Gilroy, California Garden Backyard Wedding: Hayley + Matt

The first time I met Hayley and Matt was on their tour of the Paicines Ranch as they searched for a venue. Their love and life enthusiasm drew me in immediately as I showed them around. I wanted to capture their wedding day, and fortunately, they felt the same. I was elated when they asked me!

It was heartbreaking when they had to cancel their 350 person wedding at Paicines Ranch because of Covid-19. They rolled with it and turned it into a 35 person backyard wedding at Matt’s parents’ house in Gilroy. The rest of the guests would hop on Zoom to watch the love unfold. These two said “at least we have each other” and “it is what it is!”

The perfect summer day. And the Hemeon house backyard was beautifully decorated with pastel pops of color that contrasted against the lush, manicured hidden garden feel. This was a house that already had so, so many memories, and now would be filled with even more.

These two had a first look that would have brought anyone to tears. When Matt saw Hayley for the first time, the emotion shook the earth. After sweet embraces and unbridled smiles, they sat on the swinging bench and exchanged their personal vows with each other. What a beautiful way to share a quiet moment, where the universe both melted away and felt whole.

The ceremony was gorgeous as the sun lit through the trees and smiles could be seen on everyone. When John, their officiant, asked if they took each other. Hayley responded “Hell yes” and Matt responded, “Double hell yes!” They both beamed and smiled, laughed, and threw their hands in the air. Their friends on the Zoom call could be seen celebrating as well.

Zanotto’s, their family market and catering company, was busily working in the kitchen as folks enjoyed cocktail hour on the front lawn. What looked to be a masked flash mob approached down the street. It was their friends and family in the area doing a congratulatory walk-by! 

The family headed to the backyard for their first dance, then stunning dinner by Zanotto’s, toasts, and a cake-cutting that involved just a dash of icing, or maybe a little more, on Matt’s face.

Dancing commenced on the front driveway as friends continued to drive by and yell excitedly out their windows while dancing. It was a drive-by dance party! The night ended with a lightsaber dance party battle.

I couldn’t be happier for these two and the incredible life they have ahead! These two are truly, madly, deeply meant for each other, and just as much in love. Their love radiated and made their wedding SO special to photograph!

Hayley and Matt, thank you SO MUCH for allowing me to capture your day, and enjoy all of these favorites! 

Venue: The Hemeon Backyard

Floral: Realm Flower (bouquet) + Cindy Nichols

Hair & Makeup: Dollhouse Mermaid

DJ: Bernardo Arce

Catering: Zanotto’s Market

Dessert: Amazing Family members

Coordinator: My Wedding Fairies

Photographer: Chasing Chickadees

View the complete gallery.

Soft Pastel Bridal Details Pink  by Alicia Arcidiacono of Chasing Chickadees Photography
Hemeon Backyard Wedding Alicia Arcidiacono of Chasing Chickadees Photography

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meet alicia


With over 15 years of experience, you can rest assured that you will be getting top-tier photography. I focus on the experience and put everyone immediately at ease with my vibrant + playful style. I bring joy with me and infuse it in every part of a session.

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