Garden Pavilion Wedding by Jessica Smith Photography
August 11, 2011

I admit it.  I am not a crafty person.  I know how to use a pair of scissors and that is about the extent of my knowledge.  So, when I see a DIY wedding filled to the brim with craftiness and unique, personal touches, I am equal parts impressed and smitten.  And these Sonoma nuptials by Jessica Smith Photography have me head over heels in love.  Not only is it one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen, but it was all created, detail by detail, by the amazing and oh-so-adorable bride and groom (plus family and friends) and flown over from Minnesota!  Now that's awesome.  Birdhouses, doilies, corsages, programs, menus... All so incredibly gorgeous and all made with love.  And definitely the recipe for a perfect DIY soiree.  See every ounce of pretty in the gallery!












Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride... Before we even got engaged, I knew we’d have a DIY-inspired wedding. For years now, my personal mantra has been “I could make that!” Combine this with Drew’s love of building things, and there’s no way we could resist making our wedding into a labor of love. As a gardener, I insisted on adding a lot of nature to our day. Drew’s the sentimental one in the relationship, so wanted the affair to be romantic. Taking a cue from our venue’s lush gardens and mid-1800s buildings, we settled on “whimsical vintage romantic garden” theme. And when Drew, in all his excitement, brought home 57 sets of bird-themed salt-and-pepper shakers, we added a bird component too.

Once the theme was set, we got started on all the special little touches that would make our wedding feel like, well, ours. We created boutonnieres and corsages, bridesmaid poms, chalkboards, a wooden wine box and more. Drew singed hundreds of organza petals that I sewed into flowers using little pearly beads. We constructed a 12-foot paper doily chandelier loosely based off this Martha Stewart design. We bought $1 birdhouses from craft stores and decorated them in our wedding colors using my stash of acrylic paints and decoupage paper. Our centerpieces incorporated the birdhouses along with cigar boxes, turquoise reindeer moss, faux birds, pink toile placemats (cut from curtain fabric), and more organza flowers. It was all gorgeous, but my favorite element was the three sets of bunting flags Drew created from plywood, leftover wall paint, vinyl letters, and sisal rope. In all, we shipped 8(!) boxes of décor from our Minneapolis, MN home to our wedding site in California. Although it was a ton of effort, we were so proud of how we made our vision come to life. Plus, we loved working so closely together to figure out what we wanted and how to make it happen. Just like in marriage! Awww.

The other central theme for our wedding was “community.” We’re lucky enough to have many talented and helpful people in our lives, and we believe that this support network is critical to the happiness and success of our marriage. I wrote our vows to recognize this, and we tried to incorporate our loved ones in the day as much as possible. Our photographer, officiant, emcee, and ceremony readers were all family members and dear friends. My MOH created the programs and menus to match our stationery. And we had an amazing crew of friends to set up the property. (They were seriously awesome; I almost swooned when I saw all the “surprise” birds and fabric flowers tucked into the greenery around the pavilion.) Forty of our friends and family flew in from all over the country and we had four days at the venue to celebrate with them. This was definitely our favorite part of the wedding. I have such great memories of the smiles, excitement and all the time we got to relax and connect with everyone. Looking back, we feel incredibly blessed to have had such a beautiful, romantic wedding surrounded by the people we love.

Wedding Photography: Jessica Smith Photography / Catering: Piper Johnson Catering / Floral Design: Lavender Floral / Wedding Cakes: Sweetie Pies / Wedding Gown: Bonny / Venue: Garden Pavilion / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung via Glen Rose Bridal / Ceremony Music: Katrina Wreede / Bow Ties: Etsy / Reception Decor, Boutonnieres, Corsages + Bridesmaid Pomanders: The Bride / Groom + Groomsmen Suits: Indochino / Rings + Bride’s Necklace: Laurie Kottke Fine Jewelers / Bride’s Shoes: Pink Studio / Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas + Friend of the Bride