Autumn Backyard Pennsylvania Wedding // Sarah & Kyle
October 5, 2020 , Weddings
One year ago today was one of my favorite weddings I ever photographed. Seeking a relaxed, nature-inspired celebration, Sarah & Kyle had a good old-fashioned backyard Pennsylvania wedding…with a few twists that made it unique to them and so refreshing to photograph.
They got ready in their own home in Kennett Square, which I can never recommend enough. I think it’s so special to prepare for your wedding in your own space, a place that’s both comfortable to you and tailored to your exact tastes. Sarah’s parents live down the road, and their homestead was the setting for the main event. The property is deeply personal to the couple and their families. Sarah’s father built not just the barn and the house, but also the altar in the woods where he and Sarah’s mom married 35 years before.
Instead of the standard ceremony with an officiant, Sarah and Kyle took advantage of Pennsylvania’s Quaker law allowing for a self-uniting marriage ceremony. They encouraged guests to stand up and speak, and it made for a truly beautiful moment that I’ll never forget. After several family and friends told stories, recounted memories, or gave well-wishes, Kyle and Sarah said shared vows and it was time to party!
When I first spoke with these two, they told me how they wanted their wedding to feel cozy and casual. They described an autumn backyard party for their closest friends and family to gather and mingle. In lieu of a wedding party, their close friends were encouraged to come find me to have their photo taken in the way of their choosing. I was so excited to be able to take these portraits all throughout the evening, and it was a wonderful and unique way for Sarah and Kyle to make their nearest and dearest feel special.
There are too many specific little things I particularly loved to list them ALL, but here are just a few to give you a glimpse into the type of people Sarah and Kyle are. Kyle’s dad bringing his famous (infamous) apple moonshine for guests to imbibe. Sarah’s dad setting up a “nature walk” through the property, with stations set up along the way with snacks and memorabilia from Sarah’s childhood (don’t sleep on these photos – they’re hilarious). The effortlessly killer wedding style, not just by guests (A+++, everyone), but by the couple, with Kyle’s green cardigan and Sarah’s golden evening sweater over her wedding dress. The beautiful invitations designed by Sarah’s best friend, Dan. The emphasis on a mellow party, which created so many organic and unplanned moments, and allowed the couple to truly be able to enjoy it and spend their time with their loved ones.
I also have to give a special shout out Sarah Reese Collins (“Reese”) from Little Bushel. Reese is a dear friend of the bride’s, based in New Orleans. Not only did Reese travel up to help plan and style the event (for example, turning foraged wildflowers into the most fitting decor + bouquet), but she executed some of the tastiest and most visually beautiful food spreads I’ve ever had. She brought along Michelle Norwood, another NOLA native, to help things run smoothly. Kennett Square restaurant Talula’s Table was the local food connection. There’s nothing like a true community collaboration!
When I look back on this particular wedding a year later, I’m struck by how miraculous weddings are. It’s absolute magic to bring a community together for something as powerful as celebrating the love between two people. Call me a sap, or maybe it’s from living through this pandemic for the last seven months, but I believe more than ever that human connection is more precious than anything else. It’s been the great joy of my life to document people during their most monumental moments. When it’s safe to have larger gatherings again, I can only hope that more couples opt to go the way of Kyle and Sarah, and make their weddings truly their own (and if so, I’m your girl!).
From the beginning, here are some favorites from Sarah & Kyle’s autumn backyard Pennsylvania wedding. It’s a long one, but it’s so, so worth it.
Hair: Claire Brady from American Mortals
Sarah’s Gown: Reformation
Day-of Coordination: Michelle Norwood Events
Paper Goods: Dan McShane
Cocktails: Sarah Bondick (couple knows personally)