I’m pretty certain that if you were to search for the word “pretty” in the dictionary, today’s wedding from Nessa K Photography would provide the accompanying image. Bride Katy (who writes a super cute craft blog) wanted her wedding day to feel like a nostalgic summer party, so she filled her reception with family heirlooms, striped straws, and gobs of pink and red to kick up the wow factor.
From the bride, Katy: We wanted our wedding to feel like a nostalgic, summer backyard party, kicked up a couple notches with tons of details to make it a memorable and love filled event. Adjectives I had in mind while planning our wedding were: nostalgic, quintessential summer, handmade, family, southern, laid back and pretty. We used lots of family heirlooms like generations-old quilts, jars, vases and vessels from family homes, and even the wedding dresses of my mom and both of my grandmothers to make it feel personal.
We didn’t have a strict color scheme since we wanted the beauty of the land to take center stage, but we looked for sherbet colors to play up the summer nostalgic feel – soft pinks, greens, yellows and oranges. We didn’t want anything too match-y or perfect – it was a handmade, DIY affair and we wanted the decor to reflect that feeling. We DIY’d everything we could and hired out the best for everything else. We arranged all the flowers ourselves (but ordered wholesale from Fifty Flowers – the BEST customer service and selection, I highly recommend them), the “Let Love Grow” sign was a DIY string art labor of love, the bunting was a group effort with me cutting out, my mom sewing, some girlfriends stringing (all 500 feet!), while lounging at the beach.
I painted the cornhole boards with bride and groom birds with the help of a friend, the wooden direction signs were done by a family member, the pillows laid out on the quilts were handmade by my aunt, mom and me, and thousands of feet of ribbon were cut and tied for the chairs, escort card station and photobooth backdrop. I also painted the cake toppers over a crafty afternoon with a friend. The artwork for the CD covers was a free template from Benign Objects that I had been hanging on to for two years. The menu cards were hand painted by me, using the same bird motif as the cornhole birds, then scanned and typed on using Photoshop. Oh and my dad hand crafted us a beautiful wooden wedding box for our ceremony since he’s a talented woodworker. It was so much work, but so much fun. All the little details made the day so memorable, the decor so personal, and the process brought so many of my favorite people together to work on fun projects.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? If you’re on a budget (and who isn’t?), do what you can yourself and hire the best for what you can’t. That way you can spend more on the really great professionals you trust and not have to skimp on other things. Don’t be afraid to fire vendors if you don’t feel like it’s the right fit – sometimes when you actually start working with people, things change and you realize they may not fit your vision or be that fun to work with. We forfeited a couple of hefty deposits to do this because we knew it would be worth it to go with someone else. And you know what? Best money ever spent. Also – do whatever YOU want and forget what else is popular or expected. We wanted a small, intimate affair, so we only had 35 guests and it was perfect. My husband and I didn’t want a dance floor so we didn’t – people danced in the grass and around the bonfire and it was perfect. We didn’t have first dances, bridesmaids/groomsmen, a bouquet or garter toss. Those things aren’t our style so we didn’t feel bad about nixing them.
Processional: “Pachelbel’s Canon”
Recessional: “Ashoken Farewell”
My sister in law sang “At Last” with them during the cocktail hour but we didn’t have any first dances. We had an iPod playing our favorites for the rest of the reception and I remember taking pictures in the field across the street hearing Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” play and thinking it was the most perfect moment. And later in the night we got down to Stevie Wonder while dancing by the bonfire and making s’mores.
Wedding Location: Frederick, MD / Wedding Photographer: Nessa K Photography / Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Flowers: Wholesale via FiftyFlowers / Wedding Dress: Watters “Devenport,” Style 8072B / Wedding Shoes: ModCloth and Target / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Wedding Caterer: High Point Catering / Desserts: Clustered Spires Bakery Shop, Ed’s Country Bakery, bride’s family / Wedding Music: Tim and Savannah Finch of Eastman String Band / Furniture Rentals: Ginger & Spice / Wedding Invitations: Minted