We spotted this next beauty over on Michele M. Waite’s blog, one of our favorite photographers EVER. And it’s the kind of wedding that makes you want to move right in. To set up shop in the fields, to dine on perfect pies and to dance the night away under the gorgeous stars. Knowing that so much of this wedding was DIY and that so many family members pitched in to help, makes it even more special, even more beautiful. Oh and did I mention that the bride is also an amazing floral designer, a business inspired by the fun she had in designing her own wedding. I know, I’m a little jealous too.
Our wedding really was what I always dreamed of—an elegant, laid back affair on a summer day with our close friends and family enjoying great food, dancing and lots of handmade touches. The year of planning was too much fun. James was totally supportive and let me become absorbed in a world of paper, fabric, flowers, and blogs—it was a complete DIY wedding. (Thank you, SMP, for sticking by my side all year long!)
My husband and I grew up in the county surrounded by fields of berries, and since many of my summers were spent picking and baking, we thought it would be fun to carry a blackberry theme throughout the wedding. And so they popped up in the flowers, food, favors, and invitations. Our guests were greeted with fresh lemonade and pound cake—all set up on the tailgate of my step-dad’s little antique truck. We wanted to set the tone immediately that this would be a fun, relaxing wedding and give guests time to mingle before the ceremony.
As I hid back in the trees with my dad and bridal party, my step-dad on guitar and his two friends on bass and violin treated our guests to a medley of French jazz and Bassa Nova pieces. Many people have told us that the magical moment of the day occurred when my dad and I first appeared from the trees and walked across the field to my waiting husband, while our very own trio (step dad and gang) played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I don’t think I shed a tear (at least not until our vows). I just beamed a huge smile. I was overjoyed.
Our favors were, of course, jars of jam made by aunts, moms, and grandmas from blackberries picked from the field. Since neither of us are huge cake lovers, we opted for a variety of pies which were also made by our wonderful aunts. Friends hung the clusters of little red berries from the tent, while James and I frantically worked away creating all the arrangements for the tables. I took on a lot of the work myself, and when push came to shove, I needed his help to get it all done in time! 10+ hours creating floral arrangements must equal true love.
Flowers were purchased in bulk online and combined with poppy pods, blackberries, and roses from my dad’s garden. We clipped Vinca Vine and threw that in last minute which created just enough of the wild, unfussy look we wanted. (I must also mention the hours James’s dad and brothers spent in road-side ditches, collecting buckets of Queen Anne’s Lace for the bundles of flowers lining the aisle.) See how lucky I am? The large ceremony arrangements were made by my amazing and talented mother all from flowers and greenery picked from family gardens. She also ripped / frayed all the table runners and sewed the vase covers. Underneath that beautiful chocolate brown material are plain ol’ tomato cans.
My degree is Graphic Design, but I wanted invitations that looked a little less graphic and little more handmade. So I used watercolors to paint the different elements (berries, leaves, flowers) and scanned them into the computer to give myself more control over the color, layout, and positioning. I was pleased as punch with the outcome.
Bridesmaid dresses were spotted at Anthropologie months before and carefully watched until they went on sale, at which point I snagged all possible sizes and purchased them on the spot. Coordinating flower girl dresses were found at Gap and went perfectly with the natural, summery theme. I sewed the two hairpieces for my adorable cousins (which coordinated with the top of the blackberry favors) and the hairpiece for myself as well.
My uncle married us in the middle of a field that belonged to dear family friends (who were so kind to let us completely take over their property for 4 days). Our photographers did an amazing job of capturing the day. Our makeup artist made us all beautiful. Our caterers nailed the food… The rain held off; the food was fresh off the grill; the birds flew overhead, and I got to dance the night away with my new handsome husband. What a day it was…
Photographer: Michèle M. Waite /Makeup: Michael Bride / Hair: Argyle Salon / Flowers & Design: McKenzie Powell Designs / Caterer: Fools Onion Catering / Rentals: Stellar Event Rentals & ABC Special Event Rentals / Dress: Belltown Bride (The dress was Tara Keely) / Dress Alterations: Trish Jens / Suits: Macy’ / Bridesmaid Dresses: Anthropologie / Flowergirl Dresses: Gap