A Vintage Garden Picnic Wedding with Edwardian Elegance from Erika Follansbee Photography
Following last Monday’s DIY ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed wedding (I do hope you didn’t miss it, because it was the sweetest celebration with an afternoon tea reception!), we’re starting this week with another pretty DIY affair! This time the couple’s pretty garden made the perfect venue for their vintage garden picnic wedding, and with a beautiful Edwardian feel it is a wedding I just know you are going to love…..
Deciding that they wanted to start out married life with a new home, rather than a wedding day debt, Caitlin and Matthew put their hard earned ‘wedding budget’ towards a deposit for a house and decided to DIY their wedding in the garden of their new ‘blue bungalow’.
“When we figured out our wedding budget, we realized that we could afford to invest most of that money on a down payment on our first home and have an even more perfect wedding (for us) in our backyard. We went house hunting and eventually found our Blue Bungalow and set the date for our wedding. We were lucky enough that we landed in the most amazing neighborhood, and our neighbors were thrilled to let us spread out onto their yards which enabled us to have the wedding of our dreams – at our new home. I can’t picture getting married any other way!”
“My wedding dress was absolutely stunning. I found 100+ year old lace on rubylane.com (an eBay for Antiques dealers and collectors), as I knew that a bridal boutique would not have what I wanted. I had been searching the net, and the only dresses that I loved were vintage ones, so I knew I had to go the “untraditional” way. The lace was basically a deconstructed lace dress that had to be put back together. I knew the waist of the skirt would fit me, and I had a friend who was willing to try designing & making it into a dress (she’s made several other wedding gowns, some from scratch!) So I took a leap of faith and ordered it! It was a 6-month long process with Susan to get it just right, but everything worked perfectly. I felt comfortable and my best version of myself in the dress. I got so many compliments on it from our family and friends, almost every person said it was so “me”!!” I think Caitlin and her friend did an amazing job, her dress is utterly lovely….and a little Claire Pettibone-esque don’t you think?
“I had Eucca on Etsy make a sola wood flower piece, with lavender and thistle (a nod to my husband’s Scottish heritage) to match the mens’ boutonnieres. A friend made me another hair piece for the reception out of silk flowers. ”
“I also had something from each grandparent near me that day: I wore my maternal grandmother’s wedding necklace (I am the fourth generation of women in my family to wear it! My great-grandmother wore it first), my paternal grandmother’s sapphire earrings, and attached to my bouquet was my maternal grandfather’s dog tag from WWII, and my paternal grandfather’s WWII Air Force pin.”
“We got married under a beautiful Box Elder tree in the side yard at our home, which we affectionately call the Blue Bungalow. When we figured out our wedding budget, we realized that we could afford to invest most of that money on a down payment on our first home and have an even more perfect wedding (for us) in our yard, we went house hunting. We were lucky enough that we landed in the most amazing neighbourhood, and our neighbours were thrilled to let us spread out onto their yards for the rest of the festivities.”
“Matt and I did do a first look, and I was glad for that, because I was so nervous before I saw him. I wanted to know if he liked everything, and it was nice to find out beforehand! So, walking down the aisle, I was calm, collected, and so warmed to see so many familiar, happy faces, with happy tears in my husband’s eyes.”
“I had three bridesmaids. My maid of honor was Caneel, my best friend since the 6th grade. My other two girls were Fern who I met playing volleyball in the 7th grade, and Johanna and I met while learning to be teachers at UNH. They were the perfect balance to keep me sane and focused in the months leading up to the wedding. Caneel wore a new, but vintage inspired dress from ASOS. Fern and Johanna found very sweet, (and flattering!) oatmeal colored lace dresses at Dress Barn!!”
“My bouquet was inspired by a photograph on Pinterest. One fated day, I came across an amazing service called Flower Moxie, who you can send such a picture to, and will recommend flowers/greens and send you individual bunches for what you need based on what you tell her, then you construct it yourself! My stepmother created my bouquet with a mix of the Flower Moxie flowers, and homegrown ones. It was absolutely perfect.”
“Keeping with the vintage casual feel, we dressed the men in brown pants and soft, flannel-like tan vests and grey ties. Matthew wore a grey vest, which was actually by accident; we had ordered a blue one, but a grey one came instead. Having just a few weeks left until the wedding, and the vest needing to be tailored to my tall, skinny husband, we just went with the grey and it looked just great!”
“We got married under a beautiful Box Elder tree in the side yard at our home, which we affectionately call the Blue Bungalow.” There must be nothing more romantic than looking out of your window and seeing the spot you exchanged your vows every day!
“Our reception was also held at our home; across the street. My family, our bridal party, and family friend Julie decorated everything. We decided two days before the wedding to forgo the tent, and eat al fresco, as the forecast was very favorable. This was one of the things we were happiest about, as we wanted the whole event to feel comfortable and relaxed, like a picnic. We had lawn games (and a mini-air hockey table!) set up for all to entertain themselves, as I have 13 nieces and nephews alone, and picnic blankets on the ground for kids to eat at.”
“Our wedding cake was a gluten free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, made by my very good friend (aka my “work spouse”). I just wanted simple and pretty, so she did a rough icing on each of the three tears, and got some beautiful Sweet William to decorate it.”
“I was fortunate to have a family friend, Julie Friend-Gray, and my stepmother Laura, create all of the flower designs from flowers foraged in and around NH – a lot of lilacs, paperwhites, columbine and greenery!. Julie is pretty much a sorceress when it comes to flowers, having done many events for her family, and mine.” It’s definitely not as easy as it looks to create such lovely floral designs, so be sure to give yourself time and budget to practice if you’re thinking about DIYing your wedding flowers.
Pearls of Wedding Wisdom from the Bride…..
“Don’t sweat the small stuff… really hard to accept in some moments, but definitely worth the effort in not stressing!
And stay true to yourself, and it will all fall into place!”
“ALSO, our dance floor was handmade for a family friend’s wedding, and we were allowed to borrow it for ours. My father and maid of honor’s mother creatively decorated it with string lights and tiki torches… it created a beautiful scene that I didn’t even imagine having as a backdrop for our first dance and father/daughter, mother(s)/son dances.”
Tell us a little about your photographer…..
“One of my favorite things is photographs. Whenever I visited any of my grandparents growing up, I would immediately go to closets where the picture boxes were stored and commit to memory images of my family through the years… most of them before I was born. I’m a historian, and know the value of documents and what they can tell about people, and I knew that our wedding pictures would become our most prized possessions. I love that Erika’s photographs look real, that they catch details, emotions and unexpected moments. And she totally appreciated my need for heirloom pictures – I cannot wait to look at our wedding photos with my future children. Photos that capture not only the love story that their father and I have, but also the memory of our family and friends coming together to support us in our commitment to each other.”
Wishing the lovely Caitlin & Matthew many congratulations and every happiness as husband and wife! A big heartfelt thankyou to them, and especially Caitlin for sharing all the wonderful details of their day. Another big thankyou to their wonderful photographer Erika Follansbee for capturing it all so perfectly and for allowing me to publish it here on Chic Vintage Brides. If you want to see more of this beautiful celebration pop across to her website www.erikafollansbee.com, or why not follow Erika and see more of her work – you will find her on Twitter, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest.
Photography ~ Erika Follansbee
Wedding Dress ~ Vintage circa 1900, re-created by family friend Susan Helene
Bridal Shoes ~ Modcloth
White Floral Hair Piece ~ Eucca on Etsy
Bridal Updo ~ Friend of the Bride
Bridal Makeup ~ Crown & Halo
Bridal Bouquet ~ DIY
Flowers ~ Flower Moxie
Bridesmaids Dresses ~ ASOS and Dress Barn
Centrepieces ~ DIY
Wedding Cake ~ Friend of the Bride
Food ~ Jamaica Mi Hungry Foodtruck
Engagement & Wedding Rings ~ 1930s Art Deco from Market Square Jeweler, Dover