Can you imagine planning a wedding for 150 guests and four months before the big day cancelling it in favor an intimate gathering of 40 friends and family in your own backyard? I certainly can’t, but JoAnna and Kevin could, and I’m sure they’re happy that’s just what they did. Their backyard wedding turned out perfectly–personal, fun, and beautiful. Alisandra Photography was lucky enough to capture it all.
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
Kevin and I were engaged for almost 2 years and to be honest we didn’t do much planning leading up to that point. We selected all of our vendors very early on in the process and then spent the next year and a half collecting various vintage items for the wedding day but then all of the nitty gritty came down to the last two days before the wedding. During the week before the wedding Kevin and his parents worked feverishly to completely overhaul our backyard, tearing things down putting new beautiful things up, it was amazing! During the two days before the wedding both of our mothers were really our saving grace, they cleaned our house from top to bottom and helped organize everything for the big day. The day of the wedding Kevin and both of our mothers were working overtime, so much so that while I was getting my hair and makeup done Kevin was literally at Home Depot buying drink tubs and ice! I’m still amazed that everything came together the way it did, without our parents’ support and Kevin’s commitment to making the day perfect we wouldn’t have ever pulled it off!
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
I am a big relationship person, and Kevin and I both believe in trusting your intuition. I approached selecting vendors at first by scouring my favorite blogs for any featured vendors in our area, and then if their style matched ours, I reached out to them. At that point I selected the vendors that I knew I felt a connection with. Your wedding is such a huge day in your life, for us I wanted to make sure it was spent with people who we felt sincerely cared about our day and also were passionate about their business. We were so fortunate with our vendors, they were all not only amazing in delivering outstanding service and end product, but they felt like family! Which was extremely important being that our day was so intimate.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
As soon as we decided that we wanted to get married at our house we knew that we wanted our wedding to be comfortable, resourceful, and just pretty. When getting married at your house it is easy to make the wedding an extension of your every day life. We drew elements from our own personal collection to pull in to the big day and when buying items to use at the wedding we always tried to think if there was a way we could use them after the big day. I, of course, spent hours upon hours stalking wedding blogs, pinning away on Pinterest, and tearing clippings from magazines, but one thing that I really loved doing was looking outside of wedding focused media. I would use some of my favorite magazines like Country Living, Better Homes & Gardens, and Martha Stewart Living for inspiration. These glossies usually always have a feature about throwing a seasonal party at home and lots of fun craft projects that would easily crossover to a wedding and are often focused on DIY and budget friendly options!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
This is such a hard question! The whole day was more joyous and beautiful than I ever could have imagined, but there are two moments that really stand out in my memory. The first was walking down the aisle to Kevin, I have only seen Kevin tear up once in 8 years and seeing him so emotional when walking up to him was so moving, I wish I could bottle that feeling up and recreate it whenever I need a jolt of happy! The second was at one point later in the night after a lot of our guests had left Kevin and I were the only two people on the dance floor and “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money came on. I remember having the best time laughing and dancing with Kevin and looking up at the stars, it was such a fun moment.
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
Follow your heart. Kevin and I spent over a year planning a big wedding for 150 guests at a campground and then 4 months before the wedding decided to cancel it and just get married in our backyard with 40 of our closest friends and family. When we talked to friends and family about the change, many of them encouraged us to really think it through that we would regret not having our big wedding, but we knew what was right for us. Think about how you want your day to feel and what is important to you when it’s all said and done. It’s hard to find your true feelings during all of the crazy engagement excitement, but take your time and really listen, your heart is there waiting to tell you what’s right.
I really think JoAnna is on to something there. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. Your wedding is your day and is ultimately between you and your partner. What a great reminder to start off this week!