From the moment Allison & Ryan started dreaming up their wedding plans, Allison was sure she wanted to say their vows beside the beautiful pond on her parents’ property, where they had recently finished building a house. The large fields on either side of the driveway were perfect for the large tent and parking lot, and guests walked through a nearly hidden pathway through the woods to a sloping field leading down to the water. It was here, under a large tree draped in white, that the couple joined their lives forever.
Allison & Ryan met in high school and were wed 6 years later, on a beautiful and picturesque May afternoon. When we worked together to develop their wedding design, I learned that Allison is a vet tech with a love of horses, traveling, and farmhouse details; Ryan, an ax-throwing coach and volunteer firefighter, loves industrial urban vibes, being outside, and spending time with family. While she wanted their perfect summer day to be all white and greenery, Ryan mentioned wanting to include purple flowers. After some back-and-forth compromising, we opted to include pale lavender details, which gave the design some variety and the mothers an easy color to wear. In the end, we created an elegant, rustic, vintage garden party, with gray, green, white, and lavender.
The 100 guests were greeted by a mirror Welcome sign, calligraphed by Allison’s aunt, along with a floral spray and basket of tissues for happy tears. Tree stumps, cut by the family while clearing the property, lined the aisle and were topped with floating candles, and each white chair had a program fan on the seat. Special care was taken for Ryan’s mom, who is blind, and for grandparents with mobility issues who wanted to participate in the processional. The couple opted to hire a DJ for the cocktail and reception only, so the couple prepared a playlist and used their wireless speaker to amplify the officiant and ceremony music. With everyone in line, I pressed play on Cannon D to begin the processional. Once the family made their way to their reserved seats, Ryan, who was so nervously excited that he could barely speak, walked down the aisle with his groomsmen to take their place at the arbor. The bridesmaids followed the groomsmen, and finally, Allison was escorted down the aisle by her dad.
Along with their vows, the couple opted for a unity candle ceremony. Because they were outside, the candles were placed inside a lantern to block the wind, and Allison’s cousin sang “I Get to Love You” by Ruelle while the couple lit their joint candle. When the ceremony came to an end, the couple recessed back down the aisle to “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. Cocktail table followed, and guests made their way to the large field beside the white tent, where yard games and the bar were set up.
Under the tent, long guest tables were set with light grey tablecloths with white linen napkins. Long centerpieces included candlesticks on wine bottles, bud vases with lavender, running greenery, and horseshoes with table numbers; place settings were gold chargers with flatware and a pre-set clear water goblet. The sweetheart table included additional details like the floating candles, horseshoes, ferns, and the bride’s bouquet. The wedding party and couple were introduced to the reception, and after a blessing, the buffet was opened. A large menu was set on an easel near the buffet, featuring chicken parm, penne and sundried tomato pasta, vegetable medley, bread, and salad.
When everyone was finished eating, Allison & Ryan met on the dancefloor for their first dance to “Tonight” by JJ Heller, which was performed by a dear friend of the couple. Parent dances followed, with Allison and her dad dancing to “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman, and Ryan dancing with his mom to “No Matter What” by Calem Scott. The couple made their way to the cake table, decorated with more candles and greenery, which hosted a cutting cake made by the bride. A bouquet and garter toss followed, and then the dance floor opened while guests were served sheet cake. The reception ended with sparklers, and Allison & Ryan headed off for a good night’s sleep before leaving for their Hawaiian honeymoon the following day.
Design & Coordination: Beauty & the Budget Events
Officiant: Rev Ingrid Sagula
Photographer: Taylor Windham Photography
Videographer: YES Raleigh
Caterer: Catering by Design
Florist: Brushed by Bec
Rentals: Capital Events
DJ: DJ Ones
Restrooms: Elegant Johns
Dress: Simply Blush Bridal
Groomswear: Men’s Wearhouse