Real Wedding: Catie + Ben’s Vintage Inspired Backyard Wedding

Today’s wedding is full of so many great details. Catie planned the whole wedding in 3 months with thanks to her wonderful family + friends for helping with the day. They managed to put together a pretty amazing day on a tight budget. Special thanks to photographer Dana Grant for letting me share this wedding with you guys. Catie was also sweet enough to share some details from the day.

From Catie, I started out with like a 1940’s theme because I love that music and era and then it sort of ended up just being everything that I love shoved into one backyard. I wanted it to have a backyard kind of cute bed and breakfast feel. It did have a lot of 1940’s themed things but it was subtle and I don’t think people knew the era. So, I guess I could call it a real vintage backyard wedding (most of the stuff really was old).

wedding invitations vintage

Catie and her mom designed her wedding dress, then Catie’s mom made it – wow! Her veil and flower in her hair were made by her cousin Hailey (who also made the cake). The bouquets + boutonnieres were by Emily Burton.

billy balls boutonniere

bridesmaids bouquets

Most memorable moment of your wedding day: Ben was soooo cute! When I came around the corner down the aisle I could see Ben standing on his tippy toes peeking over heads trying to see me. When I got to the front his eyes were all teary! Sooo cute! He later whispered in my ear that he about lost it when he saw me come around the corner. My favorite thing of the reception was playing the song “sisters” by Rosemary Clooney and having all my sisters and sister in laws dance. So much fun!

backyard wedding ceremony with old doors

backyard wedding old doors

vintage 1940's wedding

bride with birdcage veil and bouquet billy buttons

old windows wedding reception decoration

Love the hanging old windows! And also, such a great idea with the head table. If you love the idea of having lots of different vintage chairs for everyone, but can’t find enough chairs for all your guests, you can do what they did. Keep that for the head table, and the rest of the tables were simple white chairs – great idea to save on your budget!

backyard wedding reception vintage

vintage lamp shades wedding decoration

vintage soda bar wedding reception

All the amazing styling + decor was by Lettie Peterson, a friend of Catie’s, who also does that professionally. Catie’s brothers did a lot too. They painted and built the dance floor and they hung all the lights up.

wedding vintage reception decoration

wedding guestbook typewriter

vintage picture frames flowers wedding

Catie made the photo booth and was a total hit with the guests. She also plans to rent it out if you are interested. From Catie, I liked how cute it was and that it is real vintage with real vintage dress up clothes unlike some really cheesy ones I’ve seen.

photo booth wedding

wedding cake forks old doors decor

wedding wishes vintage lampshades

vintage clocks wedding table decor

The food was provided by Catie’s sister and a friend. Another friend made all the tarts + brownies and her younger sister did the creme brulee + cupcakes for the dessert bar.

wedding dessert table

wedding bike getaway

Any advice for those planning now?
I don’t know that I’m the person to give advice on this! My whole engagement was 3 months, with a very small budget in comparison with what the typical wedding costs. I spent the most money on the thing that was very most important to me which was photography. That was more than half my budget. The rest was all my friends and family.

Your friends and family did such an amazing job helping with everything – it really turned out beautifully. Thanks Catie for sharing your day and thanks so much to Dana Grant for letting me share this wedding with you guys. There were so many great details from this wedding and she will be posting on her blog.

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  1. Incredible! The detail here is unbelievable and it adds so much to the photography, which will last a lifetime. The colors are gorgeous! Thank you Catie for breaking down the cost!

  2. I LOVE your dress… where’d you happen to get it from Catie?

  3. I love your wedding. I would like to do something like this for my bridal shower. Do you have templates for some of the signs like the love bird and little notecards? and what did you use to give your hat boxes heighth?

  4. I actually did my bridal shower very similar. You can check it out at I don’t have templates for anything. My friend made them on the computer in photoshop.

  5. Dress is gorgeous!! who is it by?

  6. My mom and I designed the dress and my mom sewed it. I bought the fabric at Mood when I was in New York.

  7. that is amazing, It is beautiful! Exactly what i am looking for. Can you make one for me lol!

  8. this is almost exactly what i’m going for! where did you find old doors and that gorgeous couch?!?!?!?

  9. I love how everything doesn’t perfectly match but yet it all meshes well together. Cozy w/ tons on character!

  10. I would like to compliment you on your wonderful vintage wedding…. I hope we get similar projects like yours here in Edmonton where we are just starting our business.

  11. I adore your dress! Who is the designer?

  12. Catie!
    Trying to track you down to see if you’d like to be considered for WS Publishing’s new book on weddings under $10,000.
    Love your wedding and it’s such an inspiration! Email me at and we’ll chat :)

  13. I love your wedding. It was SO pretty!

    Can I ask what the hat boxes were for? Were they centerpieces or just decoration? I think they’re fabulous! :)

    *I can’t believe you got that beautiful sofa for $70 on craigslist! How lucky!!*

  14. Very beautiful wedding! Love the vintage look & all the details. The photographs are amazing too.
    Loved your dress, you and your mom did an AWESOME job!

  15. how would I find out about renting that photobooth- I love it!

  16. You can rent the booth at I am interested in selling most of my stuff from the wedding if it can be mailed or if you live in AZ. Let me know! Catie-

  17. I must be one of the few guys to write in, but…my wife and I have been married six years. I am currently posted overseas and we intend to renew our vows upon my return this coming spring. Our intent is to do so in our backyard at our home in the country. I just forwarded your link to my wife and I KNOW she will be very pleased and inspired…as I was…I love my wife completely and I would marry her everyday. Thank you for the inspiration!

  18. I just wanted to tell you your wedding was absolutely beautiful and is exactly how i dream mine to be, and a very strange coincidence my name is also Catherine Ann (but i go by catie) so I enjoyed it even more! I grew up in an old farm house in NJ and have dozens of the old 6 pane glass windows, and many other similar decorations you used. Amazing job on everything, your creativity is inspiring and i wish you and your husband the best of luck!

    If you have spare time check out my web site!


  19. Love love love!!! So cute!! Love all of the frames!

  20. Hey there! I was just at the Arizona Bridal show and got
    Lettie Peterson’s card but some how dropped it!! I am extremely
    interested in using her services for our upcoming wedding. If
    anyone knows how to get a hold of her or a website I would GREATLY
    appreciate it! Thank you so much!!

  21. Hi Brittany-
    My friend noticed your comment on Caties post and told me to respond…Thanks Gabrielle; ).I’m in the process of revamping my blog but you can email me or call me 480-203-0201 and we can talk more.I look forward to talking with you and if you send me your email I’ll send you a link to my new blog when it’s done.Thanks,Lettie

  22. I love this wedding and have referenced it many times to my
    family and friends as inspiration for my own wedding. I just
    revisited and read where she planned it all on a budget in only 3
    months! This makes me feel like my upcoming DIY vintage barn
    wedding can certainly be accomplished in 5 months! Also the dress
    is gorgeous and truly one of a kind! Congrats!

  23. Thank you so much for sharing! This is exactly my style too! I’m so grateful to have found actual pictures of what has been floating around in my mind! :)

  24. any tips on making a vintage photobooth?love that idea

  25. I love your dress!! Would love to make a similar one for my own! Do you or your mother have a pattern or any suggestions on making your dress?

  26. Your wedding was absolutley beautiful! I am getting married in 3 weeks. Where did you get your shoes & flower for your hair? I love them!

  27. Hi Megan,
    i got my shoes off of ebay and my cousin made the flower for my hair….goodluck! There are tons of cute flowers on etsy though. Thanks!

  28. Hey,
    Wow I’m very impressed with what you were able to do here. I’m getting married in June 2012 and am looking to do a similar style- backyard, outdoor, down to earth real vintage style. I’m having trouble finding the antique -y things though. Like the plates, drawers for holding gift cards, utensils etc and cloths (table cloths etc) where did you look to gather these items? Antique stores are usually very expensive, do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks again for the wonderful inspiration!!!

  29. This is almost exactly what my boyfriend and I have discussed doing for our own future wedding! Loved to see some of these ideas come to life. I really enjoyed many of the things you put in that I never would have thought of such as the hanging windows.
    Wonderful job

  30. I love the pictures! The photographer was definitely worth it. We also did a backyard affair for my sister’s recent wedding. It was on a smaller scale, but it had what was important, like you say – family and friends!

  31. Jenny,
    Antique things are more trendy now and becoming harder and harder to find. I got the doors and windows at a garage sale. The dishes I collected at goodwill on half price or dollar day. The table cloths I made from discounted fabric. The lace table cloths I ordered off of ebay. The drawers were borrowed from a friend. The utensils I got at Walmart and were dirt cheap (obviously not vintage). If you live back East people tend to value and know the value of antiques more than they do in the west. Antiques can be quite cheap in AZ. Hope this helps! Good Luck! I can’t believe people are still looking at my wedding almost 2 years later!
    P.S. A great photographer like Dana Grant can make cute things look like amazing cute things. Photographer is EVERYTHING!

  32. Hi Catie

    Your whole wedding is so beautiful, well done! I loved the tandem too. :) I have a Pashley Princess Sovereign (it’s an old fashioned English-made bicycle) and am going to have it at the church door with flowers in the basket!
    I am getting married soon and have fallen in love with your dress. You mom is an amazingly talented lady! I would love to get a dress made in a similar style. Could you tell me exactly what fabrics your mom used, and what pattern?

    Many thanks

  33. very beautiful. How did you get the doors to stand?

  34. Wow! I love love love everything about this wedding. All the amazing details put into it. The couple and everyone involved did an awesome job.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by danagrant, MarieMerin . MarieMerin said: This wedding from @grnweddingshoes has us gushing! It looks like an editorial, not a real wedding! Nicely done Catie! […]

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by MarieMerin: This wedding from @grnweddingshoes has us gushing! It looks like an editorial, not a real wedding! Nicely done Catie!

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  7. […] Mad Men-inspired fashion; Old-school Hollywood glamour; Speakeasy wedding; Old Hollywood glamour; Vintage-inspired backyard; Whimsical afternoon […]

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  9. […] style Mad Men inspired wedding, photographed by Dana Grant and posted last year on the brilliant Green Wedding Shoes blog has been bookmarked for 10 months and it’s still as impressive as it was when I first came […]

  10. […] of evening gloves draped over the side and tickets to the premier of a vintage movie.Image credit: greenweddingshoesFor a taller hat box centerpiece, find a Tall Candle Holder with a collar. Decorate your box with a […]

  11. […] three of my favorite weddings since 2009: Heather + Grayson’s Crestmore Manor wedding, Catie + Ben’s Vintage Arizona wedding and Keily + Greg’s Nestldown wedding) which has led to many more couples that I just […]

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