What better way to plan your wedding than surrounded by family and friends? After living in Thailand for three years, this couple returned to their roots for a home spun wedding by Jess Dewes Photography, whose images will melt your heart. Nearly every element from this celebration were {impressive} DIY projects by the bride and groom, along with exquisite flowers from Baisch & Skinner, which all turned out just as beautifully as the couple! Be sure to head to the full gallery for more!

From the Bride… They say there is no place like home. Home is where memories are made, where love and laughter come as easily as breathing. That is why, after living and teaching in Thailand for three years, the obvious choice to commit ourselves to each other was in grandma’s backyard. Then came the task of transforming a backyard forest setting, which has seen the weddings of my great grandparents, my parents, and now, ours. My husband jokes that “our wedding was held together with zip ties, steel wire and mason jars.” To a certain extent, that was true. Everything in our wedding, from the decorations to the desserts, were fabricated by us or someone in attendance of the wedding. From the moment guests arrived, they were greeted by signs constructed of old storm windows, recycled found wood, and the aroma of fresh-cut flowers. Once guests entered the backyard, they immediately gained a sense that they had entered a space that had been transformed by flowing, white table cloths, family heirlooms, romantic flower arrangements, rustic burlap table runners and hand-crafted pieces.

Creating our wedding was the perfect excuse to spend tons of time with our friends and family after being gone for so long. We moved back to the states in April, and our wedding was scheduled for June 2. Needless to say, our hands were full, and we couldn’t have done it without all the help we received. My husband and his mom bonded over building the altar we were married under (which recently became our new picnic table). His dad took time to sculpt us two love birds for our cake topper. My mom, sister and aunts created an amazing dessert table filled with homemade goodies. My husband and I cut aspen tree slabs, which we hand-burned our table numbers into. We also fabricated our guest book and the chandelier that helped light the tent. Even my earrings were designed by my husband as a wedding gift from some stones he bought in Nepal, where he proposed. My girlfriends and I took countless trips to vintage stores and Goodwill to collect bud vases, pitchers and picture frames. We even spent the two nights prior to the wedding putting together all the flower arrangements and bouquets. Our wedding was definitely a labor of love.

Our hope was, as guests meandered through the setting, they would begin to gain a deeper appreciation of not only the hard work that went into the production, but the generosity of all our loved ones who gave us support, through either time, or donated artifacts. The night revolved around showcasing our values of family and unity. In the end, that is exactly what our guests’ responses were, and the sense of home and familiarity resonated throughout the night.

Wedding Photography: Jess Dewes Photography / Wedding Venue: The Bride’s Grandparents’ Backyard in Illinois / Event Design + Planning: DIY by the Bride, Groom, Family + Friends / Flowers: Baisch & Skinner + Arranged by the Bride + Bridesmaids / Catering: Mike Dewes / Dessert Table: The Bride’s Mother, Sister + Aunts / Wedding Invitations: DIY by the Bride / Rentals: Aries Rental / Vintage Rentals: Worn Vintage / Cake Topper: DIY by the Groom’s Father / Altar: DIY by the Groom + His Mother / Tent: Traube Tent Company / Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander / Bride’s Earrings: Custom / Hair: Hair by Chrissy / Makeup: Make-Up Artistry by A&C