Vintage Americana Style for Your Wedding

americana love shoot

Summertime. Long, lazy summer days filled with fun, sun and memories. The inspiration behind this styled shoot was iconic summertime fun with an elegant fusion of vintage Americana. The rich blues and reds juxtaposed against the golden landscape and natural elements of jute rope, muslin and galvanized metal create a wonderful contrast. I thought this was perfect to get everyone in the mood for the upcoming holiday weekend – lots of ideas here you could incorporate for a 4th of July party also!

americana wedding invitations

americana fabric bunting

july 4th tent picnic

The Tent.
Whether it be in the wild or in the backyard, nothing says summertime like camping! The great thing about the structure is it is easy to put up, take down and transport. This can also be shortened up and used at the head of the alter and draped with different fabrics as well as fresh flowers. The Manilla rope and burlap were used as a focal point and carried through the whole look. The lanterns added to the rustic feel while carrying through the galvanized metal into the tent structure. You can use any type of pop up tent structure to recreate the look.

You can find the materials here: tent – custom design; manilla rope – local hardware store; muslin – local fabric store; lanterns – Ikea.

july 4th tent picnic

white bouquet

red white and blue fabric decor

Ribbon Chandelier.
The ribbon chandelier is a fun and easy to recreate element that can be used for showers, birthday parties and more. It is essentially 4 – 5 different ribbons in the same color family, hot glued to a quilters ring and finished with some small Manilla rope. They added the vintage paper from the flag design to help bring some of the color into the tent element.

You can find the materials here: ribbon – local fabric store; quilters ring – Michael’s; paper – Michael’s; rope – local hardware store.

blue wedding dress

picnic outdoors with a tent

smores for wedding treat

red white blue wedding decor

bride in blue wedding dress

bride and groom drinking coke bottles

wedding cake with fabric bunting

wedding favors hot chocolate

Favors.
Mason Jars are perfect for lovely individual hot chocolate mixes for curling up next to the camp fire. Tie them up with a twine bow and a vintage thank you label – the perfect takeaway.

You can find the materials here: mason jars- Smart & Final; labels and twine – Staples

wedding favors hot chocolate

Thanks so much to the following vendors for the fun summer and 4th of July ideas!

photography: Amy Stone Photography // concept + design + styling: Jessica Burns // floral design: Jessica Burns // hair styling: Martina at T-Birds // makeup: Elaine // cake: Whisk Bakery // dress: JCrew // invitation design: Kiira Turnbow // prints: Melina Moss

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A North Carolina Backyard Wedding: Jennifer + Brad

Today’s wedding is one of the most emotional weddings I think I’ve seen (and I look at hundreds of weddings each week!). Captured by Caroline Ghetes, Jennifer + Brad were inspired by their home on Lake Norman in North Carolina (and I can see why – it’s gorgeous!!). They always wanted a backyard wedding and when they were lucky enough to buy their dream home (or dream lot) exactly 7 months before their wedding date, they knew it was the place. And then they spent the next 7 months tearing it down and building it into their real dream home – definitely not ideal circumstances under which to be planning a wedding, but they made it work! From Jennifer, “Since our wedding was at our home, everything about it took on an intimate and personal meaning. Brad and I are both creative and hands-on people, and it was important to us to put our stamp on several details. Our choices and the elements of the day kind of built on each other along the way, and in the end it all naturally came together and felt like…‘us’.

Their wedding day was bittersweet. Brad’s mother had been battling a brain tumor for several months and she passed away on the morning of their wedding (I’m actually tearing up as I write this because I can’t even imagine all the emotions they went through that day). They never imagined it would happen that day, but it did. Jennifer told me it was a blessing that her mother-in-law could finally be at peace, and be in a place where she could actually be with them on that day. They are both very close to their families so it was a very emotional day for everyone as I can only imagine. Jennifer + Brad, thanks for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us + we wish you so much happiness as husband + wife.

backyard wedding wood sign

blue glass jars wedding decor

From Jennifer, “Right after we were engaged, Brad’s Mom found boxes of vintage mason jars that had been Brad’s grandparents. They really helped set the tone for the ‘unfussy elegant’ vibe we wanted our wedding to have. I also loved the muted blue of several of them, which started our color ‘scheme’, if you could call it that. We used the jars on all of the tables for flower arrangements, and some as lanterns throughout the backyard.”

blue glass jars wedding decor

wedding first look photos

Most memorable moment of your wedding day? The most memorable moment of the day for us was our ‘first look’ before the ceremony. Such a serene calm finally came over our house then, after there had been so much frenzy. And in that calm we could really feel all the happiness, and even the sadness of our day. It’s hard to describe how we could be so happy and so sad at the same time, but it was all very true, and kept us very much in the present.

wedding first look photos

backyard wedding

We painted the wedding signs on wood salvaged from a historic Charleston home renovation.

backyard wedding by a lake

What song did you walk down the aisle to? My Father walked me down the aisle to an acoustic version of Train’s “Soul Sister”. Brad and I made our recessional to “I’m Yours”, and our first dance was to “You are the Best Thing.” We so wish we had a recording of each of those performances by our band!!

backyard wedding by a lake

backyard-wedding-21

backyard wedding by a lake

Brad built our wedding altar, which will forever have a special place in our backyard. Brad and I exchanged wedding rings that had been our grandparents’. Brad has his Grandfather’s, which Brad’s Mom had kept for him for many years, hoping he would wear it. I have my Grandmother’s, which still bears the inscription from their wedding day over sixty years ago, and was given to me after my Grandfather passed away a few short months ago.

backyard wedding by a lake

backyard wedding by a lake

bride and groom on a boat

bride and groom on a boat

backyard-wedding-reception tables

rustic wedding flowers

rustic wedding flowers

Brad’s Mom and I found a beautiful floral fabric with muted blues and greens and purples that my mom sewed into runners for all of our tables. Brad and I like to moonlight as a homebrewer and letterpress printer (respectively) in our ‘spare’ time. Brad and I designed our save the dates and invitations, and I hand-mixed the ink and printed them on my antique letterpress. Brad brewed kegs of his favorite homebrew beers for the reception.

bride and groom

backyard wedding

wedding dancing

backyard wedding dancing under the stars

bride and groom on a pier at night

Any advice for those planning now? Don’t be afraid to change your mind! Seriously. We were lining up vendors and making plans to have our wedding in Charleston (where we were engaged, kind of a second home for us) when the real estate gods intervened and helped us quickly sell our old house and find the home of our dreams. We knew right away we wanted to have our wedding at our new home, and pulled the brakes on the Charleston plans. We definitely created a lot of work and some aggravation for ourselves in doing that, but it was completely worth it.

It’s okay to be ruthless with your guest list. We wanted our wedding to be about a celebration with our closest family and friends, and we stayed true to that.

And, give yourself a break on DIY mania. We tried to prioritize the projects that were most meaningful to us and would have the biggest impact on our day and our guests.

We wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without the support of family and friends…

Our closest friends, who also gave us places to stay when the renovations on our house made it unlivable, were loyal and stuck it out with us, helping us in the weeks before to get the house and the property ready. My parents and brother were on hand in the days leading up to the wedding making all the last-minute details happen…from ‘ribbon wands’ for the ceremony, to luminaries and landscaping and other projects around the house, they were the glue that kept the wedding preparations together in the last few days!

We were fortunate to have some very talented vendors involved in our ceremony and reception! Food, music, photos and the ceremony were very important to us, and not necessarily in that order…we made those decisions very carefully. Choosing the inimitable Caroline Ghetes to be our photographer was the very first decision we made, before we even knew where the wedding would be. Our band, the Chris Crosby Group, has the best sound we’ve ever come across, and they really made the day for us. The reception was catered by Something Classic, and they worked with us to put together a fabulous menu, complete with key lime pies as our dessert. Our officiant, Reverend Rebecca Nagy, was sensitive and eloquent and funny, and helped us craft a ceremony that was meaningful and non-traditional. And one decision that seemed to make itself was working with Lily Greenthumbs for our flowers – I got a referral from a close friend, met Karen, and that was that. She immediately got the ‘unfussy elegant’ idea, and the flowers were spectacular. Blush Wedding and Events provided day-of-coordination for us, and Irene Reinhard was a savior. She made everything come together and made it look effortless – even though I know she never stopped working!

vendors:
photography: Caroline Ghetes // day of coordination: Irene Reinhard of Blush Wedding & Events // officiant: Reverend Rebecca Nagy // flowers: Lily Greenthumbs // catering: Something Classic // band: Chris Crosby Trio // wedding dress: Alix & Kelly // groom’s attire: J. Crew suit & Brooks Brothers shirt // hair: Jessica Loy of Thairapy at Salon Sabeli // save the dates + invitations: Vanora Letterpress // venue: Jennifer & Brad’s Lake Norman home

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Fun + Festive Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

The creative team behind the upcoming The NotWedding in Atlanta put together this fun “rehearsal dinner” a few weeks ago. I love some of the decor ideas they incorporated and they would be easy to add some fun elements to your own rehearsal dinner or bridal shower. Thanks to Sun In My Belly for the food, Amy Osaba for the design + florals and Chelsea Patricia for the photography.

rehearsal-dinner-decor-01

fringe wedding decor
big paper flowers on the wall
rehearsal-dinner-decor-04
flowers in vases

flowers in vases

The NotWedding takes place in Atlanta on July 21, 2001. Complete with a sit-down dinner, an emotional ceremony and a dance-party reception, The NotWedding has become a killer alternative to a bridal show. The hand-selected vendors perform their services as they would at a real wedding, and the “wedding guests” get to hear the music, taste the cakes, and touch the linens… while enjoying a night of great food, dancing and surprises. Click here to buy your tickets to this fun + unique event.

the not wedding

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