DIY Vintage-Inspired Backyard Wedding: Katie + Tom

wedding party

Katie + Tom’s whimsical, vintage-inspired backyard wedding was truly crafted from the heart. Since the couple was on a limited budget, they repurposed everything they could + looked to family and friends for help with making their dream DIY wedding come to life. Together, they created a day that was meaningful + one-of-a-kind!

Here’s more from Katie: From the beginning, it was important to us that our wedding be as personal as possible and tell the story of who were individually and as a couple. That decision really helped dictate the rest. There was no real color scheme or theme- we chose colors and details that made us happy. I’m a bookworm and my husband is a movie geek. You’ll see my Bridesmaids carrying classic books down the aisle. You’ll see TMNT characters, Muppets, and quotes from our favorite books. My Mom sewed garlands cut from pages of old children’s books, comic books, and magazines. These were strung from the ceiling of our tent and served as the backdrop for our ceremony.

We got married in my parent’s backyard, next to my favorite swing (which we re-painted and personalized with our initials for the day). I wore my great grandmother’s pin. My bridesmaids wore necklaces that my neighbor designed, using beads from my great grandmother’s necklace. A great friend played an acoustic song as I walked down the aisle (he had played the same song in the video my husband proposed with). Our cousins read a passage from Fahrenheit 451 and a W.B. Yeats poem (2 of our favorites!) Our parents wrote letters and placed them in a box along with a copy of our vows and a bottle of wine from the day.

Thank you to Skys The Limit for the beautiful photography + congrats to Katie + Tom!

wedding invitation

gold bow flats

wedding rings

purple bridesmaids

purple bridesmaids with books

superhero groomsmen

Tom made the groomsmen’s boutonnieres from some of his childhood comic collection- the only cost was a bag of buttons to hold them together!

comic boutonniere

first look

bride and groom

bride and groom


hair band flower girls

ceremony sign

comic ceremony decor




Our Musical Choices

Processional: Question – Rhett Miller (performed by a friend on acoustic guitar)

Recessional: This Will Be Our Year – OK GO (played via boombox carried by the Best Man)

First Dance: To Be Surprised – Sondre Lerche

ceremony exit

adventure sign

One of my favorite details was our choice of favors. Tom and I went to a coffee shop for our first date (I found out later it was his first cup of coffee ever!) and since then have spent many mornings drinking coffee together and talking. We wanted our favors to be something our guests would use every day. So we spent months collecting vintage mugs from thrift stores and shining them up. It was so fun to see our guests find just the right mug to take home!

mug favors

pinwheel table decor

paint chip napkin holder


One of our musts was to have our favorite band (whose members have become like family over the past few years) play for our reception. I have never seen so many people on the dance floor! We chose a local Italian bakery to make our cake. We requested a spice cake with blackberry jam between the layers and WOW did they ever deliver. If a traditional wedding cake isn’t important to you, I would highly recommend going this route. Our cake was simple, affordable, and absolutely delicious. The bakery even let my Mom pop by the kitchen and bring her own jam to put between the layers.

pow! cake decor


Our Advice To Those Planning Now

The best advice I can give is to go with your gut and make meaningful choices. If something is important to you, include it! One of the best compliments we received after the fact was that the day just “had Katie and Tom written all over it”. Make decisions that make sense to you and your husband-to-be, keep your guests in mind, and I promise, it will be a blast! Joy is contagious. On the other hand, when the day finally comes, let go. There were some DIY projects we worked hard on that just didn’t make it onto the tables on the day of. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was that we were all together, celebrating.

And If you can, try to schedule the day to include as little transition time as possible. We were at an advantage because of our backyard venue but this turned out to be a great perk. Immediately following the ceremony, guest paraded up the hill to the reception site and entered the toasting circle. There was a real flow to the day and I felt so lucky that we had control over that part. It made everything flow better and gave guests something to do at all times.

Post Divider Line

photography: Skys The Limit // venue name: Private Residence, Pennsylvania // wedding dress: Kate Spade // bride's shoes: Poetic Licence // catering: Pepperwood Grille // save the dates: Mandy McD // wedding cake: Delallo Italian Marketplace // pies: Sandhill Berries // bride's hair: The Hair Spot, Avonmore, PA // bridesmaid's dresses: Anthropologie // groom attire: Jacket from H&M, Jeans from Levi's, Shoes from Urban Outfitters, Tie was handmade by mother of the bride