When a couple chooses a home, it is impossible to look decades down the road and declare, “My future daughter will get married in this backyard. Let’s buy it!” But, that she did. This little girl who chased butterflies in the backyard grew up to marry her love right where her swing set used to be. And isn’t that just the thing about love…it is always in a place that knows you better than you know yourself. Look at me, I have completely melted into a bowl of mush thanks to Valore Photography‘s images! For even more from this sweet couple, check out the gallery of images with some fun DIY ideas.


From the Bride… I just had to share my August 4, 2012 wedding because my mother put it together so wonderfully. It was all I could have hoped for and more, and all on a budget. We DIY’ed everything possible. We styled our own program fans from vintage feel paper found at Hobby Lobby. We used my mom’s own “hen and chick” succulents in small terracotta pots with labels ordered online for our favors. We used a lot of burlap and tons of candles for a very romantic and vintage feel. My mother also made all of the signage as well. Most of the table decor was antiques pulled right from the house: from old cameras, antique eye glasses, old books and my grandmother’s milk glass vases.

Our florist used hydrangeas and antique roses for my bouquet and the arrangements in light green and peach. She used my collection of both of my grandmother’s antique brooches and initagrated them into the bouquet. A friend played “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder on the keyboard for my walk down the ailse. We had a pair of violinists playing for the pre-ceremony and cocktail hour before we transitioned to a DJ. The food was heavy appetizers and we served beer, wine and a signature cocktail called “The Frenchie” (pear vodka, cranberry juice and pineapple juice). It was a huge hit! Since it was high summer with an outside reception, a friend made hydrangea cupcakes rather than a wedding cake. The “garden fairies” (flower girls) were adorable. My mother made their wings with dried pampas grass.

It was priceless to hold the wedding at the house I grew up in. Getting married in the same yard that I had a swing set in. The same yard I chased butterflies in with my little brother. My mother made our wedding special and unique and it turned out beautifully. I wouldn’t have changed one thing. No one could believe we didn’t have a planner or coordinator. She worked all summer during her time off from teaching on making her only daughter’s day the best it could have been.

Wedding Photography: Valore Photography / Wedding Venue: Bride’s Family’s Backyard Garden in Georgia / Wedding Planning + Design: Bride’s Mother, Sandra Calkins / Floral Design: Boukates / Invitations: Exclusively Weddings / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal Nordstrom (reception dress) / Bride’s Shoes: Bellissima Bridal Shoes / Hair: Genesis Salon / Makeup: Veronica Sitterding