In my opinion, there is nothing like a fabulous wedding that perfectly reflects the bride and groom. Katie and Ryan’s wedding was held this summer in Long Valley, NJ. The entire event was styled by Katie and her Mother and the end result was a wedding that was both relaxed and sophisticated. You may think I’m biased because Katie is my niece ( my sister is the Mother of the Bride, Tina) but I’m confident that after I share with you all of the unique details and inspiring DIY projects that you will agree!
Beautiful wedding invitations set the stage and give the guests a little sneak peak of what to expect on the big day. As soon as we received Katie and Ryan’s invites we knew their wedding was going to be something special. The custom wedding invitations were created by the Etsy shop, “Tying the Knots”. The process included the initial creation of a watercolor painting of their wedding venue. The painting was then used to create the custom wedding invitations. The artist, Meagan Harrington Diaz, perfectly captured the beauty and essence of The Raritan Inn.
The Raritan Inn sits on twenty four acres in the beautiful countryside of Long Valley NJ. It’s the perfect venue for an elegant outdoor wedding. My niece Katie and her husband Ryan picked this special place to exchange their vows and celebrate their nuptials . Their wedding guests had use of the entire property which included the Inn, which also acts as a bed and breakfast, fire and horseshoe pit, spacious restored barn, and all of the grounds including a stream that is perfect for fishing.
The couple exchanged their vows in a lovely meadow which was tucked between large shaded trees and a bubbling stream.
The bride looked absolutely stunning in her elegant yet perfectly understated wedding gown. It happened to be the very first dress she tried on at the BHLDN (pronounced “beholden”) store in NYC. In case you have not heard of BHLDN, it’s Anthropologie’s unique and affordable wedding line. In addition to beautiful gowns you will find reception & rehearsal dresses, bridal lingerie, veils & headpieces, jewelry, accessories, and shoes.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this picture of my beautiful niece and The Mother of the Bride , my sister Tina. When I look at this picture all I see is Love.
The bridal bouquet was created using a mixture of peonies, lavender, roses, and wild flowers.
The groom looked sharp in a crisp white button down shirt, gray slacks, lavender tie and leather suspenders. The grooms men were similarly dressed except they wore burlap bow ties.
The bridesmaids swept down the aisle in their off the shoulder lavender maxi dresses and flower crowns.
At the ceremony site a drink station was set up with refreshing lemonade and iced tea for the guests to enjoy while waiting for the bridal party to arrive.
Anyone who is familiar with New Jersey knows that the weather, in the month of June, has the potential of being on the very hot and humid side. So when my sister came across the idea on Pinterest of a wedding program that double duties as a hand held paddle fan she knew this was a DIY project that she had to tackle. Here is a basic tutorial that you can follow and modify to your own specific theme. Wedding program fans not only keep your guests cool and comfortable but they make for a special keepsake for your guests to take home.
After the nuptials the guests and bridal party proceeded to the barn for cocktails and appetizers.
The guest’s table assignments were cleverly written on rustic old windows with a pink chalk marker. The windows were found in the attic of the barn, along with some other props and treasures, that were available for use at no extra charge.
The gorgeous table centerpieces were the mother of the bride’s idea (my amazingly creative sister). She purchased the vases from Anthropologie and had her florist fill them with a mixture of peonies and wild flowers. Simple and perfect. The wood table numbers added the perfect rustic touch.
Most bride and grooms have the intention of soaking up every single minute of their special day, but as we all know there are bound to be moments that they will miss. So how do you exactly capture every special moment? Well.. encourage your guests to snap away and then Instagram their pictures! The best way to do this is to create a custom hashtag for your wedding and then design a sign announcing it to your guests.
My sister created this beautiful sign. It was made from a piece of plywood/chalkboard that came ready for use from Home Depot. All the wording and flowers were hand painted with acrylic paint by my sister. It was the perfect way to let the guests know the Instagram hashtag so they could share their own images of the beautiful day.
A necessary part of any wedding reception is having a designated area for guests to leave their cards and gifts. It’s important that it blends seamlessly into the rest of the wedding décor. A rustic country bin was set up alongside a lovely flower arrangement. Oh and of course a Mason Jar was designated for the tongue in cheek “Honeymoon Fund!”
As the guests drank their cocktails and took a break from dancing to the amazing music of Lara Hope and the Ark Tones, they could watch a video at their leisure that was made by my sister Tina. It was a beautiful walk down memory lane for the couple. Pictures rotated on the screen of the bride and groom as children…up to adulthood. Photographs were also displayed in frames of the happy couple together through the years. The banner was a simple DIY project which added the perfect finishing touch.
One of my favorite current wedding trends is the use of creative and unique wedding cakes. If you really think about it, your wedding cake is probably the highest profile item at your wedding reception…well next to the beautiful bride of course. It’s not only crucial that it compliments your overall wedding theme but it needs to be mouth watering delicious as well. There is nothing worse then a picture perfect wedding cake that tastes like cardboard.
Katie and Ryan wanted to incorporate nature into their wedding cake in order for it to compliment their outdoor rustic barn theme. The result was a fun rendition of a birch tree made out of fondant. Inside was homemade funfetti cake, coconut cake, raspberry filling, and a mild lemon flavored icing. The finishing touch was a rustic customized cake topper made from premium birch wood.
The couple was over the moon with how all of their planning and hard work came together to create such a special event that they will remember for the rest of their lives. However, in the end, Katie and Ryan realized that the most important thing was that their day was filled with the love and laughter of all of the people they love most in this world.
Listed direct links to most of the wedding products and services.
Burlap Banner (“Story of Us” and Hearts was added)
Select Photos from Meghan Moyer Photography
Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones provided all of the music for the evening
All of the food and the gorgeous cake was made from Emily’s Café & Catering in Pennington, NJ. We honestly can’t say enough wonderful things about them. They provide exquisite food, exceptional service, and expert planning for your wedding day. If you are in the NJ area give them a call for your next event. They will make your dreams a reality and ensure that you can “Eat, Drink & Be Married!”