This Couple Threw Their Easter-Themed Barn Wedding in the Middle of a Flower Field
On Tawnae's first day of work at St. Mary's Hospital in Decatur, Illinois, she entered the elevator and pressed the same number as a stranger. That stranger, funnily enough, turned out to be her future husband, Eric; the two worked together for six months before they went on their first date. Five years later, in October of 2017, the couple took a trip to Venice, Italy. On the last day of the vacation, Eric surprised Tawnae with a boat ride to the island of San Giordano—and then, despite telling his future wife that he wasn't planning a proposal, he popped the question. "After telling me a million times he 'was not proposing in Italy,' he got down on one knee and I said yes!" Tawnae shares.
The couple invited 150 guests to watch them tie the knot at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California, on April 20, 2019—the day before Easter. "I've always wanted to get married on Easter, so there never was a question as to what my perfect backdrop was," the bride says. "I envisioned combining all my favorite things about [the holiday]; friends, family, tons of chocolate, and pastels, [all wrapped] into one day."
The venue played right into their holiday-inspired color palette: Rows of pink, yellow, and white flowers were in full bloom outdoors. Inside, the barn space was filled with decorative nods to Easter—like colorful lounge furniture and fun flower box installations—including a kids' table with pillows to sit on. They teamed up with Heather Balliet from Amorology to pull off a "Spring in Her Step" themed event, complete with accents of deep emerald and rose gold.
The couple's main invitation was letter-pressed with gold and featured a flower design (as a nod to the venue). Dark green RSVP envelopes were emblazoned with custom stamps of the couple's cats, Bowie and Joey.
Not What She Expected
Tawnae went to The Dress Theory with a dream wedding dress in mind, but when she was encouraged to try on different gowns, she ended up falling for a lace Flora number with spaghetti straps and buttons down the back—it wasn't what she'd originally envisioned. "When I went home, I couldn't stop thinking about the dress, so I went back to try it on a second time and knew it was 'the one!'" she explains.
Tied with a Ribbon
The bride's wildflower bouquet featured ranunculus, garden roses, and greens—all tied together with a long taupe ribbon.
Man in Mauve
Eric chose a mauve tuxedo with a black bow tie from The Black Tux for his big-day ensemble.
The Hardest Part
Deciding on the perfect dress for 13 bridesmaids was one of the most difficult parts of the planning process, says Tawnae, so she allowed for a little variety. Each woman chose a different floor-length gown from Lulus either in muted Easter pastels, like sky blue and blush, or chose richer-toned shades, to speak to the jewel tones in the palette.
Eric's eight groomsmen wore emerald green tuxedos from Friar Tux and brown shoes. Their boutonnières featured ranunculus, wax flower, and a rust-colored leaf for a pop of color.
The Little Ones
The flower girls, who tossed chocolate foil eggs down the aisle instead of petals, wore dusty blue linen dresses, while the ring bearers donned blush pants and a matching vest.
Welcome to the Ceremony
For the ceremony, emerald green- and burnt sienna-hued velvet chairs faced the colorful flower fields in the distance. A stunning floral arch, created by Native Poppy, was placed at the end of the aisle, while potted flower arrangements ran its length.
Let's Get Married
After Tawnae's father walked her down the aisle to Ingrid Michaelson's "Fools Rush," the couple exchanged vows they wrote themselves. "I read Eric a note that I'd written in the 8th grade titled, 'Future Husband Requirement List,' which he aced!" the bride shares.
Into the Fields
Post-ceremony (and freshly married!), Tawnae and Eric joined their photographer in the vibrant flower fields to snap photos; from their location, they could watch their cocktail hour unfold.
Back at the Cocktail Hour
An Epic Grazing Station
During the interlude, guests served themselves from a farmer's market cheese, meat, bread, and fruit board.
The Lounge Areas
Lounge vignettes were set up throughout the venue's gardens, offering guests places to relax and chat.
Easter Egg Table Assignments
When it was time for the reception to begin, guests made their way towards a wall emblazoned with the on-theme phrase, "A Tisket, A Tasket," where several Easter baskets held wooden eggs; guests' names and table assignments were written on them in white calligraphy.
A Colorful Party Space
The reception took place inside the property's Paul Ecke Barn, where flower installations hung from the ceiling and a mix of long and round wood tables, draped in velvet linens, were set up. The velvet chairs from the ceremony were brought into the area, providing an additional pop of color to the already-bright space.
The Feature Wall
A "feature" wall at the back of the barn showcased on-theme (and in-season!) window boxes, which were overflowing with garden roses.
On the Tables
Each place setting featured a sea foam green dinner plate, white-and-gold speckled salad plate, copper flatware, yellow wine glass, gold napkin, and berry Champagne coupe (with an edible pansy flower inside)—a chocolate bunny and a mini carrot finished off the look.
The Kid's Table
The couple's planners put together a kids' table—a major hit!—and filled the area with large comfy pillows.
The First Dance
Tawnae and Eric shared their first dance as a married couple to "Whistle for the Choir" by The Fratellis. "It's been our song since our first date!" the bride explains.
Let's Cut the Cake
The couple's three-tiered red velvet wedding cake was inspired by a woven Easter basket—and appropriately decorated with mini carrots and flowers.
In addition to serving the confection, Tawnae and Eric also offered a full a dessert table spread, complete with Easter favorites like Cadbury eggs, mini donuts, Rice Crispy treats, chocolate mousse, and chocolate bunnies.
Photography, Lucy Munoz
Venue, Carlsbad Flower Fields
Event planning and design, Heather Balliet, Amorology
Flowers, Native Poppy
Invitations, Twinkle and Toast
Paper Products, Epoch Designs
Bride's Gown, Flora Bridal
Bride's Veil, The Dress Theory
Bride's Earrings, Anthropologie
Bride's Shoes, Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Lulus
Hair & Makeup, Sarah Beauty Bespoken
Groom's Suit, The Black Tux
Groomsmen's Suits, Friar Tux
Catering, Root Cellar Catering
Cake, Hey There Cupcake
Rentals, Folklore Vintage Rentals
Backdrops and Installations, Backup Backdrops
Bar Services, PTY
Cocktail Truck, Bubbles and Brew
Lighting, Allie's Party Rentals