All backyard weddings should be like this. Totally romantic, filled to the brim with gorgeous and boasting a due that is the definition of the cuteness factor. (I heart high school sweethearts.) Think lush florals from Poppystone Floral Couture, crafty DIY details, the stunning stylings of Quintana Events and beautiful images from Josh Gruetzmacher. Find your happy place in THE VAULT right here.
From the Bride… Most of our wedding inspiration came from our guests and our surroundings. Once we made our guest list we realized that most of our friends and family are super energetic and fun-loving people. With this in mind, planning our wedding started to feel more like we were planning a great, big party for all of our favorite people. Thinking back to some of our favorite memories that we had shared with everyone, we noticed that many of these took place outside, on sunny days, in our beautiful hometown of Marin County. This made it clear to us that our wedding should be a cheerful, outdoor celebration that we would all be smiling about for a long time. Fortunately, my parents’ backyard was the perfect venue for what we had in mind. The big open lawn, small grove of fruit trees, and blossoming garden set the stage for what ended up being the most fun and memorable days of our lives.
For our décor we wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the space so we stuck with neutral base tones with pops of bright colors. We wanted to keep it simple and fun yet elegant so it wouldn’t feel too much like just a “backyard” party.
It is funny to think about, but when Jack finally got up the nerve to ask me out in high school, it was at a party that my parents were throwing in the very same backyard that we would use for our wedding venue. By a strange coincidence the date of our wedding was also exactly 10 years before our first date (we found the ticket stub from the baseball game to prove it). By deciding to get married in my parent’s backyard, we felt like we really brought our love story full circle, and were really able to use the setting and some personal details to make our wedding about “us”.
Because we opted for a backyard wedding, this meant that we had to do a lot of work ourselves to get everything ready. Luckily we had a TON of help from friends and family. For much of the year leading up to the wedding, both of our families worked on building a trellis for our ceremony, building tables for our wedding party and even laying bricks for our reception area. Meanwhile, our moms and a handful of family friends spent countless hours hand-painting signs, planting flowers, and pulling weeds to make our garden look perfect. It wasn’t glamorous work, but by the time our wedding rolled around, we had poured our heart and souls into building a flawless wedding venue with some of our favorite people and it made the whole day so much more special.
For the wedding itself, there were several details that made our day extra special for us. For instance, we set up a side table that had jars of jam for guests to take, which my mom had made from our own fruit trees. We ate our first dinner as a married couple at a beautiful redwood table that our dads hand-built for us as a wedding present. We also had Jack’s dad officiate our ceremony, which made this a personal and sentimental highlight of the day.
On the day of our wedding it was really important to us to spend a few minutes by ourselves soaking in the specialness of the day. This wasn’t something that we planned but something we both agreed to ahead of time. As it turns out, one of my favorite memories is from the reception when Jack and I left the dance floor for a few minutes to watch the party from afar. We got to spend a few minutes just the two of us watching friends dancing, family members laughing, and everyone together having an amazing time. This moment stood out because we both took time to appreciate how special this occasion was and how genuinely happy we were to finally be married.
My biggest advice is to let your friends and family help when they want to. It took me a while to delegate and let go of the control, but once I did it relieved a lot of stress off me and turned out more beautiful and perfect than I could have ever imagined. Also, try not get too caught up in what you think you should be doing and instead do what you want. I was pretty obsessed with my checklists and design planning and it really stressed me out because I wanted it to be “perfect”. In the end all that really mattered was that we were married!
Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography | Cinematography: Michael Bromberg | Event Planning + Design: Quintana Events | Floral Design: PoppyStone Floral Couture | Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel | Invitations: Anna Marks Photography | Bride's Shoes: J.Crew | Bridesmaids' Dresses: After Six | Catering: Sage Catering | Hair + Makeup: Tammy Son | DJ: Stylus Entertainment | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Venue: At Home | Hair Accessories: BHLDN | Invitations + Stationery: The Paper Source | Photo Booth: Magnolia Photo Booth Co. | Pies + Dessert: Aimee George | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals