DIY Backyard Picnic Wedding in Seattle
May 22, 2014
Al FrescoWhimsicalOutdoor Weddings
How much fun a wedding is doesn't directly correlate with how much money you spend, but it does directly correlate to how awesome the couple is. Which is why we're completely taken with this wedding submitted to us by Matthew Land Studios — sunny, lighthearted and as bold as the bride's market-fresh flowers. Scroll through to see more, or bask in the full summertime picnic glory here.
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From the Bride... For our wedding we wanted to highlight two things as being at the foundation for our marriage: Family and Community. We had our wedding in my in-laws backyard, involved all our best friends in the creation of the wedding design and my dad performed the ceremony with a blessing given by Joe’s Grandpa. We wanted to let everyone know how much their support was to us. My brother-in-law sang our first dance song, we had friends who DJ’ed, bar tended, set up, put together picnic baskets, did our hair and makeup, played the piano, the banjo, and plenty of friends and family who kept the dancing going well into the night! Incorporating family into all aspects of the ceremony and reception was an amazing experience. We were overwhelmed by gratitude all day!

I love art projects and spent the months leading up to the wedding creating fun accents to the wedding. We cut down a small tree in the backyard to use as centerpieces, crafted DIY string balloon balls, used fabric scraps for pennants and were the lucky recipients of reams of burlap that had been used in 3 weddings previous to ours! It was fun to see how people stepped up to help and to have people craft beautiful things for us. My bridesmaids even made a burlap welcome sign with our names sewn on it that still hangs in our living room.

Our friend Matthew Land was one of the first people we called after the engagement. We knew there was no one else we wanted to photograph our wedding. Both Joe and I love photography and admire Matt's work so much. He pulled out all the stops: he came down first thing in the morning, helped to set up the bar and spent the day with us- capturing the feeling and emotions of the day perfectly. We love his relaxed approach to the wedding and it was so fun to not only see him in his element but get to be the subjects of it! 

Putting together a wedding is not an easy task, but I thrived on finding unique ways to portray the day and focused on how we could make the backyard into a unique and inviting atmosphere for all our family and friends. I loved the idea of using market flowers for our day. We had previously arranged to buy from the wonderful women at a few of the market stalls and some girlfriends went down to Pike Place Market the day before the wedding to pick them up. They were beautiful. They drove down to Gig Harbor and gave the responsibility to one of the groomsmen to put the flowers in the fridge we had cleared out beforehand. It was all perfect. Several friends were making the bouquets and table flowers day of the wedding, I was so glad to pass that job off to those talented women.  The morning of the wedding, I saw two of my bridesmaids jump into a car, race down the hill and return a hour later with a fresh bunch of flowers. As it turned out, the groomsman who cooled the flowers took it to the extreme: those flowers were black, shriveled and completely dead. They had been loaded into the freezer instead of the refrigerator, which killed them all! Luckily, the Gig Harbor farmers market was that Saturday so my wonderful bridesmaids saved the day with their quick thinking. The bouquets turned out beautiful.

Joe and I are of the mentality that the wedding is made by the community, not by the commodities and worked hard to remember that in our preparation. We were okay using chairs from the elementary school to save money and were thrilled by the idea of using quilts for our picnic themed reception that were lent from both our mother’s friends. It added a very special touch to the night. For dinner, we bought baguettes and rolls from the local bakery and then loaded up picnic baskets that I had collected from friends with the bread, different cheeses, sliced pastrami, turkey and pepperoni, strawberries, grapes and cups full of sliced vegetables. We had two condiment bars where people could load up on pickles, olives, spicy mustard or oils. It was a simple meal, but with more than enough food to go around!  The best part was that everyone had their food already at their blankets! That was the best part: no one had to stand in line.