A Whimsical Backyard Wedding at a Private Residence in Chelsea, Michigan

Six years after Amanda Daniels (23 and a musician) met Benjamin Daniels (30 and a musician) through her sister, the pair returned to Benjamin's childhood home to say "I do" in a waterfront unity ceremony surrounded by family and friends. "Our wedding had a woodsy shabby-chic feel to it with subtle Marie Antoinette-inspired details," Amanda says of decorating the outdoor aisle with tree stumps, pinecones, gold-painted sticks and ivory rose petals. After Amanda and Benjamin planted a maple sapling together to signify their union, the newlyweds and 280 guests retreated to a tented reception on the lawn, where decor included moss-covered tables, sliced wood chargers and DIY signs that read "Let them eat cake." 

Handmade sashes made from fabric flowers were draped across the back of each chair (a feat that took nearly a year to complete), while vintage books and candelabras and sheet music came together to create an array of whimsical centerpieces. "We covered everything in moss, faux fur and lace," Amanda says. "I had collected several pieces in the year leading up to the wedding, so there was something unique in every nook and cranny." Guests sipped on strawberry-infused vodka and signature cocktails named after Amanda and Benjamin's two pets, Lola and Pop, before digging into a mix of chocolate-, vanilla- and strawberry-flavored naked cakes. "I still had frosting on my face from the cake cutting when we began our first dance," Amanda says. Despite the sunny aesthetic under the tent, a little unexpected rain threatened to ruin their plans for a cloud-free reception. "Remember that even if it storms, your wedding day will be the happiest day of your life," Amanda says. "You're surrounded by family and friends, so just breathe and keep in mind that miracles do happen. Also, wine helps!" —Rachel Sylvester