We love fun couples! Just take a look at this bride who aptly describes her backyard wedding as a “New England backyard cookout crossed with a Downton Abbey-style tea party.” You can see tell how all the little touches perfectly play up their personalities, vintage princess cut dresses, faux moustaches and all! Their friends at Vitae Weddings even traveled all the way from California to capture the event.

Al Fresco

From the Bride… Like a lot of couples that get engaged, one of us didn’t really know what was going on (me), and one of us was so focused on the proposal that he didn’t actually think about the wedding (Jesse). When we started talking about the wedding, the very first thing we discussed was our mutual (and long-held independent) desire to have a backyard wedding. I don’t remember the exact conversation but it went something like this: “I’ve always wanted a backyard wedding.” “Me too!” -End of conversation. Luckily, most of our planning was just as easy. One thing Jesse really wanted was to throw a really great party-and have a kick-ass band. I wasn’t sold on the whole wedding band thing, but I dutifully followed Jesse to these small private showcases with 3-4 other couples. All I can say is that it’s really weird to watch a sweat-drenched front man belt out “Mustang Sally” to an audience of six. I had always envisioned a barefoot bluegrass band, but Jesse was set on having a horn section. We ended up finding a local funk band: Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket that had the right not-cheesy-to-horn ratio that worked for both of us. I’m glad Jesse convinced me.

The only other really difficult part was our photographers. We had a short list of people we knew locally whose style we liked. As professional photographers ourselves, there was a pretty high bar. In a short time we exhausted the list, whether they were booked, or there were contract issues. We asked for recommendations from other friends who had gotten married recently, and exhausted the second list. We discussed not hiring a photographer-there’s going to be enough photographers there right? I don’t remember exactly how the conversation came up, but Jesse was talking with a friend he knew from school in California. She mentioned she was starting to shoot weddings. Well we booked Vitae Weddings shortly thereafter. It seemed crazy to fly our photographers from California when we know the New England area has an abundance of talent, but it really worked out great. The photos speak for themselves. Callie and Stacie did an amazing job of capturing the fun of the day from the very start, Callie documenting Jesse’s groomsmen throwing him in the Atlantic Ocean before getting dressed, and Stacie coming with me and my bridesmaids to our hair appointment, which was not nearly as entertaining, I’m sure! They stuck with us the whole day, from waking up to walking down the aisle of course, and also some amazing shots of partying and dancing. My dad even said to me later, “Those two girls were the hardest working people in the room!” We were so happy when we saw the photos – they really managed to capture the fun and the feeling of the whole day, as well as the incredible happiness we both felt.

On our wedding day, we really tried to relax and enjoy the day, as many friends had wisely advised us. It turns out we did just enough planning to do just that. The event took place in Jesse’s mom’s backyard… Well actually it stretched across three yards, luckily the neighbors were obliging and we held the ceremony in one neighbor’s yard, with a beautiful garden as a backdrop.

Being in the photography/wedding business we were able to gather around us a lot of friends who work in the industry. The food and event planning was put together by Chive Events in Beverly, MA. They throw gorgeous, locally sourced events that we had attended in the past, and knew they would be perfect. We told them we wanted a traditional New England backyard cookout crossed with a Downton Abbey style tea party! And they ran with it. For a time Jesse actually wanted a cookout. He was convinced we could get a bunch of hotdogs and hamburgers and set a few friends up on a big grill. That’s probably the only thing I put my foot down on. Our flowers were by Foret Design Studio in Somerville, MA. They also totally got the vibe. I gave them a loose color palette, and basically said to do whatever they thought was best. They did not disappoint! Our friend T.J. from Cape Ann Brewery poured a specially made-for-us beer, and Bennett from Downriver Ice Cream made us our own specially flavored ice cream (and also provided his large collection of bowties for the groom and his groomsmen). I love to bake, and had originally planned on baking enough pies for all of our guests in lieu of a cake, but Jesse convinced me to abandon that idea about a week before our big day. Thankfully, Petsi Pies in Somerville makes the loveliest pies, even on short notice. 

Photography: Vitae Weddings | Coordination: Chive Events | Floral Design: Foret Design Studio | Wedding Dress: Vows | Invitations: James Wienberg | Rings: Vince Hawley | Bridesmaids Dresses: Nordstrom | Bridesmaids Dresses: ModCloth | Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Chive Events | Hair: Bow Beauty Salon | Band: Big Ol' Dirty Bucket Band | Grooms Attire: Indochino | Tent: Sperry Tents | Beer: Cape Ann Brewing Co. | Bridal Shoes: ModCloth | Dessert: Petsi Pies | Dessert: Downriver Ice Cream | Groom's Shoes: Bobby From Boston | Spirits: Ryan And Wood Distilleries

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