A Fairytale Garden Wedding in the Bride's Grandma's Backyard
Lauren and Travis
Every little girl fantasizes over her big day and this bride made her childhood dream come true with her at-home backyard wedding. Lauren and Travis's love story began in January 2013. Lauren, who works in advertising, found herself at The Bungalow in Santa Monica, where Travis had also ended up. Introduced by mutual friends, they instantly hit it off and from that night on, the pair was inseparable.
A little over two years later and with the help of Lauren's family and friends, Travis came up with a detailed proposal plan. Lauren's father called to make sure she got the Saturday off from work (supposedly to go hiking with her sister). On Saturday morning, before the outing, Travis said that they had brunch plans. A completely unsuspecting Lauren wasn't too happy about the sudden plans but once they were walking on the beach to brunch, Travis said, "Did you know that today was our 33rd month anniversary?" Lauren, who admits that she's "not a numbers girl" brushed it off until Travis followed with, "And on Wednesday, it will be 1000 days since I met you." It was then that she realized that he was about to pop the question! Down on one knee, Travis pulled the ring out of his pocket and she said yes.
Then Venice Beach, California-based couple wanted to tie the knot before their planned move to Chicago, where Travis would be pursuing his MBA. For Lauren, it was an absolute no-brainer to be married in her grandmother's backyard in South Pasadena. "As a little girl, I grew up playing in that backyard and always dreamed of having my wedding there," she says. Her parents also hosted their reception in that very same garden. Inspired by the ground's Secret Garden feel and the venue where the couple first met (The Bungalow's known for its outdoor patio, surrounded by lantern-lit trees), the couple worked with Heather Balliet of Amorology Weddings to create a "boho 'Jungalow' botanic, romantic vibe".
On July 2, 2016, with 165 loved ones in attendance, Lauren and Travis became the 7th family couple to be married in her grandmother's backyard. With plenty of warm candlelight accented by ambers, greens, grays, and a touch of blush, this couple's ethereal celebration was truly one for the family album.
The Stationery Suite
Lovely Paper Things created the couple's foliage-themed suite, reflecting the backyard setting of the celebration. Featuring watercolor ferns and jacarandas, and calligraphy, the invitations were tucked into envelopes sent with vintage stamps.
The Bridesmaid Gifts
Travis worked closely with a jeweler to source the perfect diamonds for his bride's engagement ring. With her style in mind, they created a timeless, dainty diamond band. As for their Mark Patterson wedding bands, each of them bears the engraving, "Our Great Adventure". "It was just something to remind us that each day we have together is a blessing and to treat each day as an adventure," Lauren explains.
While shopping at The White Dress, Lauren was on the look out for a flowy number with sleeves. However, once she spotted another bride-to-be holding a Katie May gown, she asked if she could try it on and it was love at first fit. She notes the gown's low back and lace detailing as her favorite features. She paired her delicate dress with a sweeping Renee Pawele lace-trimmed veil, a Renee Pawele flower crown, and YSL Tribute platforms. "I am 5' 3" and my husband is 6' 3", so I knew I needed some height," the bride explains. For jewelry, she donned two heirloom pearl bracelets (one given to her by her grandmother and the other by her late great-grandmother) and a long Renee Pawele back necklace.
The First Look
Prior to the ceremony, Lauren and Travis had a private moment during their first look in a neighbor's backyard. This was also the groom's favorite part of the day. "I had so much fun, just enjoying our time alone and joking around," he says. "I told her she should always wear her wedding dress—she looked beyond gorgeous!"
Lauren's ladies-in-waiting were a mix of family members and close friends, all dressed up in purplish-gray Dessy gowns. Lauren also had Renee Pawele custom make sashes for their dresses, out of lace and plant-dyed silk ribbon. Much like the bridal bouquet, the bridesmaids carried bouquets of roses, amaranthus, and plenty of foliage.
The groomsmen looked dapper in their dark gray The Black Tux suits and pale pink ties. All men in the bridal party also wore boutonnieres featuring some of the day's blooms.
Adding to the garden party feel, vintage parasols allowed guests to shade themselves from the setting sun.
The bride's father accompanied her down the aisle to Pachelbel's "Canon In D". The "aisle" was actually the existing hundred-year-old trellis in Lauren's grandmother's backyard that Town And Country dressed up with Edison bulbs, creating a dreamy bridal entrance.
The couple exchanged traditional vows but also added on their own words, to make their declaration of love even more meaningful. Besides the abundant greenery trailing down the pergola, their florist also framed the makeshift altar with sheer swaths of fabric.
Despite the warm weather, family and friends still looked classy in their summery chic ensembles.
The Escort Cards
Heather Balliet of Amorology Weddings also teamed up with Laura Made It and Back Up Backdrops to create the couple's custom seating display. Working with shades from the color palette, Betlem Calligraphy penned guests' names onto geometric wooden blocks, resulting in a unique setup. "Guests had so much fun finding their suspended names!" Heather planner says.
Following cocktail hour in the front yard, everyone moved to the back garden where a garden feast was set up. Between the wooden farm tables and chairs and surrounding greenery, Lauren wanted to keep things as rustic as possible and opted out of tablecloths. Instead, patterned table runners were used.
The Place Settings
Much like the stationery suite, the letterpressed menus also had foliage detailing, a subtle complement to the abundant greenery and the seafoam green Casa de Perrin plates. Blush Hostess Haven napkins, gray and gold flatware, and amber goblets added warmth to the table. The couple, who have quite the sweet tooth, also shared their love of sweet treats with Hey, There Cupcake! macaron favors.
For the centerpieces, wild floral-like arrangements were bathed in a soft glow from the tealights and tapered candles. Geometric blocks served as table numbers, which nicely tied back to the one-of-a-kind escort display and provided a little edge to the romantic décor.
The First Dance
In preparation for their big first dance, Lauren and Travis worked with The Dance Doctor for six months. Their hard work paid off as the newlyweds effortless twirled to Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You".
The Dessert Table
As night fell, fairy lights that Travis, Lauren, and her family hung all over their backyard, lit up, creating an almost dream-like ambiance to the festivities. "I climbed trees and crawled through bushes to make the backlighting perfect," the bride says—the final look was definitely spectacular.
Photography, Greg Finck
Event planning and design, Heather Balliet of Amorology Weddings
Flowers, Honey & Poppies
Stationery, Lovely Paper Things
Calligraphy, Betlem Calligraphy
Cake, Hey There, Cupcake!
Makeup, 10.11 Makeup
Bridesmaids' dresses, Dessy
Groom's suit, Theory
Menswear, The Black Tux
Lighting, Town and Country