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Los Angeles Backyard Wedding: Misti & Asaf

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Having been to a lot of their friend’s weddings, Misti and Asaf always enjoyed the more casual celebrations the most. So for their own in October, they wanted it to be similarly laid back and full of personal touches. They held the wedding in their own house, which they remodelled especially for the event. This added to the no pressure party atmosphere and kept the day small and intimate.

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“We own a Craftsman house built in 1905″, wrote the bride, ” and we only moved in a week before our wedding! My husband is a designer and builder. We planned a 10 week remodelling before the wedding. There was a ton of work done on the house. Some of the work included: completely remodelling the kitchen, putting in new hardwood floors, new landscaping, and painting the house inside and out.”

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Heavily Tattooed Gothic Wedding at Home: Jesse and Chris

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Oh I do love when I get to blog both the engagement shoot and wedding of such an awesome couple. I actually don’t post too many of the former, but Jesse and Chris’s cemetery session really stood out so I just had to! I made their photographers, Sarah and Rachel of Sugar and Spice Weddings, promise that she’d send me their wedding pictures after it happened too, and I’m thrilled to share them with you all today. You’ll see why…

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The wedding was held at their own home. They didn’t have a set theme, only that they wanted it to be very ‘them.’ Their colours were black, pink and purple. “Our wedding was very intimate and small”, explained Jesse. “All of our guests all have a very close relationship to us so it was very emotional and happy. We never felt so much happiness and love. The fact that it was at our home made it so intimate and everyone we loved was together at the same time to share and celebrate our love for each other.”

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Ethical Wedding at Home: Feng & David

Simple weddings are often the best, and for Feng & David, doing something low-key and ethical was important. So they had a super tiny civil ceremony with only their closest friends and family in attendance, and hosted the reception at their own house! Yes, Feng put on an apron and served all the food herself!

“Our wedding budget was £1500, but we went over this with our photographer and our rings”, began the bride. “Our rings were pretty expensive as they were custom made using fair-trade gold, recycled gold & conflict-free gems by Amanda Li Hope. We were married at Oxford Registry Office and our reception was in our tiny house in East Oxford.”

“To decorate the house we scoured the markets, car boot sales and charity shops, and raided my parent’s hoard of strange wooden objects”, Feng continued. “I made paper pompoms out of retro dress making patterns and flowers from David’s ‘Physics World’ Magazines – combining the two things that we both do. One of our best finds was a 50p Readers Digest atlas on which we printed all of our invites & turned into paper flowers. Although David didn’t take part in the DIY, he let me cut up his physics magazines and was a constant source of support and sage advice. He came back one day surprised that I’d painted chevrons all over the dining room wall! I was addicted to reading wedding blogs (especially Rock n Roll Bride) as a source of inspiration.”

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A Mountaintop Homespun Wedding: Allison & Scott

Allison & Scott were married at 4,629 ft, at their favourite place – the top of Max Patch Bald, NC. They hosted their reception in their own home. “The décor of the ceremony was the panoramic view of the Smokey/blue Ridge Mountains and the wild buttercup flowers”, they began. “At the reception, drinks were served in mason jars, farm tables were used for dining, and the flowers were roses and hydrangeas mixed with sunflowers in mason jars. Vintage plates and napkins were used and little jars of local Tennessee wildflower honey and dippers were at each table setting as favors. Our home was built in the 1800s and we wrapped the columns in garlands and roses.”

The whole wedding had a really personal feel and everything they included was significant.  A keen hiker, the groom and his best man camped out the night before near the ceremony site, and the bride and her bridesmaids stayed at a cabin just a mile up the road. The groom, his best man and all the guests were already on top of the mountain the morning of the wedding.

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A Tiny Homespun Wedding with a Wedding Cake Made of Steel: Taylor & James

Taylor & James kept things small… tiny in fact. They were married at home, the bride’s father officiated, and their only guests were their immediate family – 6 adults in total, with one extra, Taylor’s sister, who watched the ceremony over Skype.

“We are who we are and we do what we want,” explained Taylor, “so I guess that makes us Rock n Roll! The things that make us happiest about us is that we have metal dust running through our veins… literally probably at this point! Casting was one of the first things I realized that James and I both were in love with. I gave James iron ore as part of his wedding gift… it’s what iron truly is at its core. It’s beautiful and it comes out of the ground. It’s probably the most meaningful gift I could give anyone ever that shares that love with me.”

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A DIY Carnival Wedding at Home: Bethany & Eric

Bethany & Eric’s carnival-themed wedding was held at their home, Antebellum Farmhouse in Granville, Ohio. “The inspiration for our wedding really started with our pre-civil war home”, Bethany told me. “When Eric and I first saw our house with our realtor we both stood on the front porch with tears in our eyes. We had not even walked through the front door but we knew this was our home. Eric looked at me and said ‘we could be married here.’ He then carried me across the threshold. Sounds like a fairy tale…. But so real.”

The theme may have started with their home but over time ‘a day and night at the fair’ became their manifesto. Royal Steamline provided the perfect stationery to fit the idea. “We wanted to create a vintage carnival feeling for all ages of guests to enjoy,” the bride continued. “I have an antique and interior design business named after our home, so I incorporated many antique and vintage items, furniture and props to create the scene. I searched auctions and estate sales for real vintage goblets, punch cups and plates for our guests to enjoy. I used vintage furniture outside to create a living room area that was a fabulous photo booth for all of our guests as well as the bridal party.”

The ‘outdoor living room’ was a particular highlight for all the guests. “We NEVER realized how much of a hit the backyard living room would be,” Eric explained. “I would have bought five more couches and cocktail tables and candelabras had I known it would have been so popular a place to sit! We also used it as a makeshift photo booth area — it was perfect!”

Bethany wore a vintage handmade lace dress that a friend found in a suitcase that she had bought at a garage sale! “When I tried it on, it fit like a glove and I knew it was meant to be,” she explained. “The only problem was that it was so old that it was pulling apart in places and no seamstress wanted to touch it because it was so fragile. I finally found a lovely woman named Peg Smith who had sewn the costumes for the Columbus Ohio Ballet for decades and was willing and able to hand pleat the tulle hem and hand mend the lace.”

“We had a bar under a maple tree where we used a vintage wood bar and stools lighted with globe lights and feathered lamps,” continued Bethany. “The gazebo was an iron structure from Mexico that Eric gave to me as a gift before the wedding. We used hay bails from our farmer neighbor topped with oak planks from a local mill for our ceremony seating.”

“We wanted the food to have a carnival feel as well,” she remembered. “We chose Leslie’s Creperie, a local food truck, to serve our guests fresh made to order crepes. It was a visual experience to watch the crepes being made as well as being delicious. We also served fresh baguettes made by our neighbor who has a bakery called Lucky Cat. The children (and adults) enjoyed the spun cotton candy, popcorn, and shaved ice cones.”

“There was something for all ages at this wedding. The children played vintage carnival games as their parents danced the night away to a live band. The night ended with a spectacular fireworks display that lighted up the sky over the farmhouse.”

“The best thing about our theme was that it gave the kids something to do, ” Eric confirmed. “Our bestest kid-sitter Sarah brought a friend and helped the kids win ‘carnival coupons’ that would be drawn from a hat to win some prizes. All they had to do was spin an old carnival wheel I bought and get above a certain number, or put the softball in old milk jugs that were in the barn when we moved in, or put the bean bag in the corn toss, each ticket making them more eligible for a prize. Yes, we sugared them up with cotton candy and snow cones and a lot of candy. But then the kids had THEIR area and the parents had their area under the maple tree bar or on the dance floor, or on the big front porch.”

Even though their wedding looked spectacular, like most newlyweds there are a few thing they wish they could have done differently. “I wish we had a ferris wheel and I checked into hot air balloon rides,” the groom explained. “I bought fireworks — it was soooo much fun to just let them rip toward the end of the evening. My simple addition was antique lanterns that I bought while I travelled. I went from Oklahoma to Boston to Arizona antiquating before work and finding old railroad and barn lanterns to hang in the lights. I packed them gently and travel them like gold in the airplane overheads. Many times I had to explain to TSA that is was for a wedding and that they could test away for explosives. I already had my fireworks! However I think the simple lanterns, torches, and lights in the trees and tents presented a very easy way to light our 3 acres. An outdoor fire-pit added to the romance as well.”

Obviously a huge undertaking, the couple called upon friends and family to help plan and execute their wedding. “The day before the event, all of Eric’s family, sisters, brothers-in-law, their kids and grandkids showed up early to start the set up,” said Bethany. “They set up tents, tables, carnival games, outdoor bar, cotton candy and snow cone machines, lights, dance floor, hay bales for seating, etc. They were an amazing team. They left the farm looking absolutely fabulous.”

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