Three things you should know about Anna and Ted's colourful, relaxed, hand-made wedding in Pennsylvania.
1. The bride's style is off-the-charts gorgeous. I adore her chic, corded lace, BHLDN wedding dress with Spanish inspired ruffles. It's not big or showy – perfect for a backyard wedding. (And perfect to bust some serious moves on the dance floor!) She teamed it with covetable gold jewellery and a pretty pair of bow topped wedges. The bridesmaids wore suitably stylish mismatched dresses in blush pink.
2. Pretty much everything at their farmhouse reception was DIYed. Watch out for a colourful, hanging fabric garland ‘chandelier', a romantic fairy light archway and a boat filled with beer.
3. After the ceremony, the bridal party stopped at a carnival on a whim. (Where Lauren Fair Photography proceeded to take some of my favourite bridal party shots ever.) I mean does it get any more awesome than that?
Ted’s grandfather sang the Irish Wedding Song after communion, which is a tradition at family weddings.
Stopping on a whim at a local carnival, need I say more? This was such an amazing memory from our special day.
It was surreal dancing through the carnival with our best friends and family, with all of the music, lights, rides and games surrounding us. Lauren Fair Photography describes their work as “organic and natural, focused on genuine emotions and beautiful moments.” We will treasure these genuine emotions and beautiful moments captured in their photography for a lifetime. They were incredible to work with, and put up with our rowdy bridal party of 19, plus bride and groom!
Our reception venue, Ted’s mom’s house, had a charm all its own: an old farm-house, with several old log cabins from Valley Forge National Park on the property, which we illuminated with strand lights. We also hung lights around a beautiful freshly bloomed wisteria arbor – breathtaking!
Decor & Details
Our most successful DIY project was a large 8’x8’ “chandelier” made of pvc and decorated with fabric garland, which we hung above the dance floor. Thankfully, it remained intact throughout the night, even though it was in arm’s reach of some of our taller guests!
Ted and I put all of our friends and family to use with endless projects. We created our own table runners in the same colors as the fabric garlands (yellow, teal, pink and red) and DIY-ed centrepiece jars. My bridesmaids willingly recycled glass jars, removed the labels, and decorated with neutral ribbon, burlap, ric-rac, etc. These were filled with single stem flowers and candles.
One of our favorite projects to designate tables was our “Favorite Things.” We had the list at each place setting, with tables 1 through 29, each representing a significant memory that Ted and I shared. For instance, table 21 read, “21 years old when Anna and Ted first had a beer, wink,” and table 28 read, “28 weekends spent in Cape May, NJ together.”
Another project was a mad-lib in lieu of a guest book at each person’s place setting. We will treasure these forever, which include both funny and wise words of advice for a life-long marriage from friends and family.
The Wedding Music
Our first dance was ‘Into the Mystic' by Van Morrison.
The carnival is one of our favorite memories – a spontaneous decision that was so incredible. Both Ted and I share our favorite moment – when we were looking at each other as I walked down the aisle. We will both remember it forever. Overall, the relaxed backyard atmosphere, including lawn games, a canoe stocked with beers, amazing live music, and all of our family and friends in one spot made the wedding so special.
Regardless of the pouring rain during our outdoor reception, everyone had a blast – muddy shoes, dresses, and suits to prove it the next morning! After the rain passed, a magical rainbow appeared – a perfect moment we shared together.
Advice For Other Couples…
In hindsight, I would’ve hired a day-of wedding coordinator. There is too much going on the day of – we needed a point of contact not in the wedding party or family. Also, though it’s cliché, don’t sweat the small stuff – if a project doesn’t work out, no one will notice that it is not a part of the day. Remember, have fun and savour all of the moments – it passes too quickly.
Congratulations Anna and Ted!