Real Life, Well Designed: A Wedding at Home

I have a treat for you today - inspiring eye candy that reflects the sweet style of a precise moment in time, preserved through photos. I've always loved the idea of weddings at home and have happily attended a few. They are always special, but this one in particular is a very charming example of how combining the love of your home and the celebration of love between you and your partner can be simply "off the charts" wonderful...

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This is a peek at the wedding of Michele and Ryan, at their home in Seattle, as photographed by Kristen. The bride, Michele, is a talented interior decorator and stylist - she shared some of her stories with us:

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We decided to have our wedding at our lovely home! We wanted to share all the hard work we'd done at our house over the past year with our friends and family. We also wanted a relaxed and comfortable environment and to make sure that all of our pets could be there. The financially responsible part of us figured that we should spend our wedding money on something we could use after the wedding not just that day. The bulk of the wedding cost went towards home improvements (paint, new doorknobs, light fixtures, furniture, and decorations), a new deck and landscaping.
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My beautiful and amazing friend, Kaye, flew out from Indianapolis two months before the wedding when I was FREAKING out because I had tried to do all of the wedding planning, purchasing everything and getting the house ready with just the help of Ryan and Jon. She is the store manager of a wedding shop in Indiana and she also does wedding flowers and wedding planning. She was such a huge help that week, and she also flew in Wednesday before the wedding and helped me get everything done while somehow managing to keep me calm. The night before the wedding Ryan said, "I really want Kaye to be in the wedding, she has helped us so much, she should be standing next to you." I, of course, agreed. The next morning when I was getting my hair and make up done Kaye got to the house early and came up to ask me what needed to be done. That's when I asked her if she would stand up next to me at the wedding. We both started crying. It was one of the best moments of my life. I love that girl.
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Ryan and I actually got married March 21st at the court house downtown. We were about to take a trip to Europe and really wanted it to be our honeymoon, so we decided on Thursday March 17th to get married the following Monday. Ryan's parents flew up from Sonoma County and mine flew up from Arizona so that they could be there with us. Ryan's parents got in Saturday evening and stayed with us at the house. That night Nancy (Ryan's mom) said "Michele I have something for you." I followed her upstairs to her suitcase and she pulled out this little pouch. She held it tightly in her hand and told me, "I wanted to find you something special that was Bubbie's to wear today." Bubbie is Hebrew for grandmother. Ryan's grandmother had passed away a few month before the wedding, so this was very special. She said, "I looked through everything to find something that was the most you and these were just so you." It was a vintage set of earrings and a pin. They are pewter or silver with a little bird on each sitting on a nest with little blue eggs in it. They were perfect. I wore them at both weddings. The set is so special to me, but not too fancy that I have to keep them locked up gathering dust. I am absolutely passing this set down to my children.
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Kaye did all of the flowers with some assistance from Ryan's 11 year old cousin Sarabeth. There is a farmers market two blocks from our house in Madrona at the Grocery Outlet parking lot (this is especially funny if you are familiar with good ole Gross Out) every Friday. Kaye and I went down there to see if we could get enough flowers for the wedding and found a booth filled with peonies and poppies and we knew we were set. We went home and got Jon to come help us. We grabbed a grocery cart and filled it to the brim with flowers. The woman at the booth told us her daughter had just gotten engaged a few days ago. She hooked us up! We spent $124 on flowers! Jon pushed the grocery cart home with Kaye and I behind him, and I must say he looked pretty awesome with all those flowers and two pretty ladies next to him. One of my biggest regrets on my wedding day was completely forgetting to carry the beautiful bouquet that Kaye made me for the ceremony. At least there is a picture of it in the dining room next to the cut out moose head on top of the green civil war era cabinet.
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No cake, just a TON of pies made by family and friends. Ryan and I are so lucky to have wonderful mothers, aunts and grandmothers who spent hours and hours the day before the wedding making pies for us. I also had my two close friends Diana and Kate make special key lime pies for me, my favorite!
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We love all things vintage and antique, so our theme was a kind of Mad Men-esq with late 50's early 60's attire. All of the decorations from the glasses, silverware, pie plates, chairs, tables, everything and I mean everything was collected by myself (with a little help from Kaye and my mom) from Goodwill and Value Village. The wonderful people in the housewares department at the Goodwill on S Lane street in Seattle knew me so well by the end. I was just there yesterday and they were all asking me how the wedding went. I love me some Goodwill. So now my house is still full great wedding treasures, and many I'm selling on my website .
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Most memorable moment of your wedding day: After the band had left there was a group of about twenty of us sitting outside drinking and chatting. We pulled together all the comfy couches and chairs, it is the coolest feeling to be in your yard sitting on indoor furniture. I don't know who started it but someone said, "Ryan! Wooooh!" and started clapping. Then everyone outside joined it cheering and clapping. "RYAN!" He had the biggest smile on his face, and I knew he was thinking, I'm the luckiest guy in the world. He tells me everyday. I am so proud of him.
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And advice for those planning weddings now: TIME! Weddings take time, so much time. Don't procrastinate. Get started right away and get help. No one can do this on their own. Also, just walk away. I'm the type of person that likes to be in charge of everything, but no one wants to deal with a crazy stressed out bride. If something is overwhelming you, then take a break, get some air, or pass on the task to someone you trust. Everything seems like a big deal, but it really isn't. The best moments from your wedding day are going to be the ones that aren't planned. Enjoy them.
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Many, many thanks to Michele and Ryan for sharing their wedding day photos, their stories and their style with us!

Visit Michele's Website: Reinspired Home, for her vintage finds (and lots more!)
Visit Kristen's Website: Kristen Marie Photography, for all the photos of Michele and Ryan's wedding (and her other projects and contact info)

Images: Kristen Tourtillotte/Kristen Marie Photography

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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