Daniel and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary last week. It’s so hard to believe that it’s already been a year since we got married! Our wedding day was one of the most amazing days of my life! I looooooved everything about it. The decorations, the food, the music, my dress, everything! Oh, and I got to marry the man of my dreams and celebrate it with my friends and family. What could be better than that?!
I am so happy that we decided to have a DIY backyard celebration. We did almost everything ourselves and it was totally worth all the time it took. Not only did it save us money but I got everything I wanted in the end without having to skimp on anything. I don’t have any regrets at all!
We were so lucky that my dad and stepmom let us use their backyard for the location of the wedding. Not only is it beautiful, but it was large enough to hold the 120 guests that we had invited to celebrate with us. We used the pool area for the ceremony and the cocktail hour. Then we decorated the driveway area with lights and tables for the reception area. It flowed perfectly! Also, the yard faces west and backs up to a huge ranch, so it was a perfect place for our wedding pictures, especially as the sun was going down.
The decorations for the wedding were my favorite part of planning the wedding! I love making decorations! From the very beginning, I had a vision in mind. I was so proud of how everything turned out. Rather than a specific theme, I had a certain color scheme that I wanted to work with. I used my favorite colors of black, white, and maroon throughout to keep everything coherent and then just added touches of our personalities throughout.
Giant paper flowers were a must for our wedding! They are cheaper than real flowers and they look so beautiful as decoration. I also used them as a backdrop for our selfie station! I had a couple of flower making parties leading up to the wedding and recruited my friends and family to help make them. It was amazing because not only did they help with the hundreds of flowers I needed to decorate but it made them a part of the wedding process as well. Everyone was excited when they saw their own flowers they had made as part of the wedding decorations!
For the backdrop for the ceremony, we used an old porch swing frame that my dad had in the backyard. He was going to be getting rid of it anyways because it was all rickety and not really that safe to sit on anymore. We took the swing off the stand and stained it a dark brown. Then we set it up on a couple of blocks that Daniel made so it was high enough to stand under. I then decorated it with paper flowers for the perfect setting for our vows.
We were lucky enough to know someone who had tables and chairs available for us to rent for a really cheap price. I had originally wanted white garden chairs for the wedding and it was going to be one of my splurges. But for the price we were able to get these plain metal chairs and tables, I seriously could not pass it up.
So, I decided to make chair covers for the plain chairs. I recruited my mom to help me out with this project because she is a wiz with the sewing machine. I bought the matching cloth napkins that went with the table runners and turned them into these chair covers. Although my chair cover design worked perfectly indoors, I didn’t take into consider the breeze. But with some rubber bands and some extra ribbon, I was able to make them work!
Speaking of linens, I decided to purchase all of my own tablecloths and table runners. After researching different rental places and websites, I found that it was actually cheaper to purchase them. I am glad I did because they have come in very handy since. I have used them since for different parties and events that we have had at our house.
For the centerpieces, I collected and borrowed mismatched glass and metal vases and containers to hold flower arrangements. We went to thrift stores and craft stores everywhere to find what we were looking for.
As far as the flowers went, I wasn’t too picky on what kind of flowers were used just as long as they complemented the color scheme. I kind of liked the idea of having a more wild flower look to them anyways. So the day before the wedding, I went to one of our local grocery stores that had a great floral department and picked out all the flowers that were maroon, white, and different shades of pink. I just guessed on the amount that we would need and luckily, I only had a few flowers leftover.
I also made the bouquets for myself and the bridesmaids and the boutonnieres for the groom and groomsman. My favorite one that I made was for Daniel. I bought him a bicycle gear pin to put on the front of his boutonniere.
The Food and Drinks
For the food and drinks, we kept it pretty simple. During cocktail hour, we served platters of cheeses, meats, and crackers as well as a few cookie and brownie plates. I had one of our local grocery stores make the platters and then transferred to them to matching cake stands and plates so the setting matched the wedding. For dinner, we had a pizza and salad bar. There was a great pizza restaurant that we both liked decently close by and they delivered everything right before the reception was about to start. It was amazing! Who doesn’t like pizza!?
A party is not a party without a little alcohol! We had cans of beer and boxed wine as the staples for our drinks. The boxed wine came from Trader Joe’s and we bought a variety of different beer to try to accommodate everyone’s tastes including our favorite, Shiner Bock! We slightly over did it when it came to the beer, but luckily we had bought the alcohol from a warehouse store and they let us return any unopened cases that we had left over. And of course we had water and soda for all the non-drinkers and little ones that helped us celebrate.
For the setup for the drinks, we used my dad’s table from his shop covered with a tablecloth. It was a slightly narrow table and perfect height to put plastic tubs under. The plastic tubs held the ice with the beer, soda, and water in it. On top of the table, we had laid our parting gift for everyone: tiny bottles of liquor with a mixer. I’ll be honest most of those didn’t make it home!
I knew from the very beginning that I did not want a normal wedding cake. Instead, we got mini Bundt cakes for the guests and then a larger one for Daniel and I to cut into. I went through three different toppers before settling on Marge and Homer Simpson. I just loved their poses and I felt it described how both of us felt exactly!
We have a family full of musicians, so the music part came pretty easily! Daniel’s mom had a great sound system that we hooked up. For the ceremony, my sister’s boyfriend played the guitar and sang our favorite Postal Service song, “Such Great Heights.” He has an amazing voice! For the reception we created a Spotify playlist. When we sent out our invitations, we asked our guests to give us their favorite dance tune. Everyone was excited when their favorite song came on and it got everyone up and dancing!
Our wedding was amazing! So much detail and so much thought went into everything. It was a lot of work but our families and friends pulled together to make it a day Daniel and I will always cherish. Seriously, I cannot thank them enough!
Now, here we are, a year later. So much has happened in a year. We moved in with Daniel’s mom. We have a baby girl. It’s amazing how much can change in a year. But I can’t think of anyone else I would rather go through life with than Daniel. He is definitely my person and I look forward to many anniversaries to come!
Photos by Stacie Leann Photography