I am SO excited about this next wedding – so much so, my feet are doing a happy dance under my desktop. This amazing Rustic Louisiana Backyard Wedding from the talented Amelia J. Moore is overflowing with southern charm, vintage touches and pretty personalized details, you won’t stop thinking about it anytime soon. Angela and Carson married in the most picturesque natural setting ever, and only had to travel to Carson’s parent’s backyard to find it. Plus, can you believe this creative couple created all the DIY elements themselves (impressive!) and kept the whole event eco-friendly (REALLY impressive!) There is so much I love about this natural charmer, I don’t know where to start – but I’ll try! There’s the rustic table settings with recycled items and dried flowers – so darling. Soft muted bridesmaid dresses and lavender bouquets – too pretty for words. Exquisite flower-filled vases and sentimental picture frames hanging from the huge Oak tree for the intimate ceremony – breathtaking. Then, the cool getaway sports car, restored by the groom himself! – so sexy. But, the absolute highlight in my books – the stunning images taken in the old greenhouse. This amazing structure with overgrown surrounds gave each picture an impressive artistic editorial feel – Amelia you’re a legend! PLUS, Angela kindly shares with us their story, her inspiration and the planning behind every detail in this incredible DIY event. So, be sure you gobble up every gem she reveals. Phew! . . . ok, time to let you take all the fabulous in – and I’m going to need time out for a breather!
From the Bride: Carson and I have known each other for 15 years. We met each other on a blind date our sophomore year of high school. We attended rival high schools so he asked me to his homecoming. However, he broke the date a few days later and I cried for a week straight. Despite the heart-breaking homecoming incident (which we still joke about today), a lasting friendship developed. We remained friends fading in and out of each other’s lives over the years only to be brought back together last March 2010 when I flew to visit him in Lafayette, LA after not seeing him for 4 years. Months later we were engaged and a year later we were married. Our “first dance” was literally our first dance at our wedding and I’d trade all the sophomore homecomings in the world for the moment we danced as husband and wife.
Carson and I are both artists and love to be creative. I knew when we started planning our wedding that we would want to pay close attention to the little details and have a ton of hands on projects. Carson is also an engineer and has a love for figuring out how things work which also came into play throughout the wedding. Our inspiration came from our love of all things outdoors (rustic) with romantic and vintage touches. Carson’s parents so graciously agreed to let us throw the wedding in their backyard. The site had everything we were looking for: a laid back environment, tons of character/southern charm and beautiful natural elements with their centuries-old live oaks and the flower gardens.
We had 15 tables for seating and no two table-settings were alike (I loved the idea of giving each table it’s own identity). To create unity, we used décor objects such as the hurricane lamps (borrowed from my mother-in-law and her sister’s collection) in the center and moss around the smaller arrangements. In an effort to cut down on costs we saved glass jars from food we bought over the previous year to use as vases on the tables, giving the wedding an eco-friendly spin. Any vases on the tables that weren’t recycled were vintage vases borrowed from my Mother-in-law and her sister. They are avid antique collectors and have been collecting for years (lucky me). The plates for the wedding were made up of about 15 different sets I picked up from flea markets and borrowed from my mother-in-law’s collection.
Another way we cut costs and created a more eco-friendly environment was to use dried flowers in place of live flowers (also gave the wedding the rustic, natural look we wanted). The only live flowers purchased for the day of the wedding were the flowers hanging in the vases in the trees during the ceremony. My bouquet (which I also created) was picked from my mother-in-law’s garden the morning of the wedding. I wanted to add elements of nature but still keep my theme romantic and warm. I did this by not focusing on just two colors for my wedding palette but introduced lots of colors throughout the table arrangements and kept the bridesmaid dresses color palette very muted, pale and soft. The boutonnière’s and bridesmaid arrangements were also created and arranged by me and both included touches of lavender (one of my favorite scents), which was a flower sprinkled throughout the table décor as well. Another advantage to using dried flowers is that we were able to do a lot of the preparation in advance and after the wedding I have been able to recycle the décor and use a lot of it in my house.
The centerpiece of the ceremony was one of the century-old live oak trees. At the base of the tree, we created a tribute to those who have passed on by placing framed pictures of them on the trunk. The mason jars lining the isle and around the cowhide rug we were married on were my grand fathers jars. I loved that I was able to include little pieces of those who had passed away in the details of my wedding.
Other details Carson and I created for our wedding day included:
- Carson restored the 1972 black Karmann Ghia featured in the pictures as our get away car – How’s that for DIY?
- The wedding sign (ceremony, groovin’, food) was created by Carson and his father.
- I created the burlap signs on the pie table, bar table and gift table using scrap pieces of burlap, stencils and acrylic paint. The burlap pillows were made by my mother-in-law.
- I wanted to give Carson and some of his friends a little area of their own since a lot of the décor was feminine. We created a cigar lounge area using cigar boxes, a table made by Carson’s father out of pieces of a live oak branch, and some nice scotch for the guys to sip on.
- The hay bales were borrowed from a farm and returned after we used them.
- We created an area for the kids with a vintage quilt on the ground and a basket of toys along with a separate table for the them while eating or to use for reading/coloring as they desired.
- Carson and I designed AND SET UP the lighting over dance floor.
I don’t think there was one element of décor or design that was not touched by either Carson or myself. We had a great time preparing for our day together! Even on the wedding day, we wanted to be a part of setting everything up. My bridesmaid’s were a little shocked to see me running around on the day and offered to help but I described it to them like this –
”It’s like a painting I’ve started and I have to see through to the finish. The artist in me wouldn’t have it any other way!”
Carson and I requested to have some of portraits taken at an old greenhouse around the corner from his parent’s house. Yes, this unique old building was a green house for an interior commercial plant design business. This house was about a mile from the wedding site and I would gawk at it every time we drove by it on the way to Carson’s parents over the months leading up to the wedding. I finally decided I needed it to serve as a backdrop for some of our wedding photo’s and called the owner to get permission. We ventured all around the outside and inside taking photos. I loved the adventure of finding this hidden treasure literally in our backyard! These are some of my favorite photo’s of us and I’m so happy we ended up there!
Favorite Memory of the Day
I feel like the wedding day flew by but as I look back I still remember it as the best day of my life. One moment that sticks out to me throughout the day is one that I didn’t think would hit me in the way that it did but as I was walking down the isle to the Swell Season, Star Star, I started to approach my friends, family and Carson and I could feel so much warmth and love radiating from everyone. That’s when I knew how loved I was. It was an amazing feeling.
Advice for Brides Planning Now
It’s stressful and a lot of work at times especially if you are very hands on. However, I do believe that you can create the environment you want at any cost and sometimes that may mean more work on your end and/or honing in on your creative side. The hard work pays off and you can see it in your guest’s faces. It really is one of the best feelings; to know your guests had just as good of time as you did at your own wedding because of the environment you created. I think that feeling will stick with me forever!
Congratulations Angela and Carson! Your creativity, heart-felt details and love for each other, shone through every inch of your amazing day. Thank you for taking us there.
♥ ♥ ♥
Wedding Photography: Amelia J. Moore
/ Hair Stylist: Bath Haus / Event Designer: Breathe Easy Event Planning / Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private Residence / Bride’s Dress: Annette’s Bridal / Band: Lil Buck Sengal Blues Band / Linens and Coverings: Party Central / Calligrapher: Randol’s Catering /Courtesy of Two Bright Lights