Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding
Photos by Heather Michelle Photography

Offbeat partner: Hayley

Offbeat partner: Adrienne

Date and location of wedding: Hayley's parents' backyard in Blacksburg, VA — September 16, 2017

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

We wanted a forest-themed wedding because of our shared love of nature and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in which we live. We also wanted to focus on our friends, family, and community. We sought out vendors we knew, the caterer used produce from the farm where Adrienne volunteers. The favors (goat's milk soap) and the flowers both came from vendors at our farmer's market.

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

My dad has a disc golf course on the property, and many of his disc golfer friends helped by driving golf carts, running the bar, and keeping the fires going. Our photographer was a friend from college, it was so nice to reconnect with her and she did an amazing job. Finally, we met our DJ several years ago when Adrienne was working on a documentary about drag queens in Southwest Virginia, so he has always been a great ally for the community and he is an amazingly talented DJ, we were so happy to book him for our wedding.

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Tell us about the ceremony:

Neither of us are religious, so our ceremony really just focused on our love. Our officiant got to know us well and told our love story, along with a few secular readings. It was short and sweet. We walked down the aisle to "40 Day Dream" and our recessional was "That's What's Up" both by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, our favorite band. My dad built a timber frame arch and about 60 benches for the ceremony, which turned out awesome!

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Tell us about your reception:

Our reception started with a cocktail hour — Adrienne and my dad built a shed and turned it into the bar with a removable window. My mom made our family recipe for beer dip and the caterer provided a few appetizers as well. Then we had dinner, followed by sweet toasts from our best lady and maid of honor.

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

After cutting the cake, Adrienne and I had our first dance, and my uncle sang a Frank Sinatra song for our father-daughter dance. It was really sweet that we were both able to dance with our fathers. As the evening progressed, we eventually had a few sparklers and fireworks, and after the DJ finished his set, we transitioned to guitar, drum, and accordion music around the fire and we all sang our favorite songs. At the end of the night, Adrienne and I, and about 20 of our other guests camped out on the property. We had a big southern breakfast at Cracker Barrel the next morning with our wedding party and a few other friends before leaving for our mini-moon.

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

What was your most important lesson learned?

I think the biggest lesson we learned was just to stop worrying and to let the details come together. We were stressing because our wedding party was spread out across the country and only a few of them were able to help us plan (and we didn't always know how to ask for help), but once they all came into town they were so awesome. We had a crafting party instead of a bachelorette party and they all helped us hot glue our centerpieces and paint signs and everything got done that we were so worried about.

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

The night before one of the vendors took so long setting up it threw off the schedule, but Adrienne's family provided a delicious and beautiful homemade rehearsal dinner at a local park to get us all energized again, and then we stayed up past midnight stringing lights on the tent, setting up the dance floor, and arranging table and chairs.

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Adrienne and I were engaged for a year and a half, and sometimes it felt like we waited too long to get stuff done, but it truly all came together so well and all the details were perfect, and so many friends and family went above and beyond to help us in the time leading up to the wedding. It was truly a magical night.

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Our hearts warmed upon seeing this homegrown backyard woodland wedding

Vendors

Photographer: Heather Michelle Photography • Flowers: West Farm • DJ: DJ Bobby Hash • Favors: Poplar Hill Alpacas • Dress: Chantilly Lace • Catering: Feast and Co. • Cake: For the Love of Sweets • Officiant: Kanta Bosniak

Gallery

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