This garden fête by Sweet Tea Photography is full of such sweetness and goodness and all because of the hard work of the bride, groom and their friends and families.  It is a DIY beauty to behold with the talented group doing everything from the flowers to the catering.  The bride’s grandmother even sewed the adorable yellow bridesmaids skirts that the girls then infused with their own styles and personalities.  It’s the perfect example of how you can combine your personal beliefs and traditions with a fun style that is all your own.  Click here to see all the details!

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From the Bride…I took basically everything in my wedding from Style Me Pretty and other wedding blogs!  I wanted something relaxed and whimsical and really informal so people could just have a good time. Adam and I are pretty laid back people and I wanted our wedding to reflect that. As we were about to leave the reception, I was chatting with my friend and his wife and she said “I don’t know you very well but this wedding just seems so…’you’”. I guess that’s when I knew we had done it!

We wanted our wedding to be very “us” and also wanted it to be fun and entertaining for our guests. We put a lot of thought into the decor and thought that pennant flags would look great in the barn. Then we just ended up putting them on everything (the invitations, the quiz, the cake). We came up with the idea for the quiz as a way for people to get to know us, and some little things about our relationship. As it turns out, no one, not even our closest friends and family, knows anything about us! How disappointing! But we’re still glad we did it because overall I think people really enjoyed it (even if they all did fail miserably).

Adam and I are both Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and knew that a marriage in an LDS temple was essential to us. We believe that marriages must be performed in a temple by an authorized temple “sealer” (officiator) in order to last beyond this life. However, marriages which are performed in temples are very sacred and as such, only adult members of our church can attend. We both have many friends and family members who are not members of our faith so we decided to have an exchanging of rings ceremony in addition to the temple ceremony. It was important to us that those who could not attend the temple still be involved and witness some kind of commitment ceremony, even if we were already married.

I found the bridesmaid skirts that I wanted from another bride’s wedding. I knew they were perfect because they were simple, allowed each bridesmaid to personalize a little with her own top and shoes, and were long enough that my best friend, who is Muslim, could still wear the same thing as the other bridesmaids. I immediately knew I wanted to ask my grandmother to make the skirts. She had sewed bridesmaids dresses for one of her daughter’s wedding and a wedding gown for another so I knew she was the woman to ask! I loved having her make the skirts and she loved doing it. I also loved that every time I called her during the 4 or 5 months before the wedding she was busy working on skirts! It was the best wedding present she could have given me.

We had people from all over the country! 17 states total! I am originally from Virginia but Adam is from Washington State, so when we started planning the wedding in Maryland, we knew we would have to sacrifice having some of our loved ones there but we were so impressed with how many people made a real effort to be there. All 8 of Adam’s siblings…including a sister and her family from Alaska! Planning my wedding from Seattle was, in a word, “h e double hockey sticks”. I wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding but I feel like a lot of that was pure luck. It didn’t help that we were wanting to do everything ourselves which is hard to do from a few thousand miles away. Luckily, we had my sister living in VA who was more than willing to help and we came out two weeks early to do wedding planning like crazy.  In order to save money we didn’t hire a wedding planner, florist, caterer or DJ. I know, right?! It wasn’t easy but in the end we’re glad we did it this way and love how everything turned out!

Wedding Photography: Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography / Wedding Gown: Custom Margot Eltsa / Bridesmaid Skirts: Bride’s grandmother / Groom’s Suit: Indochino / Groomsmen Attire: Their own / Ties: Etsy / Catering: DIY with help from friends and family + Honeybaked Ham + Costco / Flowers: DIY + Fields of Flowers / Hair Stylist: Rebekah, Friend / Make-up Artist: The Bride

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