A DIY Woodland Wedding at a Private Residence in Bay City, Michigan

One week after tying the knot in a Florida ceremony, newlyweds Taylor Small (25 and an elementary school teacher) and Joshua Small (27 and a middle sc

One week after tying the knot in a Florida ceremony, newlyweds Taylor Small (25 and an elementary school teacher) and Joshua Small (27 and a middle school teacher) traveled to Michigan to throw a second celebration alongside family. "My aunt and uncle let us use their barn in the woods, so a woodland theme seemed fitting," Taylor says. That theme included a subtle deer motif. "Josh and I met in Japan, where we spent many dates wandering around local parks while feeding deer," she says. "My aunts and mom took that concept and ran with it." Antlers covered everything from the invitation suite to Josh's whimsical, navy tie and burlap table runners, wooden centerpieces and plenty of moss came together to create rustic tablescapes. "My librarian aunt repurposed beautiful, old hardcover books, and we incorporated lots of little deer figurines that my mom had picked up in Austria," Taylor says. "I didn't care if it looked overdone—I loved it!" And there was no shortage of DIY details on hand—from a custom popcorn bar created by Taylor's grandfather to a homemade, lemon-flavored wedding cake. "It helps to have a large extended family," she says of tapping into the talents of various relatives to bring their rustic-meets-woodland vision to life. Since guests included only close family members, the newlyweds skipped dancing and instead treated the affair like one large family reunion. "We were very lucky," Taylor says. "A lot of people showed up to help. My uncle smoked a whole pig and built a huge wooden bar, my aunt officiated the ceremony, and my cousin created the handwritten signs. It was an event that was so different from our wedding a week earlier, since it allowed us to relax and enjoy time with our family over some great barbecue." —Rachel Sylvester

As a nod to the day's subtle deer motif, RSVP cards were covered in antlers, while miniature deer figurines topped reception tables.
Josh picked out a white gold diamond ring with a single halo for Taylor, which came from a family jeweler in Florida. But when it came to their wedding bands, it was important that the rings came from Taylor's home state of Michigan. "We went to Herman Hiss, where my mom had worked when she was younger, and purchased two rose gold-twist eternity bands—one for each wedding," Taylor says of the rings, which were engraved with the Japanese phrase "Aishiteru."
"I was desperate to have cotton in my flowers," Taylor says. After advising the help of a family friend, Taylor's bouquet came together using green dianthus, scabiosa pods, white hydrangeas and, of course, cotton.
"I was desperate to have cotton in my flowers," Taylor says of incorporating the bud throughout the bouquets, centerpieces and boutonnieres. As a nod to the day's subtle deer motif, Josh donned a navy tie adorned with embroidered antlers.
Taylor visited 15 bridal boutiques before finding her dream gown in a Tampa, Florida, shop. "It was perfect for our first wedding in a historic garden house and for our barn wedding," she says of the barely there blush design. "I wore it with cowboy boots and it provided the perfect amount of ruffles."
A corner of the room was reserved for a cluster of tree stumps topped with candles of various heights, giving the space a decidedly rustic vibe.
DIY arrangements were made from a fresh mix of green dianthus, white hydrangeas and pussy willow branches.
A family friend canvassed yard sales to find a variety of vintage plates, which were later topped with classic, white napkins tied with pine leaves and cinnamon sticks.
Various Scrabble-inspired tiles were arranged to create a wooden sign that read "Mr. and Mrs." Other wooden details included wood-slice cake stand centerpieces crafted from sticks and twine.
Pinecones, birch wood votives and lace doilies came together to create a centerpiece stack, finished with vintage hardcover books sourced by Taylor's librarian aunt.
Taylor's grandfather created a custom popcorn bar for guests using wood, buckets and six flavors of the popped treat.
Custom details included a vintage drink stand, a popcorn bar, DIY centerpieces and a homemade wedding cake courtesy of Taylor's family members and friends. "It helps having a large extended family," Taylor says.
Burlap table runners, wooden stick centerpieces, mason jars and plenty of moss came together to create a rustic tablescape. "My librarian aunt repurposed beautiful, old hardcover books and we incorporated lots of little deer figurines that my mom had picked up in Austria," Taylor says. "I didn't care if it looked overdone—I loved it!"
The newlyweds cut into a homemade, lemon-flavored naked cake using a traditional Japanese sword purchased during their time abroad. "My aunt made the cake for us," Taylor says. "It helps having a large extended family!"
"I know sparklers may be overdone, but we weren't able to have confetti, balloons or sparklers at our venue during our first wedding," Taylor says. "So the sparklers were a highlight for me."