Planning & Executing My Dream Backyard Wedding
Planning my dream backyard wedding in 3 months was not easy but with the help of friends, amazing local vendors and a lot of family we were somehow able to pull it off!
I approached designing this wedding similarly to how I would design someone’s house. I thought about each individual space and how people would interact and experience it and also, of course, how it would photograph.
I thought about where I wanted the guests to go and what I wanted them to see, starting with where the guests would arrive. We decorated Ida’s front porch and all around the house with amazing greenery from Faire Floral and plants from Austin Plant Supply. This really helped set the tone of the wedding in addition to Ida’s paint job she got prior to decorating from Portola Paints (color is Disco White!) - doesn’t she look pretty? Inside of the house we also had flowers on the dining table and in the bathrooms - simple, beautiful, colorful arrangements that made a statement without busting the budget. I knew people would want to see the house so I had to make sure to decorate it accordingly!
We had cocktail hour in the backyard and on our new (!!!) deck, with beautiful wood from Delta Millworks. We served delicious small bites and drinks from Comedor/Garage ATX. The drinks provided were a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options thanks to some local friends at Desert Door, Richards Rainwater and Ready to Pop. We even had a custom cocktail thanks to Richards and our amazing bartender. I placed this portion of the evening near the dance floor so that the lounge furniture and bistro tables could be utilized for both events.
We had the ceremony on one part of the field, dining in the other part of the field and the dance floor in between. We kept the field grass long except for winding paths Adam and I marked out and mowed. By having each “event” throughout the evening in different parts of the land it encouraged people to experience all of the areas Ida has to offer. Some of my favorite photos are of the guests, especially the kids, running along the paths through the field.
It was important for us to have our ceremony space overlooking the river and the field. Adam built our arbor & my talented friend Kate & her team from Faire Floral made it extra special with flowers and greenery. I LOVE flowers but Kate and I always get sad when cut flowers die so we decided to decorate the aisle with potted white iceberg roses instead. These I later planted and also gifted to some of the people who helped out at the wedding. My brother & brother-in-law set the tone on the instruments playing “Fools Rush In” and one of our best friends, Garrett, officiated.
The dining experience was absolutely magical. We wanted it to feel like we were at a big family dinner and mission accomplished! With the help of Adam’s family, we created a space with string lights, long tables and the same chairs we used for the ceremony from Loot Rentals and simple yet elegant table settings from Table Manners Tx. The amazing menu by Philip Speer was detailed and executed by Giovani from Comedor ATX ; with a buffet of meat and veggie options it married Adam’s and my tastes perfectly.
Since we are in our mid 30s, most of my friends already have kiddos and we love them dearly so I knew I was fine with having children at the wedding (we had around 17 kids in our actual wedding ceremony!) but wanted to give them some distractions so our friends could enjoy themselves also. We had a tent for them to play in during dinner thanks to the Get Out. We decorated the tent, provided coloring books and toys and had a sitter on site to help out as well.
To get the party really started we created our own plywood DIY dance floor with string lights which was perfect. I placed the lounge furniture I found at Round Top around with a mix of bistro tables I had made to allow for hang time and dancing. My friend Matt Johns was the DJ and absolutely killed it. Although I had a cake table on display for desert time, I snuck away with Adam to do a private cake cutting moment (again, I’m shy and hate being the center of attention, haha) and then everyone ate their weight in the yummiest desserts with a side of tea and coffee (Adam’s mom’s side is from Europe so a warm drink to top off dessert was a must.) Giovanni even did personal size trifle cakes based off of a family recipe of my mom’s.
We ended the night with fireworks thanks to my friend Sarah Imparato. Our officiant, Garrett, Adam’s brother, Elliot and our dear friend Eduardo put on quite the show! We then scrambled to pack a bag, put the farm animals to bed and plan a getaway drive (oops, I forgot to arrange this all ahead of time!) and said farewell under a spray of sparklers.
A few more personal thoughts on my approach to all of this. (I promise I’ll do another post on even more specifics like my dress, makeup/hair, more on costs, and MORE PHOTOS etc.) I definitely thought of every moment in terms of experience and also, of course, photos. I basically made my incredible friend, Whitney McGuire, my wedding consultant and asked her opinion on everything. She was our photographer and just has more talent than anyone I know so I made sure she approved all my decisions so they would be captured perfectly in photos. Adam and I aren’t super traditional so we let go of a lot of the standard wedding traditions. We both were on board with not having wedding parties. We have so many friends from so many parts of our lives that it seemed overwhelming to have to narrow down the list of people we love. First dances, bouquet tosses and a big cake cutting moment were things that I felt like would take away from our time with guests during this already whirlwind of an evening. Plus, again, I don’t like being the center of attention so this helped eliminate that worry. Since we did this without a wedding planner, in three months, while working and remodeling and landscaping our house (whew!) I was determined to have Adam involved in every decision whether he wanted to be or not. I think ultimately he appreciated it and it made us both enjoy the entire experience as it unfolded. Were there things I would have changed? YES. But in the end we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We feel so lucky to have such supportive and talented friends. Community is incredibly important to me (and believe it or not I’m pretty shy and private!) so having as many personal friends involved in the intimate moments as possible was something I knew from the start that I wanted. So many friends and family rallied around us to help before, during and after the wedding and I think that was the most special part of it all.