Is there anything more intimate than a backyard wedding? Surrounded by the people you love and the memories of your youth, we can’t think of a more charming way to begin the next chapter of your life. For Chelsea, her grandparents’ backyard proved to be the perfect spot to say “I do” to her soulmate, Kevin. There, under the twinkle lights her mom and dad strung up, surrounded by the flowers their friends spent much of the day arranging, these two loves birds were right at home.
Who, What, Where ~~ Ceremony & Reception: Chelsea’s Grandparents’ Home.
Photography: Jason Domingues Photography. Dress: Bridal Extraordinaire.
Catering: Gregory’s Creative Cuisine. Cake: Dolce Baking Co. Stationery: Tie That Binds Weddings. Kevin’s Wood Ring: Stout Woodworks.
From The Bride, Chelsea…
After the first few months of dating, Kevin and I each knew we had found what we had always been looking for. Our souls had met their match, and so naturally, I became infatuated with wedding planning. We sat down and made a list of what truly mattered to us regarding our wedding day. The list included intimate family, my grandfather as the minister, and holding the wedding on our anniversary, July 2nd.
Following those goals, we decided to have the wedding in my grandparent’s small but lovely backyard where I had played so often as a child. The French language has importance to us because I speak French fluently and Kevin proposed to me in French (so that even in a crowd of family and friends only I knew the special words he was asking me.) So, we decided to infuse the details with a vintage french flea market feel. The dessert table featured macarons, palmiers and a banner reading “patisserie”. We also included songs from Carla Bruni and Edith Piaf on our post-ceremony playlist.
To keep the wedding budget-friendly, I hand-crafted most of the decor. We hunted through our favorite antique stores for pretty plates and candlesticks. I purchased and cut the burlap table runners, glued together the table numbers, hand painted the wedding signs and hot-glued moss to our initials.
Being from a very closely-knit family also meant that their incorporation was very important to us. While we did not have a traditional processession, my two little sisters walked before me as my flower girls (the youngest held a sign reading “Here Comes the Bride”,) and my father walked me down the aisle, which was one of the most meaningful walks of my life. My grandmother’s cameo brooch decorated my bouquet as my “something old”, and I wore my other grandmother’s pearl necklace as my “something borrowed.” My “something blue” was our initials and wedding date hand-stitched by my grandmother into my dress, and my something new was my wedding gown, which my mother and I found and purchased together, a moment I will always cherish.
What happened on the day of the wedding was simply a blur of love. As soon as the day began friends and family were helping left and right. My parents were stringing twinkle lights through the trees, my grandfather was practicing his sermon, and all of the women were busy making our famous pies for dessert. The day was filled with surprises that I did not know about: beginning with Kevin passing out lyrics to our first dance song so that when we began dancing we were surrounded with a chorus of family singing to us, and ending with my grandfather passing out sparklers to everyone to light as we cut our cake. Where I thought there wouldn’t be room for dancing, my family kicked off their shoes, turned up the music and made that little garden feel like the greatest celebration I had ever attended.
That summer night, under stars and sparklers, the wedding process came to an end. But what Kevin and I knew as the guests began to trickle out and the caterers cleaned up the tables was that while our wedding was only the beginning of our life together, that day showed us what love for family is all about– and we are thrilled to be continuing that tradition of love through our marriage.