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Virginia Backyard Wedding

Vintage Weddings

After saving up to buy a house, Melissa and Chris decided to skip the traditional venue route to have their wedding reception in the backyard of their newly purchased 1950s home. Hence the inspiration for a retro backyard fete. Captured by Amy Otto Photography who kindly shared these images with us!


tea length wedding dress backyard wedding ideas
tea length wedding dress backyard wedding ideas

tea length wedding dress backyard wedding ideas
tea length wedding dress backyard wedding ideas

From Amy: We started out with bridal preparations at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, where the couple would spend their wedding night. After a first look in the hotel, we took a little time to get some images in Old Town Alexandria of the couple and their bridal party. Melissa and Chris are big fans of film and plastic toy cameras so, I was happy to shoot a bit of film and do some Holga panos. After Old Town, we were off to the couple’s house for the ceremony and reception, all hosted in their backyard. The ceremony featured readings from The Jerk & sharing of lemonade, which was so sweet. There were so many DIY elements to this wedding: The cake topper and ring pillow were knitted by the bride. She also made the paper chain decorations while Chris made their very own photo booth, complete with the ability to instantly upload the images to Facebook. Chris’s brother in law painted their guestbook, and Melissa’s family worked on the ceremony chair decorations and the getaway car. The couple designed and screen printed the invitations themselves, and Melissa and her bridesmaids put all the flowers together after ordering them from a wholesaler.

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Vendors + Venue (Old Town Alexandria, Virginia):

Reception Venue: Private Residence / Getting ready location: Hotel Monaco / Wedding Photographer: Amy Otto Photography / Caterer: Eat & Smile Catering / Dress Designer: Dolly Couture / Heirlooms and extras: Beach House Living / Calligrapher: Angelique, Ink / Jewelry: Macy’s / Bakery: Silva’s Patisserie

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Vintage Bowling Wedding

Vintage Weddings

Be still my vintage-obsessed heart. It’s true that the fifties is one era I will never tire of, but a wedding in a bowling alley is quintessentially retro. Jessica is a designer herself, so it was a no brainer she designed the most fun wedding stationery, setting the tone for her wedding bash. And here’s a hint: 3D glasses! Thank you Heidi Ryder for the beautiful images! Check out the rest in the gallery.

We’ve been asked why we chose the 1950’s as our wedding theme. To be honest, we’re really not sure. Maybe it was a love of the music, maybe it was a love of the style, or maybe it was Ryan’s love of Back to the Future. It’s hard to say for sure. It just seemed…natural.

retro 1950s bowling wedding

Our venue–The Doctor’s House at the Brand Arts and Music Library–was a much more conscious choice. We’d lived in the Burbank/Glendale area for many years and the Brand Arts and Music Library offered us the beautiful outdoor setting we both wanted. It was also the site of the career retrospective of Ryan’s favorite artist, Joseph Mugnaini. And since we’re not the sit-down-to-dinner type, the reception was hosted at the Montrose Bowl. A private bowling alley, the Montrose Bowl has appeared in many television and film productions, including Pleasantville and Teen Wolf. We wanted everyone at the reception to have fun, play games and maybe feel a little nostalgic, and the Montrose Bowl was the picture-perfect venue for it. Along with open bowling lanes and our ‘photo booth,’ games such as Hungry Hungry Hippos and Tiddly Winks were scattered about to coax out everyone’s inner child.

retro 1950s bowling wedding

retro 1950s bowling wedding

With so many family and friends coming from out of town, we really wanted to share with them a true southern California culinary experience. And what else says southern California like a food truck? In this case it was Seabirds, a gourmet food truck. We chose Seabirds because of their impressive and delicious vegan menu. Seabirds vegan fare was a huge success. One guest even complained that she was “angry [she] couldn’t eat more!”

retro 1950s bowling wedding
retro bowling wedding

The wedding also had a green component. The bridesmaid’s bouquets, groomsmen’s boutonnieres, and corsages were made from colorful cut-up clothing catalogues that normally would have found a home in the recycle bin. The bridal bouquet was a blossom of broaches sent by friends from around the world. Realizing that many of our international friends would not be able to attend, I sent out a call for broaches, rings, and pendants. Each piece was symbolic of a cherished memory, a friendship, an absent family member.

Taking full advantage of the bowling theme at the reception, guests signed a bowling pin as opposed to a traditional guest book. And keeping with our desire to make the event both fun and memorable, we thanked each guest with a bowling trophy. The trophies sported either a male or a female bowler and were engraved with our names, the date, and the eye-roll-worthy pun “With Love to Spare”.

retro 1950s bowling wedding
retro 1950s bowling wedding

designer herself, so it was a no brainer she designed the most fun wedding stationery, setting the tone for her wedding bash. And here’s a hint: 3D glasses! Thank you Heidi Ryder for the beautiful images! Check out the rest in View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Vendors and Venue (Montrose, California):

Ceremony Location: Brand Arts Music Library / Reception Venue: Montrose Bowl / Wedding Photographer: Heidi Ryder / Invitations: Little Hinka / Caterer: Seabirds Truck / Hairstylist: Miss Lowe / Wedding Dress: Dolly Couture / Wedding Cake: Babycakes

Heidi Ryder is a member of Blue Label.

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Missouri Vineyard Wedding

Rustic Weddings

Deidre Lynn Photography always brings in the sweetest Midwest weddings for us to gush over. This one is no exception. This wedding was virtually 100% handmade, thanks to talented Etsy sellers. Many more images from this vineyard wedding in the gallery!

Missouri vineyard wedding
Missouri vintage wedding
Missouri vineyard wedding
Missouri vintage wedding
Missouri vineyard wedding
Missouri vineyard wedding
Missouri vineyard wedding
Missouri vineyard wedding
Missouri vintage wedding
Missouri vineyard wedding
Missouri vineyard wedding
Missouri vintage wedding
Missouri vineyard wedding
Missouri vineyard wedding

From the Bride: We were inspired by classic vintage details, our vineyard location, and a little bit of European goodness. Our wedding day REALLY could not have been more perfect from beginning to end. Hugh and I both have the same favorite moments (ironically the opening and closing of the day): the pure joy we felt when those Church doors opened and we first saw each other from opposite ends; and the cap to the night when family and friends encircled us and we all happily swayed and sang along to “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers, the last song at the reception. Of course, this special day would not have been even close to possible without the hard work of all of our generous family and friends. In addition, the vendors we selected all went above and beyond to make our day truly wonderful. Their work was not only excellent but also their kind and willing attitudes made wedding planning and day of coordination so much easier.

Deidre Lynn Photography always brings in the sweetest Midwest weddings for us to gush over. This one is no exception. This wedding was virtually 100% handmade, thanks to talented Etsy sellers. Many more images from this View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Vendors (St. Louis, Missouri):

Ceremony: St. Louis Cathedral Basilica / Reception: Chandler Hills Vineyard / Photographer: Deidre Lynn Photography / Florist: Thorn Studio / Wedding Dress: custom designed by Dagmar from Sash Couture (on Etsy) used all of these ideas to design and create my dream dress. (We never met in person once, as we are located very far apart. I found her on Etsy and she completely designed this from our phone and e-mail conversations – it’s possible!) / Bridesmaid dresses: Dagmar/Sash Couture / Veil: BHLDN / Bow hair piece: Mignonne Handmade (on Etsy) / Necklace and bridesmaid necklaces: Petitor (on Etsy) / Groomsmen jackets: Club Room / Groomsmen pants: Perry Ellis / Groomsmen ties: Tux and Tulle (on Etsy) / Cake topper: Figs & Ginger (etsy) / Thumbprint guest book: TearDrop Weddings

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