We see so many dinner-and-dancing weddings that it’s easy to forget: there’s more than one way to celebrate a marriage! Sarah and Alex opted for a delicious brunch wedding in the backyard of the bride’s childhood home, and with such sweet details and stunning photos from Ciara Richardson, I have a feeling it might make you rethink your evening wedding plans…
Tinge floral created dramatic centerpieces in shades of red and peach, adding rich color to the backyard venue. The invitation design was hand-painted by the bride.
Sarah’s parents made the tables from old barn wood. The bases of the tables (the legs and heavy-duty wheels) came from an old granite countertop company, that had gone out of business. “They were very industrial, beat up, and a perfect fit for the barn wood,” says Sarah.
The brunch menu included tomato and pesto salad, sweet and savory crepes in a variety of flavors, omelets, fruit skewers and yogurt, as well as other breakfast favorites, and watermelon punch with mint.
For dessert there was a selection of “naked” cakes in strawberry champagne, white chocolate raspberry, triple chocolate, carrot cake, lemon soufflé, and cinnamon almond creme (the bride’s own creation).
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? I grew up in Northern California roaming the creeks and fields, my parents’ backyard has everything I ever dreamed of having for my wedding. It was full of stories and experiences, it was charming and “real,” a little bit rural but still could host a classy party, and it just fit us. Alex and I both loved the idea of an outdoor reception. // We chose to do a breakfast reception from 8:00 to 11:00AM rather than an evening dinner with lights and dancing, because it was so cheerful and beautiful in the mornings in my backyard. And it was different from other wedding receptions! We liked that uniqueness. We had a Crepe Bar, in addition to lots of cake, omelets, and other items on the menu that we just loved. Alex and I made crepes all the time when we were dating, we love them, so it was a bit of tradition for us. Something I hadn’t even considered until day of was that our photos would have that beautiful, California, morning light – that was perfect. It was great having the rest of the day to spend with our visiting friends and family, too. It was a continual party all day long! But, we didn’t get that “reception lag” you hear about so often. I think we could’ve done the reception day after day and never tired from it.
What inspired you when you where planning your wedding? I wanted our wedding to feel authentically us. I think authenticity is so important and I knew that if I tried to be anything but “us” it wouldn’t work. I searched the web, read through magazines, looked at art, and just gathered things that I loved. On choosing colors, I went to a craft store with my mom one night and got samples of fabrics that I loved, we picked strands of beads, string, ribbon, even crafting materials like copper sheets, put them all together in little boxes, and all the colors worked together somehow. They were just textures and colors that I loved. We even ended up sending those “color boxes” to Alex’s family in Hong Kong and Australia as well as to my family that lived far away so we could all coordinate colors.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? “Just enjoy your day.” You hear that everywhere and from everyone, but I really did choose to enjoy the day, and it was perfect. Honestly, I don’t have one thing bad to say about it. It made me realize that anything could happen, but as long as you’re married, that’s the only thing that matters. I really wanted the day of the temple ceremony to be the biggest focus, and it was exactly that.
What advice do you have for other brides? To other brides I would say, “choose your happiness.” Start day 1 of your marriage, your wedding day, happy. That is how it should be, and it’ll continue on and on. I guess I would say, too, to choose to be happy during the planning process – the day will be perfect even if every detail isn’t. I had bought my wedding dress 6 months in advance, but after a nightmare of this and that, 7 days prior to the wedding I didn’t have a dress! We scrambled and I ended up finding one at Avenia Bridal that really was even more perfect – I was thrilled with it! It was so different from my original dress, but it was ME. I was so comfortable and felt so classy. It was something that, when 7 days prior I realized I didn’t have a dress, I decided that after everything is said and done, maybe if I just wore a simple white dress from Nordstrom or somewhere, what was important was that I and my groom were happily married. Gratefully, however, I have wonderful parent’s who were so willing for me to go find another wedding dress, and it worked out beautifully.
Do you have any budget tips for brides? I would say, don’t be afraid of DIY, and don’t be afraid of “less is more.” I had a vision in my mind, that when my wedding day all came together, I wanted quality over quantity. There were a few things and ideas we had thought about for decorating, etc. but when it came to the final price – we could either get those things REALLY expensive, or REALLY cheap – typically we decided to opt out all together. I am so glad we did. It kept it simple, and it was lovely.