When Kyle Kloeppel and Brittney Toccoli first met in January of 2008, they were 17 and 19, respectively. "That feels like a huge barrier at that age," Brittney remembers," so we grew closer as friends and eventually started dating the next spring when he began visiting me in college." Five years later, on July 30, 2014, Kyle surprised Brittney with a one-of-a-kind proposal — even though she had a hunch it was coming. "We had always talked about getting engaged once we finished our degrees, so I knew it was coming but was really wrapped up in the occasion somehow still being a surprise." Luckily, her groom-to-be had an idea she would never have thought of: Kyle enlisted the help of Brittney's favorite Starbucks and asked if he could play barista when she pulled up at the drive-in that day. "He popped out the window in a dress shirt with flowers, coffee, and the ring. It was absolutely the biggest surprise of my life and so very, very us."
The pair knew they wanted to get married the following spring, and quickly started considering venues near Sacramento, where Kyle grew up. While the bride and groom loved that the properties they toured had lodging and pools for guests to enjoy, they weren't able to lock in a date they wanted. Enter the bride's mother's best friend, who graciously offered up her private home in Acampo, California. "The property is already gorgeous, so decorating was not difficult," Brittney says. "We wanted a lush, summer celebration with a formal twist." They set the date for June 13, 2015, and invited 205 guests to join them for an elevated backyard wedding with a distinctly California vibe. You don't want to miss one single detail from this stunning late spring celebration, as photographed by Sean Money Elizabeth Fay.
Although the bride found a Lanvin gown she absolutely loved, she knew it wasn't right for her ceremony. "There was something about getting married in white that felt off for me," Brittney says of her wedding dress. "I started considering colored veils first, but then I saw this blue Monique Lhuillier wedding dress and couldn't get it out of my system. My generous mom let me get both dresses, and that was that!" The strapless silk faille ball gown was complete with a full and textured skirt and fitted bodice. And with its high-low silhouette, she was able to show off her white Manolo Blahnik shoes.
As for the Lanvin that originally caught her eye? Well, you'll see what she did with that dress later.
Brittney's gorgeous all-white bouquet featured carnations, peonies, garden roses, and greenery. "Carnations are my favorite flower, so that was a no-brainer," she says. "The other flowers just seemed to coordinate well." She initially wanted a cascading bouquet, but with the movement of her full skirt, sticking to a classic round bouquet let both the dress and the flowers shine rather than compete.
Kyle dressed the part, too. He complemented his bride's knockout style in a Burberry slim-fit suit, but left one important accessory off during the ceremony at Brittney's request: His glasses! "He wore the glasses he's worn since we started dating for most of the day and evening, but I didn't want to see my reflection in them while we were saying our vows," says Brittney. "He was very kind and wore contacts during the ceremony just for me. He looked so handsome, and I loved getting to really see him during that special moment."
The bride struggled to find a traditional bridesmaid's dress that fit the chic, simple aesthetic she was going for. Instead, she started scouring the Internet to find mismatched looks that were similar in color and material. "Let me tell you, total chaos!" Brittney says. "All the bridesmaids didn't even have dresses until weeks before the wedding. And I use the term dresses lightly because one of them wore a jumpsuit, which was probably one of my favorite details of the wedding." Although it took a great deal of legwork to coordinate her attendant's looks, Brittney couldn't have been happier with the final result. "Everyone looked completely gorgeous and when I look at the photos, I still gawk at their outfits."
Each woman carried a petite white bouquet with peonies and hydrangeas.
Kyle's groomsmen were just as stylish as the ladies in their slim hit H&M suits and skinny ties.
Brittney's cousin's daughters served as the couple's flower girls. "We have a big family and are all local, so I've loved watching these girls grow up," she says. "I let them pick from a couple different David's Bridal dresses, though I always knew they would choose the more princess-y of the options!"
The couple had one last very important attendant: Their dog, Debbie Harry! Their florist made her an adorable floral collar and the sweet young girls walked her down the aisle on a white leash. "At one point she nearly took out one of the girls by wrapping her up in the leash, but Kyle's cousin leapt in to save the day," Brittney laughs. "Every event needs some comic relief."
With the help of Elyse at Willow Floral, the bride and groom transformed the already well-appointed backyard into a dreamy ceremony space. "She built us the most beautiful flower wall for our altar and two large urn arrangements for the aisle entrance," Brittney says.
The greenery wall was studded with roses and hydrangeas — a nod to the color of the bride's wedding dress, which was dubbed "hydrangea blue" by the designer. Brittney and Kyle utilized pieces of the existing landscape, like the stone path that served as their aisle.
The couple's three flower girls and Debbie Harry kicked off the ceremony, walking down the aisle to a prolonged version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" performed by a jazz trio. The bride's father saw her for the first time as she joined him at the head of the aisle. "I kept my dresses a strict secret so he wept when he saw me," Brittney remembers. The two walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time" to the total delight of her groom and guests.
Kyle wanted to write personalized wedding vows, but Brittney was nervous hers wouldn't live up to the "heartbreakingly beautiful" words she anticipated her groom sharing. "I'm glad we went traditional because instead of focusing on remembering my words, I was able to really focus on and absorb what was happening," she says. "Kyle eventually gave me his vows in a card and I, of course, promptly wept."
Following the ceremony, Brittney changed into the Lanvin gown that had first caught her eye. "I found it on Pinterest before we were even engaged and it stopped my heart," she says of the strapless dress with an oversized bow on the back. "My mom was able to locate the last dress in the company, but it was five sizes larger than I wear." With the help of a local seamstress, Brittney brought it down to her size and loved how comfortable she felt. "It was like coming home after a long day. I just felt very me in it."
Guests moved to another area of the yard for the reception, where round tables were set beneath café lights on the lawn. Since Brittney and Kyle wanted a fresh, spring-inspired feel for their party, they chose all-white linens and monochromatic floral arrangements in clear glass vases.
Each place setting included a mini bottle of champagne, another nod to the bride's blue dress and a repeated detail that she loved from her bachelorette party.
The bride and groom chose a long head table, which was decorated with a greenery garland. As the sun started to set, guests took their seats to enjoy the couple's meal of salmon or steak with rice pilaf, green beans, asparagus ravioli, and wines from Van Ruiten Winery, which is owned by the bride's family's friends.
The newlyweds shared their first dance to Sam Cooke's "You Send Me."
For dessert, the couple served a three-tiered wedding cake with delicious, unexpected flavors: rum-chocolate cake with mocha filling, pink champagne cake with strawberries, and vanilla cake with chocolate filling. They even chose a vintage bride and groom cake topper!
Guests spent the evening dancing, but took breaks to pose for photos in the couple's photo booth.
Following their big day, the bride and groom honeymooned in Capri, Italy. "Don't forget the most important detail about your wedding: You're starting a life together," Brittney advises. "I have a cherished lifelong friend who continuously reminded me of this throughout planning. I am endlessly grateful for that."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private residence || Day-of Coordinator: Catrina Maria Designs || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier; Lanvin || Veil: Bridal Galleria || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Hair: Holland Filippini of Vanity Salon || Groom's Attire: Burberry || Groomsmen's Attire: H&M || Flower Girl's Attire: David's Bridal || Engagement Ring: Judi Wyant Antiques || Wedding Bands: Kevin Schimke || Florist: Willow Floral Design || Invitations: Tokay Press || Music: Guilio Cetto; Beat Fleet DJs || Catering: Angelina's || Cake: Something Sweet Bakery || Rentals: Celebrations Party Rentals || Lighting: LB Production Center || Videographer: Sharp Filming || Photographer: Sean Money Elizabeth Fay
Looking for more inspiration just like this? Then check out another couple's super-sweet backyard wedding in the video below.