Real Wedding: Denise + Dave’s Sweet Backyard Wedding

Happy Monday everyone! I have a fantastically cute wedding to share with you guys today. Denise + Dave threw their special day at their own home they recently purchased together in a small town outside of Chicago. How sweet is that? :) With the love and support from family and friends, it was a true handmade wedding. From the escort cards, to the pom-poms and special tissue garland hanging from their front porch – every detail has a bit of family love in it. Multiple generations of twins, loving friends, local foods, hand-carved details and sentimental stories. Congrats to Denise + Dave!

wedding couple on bike

wedding photography

What a great seersucker suit! (the suit is from J Crew)

backyard wedding

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding? For me it would have to be standing at the alter, holding David’s hands, staring in his eyes and never feeling more sure about what we were about to embark on. I was so ready for the beginning of the rest of my life.

backyard wedding

tying the knot wedding

They tied the knot!

seersucker suit billy balls boutonniere

coffee filters garland wedding

Twins run in our family. We’re on our third generation of twins. My mother was/is a twin. The rings we wore were ameythyst and diamond rings that she and her sister had gotten as a high school graduation gift from their parents. My Aunt Janet is no longer with us, she passed away at the age of 32. I can’t even imagine the pain my mom still endures, I could never imagine losing my sister. Well my sister had twins as well, Mekhai and Ella, the ring bearer and flower girl (my loves). So, I asked my Mom if we could wear the rings for of course sentimental reasons. I swear that ring had special powers!! On my wedding day, my mom ended up giving the rings to my sister and I!

ring bear pillow

backyard wedding tent

We wanted to make our theme more of an elegant, yet simple wedding, with a strong feeling of home since it was in the backyard of our house we just purchased. We also wanted to be conscience of not only the cost, but being green where possible, without sacrificing style. We recycled baby food and mason jars which we used for lighting. We shopped for vases, glassware and doilies at resale shops. Cut up downed tree, and used them for the center pieces on each table. We borrowed a lot of items, anywhere from doilies to apothecary jars for our signature cocktails. We tried to hand make everything we could to make it more personal.

escort cards chalkboard wedding

backyard wedding details beer

photo booth

backyard wedding dance

Any advice for those planning their wedding now?
Since we did most everything, except for the food and dessert, I would have to say, “stay organized”. We made endless “to do” lists. Also, enlist the help of your closest friends and family. We had a couple of days throughout the planning process that was devoted to helping us get ready. Friends and family were painting, doing yard work, making decorations, carpentry work, cleaning,etc.. Our wedding wouldn’t have been possible without all those people. There’s no way you can do this by yourself.

Photographer – Edyta Szyszlo
Tent rental – Blue Peak
Live Music – Sunnyside Up
Caterer –Fig Catering
Flowers – Moss Modern Flowers
Dessert: Glazed Chicago Donuts
DJ/sound engineer – Chris Demonk
Linens – Brooke Marino
Officiant – Paul Petroccione and John Henriks.

Thanks for sharing some details into your day Denise! And special thanks to Edyta Szyszlo for sharing your lovely photos. Edyta is located in San Francisco, CA and available for travel worldwide.

Interested in advertising with us?

for our current rates!


  1. This is such a beautiful wedding, I love the mix of casual & elegant! The table place cards & ring bearer’s pillow are just lovely!

  2. I am having a backyard wedding next summer and am glad to see an example of how nice and elegant it can be. Thanks for sharing and best wishes!

  3. Marie @ Emici Bridal on:

    What an adorable wedding! I am in love with how personal and intimate it is. Love!

  4. My husband and I are doing a wedding celebration with our families in our home’s backyard as well…it has been extremely fun and extremely stressful to plan! Like this couple, we also tried to do a lot of handmade/vintage/reused. It’s definitely more casual than this one (since we’re already married), but this blog made me even more excited for it all to come together!

  5. Denise & Dave did a beautiful job creating a down-to-earth, homey celebration that is still elegant and absolutely special! I love Denise’s favorite memory…exactly as it should be. Congratulations!

  6. So personable and beautiful!! I was wondering where you got the small flowers for the escort cards? I’d love to do something similar in fall colors for my upcoming wedding in November.

  7. You had me at the first photo :)

  8. Oh my GOSH! That little ringbearer is sooo cute!! I just want to pinch his squinchy little cheeks!! I’m loving the yellows used in this wedding too — so so adorable. Thanks for sharing, GWS!

  9. I love the cake topper!! Those two birds are so adorable. Pretty pretty!

  10. What a sweet and sentimental wedding! Love the perfectly dainty centerpieces and use of recycled elements.

  11. What a great couple. Looks like they had such a relaxed, fun yet elegant wedding. Well done!

  12. Congrats!!! =) I can’t wait to see how it all came together (assuming you’ll share!).

  13. Thats a great idea and a beautiful wedding. i love the symbolism of the ‘tying the knot’ and the photograpghs look really nice. Looks like a great day that people will remember for a long time.

  14. I really wanted to have a backyard wedding just because it is so comforting to do something so important in your own home, and this one is just lovely.

    Love those escort cards!

  15. Love the wedding tent they used, also the cake topper!

  16. Love his 3 piece suit of course! Amazing pictures!!!!

  17. If I could do it all over again, I would have a backyard wedding :)

  18. So many great details! Her dress, the photography, the CAKE and toppers! Love the comfortable vibe of the wedding in general as well!

  19. Where did you get your shoes??? I have to know – bc I’m trying to find cute flats for my wedding. :-)

  20. What a beautiful and unique wedding! Love the images.

  21. What material are the table linens? They look like a burlap from the pictures (I want to rent burlap) but I can’t tell.


  22. What a fantastic tricycle. Who needs a horse drawn carriage?

  23. Denise,
    We would love to know how you made the paper flower garland- and what materials you used! We LOVED IT!!!!


  24. THANKS! i love that you love ;) thought i’d chime in w/ some answers to questions: shoes = steve madden. linens seemed like burlap but similar to canvas fabric. not sure where paper flower garland came from – martha stewart may have instructions to something similar. denise?

  25. Hi Everyone!
    So so sorry it has taken me so long to respond! Ok, here are some answers to your questions. Thanks Edyta, for filling in. BTW, she is the best photographer ever!! xo

    1. The small flowers for the escort cards I found at Michaels (craft store). I found them in the dried flower area. They come on tall branches and I ended up just sliding them off. They are not real, they are just made of styrofoam. I have extra so, if you’d like I could mail you some.

    2. Yes, I got my shoes from Steve Madden.

    3. The linens are made to look like burlap but they are a polyesther mix. That way they don’t smell (sometimes burlap can smell a little barn-like), they’re not itchy and they do not wrinkle. If you need more info, I can give you the name of the linen company I used.

    4. The garland I made with white coffee filters that we dyed, cupcake liners in the same colors and then we made the poms to put in between. This was a pretty long process but I love it! Probably one of my favorites. I used about 4/100 ct. white coffee liners and 2 pkgs of cupcake liners. I found the idea on the internet and just did my own thing. Let me know if you need anymore info!

    Again, so sorry for the late responses!!! I hope all of you have a lovely wedding! Congrats!!!

  26. What is the name of the fabric company where you purchased the burlap?

  27. From everyone at Blue Peak, it was a pleasure working with
    you and I’m glad everything turned out so well!

  28. the cake, garlands, and bouquet/boutineer are all simple with such great details. like the color pallet on this one. understated.

  29. Congratulations!! :D love the tone to this set of pictures – the photographers eye for colour and tone is excellent.

  30. Fantastic work on this wedding Edyta. This wedding is very classy, although in a backyard, your photos really showcase the couple. Awesome.

  31. Love the knot idea. Great photos Edyta, love your work!


  1. […] wedding was featured on one of my favorite wedding blogs – Green Wedding Shoes! See it here! THANKS […]

  2. […] White box, Inspired Bride, Green Wedding Shoes […]


Email me when there are new comments on this post. You can also subscribe without commenting.

GWS is a creative and supportive community of wedding fans and vendors. As such, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain profanity, are distasteful, personally attack individuals or do not contribute to the goals of our community.

You may not love every detail of every event, but please remember that the couples who share their weddings on GWS are real people and their wedding is a special day, so please be nice.