Immanuel and Alison Martinez grew up in a small town in Michigan, but barely knew each other. Alison left for college and Immanuel moved for work, reconnecting years later. With Immanuel in Arizona and Alison in their home state, they became frequent fliers spending time together.
“It was a bit of a whirlwind romance. I knew she was the one right about our second date. It was just about one year after we started dating that I proposed,” says Immanuel.
The couple was on a getaway, celebrating Alison’s birthday, when he popped the question.
“I was looking out the window at the city from our suite, and when I turned around, he was down on one knee with a ring,” says Alison.
As their future clicked into place, Immanuel’s cousin, Danielle Wells, offered her home for their wedding.
“Before we were engaged, Manny's cousin and her husband kept dropping hints to us about how cool it would be to have a wedding in their backyard—wink, wink,” Alison teases. “We were hesitant at first because we didn’t want to intrude. We knew it would be a lot of work and invasive to their lives.”
The single-story home is 5,700 square feet and set on nearly an acre. They opened the sliding wall of windows leading to a large covered patio for a seamless transition to the lush backyard.
“The guests could easily move from the living room to the patio,” says Wells. “There was a taco truck set up in the backyard serving the most amazing Mexican food. There were pub tables around the pool, and the DJ had the dance floor under the patio. The ceremony was held on the west side of the backyard where we had bride and groom seating. The whole space worked great.”
They rented tables, linens and an arch for the ceremony, as well as a galvanized tub for drinks. The bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages were made in-house. The centerpieces were mason jars filled with firefly lights surrounded by greens. Wells and her husband had a custom ice sculpture made for the dessert table, engraved with the bride and groom’s names.
“Dani was a huge help to me with the planning. Ideas, placement, theme, shopping, set up, all of it! Our families also rallied on Friday and Saturday morning to set up and were troopers on Sunday morning when we had to tear everything back down,” says Alison.
There were about 110 guests, so they rented a golf cart to direct traffic and chauffer them to the house. As guests arrived, they enjoyed the homemade charcuterie boards displayed on the kitchen island, and the pre-mixed margaritas and Bazooka bubble gum-infused vodka and lemonade.
“Our cake was from the Great Gatsby Bakery in Gilbert, our absolute favorite place for a treat,” says Alison.
“A home wedding is such a great way to take such a romantic event and make it intimate. My husband and I were so honored to be able to share in such a beautiful day with two of our favorite people. I would host another home wedding in a heartbeat,” says Wells.
The Wells’ home is currently for sale. For more information on this home or any others, contact Cathy Carter at RealEstateChandler.com.