Jessica and Brett were married at the groom’s parent’s backyard in Greensboro, N.C. on July 12. “My initial thought process for planning our wedding was based around some chickens I saw at the Wayne County Fair in Pennslyvania the week we got engaged,” Jessica said. “They were a beautiful gray color, and I knew that’s what our bridal party needed to wear. I also knew I wanted a lot of green and cream as well as coral and mint for a pop of color too.” The bride wore a strapless lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with an ivory sash, while the groom wore a white button-up, khaki pants, and gray vest, accessorized with a mint bow tie. Bridesmaids wore short gray chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, berries, and hosta leaves. “Our venue was my in-law’s backyard,” she said. “So, I knew this would be a wonderful place to have our wedding because it was where my husband grew up, and it was cost effect as well.” Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that displayed the couple’s love story, which began in September 2008. Fabric was draped across the trees to create a ceremony backdrop, and in lieu of traditional unity candle lighting, they combined paint onto canvas. “I LOVED the handmade signs,” Jessica said. “They added a fun, little quirk to everything. I also loved all of the floral arrangements. They were perfect. I wish I could have kept them longer. I also loved all the antique-y things we were able to incorporate.” Tables were decorated with burlap runners, wine bottle and mason jar centerpieces, and twine-wrapped napkins. The dessert display featured a two-tiered cake topped with birds and assorted cupcakes such as Chocolate Oreo, red velvet, and vanilla with strawberry filling. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Make sure to communicate what you want with other people and don’t be afraid to ask for help,” she said. “If I had really thought about this the week before the wedding, I wouldn’t have been such a stress, and it would have alleviated a lot of arguments with the parents!”
Maria and Jason were married at their own home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on June 14. “Our engagement party was actually a surprise wedding to all of our guests,” Jason said. “For the first hour and a half of the event, we were dressed casual. We made an announcement over the microphone thanking everyone for coming to share in our special day. We then dropped the bomb that no one was supposed to leave because the party was really our ‘surprise wedding!’ We said were going upstairs to change, and we were to be married in 30 minutes. And that is exactly what happened. People’s faces were in complete shock, and one person even yelled out, ‘Are they for real?’ Once reality settled in, everyone started clapping and congratulating us.” The bride wore a strapless lace wedding gown, accessorized with a her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls with a jeweled headband, while the groom wore a khaki vest and pants, accessorized with a pale blue tie and pair of Vans slip-ons. Her bouquet featured cymbidium orchids. The very important extra was Piglet, the flower pup. Following the outdoor ceremony, dinner and dancing began underneath a tent. To beat the heat, refreshing drinks in beverage dispensers, such as pink lemonande, were served. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Not everything is going to come out perfect,” he said. “Just roll with the punches and enjoy your day.” Almost everything was handmade! Tables included burlap runners, mason jar centerpieces, lanterns, and lots of candles. “They were full throttle on making something beautiful from scratch,” Stephanie Rawcliffe, the photographer, said. “What an amazing job she did!”
Ana and Cliff were married in a traditional church ceremony at Kentwood Community followed by an outdoor reception in the bride’s parent’s backyard on April 26 in Wayland, Mich. “It was my grandfather’s house,” Ana said. “He bought 30 acres and built a house when my mom and her siblings were growing up. After my grandfather passed, my parents bought the house to keep it in the family. I called ‘dibs’ on being able to have my wedding there for a LONG time.” The bride wore a v-neck lace wedding gown with capped sleeves and keyhole back, accessorized with an ivory sash, while the groom wore a light brown three-piece wool suit, accessorized with a denim button-up and striped bow tie. “All their suits were thrift store finds with some flare and added personal style,” she said. “We basically gave them the color scheme and told them to do their thing.” Bridesmaids wore long chiffon dresses and carried do-it-yourself bouquets. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. “But when we said our vows, I was astounded that we got through them without crying,” Ana said. “That moment, when time stood still, and I looked into Cliff’s eyes to profess my love to him — it’s engraved in my heart forever.” Reception tables were decorated with antique vases and vessels centerpieces, picture frames, handkerchief runners, and kraft paper bag thank-you notes at each place setting. “My mom crafted nearly every single decoration,” she said. “Everything was that much more amazing because of the extra love put forth.” In addition to a mini cake that the newlyweds cut, there was also a popcorn bar with all the toppings like M&M’s, peanuts, and cinnamon sugar and Krispy Kreme doughnuts for guests to snack on. Yum!
Lisa and Chuck were married at the bride’s parents backyard in Lake Minnetonka, Minn. on June 29. “We got married lakeside in the yard of my childhood home,” Lisa said. “My parents moved into the house a few months before I was born, and I lived there all my life. Chuck, too, fell for the charms of Lake Minnetonka over years of visits, and the one thing that we knew when we got engaged was that there was no other place we would rather start our next chapter together.” The bride wore a custom-made and -designed wedding gown with a hi-lo hemline in the front and a cowl back, accessorized with a her hair down in loose curls, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore white blouses with striped skirts and carried bouquets of almost all greenery. “Chuck and I wrote our entire wedding ceremony ourselves,” she said. “We chose two very special readings: an excerpt from our favorite book ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ as well as the E.E. Cummings poem ‘I Carry Your Heart With Me.’” Even their five-year-old English labrador retriever, Tucker, was the ring bearer! Following the sincere nuptials, the newlyweds grabbed a glass of champagne, hopped on a boat, and cruised away from the crowd to celebrate with smooches for a bit. Guests were escorted into the reception tent draped in fabric with compasses, which directed them to “island” tables. In addition to the three-tiered buttercream cake, pecan pie was also served. For entertainment? A band and abstract painter! Plus, homemade truffles were wrapped up in boxes to take home as “bon voyage” favors.
Mandy and Allen were married at a private lakeside residence in Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas on May 18. ”The landscape was absolutely gorgeous with trees covering the entire front half of the property,” Mandy said. “We both wanted an outdoor spring wedding, so with such a stunning layout, we knew this was the perfect place for us.” Coming up with inspiration was the easy part! They both love the show MadMen and aviation. So, a 1960s mod travel-theme it was. The bride wore a v-neck lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with a statement necklace and shoulder-length veil, while the groom wore a white button-up shirt, black pants, and suspenders, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore flamboyant red off-the-shoulder dress and white gloves. The cutest attendants were the flower girls and ring bearer, who played the part of stewardesses and a pilot, respectively! As guests arrived, they were greeted with multiple destination posters from Los Angeles to London and vintage suitcases. “We decided to exchange our vows privately before the ceremony,” Allen said. “The entire day leading up to that was chaotic and filled with last minute tasks. The moment I turned around and saw her standing there, all the stress was washed away and everything felt completely right.” Plus, the reception decor featured patterned table runners, wooden airplanes, and mint vases and vessels. Music was played on a turntable with lots of oldie tunes from records, postcards served as the guest book, and even vegan-friendly food was prepared. The dessert display included multiple cakes, but that one that stood out most was the one topped with a R2D2 and Ariel from The Little Mermaid.