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    Ania & Blake Bespoke Backyard DIY Wedding

    October 5, 2013 at This was a Do-It-Yourself

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    To say that we were excited when we saw this wedding from Julie Weisberg Photography hit our inbox is a serious understatement. More like jumping up and down with joy, and then some! Let's begin with this bride, shall we? Ania is not only completely and effortlessly gorgeous, but she has that carefree spirit and joy that just jumps off of each and every one of these images, and you can just tell that these two lovebirds are completely head-over-heels. Then there is the fact that these two decided to have their fall wedding in their backyard. And when you have a backyard like this one, with gorgeous autumnal light all around, and views for miles, there just really isn't anything more intimate and beautiful. Top it off with crafty streamers, honey favors, adorable pups, and DIY elements galore made by the bride's parents, and you have one of those fêtes that leaves you completely smitten with every last detail. Congrats you two, we wish you all the happiness in the world! xoxo

    From the bride…..

    I wanted our wedding to be super intimate and to reflect us in every detail. It wasn't at all important to me to follow any traditions or rules except for the ones that meant something to us. We literally went through line by line and picked out what we wanted. And didn't. Did I want to do a bouquet toss? Nope. Father & daughter dance? Absolutely. Formal meal? No thank you. A fancy dress? Heck yes which I got from Kleinfeld NY. A traditional Polish vodka toast? Duh. We looked at many venues but were discouraged by the cookie cutter approach to wedding planning and saddened that many wouldn't allow dogs on site. When someone asked us why we don't do it in our backyard, it felt like a flash of genius.

    Blake has two kids already, boys, 12 and 9 and there's a little girl in our lives who we are very close to and consider family, she was our flower girl. We wanted to include them in the ceremony in a meaningful but low pressure way so we had them walk Blake down the aisle and hold the, "just wait 'til you see her" sign and then spend the ceremony up on the deck with us, but sitting down. During our vows, we had them stand up while I kneeled down to tell them how much they mean to me and how grateful I am to be a part of their lives. It was incredibly special to look them in the eyes at that moment, right as I was about to marry their father. I don't think there was a single person not crying. Especially me! Before the ceremony, Blake gave his boys a fishing knife, handcrafted in France. We had them engraved by the maker with the words, Omni Familia - family is everything.

    My parents are incredibly talented, creative and artistic, so we were very lucky to have their help. My mom did all the flowers, including my bouquet and the boutonnieres. Many of the flowers even came from her own garden. She also made a spectacular succulent letter W, I loved it so much that I ended up using it as the backdrop for our ceremony. My mom cooked several of the traditional polish dishes we had for our guests to enjoy.

    Among the many incredible things my dad created for our wedding was the beautiful sign with the names and distances to cities that have significance to us and our guests. My town of birth, Konin, Poland, for example. The posts were made from the branches of a Catalpa tree that grows in my parents' front yard and the signs were made of wood taken from 150 year old grape harvest boxes from their next door neighbors' vineyard. He also created the Bride and Groom signs we used on our chairs and the "Just wait til you see her" sign carried by my flower girl. It was so special to have everything in his beautiful handwriting. One of my other favorite touches that he helped with were the doggie bow-ties. We bought an extra tie that matched the ones worn by Blake and his boys and my dad used that fabric to construct the adorable accessories. I couldn't imagine getting married without my pups there to help us celebrate. Bruno and Bodhi were quite the little ambassadors. They ended up in a lot of laps and photos and provided many laughs.

    We wanted to bring in as many local elements as we could so we hired Chef Vanessa to cook us up some local flavors and for favors, we went down the street to Steve’s Bees to get some honey that we jarred ourselves. It was a sticky project but well worth it.

    The detail that seems to surprise everyone the most is that I didn't want a ring. Neither engagement nor wedding band. I always told Blake that if someone proposed to me by kneeling down with the ring, I'd have to say no because it meant they didn't know me well enough. I respect that the symbolism is meaningful and important for many people, but I decided long ago that it didn't mean anything for me. Blake has found that rings get in his way during his triathlon training so he has no objections to not having one and certainly didn't mind not having to pay for a diamond for me. I opted for a shiny new mini cooper instead.

    In the end we had the day we wanted in the intimate setting of our backyard with dogs in tow and our closest family and friends. We've been able to relive the day many times over with the beautiful photographs our photographer Julie took. Our day was exactly how we wanted it.

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