Intimate Backyard Wedding in Fayetteville : Lauren + Patrick

This gorgeous backyard wedding is what dreams are made of. It’s refreshing to see such beauty happening in the middle of a pandemic.

The couple were joined by an intimate group of friends and family to say their I do’s, dance the night away and enjoy some amazing food.

They even rebuilt the back deck at Patrick’s Mom’s house to accommodate the day! That’s dedication!

Photography: Freckled Fox Photography

Venue: Private Residence

Flowers: Meus Floral

Dress Store: Tesori Bridal & Formal

Catering: Southern Food Company

Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

A: Lauren and I met in our Junior year of high school. The first time we met, I was playing guitar on the square with a friend of mine. Lauren and our good friend Sammi were working at a haunted house and in costume (looking creepy and cute). We hung out that evening and listened to music and talked all night. Lauren introduced me to The Band that evening (they are now my favorite band!). We were great friends for the rest of the year before we started dating. As for the proposal – I bought the ring on a Friday and planned to wait for the weekend at least or a trip up to Fayetteville so I could propose where we first met. By Wednesday that week, however, I couldn’t wait a minute longer. We took our dog on a walk in City Park in New Orleans in a beautiful wild part of the park that used to be a golf course. As we were walking Lauren could tell I was nervous and was concerned that I wasn’t feeling well (I was actually trying to keep her in front of me so she didn’t see the ring box bulging out of my pocket). When we got to a nice spot under a live oak by the water I got down on one knee and asked that special question. It was perfect and our dog cooperated and didn’t even interrupt!

Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? 

A: It was a mash up of Fayetteville/New Orleans wedding. We wanted to keep an eclectic, 70s vintage, relaxed theme for our wedding. Nothing too matchy-matchy. All types of color in vintage porcelain items & flowers to decorate with more neutral/brass items for consistency. We wanted a comfortable laid back theme when we originally planned it for a music venue (like your mother’s basement or old dive bar with knick-knacks everywhere) but due to COVID we actually had it in Patrick’s mother’s backyard, fit perfectly. We also wanted to incorporate some New Orleans flare, where we currently live. Good music, good food, good drink, good people. We did cake pulls since I didn’t really have bridesmaids but wanted to do something special for my girlfriends who’ve been with me.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: Since COVID we really had to take into account everyone’s safety and health. Keeping it outside was the best and safest option. And Fayetteville really did most of the work with the weather and changing leaves. We rebuilt the back deck to accommodate the integrity of the house and to allow a space for the ceremony. Family and friends helped clear out the yard and string up as many lights as possible. My mom and I (help from family) went to almost every vintage store in Fayetteville for colorful vases as table scapes. The more the better. As take away gifts and decor, I designed and screen printed prayer candles as a nod to this spiritual candle shop down the street from our house with elements of our little family and date of our wedding.
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: This is a tough question. I really looked forward to our exchanging of vows because we wrote them ourselves and it was an extremely touching, intimate, and special moment. I also couldn’t wait to see Lauren’s wedding dress! This was one of the few traditional things I was adamant about – not seeing her dress until the big day. It was worth the wait!

Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? 

A: This is a big shout out to my ladies at Meus. I told them it was an outdoor wedding in October and I wanted lots of color with little amounts of neutrals. The bouquet was better than I could have ever imagined or asked for. Let the professionals do what they do best. Our photographer April Walsh came up with the idea for a staggered floral arrangement for our ceremony. Came out looking beautiful and created a special space. Meus also provided the small bud vases of fresh flowers for the tables which helped bring life to the table scapes. Our wedding cake was decorated with dried edible flowers. The wedding throws were dried colorful buds that were tossed when we processioned out of the ceremony and looked really cool scattered around the back yard.

Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? 

A: Patrick bought a traditional black suit and pocket square but opted out of wearing a tie to keep that laid back look/feel. He was wearing green socks with our dog, Lotte’s face on them. My dress was purchased at Tesori Bridal in Fayetteville. I wanted something different but still traditional. My mother’s dress was a long sleeved high neck wedding gown. When I found this tulle dream with long sleeves and a high neck overlay I knew this was fate. It’s embellished with rhinestones and pearls cascading down from the neck to the long train. I purchased the white dress underneath and silver shoes separately. Since the dress was so much tulle I thought a veil would be too much and wore a pearl headband instead. During the reception I wore a white faux fur jacket, white wide brimmed hat, and changed into white booties.Due to COVID our friends mom made us custom face masks, mine including some of the rhinestones and pearls off of my dress.

Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

A: Food was a big priority for us. Southern Food Co. were so accommodating and loved the idea of merging a NWA/NOLA menu. We had gumbo (New Orleans) and fried chicken and spaghetti (shout out to Tontitown festival!) and it was delicious! Since trying to keep the numbers down as small as possible Patrick made our playlist. Music that holds a special place in our hearts. He selected the classical piece that I walked out to. We selected New Orleans second line staples “Do Watcha Wanna” and “Hey Baby” as we walked out. Always a party starter!

Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

A: It can be a stressful time but the most important thing is to not lose track of the fact that you are working towards the happiest day of your life with the person you love most. Be flexible, listen, and give feedback. This was especially true for us – we booked our wedding day before the pandemic so we had to dramatically alter plans/venue/guest list.