DIY Backyard Country Wedding with Rustic Charm
April 25, 2014
DIY weddings always make me completely giddy. I love unfolding all the layers of love that go into a wedding like this beauty captured by Jamie Macdonald. Because you know every pretty picture tells a story of hours of thought, so my figurative hat goes off to this adorable couple - you DIY'ed your way to quite the gorgeous fête! See it all here.
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From the Bride...When my husband Blair and I first got engaged, we knew right away that we wanted an intimate wedding ceremony at Blair’s parents beautiful country home in King City, Ontario. We set out to plan our small wedding, and in the process we decided that the wedding in King City would be followed by a cocktail party at Arta Gallery in Toronto's Distillery District. As this plan began to unfold, we found that we loved the combination of intimate backyard country wedding/chic reception in the city. As a couple who both grew up in the country and now live and work in Toronto, we found this day really suited our backgrounds and personalities. So, now I will give you the details of the day as well as the little touches we added to make our wedding an extra special autumn event for our loved ones.

Wedding and Lunch in King City - Like many, autumn is my absolute favourite time of year - I love the colours, sweater weather, thanksgiving, PIE, apple picking, apple cider, and the list goes on and on. I wanted our wedding in King to reflect all wonderful things 'fall,' so I spent my summer months crafting and coming up with ideas for my vision to come to fruition. Below I have listed a few of the DIY items that we came up with for the wedding.

The Ceremony: Our archway was constructed by a friend and was made of birch and covered with a beautiful garland created by our florist. This was the focal point of the ceremony and looked striking with the pathways and colourful trees in the background. Hay Bales - Though it took some time to find just the right height and type of hay (or should I say straw which is actually very different from hay, which we did not know) for our seating, we finally found a local farm that made bales suitable for seating. I covered each bale with white fabric I bought and cut from Fabricland. Confetti - On top of each bale I placed a small burlap sac ( with dried lavender (Kensington Market) for the guests to throw when we did our processional after the wedding. That was such a great moment, having lavender thrown on us and laughing with guests after the ceremony was over! I was still finding lavender in my hair on the second day of our honeymoon! Flowers-as mentioned, we had the gorgeous garland on our archway and we also put wildflowers in mason jars that I had decorated with either twine or ribbon up the aisle hanging with twine from Sheppard’s hooks (Canadian Tire). It was a great way to highlight where the aisle was in the yard and looked great next to the hay bales. Flower Girl - Our niece Avery, who is 6 months old, was our little ring bearer. We had her dressed in a white Gap dress and a sunflower headband I bought at a craft store in Leslieville in Toronto. Her mom tied our rings to her wrist (triple knotted because she was afraid they would fall off - see my struggling in picture #4, Avery did not like waiting!) and brought her up when it was time to exchange rings and vows. It was so cute and Avery's facial expressions, as always, were priceless!

Food & Drink: The bar - We purchased apple cider from the local apple orchard (Pine Farms Orchard) across from the house in King City and I placed mason jars decorated with yellow twine and pink striped paper straws around so people would have a glass for apple cider/water/sparkling water. This was a hit with guests! I also made chalkboard signs with bar menu as well as a schedule of events for people on the bar. Beer and wine were placed in stainless steel bins so guests could grab as they wanted. We tried to keep the vibe as casual as possible!

The Lunch Table- As Blair and I are both environmentally conscious people, another theme of our wedding was 'local' so we attempted to have everything cooked, baked, grown and made locally (or at least within 50km of our event) whenever we could. For our place settings for lunch, we purchased apples from the Pine Farms Orchard and I printed names on a thick card stock and cut them into small leaves that were pinned onto each apple. These were placed on top of the white napkins on the plates. The tables had white table clothes with burlap runners as the base. For centrepieces I purchased a variety of white milk vases of various shapes and sizes from a Toronto vendor and we separated bushels of local wildflowers into each vase. On each side of the vases we put small mason jars that I decorated with twine and one garden rose in each. It was simple and beautiful, just like we wanted!

Lunch - Playing With Fire, a Toronto based company, did our catering for the lunch. Head chef, Jenna Wilson, created a beautiful autumn menu with fresh candied local beets and goat cheese, wild orzo salad, Prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin, roasted sweet potato and a crowd favourite, squash gnocchi! This amazing buffet lunch was a big highlight of the day for our guests and us as we sat warm and toasty under the tent on a chilly (and cloudy, but no rain!) autumn day.

Dessert – Emily Smith-Clipperton, owner of Cupcake Cassidy’s, is a beyond talented baker based out of her country farm in Caledon, Ontario. Nearly all of Emily’s ingredients are made, grown and produced on her property, and you can really tell when you taste her desserts. For our lunch, Emily made individually sized pumpkin and apple pies with cute, handmade tags for each one. For our party in Toronto, she made her ‘cupcakes in a jar,’ a crowd hit. This take home was a detail people are still talking about as they loved that they were able to take these delicious, layered treats home to enjoy that night, and for many, the next morning for breakfast. Why not!?

Music is important to both Blair and myself. We met at a friends concert in Toronto and our favourite times are spent going to concerts and discovering new bands together. Of course, music was also very important at our wedding. Blair’s brother in law, a professional musician and music teacher, played his acoustic guitar while guests were entering and after our ceremony, creating a relaxed vibe for our guests. My friend from high school, Mark, played the bagpipes as the bridesmaids and myself walked down the aisle. It was a tribute to my late father, a man proud of his Scottish heritage. In the downtime while we were taking pictures guest enjoyed bocce ball, the guitar music and life sized jenga!

Wedding Reception - After spending a wonderful and intimate afternoon in King City, we loaded everyone onto a limo bus and headed for the Distillery District. We were so excited to see all of our family and friends and dance, eat and chat the night away! We decided against a sit down meal, and opted instead for a cocktail reception with delicious hors' dourves done by Toben Food by Design, a Toronto based catering company. Toben created a delicious and filling menu, our favourites including truffled mac n’ cheese, handmade butternut squash ravioli, chicken steam buns, crispy fried fish tacos, and tequila lime roasted garlic shrimp. It was all soooo good!

The real highlight of our night however was the speeches; crying, laughing, multimedia, and a song sang to myself by Blair with guitar accompaniment. It was truly amazing, and we spent the rest of the night dancing and beaming from ear to ear!

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