Woodsy Washington Wedding

Rustic Weddings

Today’s wedding from Julie Harmsen shows that you don’t need to have a “color scheme” or “wedding theme” to have a day full of gorgeous details and personal meaning. Kaley and Joel’s wedding day was full of sweet touches, reflection, a little bit of magic, and heaps of expert crafting by Kaley, who actually made the incredible ceremony backdrop herself!

outdoor bride and groom

From the bride, Kaley: I didn’t have a distinct style in mind for our wedding. (I’m not a person with keen visualization skills.) When asked what my “colors” were I usually gave some sort of vague answer about a muted, natural palette. I just knew I wanted it to feel natural, magical, and a little bit like home. I also wanted to be thoughtful about what we were there to do. Which was to promise ourselves to one another and to celebrate that promise with our loved ones. So I wanted to make the ceremony a reflection of who we are and what we believe. I wanted it to be something that was entered into with purpose and reverence.

vintage getaway cars

outdoor ceremony decor

woodsy wedding ideas

bride and groom first look

ceremony backdrop decor

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outdoor wedding ceremonies

rustic ceremony arch

woodsy wedding ideas

outdoor wedding decor

outdoor bride and groom

There was definitely some DIY involved in our wedding. I did some of it, but I also had a lot of help from the amazing and generous people in my life. Like many couples, we wanted to keep our costs as low as possible, so the decor was mostly handmade and/or found in thrift shops. All the planters and urns we used on the tables were found at thrift shops and my aunt filled them with beautiful succulent arrangements. We spray painted twigs, made mobiles out of branches, ribbon and mirrors, crafted the ceremony backdrop and got a fair amount of hot glue burns. My mother-in-law and I made the wedding favors. Small jars of jam with locally sourced strawberries and individual loaves of banana bread with my mama’s recipe.

typewriter guestbooks

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outdoor wedding decor

bride with tattoo

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vintage bridal parties

outdoor bride and groom

woodsy wedding ideas

outdoor bride and groom

woodsy wedding decor

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Go easy on yourself. You’ll probably have a lot of ideas and receive a lot of well intentioned advice. There is no way to absorb all this information. Instead, focus on the feeling you want the day to have and follow where that takes you. On the day of the wedding try to stop and take a deep breath every once in a while. Take in what is happening, feel the moment and try to commit it to memory. Everyone says it, but it really does go by so fast. Take a few minutes and enjoy the outcome of all the hard work you put in.

wildflower centerpieces

outdoor bride and groom

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succulent reception centerpieces

assorted dessert tables

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indoor cake cutting

traditional hawaiian dancer

traditional hawaiian dancing

vintage getaway cars

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Family & Wedding Party Processional: “Wash.” Bon Iver
Bridal Processional: “Real Love,” Beach House
Recessional: “Punk as F*ck,” The American Analog Set
First Dance: “Choir Vandals,” The American Analog Set

Wedding Location: Whidbey Island, WA / Wedding Photographer: Julie Harmsen / Wedding Venue and Caterer: Fireseed Catering / Wedding Flowers: Local Farmer’s Market / Wedding Dress: Cicada Bridal, “Natasha” / Wedding Shoes: BaliElf / Hair and Makeup: Bride’s Stepmother / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Cicada Bridal and Elbling / Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers / Wedding Cakes: Macrina Bakery, friends and family / Wedding Invitations: Frida Clements

  1. Sandra

    Oh, I love this wedding! Everything looks so perfectly unstyled stylish :) Amazing rustic decor and flowers!

  2. Devon wedding photographer

    I’m becoming a fan of this style of photography. It’s really nice and has a natural feel

  3. julie harmsen

    Thanks for sharing Joel + Kaley’s wedding! They truly pulled off a beautiful celebration while keeping in mind the real reason for the event!

  4. Wedding Planner

    What’s beautiful about this blog is it shows reality! No bogus! From how it details the event is simply astonishing. Plus, the lovely pictures that speak so much of excitement and love. Love them much! Great ideas to follow though! :-)

  5. Wedding Photographer Tucson

    Love his suit! I would have loved to be there for this one!

  6. Ken Tan

    Loving all the little details in this wedding! Julie, you photographed this wedding beautifully. Joel and Kaley… you guys put together an amazing wedding :) Cheers.

  7. Malia

    Beautiful wedding, you can see the depth of meaning and joy for the happy couple and their friends and family. I am so curious as to where the groomsmen got their green bow ties and also where the gold boutonniere pins are from. Green and gold are going to be colors in my wedding come March 2014. I’d love to know! Thanks!

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