Hanna Matyiku and Jordan Nuñez’s love story began in 2016, on the campus of Boston University; specifically, in the college’s student union, George Sherman Union. “When we adopted our dog six years later, we named him George Sherman in honor of that first meeting,” the couple shares.
Just over three years after meeting, Jordan proposed to Hanna during the holiday season. “Over Christmas in 2019, we packed up our lives in San Francisco to move to Austin,” Hanna remembers. “On our drive to our new home, we stopped over in Utah to celebrate Christmas with both of our families—it was the first time they were able to all be together. On Boxing Day morning, Jordan proposed to me in front of our entire families. Each person came into the living room, gave me a flower, told me how much they loved me, and then left. I sat holding a bouquet of flowers from our family when Jordan asked me to marry him.” The family’s involvement made the moment extra memorable—with one member in particular. “Our niece, who was four at the time, ran in mid-proposal to watch us. Her interruption gave us a good laugh, which broke up our tear-filled proposal,” they add.
The pair dreamed of a wedding in Oaxaca, Mexico, and were beginning to plan when the pandemic took hold. “Plan B was a trip to the courthouse so we would be married when we had our baby,” Hanna shares. “Plan C was to put together a micro-wedding in our backyard in less than 10 weeks. Plan C was crazy, but it meant we got to celebrate our wedding properly, because a courthouse wedding did not feel big enough for our love story.”
It’s rare that Plan C becomes the most perfect option, but that’s exactly what happened for Hanna and Jordan. Their July 10, 2021 backyard wedding was filled with whimsical florals and chic details, had heartfelt moments and touches of humor, and most importantly put the focus on family—including their soon-to-come baby. “My backyard, in the middle of the Texas summer, seven months pregnant, was never on my wedding Pinterest board,” Hanna says with a laugh. “But it was perfect.”
Read on to see how it came together, planned by the couple and photographed by Kristin La Voie Photography.
Since planning began, the organized duo kept a Google doc with a running schedule, ideas, and decisions on everything from food to announcements, and a checklist of to-dos and payments. “It was a living planner of our wedding,” Hanna says. “We didn’t really have a hard-set scheme or theme,” she notes of the aesthetics. “We went very natural and earthy with basics, and used reds, oranges, pinks, purples, and whites for our flowers. It was kind of fun not setting one color.”
In the rush of planning, their 35 guests RSVP-ed via Google form. But for the day of, “our amazing photographer created a faux invite for us to have in pictures,” Hanna says. “I burst into tears when I saw it.” The cheeky card featured a mantra that alluded to the wedding’s relaxed vibe: “Nothing fancy, just love.”
Sometimes, it’s the little things that have the biggest impact—for Hanna, that was the shoes. “My shoes are everything to me,” she says. “I reached out to Brother Vellies the day we decided to get married, thinking we would be going to the courthouse. I figured if I could not have the dress I always envisioned I could at least have the shoes of my dreams. They were out of stock and not making more, but Brother Vellies got me a special pair made and it was a dream come true.”
“Finding a dress to fit an ever-expanding bump was no easy feat,” the bride remembers. “There were a lot of tears—not the good kind. When your body is changing during pregnancy, it is hard to find the dress of your dreams.” Finally, she happened upon LW165, a bow back shift dress from Amsale’s Little White Dress range. “It was not made for maternity, but when the maternity bridal world fell flat, I stumbled on this dress. It would accommodate my growing bump and still felt like the fashion moment I always dreamed of. I bought it online, guessed the size based on where I thought I might be in 10 weeks, and got incredibly lucky.”
She opted for a romantic updo that showed off the dress’ unique back. “I wanted to look how I feel prettiest: with a fabulous cat eye, but nothing too dramatic,” she says of her beauty look. “So my makeup artist gave me a brown cat eye with a lot of lashes and it was ideal.” She got a simple pre-wedding manicure. “Somehow, day of, one of my nails chipped. I called the salon and said I would be coming in and I needed their attention, stat,” she remembers. “They calmed me down and got me in and out in 10 minutes. But I realized at the last second, I didn’t bring any cash. Thankfully, one of our guests lives nearby; she popped down and paid for my last-minute nail fix.”
“We wanted our wedding to be warm, family-centric, and surrounded by wildflowers,” Hanna says. The couple’s families came together to create each bouquet and arrangement by hand, using carnations from Global Rose and local wildflowers from “the best flower market in Austin, Austin Flower Company,” Hanna says. Her bouquet was made primarily of feverfew, with other wildflowers woven in.
“I wore a dark green suit custom made by Rick Soto, who owns a local shop a few blocks away from me,” Jordan says. “He is the best and his suits are impeccable.” As for his day-of prep, “I was with most of the family preparing the house for the event. About 15 minutes before our first look, I put on my suit with the help of my brother and dad. I gave my niece a hug. Then, I went to see my future bride.”
“For our first look, I walked out our front door to Jordan waiting,” Hanna remembers. “It’s such an amazing feeling to come home everyday to the place where we shared that moment.” Though the moment was emotional, it wasn’t as much of a surprise as expected. “I thought Jordan would be shocked to see my dress, since he had seen a lot of tears as I looked for a wedding dress. But it turns out, my sister forgot my dress in the bathroom after she steamed it that morning, so he saw it earlier that day when he took a shower.” She adds with a laugh: “These are the things that happen when you have your wedding and all get ready in your 1,200-square-foot house!”
Instead of taking one or the other’s last name, both bride and groom decided to hyphenate, selecting the shared last name of Matyiku-Nuñez. Jordan had his shirtsleeve embroidered with his new initials in a chic forest green that played off his suit.
How do you know how many flower bulbs you need to make a scattered garland backdrop? We ended up using about 1,100.
The couple did nearly everything for the event themselves, from planning to install, which naturally presented some difficulties. “It was fairly stressful to gauge quantities of items,” Hanna remembers. “How do you know how many flower bulbs you need to make a scattered garland backdrop? We ended up using about 1,100.”
The bride and groom’s siblings served as best man and matron of honor, and the couple had a bevy of miniature attendants. “There were three flower children and a lead flower girl,” Hanna says. “They were a natural linen flower moment. They had straw baskets filled with flowers. When we told our oldest niece, Alanna, to be the lead flower girl she simply responded, ‘How many babies am I in charge of?’” The boys donned linen H&M overalls while the girls wore adorable linen jumpsuits.
The bride added a chic accessory to her look for the ceremony. “With the dramatic back of my dress a veil didn’t make sense, but I’d always wanted a veil,” Hanna says. “I found a little veil that draped over my eyes. As one of my friends said, ‘You reinvented the veil.’” The processional infused life into the ceremony. “The groom and rest of the wedding part walked down the aisle to ‘Die With You’ by Beyoncé and Jay-Z,” Hanna recalls. “After the song ended, ‘Cuz I Love You’ by Lizzo came blasting on in all its dramatic glory. At the beginning of the second verse, I walked down the aisle to join my groom.”
The DIY flower garland served as the ceremony backdrop—and the leftover blooms from their bulk order found a place lining the aisle. They pulled the rug from their bedroom to stand on at the altar and reused dinner chairs for the backyard ceremony. But, the setup began long before the big day. “We planned ahead to make sure our home was in top shape for the wedding,” Hanna recalls. “The largest part was redoing our backyard, which was previously just dirt and weeds. About a month before the wedding, we landscaped the backyard with new sod and pavers and replaced our back porch; we installed hanging lights and an outdoor sound system.” It all came together and set the perfect scene.
The couple wrote their own vows, in their own ways. “Hanna had vows she had been writing on an iPhone note over many years. The morning of the wedding, she threw it away and wrote new vows on a pad of paper,” they share. “Jordan said vows that he had been practicing in the shower since they decided to have their wedding at home.” As the vows were exchanged, guests fanned themselves with customized drag fans imprinted with “like a promised sunrise,” a line from a Maya Angelou poem read during the ceremony.
“My older brother, Zachary officiated our wedding,” Hanna says. “We didn’t rehearse or have any guidelines for him. I was, however, bullish that he did not say ‘now you may kiss the bride.’ We were kissing each other. Funnily though, I have no idea what he said instead.” The newlyweds recessed out to Chance the Rapper’s “Sunday Candy.” “It has always been one of our favorite songs; it puts us in a good mood,” she shares. “There was no other song that could encapsulate this moment of joy like that one could.”
The nice thing about having 30-ish wedding attendees is that you can make things super personal.
Adorning each place setting was a vintage Austin postcard—sourced from The Austin Antique Mall and Hip Postcard—with a personalized message for the guest from the couple. “The nice thing about having 30-ish wedding attendees is that you can make things super personal,” Hanna says.
Local restaurant The Peached Tortilla catered a menu of passed appetizers and family-style dishes like kimchi arancini lollipops, crunchy fish tacos, banh mi sliders, and Thai broccolini. “The Peached Tortilla was absolutely amazing,” the couple says. “They were so helpful from the start; every member of their team was friendly and attentive. Their service upgraded our home to an unforgettable venue.”
Another DIY: Their shared Spotify playlist, which blasted through five indoor and two outdoor speakers. The newlyweds danced to a Noah Reid cover of “Simply the Best.” For the family dances, Hanna and her father opted for Joe Ely’s “If You Were a Bluebird” and Jordan and his mother chose “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.
The easiest part of wedding planner, the couple says, “was deciding to have snow cones as our dessert.” They called in a food truck from Austin staple Shaved Ice Island and served up fun flavors like orchid vanilla, Dreamsicle, and fittingly, wedding cake.
Just two short months after the wedding, the couple welcomed their baby boy—delaying an immediate honeymoon for the best reason of all. But, they’re not putting off a trip forever. “We look forward to visiting New Zealand next year,” Hanna says. “We dream of drinking a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in a post-pandemic world, while our one-year-old enjoys time with their grandparents back home.”