The Parents of the Bride Hosted This Gorgeous Garden Wedding in Their Spectacular Front Yard
When Robyn Sills and Brandon Wedgeworth (who goes by his middle name, Travis) got engaged in 2020, they knew they would need to approach planning with care. "We knew we were going to do something a little unique given COVID-19," says the bride, "and decided right away to only invite our immediate families and our two closest friends." The rest of their loved ones would participate via Zoom, expertly set up with multiple camera angles by an audio-visual professional—the groom. "I knew Travis would come up with a state-of-the-art experience, and he did!" Robyn says. "In a way, we were able to be much more inclusive and have friends and family from all around the globe tune in. No one felt excluded and our family felt as safe as possible."
Choosing a venue proved to be the easiest decision. "We actually got married at my dad and stepmom's house, which was really special for a lot of reasons," says Robyn. "I thought there was something incredibly romantic about getting married at a space that was so deeply personal." The home's spectacular front yard featured a beautiful archway and aisle-like footpath, making it the perfect ceremony locale; it was also spacious enough to accommodate a stunning translucent chuppah, custom-made for the occasion, which was planned, designed, and executed by Elizabeth McKellar of The Nouveau Romantics (who oversaw the invitation design and florals, as well). "The chuppah was definitely a main focus for me," says the bride. "I love what it stands for in Jewish tradition and I also knew it would be one of the only design elements seen by so many of our nearest and dearest on Zoom." The acrylic structure allowed everyone an excellent view of the proceedings, from guests in attendance—arranged in a semi-circular fashion—to those observing online.
Another benefit of a front-yard wedding? The built-in view of the street, where a drive-by parade took place. "I had this vision of something that you would see in New Orleans, where everyone dances in the streets to celebrate life's moments," says the bride. "I loved the idea of seeing our closest friends drive by right after the ceremony, followed by a more intimate dinner party in the backyard for just our immediate family—the best of both worlds, given the unique times!"
From the beginning, the couple was focused on the way they wanted everyone to feel. "I really wanted an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness," Robyn asserts, "a day that exuded the vibrant love that I was feeling. Our wedding was maybe different than what we had originally expected, but without a doubt, it brought out the best in both of us and our families. We feel incredibly lucky to have had things work out the way they did."
A modern script, by calligrapher Emily J. Snyder, in a deep navy ink was the focal point of the couple's wedding invitations, while a colorful graphic, designed by printmaker (and close friend) Jessica LoPresto, was the highlight on programs and place cards. "I loved the modern design and unexpected color combinations, like a tiny collectible piece of art for each guest," says Robyn.
Robyn had a surprisingly easy time choosing her flowing, unadorned Lela Rose wedding dress, thanks to the advice of an employee at the bridal shop. "She noted that the dress should bring out the best in me—I should feel like a really glam version of myself, rather than feeling like I was playing 'dress up,'" shares the bride. "I loved that reminder to be authentic and comfortable, and as a result I just absolutely loved my dress!"
Pretty in Pearls
A statement pearl-studded veil from Toni Federici was the perfect complement to the simple, graceful design.
Travis' penchant for having fun with his clothing extended to his wedding-day attire: a navy (not black!) peak-lapel tuxedo, custom tailored to his specifications.
From the First
Robyn and Travis met for their first look beneath the custom acrylic chuppah that was set up in the front yard. "It was so emotional and exhilarating," says Robyn of the memorable moment. "All the nerves of the day just disappeared when we were finally able to be with each other."
The bride leaned into beautiful spring blossoms when brainstorming her bouquet—composed by wedding planner and event designer Elizabeth McKellar of The Nouveau Romantics—which ultimately included sweet pea, butterfly ranunculus, and clematis in shades that reflected the wedding's palette.
Pretty branches and blooming stems were "planted" around the stands of the chuppah, adding soft touches of color that trailed along the structure's sculptural frame.
The signed ketubah that the pair chose together was placed on display during the service.
Side by Side
The couple incorporated many Jewish traditions into their ceremony, including both parents accompanying the bride to the altar. "I loved having my parents on either side and felt so grateful that they could both be there," shares Robyn. "There were lots of happy tears as we made it down the aisle!"
Circling the Groom
To begin the ceremony, Robyn walked around her groom in a circle seven times, another Jewish ritual that has many symbolic meanings. Later, the couple exchanged vows they wrote themselves. "Getting married is hugely significant, and we really wanted to reflect that," says the bride. "I think we were both taken aback by the other's words and will absolutely remember and reiterate them throughout our marriage."
The cantor from the temple Robyn grew up attending officiated the couple's ceremony. "She's a very close personal friend," shares the bride. "It was incredibly important to me that Leslie Niren marry us, as she knew us as both a couple and as individuals. I knew she would effortlessly blend traditional Jewish elements with deeply personal and emotional moments."
While guests moved to the backyard for cocktails, the couple spent an hour after the ceremony celebrating with other loved ones who drove past the house in cars. "The drive-by parade absolutely exceeded our wildest expectations," says Robyn. "It was so full of joy and we were so surprised to see so many of our friends all dressed up and with signs, balloons, and more!"
Lovely floral-pressed cookies from Alma Kitchen served as seating cards and favors.
Into the Blue
The reception tent was grounded with deep blue flooring, creating an elegant contrast to the lavender linens. Starburst chandeliers brought in necessary lighting while serving as a fun, graphic focal point over the tables and dance floor.
Seasonal blooms, foxgloves included, in springtime shades were gathered in small, bud-style arrangements.
A Striking Statement
Blush chargers were paired with gold-dipped flatware and topped with menus that featured a touch of calligraphy.
Daughter and Dad
The father-daughter dance was particularly meaningful. "My dad and I have always had a shared love of music and used to always pair it with mundane tasks to make them more exciting," Robyn explains. The duo always loved Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" and took to the floor to sing along to the song while they spun.
Travis, a talented musician, brought out his guitar and performed a song at the reception to the surprise and delight of his bride and their guests. "It was so moving and also such a fun, personal tribute," says Robyn. "Not a lot of dry eyes after that!"
The couple asked Fancy Cakes by Lauren to create a confection inspired by the playful dots on Robyn's veil. "We also thought the colors would be perfectly quirky and vibrant with the spring-y, garden-party vibe," says Robyn.
Photographer, Ryan Ray
Invitation Design, Wedding Planning, Event Design, Flowers, Elizabeth McKellar, The Nouveau Romantics
Videographer, Peyton Frank
Invitation Design, The Nouveau Romantics
Stationery, Jessica LoPresto
Calligraphy, Emily J. Snyder
Printing, Czar Press
Officiant, Cantor Leslie Niren
Bride's Attire, Lela Rose via The Bridal Salon at Neiman Marcus
Bride's Shoes, Stuart Weitzman
Bride's Veil, Toni Federici
Groom's Attire and Shoes, The Black Tux
Wedding Party Attire, Rebecca Vallance; Veronica Beard
Hair and Makeup, Maitee Miles
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Candace Krause
Guest Book, Rag & Bone Bindery
Music, Dallas String Quartet
Catering, Cassandra's Fine Catering
Cake, Fancy Cakes by Lauren
Rentals, Loot Rentals; Nuage Designs; Posh Couture Rentals; Render; Sandone Productions; Stageworks
Favors, Alma Kitchen
Ketubah, Stephanie Caplan
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