Elegant Backyard Wedding // Santa Fe, New Mexico - andreavanorsouw.com

Elegant Backyard Wedding // Santa Fe, New Mexico

If there’s any way to kick off the 2021 wedding season, this was it. This backyard wedding in Santa Fe was everything you can describe this year as: hopeful, joyful, full of anticipation. I took this wedding as a sign of amazing things to come. Drinks with friends will be back. Cheering crowds will be back. Laughter will be back. Dance floors will be back. I have typed out “will be back” too many times now but YOU GET THE POINT!

This wedding was just so happy. And though it was still a Covid wedding, with the changed plans and reduced guest list and all, the air felt so much lighter than it has for the past year. For that, I’m so appreciative to Leanna and Julian.

Check out their engagement session from October!

Before the Ceremony

Both Leanna and Julian got ready at the gorgeous Historic Hilton Plaza in Santa Fe. Leanna in the bridal suite and Julian just across the courtyard, getting ready with their 4 boys. The action was so lively in each room, with champagne and Bailey’s Irish Cream flowing to keep the jitters down.

While Julian rallied the boys (I’m sorry, I mean High Authority Ring Security) and got them ready, Leanna planned out 3 separate first looks for maximum emotions and the greatest kinds of photos. First, she did a reveal with her bridesmaids and I didn’t think anyone could be THAT shocked that the absolutely beautiful Leanna was just as stunning as a bride. But their expressions tell a different story. This girl seriously made being a bride look like it was her job. And she was amazing at it. Next, she did a first look with her dad outside the suite. The pride he has in her was so evident, especially in that moment.

The First Look

The first look between Leanna and Julian was THE SWEETEST THING AHHH. The bridal party, family, and Julian all streamed into a courtyard at La Posada de Santa Fe. Julian stood with his back turned towards the room Leanna was in. As he shut his eyes in anticipation, Leanna strolled out gracefully and approached him. I think everyone was holding their breath in that moment.

Leanna tapped Julian on the shoulder and he turned, his face immediately falling into an expression of total love and admiration. In just a couple short hours, this woman would be his wife!! After spending a few minutes together to soak in their wedding day, we jumped into having a blast with the bridal party. Around this time of day, it started getting coooooooooooold. Between shots, people filtered in and out of the building to try to keep warm. For a few minutes, it even snowed! Despite this, this bridal party was down for anything. They had the most hilarious ideas and kept the spirits alive as the winds picked up and the temperature dropped. So thankful for bridal parties like these!!

The Ceremony

We found out way over to Julian’s parents backyard in Santa Fe for the rest of the wedding. I was absolutely wowed by how everything came together for this wedding. Backyard weddings are hard to pull off but the decorations, favors, and table settings were incredible.

The ceremony kicked off with Leanna and Julian’s kids leading the way. They’re the cutest and their personalities shine through even just walking down the aisle! They proudly stated “Daddy, here comes your girl” on a sign as they walked towards their dad, who greeted them with huge bear hugs. Leanna walked in soon after. Throughout the day, everyone said Julian didn’t cry. He was a smiler, but the tears probably wouldn’t come. At this moment, we were all proved wrong.


After the ceremony, we hopped into a vintage car and drove off to an open area for some photos. The light was gorgeous as it always is in New Mexico. The wind and cold was picking up but Leanna and Julian were absolute troopers and we made the most out of it!

You could not have asked for a better reception to walk into. They had hired both a band AND a DJ to really liven up the night. The food was insane. Tacos, cheeseburger sliders, tiny strawberry shortcake, macaroni and cheese balls for the kids. This is the kinda food you remember forever. They also had a photobooth. Everything you could picture for an epic reception- they had.

Leanna and Julian kicked things off with a first dance together. The way they look at eachother is beyond words. Afterwards, they jumped right into parent dances. Was there a dry eye around? Absolutely not.

Bonus: I witnessed my first ever wedding proposal! (yes, it was Leanna and Julian approved 😉 ) Leanna’s brother got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend during the bouquet/garter toss. It went SO smoothly I was caught so offguard. Was this a movie???! I think Leanna and Julian should plan more proposals cause I seriously cannot believe how flawlessly that was executed.

The rest of the night was such a party. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of people get down to Get Low as hard as these people did.

I left this wedding feeling so happy (and sore lol). This backyard wedding in Santa Fe was one to remember.


Officiant: Paul Martinez 
Livestreamers: Catch Love Weddings
Hair: Vanessa Renteria
Cake: Les Blonde Bakery
Catering: The Zia Chef
Decorations: Simply Decor
Bar: ABQ Barkeeps
Violinist: Rachel Kelli
Photo Booth: Snapshot Selfies
Band: Sim Balkey
DJ: DJ Confused
Videographer: JS Films



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