Tess & Ray’s Dream-Like Backyard Wedding

July 12, 2011

Tess & Ray’s backyard wedding is pretty much what my dreams look like. Tess told me all about it and I swooned over every detail, “From the very beginning Ray and I knew that we wanted our wedding to be relaxed and FUN, but most importantly something we could be proud of.   We wanted to stay true to ourselves and not worry about any kind of fuss or frill.  We wanted to make our dream a reality without breaking our backs trying to pay for it.”

“About 9 months into planning we came to the realization that we could no longer have our wedding at the venue we had originally booked – so with 3 months to go before the big day, we were left without a venue.  Luckily for us, my wonderful in-laws have a beautiful backyard and we decided to take the leap into planning our brand new backyard wedding – a much different affair than the one we had been planning for the previous 9 months.”

“To say it was easy, would be a lie.  We could not have put everything together without the help of our amazing families and friends.  From my husband and his family tirelessly working on the house and yard for weeks to my family endlessly running errands for us to getting everyone together for pizza, beer, and bouquet making the night before the wedding!”

“I had a good idea of what I wanted our flowers to look like and knew that with the help of my bridal party and family, we could pull them off ourselves.  I ordered the flowers wholesale online from fiftyflowers.com and bought a few additional rose bouquets from Costco the day before the wedding.  Best decision ever.  We saved a fortune and had a ton of fun doing it!  Over the course of our engagement I scowered etsy, eBay, and antique stores for vintage tins, glass vases, and glass cake stands for our centerpieces and the dessert table.  My dad made an awesome swing that we hung from a tree in the front yard, he also made our wedding sign, and put together – with help from my brother-in-law the hanging rose/vase arch that we were married in front of.”

“Instead of having a formal rehearsal dinner, our immediate families and bridal party all got together and set everything up together the night before the big day.  We ordered pizza, hung lights, set tables, and told stories.  The amount of work that my husband and his family put into the yard was so incredible and it looked perfect!  It was the best rehearsal dinner for us.  Putting the bouquets and centerpieces together with my sisters, my bridesmaids, my mom, and my mom in law the night before the wedding was a wonderfully calming experience for me as the bride, and made me realize how lucky and loved we are.”

“The other best decision we could have ever made was having a pig roast (sorry to all you veggies out there.)  My husband had said several times, in the beginning stages of planning, that he wished we could have a pig roast.  With our initial venue, it wouldn’t have been a possibility for us.  When plans changed months later, we revisited the idea and after doing our research we found that it was much easier (and cheaper!) to do than what we had initially thought.  We found an amazing company, Double D Pig Roasts, who literally started roasting the pig in a trailer in the driveway at 6am on the morning of the wedding.  They were incredible to work with, no fuss and down to earth, and the food was so seriously delicious!  We saved a fortune having the pig roast and it truly was a totally wonderful experience!  My cousin works at the bakery where we got our beautiful and yummy cake, Naples Bakery, and my mom got us the adorable and delicious pink macaroons from Vanille.”

“I had seen my ceremony dress at Silver Moon in Chicago a few months before Ray and I got engaged, and thought “I will wear that on my wedding day”.  About 6 months later, after literally having dreams about it, and very much doubting it would still be at the shop, I went back and miraculously – there she was!  And she fit!  It was meant to be.  My mom and I found my reception dress at All Saints Spitafields.  We weren’t looking for a dress at the time, but I fell in love, and decided that it was the perfect dancin’ dress.  I didn’t break the bank on either of my dresses and I love them even more for that reason! I also found an awesome etsy seller, Pixel and Hank, to custom make one of her veils in a blush pink tulle that would match the color of my dress.  It turned out perfectly!  The flowers in my hair were pink peonies cut from my parent’s garden the morning of the wedding, given to me by my mom.”

“I knew I wanted my bridesmaids to each wear a different dress, and I knew I wanted to try to keep the dresses as affordable and re-wearable as possible.  Over the course of a few months I picked out several dress options for each girl and let them pick the one that they liked best!  A few of the girls picked out their own dresses too!  The groomsmen were told a color scheme of black, white, and grey and to wear whatever they wanted – they looked awesome!”

“Planning a wedding is a funny thing, it can feel so wonderful and so stressful at the same time – and at the end of the day – it truly does all come together and is just the best day ever!  Our wedding was just the way we wanted it, imperfections and all, and looking through the pictures I feel the same happiness that I felt that day.  It was a whirlwind of joy, emotions, togetherness and love.  We were able to feel how much the people in our lives loved and supported us as individuals and as a couple – and we could not be more grateful to have had the pleasure of experiencing that feeling…and on top of it all we had SO MUCH FUN!”

Awesome huh!? Thanks so much to Jess & Ray and their wonderful photographer Dan of Chennergy Weddings for sharing this wedding with us today.

Photography Credit: Chennergy Weddings
Venue: Groom’s Parent’s Garden
Bride’s Dress: Silver Moon in ChicagoAll Saints Spitafields
Bride’s Shoes: Enzo Angiolini from Bloomingdales & Urban Outfitters
Bride’s Headpiece: Pixel and Hank on Etsy
Bride’s Jewellery: BHLDN & J Crew
Groom’s Outfit: United Colors of Benetton
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Modcloth, Asos, Anthropologie, Kate Spade, Poetrie
Cake: Naples Bakery
Macaroons: Vanille
Flowers: Fifty Flowers & Costco
DJ: Nickolas Blazina
Catering: Double D Pig Roasts