Vintage decor, a spring color palette, Irish details…these are just a few of the fabulous features this backyard wedding has to offer! Gertrude and John Paul had the relaxed, intimate wedding of their dreams right in her parent’s backyard. While the wedding took place in the spring, the landscape still looked wintery — so Gertrude brought in the colors of spring with colorful florals and decorations as well as her colorful bridal party.
Read on to hear so much more from Gertrude about their special day, especially her advice for other brides and their full budget breakdown. Don’t forget, you can always view more of the Irish inspiration in this vintage backyard wedding in the full gallery here, all beautifully captured by Jordan Brittley.
From the Bride:
One thing we really wanted was braided wedding bands, symbolizing us and the Holy Spirit – our helper. We found John Paul’s right away at a local jeweler, then finally found a jeweler in Ireland that could make my more dainty band. They are beautiful and such a perfect reminder of our love for each other and the Father’s unending love for us – a love that has brought us this far and will continue to grow with each passing day!
Being a wedding photographer I’ve seen my fair share of fun ideas and just had to narrow them down to the few that went best with our personalities and the relaxed backyard wedding we wanted to have. Getting married in late March meant it was officially spring, but everything was still brown, so we wanted to bring the spring colors to our wintery backdrop…all of the soft spring colors came together perfectly! Since we are both fairly laid back but like to have fun, we really wanted all the details to enhance the fun memories of our big day for our guests…and we also wanted it to be a totally unique experience for everyone too!
There were so many fun ideas I wanted to try. My family and friends were so patient and supportive of all my vision and there is no way everything would have come together without them too…it was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun! We handmade ribbon wands for everyone to wave after the ceremony. We also tied that same ribbon to the back row of chairs to blow in the breeze. I created all of the programs and table numbers and incorporated cool old cars because my husband loves them (of course the car on our program was the love bug).
From the Photographer, Jordan Brittley:
The Gusewelle wedding is everything that a backyard wedding should be. Full of love and fun and the sweet details. Mixed floral fabric with collected bottles throughout their engagement with selected florals as centerpieces bring all of the details together in one swoop. Rose shaped butter and jars for drinking as favors add an intimacy to each table setting, not to mention the home made goodies that covered the cake table: tiramisu, apple pie, chocolate cookies, lemon curd puddings and chocolate covered strawberries.
Gertrude had a piece of apple pie and John Paul had the tiramisu so they could feed each other their very favorites off of vintage china that they thrifted together. The forks were a gift to them from Gertrude’s aunt on their wedding day.
More From the Bride:
I loved the idea of a bunch of different bottles on each table with wild flowers sticking out of them for the centerpieces…each one different from the next. So once we officially started planning the wedding we started saving all the wine, beer, soda, water and liquor bottles we could (we had some help from my family and friends too). There were also a few cool jars and vases that I found at vintage shops and the Goodwill along the way while searching for all of our cool dessert plates too. Then I purchased a few different fabrics and cut them into squares to set the bottles on.
We always love seeing a sweetheart table at the wedding. Having a small table set up for just for the two of you at the wedding reception allows you to have an intimate place to chit chat with guests easily.
To enhance the unique wedding experience we wanted our guests to have we had our amazing catering company serve one of their specialties…Saganaki (flaming cheese). It was also a fun surprise my mom wanted to give my dad, because they have been eating at Spiro’s since they were young and always start their meal with Saganaki. It was a lot of fun and of course, delicious. OPA!!
All of the desserts were made by friends and family. We bought the windows for the ceremony site from an awesome local vintage shop and painted them to go with our springy wedding colors. One of our favorite things were the mason jars for everyone to drink out of and then take home…we made little tags and hung them from each jar with gold wire. They turned out so great and everyone loved them!
Get a closer look at this vintage backyard wedding by watching the fabulous film Jordan Brittley created below.
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Photographer & Cinematography: Jordan Brittley
Flowers: Mexico Road Florist
Groom's Attire: Michael Kohrs
Prop or Furniture Rentals: Sun Rental
Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew & Ruche
Venue: Backyard of Bride's Childhood Home | Hair & Makeup: The Bride | Cake: Created by Friends & Family | Veil: Borrowed from Bride's Sister | Wedding Rings: Custom Made in Ireland | Dress Shop: Amore
Read on to hear the advice Gertrude has for other brides and to see how much this vintage backyard wedding cost. Please note that costs change as the years go by, and prices are subject to change. This is just one couple’s breakdown to give you a rough estimate on how much a wedding like this may cost you.
Don't do something just because you think you have to! There are no set rules for how you do a wedding. Incorporate things that fit your unique personalities; you and your guests will have more fun if you do. This might be hard when you're in the heat of putting everything together, but if it ever gets hard just keep reminding each other why you're doing all of this and make sure you laugh and enjoy every moment, because the planning and creating is as much a part of it as the actual wedding day...so many fun and special moments happen during the pre-wedding madness.
I was told this a lot and it is so true...some things won't go the way you planned, but you'll be the only one that notices and the day of you just need to let go of everything and be in the moment, cuz it goes so fast. Nothing else seems to matter when you and the love of your life are saying your vows surrounded by all of the people that love and support you - it's such a beautiful thing!
The only thing I wish I had done was go back and dismiss every row after the ceremony so we could have said, hello and thank you to all of our guests individually...I had plotted a bunch of "chill time" between the ceremony and reception so we could mingle and relax with our guests, but everything seemed to move at hyper speed and somehow I still didn't get to see many of our guests (a snow storm was coming in & lots of them left earlier than expected too). Other than that, we loved everything about our beautiful wedding day - it was bliss!
From the Bride on the Budget:
Honestly, it got a little crazy in the end with the winter weather sticking around longer than expected, adding some extra expenses in the end (a pathway around the yard to cover the mud, fully enclosing the tent, putting heaters in the tent, etc). I can give you a general breakdown of some of the main things, but I'm sure there were plenty of other expenses my dad took care of in the end that I don't know about.
Here is a list of our expenses (round-about figures, but a good overall idea):
Catering: $11,000 — including all of the servers, dishes, cocktail hour finger foods, flaming cheese, the meal and coffee
Dessert: $0 — we had some wonderful aunts, sisters and friends make all of the desserts
Dishes: $115 — I collected a bunch of old dessert plates from goodwills and thrift stores around town to use for our desert table
Tent: $3,550 — including all the rentals - the tent, lights, dance floor, tables, chairs, table cloths and event liability insurance
Toilets: $1,200 — very nice "Luxury Toilets" on a trailer that had three separate bathrooms with flushing toilets and running water
Bar: $1,200 — we bought our own beer kegs, wine, sodas and tea
Guest Gifts: $200 — we bought a bunch of 8oz jelly jars for each guest to use throughout the night and then take home as a gift from us
DJ: $200 — we rented nice sound equipment from a family friend and created out own playlists using Rhapsody
Guestbook: $40 — I used shutterfly to make a fun photo book for our guests to sign
Dress: $1,400 — including my dress and alterations, the veil was my sisters and I didn't buy new shoes or jewelry
Pastor: $300 — the stipend that isn't required, but given out of etiquette
Misc Decor: $300 — all of the centerpieces were wine, beer and other random jars/bottles that we collected throughout our engagement. I purchased fabric for the centerpieces, the ribbons on the chairs and ribbon wands. The windows were from a local vintage shop and painted by my mother-in-love. I created the programs, table numbers and jar tags myself. Purchased our ring-bearer pillow on etsy.