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


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

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

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

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

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

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

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