Natalie and Jordan, a DC couple, returned to Natalie’s childhood home in Champagne, Illinois, to celebrated their marriage with a relaxed backyard fete. Complete with string lights, a jazz band, Moscow mules and gathered wild flowers, the party was casual and the preppy blue palette kept things elegant and airy. We especially love Natalie’s stunning Austin Scarlett gown which Justine Bursoni Photography captured SO beautifully in her wonderful images of the couple’s delightful day. Enjoy!
What made the wedding special and unique?
Growing up, I always dreamed of being married in my parent’s backyard. A fun celebration with family and friends. Our wedding surpassed my dreams. Jordan and I said our ‘I Dos’ at the First Presbyterian Church, in Champaign, Illinois, which is where my parents were married. After the ceremony, guests took school buses (I’m a teacher) to my parent’s home. Cocktail hour took place in the driveway. Moscow mules, Gin Rickies, and Champagne were served while guests played bags and listened to a local jazz band. From the clear tent and communal farm tables to dreamy linens and gorgeous flowers, my parents’ backyard was transformed. Combined with our color palate of light blue, navy, and gray with touches of gold, the event came to life for a perfect celebration. We are back in DC enjoying life together as husband and wife, and we often reminisce about moments from our special day.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I always thought I would wear a slim fitting lace gown, while all of the women in my family urged me to try what my sister called “bride dresses,” or full gowns with a lot of bling. We couldn’t seem to find a happy medium until I tried on this Austin Scarlett gown at Warren Barron in Dallas. The gown was mostly made of horse hair and was totally me! It was classy, but fun in the back with the removable train.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
We also incorporated a lot of our own DIY elements into our backyard wedding: family picture tree, calligraphy place cards that I wrote, and a seating assignment board that I designed. Jordan and I love good food and wine. We decided to serve dinner family style, which encouraged fellowship. Guests still text us about LA Gourmet’s brisket and smashed Manchego potatoes. The whiskey tasting bar and the Sidney Dairy Barn ice cream truck were a hit during dance breaks. We are so thankful for everyone that helped make this the best day of our lives!
What was the most memorable part of the day?
For Jordan, the moment he saw me walk down the isle was the most memorable part of the day. The time we spent in the tent alone before guests arrived stands out in my mind the most. When we walked into the backyard together, Jordan repeatedly said, “this is amazing!” All of the hours spent planning came together to create a beautiful setting that surpassed our dreams. We enjoyed pulled pork sliders, bacon wrapped dates, and cocktails as the two of us reminisced about the ceremony. While the rest of the day was full of talking and dancing with friends and family, this was an intimate moment that the two of us shared.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We met at my friend’s Christmas party in DC. Jordan almost didn’t come to the party because it was on the opposite end of the city from where he lived, and he only knew one person at the party. Lucky for me, Jordan decided to go to the party and we ended up hitting it off. I gave him my number (yes!!) and the rest is history.
He proposed in Sonoma at Scribe Winery. We were drinking wine and eating cheese at a picnic table overlooking our last vineyard of the day. I was getting out my camera to take a picture and Jordan asked that I wait to do so. Then, he (shaking tremendously!) took out the ring and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him. I was completely surprised! I had a feeling he would pop the question in the next few months, but I didn’t think he had asked for my parent’s blessing yet. The rest of the trip was filled with celebration and plenty of cheers to the future Chapmans.
Photographer: Justine Bursoni Photography // Wedding Planner: Gwen Wilson of Nupitae // Ceremony: First Presbyterian Church of Champaign // Bridal shoes: Badgley Mischka // Catering: L.A. Gourmet // Graphic Design / Illustration: Jane Black Design // Letterpress / Paper Goods: Aerialist Press // Makeup Artist: Alex Thompson of Kane + Co. // Hair Stylist: Alex Thompson of Kane + Co. // Wedding Rings: Market Street Diamonds in DC // Wedding Dress: Austin Scarlett // Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale Nouvelle // Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux // Officiant: Canaan Chapman // Ceremony Musician / Organist: Richard Rossi // Cocktail Hour Ensemble: Will Andresen // Reception Band: Bluewater Kings Band of Chicago // Hotel Accommodations: Hyatt Place // Transportation: First Student Charter Bus Rental Tent Rental: Palace Events // Groom’s Attire: Charles Tyrwhitt