I’ve been doing some behind the scenes blog clean up lately, and when I was looking through old posts it came to my attention that I had never shared this beautiful outdoor garden wedding here on this blog. Wedding season is upon us and I love so many of these wedding ideas I wanted to make sure and share them. This wedding holds a special place in my heart. Not just because I love the family and the couple, but because this wedding is kind of a marker in my career. Up until this point, I had really just been blogging for my family…more as a journal of sorts. I hadn’t done anything professionally, I had the desire to do so, I just didn’t really know where to get started. A sweet friend from church must have recognized a bit of potential in me because she approached me and asked me if I would ever consider planning a wedding for her step daughter. What?! Me? I was shocked and excited. I said yes of course and jumped into it with both feet. I was very fortunate to have someone to work with that trusted my vision and abilities…she had more faith in me than I did in myself. It was a wonderful 7 months of planning and I learned a TON. This was no ordinary venue. It was essentially a private campground. 😉 A piece of land with beautiful trees in a canyon down a dirt road. No running water, limited electricity, knee high weeds, all kinds of fun stuff! We spent a week on the property weed whacking, lighting and cleaning the property prepping for an event for 250 guests who would be served a sit down dinner on china in this wild wonderland.
I learned SO much and I’m proud to say it went off without a hitch. I think I made it work…what do you think?
We weed whacked, we cleared out poison ivy, we spread hay…and they we decorated. It was SO pretty. White tablecloths, purple garden arrangements and every little handmade detail you can think of.
The bride wanted a garden feel, so we brought in all kinds of potted plants from Home Depot wrapped in burlap and tied with purple ribbons.
The theme of this wedding really revolved around the beautiful, strong, old oak trees that dotted the property. I created a custom logo for the night with the couple’s initials and a giant oak tree. In lieu of a guestbook, a relative of the couple drew this gorgeous tree and guests stamped their fingerprints as leaves on the tree and signed their names next to their fingerprint.
We had lots of fun stations around the property to entertain the guests. A giant bonfire with gourmet s’mores ingredients allowed guests to whip up their own concoctions by the campfire.
Even the roasting sticks had custom labels affixed. Everything went together and was coordinated.
Southern California summer nights can get chilly, so I found some purple fleece blankets and left them wrapped on logs near the fire.
I created a fun photo booth for guests to ham it up in front of the camera and take selfies.
To go with the garden theme, I designed these seed packet seating assignments. Guests located their names on a seed packet (which contained lavender seeds) and it told them which table the were seated at. Each table had a coordinating seed packet number.
John and I DIY’d the seed packet holder out of some wood and twine. We attached the seed packet escort cards to the twine with mini clothespins.
I had these birch table number holders custom made on etsy.
I designed a custom menu card for each place. Napkins were tied with a sprig of lavender and twine.
To entertain the guests there was a game at the table so they could quiz themselves and each other about how well they knew the couple. This wedding was SO personal…which I LOVED. I try really hard to make everything I create very personalized for each client. This couple was so thoughtful. They wrote a personal note to each wedding guest and left it at their table. A note to thank them for the special part they had played in their lives that led them to this point. SO touching. The bride’s mom passed away from cancer a few years before she got married. She had mentioned to me that butterflies reminded her of her mom and every time she saw one she knew she was close. I wanted to incorporate butterflies into the wedding and I did it without telling her. Each table had a small succulent arrangement on it with a single white butterfly. Over the head table, I created a custom butterfly chandelier that hung over the bride and groom’s seats.
Once the sun set, the cinema came to life complete with a movie of the couple’s lives and a concession stand. The DJ turned up the tunes and the couple made their debut with a Flash Mob dance to Katy Perry’s Firework. It was awesome!
We weren’t allowed to use sparklers due to the dry conditions of the property, so instead we sent them off through a glow stick tunnel.
It was a moonless night, so in order to send guests back to their cars safely on the uneven terrain, I had custom mini flashlights made. Each guest left with a flashlight and handmade giant chocolate chip cookie (the groom’s favorite). I wrapped each cookie in a brown paper bag, punch holes and tied the top with a purple ribbon and hand stamped the logo I created on each bag with a custom stamp I had made from the logo.
This was SUCH a labor of love and a wonderful experience. I think I made about a penny an hour for all the time I spent making sure it was perfect, but I just can’t help it. I love the details. 😉 I hope you find some of these wedding ideas helpful in your hunt to create the perfect wedding for yourself! 🙂