I am so excited to share this beautiful Chesapeake Bay backyard wedding captured by Nikki Santerre. Set at the bride’s family bayside home, this summer wedding couldn’t be sweeter. I love how the whole family came together make this couple’s dream wedding come true. All the florals were made by the bride’s grandmother and her father created the driftwood arch for the ceremony, making this a real family affair.
When we were planning our wedding we wanted our everything to feel relaxed and personal. My dad came up with the idea of having it at Caroday, my family’s bay house on the Chesapeake Bay in Deltaville, Virginia has been shared by my dad’s family for over 70 years. I grew up spending time here every Summer swimming, catching crabs, and relaxing in the sun. We wanted to keep our wedding small and intimate.
The house in which we were married by is an heirloom in itself, it was built in the 1900s and has been shared by my dad’s extended family for 70 years. My jewelry was heirlooms from Alex’s (my husband) grandmother and I wore a bracelet borrowed from my mom. We also used a few nautical decorations from the house itself.
My dad created the ceremony arch which was made from collected driftwood from Deltaville. My grandmother and her friend did all of the floral arrangements. I wanted our colors to be very natural and relaxed. Later on we decided to add a few nautical accents. I let my bridesmaids select their own dresses in a range of neutral colors. We wanted to have the view of the bay be our main backdrop for the wedding so I did not want to overwhelm it with decorations. We tried to keep everything simple and heartfelt. A lot of the decorations and signs we created ourselves and also bought some handmade items.
It was important to us that our whole wedding reflected things we loved. We tried not to be influenced with what we were supposed to do, or have, and just went with what we wanted and what we felt. I wanted everyone who was there to feel connected and feel the love that we have for each other, and our loved ones.
The ceremony arch was built by my dad. We spent weeks collecting drift wood and designing this piece to be the main centerpiece of our ceremony. I worked with my best friend, and bridesmaid Cassie to design the invitations, and programs for the wedding. Most of our decor was home made- wood slices my dad made, signs, thrifted vintage decor, handmade table runners and florals. My grandma planned and created all the flowers at age 87. It was such a group effort and I love that so many people I love got to contribute to our day.
The day was very hot and we were expecting rain, so it was a small miracle that when the ceremony time came there were no clouds and the breeze picked up for our bay-front ceremony. Our ceremony itself was my favorite part. I loved how intimate it felt so we were able to express ourselves in such a sincere way. We wrote a portion of our vows and they were so loving and wonderful. Once the ceremony was over everything felt very relaxed. Some of my favorite photos from the wedding are of my girlfriends and I sitting on the pier taking in the sunset over the bay. I never knew I would feel so at-home at our wedding. We were dancing, we actually ate a lot (I have heard this is rare), played corn hole, and rode on a swing by the bay. Having everyone I loved at place that was so important to us was perfect, it was just a dream.
Photography | Nikki Santerre Photography | Venue | Family Home | Cake | Carried Away Cuisine | Catering | Willaby’s | Rentals | Rappahanock Rentals | Paper Goods | Cassie Neece | Videography | Lavender Haze | Entertainment | DJ Neals Barkley | Dress | Jasmine Bridals from Bridal Elegance | Veil | Bridal Elegance | Shoes | Jack Rogers | Hair | Tara Shaw- Davidson