A DIY Backyard Wedding Filled with Fabulous Florals: Jen & Dan
I love the idea of a backyard wedding. For most it will be the place where either the bride or groom will have spent most of their lives growing up and will hold lots of precious memories, there is a good chance it will continue to remain in the family for a long time to come so what better place to make more memories and mark the start of your new life with your significant other.
Of course holding your wedding outdoors does come with some amount of concern, for Jen & Dan the main worry was the looming rainclouds overhead, but it seems mother nature was on their side and the rain held off for the entire day.
The floral elements in this wedding have real wow factor, I can’t stop swooning over the floral arch and the aisle is lined with the prettiest array of flowers. The bouquets are filled with pastel coloured wild flowers and succulents, and there is even a tandem bike used to display more floral beauties giving this wedding a real shabby chic element.
Be prepared to fall in love…
We wanted the wedding to be unique and comfortable for both ourselves and the guests. We had originally looked into venues all over New Hampshire. Unfortunately, we had time constraints that meant some of our top choices had already been booked. After the suggestion by Jen’s mother that we could have the wedding at their home, we discussed it and decided that it made sense for a whole bunch of reasons. Her parents have a large piece of property with a rustic barn behind their house, which we thought would be a great spot to set up the reception. Once we made the decision, the pressure was on to get everything ready (we had about two months).
Jen’s dress was from David’s Bridal in Nashua, NH. It may not fit a storybook narrative, but there was no grand vision that was ultimately realized with the dress. Jen, friends and family visited the bridal shop and had everything picked out in one day, including bridesmaid dresses. Her decisiveness is one of my favorite things about her – going shopping with her is never a chore. My tuxedo and all of the groomsmen’s tuxedos were from Men’s Wearhouse.
The décor for the wedding is where we really had fun. Nearly all of the décor was handmade by us, or was made/owned by someone we know and borrowed for the wedding. We purchased very little to decorate. We thought that having a backyard wedding in the lakes region of NH should have a country feel. Jen saw some ideas on a few websites, and we picked the ideas we liked and went to work. I built the arbor with a little help from Jen – we took the trees from around the property, cut them down and put them together with heavy construction screws.
The table card holders were made of birch logs from the property – we used a sliding miter saw to cut kerfs into them to hold the cards. The centerpiece arrangements were set on slices of mature pine trees that we had cut up. We sanded a few of them smooth and used them to make guest “logs” for the guests to sign with sharpies. They have since dried, and we applied some lacquer to ensure they look good when we look at them ten years from now. The bars were handmade by a friend, and they generously allowed us to borrow them for the wedding. All of the signs directing people to the bar, the bathrooms, the ceremony, etc… were made by a friend of Jen’s family, and a few new ones were made by some of us the day before the wedding. Many of the people in the family are hunters, and had a great idea to make “candles” by cutting chainsaw kerfs into dry logs and filling them with a mixture of various oils. The oils saturate the wood and allow them to burn for hours – lots of the guests enjoyed the candles and stood around them during the reception and chatted. The beer and water were put into an old canoe tipped onto its side and filled with ice. Jen bought the paper lanterns online, which we lit by making “throwies” out of LEDs and small batteries and hanging them inside by fishing line.
The day was fantastic. We held the ceremony in the front yard, under threat of rain that day (we were lucky and it never happened). We had guests decorate the arbor with fresh flowers provided by the florist before the ceremony. Jen and her bridal party were at the house getting ready that morning, and I arrived about 30 minutes before the ceremony. We ended up waiting a bit before we started, as I had a longtime friend in my wedding party traveling from New York who hadn’t arrived yet – he showed up, threw some gel in his hair and jumped into his tux. The ceremony was short and sweet – we have been to enough weddings to know what it’s like being a guest enduring an hour of poetry and biblical verses. We’d rather get to the fun part – it’s a celebration, after all!
The reception was perfect. The weather cooperated, and the day ended up being very comfortable. The meals were excellent – one of the biggest compliments we had during and after the day was about how delicious all the food was. Annie the caterer really did a nice job with all of the details.
Super Suppliers – Photography: Aphrodite Wedding Photos// Hair: The Vault Hair Salon// Makeup: Carrie Pauliukonis at Carrie’s Eco Spa Boutique// Shoes: David Tutera// Catering: Annie’s Café and Catering// Cake: Annie’s Café and Catering// Flower girl basket: Etsy//Ring bearer log slice: Etsy//The tent/linen/tables/chairs: Taylor Rental// Flowers: Lakes Region Floral Studio// Brides dress & bridesmaid dresses: Davids Bridal// Men’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse// Music: friend of the family – Rick Lee// Lanterns: The Paper Lantern Store//
Can you believe Jen and Dan pulled this whole wedding together in just two months? Didn’t I tell you that arch was a beauty!
Much Bespoke Love