Monday, marked two whole months of marriage for Stephane and I. It's crazy how quickly time passes by, it feels like last week! Yesterday I shared our backyard and how far it's come over the past few years. Today I want to give you a little peek into how that same backyard was transformed as the site of our wedding this summer. And a few other details of the day too!.
Since the day we got engaged, Steph and I knew that we wanted our wedding to be simple and intimate. We even considered eloping but ultimately, I knew I wanted my mom and dad to be there. We decided to keep it small and host it right at home in our backyard. On a Wednesday night, with a raindate! (That luckily we didn't have to use:) We had a total of 40 people which included only our immediate family and our closest friends.
The plan was to always remember three words: simple, intimate and relaxed. Throughout the planning and decision making process I tried to keep that in mind. I knew that sometimes things can snowball and that the world of Pinterest would tell me that things were to be done a certain way. We really wanted it to feel more like a backyard cocktail party than a traditional wedding.
We spent the morning of the wedding helping with the set up. My sister and I made flower arrangements with flowers from the garden mixed with lots of greenery provided by our florist. Steph made sure the yard looked good and helped set up all the linens, glassware, dishes etc. I'm sure some would think we were crazy for being so hands on the day of but I wanted to be part of the process. I love that stuff and couldn't have imagined leaving it to someone else.
After heading out to have my hair and makeup done, we both got dressed together at home. I even helped him tie his tie and decide which shirt to wear. When he left with one of our photographers, I slipped into my dress (had to have at least one secret!) and then left with our other photographer to meet him for our "first look".
I love that photo on the left. He was seeing my dress for the first time and it was the first time we were really 'alone' that day. It was also the first time in the day that I thought.. ok, this is really happening! I would be lying if I said we were feeling stress free. A severe thunderstorm watch had been issued earlier in the day and it was definitely distracting me. But when we saw each other there and all was ready back at the house, I let it all go. It was out of our control and just decided to roll with it.
I think one of my favorite parts of the wedding was the very beginning. With all of our couple and family photos out of the way, we headed back to the house and were able to greet all our guests as they arrived. It was so nice to hug them and and welcome them all with the excitement of the ceremony looming. I didn't walk down an aisle but rather, when we felt everyone had arrived and had a drink in hand, we asked them to gather around the tree and the ceremony started.
The ceremony was very personal. We said our vows and had my dad and Stephane's daughter each do a reading. Steph's father passed away a few years ago and we were able to use his wedding ring which was pretty special. Our mothers were our witnesses.
After the ceremony, it was time to eat! My best friend Emily is a chef and she did all the catering for the wedding. I cannot thank her enough! She had it all prepared beforehand and we hired two people, including an oyster shucker, to handle it all throughout the evening so that she could kickback and enjoy herself.
For us, it was a highlight. Emily even surprised us with homemade lavender citrus ice cream and waffle cones as a late night snack. Everyone is still raving about how good the food was!
I kept most of the decor to a minimum. As much as I love a wedding abundant in details and decor, I wanted our own event to be simple and not overdone. I stuck with lots candlelight, string lights and greenery/flowers.. with a little bit of geometric thrown in!
Our florist was a gem. I've worked with Michael on many other projects and I knew he understood my style. I wanted a bouquet of various greens with possibly some white flowers thrown in. Otherwise, I didn't give any other direction than that. I also wanted as much loose greenery as I could get to use in flower arrangements and as little details throughout. He knocked it out of the park. Not only did I love my flowers but the smell of eucalyptus and rosemary throughout our house lasted for days!
The boutonnieres and corsages were kept simple with greens and small modern flowers. For centerpieces on our bartop tables, I used photos of us, votive candles and gold geometric sculptures. Michael wired greenery and flowers to the sculptures. There were extras so we hung them on the fence above the drink station and strung them from the trees.
I count myself lucky to have two good friends, one a makeup artist and one a hairstylist. I had worked with them on other projects and knew I needed them for my own wedding. It was so fun to spend those few hours before the wedding with them. Apparently, I was quite a relaxed bride! They were also guests at the wedding so were on hand for touch ups as the night wore one!
I can't say enough about our photographer. There was no question that we wanted Rachel to capture the day. Not only is she a friend but we love how her bright photos tell a story and truly capture the emotion of the day. Not to mention, she is the most comfortable photographer on the planet to be around! This was key for my camera-shy husband. She also brought along her sister Kim, as a second shooter, who we adore as well. Kim was the talent behind our amazing invitations.
all photos by Rachel Peters Photography
Ultimately, it was a perfect night. The weather was perfect.. That weather watch never amounted to anything at all! There were a few mishaps, like forgetting the rings in the house (oops!) and the police arriving to shut down our dance party (he was quite sweet about it:). But I'd do it all the same way tomorrow. The evening went by so quickly as we mingled with our guests, sampled the food, toasted with champagne and danced the night away with our tree lit up like a disco ball. Such a memorable night.
Dress / BHLDN
Shoes / BCBG
Hair / Cheryl Weeks Hairstylist
Makeup / Michelle Cudmore Makeup Artist
Nails / Mint Spa
Invitations / Kim Roach Design
Wedding Commisioner / Wendell Cameron
Catering / Emily Mckeown
Florist / Prestige Floral Studio
Photography / Rachel Peters Photography