This Couple’s Backup Wedding Was an Intimate Backyard Affair
After the pandemic upended their original plans, a bride and groom find a perfectly personal setting for tying the knot.
Lauren Henderson and Coilin Deakin’s Napa Valley wine tour was hitting every snag in the book. First it was the fumbled hotel reservations, followed by torrential rain that soaked the grounds at the vineyard where Coilin planned to propose. “Then, when we got to the third or fourth winery of the day, the sun came out,” Lauren says. After their tasting, Coilin enacted his plan to pop the question, waiting for Lauren in front of the vines. “She almost didn’t want to walk out onto the grass,” he remembers. “I was wearing suede shoes!” Lauren adds with a laugh. Luckily, Coilin convinced her. Then he got down on one knee.
Since then, the couple have made a habit of turning their bad luck around. The first plan for their wedding? A grand 200-person gala at the Boston Harbor Hotel—which COVID derailed. Twice. “Everything that could go wrong went wrong,” Lauren says. “But it ended up being perfect.” In May 2021, nearly eight months after their original wedding date, the couple said their vows on the front steps of Trinity Church (the church where Lauren’s parents were married), then held their reception—with only a few dozen guests—at Lauren’s childhood home in Newton. “For years, Lauren’s dad always joked, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to get married in the backyard?’” Coilin explains. “Then that’s exactly what happened.”
The couple’s backup plan made for a decidedly more personal celebration. Underneath enchanting tea lights in an elegant outdoor tent, surrounded by stately trees, guests gathered around a U-shaped dinner table to enjoy live jazz and a custom menu with pairings pulled from the bride’s father’s wine cellar. “We wanted it to be more of an experience than just your standard sit-down dinner,” Lauren says. “It was very intimate, just our closest family and friends,” Coilin adds. “It was like no other wedding [we’d] ever been to.”
A bouquet of white peonies and roses complemented the timeless elegance of Lauren’s Vera Wang gown.
After getting ready at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, Lauren and her parents walked to the ceremony at Trinity Church.
Lauren and Coilin were the first couple to marry on the steps of the historic church. The public ceremony meant anyone could stop and watch—including passersby from the Copley Square Farmers’ Market.
A heated tent in Lauren’s childhood backyard provided an intimate reception venue. “[We had] the ability to have a conversation with nearly everyone,” Coilin recalls.
Lauren and Coilin decided on a gold cake with buttercream, paired with mini desserts like chocolate mousse and cookies.
Lauren set up a candy bar filled with sour sweets and chocolate. “It was one of the number-one things that I wanted,” she says.
The foodie couple collaborated with their caterer on a custom menu that included spring-pea risotto and filet mignon. “Someone from the team came out to introduce every course,” Lauren says.
Bride’s Dress Vera Wang
Cake Party Favors
Caterer William Ference Catering
Flowers Haus of Blooms
Groom’s Tux Canali, ARI Boston
Hair/Makeup Shimmered Beauty
Lighting Ryan Designs
Planner Jillian Howell Events
Plants Perennial Classics
Rentals Peak Event Services
Restrooms Sperry Tents Marion
Transportation Black Tie Limousine
Videographer City Point Films
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