Intimate Backyard Wedding In Mississippi

Wedding Photography

By Magnolia Rouge

Martha & Brad wanted a small ceremony in a place that held significance to them, and being that they had always pictured an outdoor wedding, when they were offered the use of this gorgeous home with it's charming backyard everything fell into place. The fact that Martha had been renting a studio on the property – which is located in Jackson's historic Belhaven neighbourhood – gave them the connection they sought. It also allowed them to watch as the house and garden was transformed into the perfect space for them. LAUREN F. LIDDELL has done such a beautiful job of capturing both the couples joy and the beautiful surrounds.

One of my favourite things about this wedding is the story of the bride's gown. Martha tells us, “I had never dreamed of my wedding day, or my wedding dress for that matter. However, when I started looking I fell in love with Anna Campbell, an Australian designer, whose dresses are flowing, romantic, beautifully beaded, and delicately embellished. I wanted something that wasn't too formal or stuffy--something fancy but comfortable. Most importantly, I wanted to feel like myself. I was able to find a bride selling Anna Campbell's Grace gown on an Australian website. Although a "pre-owned" dress may not be for every bride, I thought it was fun to give such a beautiful dress more than one "life". After the wedding, we decided to mail off a thank you note and a picture to the Australian couple to let them know how much we appreciated sharing this aspect of our wedding with them.” Is that not just the sweetest gesture?

HOW DID YOU MEET? We met through married mutual friends, quite randomly. Brad was at the couple's house helping install some garden features, and I stopped in for a visit. Neither of us was looking to get involved in a relationship, but we caught each other's eye and the connection was undeniable. We had our first date about three weeks later.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: The Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California has been a special place to us for many years. It is located off Hwy 1, and Brad proposed at the Point House overlooking the Pacific Ocean at sunset. We took at class at Esalen that evening and spent the rest of the night in the hot springs watching shooting stars. The night was magical and a beautiful start to our engagement.

ANY DIY ELEMENTS? We focused our wedding budget on what we felt would add the most impact to the day. Martha's father made the wooden flower boxes that were used at the wedding ceremony. Martha's sister cut and arranged the hydrangeas in antique silver mint julep cups for the brunch reception. We chose to use family silver at both the wedding and the reception. Martha's sister stuffed and stamped all of the seed packets for our wedding favors. Our friends were also wonderfully generous to open up their home for our ceremony and allow us to use their car as a getaway car.

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: When we started wedding planning, beautiful flowers were a top priority. We were lucky to have the talented Meredith Young with Au Courant to turn our vision into a reality. Martha wanted soft, romantic spring flowers: garden roses, anemones, and eucalyptus. The eucalyptus has special significance as it reminds us of the eucalyptus groves we travel through on the way to Big Sur. Meredith, and the team at Au Courant, worked with us to be able to use all the same floral arrangements the next morning for our brunch reception.

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: There was a moment immediately after the ceremony, before the photographs and well wishes, in which we had a few minutes alone. It was so nice to pause together and let the whole experience sink in.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? First, choose one or two ways to "splurge". Martha's biggest priorities were flowers and photography. It is also important to enjoy the wedding planning process. Sometimes it's the obstacles that make the wedding even more perfect in the end. At first, we were conflicted. We knew we wanted a late afternoon wedding but a brunch reception. We ended up having a small, semi-private and very intimate ceremony on Friday evening and a larger brunch reception for friends the next morning. This allowed us to slow down, and enjoy both the wedding and the reception. In the end, we loved spreading the celebration over two days.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? I loved the moment before I walked down the aisle. I remember standing with my father, peering through the fence at Brad, and watching our adorable nieces drop flower petals along the path. Our friend, who happens to be classically trained in opera, gifted us by singing the old hymn "In the Garden". The moment was absolutely perfect.

Photographer LAUREN F. LIDDELL / Cake THAT SPECIAL TOUCH / Florist AU COURANT / Stationery THE PAPER PLACE / Ceremony Venue THE SHELTON RESIDENCE / Reception Venue THE CEDARS / Dress Designer ANNA CAMPBELL / Hair NOGGINS ORGANIC SALON / Grooms Attire TUXEDO JUNCTION / Caterer A+ CATERING

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