"I've always pictured getting married beneath a huge tree decorated with lights," says Natasha Gentry. "So my friend and I came up with the idea of hanging votive candles and lights in different antique jars." The bride sourced mason jars from a local antique store, lighting cords from IKEA, and bulbs from a hardware store; she spray-painted the cords gold, drilled holes into the jar lids, and fit them all together to create the suspended display. "The glowing tree became the focal point of the ceremony and looked even more beautiful as the sun went down," says Natasha.
Photo: Steven Michael Photo
For their alfresco ceremony, bride Shannon Pezzolla, an interior designer, secured swatches of lace in wooden embroidery hoops and suspended them from tree boughs to create an eye-catching vintage-meets-modern display.
Photos: Braedon Photography
Capiz Shells and Feathers
For a sunset ceremony held atop a bluff, Julie Hsu wanted the décor to complement the Pacific Ocean backdrop. "We thought flowers would simply pale in comparison to the panoramic views," she says. "Plus, we wanted to incorporate natural elements in white to suit the beach setting." Capiz shell chandeliers suspended from the venue's pergola and tall arrangements of white feathers on translucent pedestals fit the bill perfectly. Décor by White Lilac Inc.
Photo: Chenin Boutwell
"Our ceremony was held indoors, but we wanted to somehow bring the outdoors inside," says Taryn Myers Rothstein. The couple's lighting designer projected a design (called a "gobo") of a tree as the ceremony backdrop. "We wanted our guests to feel like they were a part of our love story, and the trees helped make our wedding ceremony feel like a modern-day fairy tale," says the bride.
Photo: Jagger Photography
The bride's sister-in-law made the ceremony backdrop using thin strips of fabrics in a variety of pink and blush tones. "It was beautiful—organic and modern," says bride Ashley Anderson. "It was a true reflection of my and my husband's different styles."
Photo: Michèle M. Waite Photography
To decorate the outdoor ceremony space, the couple hung a wooden sign bearing their wedding's tag line, "True Love Is a Big Deal." After designing a stencil of the text on the computer, they found a local woodworking shop with a CNC wood router (a tool that creates precise designs from wood) to cut the sign from plywood and then painted it white themselves. Event design by Beth Helmstetter Events
Photo: Jonas Peterson
Paper Flowers and Pinwheels
"We wanted something really whimsical and dramatic," says bride Lauren Virden, who worked with event designer Jesi Haack on the ceremony display. "I had a photo of paper flowers in my wedding-planning file, and we decided to make an arch entirely out of paper." They fashioned hundreds of pinwheels from patterned paper from a local craft store; Jesi added colorful kites and giant paper flowers in the center of the display. "As we drove up the hill to the ceremony venue on the day of the wedding, I spotted a giant mass of color in the distance," says Lauren. "I gasped when I realized it was the arch—it was more dramatic and beautiful than I could've imagined." Event design by Jesi Haack Design
Photo: Ashley Rose Photography
"We wanted the décor to have a vintage feel to complement our venue—a historic church—and my wedding gown, a dress from the 1950s," says Chelsey Meyer. The couple decorated the altar with old-fashioned paper garlands and tissue paper flowers in white and cream. Paper garlands, Bulk Party Supplies
Photos: Austin Gros
"We didn't want anything typical, like an archway or a gazebo," says bride Jordan Overdick. Instead, the groom's father constructed a wood stage and oversize frame, which Jordan decorated with vintage photo frames from her family's collection that she'd repainted gray; additional frames were suspended from the trees.
Photo: Kristen Marie Photography
"We wanted our ceremony décor to be bold and unique, but with an organic feel and a neutral color palette," says bride and floral designer Mai Hoang, who created the design herself. "Airplants were the perfect choice—they're sculptural and make a big statement without having to add a lot of color." White blooms such as hydrangeas and roses were added to the design to create a lush archway. Floral design by Bunch Studio
Photo: Adrienne Gunde
"Many of our guests had been to weddings in our ceremony venue before, so I wanted ours to be like nothing they'd ever seen," says bride Bethany Bunch. "I was hoping for goosebumps!" She, along with her maid of honor, visited the site months before the wedding to brainstorm décor ideas. "My friend suggested a draped fabric tent and I loved the idea. My mom, who's a great seamstress, along with a small army of family mathematicians, figured out the proper dimensions and got it done." The bride purchased 40 yards of black-and-white-striped fabric online, which was used to fashion the 20-foot-tall tent, along with a ceremony aisle runner and linens for the cake table at the reception.
Photo: Kimberlee Newman, Simple Splendor Photography
Frame with Paper Garlands
"We wanted to include our guests in our ceremony in a tangible way," says bride Alison Arnote. After seeing a photo of an art piece incorporating hanging paper shapes, she decided to adapt the idea for the wedding. To create the display, Alison cut out circles from different patterned papers and suspended them from a picture frame they'd painted blue. "The hanging circles looked like they were floating," she says. As guests arrived, they were asked to write notes to the couple on the circles, and once the wedding began, the frame served as the ceremony backdrop. "We loved that we were surrounded by our guests' thoughts and well wishes as we exchanged vows," Alison says. Patterned papers, Paper Source
Photo: Mark Brooke Photography
courtesy of Brides