There’s something so sweet about a backyard wedding, and this one from Melissa Gidney Photo, Alexandra Kolendrianos, and Mindy Rice is quite the affair. The reception was filled to the brim with hanging lanterns, making for a truly cozy effect that’s totally irresistible. Get ready to swoon!
Few things make me happier than a couple that isn’t afraid to buck tradition, like this no-shoe-wearing bride and no-tie-wearing groom. The duo held a super-chic wedding in the backyard, bringing along the talented Let’s Frolic Together, A Savvy Event, and Poppystone Designs to pull it all off. A fresh color palette of light blues and greens ties it all together perfectly!
It seems like Valentine’s Day offers an unending supply of romantic wedding inspiration, which is precisely what we found in this styled shoot from Four Corners Photography and Amanda Jewel Floral Design. With a floral patterned ceremony backdrop, incredibly lush floral arrangements, and a table runner accented with love notes, this is the ultimate in inspiring wedding design.
From the photographer, Four Corners Photography: I have photographed quite a few backyard weddings as well as Valentine’s Day weddings and I really wanted to create something to inspire backyard brides everywhere that they can have something beautiful, romantic, and timeless. I also wanted to create something that inspires you to think outside the red that comes with Valentine’s Day. I still wanted to incorporate a few intentionally red pieces (ring, lips, a few florals) and heart motifs (shape of the dress, hearts on the cupcakes), but tried to keep those things minimal!
Host, Planning, Photography: Four Corners Photography
Floral Design: Amanda Jewel Floral Design
Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone
Wedding Shoes: Betsey Johnson
Hair and Makeup: Vigilante Cosmetics
Ring: Trumpet and Horn
Ring Box: The Mrs. Box
Wedding Cake: Ginger Spice Bakery
Baked Goods: The Dessert Table
Furniture: Four Inch Fold
Ceremony Backdrop: Ashley Woodson Bailey
China: Vintage English Teacup
Silks: Adorn Silks, Tono & Co
Vow Book: Wedding Story Writer
Paper Goods: Lairsey Paper Co.
Models: SALT Model
Few things make me happier than surprise weddings, and that’s exactly what Jennifer and Brian got thanks to their friend Callie of The Big Fake Wedding. Callie pulled from a pool of talented Atlanta vendors, including Jonathan and Kaye and Holland Daze, who brought together this last-minute surprise event the day before their official engagement party!
From Callie of The Big Fake Wedding: My friend Jennifer was planning a wedding in September, but they found out that Brian was being transferred to Tokyo in June, so they started planning to secretly head to the courthouse on May 8. At a dinner in April, Jennifer was telling me about her plans and saying how she was so sad to miss the experience of her dad walking her down the aisle. She wanted Brian to have that moment of seeing her in a dress, but they knew there wasn’t time to make that possible.
I reached out to some of my favorite wedding vendors, and we started planning an amazing surprise wedding for the two of them. Jennifer knew it was happening, but she didn’t know any of the details. Brian just thought that he was going to meet her at the courthouse, but instead his dad dropped him off at the wedding location (a local park where the florist so graciously donated her yard and front porch for the celebration), and his mom was there waiting on him with a boutonniere, in front of a sign that read “Welcome to the wedding of Jennifer and Brian.” She handed him a letter from Jennifer that let him know that they would be able to experience a wedding ceremony after all, and then his parents walked him down the aisle where their family and best friends (who had come in from different parts of the country!) were waiting.
We had a musician who played their song as Jennifer walked down the aisle, and after the ceremony, the musician played as they had their first dance and dances with their parents. They then enjoyed dinner, cake and toasts on the front porch, and they ended with a coffee truck and lantern release. The next day was their “engagement party” and they got to let everyone in on their little secret: they were married!!
Be sure to check out the wedding film from Up & Up Weddings!
Florist + Styling + Venue
Vintage Furniture + Styling
I’ll admit it; I used to think it would be difficult to make a food truck wedding elegant. Well no more, because this backyard California wedding from Majesta Patterson has completely proven me wrong! Cole and Caitlin’s wedding day was full of good eats, lovely floral design, and bistro string lights. Prepare to be blown away by this endlessly sophisticated wedding:
From the bride, Caitlin: We wanted our wedding to be super laid back and fun for everyone involved; we saw it as a great opportunity to bring family and friends together and have an amazing evening making memories. It was so great to have the people that we love and cherish there to celebrate with us, and we wanted that to be the focus and not get hung up on too many little details. We wanted everyone to feel relaxed, have some great food, dance to some awesome music, and just enjoy spending time with loved ones.
Bouquet recipe: Baby Blue Tweedia, Snow on the mountain, Burgundy Pom Pom Dahlias, Red Hypericum Berries, Baby pink spray roses, Soft Yellow/White/Peach Ruffle Stalk, Hot Pink Asters, Yellow and Red Ranunculus, Miniature Fire and Ice spray roses, Baby Blue Bella Donna, Ruffled Tulips, Yellow Spray Roses, White Larkspur, Dark Blue Delphinium Belladonna, White Lisianthus.
My wedding could probably be best described as simple and classic, with vintage elements, and a soft color palette with the occasional pops of color (brought in largely by the flowers used in the bouquets and on the tables). Everything felt light and soft with just the right amount of contrast. There were several DIY projects, including the menus, table numbers, the “ribbon wall,” escort cards and the display they were attached to, bride and groom chair backs, cake topper, ring box, wooden gate with bride and groom’s initials, stands for the vintage windows displayed at the altar and behind the sweetheart table, the game of “life-sized Jenga,” hangers for the bride’s/bridesmaids’ dresses, and several pieces of refinished vintage furniture. The wedding planner along with my mom and dad totally rocked at all of these DIY projects!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? My best advice for couples would be to relax and be adaptable when planning your wedding—especially if you are doing it long distance, which is becoming more and more common these days. If you would have asked me a few years ago how I expected my wedding planning to go, I would’ve said, “I don’t need a wedding planner, I can totally do everything myself.” Little did I know that I would be planning a wedding long distance, and wouldn’t have the freedom to fly back and forth between Omaha and the Bay Area to get my hands dirty in all the little details. I was able come up with a vision for the big day, but needed to leave the execution in my mom’s and my wedding planner’s hands (yes, I did get a wedding planner after all, and she was a huge blessing to us). I learned through the process that it’s okay to trust your vision to other people—no, I didn’t get to do every DIY project myself, and I didn’t get to see everything first hand before the big day, but guess what? I had a beautiful wedding and reception, the planning process wasn’t stressful, and the most important part was that I got to marry my best friend that day—that’s all that ultimately matters for any bride or groom.
Bridal Party Processional: “A Thousand Years” (Instrumental version), Christina Perri / Performed by Sam Talbert
Bride’s Processional: “Be Thou My Vision” (Instrumental version), Performed by Sam Talbert
Communion: “Your Love is Extravagant,” The Almost / Performed by Sam Talbert
Recessional: “Good Time,” Owl City
First dance: “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Elvis Presley
From the photographer, Majesta Patterson: Marrying tradition with modern design, Cole and Caitlin held a sweet, rustic wedding at the Rengstorff House in Mountain View. Planning all the way from Nebraska, they carefully chose the perfect details and vendors – from their food truck spread to their gorgeous tablescapes. I love that Caitlin chose to add pops of color in her bouquets while keeping the bridesmaid dresses mismatched and neutral! Cole adorned a classic navy blue suit, my absolute favorite suit color of the season. Let’s just talk about their tablescapes for a second – one of my favorite details from their wedding! Like all good things, the layers to their table created a perfect balance to create a homey and inviting feel to their reception. With custom menu’s nailed to wood blocks and mismatched glass vases to hold their delicate wild flowers. Napkins were wrapped and placed in cute buckets to carry the food truck theme, placed on a natural wood board atop their light blue table runners. And lastly, the overhead bistro lighting created a warm environment for their guests to dine under. It truly was a charming celebration!
Wedding Location: Mountain View, CA / Photographer: Majesta Patterson / Wedding Coordinator and Florist: Donna Renee (pnkblublonde @ comcast.net) / Venue: Rengstorff House / Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige / Wedding Veil: Watters via Rhylan Lang Bridal Salon / Wedding Shoes: Betsey Johnson, Vans / Bride’s Accessories: Nadri / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein / Food Truck: Eat on Monday / Wedding Cake: Icing on the Cake / Ceremony Musician: Sam Talbert / DJ: Gabriel Cortez – “Sweethearts” / Rentals: Danny Thomas Party Rentals / Wedding Invitations: Vista Print
We’ve seen many a bridal hairstyle here at Ruffled over the years (and have pinned many faves!), and this high bun + braided halo + floral crown is quickly rising to the top of our list of most inspiring styles. Kristin La Voie Photography worked her photographic magic behind the scenes for us, so let’s take a look!
From the photographer, Kristin: Do you know that feeling you get when you just know you are in the presence of pure happiness and love? There are no two sweeter, more down-to-earth people than right here. I couldn’t stop smiling. In fact, my cheeks still hurt from all the smiling while editing. No one else has ever had quite that effect on me while editing either. Even tears of happiness ran down my puffy cheeks.
You see for Heather & Mike, the house where Mike grew up was the perfect location for them to tie the knot surrounded by their closest family and friends in the backyard. They walked hand in hand together down a row of trees, to no music at all. They had their loved ones standing around them, encircling them in more love than one could imagine. They did not need a long drawn out ceremony, because all they wanted was to profess their forever to each other. They cried together. They laughed together. They were just themselves. And it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. All of the details, the colors, the ambiance; swoon. And a good backyard wedding to me… well, it’s the most beautiful type of wedding there is.
Wedding Location: Lowell, IN / Photographer: Kristin La Voie Photography / Floral Design: Steve’s Flower Market / Wedding Dress: Blu by Mori Lee / Jewelry: Sarah Perlis / Hair and Makeup: Pin me up Chicago / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Wedding Invitations: Susannah Hainley
The second our eyes ran over these words, we knew we were in for a visual treat: “Our inspiration — think Notebook, meets Big Fish meets a summer carnival/fair.” So the bride describes her wedding day, and we have to say from looking through these images that she absolutely nailed her vision. Valentina Glidden Photography was on hand to capture all the goodness and details, so let’s jump in!
From the bride, Lisa: We were determined to make our wedding stand out from any other wedding! We wanted it to be unique, fun and to not feel so “wedding-ish.” Our inspiration–think Notebook, meets Big Fish meets a summer carnival/fair. There’s just something so romantic about carnivals, and what we imagined one to be like in the 1940s era. The lights, the music, the care-free summer nights and of course, riding the ferris wheel with your sweet heart!
Flower recipe: My aunt, who is a florist created all of our floral looks. She did all of the arrangements, bouquets, embellishments and flower crowns for the flower girls. We wanted a charming wild flower look to keep with the summery country vibe. We used Feverfew (miniature daisies) Daisies, Craspedia, Baby’s Breath, Dusty Miller, Yarrow, Scabiosa Pods and Solidaster.
Being that our wedding was a vintage carnival, we wanted it feel light, airy and fun. We wanted it to have the perfect balance of a carnival yet feel romantic, rustic and whimsical. Our general colors were muted reds, blues and yellows but we weren’t big on having everything matchy, matchy . We pretty much hand crafted most everything ourselves. Jake is a graphic designer so we were able to custom design our save the dates, invitations, programs and favors. Most all of the detail and décor we did ourselves too–DIY projects and antique store finds. My mom and I sewed fabric bunting flags and ribbon streamers. My dad helped with the construction projects such as collecting old scrapped wood which we painted and drilled to make signs as well as light up marquee letters from metal. We built a kissing booth that I hand painted for our guests to take photos in. I also constructed our cake topper and even designed my own wedding dress and had it hand made! My mom made the flower girl’s dresses and an assortment of over 2,000 homemade cookies for our “sweet treats” table. You can definitely say our wedding screamed DIY! We also hired a caricaturist to create caricaturists for our guests as a fun souvenir. But our favorite part—the ferris wheel! We knew if we wanted our look to feel authentic, we needed to have a ferris wheel which we rented from a local event company. It tied everything together and the guests just loved it! The open space of the venue with the oak trees, old barn and charming character created the perfect setting for our event and pulled everything together.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I’d say first things first, decide on the look or theme you are going for and let it resonate. That was the best thing we did. We decided on our look right away and spent a lot of time exploring flea markets, antique shops and etsy for the perfect ideas and accents. The more time you have to think about it, the easier it will come together and the more time you will have to make it work. Plus it’s a lot less stressful! Also, don’t be afraid to take a risk! If you love something, find a way to incorporate it into your wedding. It will make it the planning fun as well as your day that much more special.
Wedding Party Processional: “Married Life,” Michael Giacchiano (Up Soundtrack)
Bride’s Processional: “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” Ingrid Michaelson
Recessional: “Everybody,” Ingrid Michaelson
First Dance: “The Way I Am,” Ingrid Michaelson
Cocktail hour and dinner we played a lot of classic and folky hits from the 1940s – Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington to name a few.
Wedding Location: Walnut, CA / Photographer: Valentina Glidden Photography / Wedding Coordinator: Sandy McDermott and Aide Delgado of Rose Wade Events / Florist: Flowers by Sharen / Venue: Brookside Equestrian / Wedding Dress: Designed by Bride and constructed by Ann Seitz and Annette Constantino / Bride’s Headpiece and Shoes: ModCloth / Makeup and Hair: Foundation of You / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ModCloth / Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Jack Threads / Caterer: Rose Wade Events / Wedding Cakes: Beverly’s Best Bakery / DJ: FLY BY NIGHT Disc Jockeys / Ferris Wheel Rental: LA Party Works / Caricaturist: The Cartoon Lady / Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods: designed by Bride and Groom, printed by Coastal Finishing
I love seeing intimate weddings grace our inbox, because they often feel like a breath of fresh air in an ever-growing industry. Samantha and Aaron’s wedding hosted only 15 guests, which allowed them to focus on the details closest to their hearts – which were all captured wonderfully by Steve Cowell Photo. We’re particularly smitten with the “L-O-V-E” backdrop for the ceremony, which was custom made by none other than the groom’s brother!
From the bride, Samantha: I envisioned a laid back, vintage, beach feeling for our wedding. I also wanted something intimate since it was a small wedding with close family. Our colors were peach, aqua, coral, and teal. Beach. Very intimate. Sunset. We had Vigilucci’s which is a high end Italian restaurant that is local to the San Diego north county area. Steak, pasta, and vegetables were on the menu and they served the meal for us at a really reasonable cost and it was delicious!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I didn’t do much planning as my family pretty much took care of the details. I will say keeping a positive attitude and keeping it small was the best decision I ever made.
Bride’s Processional: “Sweet Thing,” Van Morrison
Recessional: “Moth’s Wings,” Passion Pit
Giddy doesn’t even begin to describe how crazy excited we are to share Zoe and Mike’s wedding. Captured by one of our Aussie faves, Bek Grace, their wedding encapsulates the heart and soul of a summer soiree. All meticulously designed by Lovestruck with flowers by Elyssium Blooms.
From the bride, Zoe: I think you could say we were quite laid back about the whole process and pretty much left it all in the hands of our stylist – who is also the groom’s sister! Lucky us. I love mint so asked for this to be incorporated somewhere, but this was about it. She knows us pretty well so it was easy. Although I always found myself being drawn to rustic style weddings and we did incorporate aspects of this here and there, overall we tried to keep most of it quite classic and off-trend to avoid it dating. I’d say the style of the wedding was relaxed but beautiful.
Bouquet recipe: Sticking to the colour scheme of whites and greens with a splash of peach, our flowers consisted of textured foliage, berries, garden roses, David Austins and veronica.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? If you’re going to engage a stylist – trust them. You’ve obviously gone to them because you like their style. We chose to have bit of a surprise element and didn’t want to know every single styling detail beforehand. For example – the ceremony backdrop was a complete surprise for us and we loved it! Also, tradition is great if you believe in it, but don’t do things if they don’t mean anything to you. We didn’t do things such as garters, tossing of the bouquet etc. We also didn’t have a regular honeymoon as such and went on a snow holiday (quite risky in hindsight!) two weeks before our wedding with a couple of friends and family.
Ceremony Song: “All of Me,” John Legend
Signing: “Best Day of my Life,” American Authors
From Bek Grace: Zoe was my perfect kind of bride. She didn’t stress, she didn’t have a million and one requests, she was just there to marry her Mike. All the stressing was left to her wonderful sister in law who styled / coordinated the whole wedding – and as the photos show, it was incredibly gorgeous!!!
I cannot recommend enough how wonderful it is to have someone style your wedding day – it leaves you as the bride to be able to relax, knowing everything will be beautiful and perfect. And makes for an incredibly inspiring wedding to photograph.
Both Zoe and Mike were such a delight. I feel so blessed that they let me into their day to document every. Single. Moment.
My favourite part of the day is when we snuck off for photos and enjoyed a field in someone’s backyard – it made for a gorgeous back drop whilst Zoe and Mike had a few raw moments together.
Wedding Location: Gold Coast, Australia / Photographer: Bek Grace / Event Styling: Lovestruck / Flowers: Elyssium Blooms / Venue: Private residence / Wedding Dress: Anna Campbell gown purchased at Babushka Ballerina / Hair and Makeup: Kate Caddle / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dotti / Groom’s Suit: Roger David and TopShop / Desserts: The Sweet Folk / Lighting: Elyssium Lighting / Food: Pop Taco and Crusta Woodfire / Celebrant: Helen O’Brien / DJ: Skye Shellshear / Stationery: Alex Mae
How could you make a wedding at Florida’s Flamingo Gardens even better? Add some styling from Katie of Unearthed Vintage, a surprise peacock or two, and capture it all with the help of Becca Borge, for starters. Carissa and Roy’s wedding was a relaxed affair with details for miles, so let’s jump on in!
From the bride, Carissa: We had originally envisioned a laid-back bohemian wedding with our toes in the sand on the beach. After falling in love with a lace, vintage-style wedding dress, we changed our setting to a quaint garden in Northern Miami. I am a wedding photographer in Western Pennsylvania and knew I wanted something different and unique than many of the weddings that I shoot. Hopefully my wedding can be an inspiration to other brides! We wanted a small, intimate wedding to celebrate with immediate family. We envisioned a laid-back and relaxed ceremony and reception outside, with a focus on detail. We will be celebrating with a pig roast back home with all of a large number of family and friends.
Our wedding was full of lace, vintage, laid-back and intimate details. Our color theme focused on soft-toned colors — primarily blush and light gray. I designed the flower piece on the back of our chairs at the sweetheart table with artificial flowers and lace. My sister and her husband are the owners of two Etsy shops and helped a great deal with our unique signs, menu-printed napkins and invitations. A friend also helped to make the bouquets and flowers on the tables.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Take a few deep breaths, everything is going to come together in the end!
Processional: “Us,” Vitamin String Quartet (Regina Spektor)
First Dance: “Hazy,” Rosi Golan ft. William Fitzsimmons
I created a playlist via Spotify of our favorite songs/concerts we have been to, which played during cocktail hour and dinner.
Wedding Location: Davie, FL / Photographer: Becca Borge / Event Design: Bride and Katie of Unearthed Vintage / Florist: Bride and Friend / Venue: Flamingo Gardens / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals Romance Collection / Wedding Shoes: ModCloth / Garter: Gift from sister / Hairpiece and Boutonnieres: Amber Steffe of The Sunflower Stand / Hair and Makeup: Amanda Lynn & Co. / Maid of Honor Dress: Watters Brides “Camellia” / Groom’s Suit: Indochino / Wedding Caterer: Tastebuds / Wedding Cake: Delliquez Custom Cakes N Catering / Wooden Decor and Menu-printed Napkins: Squeaky Bird Studios / Stationery and Invitations: Chelsi Lee Designs / Videography: Kevin Borge
What can you say about a wedding in one of the most beautiful cities, Camarillo, complete with a pink wedding dress, a perfectly decorated cocktail hour, and a Hawaiian fire dancer? Today’s wedding from Alders Photography has all of this and so much more, with new details popping up each time we look back on it. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
From the photographer, Jennifer of Alders Photography: Rudy & Neilani’s wedding was a celebration of epic proportions. Nearly 300 guests gathered at a quaint, hidden gem in Camarillo, Graf Barn for their wedding. With everything from succulent favors to burlap to vintage accessories, couches outdoors and a dilapidated piano, their wedding was the picture perfect example of a So Cal barn shabby chic affair. And the photo fun didn’t stop there. It was a day jam packed with visual goodies. The couple created an Instagram hashtag for their wedding, ensuring that all guest photos could be found easily after the event. Their reception was chock full of wonderful entertainment. Friends and opera singers serenaded the couple during dinner. Then the couple surprised their guests by each doing performances to celebrate their heritage. Rudy dressed in traditional Mariachi attire and danced as the band played. Then Neilani did a typical Samoan money dance in the traditional garb. It was amazing! They even had Hawaiian belly dancers and fire dancers perform in between acts!
But all of this would be just for show if it weren’t for the amazing love between Rudy and Neilani. With performances to do, 300 guests to mingle with, vows to say, and an adorable toddler to keep track of, the bride and groom could have easily gotten overwhelmed, stressed, curt, or even argumentative with each other. But you never saw any of these emotions from these two throughout the day. They were never more than 5 feet apart, always laughing, enjoying, soaking it all in. Even as they were running to and fro, changing costumes, catching a quick hello with a guest in between, they were all smiles. Because they were celebrating their love. You can tell these two truly are in love and truly go very well together. Their best man, Maximiliano, their son is proof of that. And so is Rudy’s tears as Neilani walked down the aisle, their laughter as they spent a moment alone together, their kisses as they stole a moment away near their getaway truck, and how much they are loved by friends and family.
Wedding Location: Oxnard, CA / Photographer: Alders Photography / Flowers: Rockrose Floral Design / Venue: Graf Barn / Wedding Dress: Rancho Tailors / Musician: Xocoyotzin Moraza / Fire Dancer: Lopeti Tu’ua / Videographer: Paperback Weddings
We fell in love with this couple’s wedding cakes the moment we saw them, but you can hardly imagine our surprise when we saw the bride’s little sister made them herself! This wedding from Parker Young, One Love by Erica, and Revel Design Company is just full of little surprises like that, and we love that we come across darling new details each time we pore through this wedding.
From the bride, Camille: We got engaged on a road trip from our home town of Tampa Florida to Nashville Tennessee on Lake Allatoona just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, a beautiful lake we had visited before! By the time we reached our final destination we had planned the date, the location, and we both knew the exact feel of the wedding we were so excited to plan: cozy and full of joy! We knew we wanted our wedding to take place at the home I grew up at and we wanted to serve my mama’s kale soup and his fathers homemade bread. I had always wanted vegetables incorporated into the flowers. I used to joke that I wanted to walk down the aisle with a bundle of kale and carrots…. well, it wasn’t really a joke! We wanted our wedding to reflect what God had given us: each other, amazing families, friends and the great natural outdoors.
Flower recipe: Kale, spray roses, white stock, and many succulents, for my bouquet. The guys’ boutonnieres were seeded eucalyptus and succulents. Queen Ann’s lace, and peach lisianthus for the aisles. The tables were a spread of carrots, peach spray roses in small vases, kale, purple baby egg plants, succulents, and artichokes (some with the centers cut out and candles inside… DIY project) and candles sticks everywhere!
Our wedding was such a fun, cozy, nature filled, intimate, warm, personal, wintery (for Florida), romantic, joyful day! I come from a very large, artistic and hard working family. There was much DIY put into this day… but even more “Do it together” projects. My husband is an artist, a craftsman and getting his degree in architectural design. He designed and hand drew our invitations. He also built the giant cutting board the hors d’oeuvres were served upon. My younger sister and Maid of Honor is my little creative fairy and any wild idea we came up with she was more than happy to help bring it to life… Including my 3 foot wedding cake and Mike’s artichoke adorned chocolate beet cake! She is a child prodigy – baking wedding cakes since she was 15! Both my parents knew how much hard work was needed to put on a wedding in their backyard. My older brother and his wife were married there 5 years ago. Luckily we also had our good friend and wedding planner Erica Rexrote and all her expertise to help make it all happen! My sister-in-law, Grandma and I whipped up our Bear & Wolf (what Mike and I call each other) cake toppers the day before the wedding! It was something I had wanted to do since we started planning and I was so pleased to see the little guys come to life!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Enjoy every minute of the planning process. Let your wedding really reflect yourselves and your relationship. There are so many amazing weddings out there and pictures to get ideas from. But the best weddings are ones that reflect the couple. Don’t try too hard to recreate someone else’s themes and ideas. Pull ideas from blogs, Pinterest and wedding books, but the personal touches that you give to your day should be unique to you and your spouse. On your wedding day: enjoy it to the max, from the beginning to end! Let go and have fun. If a sign doesn’t get placed where you wanted it to, or it even starts to rain (we had a lovely light rain during our ceremony) don’t stress. The fact that your friends, family and future partner in life are by your side is the most joyful feeling when you really let the rest go! Indulge in the day. Bask in the fact that you will only do this once!
Groom’s Processional: “Years,” JBM
Bridesmaid’s and Bride’s: “The Winner Is,” Devotchka; when the violins come to the best part in the song, that’s when I walked out!
Recessional: “Stop Drop Rock and Roll,” Elvis Perkins in Dearland
First Dance: “You Send Me,” Sam Cooke
Father/Daughter Dance: “Beauty and the Beast”
Mother/Son Dance: “What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong
From the wedding designer, One Love by Erica: Mike and Camille both share a love for nature and family. When it came to their wedding, that was exactly what they both intended to share with their guests. From the outdoor ceremony and reception at the bride’s childhood home to fresh veggie center pieces and artichoke adorned cake as well as a makeshift, open air dressing room in which the bride changed into her dress; Mike and Camille’s stamp was all over their day. The wedding party made up of sisters and best friends surrounded the couple during the oak tree canopied ceremony that took place at an ivy lined garden arbor. Everyone in attendance was even blessed with a light Florida rain during the vows though spirits weren’t dampened. What began as a cloudy and rainy day ended up being a picturesque and cool evening complemented perfectly by the mother of the bride’s very own kale soup, fresh Cuban bread baked by the groom’s father and cakes baked by Camille’s 16 year old pastry chef sister. After dinner, the dance floor was a ideal setting for Mike and Camille to demonstrate their carefree personalities and the s’mores being roasted over the open fire pit gave guests a chance to warm up and exchange stories. The mixture of family and nature provided guests and the newly married couple a day full of memories that will surely not be soon forgotten.
Wedding Location: Tampa, FL / Photographer: Parker Young / Event Design: One Love by Erica / Flowers: Revel Design Company / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals / Wedding Shoes: Steve Madden / Veil: Melinda Rose / Jewelry: Bride’s Mother’s / Hair: Erin Young / Makeup: Sarah Phillips Make Up Artistry / Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor’s Dresses: My Universe / Groom’s Suit: H&M / Groom’s Tie: J. Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Hudsons / Wedding Caterer: Fat Maggie’s / Wedding Cakes: Carolyn Young / Wedding Invitations and Programs: DIY
One of our all-time favorite tips for saving room in the budget is to look for a wedding dress at nontraditional locations. Bride Kaitlin found her nothing-short-of stunning Aidan Mattox gown by way of Saks Fifth Avenue and saved a pretty penny without compromising on style — leaving more room to budget for an incredible photographer, Morgan Trinker. This wedding was put together with the aid of happy helpers and a whole lot of love that shines straight through!
From the bride, Kaitlin: I went for a whimsical meets timeless kind of feel; a mixture of class and comfort. We wanted an Intimate, At-Home, Handmade Wedding. Oh, boy, did I have a lot of DIY projects. Where to start!
The invites and all signage were all hand drawn or designed through Adobe InDesign, and the seating chart was done with a little ribbon, a few branches and some printed name cards. The “So Much Love For You Darling” banner was hand drawn on canvas, sewn, and decorated with ribbons. We had a faux Moroccan Blanket with hand sewn ribbons and added garland, flower toss cones done with detailed paper, flower toss table with cut holes for cones. Just spare wood, a few nails and a lot of stain, and paper straws with silver and metallic tape flags. The ceremony platform was built by my father-in-law and draped with the faux Moroccan blanket. The desserts were made by my husband, mother, mother-in-law and aunt. Marscapone cheesecake to macarons!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Don’t stress about the wedding. It’s the marriage that truly counts. And above all – respect. Before the wedding, at the wedding, after the wedding, always – respect.
First Dance: “A Sunday Kind of Love,” Etta James
Father/Daughter Dance: “Promise Her the Moon,” Mr. Big
Mother/Son Dance: “My Cherie Amour,” Stevie Wonder
Best Friend Dance: “Displaced,” Azure Ray
Grandfather/Granddaughter Dance: “This Old Heart of Mine,” The Isley Brothers
Wedding Location: Dothan, AL / Photographer: Morgan Trinker / Flowers: Groom’s mother / Event Design: Bride / Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Dress: Aidan Mattox via Saks Fifth Avenue / Wedding Shoes: Anthropologie / Hair: Lorena Rowe / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ModCloth / Groom’s Suit: Black by Vera Wang / Wedding Caterer: Nektar Cafe & Wine Bar / Desserts: Bride, Groom, and family / Wedding Invitations: bride
Sometimes you just can’t beat the intimacy of a backyard wedding – especially when it’s captured by the talented Jenna Trapasso of Red White & Green Photography. They’re all the more irresistible when filled with handmade goods by the bride herself, who has her own etsy shop. Let’s jump in:
From the bride, Heather: I knew I wanted our wedding to feel like just that… ours. From day 1, I knew I didn’t want to do anything just because it was traditional or expected… I wanted it to be a representation of us individually as well as a couple. Garrett and his groomsmen had their favorite superheroes pinned in their boutonnieres. All the decor aside from our flags and our cake topper were either designed and handmade by me over the course of our year and a half engagement or were vintage pieces I’ve collected since I was little.
It was a fairly small wedding of our closest family and friends. We were married in Garrett’s Grandmother’s backyard on the water in Cedar Point, NC. There was an 80% chance of rain the whole day and the rain never came. It made for a beautiful “gray day” as my photographer called it and everything just fell perfectly into place. Garrett’s brother became ordained online so that he could marry us. Everything just felt so intimate and nothing felt forced. I had so many people tell us how much the whole day screamed “us” and how much fun they had. I even had several people say it was the best wedding they had ever been to… can’t ask for much more than that! I can honestly say it was the best day of our lives.
I’ve always been a lover of vintage decor, clothing, furniture, etc. 90% of the decor in my house is vintage so I was able to use a lot of my own collection to decorate the wedding. The rest of the decor I designed and crafted myself with the exception of our flags hanging in the tent and our cake topper. Those items I ordered from some very talented artists on etsy. Working full time, I spent a lot of nights and weekends for a year and a half tackling dozens of DIY projects from the invitations, to the cupcake toppers, to the wedding signs and all things in between. Crafting and designing all the decor actually inspired me to open my own etsy shop 2 months before the wedding.
Our arbor was made by close family friends which ended up being so beautiful. I know that vintage-inspired weddings are so popular now that most of it is sort of “been there done that” so I really tried to make our wedding unique in its own little way. I think by incorporating personal touches like my collection of assorted salt and pepper shakers on all the tables, our ninja turtle peeking out under our tiny wedding cake, the straws I made with every guests’ name on the little flags, it really helped set the day apart from any other wedding you’d see on Pinterest.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? My number 1 piece of advice is to stick to your guns with what you envision your wedding to be. It’s hard sometimes to not try to make others happy, but at the end of the day it is your wedding and if you’re lucky, you only get married once. Try to let the groom have his piece of the wedding too… It was so fun to see Garrett’s nerdy touches and my vintage style mix together to create a ceremony and reception that was truly and uniquely our own. No one could have left there saying that we didn’t stay true to our style and personality. Most importantly, have fun! Don’t let all the stress take away from what the day is about… marrying the love of your life. I let others do the stressing for me. Also, another thing I’ve noticed at weddings these days is the toasts are often skipped. One of my favorite and most memorable parts of the whole day was when our family and friends got up at the reception and told stories and talked about how perfect Garrett and I were for each other. We all laughed and cried and it was so special to see how happy everyone was for us.
Our ceremony music was played by a wonderful violinist. I found the sheet music for some of our favorite songs and even though probably only a handful of guests knew what songs they were, Garrett and I knew what they were which was all that really mattered.
Pre-ceremony Songs: “Grow Old With Me,” John Lennon; “I’ll Be Seeing You,” Frank Sinatra; “When I Fall In Love,” Nat King Cole; “No One’s Gonna Love You More,” Band of Horses
Bridal Party Processional: “Somebody Loved,” The Weepies
Bride’s Processional: “The Book of Love,” Magnetic Fields
Recessional: “Friday I’m In Love,” The Cure
Our first dance song (which was also our processional song) was “Somebody Loved” by the Weepies. It’s been “our” song ever since we first started dating so it naturally had to be the first song we danced to as husband and wife.
Wedding Location: Swansboro, NC / Photographer: Red White & Green Photography / Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Dress: ModCloth / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ModCloth and Ruche / Groomsmen’s Outfits: JCPenney, Converse shoes / Wedding Caterer: Strange & Sons Catering / Violinist: Lisa Gatusso / Vintage Plates and Centerpiece Rentals: Heirloom Vintage / Tent and Table Rentals: Crystal Coast Event Rentals / Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods: Bride, Somebody Loved
Today’s wedding, sent over by the supremely talented Lad & Lass, has instant calming powers. Just looking through these images, I can feel how relaxed Nandi and Brett’s wedding day was, thanks in part to the expert styling of South Africa’s own A Vintage Affair. A dreamy, happy, and comfortable day – exactly what a wedding day should be.
From the bride, Nandi: We decided to get married at my parents home because we wanted to feel as relaxed and as comfortable as possible and we wanted our guests to feel the same. I envisioned the décor to look like it had come out of my parents’ home, the flowers to look like they had just been picked from the garden and the food to taste like an authentic Spanish seaside village. We dreamed of a day that felt effortless, endlessly happy, had eyes filled with tears of joy, feet dancing until the early hours of the next day, friends chatting, Champagne popping, family catching up and Brett and I smiling until our cheeks hurt. I think we achieved exactly that.
Our theme was home and our colours were muted pastels. We wanted the flowers to be the hero of the décor, the bridal party to feel relaxed and comfortable and for our guests to feel like they had stepped into a whimsical, laden with fairy lights, bursting with sweet peas, romantic wedding. I designed and made all of my invitations, made the traditional lace Chuppah that we were married under and made the confetti. That was overwhelming as it is, I’m glad I didn’t do anything else!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Relax, breathe and do your homework. Planning a wedding is the most incredible experience, take it all in, love every moment, don’t rush your decisions, be yourself, love your fiancé and try not to spend ALL of your father’s money!
Watch the video also created by Lad & Lass:
Processional: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World,” Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Recessional: “Sweet Thing,” Van Morrison
First Dance: “You & I,” Crystal Fighters
Father/Daughter Dance: “Forever Young,” Bob Dylan
Wedding Location: Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa / Photographer: Lad & Lass / Event Design and Flowers: A Vintage Affair / Wedding Venue: Bride’s Parents’ Home / Wedding Dress: Abigail Betz / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Zara, ASOS, Topshop, Forever New / Paella, Gazpacho, and Spanish Pintxos: Gusto / Wedding Cakes: family and friends / Artisan Breads: Sugar Breads
Today’s feature is everything a backyard wedding should be: relaxed, intimate, and cheeky in all the right places. Troy Grover Photographers never disappoint with their images, as you can clearly see with Jenny and Reid’s wedding. Read on for more about the handcrafted details and advice from Jenny for all you other brides out there:
From the bride, Jenny: We wanted our wedding to intentionally reflect us. There were touches of humor, class, elegance, romance amongst a casual backyard wedding. Our vision was to have all of our closest friends and family celebrate our special day in a laid-back, comfortable style.
I loved the pastel color scheme but sense we had the wedding in June, I decided to add a pop of color by using tangerine accents. There were quite a few DIY projects. I hand made all my invitations. The table numbers were hand painted frames with a random fact about us corresponding to the number. I used doilies from my grandma and Reid’s grandma for centerpieces. I hand painted all my signs including a poem written to Reid’s great-grandma. We had a huge burlap wall with handmade paper pinwheels and childhood photos. My dad built a wooden arbor and my bridesmaids arranged greenery and a mason jar arrangement.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Enjoy it! Our engagement was 6 months and I had to piece together the caterer, lighting, sound system, DJ… essentially everything. I loved the planning process and am having wedding planning withdrawals. You spend your whole life looking forward to your wedding day, but you can only look back on it afterwards. Make the most out of the planning process, enjoy the community it can build, and make great memories to look back on.
Bridal Party Processional: “Come Thou Fount,” Sufjan Stevens
Bridal Processional: “A Thousand Years,” Christina Perri
Recessional: “I Feel Good,” James Brown
First Dance: “You Are the Best Thing,” Ray Lamontagne
Wedding Location: San Diego, CA / Photographer: Troy Grover Photographers / Day-of Wedding Planner and Florist: Anndrea Boren of Events by Anndrea / Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo / Wedding Veil: Jan Kessler (mother-in-law) / Wedding Shoes: Ivanka Trump / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: DressbLee / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Wedding Caterer: Anything But Ordinary / DJ: JD Star Productions
Honestly, where to begin with this wedding? I could start with the hanging umbrellas over the dance floor, the incredible photography from Our Labor of Love by Heidi, but I really think I need to stick to the showstopper: bride Sarah’s incredible wedding gown with a surprising pop of pink ruffles tucked away. Talk about personality!
From the bride, Sarah: Zach and I met at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, a liberal arts school in a teeny tiny town, with not much to do on the weekends but dressup for themed parties.To make a lot of long stories short, we had more fun getting ready for a party than actually attending.
Because we are no longer in college, and because we knew we would invite all sorts of friends and family of different ages, we knew we should be a bit conservative with our theme, and settled on a simple dress code. In our invitations, we kindly asked our guests to look fabulous and dress only in black and white.
I am in interior design, and I often like to work in a fairly monochromatic palette, which really allows space to showcase simple pops of color. I sort of took the same approach with our wedding. Zach and I started out with black and white, and gradually (first with my dress) hints of champagne pink started to make appearances. The dress code turned out to be so beautiful! Some guests decided to go all out with black and white costumes (the family lawyer came dressed as Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas) and masks, others wore glamorous hats and gloves. Some dressed way up in white tie and tails, while others dressed comfortably, but the common thread throughout was that everyone in attendance created this gorgeous monochromatic backdrop that was really the basis for our reception’s decor. It was fantastic!
Our biggest, standout decor element were the umbrellas and lights we strung across the backyard. Zach wanted one large decor element to really stand out in our guests minds even after they left the wedding. In searching around for ideas, a lot of which came from Pinterest, of course, we saw a photo of umbrellas strung in a piazza in Italy, we knew that white umbrellas were it.
My advice to engaged couples is try to think of a place where you can hold the wedding that you can have access to for multiple days, if not weeks in advance. One of the big reasons we chose to have the wedding in Zach’s parent’s backyard was because we could start decorating months in advance. We didn’t have much money, but as a designer, I felt some pressure to have something people would remember, so we were DIY everything. We started six months in advance planting bushes and flowers that would bloom white in late October. Zach and his father hung the umbrellas and Italian light strands one week before for the wedding. Our list goes on and on, but what was really amazing about having access to the yard was that we could always visit the space when an idea popped into our head. I was able to meet the chef and the band at the house weeks before the wedding so they could tell me where they would prefer to set up the food and the music. It just made the planning a lot less stressful.
Processional: A Kiss to Build a Dream On
Recessional: “Georgia,” Louise Armstrong
First Dance: A Kiss to Build a Dream On (by the full band)
Wedding Location: Atlanta, GA / Wedding Photographer: Our Labor of Love by Heidi / Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Invitations: DIY by bride and groom / Florals: DIY / Wedding Dress: Mae Couture / Bride’s Shoes: Marmi Shoes / Hair + Makeup: Sweetgrass Bridesmaid’s Earrings: Kristi Hyde / Band: Blair Crimmins & the Hookers
Today’s wedding shot by Sarah Kate Photographer, is the ultimate in bohemian style: a gorgeous boho bride with a beautiful outdoor ceremony under the trees. Newlyweds Alex and Michael planned their wedding in only five months (are you as shocked as we were?), and the bride gave her new husband a disco ball as his wedding gift! We also love the darling parade of flower girls and ring bearers during the processional and the wild florals by Bows and Arrows.
From the bride, Alex: When Michael and I got engaged in January, we initially discussed getting married in October. However, with Michael finishing up school in Boston and an impending move to California in late June, we thought it would be best to move the wedding to early June. Most people thought it would be wedding suicide, but Michael and I were totally willing and excited!
The venue, being the first most obvious step, ended up being the easiest step for us. My parents moved into a house with a breathtaking diamond-in-the-rough backyard. When I saw it two years ago for the first time, I knew immediately that I was going to get married there. Because the venue was outdoors with completely untamed shrubbery and a 300 year old oak tree, I knew immediately that the feel of our wedding would be romantic, whimsical, and natural with a little disco twist. My Mom and I started planning straight away. I always knew that our wedding would be mostly DIY considering how creative and hands-on my Mom and I both tend to be. It was very important to me to have the wedding reflect both mine and Michael’s personality and I think in the end we definitely accomplished that.
It was truly more that we could have imagined; Michael calls it “make-believe.” Everything that we imagined came true in that big backyard. The huge oak tree stood taller than ever with rows of white wooden chairs in front and the shower of flower pedals at the base. The handmade dance floor on the opposite side of the yard glistened with fairy lights and my wedding gift to Michael, a huge mirrored disco ball, hung above it all. My favorite detail would have to be the oversized birdcages filled with ridiculously beautiful flowers and foliage. The idea came from my Mom within the first week of our planning and our amazing florists brought it to life.
It’s a weird feeling having something that you worked so hard on for so long be over in one day. Sometimes I wish I could have been a guest attending and observing our wedding just to take in all the details and ambiance. Then again, being the bride is the best spot. Not only is all of this OUR wedding but I had the best seat in the house. I had the love of my life in front of me and all our friends and family smiling back at us. I am beyond blessed and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
Wedding Location: Dallas, TX / Wedding Photographer: Sarah Kate Photographer / Wedding Flowers: Bows and Arrows / Wedding Dress: Watters / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Hair and Makeup: Al Tidwell / Groom’s Suit: Theory
This wedding from Sarah Culver Photography was a true family affair: the bride collaborated with her mother to make many of the decorations, her aunt helped with the flower arrangements, and the whole shebang took place at the home of the bride’s grandparents! It’s personal touches like these that really make a wedding sing. Don’t you just adore the teal and yellow invitations designed by Nathan Grundhauser?
From the bride, Mia: The wedding took place at my grandparent’s house, which was so special. The flowers were done by myself and my aunt. We picked all the flowers that were on the tables from Butlers Orchard 2 days prior to the wedding. The cake was made by my Mom. And the decorations including the ribbon backdrop the carport streamers, the flag bunting, the name tags and the thank you favors were made by me. My mom made the table runners and tablecloth in the buffet.
We worked really hard on everything and I couldn’t have done it without my mom, she was the biggest help I could have asked for and was so amazing to have through the whole process, especially since we were living in California during the year we were planning the wedding in Maryland. It was just the most fun night of my life, no question about it.
Wedding Photographer: Sarah Culver Photography / Wedding Dress: Lela Rose / Wedding Shoes: Chie Mihara from Anthropologie / Bride’s Headpiece: BHLDN / Suits: J.Crew / Flowers: picked at Butler’s Orchard / Wedding Cake: made by mother / Invitation and paper goods design: Nathan Grundhauser / Wedding Invitation and paper goods printer: Delicious Design League
When Katy and Gavin thought about where to exchange their wedding vows, the place that stuck out the most to them was also the most personal: a Victorian home at which they’d spent a great deal of time already with friends and loved ones. Brandon Chesbro came along to capture the day’s festivities, including a backyard ceremony and an indoor feast! Our favorite detail of their wedding? The couple displayed postcards Gavin wrote to Katy over the course of their relationship for all to enjoy!
From the bride, Katy: [The style we envisioned for our wedding was] intimate, non-traditional, Southern-Victorian style set to a classical score. Lots of soft pastels, with an eclectic, casual, vintage feel.
Everything was DIY. This wedding was made possible by friends lending a creative helping hand. The bride and a bridesmaid did all the decorating. We made all the streamers and flower arrangements by hand. The artwork and decor were provided by our friends.
The groom lived in an old Victorian style house with his band mates. It was quite a memorable spot in Nashville where everyone hung out and where so much creativity had taken place. It seemed fitting to get married in the back yard.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Keep it simple. This is your day, so try not to stress more than necessary about what others want. Have fun and keep it affordable!
Processional: “Loin Des Villes,” Yann Tiersen
Recessional: “Our Mutual Friend,” The Divine Comedy
Wedding Location: Nashville, TN / Wedding Photographer: Brandon Chesbro / Wedding Venue: Private residence / Wedding Planning and Styling: Bride and Evan Barbee / Wedding Flowers: wholesale via Import Flowers, arranged by bride / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Urban Outfitters / Groom’s Suit: Topman / Groomsmen’s Suits: J. Crew / Wedding Caterer and Desserts: Bride and friends / Wedding Invitations: Bride
Have I mentioned lately how much I love non-traditional bridal wear? I could say it every day of the week and it still wouldn’t be enough, so it came as no surprise that I fell in love with Brooke’s wedding gown of choice — a green-y greige lace number from James Coviello for BHLDN. Add in a handsome groom, stunning images from Cluney Photo, and a bluegrass band, and you’ve got a wedding that has officially won us over!
From the bride, Brooke: When Scott and I got engaged, we knew that we wanted to get married in my Folks’ backyard in the Flathead Valley of Montana. Its bohemian charm was the perfect canvas for us to create a beautiful, relaxed atmosphere for us to share and celebrate with our friends and family.
In the months/weeks leading up to our wedding I collected vintage plates, tarnished silver platters and cut glass & metal goblets from every thrift store between Seattle and Montana; then proceeded to order muslin, burlap, jute, and lights. Family contributed 150 mason jars for glasses. My Dad collected 1 gallon jars that were used for the arranged flowers.
My Grandma and I tea stained the muslin and made it into tablecloths. My Grandpa built red barn wood boxes for the flower box centerpieces. Signs were made by my family using wood from my Dad’s wood pile. My Sister & her Partner cut tags from tea stained canvas, and assembled 150 mason jars with tags and jute for drinking glasses… She then cut 150 tags and wrote the names of our guests to be attached to the Flathead Cherry freezer jam I made for our favors.
Maximizing local resources was important to Scott and I. We picked 2 gallons of huckleberries which were incorporated into the wedding cakes I baked, and were also used for a sauce with the cheesecake. Other cheesecake sauces included: strawberry from our garden and raspberry from a friend’s garden. The cherries for the freezer jam I made for the Guest Favors were picked from a family cherry orchard on Flathead Lake. My friend incorporated our local distillery, Whistling Andy’s, Hibiscus Rum into Sangria she made for our “wine option”. And lastly we raised the pig ourselves that was enjoyed by all in the form of AMAZING carnitas.
Wedding Location: Flathead Valley, MT / Wedding Photographer: Cluney Photo / Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Flowers: Bride’s Grandmother / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss, Rag & Bone, Billy Reid / Groom’s Hat: Goorin Bros. / Wedding Caterer: The Cuisine Machine / Beverages: Bride’s Friend, Kristen Lee-Charlson / Wedding Desserts: Bride / Wedding Music: Mountain Moongrass / Rentals: Northwest Canopy & Party Rentals
We just love when we’re able to share a little bit of insight from the groom on his wedding day, so we were elated to hear from groom Ben about his wedding to Shauna photographed by Kym of Ventola Photography. We may have even gotten a little misty-eyed when he mentioned that their wedding day was on the 6 year anniversary of their first kiss! Keep an eye out for some subtle touches of the couple’s love of Harry Potter :)
From the groom, Ben: We met at a get-together at my older brother’s apartment, and after Shauna persistently inquired about me to my older brother, I decided to try a romantic first date. I chose to take Shauna to see X-men, with all of my close friends, and they all approved of her! We spent the next 6 years discovering and enjoying all of the food, great beer, wizarding worlds, and good company that we could on our many adventures.
I soon realized that this was something special and not just any girl would enjoy spending her free time touring the Anderson Valley Brewery with me (Our favorite brewery, and the two beers we served at the reception). In 2010 I moved to Seattle for school, and Shauna stayed in California awaiting my return after the 9 month school year. It was the distance and time apart that led me to realize that I didn’t want to be without Shauna ever again, so I proposed the next time she came to visit. Our wedding date was our 6 year Anniversary from our first kiss on my mom’s porch. The venue is within these oak trees, it is somewhat of a hiking trail. We were drawn to the natural aspects of the venue and outdoors.
We hired a gourmet food truck (burgers/sliders) for the caterer. We did succulent arrangements and just a pop of color and those bistro/bulb swags for lighting… We are inspired greatly by Anthropologie! We are craft beer drinkers, so our favorite beer will be in kegs at the wedding. :) I like the idea of vintage with a modern touch. I really wanted to pull off a unique and stylish wedding without looking too crafty.
This couple incorporated hints of Harry Potter throughout their wedding, and that made it that much more awesome! Shauna had been planning a surprise for Ben long before the wedding. She had an antique motorcycle rebuilt by a friend of the couple, which she brought out after the ceremony to surprise Ben with.
Wedding Location: Anaheim, CA / Wedding Photographer: Ventola Photography / Wedding Venue: Oak Canyon Nature Center / Event Styling: Red Velvet Occasions / Wedding Dress: Mori Lee / Bride’s Shoes: Seychelles / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Mignonne Handmade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal / Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic / Wedding Flowers: Pixie’s Petals / Wedding Caterer: Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon / Wedding Music: Tim of Pacific Events
This backyard wedding from Paul von Rieter is guaranteed to inspire with a couple who knows a thing or two about how to have fun. Bride Tess realized early on to focus her attention on the things that mattered most to her and soon-to-be-husband Joey, a priority list that included good food, good music, and of course a great photographer. We’ll let Tess tell you a bit more about her thoughts behind her big day:
From the bride, Tess: About the wedding, Joey and I really just wanted it to feel comfortable, intimate, fun, and reflective of the things that we like. We were limited though, by the fact that we had a tiny budget, we live in Chicago but the wedding was in California, we were both graduating (I needed to pass my nursing boards 2 weeks before we left for the wedding) and once we arrived, we only had a few days to set everything up. I had to choose my battles wisely and not stress out about what didn’t come together.
We wanted to spend the bulk of our budget on three things: good food, good music and a good photographer. We had a small wedding with about 90 guests. We didn’t care about traditions, we wanted everything to feel personal. No cake cutting, no lame-o chicken or salmon dish and most importantly no impersonal ceremony. Joey’s parent’s backyard was such a lovely place to get married. We wanted our ceremony to celebrate all of the people who’s relationships were inspirational to us, so we had friends and families wedding/commitment ceremony pictures hanging from the tree behind our homemade altar.
Joey used to live in Spain, and before he moved there he had spent time there in Pamplona for the running of the bulls with his family. So his ties to Spanish culture and his Cuban heritage were part of the reason we chose Allegria Cocina Latina (Long Beach) to cater. They were AMAZING! I couldn’t recommend them more. I also love the communal feel of family style dining, that was a must for me. To top it off, an old family friend of Joey’s is in an incredibly talented Latin band (Cafe Fuego) who played our ceremony, dinner, and then stayed for a salsa session. They now play at Allegria and my in-laws go to see them regularly!
The bar had to keep up with the great food so I used some of my past Chicago bartending experience to come up with a few signature drinks. We had boozy snow cones (basil syrup with blueberry vodka and lemon rosemary simple syrup with hendricks gin). The bartender was churning out lots of mojitos, sangria, and Goose Island’s Matilda (had to represent Chicago).
Dennis Owens and Patrick Miller of Proper Sound were our DJs. Wow. They were so good that I made a “no requests” sign to ward off any Lady Gaga or YMCA requests. Joey and I LOVE soul music, so the guys took all of our suggestions and built up an awesome set from just a few songs.
All of the decorations were either bought at thrift stores, found around the house or handmade with the exception of the colored lanterns. We rented lights from a guy who puts up Christmas lights in the winter and put them up ourselves. (Saved soo much money that way). We had a great deal of help from our families in the days leading up to our wedding. My in-laws put in countless hours of work on the house to get it wedding ready (and it looked great!). Overall, it was a lot of work, but not overwhelming because of our awesome support team.
Wedding Vendors (Yorba Linda, CA):
Wedding Venue: Private residence / Wedding Photographer: Paul von Rieter / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Bride’s Broach: Lulu’s / Bride’s Reception Dress: Vintage / Bridesmaids’ Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar / Bride’s Makeup: Dana Delaney / Wedding Band: Cafe Fuego / DJ: Dennis Owens and Patrick Miller of Proper Sound / Wedding Caterer: Allegria Cocina Latina
The city of Madrid is the peanut butter to bohemian weddings’ jelly. I can’t think of a more perfect destination than a quaint Spanish city for such wedding style. Event Designer Marta Machin at Marlett captured Bianca and Gonzalo’s personal style and infused their travels as part of their theme. We’re absolutely head over heels for the tent lounge area and the old family photos sprinkled throughout their wedding day.
From the designer, Marta Machin at Marlett: Bianca and Gonzalo are a very special couple, when I met them I immediately fell in love with their easy going, worldly traveled vibe. They wanted a wedding that was a garden party, to be surrounded with close family and friends, celebrate their love and dance ’til dawn. Their wedding was also a goodbye party, after the celebration they would start their two year honeymoon around the world. (Right now they are in China after having traveled to Africa, Australia, Borneo, the Philippines and Bali.)
They wanted a relaxed celebration, with just a cocktails and no formal dinner. Since helm oaks are very typical in this part of Spain we chose to use them as the anchor points for the different stages of the wedding, from the ceremony to the dance floor
The wedding was not a big wedding in Spain, but still 120 relatives and friends gathered together under helm oaks at dusk to see the couple get married in a heirloom bench, surrounded by old family portraits, and in front of a XVIII century desk (loaned by the groom’s mother) filled with flowers. The location of the ceremony was chosen because of its ideal surroundings, but also because the light at the time of the ceremony would be ideal.
The ceremony was very emotional, the groom gave a speech that spoke of traveling, his love of Bianca and their goodbyes to their family. It was sweet, personal and touching. I cried like when watching a good romantic movie, the air was filled with dense emotions and happiness.
The bride wore a dress designed by her sister (a fashion stylist) and a friend, with fabrics brought from Philippines (their mother is Filipino) The dress was beautiful beyond words, and suited her like a glove. (The fall, the movement of the gown was amazing, it was the perfect dress, vintage inspired but timeless) The groom wore a custom made suit with a bow tie and his best man, his brother, was also another example of sartorial excellence. She walked the aisle to “Heartbeats” from José González.
The rest of the wedding would not disappoint. The couple asked me to create chill out spots inspired by their love of traveling, but also kind of nostalgic of their childhood. I chose to recreate a fabric fort and an exotic bedroom with elements from all over the world. The decor graduated from a more romantic approach (the ceremony) to the more exotic and wild bedroom under the tree. Guests could pick up food and drinks and sit in these areas to chat and relax, later on, late at night, when everything was lit by candles and string lights, they would also enjoy sitting down after dancing and talking with their friends.
Wedding Vendors (Madrid, Spain):
Wedding Venue: Groom’s Parents’ Home / Photographer and Videographer: Gonzalo Manera / Wedding Design: Marta Machin at Marlett / Wedding Dress: bespoke / Wedding Flowers: Vinca per Vinca / Wedding Caterer: Pipiripao
Oh Australia, you never fail to amaze us with your stunning weddings and scenery. Photographer Lakshal Perera was called upon to photograph the nuptials of Rachel and Karl. Filled to the brim with heartfelt touches and handmade details, their wedding is one sweet fete image after image. Rachel, the bride, memorized a speech in Italian to speak to Karl’s large family at the reception, and her mom grew 120 seedlings to give as wedding favors. The groom Karl, among other things, designed his own and his groomsmen’s jackets. Take it all in below:
From the bride, Rachel: We wanted our wedding to reflect who we are and what were about. We wanted it to be relaxed so our guests could enjoy themselves yet be significant and meaningful. We are both relaxed, earthy, down to earth people and we wanted that to shine through. The aim was to make it as sustainable as possible. Starting with the food we opted for a local and seasonal menu, local wines and beers, our friends home-brewed cider was served, cakes were made locally from local ingredients and local Victorian cheeses were enjoyed.
There was never a set theme. The location and our tastes set the mood. Our wedding was very hands on. We had lots of help from our family. Without them it would not have been possible. We played wedding planner ourselves by organising catering, bands, photographers, we made the invites, booklets and menu cards, arranged the table and decorative flowers, brainstormed and set up all the decorations, brought in dining chairs our families had dined on since we were small, collected glass and crystal vases and candle sticks, sewed hessian bags for the plants to go in for the guests gifts and the lace for the table settings. With our families we spent the day before setting up the ceremony area, arranging flowers and setting up decorations and lighting.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Make it your own! What better way to showcase yourselves than at your wedding. Then just relax and enjoy it all.
From the photographer, Lakshal: I don’t know where to start with Rachel and Karl. These two people are honestly two of the most amazing people I’ve ever met (and I can see why they are the way they are). Their families are both exceptionally wonderful, they took me in and treated me like I was one of their own. I was instantly welcome and able to be involved in everything. I arrived to Boyd Baker House a day early to the hustle and bustle of the entire family getting together and setting things up which is just the way I think things ought to be. In my mind, the history of weddings are not necessarily about finding a nice venue and serving tasty food, it was about bringing families, and to a larger extent, the community together. For me, this was the ultimate in personalised weddings; nothing generic, nothing stock, nothing without meaning. Rachel’s mum had grown nearly 120 plants from seedlings which were gifts for the guests. The suits the boys were wearing were custom made with Karl’s own breastplate design. Rachel learned and wrote a speech in Italian to speak to Karl and his very large Italian family. The drinks available included Apple Cider made by Callum using the apples grown on Karl’s uncle’s family orchard. Like I said, this was something that was very special to everyone involved. The connectedness that a wedding like this can bring, in my eyes, is the exact meaning of what a wedding should be about. I was invited to this day as a photographer, but I was part of it, I was involved and it was a wonderful experience.
Processional: “Lady Sunshine,” Angus Stone
Recessional: “Strawberry Swing,” Coldplay
First Dance: “Mango Tree,” Angus and Julia Stone
Wedding Vendors (Melbourne, Australia):
Wedding Venue: Boyd Baker House / Wedding Photographer: Lakshal Perera / Wedding Flowers: Katie Marks Flowers / Wedding Dress: Vintage 1920s gown from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company / Wedding Shoes: Rachel Simpson / Wedding Jewelry: Family heirlooms / Hair and Makeup: Dante’ Amato / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Life With Bird / Wedding Musicians: The Bakery Boys / Wedding Caterer and Desserts: Ed Dixon Food Design / Wedding Invitations and Paper Goods: Designed by bride and groom
Get ready for one amazing wedding with one of our most dapper grooms yet this year! Because of course, it goes without saying how gorg this bride is. Sporting a checked shirt, green tie, and vest, we love that his bride bedecked herself in matching TOMS to support her honey and a great cause. Every stunning image from Vis Photography makes us wish we could have been a part of this sweet backyard affair!
From the bride, Tory: My wedding inspiration started with my dress. I found a beautiful 1930s vintage dress at a place called The Way We Wore in Hollywood. Emory and I already wanted an intimate, casual, outdoor fall wedding, and the dress lent perfectly to the occasion. After stumbling upon a location (a beautiful backyard nestled in the middle of the mountain range behind Malibu), we designed our wedding as a perfect mixture between our tastes – it was filled with vintage and handmade elements for me, and some woodsy, natural elements for Emory.
The setting was already so beautiful that we barely needed any added decoration. I collected green bottles, vintage cake stands, and vintage stamps for the invitations. Emory and I collected twigs on hikes for the table decorations, and I made a cake topper with thrift store fabric and some of our collected twigs. I made origami foxes to send out with the invitations, and made origami lotuses to scatter on the welcome table. For my ‘something borrowed’, I wrapped my grandmother’s vintage lavalier around the handle of my bouquet. Our guests wrote messages and wishes on slips of colored paper and slipped them into a wish wall I made out of a shot glass holder and balsa wood.
I picked out a hodgepodge collection of flowers from the LA flower market the day before the wedding – not bothering to pay attention to specific colors. The only shoes Emory ever wears are TOMS, so of course he would wear them at our wedding… so I bought a pair of TOMS wedges to wear, and made flowers out of the hemmed material from my dress to pin on the front of the shoes. Since it was out of our budget range to hire a coordinator or planner, we planned the entire thing ourselves, and our friends and family stepped in on the day-of to help make everything run smoothly. We couldn’t have done it without them! It was a perfect day, and most importantly, it was the perfect start to the rest of our lives together!
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Don’t start off by looking at a zillion wedding books and magazines! Make a list of what you KNOW you want for your wedding first! We had a low budget for our wedding, so when I went crazy looking at a bunch of wedding books when we first got engaged, I got overwhelmed by all the additional things we would have to add to the wedding. But really, you only need what YOU want, not what the wedding books say you should have. It IS possible to have a fun wedding without dancing and alcohol. I got stressed looking at sites that said weddings are no fun at all without either… but we didn’t have the budget for alcohol or the space for dancing. But we ended up having more time to chat with our guests, and then the whole party was over by sundown and we were on our way to our hotel!
Oh, and if you have to choose between spending money on the honeymoon and wedding, choose the honeymoon! Weddings can always be done beautiful and cheap, honeymoons need some money spent. :)
My maid of honor and I walked down the aisle to ‘Babys’ by Bon Iver, and the recessional song was ‘Hoppipolla’ by Sigur Ros. Our mothers were walked down the aisle before the wedding started to ‘Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming’ covered by Sufjan Stevens. We didn’t have dancing at our wedding, but we did make an entrance after the ceremony (after signing our license and taking more photos) to ‘Black and White’ by Michael Jackson. For obvious reasons.
Wedding Vendors (Conejo Valley, CA):
Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Photographer: Leah and Rob of Vis Photography / Wedding Dress: Vintage 1930s dress from The Way We Wore (Hollywood) / Bride’s Veil: Handmade by bride’s mother / Dress Alterations: In Stitches / Bride’s Getaway Dress: Forever 21 / Bride and Groom’s Shoes: TOMS / Bridesmaid’s Dress: Banana Republic / Groom’s Shirt: Original Penguin / Bride’s Hair: Tiffanie at The Canyon Salon / Wedding Bouquets, Corsages, and Boutonnieres: Conejo Valley Florist / Flowers: Purchased at LA Flower Mart / Rentals: Conejo Rental Center / Sound System: SSR Sound / Wedding Caterer: / Desserts: Xtreme Desserts / Wedding Invitations: Bride’s friend, Kaycie (email@example.com)
It was such a difficult feat to edit down these images from Shari + Mike Photographers! Genevieve and Joel were married in a glorious park setting, and had a backyard reception that was somehow even more gorgeous. Be sure to grab some tea or coffee as you scroll through this one, as it’s a real looker:
From the bride, Genevieve: The inspiration for our wedding came from the simple saying “all things we are, all thing we love.” It was very important for us both to have our wedding reflect us and our easy going approach to life. I am a wedding photographer and Joel works in online marketing so we consider ourselves to be the creative type. We wanted to think outside the box as much as we could, so that our day would not be a cookie cutter wedding but rather a intimate event designed around who we are as a couple.
We chose to design our invites with a poker feel while still keeping it classy. we then pulled the deck of cards theme into our reception with the seating chart, the kissing game, Vintage pinball machine and our thank-you’s. I made my own bouquet and flower arrangements to help keep cost down. we ordered babies breath from Safeway, did a massive Costco run and picked bushes of bachelor-buttons and strange flowers from several back alleys… yes, back alleys!
Our Ceremony took place under a large Elm tree. Due to Joel’s Jewish heritage we chose to have a messianic Jewish ceremony complete with chuppah hand made by Joel and his groomsmen. We chose to have our reception in my grandparents backyard because of it’s pure quaintness.. My dream had always been to have a small and intimate outdoor reception that went on into the night and this was the perfect place. We temporarily sodded over the vegetable garden to accommodate a lounge area, and built a small checkered dance floor to act as a stage.
Three 30′ tables were brought in to host our 70 guests, and strands of white lights were hung from the trees. The tables were set with white china, vintage books, family heirlooms and simple floral arrangements made by my bridesmaids and I. We rented chandeliers for the trees and let the sweet summer night work it’s magic. When the last toast was given we opened our cookies and ice cream bar.. This was a fun alternative to the wedding cake and a very much “us” dessert.
Wedding Vendors (Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada):
Wedding Ceremony: Kiwanis Picnic shelter, Henderson Park / Wedding Reception: Private Grounds / Wedding Photographer: Shari + Mike Photographers / Event Planner and Decor: Everything Beautiful Events / Wedding Dress: Casablanca “1914” / Wedding Shoes: Roberto Vianni / Bride’s Earrings: Anthropologie / Bride’s Necklace: Vintage / Bride’s Robe: Urban Outfitters / Bride’s Hair: done by bride / Bride’s Makeup: Leanne Wood / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Groom’s Shirt: Harry Rosen / Groom’s Tie: Club Monaco / Groom’s Pocket Watch: Vintage / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Zara, ModCloth, H&M, Forever 21, Gap / Bridesmaids’ Necklaces: “Lovely Bird Locket” by Blue Tree Studio / Flower Girl Dresses: Handmade by bride / Seating Chart and Thank Yous: made by bride / Invitations and Programs: made by bride and groom / Flowers: Assembled by bride and bridesmaids / Pinball Machine: Vintage / Table and Chair Rentals: Wards Rentals / Catering: Coco Pazzo
This California wedding shot by Sarah Maren just happens to have our favorite summery motif: seersucker! From the groomsmen to the invitations to the table settings, there are subtle pops of the blue-and-white-striped pattern everywhere, and we’re just loving it. Planned to the nines by Kate Miller Events, who married this Southern classic with California laid back chic perfectly – thank you for sharing!
From the bride, Meredith: We envisioned a whimsical farm wedding with a vintage feel. We wanted lots of different flowers and a clear top tent to set our wedding apart. The guys also wanted to do seersucker suits for something different, and we planned the decor around that.
From the photographer, Sarah: When Meredith and Jeff decided to have their backyard wedding at Jeff’s Parents house, the first thing they booked was a clear top tent. They wanted to have a romantic, beautiful wedding with a few fun twists. To pay homage to the groom’s love of seersucker suits, not only did we have the groomsmen don the same attire, but we also reflected the unique pattern on the stationery, the napkins, accented on vases and wrapped around the bouquets and boutonnieres. To contrast with the pattern with a pop of color, we added creamy yellow blossoms like ranunculus, crespedia and fluffy garden roses and paired them with textural succulents. The palette of Navy, Yellow, and Aqua was anchored by Slate Grey in the table linens and bridesmaid dresses. During the front yard ceremony, the wedding party ‘hopped’ over the flowers as they stood in position – and the format reflected the unique backgrounds of the Bride and Groom, as both were attorneys. Guests were ‘sworn in’ at the beginning of the ceremony and it was lead by a family friend who also happened to be a judge. After a few tears and the big dip in the kiss, the guests headed to the backyard to enjoy the reception under the stars. The wedding party were announced in to a faux ‘double dutch’ demonstration, after which guests enjoyed a delectable family-style dinner, yummy mini cupcakes, fantastic cake pops, Wally Water (a beloved family signature beverage) and LOTS of dancing!
Bride’s Processional: “Canon in D,” Pachelbel
First Dance: “Stay With You,” John Legend
Wedding Vendors (Fair Oaks, CA):
Wedding Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Photographer: Sarah Maren Photographers / Wedding Dress and Veil: Amy Kuschel / Bride’s Shoes: Benjamin Adams / Bride’s Bracelet: Ann Taylor / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Event Planner: Kate Miller Events / Wedding Flowers: Flourish / Wedding Catering: All Seasons, All Reasons / Wedding Cake and Cupcakes: The Frosted Cakeshop / Ceremony Musicians: Mersonacata String Quartet / DJ: Indamix Productions / Event Rentals: Celebrations Party Rentals / Groom’s Suit: Jos. A. Bank / Bride’s Makeup: Shana B. Makeup Artistry & Skin Studio / Bride’s Hair: Krystal Sheehan
This couple’s backyard wedding shot by Ryan Price is artsy, intimate, and everything a wedding should be. Instead of throwing rice or confetti, Stephen and Katy had paper airplanes with a drawing of their faces printed on them for guests to fly in lieu of rice toss. Also, their photo display is another idea worth using: they took advantage of their blah reception walls to display their engagement session photos as well as photos of their parents and grandparents on their wedding day.
From the bride, Katy: Stephen and I are simple people, and our wedding was based on a few simple ideas that helped us fill in the rest of the details. What we really hoped for was a backyard, intimate wedding, with lots of fun and no fuss. I am a great lover of all things green and sunny, especially trees. So when looking for a venue, above all else it needed a large, old tree for us to have the ceremony under. Oak Tree Manor in Spring, TX captured us at first sight with its gigantic live oaks, country house, and backyard garden feel. The relaxed and green atmosphere inspired details like the sage green, barefeet bridesmaids and my mostly green bouquet, which contrasted nicely with my ivory dress and the light colors of the groom and his groomsmen’s attire.
One large, home-made detail was the “wedding wall”. The open spaces of the venue required a partition of sorts to allow the bride to stay hidden until the right time. We used the wall space to display engagement photos on one side for guests to see as they entered and used the other to display wedding pictures of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents! We even had one of our great grandmother’s wedding dresses in a shadow box. Our guests were absolutely captivated by the heritage shared on the wall. It served as a place for people to congregate, talk about photos of some people who were no longer with us and share fun stories.
To go along with the earthy nature of our wedding, we sent each guest home with a package of wildflower seeds with our lovely mugs stamped right on the front! Aside from the details, one thing I was really excited about was having a dessert buffet in lieu of a groom’s cake. Partially because I’m really just a sugar fiend! But it turned out to be a really fun add-on; our mothers and my grandmother made mini pecan and buttermilk pies, brownies, cream cheese mints, and cake balls. I had also fallen in love with the idea of a simple white cake, with the main interest of the cake being it’s proportions; and I loved it! I also painstakingly made a vintage-style flag banner for the cake topper. I’m still very proud of it, since I’m not particularly skilled at being “crafty.”
We really wanted our personalities and creativity to show through in the wedding. We are a fun (of quirky) couple, and we love people deeply and value our heritage. One of the more quirky things we came up with was having our guests throw paper airplanes at us as we left for the night, which the groomsmen and groom hand-folded and stamped. I was also blessed to be able to wear Stephen’s grandmother’s wedding dress as we departed for the night, which was a really special thing.
We did have lots of handmade details. This is very cost effective, and it lets you really tailor your wedding to exactly how you imagine it. It also just makes it that much more enjoyable seeing the final product! We made our own programs, bridesmaid bouquets, centerpieces, favors, and I also made the toppers for the wedding cake.
One of my favorite details was our guest book, a fingerprint tree, which was made by a lovely Etsy artist, bleudetoi. Her hand-drawn tree print was then “signed” by the guests and now hangs in the wall of our home! So much more fun than just a sign-in book!
Wedding vendors (Spring, TX):
Wedding venue: Oak Tree Manor / Wedding photographer: Ryan Price / Wedding flowers: Kat Janssen / Wedding cake: Kathy’s Cakes / Bridesmaids’ dresses: Anthropologie / Fingerprint Tree Guestbook: Bleu de Toi
You might remember photographer Heather Jowett from this gorgeous ballroom wedding we featured a few months ago. Today she is back to share the most beautiful, down to earth intimate wedding. Ali + Marc are doctors living in Kansas City, but decided to fly back to their hometown of Chelsea in Michigan to have a small celebration with the people that matter most to them. It’s what Heather perfectly titles as a “Backwards Elopement” – they flew back home to get wedded with their close friends and family!
From Heather Jowett: Ali and Marc contacted me because they wanted to do something a little different with their wedding. They’re both doctors in Kansas City, but they had decided that for their marriage ceremony, they wanted to do something special, and intimate, with their closest family. Thus, the backwards elopement was born. The flew from Kansas City to Michigan to get married in the backyard of Ali’s childhood house. In attendance was only the bride and groom, each of their parents, the groom’s brother and his partner, the bride’s grandparents, and myself (well, Ali and Marc’s two adorable pooches were there as well, as is obvious in the pictures).
I’ve been photographing wedding for 6 years, and this was one of the most special things I’ve ever been asked to be a part of.
Most of the details were lovingly handmade by their families. Ali’s father agonized over the placement of the arbor he built for his daughter to get married under. The mothers baked delicious pastries and trimmed hydrangeas from Ali’s mom’s garden. They also conspired from Kansas City to Michigan on how to collect photos for a quilt they were going to surprise Ali and Marc with. Ali’s father even put together their super personalized cake topper, painting the dogs to match.
We all broke bread at the Common Grill in Chelsea, Mi, and while sitting at the table with them, their families made me feel like one of the gang, like I was meant to be there.
To me, what’s special about this wedding are the choices that lead up to it. The couple are both doctors. They could have afforded a lavish wedding in the grandest ballroom with 200 friends, family, and acquaintances in attendance. Instead, they chose to make it about themselves, their commitment, and their families, but at the same time, still make it beautiful.
Wedding Vendors (Chelsea, MI):
Venue: Bride’s Childhood home / Photographer: Heather Jowett / Caterer: The Common Grill in Chelsea, MI / Florist: The bride and groom’s mothers / Officiant: Groom’s father / Wedding Dress: BCBG / Shoes: Juicy Couture