Decorating & Celebrating My Mother’s Rustic Fall Wedding

Melissa & Carl

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw a few photos from a very important wedding — my mother’s!  This post has been a long time coming, but there’s just something about spring in the air that makes me remember how great this fall was for our family.

My mom and her fiance decided that after nearly five years together, they would tie the knot in a low key ceremony at their Lake Isabella home. This was the first marriage for Carl and my mom’s second — which was why she didn’t really want a big wedding, and Carl was more than happy to keep the fanfare to a minimum.

Mom Sister and Me

I had an amazing time helping my mom put this wedding together — along with my sister, a few of my mom’s friends, and our lovely family friend and hostess extraordinaire Sharon, who was kind enough to have the reception at her house. We did a lot of standard wedding things ourselves, including making the floral arrangements and bouquets, decorating the reception and ceremony space, and even making the reception playlist. It was a crash course in wedding planning 101.

And for a backyard, rustic fall wedding planned from start to finish in 2 months — everything turned out amazing.

The cermonyCeremony flowers

The ceremony took place at my mother and Carl’s house, right under their deck. We used flowers from the flower market, as well as tule ribbon and plants from around the yard to decorate the space. Easy and charming!

Grandpa and mom

My mom and her father, my grandpa Jack. My mom’s dress was from ASOS — she wore boots underneath like a badass!


My sister and I (the blonde you see in the foreground) served as my mom’s bridesmaids and Carl’s brother came from England to be his best man. Their friend Jeff officiated the ceremony.
Mom and Carl The bridal party The clan

The ceremony only took about 20 minutes — and then it was on to pictures and the reception!

Table Table decorations Wedding favorIMG_7215 Guest book Flowers

We spent the morning decorating all the tables for the reception. The day before, my sister, mom, a family friend, and I did all the floral arrangements — including a few in live pumpkins. The tables were also decorated with paper leaves and these adorable wooden “Love” hearts. The wedding favor was a birdseed heart guests could hang in their trees.

They also had this amazing custom “guest book” where people could sign their names on the leaves of the tree. All the flowers were purchased at a local flower mart and were absolutely beautiful.

Head table Happily Ever After

The head table was a combination of Etsy finds and some handmade gifts from friends that really made it feel personal.

Reception sign

Time to party! This awesome sign came courtesy of Chalk Ink — the leaf chalk board fit right into the theme and the fall chalk markers were super easy to use. We put it out front to help direct people into the backyard.

Emily's speech My speech The happy couple

I had to give a speech and apparently it was a good one — everyone said it made them cry!

First dance

A million congratulations to the happy couple!

Photos by me and SLO Stoked



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