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 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