Backyard Wedding by Linda Chaja Photography + Magnolia Event Design
March 12, 2012
Outdoor Weddings
I think that in my previous life...I got hitched in California. In a rustic, but elegant, kind of quirky, kind of sophisticated outdoor celebration. With tons of gorgeous fresh-from-the-garden but in that elevated, refined kind of way florals. And a lace gown. And a just like home kind of reception. Put simply, a wedding just like this one. Photographed beautifully by Linda Chaja, with a design by Magnolia Event that is one part stunning, one part total yumminess. And if you can believe it, the pics that I included are hardly the tip of the ice berg. There is so much more right here. Though I must warn you. Total wedding jealously might promptly ensue.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Lindsey of Magnolia Event Design... When I first met with Abby and George, I knew this was going to be a very creative and romantic wedding. Abby had pulled and printed tons of wedding ideas and items that she loved, and it became my job to make it uniquely her own. We decided to do the ceremony in the backyard of her home under the large oak tree. To me, trees are very grounding and conjure up the feeling of forever and many years, all feelings that I think should be associated with a wedding. Initially we had planned on a simple draping treatment, but the day before the wedding, the arborist accidentally cut the branch we had planned on using. We decided right then and there to add a simple chandelier as our focal point, still keeping things simple in the ceremony area. The guests approached the ceremony area by walking down a cobblestone path. Along the way, there were photos of the couple through the years, glass-blown hearts, a hot air balloon vignette, an antique drafting table that held vintage hankies for guests to take and a welcome note from the couple. At the end of the path, there was an iced tea and lemonade station, as well as lavender tea cookies and baklava made by George's Greek family members. After the ceremony, guests moved to the pool area for drinks and an array of tasty appetizers.

The reception was vintage chic. Abby collected vintage plates from flea markets and antique stores. We ordered a mix of flatware from the local rental company and really made each place setting unique. The centerpieces were filled with gorgeous florals, antique trays, collected vases and tea cups. Abby and George's sweetheart table was housed under an open air structure that was wrapped in moss. A custom-made tea cup chandelier hung over them, and the cake sat a top a Victorian tea cart. We really wanted the guests to be surprised by all the details. When the guests left they were each given a carved wine box with Abby and George's names and wedding date and inside they found a custom labeled wine bottle and a vintage hankie.

The invitation was a work of art! The piece we found first was a old-looking bird seed box. From there, we designed a whole invitation with this little box in mind. When the guests unwrapped their invitations, which had hand-collected old stamps on the front of the bird seed box, inside was a white hankie with a crochet trim folded in the shape of an envelope and tied with a  skeleton key. Upon opening the hankie, there was the invitation, which was an informal letter to each guest asking them to join Abby and George at their home and be a witness to their marriage. Welcome bags were created by the talented Tracy Lazaro and filled with Abby's family's hair products, handmade granola and muffins and many other wonderful treats. 

Wedding Photography: Linda Chaja Photography / Wedding Venue: The Bride's Home / Event Coordination + Design: Lindsey Hartsough of Magnolia Event Design / Floral Design: NLC Productions / Wedding Invitations + Welcome Bags: Lazaro Press / Wedding Dress: Marisa Bridals / Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Groom's Suit: Zegna / Groom's Shoes: Gucci / Bridesmaids' Dresses: BCBG / Groomsmen's Attire: Ralph Lauren / Rings: Bryant & Sons / Photo Booth: Nick of Open Air Photobooth ( / Lighting & Fabric Decor: Bella Vista Designs