I had the most amazing, simple wedding in my brother’s backyard. It was the perfect summer day, surrounded by a select group of my very favorite people. It really was exactly the way I had it pictured in my head, and it was about as DIY as you can get. We rented tables, linens, chairs and had the meat catered. Those were our only short cuts.
I knew from the beginning that, for me, the magic would be in the details. Maybe nobody else would notice them, but they were important to me. And so began months of trial and error, blood and tears, long nights and lots of wine consumption. In the end, it was worth every second.
Here are a few of the details. We didn’t hire a photographer, and I do kind of regret that. Only because some of the details were missed, NOT because I wanted pictures of me. No no no. No pictures of me.
My daughter made the welcome sign. I painted all of the white signs and my amazing sister-in-law put them all together. Spray paint was my best friend.
Our guest book was so much fun, and something that we will treasure forever. I already had the book of thumbprint ideas. I got a small sketch book from the craft store, a nice set of fine point pens, and colored ink pads. Our friends and family got very creative with their creations.
Our menu was written on an old window that had been lined with craft paper. My amazing daughter helped with this, too. We propped this next to the door of the summer kitchen where the buffet was served. One of the benefits of your brother having an old farm house is the abundance of old crap left over from renovations. We upcycled as much as we could.
We kept non-alcoholic drinks simple. Sweet tea and lemonade were the main attractions. I played around with real strawberry lemonade, but in the end, simplicity won out. The strawberries were used as a garnish only, and that was ok.
Water bottles and juice for the kids were kept cold in tubs filled with ice.
One of my favorite details was the wrapped plasticware. I wrapped each set in a paper napkin, tied with some tan yarn and added a flower detail. Simple and so cute. We stacked them in an old drawer left over from the kitchen renovation. It really was adorable.
I think we got the most comments on these funny paper chip bags. I found a tutorial on YouTube for paper gift bags, and scaled them down to fit individual servings of chips. They were a great addition to the buffet table. I also made serving platters out of dollar store ceramic candle sticks and large serving dishes we found at an antique mall.
“Alcohol! Because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad.” My brother built me a bar. FOR REAL! We provided a little bit of a bunch of stuff. There were a few mixed drink options, lots of shot options, and plenty of options for spiking the sweet tea and lemonade.
Grocery store flowers. Yep. And they were perfect. I fancied up some jelly jars, pizza sauce jars, mustard jars…..any jar we emptied, really. They added a great splash of color to the white table linens.
We didn’t do a cake cutting ceremony. The five minute wedding ceremony was already more “center of attention” than I wanted, so we just served dessert. Cupcakes, cookies and mini pies. There was even a gluten free option.
I spent a good amount of time trying to come up with things that would keep my guests entertained since we weren’t doing the traditional wedding activities. These props were fun. My mom and I found old frames that I spray painted fun colors. The large red frame was made by my dad. We attached drawer handles to the back of it to make it easier for people to hold.
I found prop templates online, traced them onto foam sheets and attached them to skewers (sharp tip removed) after they were cut out.
Yard games were also a big hit. Some we had, some we bought, some we made.
Badminton/ Volley ball
My dad also made us an awesome corn hole game and we rented a large bounce house for the kids. Well, it was FOR the kids, but I kicked them out a few times so the adults could jump too. It was only fair.
I loved these lights, and they were a pain in the butt for my brother to hang. They deserved to be featured on the interwebs, too.
We also had a beautiful fire pit with hay bale seating that I don’t have a good picture of. The kids enjoyed making s’mores around the fire and the teenagers used it as their hang out spot. It was perfect, too.
It really was a simple, amazing day. All of the stress leading up to the finished product was worth it. I would do it again and again.