You may have seen this wedding featured on Once Wed before. If you joined us for our free wedding planning + design webinar last night, you would have heard the bride, Rylee Hitchner, describe how much she loved the experience of creating her wedding.
In case you missed it we’re sharing her words with you again today in the hope they inspire you in your wedding planning journey.
Andrew and I met when we were 14 and 17 and five years later we got engaged on the hammock in my parents backyard. 8 months after, we married in that same spot.
The fall before the wedding, my mom & I found a delicate silky soft piece of lace we knew would be a great inspiration for my wedding dress.
Joy Thigpen then sat me down for a creative session & blew my mind as she gracefully & magically pulled my desires for the dress & the wedding out of my heart and put them onto paper. During the session, I remember saying to Joy, “I think I want the wedding to feel like this scene in my head: A group of family & friends attending a baptism at a fountain in an Italian city & then together celebrating the baptism over dinner at a family’s small garden in the village.”
It sounded weird saying it out loud, but that vision embodied the refreshing, life-filled, warm, intimate celebration I imagined our wedding to be.
I always dreamed of getting married in my parents backyard & I feel so blessed that everyone gave so much to make that happen.
My Italian grandmother and aunt made the delicious feast, while Caitlin made the perfect little panna cottas for dessert. My sister and I made the hypertufa pots for each table and Katie potted beautiful, unruly arrangements in them- which I proudly still nurture & keep today!
The candles were a therapeutic project my sister and I took on; making them tall, thin, and perfectly imperfect. And my dad, who gave the most of all, built our long wooden dinner tables and hand laid century-old bricks for a patio for us to eat on – both of these tasks being completely new to him.
The week before the wedding, by dad also surprised me with something so special to me. The ceremony structure that surrounded us as we said our vows was made by my him with branches from a tree which used to hold our childhood tire swing before it fell the month before our wedding. Fittingly, we call this tree ‘the giving tree’ now.
I’m so thankful for this celebration we have of beauty, love, and family. I’m grateful for the beautiful process of planning for a wedding & every conversation leading up to it. Our hearts are so full.
Styling and Design: Joy Thigpen | Photography: Tec Petaja | Planning: Ginny Au | Flowers: Joy Thigpen with assistance by Cloth of Gold | Paper & Calligraphy: Meagan Tidwell | Pana Cotta: Caitlin Van Horn | Hair: Joanna Ballentine | Makeup: Brittany Massey | Chairs & Flatware: Market 46 | Tables & Lines: Special Events | Brides accessories: Hair Piece & Veil: Vintage | Earrings: Wildlife Wonders | Gown: Cheryl Taylor | Shoes: Cheryl Taylor | Assistants: Nina Mullins and Mandy Busby | Napkins: At Home Furnishings | Grooms Suite and Tie: J Crew | Glassware: Zara Home | Venue: Bride’s Home | Wholesale Flowers: Fifty Flowers
You too can create a wedding that looks and feels this beautiful, meaningful, and personal. Click here to learn more.