These two love birds tied the knot in the exact same spot they first met…right in the groom’s backyard! Keeping their love as the central focus of their day, Xander and Kylie’s friends and family helped them put together a laid back event with DIY decor from beginning to end.
Read on to hear so much more from Kylie about her special day, including details about their budget. You can always view more of this colorful backyard wedding in the full gallery here, all beautifully captured by Katch Silva Photography.
From the Bride:
I fell in love with Xander the summer before my nineteenth birthday. I was in his backyard, lying in the grass and staring at the afternoon light filtering through the trees. For no reason at all, we turned to look at each other at the exact same time. He smiled, then I smiled, and that was it. We were in love. Five years later we were married in the exact same spot, on a hot July afternoon with the light filtering through the trees in his backyard.
The moment we got engaged I knew that I wanted to be married in that yard. I had long suspected that it held some kind of strange magic that I could not quite place, but had felt so poignantly on many occasions. By all appearances it was nothing more than a suburban lawn, with a coiled red hose and the skeleton of an abandoned tree house.
Getting married in that yard was the most meaningful decision I made planning this wedding. All the other details, lovely as they were, were secondary. That night I looked around, and I saw all my family and friends dancing and laughing under the trees I knew so well. Their eyes were alight with fireflies, and sparklers, and stars, and they smiled conspiratorially at each other, because they could all feel the secret that Xander and I have always known.
We walked down the aisle to this song (Ripple by The Grateful Dead) , and when I got to the front and looked The Boy in the eye, Jerry sang my favorite line in the world, “If I knew the way, I would take you home.” I smiled, and mouthed the words along, and he smiled back at me, and I was ready to be married.
We smoked meat on site. I will say unequivocally that this was the best wedding decision I made, aside from, you know, the getting married part. I really don’t have any other words about our amazing caterers, except this: those pulled pork sliders, with their delightful little pickle slices, will haunt my dreams.
The meats table had an amazing variety of BBQ meats and sides. We had pulled pork sliders, Texas lollipops (sausage wrapped in bacon on a stick), shrimp skewers, smoked chicken wings, and veggie kabobs. For the actual main courses we had braised brisket, BBQ pork belly, St. Louis ribs and grilled veggies.
My favorite elements of the wedding were all the tangible expressions of love surrounding us. This wedding was truly a team effort, and it meant so much to both The Boy and me that so many people wanted to help out. My sister stayed up late every night the week before the wedding, slaving over our gorgeous chalkboard menus. My dad gleefully put his new saw to work on the easels and chalkboard placemats, onto which my mom painted one perfect pig. The Boy’s mother basically lived in her backyard for five months, planting flowers and waging war on weeds.
Jam jars, mason jars, milk bottles and other mismatched glassware filled with a variety of floral stems made up this eclectic table top.
Maggie, my badass maid of honor and craft goddess, cut and assembled all the banners, photobooth props and paper pinwheels until her fingers blistered. Lorenza, my wonderful officiant, turned hoarded fabric scraps into lovely bunting to hang around the ceremony area, and made the flower crown I wore in my hair. For days before the wedding, that yard was crawling people, all working their butts off to create this day for us. And on July 20th I looked around at all the chalkboards, and pinwheels, and flags, and flowers, and I thought: we are loved.
Custom Stamp: Sparkvites
Photographer: Katch Silva Photography
Cake: Michele's Pies
Caterer: Pitmaster BBQ Catering Co.
Cinematography: Ben Tedesco
Coordinator: Big Juicy Events
DJ: Adam Subtrac'em
Groom's Attire: Theory
Shoe Designer: Loeffler Randall
Prop or Furniture Rentals: New England Country Rentals
Tent: Events Party & Tent Rentals
Makeup: Courtney Murray
Paper Goods: Xander Keeping Design (The Groom)
Venue: Groom's Backyard | Dress Designer: Paty Castillo | Officiant & Veil or Hair Accessory: Bride's friend, Lorenza
Read on to see how much this colorful 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.
At the end of the day I think we spent about $26,000 on the wedding. This was way more than I anticipated, and it was a huge source of stress for me at the beginning of the planning process. But this is what I ultimately realized: when it comes to a wedding, everyone has expectations. You, your fiance, your parents, his or her parents. People want things because they love and care about you, and want your wedding day to be everything that you (and they) dreamed of. So quite honestly there were a ton of things we could have done to save quite a bit of money, but I eventually realized that it made my mom happier to spend money on things she really cared about than to cut corners, so I just decided to stop stressing about it. And not one person has expressed a single regret about the way we did it, because it was just exactly perfect.
It was 100% perfect. Xander and I basically planned the whole thing ourselves (in under five months!) with a ton of help and support from our family and friends. We had to work our butts off, and it got a liiiiitttle stressful at times, but the end result was so worth it. The only thing I can think of is the way I handled the tent situation. We had this deal with the tent company where we had until a week before the event to decide on the tent size. I wanted the smallest tent possible, because I wanted people to be out in the open air, and I felt like no one would roam around the yard if everyone was congregating under the tent. So we spent weeks glued to the weather forecasts, and of course our wedding day was the one day where they predicted crazy thunderstorms. It really bummed me out, and I'm pretty sure I actually lost sleep over it. We kept pushing the decision deadline, but like two days before the wedding we had no choice but to go with the big tent, it rained for exactly ten seconds on the day of, and we were really glad we had it. Plus, it was so hot that people really wanted to be in the fresh air, so they all wandered around the rest of the yard as well. I had so much else to worry about in the weeks leading up to the wedding, I should have just let the tent thing go. My advice would be to stop worrying so much about the picture in your head, and go with what makes sense. It'll still be wonderful. This was the advice my mother gave me, and I should have listened. Did I just put that in writing?