Intimate Backyard Wedding, Woodland Hills | Shereen + John

Bride and groom smiling

Shereen and John’s love story began long before their intimate backyard wedding: back in 2015 on the dating app, OkCupid.

Shereen had recently moved to Santa Barbara for graduate school and John had been wanting to move there from LA. As they began chatting, they discovered they shared not only a profession but also core values and dreams for the future. The night of their first date, John drove all the way from LA to Santa Barbara to take Shereen out for dinner. At dinner, they continued to discover more and more that they had in common. They wandered aimlessly around downtown Santa Barbara, circling the same route for hours just because neither wanted the date to end.

Eventually, John moved to Santa Barbara, and several months later they moved in together. They supported each other through happy times and difficult times, through moves, career shifts, and graduate school.

The Proposal

Two days before Shereen was set to defend her dissertation, John organized a surprise proposal party! From Shereen: “He tricked me into driving to LA thinking we were house-sitting for a close friend. When we got there, he got down on one knee and proposed in front of the fireplace that has big ‘LOVE’ sign above it. Then he told me that I didn’t need to call to tell anyone because they were all hiding in the kitchen. All my friends and family suddenly came running in with champagne in hand!”

What’s even cuter about this story, is that the house they got engaged in is also the house they ended up getting married in! How sweet is that?

The Wedding Day

Shereen and John had always been planning an intimate backyard wedding. However, it was originally supposed to be hosted at another friend’s home and they never intended for it to be quite so intimate. Due to Covid-19, they ultimately decided to postpone their big celebration to 2021 but still move forward with their plans to wed among a handful of their closest friends and family.

My absolute favorite moment of the day was their First Look. The expression on John’s face when he turned around and saw Shereen was absolutely priceless. He lit up like a light, it was the cutest thing and I smile ear to ear all over again just thinking about it!

Their celebration may have been more intimate, but it was filled to the brim with special moments and memories that they will remember forever!

A few of my personal favorite moments and details were the fact that instead of a traditional wedding cake, John baked homemade wedding pies! These were special family recipes and their guests went crazy for them!!

Another special moment was that their First Dance song was not only sung live, but it was sung by their sweet family friend; the one and only Terri Nunn. She sang a gorgeous rendition of her song: “Take My Breath Away”.

Then there was the speech that Shereen’s best friends gave to the newlyweds. There were so many sweet and heartfelt speeches delivered throughout the night (including from family members who couldn’t be there in person, but joined in and shared their love via Zoom). But, her friends really went above and beyond and surprised them with a hilarious musical skit that told the story of their love and passed along their well-wishes through comedy and song (it even had a fun guest appearance by Shereen’s mom). One of Shereen’s biggest loves is musical theatre, so they couldn’t have put together a more fitting speech. It was hysterical, thoughtful and so sweet!

Congratulations again, Shereen & John! I can’t wait to celebrate all over again next year with all your friends and family this time!

Intimate Backyard Wedding Photos

Here are just a few of my personal favorites from their wedding day. I hope you enjoy!

Intimate Backyard Wedding photos
Wedding couple at Intimate Backyard Wedding
Intimate Backyard Wedding with purple and yellow theme
bride at Intimate Backyard Wedding
flower bouquet with purple and yellow flowers
bride with parents at Intimate Backyard Wedding
Groom wiht best man and friends
Bride with bride's maids at Intimate Backyard Wedding
Decotarion at Intimate Backyard Wedding
Intimate Backyard Wedding ceremony
Bride and groom laughing during wedding ceremony
Wedding couple kissing during Intimate Backyard Wedding
Intimate wedding during pandemic
wedding couple table with purple table cloth

If you enjoyed this Intimate Backyard Wedding, you may also love this one or this one!

Wedding Coordinator // Joanna Mouser
Wedding Dress // David’s Bridal
Suits // Men’s Wearhouse
Makeup + Hair // Kristine Olsen
Florals // Canoga Park Florist
Rings // Kenny G & Company Fine Jewelers
DJ // Avi Sills with TransGlobal Entertainment
Catering // Johnny Pacific
Pie // Homemade by John! They were his family’s recipes.
Officiant // Genevieve Coleman

Logo of Stefani Ciotti Photography, a Southern California Wedding Photographer


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