Summer is in full swing and we are bursting full of Real Wedding inspiration to share with you beautiful people! This morning’s handpicked aspiration is a pretty outdoor wedding from across the globe handed to us by the beautifully talented Mairead McDaid of Remain in Light. The couple were so taken with her work, they flew her out stateside to capture their once-in-a-lifetime day! The super laidback couple got married in Grace’s American hometown of Michigan, where she chose to unite at her childhood home set by the lake and surrounded by glorious outdoor woodland. Her family home played host to a global, Anglo-American fusion wedding with guests from all around the world uniting in a woodland ceremony and al-fresco style reception. The sunset, the lake, the authentic homemade elements and the relaxed vibes of this cultural celebration proves that home really is where the heart is……..over to Grace and Jack!

It was so special….It truly felt like a once-in-a-lifetime moment to gather all of our friends and family from around the world out in the woods behind my childhood home. Decide what’s important to you and do it. Don’t feel like you have to conform to tradition or outside influences. It’s your day! I would also highly recommend marrying someone you really like!

From South Korea to the back of a London Cab!

We got engaged in the back of a London black cab! To cut a long story short, we met in South Korea 7 years previously. On our first date we were getting a lift in a taxi when the taxi driver looked at us in his mirror and told us that in 5 years time we would get engaged. It was a little awkward as we had only met a few weeks before. When the time came, Jack thought it was apt to go full circle and propose in the back of a taxi. I didn’t hesitate in saying YES!!

 

Married at home…

We got married at my childhood home near Manchester, Michigan, USA.  I’m from Michigan and grew up in the countryside. My mum has a beautiful piece of woodland, which we had always thought would be a beautiful spot for a wedding. Her front lawn was the perfect size for the number of guests we wanted and the farm house made the perfect stage for the bluegrass band! We also knew that there would be an amazing evening sunset over the lake across the road…..

Outdoors reception and a house full of love

We really wanted our reception to be el fresco, and are so grateful we were able to! We rented a big marquee in case of rain. The rental company asked us to decide whether we wanted to actually use it 4 days before the wedding (they needed to schedule the set-up) – the weather was forecasted to be clear and so we said no – a bit nerve-racking but fortunately the weather cooperated. We invited people to camp, but in the end we managed to find enough beds for all the guests who didn’t stay in a hotel.

A day so beautifully captured….

Our photographer was Mairéad McDaid of Remain in Light. Jack had been a fan of Mairéad’s work for a while, so when we found out she was available we didn’t hesitate in flying her out. Her work is beautiful, particularly her ability to create gorgeous portraits that incorporate the surrounding landscape and architecture. She’s also a relaxing and calming presence to have around on a day that can be rather hectic. We can’t recommend her enough!

A family effort made DIY a delight!

It felt like everything was DIY – we had an incredible amount of help from our generous friends and family. My brother built the keg bar. We all had a hand in stringing up the lights as this was a big effort. Setting & decorating tables, arranging flowers, prepping the bar, making desserts… we did it all with help from people dear to us. Our place cards and table décor were also made by us. The Save the Dates were custom designed by Andrew Wicklund and the table numbers were from Shaye Calligraphy & Design. The Cocktail Napkins were from With Love and Ink and the Dinner Napkins from Ikea. It was hard work but it was so much fun to see it all come together in such a personal and unique way. It was so great to see everyone we love enjoying the process!

Laidback Woodland ceremony

The ceremony took place in the woods behind my Mum’s house. We decorated the space with long benches and some decorative elements to give it shape. Our ceremony was officiated by a minister from the Ann Arbor’s First Unitarian Universalist Church and we had live Ceremony Musicians who were Natalie Mae and Billy King. We had a bit of a mix when it came to ceremony music! The processional song was ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ by The Darkness and ‘Eyes on the Prize’ by M. Ward played out during the ceremony performance. We also had ‘Tender’ by Blur.

Our family performed readings for us which really added to the sentiment of the venue. We had excerpts from ‘I Like You’ by Sandol Stoddard Warburg (read by Jack’s teenage cousins) and ‘Love Sonnet 17’ by Pablo Neruda (read by my brother).

The musicians and family members who did readings made our ceremony so beautiful and special to us! The benches were made by our family members and I found inspiration for the mini pod backdrop online – it was made during the winter months with help from many, many people.

blushing bride and handpicked garden flowers

I was loving the blush, lace, and two-piece trends that I was seeing, which is how I settled on my outfit. The dress was from Wtoo Watters and the topper was by Leanne Marshall. My shoes were from the white ribbon and my earrings were from The Diamond Store (gift from Jack’s mum).

Jack was dressed in a gorgeous grey suit from Asos and he had a Tie Clip from A Bella Gift and a Tie & Handkerchief from Amazon. The Bridesmaid’s Dresses were picked up from the Salvation Army, Target and they all wore different accessories.

We purchased most of the flowers in bulk online from Fifty Flowers and DIY’ed the bouquets, buttonholes, and flowers for tables. Some extra flowers came from a generous friend’s garden and Whole Foods.

cats and cake

Our wedding cake was a beautiful rustic naked forest fruits cake made by Jack’s mum, Barbara Hoyle. She isn’t  a professional baker, but it was the best wedding cake I’ve ever seen or eaten! Other desserts were made by friends and family.

We served wood-fired pizza made on-site from a truck – this was one of our best decisions – so easy and so, so good! These were supplied by Rollin’ Stone Wood-Fired Pizza.  Some of the beer kegs came from Grizzly Peak Brewing Company and others were brewed by a friend. Our signature cocktail was gin & tonic garnished with rosemary and cucumber.

Bluegrass band for the first dance

We were so lucky to get Fauxgrass to play at our wedding! Their original, upbeat blue-grass tunes were so much fun on the dance floor! Our first dance was whatever upbeat bluegrass song the band happened to play first – we didn’t take it too seriously.

Favourite moment

I think for Jack, it was walking each other down the aisle and seeing all our close friends and family smiling back at us. For me, it was talking & dancing with friends and family at the reception and seeing all the months of planning and work come into fruition!

The line up

Photographer: Mairéad McDaid of Remain in Light

Bride’s Dress: Wtoo Watters

Groom’s Outfit: Asos

Flowers: Fifty Flowers

Music: Fauxgrass,  Natalie Mae and Billy King.

Catering: Rollin’ Stone Wood-Fired Pizza

 

 

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