.
Aly made many of the decorations for the wedding day, including these glass mason jars filled with electronic candles that hung from the branches of a tree, wrapped in twinkling string lights.
At the reception, dining tables were decorated with small blue stones scattered across the linens. Blue hydrangeas purchased from a local market were placed in simple glass vases, which alternated as table centerpieces with candles in glass mason jars.
Silverware sets placed on the reception dining tables were wrapped in white and blue paisley napkins. The napkins were tied with thin yarn, holding in place a dried piece of lavender that gave off a boho look.
Blue DIY Square Wedding Cake