A soft dreamy color palette of muted pinks and yellows, an aisle full of lush pink petals, a garden wedding almost entirely DIY ‘d by the bride and her family, a gorgeous bride and groom … and some drop-dead beautiful children ~ equals a simply perfect wedding from Stephanie Cristalli Photography!

John and Jessica were high school sweethearts. They said their “I Do’s” in John’s parents’ back yard. I can’t imagine a more perfect backyard ~ garden wedding if I tried! {See the garlands draping the ceremony chairs? They were made by the bride’s mom!}

Photography by LBB member Stephanie Cristalli.       See the whole gallery here!

Jessica has shared their story and all the DIY details with us today! Congratulations to Jessica & John on a tremendously beautiful garden wedding!

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John and I met in high school and dated for over 6 years before we were married. Since we met each other so young we are both really close to each other’s families. We have grown up in each others homes. For this reason we decided to get married at home. We were married and had our reception in my in-laws backyard. Having the wedding at home really created in intimate, setting in which we could put ourselves in every detail.

We did a lot of DIY to make our wedding more personal. My cousin Daniela is a wedding planner and creates beautiful florals (Bella Signature Design). She was a great resource for us while we were planning our wedding. She gave us great recommendations for vendors and was a constant person who we could go to with questions. She created the most beautiful floral arrangements, more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. It was breathtaking to see all the flowers being unloaded from her car. From the beginning of our planning I knew that I wanted to have tons of flowers at our wedding. I wanted to have a very romantic look so we chose all soft colors in light pinks, peaches, buttery yellows, and creams. I wanted all the flowers to be very petally so we chose garden roses, hydrangeas, gardenias and sweet peas. We continued this floral theme by naming the tables at the reception after some of my favorite flowers.

Guests were greeted at the front of the house by two bunny topiaries that were dressed as a bride and groom. This was a surprise for us from our moms. My mother-in-law had the idea and bought the bunnies and my mom dressed them up by sewing a dress for the bride bunny as well as finding the veil, flowers, a ribbon and pearl necklace, a top hat and a tie. Guests then walked through the main entrance to the house were the found the guest book and a beautiful 3-tiered metal, garland and floral arrangement (the metal structure came from my parents’ bathroom and my cousin decked it out with the garland and beautiful flowers). Guests then walked through the double french doors to the back patio and yard where the ceremony and reception were held.

My mom and I really wanted to plan the wedding ourselves as a bonding time. We both love entertaining and design. As an art major in college I loved working with all the details, I designed our wedding invitations as well as all the paper goods (programs, labels, seating cards, etc.). It was so fun to design all of this from start to finish, I think it really gave our whole day a consistent look and feel. My mom created all the garland that you see down the aisle. She made over 40 yards of garland using greens from her yard (my parents live on 2.5 acres).

Our attendants were family and close friends. My matron-of-honor was my husband’s sister and he had my brother and his brother-in-law as groomsmen. We had a number of child attendants, we had two ring bearers, two boys to carry my train and one flower girl. The flower girl and one of the ring bearers are my cousin Daniela’s kids. The other three boys are brothers who I have nannied for years for. I have known these three boys since the oldest was three and the middle was one, I took the older boys to the hospital the day the youngest was born, needless to say we are very close. The little baby in the photos is our niece, my matron-of-honor’s 6 month old daughter.

I absolutely loved my dress and got so many compliments on it. It was so me! It was the Carrie dress by Melissa Sweet. The detailing of the pleating on the bottom of the dress was my favorite part. When I told the boys (at the rehearsal) that they would be carrying my train I think they were pretty excited. The next day I was asked, “But Jessie, where’s your train?” I think they were a bit let down that the train was not an actual vehicle, but rather the back of my dress. I also loved my shoes, they were the perfect color, were comfortable and added a bit of fun to my attire. My bouquet was so beautiful, it was many shades of creams and pale, pale pinks and yellows, it was wrapped with a beautiful light pink silk ribbon which Daniela made to echo the bottom pleating on my dress, also on my bouquet was a beautiful locket which was my grandmother’s. It was so special to have something of hers with me on that day, it helped me to remember that even though she is no longer with us she was there with me.

My husband and all the groomsmen wore yellow argyle socks to add a bit of fun as well as a nod to my husband’s huge love of golf. For our rehearsal dinner we took everyone mini-golfing a a great local, outdoor course. All of the men wore three piece gray suits, we wanted them to wear something that was not quite as dark and harsh as a black tux, but still formal. The gray seemed to fit our outdoor wedding better. My husband wore a cream tie, the groomsmen wore yellow and gray striped ties and our dads wore coordinating pink and gray striped ties. The little boys all wore gray suits as well with cream ties to match my husband’s.

My bridesmaids wore buttery yellow dresses with a waist band and straps that echoed my dress. They wore adorable cream heels with a little bow on the front. Isabella, my flower girl wore a smocked, cream dress which matched mine in color and was a classic little girls dress. She also wore her hair to match mine and had cute little pink flowers in the back. My mom made Isabella’s flower girl basket and the two ring bearer pillows out of gray silk with beautiful cream and pink silk flowers.

We were married by my pastor under a beautiful metal structure that was adorned with garland and gardenias. Our aisle was heavily petaled with rose petals. We had close family friends play piano and sing during the wedding. It was so special to have close friends have such a personal affect on our ceremony. During the ceremony we lit candles that were protected from the wind by hurricanes. After the ceremony we had a cocktail hour on the patio of the house. We set out water, lemonade and ice tea for our guests in addition to a passed signature drink (vodka lemonade) and passed hors d’oeuvres. Guests had time to socialize and we had a few moments to ourselves before greeting them (this was the best decision, having 15 minutes by ourselves with some snacks). During this time we had 2 of my brothers friends who are amazing musicians play some light music on the piano and guitar.

This was also where guests got their table assignments. I filled small envelopes with cards that contained the guests names on the front and table name on the back. These were attached to cream ribbons that were tied between two topiaries. After the cocktail hour the guests were welcomed into an open tent by our amazing dj. In order to help guest tables to get to know each other and feel comfortable he had each table sing a song with the word “love” in it. This was how they were dismissed to the dinner buffet. We had a lot of kids at our wedding (we had 6 child attendants, plus others present) so we had a kids buffet for them to enjoy. Each place setting was marked with the guests’ names, I created these place cards and my mom, my matron-of-honor and I put them on each napkin by wrapping the napkin with ribbon which was threaded through the place cards. Inside each napkin we tucked a menu card which I had designed. Our table names were attached with cream ribbon to clear mini cake stands which were filled with our favorite chocolates, raspberry truffles from Moonstruck Chocolate (my husband had lived in Portland, OR the year leading up to our wedding and Moonstruck is a local company, we loved going there for chocolates and hot chocolate treats in the winter). Each chocolate was adorned with a small pink flower on top. This was a great after dinner treat for our guests.

One of our favorite touches and most beloved by guests was our candy bar. My parents and I designed and created the whole thing. My dad built the candy bar structure to look like a lemonade stand or carnival stand. I painted the stripes on the canvas which we then hung on the wooden structure. My mom and I searched high and low for all the pink, peach, yellow and cream candy, as well as the stands and jars. My mom sewed the peach, pink and yellow flags that hung over and under the bar. I designed all the labels and covered milk and dark chocolate bars in papers that I had designed as well. People went crazy for the candy bar, it was so much fun!

For favors for our guests we made mini wedding cakes made from a favorite family recipe. My mom baked hundreds of cookies in three sizes. A family friend, my aunt, my mom and myself all got together one day to actually put the cookie cakes together. We stacked 3 big, 3 medium and 2 small cookies together then placed a sugar flower on top, they were then placed into clear boxes and tied with a light pink ribbon.

Our wedding was exactly what we wanted it to be romantic, beautiful, personal, soft, classic and elegant. While the wedding was beautiful the best part was marrying each other. Saying our vows to each other was emotional and perfect. The happiness of our day is what truly stands out to me. We felt completely surrounded by love and support all throughout the day. Looking back on our day we are so happy to know that our family and friends not only loved the beauty of our ceremony and reception, but that they also had a blast partying the night away with us to celebrate our new marriage. We all danced late into the night, the dance floor was always full and always joyous! It was fun to celebrate with everyone we love.

Photography: Stephanie Cristalli (Little Black Book Vendor, Seattle) / Flowers: Daniela Faget of Bella Signature Design (Little Black Book Vendor, Seattle) / Garlands: Made by bride’s mom /Ceremony and Reception Location: Private Residence, Groom’s parents’ home / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music: Family friends / DJ: Tim Steever of A Beautiful Noise / Cake: Jen of Jen’s Desserts / Caterer: Russell Dean Lowell Catering / Candy Bar: Made by bride and bride’s parents / Favors: Cookie wedding cakes made by bride’s mom, bride and family friends / Invitations and all paper goods: Made by the bride / Shoes: J.Crew / Dress: Carrie dress by Melissa Sweet found at La Votre Bridal Couture / The Bridal Garden in Kirkland, WA /Bridesmaid dresses: Dessy found at Moms, Maids and More in Bellevue, WA / Flower Girl Dress: Found at www.bestdressedchild.com / Jewelry: J. Lewis Jewelry in Bellevue, WA / Tent: ABC Rentals /Rentals: Pedersen’s Rentals

Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection, Dessy Flower Girls and J.Crew are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Stephanie Cristalli Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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