Decor Inspiration for an outdoor wedding - A Life Unfolding

Decor Inspiration for an outdoor wedding

Today marks the first anniversary of my daughter Alex’s wedding, which we hosted here at the lake house last summer. With all of the wedding plans shifting for brides right now (my heart goes out to each of them), I thought I’d share some outdoor wedding decor ideas with you. As a bonus, it gives me a chance to look back at how beautiful the yard looked last year! Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, as this post is a long one. :-


Wedding Welcome Sign

Wedding Welcome Sign


Beach side wedding. That is one happy Bride and Groom

Beachside wedding. That is one happy Bride and Groom.

When Alex and Ross started planning their outdoor wedding, they knew they wanted it outdoors but still wanted it to feel a bit more elegant than a regular backyard bbq. Once Alex chose her dress, which had some Art Deco/ geometric patterns elements, we began planning the decor details. Since the bride loves blue and it’s perfect for a beach vibe, she ran with that. After debating several shades of blue, Alex settled on dusty blue and grey for her bridal party, and we added mixed metals and a pretty peachy pink for some contrast in the decor. When you are having a wedding outdoors, I believe it’s best to let your beautiful surroundings shine through.


Wedding Dress with Geometric details

Wedding Dress with Geometric details

A lot of the decor was DIY because it’s kind of what I do as a Home Decor blogger. Having worked as a floral designer years ago, I decided I could handle DIYing the flowers. Even with that experience, I was still a bit nervous about finding the specific colors and flowers my daughter liked, so I found Kukka Flowers that send you pre-selected flowers, and you arrange them yourself. This made it so easy. I’ll write a post about the actual arranging next week. They also have videos to help you if you need more support. I ordered the Yours Truly collection which they allowed me to personalize a bit, and the flowers were so beautiful! I also ordered additional flowers from a local supplier for the Arch arrangements and the table decor.


Bridal Bouquets

Bridal Bouquets


Bridal Bouquet close up


Bridal Bouquet with Hydrangeas, Delphinium and Juliet Roses

Bridal Bouquet with Hydrangeas, Delphinium, and Juliet Roses


Blue and White Boutonnieres

Blue and White Boutonnieres


Basket for the flower petals

Basket for the flower petals


Wedding arch with floral swag

Wedding arch with floral swag

Having a wedding at your home basically allows for your Pinterest dreams to come true! And we took full advantage. We rented tents and chairs to fit the 100 guests (about 90 showed up) and separated the ceremony space (beach) from the backyard space (reception), and even designated the patio as the dance floor. We did have a plan “B” in place for rain, but the day turned out stunningly beautiful.


Beach+ceremony.jpeg

A big bonus of having the wedding outdoors was the Best Man felt very much at home.


Peter looks so handsome in his wedding attire!

Peter looks so handsome in his wedding attire!


Beach Front Wedding

Beach Front Wedding


Beach Wedding

Some of my favorite wedding DIY’s


Brush the beach from your toes

Brush the beach from your toes


Wedding program fan

Wedding program fan


Seating signs

Seating signs


Personalized tags for the Bridal Party robes

Personalized tags for the Bridal Party robes

Dinner was catered from a favorite farm-to-table restaurant. If you are local to Grand Rapids, MI, I highly recommend Romanas Table out of Rockford, MI. They were amazing! We rented tables, glassware, and linens for dinner, which was served buffet style.

We hung faux garland borrowed from a friend to cover the poles in the tent at the last minute. We mixed in lights, and it looked lovely once the sun went down.

We used Italian Ruscus for the greenery for the table decor and ran it down the center of the tables on top of the cheesecloth that I bought from the local fabric store. It was light and airy and perfect for a summer night reception.


Tents for an outdoor wedding


Simple wedding table setting


Table decor

Table decor


Bridal table

Bridal table

The couple has a favorite wine they call their LOVE wine. They made it part of the wedding ceremony and then served it to the guests during dinner. We labeled the bottles so they could share the story with their guests.


Wedding Wine Ceremony

After the ceremony, the Bridal Party took a spin around the lake for some pics and a private moment while the guests enjoyed cocktails and yard games.


Bride and Groom on Pontoon


Wedding wine

Wedding wine

Talk about a CHEESECAKE!! Instead of a traditional cake after dinner, these foodies chose to serve a “Cake of cheese,” which tuned out to be a huge success with the guests; it was not only beautiful, the guests were able to nibble throughout the evening. It was beautiful as well as tasty. If you are local to Grand Rapids, MI, it’s from The Cheese People. The layers are Triple Blue Cheese, Donatello, and Cheddar.


Serve cheese instead of cake!

Serve cheese instead of cake!


Serving cheese at a wedding. An alternative cake for a wedding

Serving cheese at a wedding. An alternative cake for a wedding


Crackers served with cheese at wedding

After the ceremony and before dinner, the guests walked the property with cocktails and played various lawn games or took photos for the couple’s guestbook.


Yard games are perfect for outdoor weddings.

Yard games are perfect for outdoor weddings.

We had a Polaroid Guest book where the guests posed for pics with props. The Puppets below were a shower gift to the couple from me. I have a thing with puppets, and each of the kids received a set at their Bridal shower. It’s a weird random thing, but the wedding guests love the Ross puppet!


Photo Guest book


Photo Props

Photo Props

One of my favorite things we did was print out and frame several verses of the poem I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg, which was read at the ceremony, and placed them around on the tables. Printing on the dusty blue paper helped carry the color theme throughout the reception.


I Like you poem.

I Like you poem.

We used whiskey barrels filled with quick crete and eight feet 4 x 4’s for the dance floor. We planted flowers around them. We then strung the lights at the top. I wish I had a better shot, but they worked beautifully. We bought outdoor string light from Home Depot. The shape of the patio is a circle that made for a lovely, intimate dance space.


Wedding Dance floor


Dance floor with lights

The finale of the evening was the send-off. We purchased extra long sparklers so the guests could send the happy couple off in style without any mishaps. It added such a magical feel to a perfect day.


Fireworks send off at beach wedding


Decorating for your outdoor wedding

And that’s a wrap! For some Fall wedding decor inspiration, check out the decor we did for my youngest daughter’s wedding here (and yes, they got married in the same YEAR! LOL.

Special shout-outs to Chantal Elise Photography – Kate @Valley and Oak, who were both amazing at their jobs (Kate rocked that Cake of Cheese table!

I can’t resist posting an update on the happy couple. This photo was from her baby shower two weeks ago!!


Baby bump

Related Posts:

Hosting a virtual baby shower (book themed)

7 ideas for a gorgeous Fall wedding

Until next time,

XX

Libbie

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  1. Maureen says:

    Oh my cuteness! Everything looked amazing. I love the decor and those Polaroid props – so fun!

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

  2. What a fabulous wedding! The decor is absolutely breathtaking and everyone looks fabulous. That cake is so amazing and Peter really does look so handsome in his wedding garb! I love that you shared this post now to inspire other brides who have to make changes to their plans. And congratulations on that new baby coming! Thanks for linking up with me.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    • Libbie Burling says:

      Shelbee- Thank you. I was excited to find you and will be sure to check with you and your friends again. xx

  3. Rebecca says:

    Beautiful wedding, Libbie! Your daughter and son-in-law look so happy! You’ve been featured this week at Celebrate Your Story! Congrats on the grand baby, too 🙂

  4. Joan MacIntosh says:

    Your decor was SENSATIONAL,simply beautiful.exquisite,AND welcoming.I love both couples .WHAT A LOVELY FAMILY!! CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH COUPLES!!

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