Real Wedding: Emily + Mason’s Rustic Wedding Along the River

I have a lovely reader’s wedding to share with you guys today. Emily is a huge GWS fan and got lots of great ideas + inspirations from the site, so it’s fun to see how it all turned out :). Emily sent over some info about her day and some great advice at the end for those of you planning right now. Thanks also to photographer Brent Van Auken for letting me share his photos today.

I love anything shabby chic. I feel that sometimes those terms can be over-used, but it’s the truth, I love shabby chic (I think I get it from my mom). I wanted the day to really be a combination of textures, colours and light. Mason loves candles, lanterns, and pretty much any kind of soft lighting, so I knew that candles were definitely a big part. I think I used something close to rustic-romantic to describe the event.

i do on bottom of shoes

wedding couple vintage polaroids

wedding party suspenders

Love the groomsmen in their skinny suspenders!

groomsmen suspenders

Favorite memory of the day?
My favourite moment for sure was right when I walked around the corner and I saw Mason for the first time, he started to cry and one by one, each of the bridal party began to cry. By the time I finally reached Mason, everybody at the front (all 17 of them) had tears in their eyes.

I loved the ceremony the best, looking back I spent so much time on all the details for the reception and decor, but my favourite part was when Mason and I read our vows to each other. Sharing what was in the deepest parts of our hearts, and what we vowed to give each other for the rest of our lives was one of the most powerful parts of the whole wedding. It was as if it was just the two of us, and everything had built up to that moment.

My photographer was brilliant and recently married (his wedding was featured here) so he and his wife were so wonderful helping us pose for photos while we were still dazed. I loved that they took just Mason and I for our couple shots first, it gave us a few moments before the craziness of group shots and the reception to relish the fact that we were finally married. That was absolutely another one of my favorite moments.

rustic wedding ceremony burlap

Inspiration came from every corner of my life. My mom had a collection of milk glass vases that became the candle holders, and all of the Mason Jars came from my photographer’s sister, who is a wedding planner. The Burlap was a fifty-foot roll I found on eBay, and the cupcake-tier we decorated ourselves (thanks Michaela and Joel!). I went into a local antique shop, Antique Cottage & Garden in Shasta Lake, to see if I could rent a chandelier, and the lady who was working just so happened to have one at her house. She cleaned it up that weekend and rented it to me for less than it would have been through the store.

wedding by the river

wedding favors cookies

wedding first dance black and white photo

Any advice for those planning now?
Go crazy! I don’t mean blow your budget and spend all your funds, I mean really invest yourself in making this day an expression of who you and your husband-to-be are individually, then as two individuals coming together as one. The way you combine what you each bring to the table will be so much better than anything you see in a magazine and try to reproduce. Go together to search for inspiration, use this as a creative outlet where you guys can really learn more about each other. Most of the best ideas from the wedding were from Mason, and the theme slowly worked around his dream of a night wedding with candlelight everywhere.

Refuse to stress about the details. If anything is causing you stress, re-evaluate if it really is that important. Enjoy all the DIY projects you want to do for the wedding. But start early, use movie nights to stamp envelopes or put together favours as soon as you can. You are gonna want to spend as much time with the people you love the week before the wedding, as well as make your week as stress free as possible for you and everyone around you.

If anyone offers to help you, say yes. Find something that they can do, nothing is too small or insignificant. People who love you will feel loved and important on your special day if they see the cup-cake tier, cloth napkins, or favour bags they helped make for you. They will feel like they helped make your day happen for you and will feel proud to say they were a part of it.

A wedding is ultimately an expression of love between two people before the whole world, so allow the love that you feel to permeate everything that you do. I also wanted to thank you for greenweddingshoes, it has been such an inspiration to me throughout this whole process. Hearing how other people made all their wedding dreams come true, (real people) made me believe that I could truly do this myself.

Thanks so much Emily + Mason and best wishes to you both! Thanks also to Brent Van Auken. Brent lives in Northern CA and is available for travel worldwide.

Interested in advertising with us?

for our current rates!


  1. I am so inspired by this wedding shoot. I’d say my favorite is the guy with the vintage camera. I think this is going to make more people want to get married so they can have photos like this : )

    Great job Brent, can’t wait to see more!

  2. This is seriously beautiful, and the photography is amazing!

  3. yvonne mazzotta on:

    Ahhh, Brent you always make me smile. These photos have a warmth and engagement like no other. Stylish and simple…
    choosing the right aesthetic and staying with it all the way through from wedding to reception. Love. Love!

  4. How gorgeous! The details of “I Do” are so cute on the bottom of her shoes. I like how they used the Anthro “&” sign and made it their own! xoxo

  5. Aw this is adorable! I’m loving the vintage cameras and the homemade favors…delish! All the details add such a warm, homey touch.

  6. awe, they are such a cute couple and their wedding is so beautiful. love all of the personal touches!

  7. How fantastic the groomsman outfits are!!!


    All this is Grace and Charm

  8. A very cute idea for the shoes. The heels looked like ice cream swirl!

  9. Gorgeous photography and LOVE the shoes!

  10. Where are the turquoise dresses from?

  11. where did you get your wedding dress i love it!

  12. Love your wedding to pieces! :)
    I muuuust know where Mason found his suit!?
    I’m looking for that same relaxed, linen look and not having much luck with the normal menswear-carrying department stores.

    Thanks so much!


  1. […] I wouldn’t mind having a photo like this taken at my wedding next summer. Too […]


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.