Colorful Black-Tie Summer Backyard Wedding in Michigan

Posted by Caitlin on Oct 08, 2013

Rebecca & David 

September 7

Clinton Township, Michigan  


Q & A with the Bride:

1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?

We decided on our venue the weekend we became engaged. Dave asked me where I would like to get married, and I told him I despised cookie-cutter banquet halls and the restrictions that are so often laced into contractual agreements and would love to find a private property where we could design our own venue from scratch. He suggested getting married in his parents’ backyard, and to our surprise, his parents agreed to it! It was where we met for our first date seven years ago. Our venue was incredibly special to us; we knew it was the one because it was the only one we even considered!

2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?

1. Our flowers were definitely one of my favorite details. While planning our wedding, I went from knowing absolutely nothing about flowers to learning more about flower variations, seasons, and hardiness than I ever would have imagined. While we wanted our guests to feel at ease at our reception, I did not want our garden wedding to look like a garden party. I realized that our flowers would set the tone for the evening, and I wanted them to be whimsical and romantic. They were stunning.
2. Another favorite detail was our yay flags. While I’m certainly not the first person to think of this idea, as someone who exclaims the word “yay” on a daily basis, I knew these flags would be perfect for us. My parents and I invested several hours and sacrificed several fingers to the hot glue gun while hand-crafting 150 flags with hand-tied bells for our guests. Before we walked back down the aisle as a married couple, we both couldn’t help but laugh when we turned around to the sound of dozens of tiny bells while little flags flapped in the air.
3. I also loved my bridal flats. After realizing that high-heels were not an option for our garden wedding, I spent several months looking for the perfect flats or wedges. I am so happy that I decided to purchase ballet flats because I was on my feet all night conversing with guests, and I was unbelievably comfortable!
3. Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
The one moment I cannot stop thinking about is our first look. I knew I would be nervous on our wedding day, but I was far more emotional than I could have ever imagined. I am so happy that Dave and I were able to see each other (and shed a few tears together) before walking down the aisle. It was such an incredible, intimate moment. Seeing each other calmed my nerves so I could soak in the beautiful words spoken at our ceremony. 


Sweet Summer Backyard Wedding in South Carolina

Posted by Caitlin on Sep 20, 2013

Margaret & Jesus

June 22  

Beaufort, South Carolina 


Q & A with the Bride:

1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?

We got married in my grandparent’s backyard.  I spent most of my holidays at their home growing up, and my parents got engaged and married there, so it is a very special place for me. Even though my husband and I are from DC, we wanted to share Low Country with our friends.

2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?

My first favorite part was getting ready with all my amazing best friends and sisters upstairs in Mimi (my grandmother’s) bathroom. I have so many memories of watching Mimi put on her red lipstick in that mirror and getting ready there reminded me what a beautiful legacy I get to be a part of. Second, at the end of the ceremony, my cousins surprised us with a little flash mob and sang “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher” as our recessional. It was an awesome way to get the party started. Lastly, the setting was perfect — we had a full moon, high tide which made for a gorgeous evening.

3. Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.

The moment from my wedding that I hope I’ll hold with me always is standing on my Dad’s arm at the top of the stairs on my grandparent’s porch with my niece playing the cello and most everyone I love in the world in front of me on the lawn. It’s a surreal and very joyful perspective to have.


Kelly & Andrew

June 1

Fairfield, Connecticut


Q & A with the Bride:

1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?

Burr Homestead is a charming, sun-filled historic house (John Hancock got married there!) with majestic columns on the front porch, thick wooden floors panels, three fireplaces, and a festive mural. And the outside of the house was exactly what we wanted. It had a brick entry with green hedges, large side lawns with enormous oak trees, and a colorful garden with a pond in the back. It was a blank canvas for us to mold into the fun, backyard wedding that we wanted.

2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?

1. Two food trucks! We were so thrilled to have Caseus Cheese Truck (from New Haven) and Luke’s Lobster Roll (from NYC) come to Fairfield for the cocktail hour. Lobster rolls are one of my favorite foods, and they were a big hit along with the gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches!

2. Our wedding planner (Michelle Neff of Dreaming Tree Events) decorated the outside of the house with vintage pieces of furniture, yard games (custom-made bags and bocce) and Chinese lanterns. The lanterns, which were hung in the trees, reflected the afternoon spring light. I could not have imagined it would look so warm and inviting.

3. Family and friends are really important to us, and we wanted to incorporate their pictures inside the house. It took us a while to pick the ones we wanted to highlight but loved that we could include pictures of almost everyone at our wedding.

 3. Give us the one moment in your wedding you can’t stop thinking about.

We had an incredibly hard time choosing our first dance song, but the one song we immediately agreed on was for the cake cutting. I don’t know why, but “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show seemed like the most perfect song to play at that point in the night. The song meant so much to us, and we jumped right on the dance floor after we cut the cake. No one was paying too much attention to us at that point, and we really had a moment to ourselves singing and slow dancing to the song that really felt like “our” song.


Elegant Backyard Summer Wedding in California

Posted by Caitlin on Jul 01, 2013

Josephine & Erick

August 11

Belmont, California


From the photographer:

“Josephine and Erick are a soft-spoken couple, who reside outside of San Francisco. They are the proud parents of Bodie; probably the cutest French bulldog/ring bearer ever. Their wedding was held at their own home overlooking the hills of Santa Cruz. With the help of their coordinator, Yelena Johnson, they transformed their home into the elegant venue that it became on their wedding day. Guests were seated at two 24 foot dinner tables, and during dinner, they were pleasantly entertained by a slideshow movie of the bride and groom while feasting on local cuisine and wines.

The bride and groom chose to host their wedding at their home because their wedding day wasn’t just about celebrating their own marriage but also about celebrating friends and family. And they couldn’t think of a better way to do that than to welcome them into their home. Not just welcoming physically but welcoming them into the union of their life. Of course, having the wedding at home meant their French bulldog Bodie and his sister Bella could join too!

Everyone dined underneath the stars, and they ran in and out in between courses, crowding the kitchen island bar for celebratory toasts. They danced the night away in the dining room while overlooking the bay from the terrace.” — Jaime Viera, Viera Photography


Wedding Venues 101

Posted by Kim on Jan 15, 2013

Looking for a wedding venue that fits your needs can be one of the trickiest (and unfortunately, stressful) parts of wedding planning. Happily, once you’ve booked your venue, the rest of the planning process will fall into place easily (we promise!). But how do you even start searching for a wedding site? First, you’ll need to pick what venue “style” most suits your personality. Here’s a mini-glossary of wedding venue types to help you get started. And don’t forget to check out our Vendor Reviews to find the perfect wedding locale near you.

Photo by Anna and Spencer Photography

Ballroom: Want a wedding that’s grand, elegant, and formal? There’s nothing like a richly appointed ballroom. Ideal for black-tie weddings with a big guest list, ballrooms (either in hotels or other historic sites), often have in-house catering and rentals to make the planning process a snap. But it’s important to note: When choosing a color scheme for a ballroom wedding, you’ll have to take the room’s permanent fixtures into account – from the carpeting to the chandeliers to the wall color. You wouldn’t want your flowers and other decor to clash with what’s already there.