It would be next to impossible not to fall for today’s ultra sweet backyard bash, planned + designed by the sweet bride, Kaytlynn, and held in the groom, Chris’, parent’s backyard. The house holds so many memories for them – from their first holiday together to meeting each other’s families for the first time. They were even engaged on the property in 2013 when the U.S. Open came to the Merion Golf Course (the house sits on the 15th fairway)! And planning their day at the family home definitely had its share of perks. They had their beloved neighborhood restaurant shuck oysters for their guests during cocktail hour + their local Grilled Cheese truck pul up at the end of the night, so friends could indulge in their fave late night snack. There really is nothing that can compare to a backyard wedding!
Kaytlynn, on their inspiration for the day, Our ideas really stemmed from all of the memories we’ve made together while falling in love. Our wedding day was a little bit like a summary of a few of our favorite moments all put in one place to share with friends and family.We didn’t have to look further than our own backyard to find the perfect setting for our big day. Having the wedding at Chris’ parent’s house was a no-brainer from the start (we didn’t even visit a venue) – his parents were hoping one of their children would have a wedding there. Having the wedding at such a personal place ensured that the day would truly be unique to us.
Thanks so much to Pat Furey for the gorgeous photos and congrats to Kaytlynn + Chris on a beautiful day!
While most of the larger vintage pieces were rented, many of the items we used during the day are finds that Chris and I came across antiquing in the city. An appreciation of antiques is one of the few decorative aesthetics we have in common, so most of the pieces (typewriters, lanterns, chests, books, bar cart, bicycle, centerpiece bottles) we’re taken right from our home to help make our big day feel comfortable and familiar. My eighth-grade teacher and I are still very close (odd, I know) and her husband is a carpenter. With (very little) help from us he built our corn hole boards, escort card holders, tree stump centerpieces, sandwich board sign and our arbor. It was amazing to see everything come together exactly as we had envisioned it and to be able to keep the arbor in our yard now is something I’m so grateful for.
Processional: Bridal Party: The Book of Love – Peter Gabriel (string version); Bride: A Thousand Years – Christina Perri (string version)
Recessional: Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars (string version)
First Dance: Tupelo Honey – JJ Grey and Mofro
There is a southern tradition that says you should burry a bottle of bourbon in the spot where you’ll get married exactly a month before the wedding to ensure sunny skies. Immediately after the ceremony you’re supposed to unearth the bottle and share a swig as husband and wife. The tradition ended up working for us and our half drunken, very dirty bottle of bourbon now has a special spot in our home. I’ll admit we almost gave up on digging after a few shovels following the ceremony but Chris found the bourbon eventually (as any man would). We cheered as soon as we heard the shovel hit the glass bottle.
Chris and I stepped away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding to walk around The Merion Golf Course together for pictures right after the ceremony. While we were walking it kind of hit us for the first time that this lovely party we were looking at from a distance was all to celebrate us becoming a family. At that instant we were both so overwhelmed with love for each other and gratitude for those that celebrated with us. Being able to step back and listen to the band play for cocktail hour while seeing our guests dancing and laughing in this beautiful setting was something we’ll never forget. I think a second later we dodged a stray golf ball heading our way.
I also have three teachers (two from middle school and one from high school) that I’m still very close with. All three shared a reading during our ceremony and each made our day special in a different way. One of them, Bernadette, helped me get ready in the city along with my sister and bridesmaids. Our bridal suite had two walls of windows, which didn’t do much to ease my stress as the rain continued to poor. Just before I left to meet Chris for our first look the rain stopped and Bernadette fixed my veil and said “you are perfect.” I’m sure that’s the prettiest I’ll ever feel – it eased away any wedding day stress that had crept up on me during the rain. It is what every bride wants to hear and it sent me to meet my future husband feeling much more confident than jittery.
Don’t miss the lovely film below by Atomic Tangerine!
Focus on what makes you happy and unique as a couple. One of the best compliments we got was having people tell us they saw a reflection of each of us in elements of the day. The laidback comfort and welcoming vibe of a backyard wedding was all Chris while the hundreds of tiny details and decorations that helped make the day a little more classic were more my touch. You’ll drive yourself crazy worrying about what people are expecting or what you think others will enjoy – at the end of the day, the whole shindig is about celebrating your love and happiness, so those that love you are bound to have a good time whether you decide to toss a bouquet or not.
photography: Pat Furey Photography // venue name: The groom's parent's home in Haverford, Pennsylvania // event design: The bride // planning: The bride // hairpiece: Sabrina Ann // bride's shoes: Badgley Mischka // bridesmaid dresses: Varying designers selected individually by each bridesmaid // hair stylist: Skin Deep Makeup // makeup artist: Skin Deep Makeup // groom attire: Vera Wang // videography: Atomic Tangerine // catering: Diverse Catering // cake: Bredenbeck's Bakery // officiant: Robert McCann // florals: Robertson's Flowers and Uncommon Events // arbor: KnotJustBark // wedding dress: Romona Keveza (Lace top for ceremony was BHLDN) // eyelash extensions: Deenen Marcel Laches and KLP Hair Designs // invitations: PaperSource // menus: Lana's Shop // programs: Lana's Shop // grilled cheese food truck: Vernalicious // oyster shucker: East Girard Gastropub // rentals: Maggpie Vintage // music: Band, Soul Patch Philly and string quartet for ceremony, Shrewsbury String Quartet