We knew this was going to be one heck of a wedding when the groom, Ken, rolled in on his Harley Sportster at the home of his future bride's parents in Mount Horeb a few hours before festivities began. Joan and her parents had spent months turning their lush backyard into the most festive wedding site possible, complete with a beautiful arbor, a s'mores station, and a cannon to announce the couple as they arrived for the reception. 

We've been photographing a lot of backyard Madison weddings lately, and they offer some real advantages from our perspective. What we love the most is that the place itself is a character in the story, and it's something we try to capture for clients. But it also means a level of comfort for the families that doesn't exist when you're at a banquet hall or hotel or other kind of venue. 

But they do have their challenges in terms of coordination, planning, and preparation! Joan's parents literally re-graded their yard to fit the tent, and Ken was out back sealing wood with tongue oil until just before the guests started arriving. 

In the end, it was all worth the effort, as Joan and Ken were able to revel in the joy of marriage with their adorable toddler, Jordy, and everyone had a blast. 

A special thanks to all the vendors who helped make this wedding so much fun: 

Florist: Victoria's Garden

Decor: Everything Under the Roof Improvements LLC

Tent: Bucky's Rentals

Catering: Gristle Catering

DJ: Tom York

Wedding Dress: Vera's Bridal by David Tutura

Bridesmaid Dress: Lulu's

Officiant: The Rev. Amy Gile