A Casual Outdoor DIY Wedding in Georgia
Kristen and Josh
Kristen and Josh have been working together for more than nine years -- back in college at the local coffee shop, and now at R. Wood, where Kristen handles the PR and blog, and Josh is an artist and manager. Since both the bride and groom have crafty backgrounds (Kristen also designs textiles for Surya rugs and does a bit of crafting, photography, and vegan cooking on the side), it was only fitting for them to throw a very hands-on handmade wedding. So with the help of their talented friends and coworkers, the longtime collaborators tied the knot in June 2008.
About 150 guests braved the 100-degree heat for the late afternoon wedding, held at the couple's friend Lamar Wood's Brick House Studio and Gardens.
A focal point of the ceremony location was the "Tree of Life" backdrop.
Kristen's friends threw a "Tree of Life" quilting party before the wedding, hand-stitching the tree as they sipped sangria. Kristen plans to display the quilt at some point, but the bride and groom need to find the wall space in their already art-filled home first.
Early in the planning, Kristen and Josh decided on a tight budget. While they did end up exceeding the original amount, the couple managed to pull off a beautiful wedding for just about $3,000 -- again, thanks to the contributions and talents of loved ones. One of Kristen's first projects was making pennant garlands to decorate the outdoor space. She started eight months prior to the big day and ended up with about 1,500 feet of what she refers to as "peace flags." Kristen conceived the flags as a great way to bring in colors and patterns and use up her fabric scraps.
The flags became a motif of the wedding. Here, they adorn coloring books that were given to the children in attendance. The books housed a few illustrations from friends based on the theme of love.
Kristen's brother-in-law Tony and his daughter Sabina, who sprinkled lavender down the aisle.
Claire Campbell played the saw and sang before the ceremony. Other friends played the singing bowls, conch shells, and the didgeridoo. The ceremony was written and officiated by their best friend, Dave Barnes, who had the crowd in tears thanks to the joyful and personal details he wove in. David's brother, Kevin Barnes, played one of the couple's favorite songs ("This Will Be Our Year" by the Zombies) as they walked back up the aisle as newlyweds.
Small paper bags from a local craft store were adorned with hand-drawn hearts and filled with lavender petals. Instead of a rice toss, guests showered the couple with the fresh lavender.
When guests arrived, they were treated to lavender lemonade, fresh strawberries, and boiled peanuts (a Southern favorite).
One of the younger guests enjoys strawberry skewers. The strawberries were picked by the bride and her friends from a local strawberry farm the morning of the wedding and threaded on to flag-topped skewers.
Only seasonal ingredients from local organic farms (Woodland Gardens and Full Moon Farms) were used for the day's menu. Some ingredients (like radishes and baby turnips) were even grown in the R. Wood Studio. Friend Mimi Maumus's catering company, Home.Made Catering, put the gourmet vegetarian feast together. Nearly 400 plates and serving pieces were made for the wedding by the team at R. Wood Studio Ceramics.
To keep costs low, the rentals were kept at a minimum. However, chairs were rented for ceremony seating, and Kristen and a friend bought a large quantity of Mason jars to use to serve the beverages, later using them to can preserves and pickles. A few rustic tables were also made with planks made from fallen wood, refinished by a friend and set atop sawhorses. Vintage linens and baskets were placed around the grounds picnic-style.
In addition to keeping costs low and incorporating local produce, it was important to the couple to mind their impact on the environment. They made cloth napkins, used bamboo forks for eating the cake, and bought compostable cups for the wine and beer, which were then made into fertilizer for the R. Wood studio garden.
A flower necklace of butterflyweed and a golden zinnia made for one of the young guests.
The bridesmaids' bouquets were filled with colorful flowers such as dahlias, zinnias, cornflower, and pink delphinium.
Dried blooms from the cotton plant were included in Kristen's bouquet, which also featured Queen Anne's lace, chamomile flowers, akebia vines, gardenia, dahlias, green zinnias, and mint.
Rebecca Wood also enthusiastically offered to make Kristen's dress. After searching through swatches (rather stressfully), Kristen couldn't find a starting point to suggest. When Rebeccca brought in a patched-up bedsheet she found in an old farmhouse, not intending to suggest it as the actual dress fabric, Kristen knew it would nevertheless be perfect. The sheet had been stitched together numerous times, creating a delicate texture with a feminine pattern. Rinne Allen then hand-sewed flowers from various silks, linens, and beads in shades of white to attach to the yoke of the dress.
A Thoughtful Gift
"As a surprise to Kristen and Josh, their friend Susan Hable (of Hable Construction) brought a teepee for the children to play in at the wedding; inside were toys and coloring books. The adults had some fun of their own playing bocce on the lawn.
Location: Brick House Studio and Gardens
Photography: Rinne Allen
Peace Flags: Beauty Everyday on Etsy
Music: Claire Campbell on the saw
Music: Kevin Barnes
Officiant: Dave Barnes
Ring Pillow: Llubav Choy Duer
Bride's Ring: Erin Tracy
Groom's Ring: Elizabeth Scott
Vegan Cakes: The Grit
Catering: Home.Made Catering
Floral Arrangements: Rinne Allen and Rebecca Wood
Dress: Rinne Allen and Rebecca Wood
Tent: Hable Construction