A Southern-Chic Backyard Wedding in Wilson, North Carolina

Elizabeth (22 and a content marketing manager) and Chris (21 and a geospatial technician) first met at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Elizabeth (22 and a content marketing manager) and Chris (21 and a geospatial technician) first met at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and it didn't take long before their friendship turned into something much more. During fall break of Elizabeth's senior year, the pair planned to meet a friend while hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. When they reached the top, and Chris's friend was still nowhere to be found, he handed Elizabeth a letter and poems about marriage. "He got down on one knee with the most beautiful ring in his hand," says Elizabeth. "He wanted to put it on my finger right away but I was so nervous that we would drop it off the mountain that I made him walk into the center of the ridge with me before putting it on!" Initially the couple wanted to get married in a church but later decided on a place with more personal significance—Elizabeth's parents' backyard.  After a year of tireless work by bride's parent, their residential backyard was transformed for a springtime garden wedding. The polished afternoon soiree incorporated family antiques from throughout their house and used the silver and furniture to add a personal touch to the outdoor decor. A navy and emerald color palette was carried throughout the day from the short bridesmaid dresses and linen to the ivory and green hydrangea arrangements. "I started thinking about our wedding well before we were actually engaged—I knew I wanted it to be southern, timeless and elegant," says Elizabeth. "Everywhere you turned there were trees, flowers and plants that all worked together to make it beautiful. Plus, every time we visit my parents we get to go back to the place where we were married!"

The Bride's Family Home Front Porch
Understated Navy and White Stationery Suite
"I knew before we even got engaged that I wanted to get married in lace," says Elizabeth. "It had the classic and elegant feel I was going for, plus I knew that Chris would love it as well."
Gray Men's Wearhouse Suits with Navy Ties
Gray Men's Wearhouse Suit With Navy Tie and Pocket Square
The bridesmaids' short navy blue dresses from David's Bridal contrasted with their green and ivory bouquets.
Elizabeth was hoping for a fairly traditional feel for her flowers, and decided to use only green and white in her arrangements.
Wilson, North Carolina Backyard Wedding
"I actually had another dress picked out, but when I went back into the store to be measured and order it, the manager talked me into custom designing my own dress!" says Elizabeth. "I worked with Casablanca Bridal to customize and re-design another dress I had tried on, and I was able to get a beautiful lace dress that was exactly what I wanted."
Simple H&M Flower Girl Dress
Catholic Backyard Ceremony
"Initially we wanted to get married in a church, but it was also important to us to get married in a place with some significance to us personally," says Elizabeth. "We ultimately decided to get married in my parent's backyard and even though they live in a neighborhood, their lot ended up being the ideal setting for a springtime wedding!"
Elizabeth complemented her lace Casablanca Bridal wedding dress with a timeless lace-trimmed veil and her grandmother's pearl earrings.
Custom Casablanca Bridal Lace Wedding Dress
Simple Green Wreath and White Silk Ribbon
Navy and Green Backyard Tented Afternoon Reception
To add an antique feel, the couple borrowed items from Elizabeth's family for the decor. "We used some of my mother and grandmother's silver serving pieces, water pitchers, bowls and candelabras," says Elizabeth.
Navy Linens with Ivory and Green Centerpieces in Antique Vases
Tented Buffet Dinner With Chandelier Lighting
Each layer of the five-tier buttercream cake alternated between lemon and raspberry filling.
Navy Monogrammed Water Bottles
Guests were surprised when the mother-son dance turned into a a flashmob choreographed by the groom and his mother. "They started out waltzing to Edelweiss, but then the music switched into Happy by Pharrell," says Elizabeth. After the first verse, Chris' stepfather and I joined them along with our wedding party and families—by the end of the song, even some of our guests had picked up the moves and joined in!"
Classic Jordan Almond Favors With Navy Ribbon Accent
The groom's grandfather makes and sells his own barbecue sauce that the couple bottled to give as favors. "We loved this as a way to incorporate both our family and our North Carolina roots!" says Elizabeth.
"We also used some antique furniture from my parents' house outdoors to help set the scene," says Elizabeth. "We brought out my their dining room table. a trunk from my grandmother and we even borrowed a dresser from my childhood bedroom.
Backyard Wildflower Garden Wedding