We have a sweet sunflower-inspired wedding for you today! Whitney and Chris planned a beautiful outdoor, backyard affair. With just a little bit of rain and a lot of love, they had a truly wonderful day. We especially love the way they decorated the aisle and altar! Enjoy this Sunflower Inspired Backyard Wedding. Xoxo, Jessica
Whitney + Chris
August 11, 2018
Auburn, WA | Private Residence
What was your total budget? Please gives us a budget breakdown.
Dress: $1,000 including veil
Venue: $0 (bride’s parent’s backyard)
Groom’s attire: $250
How many guests did you have?
We had about 75 guests.
How did you meet?
We met at Wild Waves. Whitney was a lead lifeguard there and had been working at the park for 6 Years. It was Chris’ first year as an EMT there. She went to use the leadership bathroom which is right outside the EMT office. He said “Excuse me, who said you could use my bathroom?” He was super sassy about it. So she got curious as to who he was and why he thought he could talk to her in that tone. They ended up working together quite a bit more after that and got to know each other.
What is your proposal story?
Chris put on the song ‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash. I was sitting in front of the pantry trying to play Tetris with our newly purchased groceries. He knelt down beside me and grabbed my hand and said “There are going to be times I hurt you, there will be times I don’t come home from the fire station and you don’t know if I’m okay. And there will also be times that you hurt me unintentionally. But as long as we have each other I know we can get through any hurt in this world. Will you spend forever with me?” I was bawling my eyes out.
Tell us a little about your wedding vision.
My favorite color is yellow. We wanted to keep the whole wedding simple with a touch of elegance. So we went with black and white as our other colors. By having the venue in my parents' backyard, we kept the casual feel. We didn’t want to have extra stress about any fancy detail so we kept it all pretty simple. We also had a couple of photo booth areas and corn hole to keep guests entertained and having fun.
Tell us about your attire choices.
The groomsmen and bridesmaids were all in black. It was easy to match and looked flattering on all shapes and sizes of bodies. I had an ivory/champagne dress with lace. So it had an off-white look and wasn’t super crisp to match the more casual theme.
What was most important to you two while planning? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Outfits were our biggest splurge. We wanted everyone in the wedding party to match and feel comfortable in what they were wearing. The groomsmen even got specially fitted for tuxedos.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Our favorite detail was our get-away. The groom’s father is a police officer. Towards the end of the reception, he changed into his police uniform. Then he handcuffed the bride and groom to each other. The police car left the venue with lights and sirens.
Our most memorable moment was our first looks. After turning around and seeing his bride for the first time in her wedding dress, the groom broke down and cried. Seeing those raw and real emotions made for an unforgettable moment.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
My aunt and uncle made the wedding cake. It was a yellow vanilla cake with raspberry filling. Each sunflower petal and everything was handmade and individually painted. It was a white outside frosting so the sunflowers popped.
Describe andy handmade, DIY, or personal items.
The bride’s favorite flowers, sunflowers, provided the pop of color against the rest of the black and white color scheme.
We did all of the decorating ourselves, including creating the curtain poles out of tree branches.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We saved a lot of money by having the wedding in the bride’s parent’s backyard. They wanted to update the landscaping anyway, so this calendar date just pushed them to finish last minute details faster. And now they still get to enjoy the yard post-wedding.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
When my grandma got married, she had a headpiece made of orange blossoms. They were dried and preserved. And I used them in my bouquet.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding now?
The smaller the wedding/guest list, the better and more enjoyable the day will be. This is a moment for the bride and groom. More people cause more stress and cost more money.
Photography: Liebe Photography • Flowers: Tacoma Farmers Market • Catering: Old Spaghetti Factory (Tacoma) • Rentals: PartyRentals.com • Linens: PartyRentals.com • Bridesmaid Dresses: Hebeos.com • Bridal Shop: David's Bridal • Hair Jewelry and Shoes: Tacoma Discount World • Groom and Groomsmen Attire: The Tux Shop