Real Weddings: Michele & Bill’s At-Home Wedding

When photos from Michele and Bill’s dazzling small wedding landed in my inbox, I couldn’t wait to find out more details. I love at-home weddings. To me, there is nothing more intimate. And I love weddings that remind us all that love can find us at any age.

As Heather from Hawes Photography put it:

“(Michele and Bill) had finally found each other. It’s amazing to watch two people who have lived many years apart finally find the person who actually makes their lives complete. That sentiment reverberated through their entire day, from their laughs and cuddles while we shot with them in a creek bed, to their personal vows shared in their living room surrounded by friends.”

Beautiful.

at home wedding


Michele, 50 & Bill, 63

Webster Groves, MO 

Wedding Date:  March 31, 2012

Number of Guests:  65

Wedding Ceremony Location:  Bride’s Home – Living Room

Wedding Reception Location:  Bride’s Home – Tent

Montana at-home wedding

black and white bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

groom kissing bride underneath tree

Why did you have an intimate wedding? 

Being an older couple and a second marriage, we understood better and appreciated more that the wedding was about ourselves – a celebration of our relationship and the fact we had found each other – and about the people who had brought us here – our closest family and friends. So it was more important that this be intimate for everyone involved and that all guests felt they were a part of the ceremony … that they were being celebrated themselves.

wedding flower arrangement on fireplace mantle

floating candles lining walkway

orchid flower arrangements on fireplace mantle

floating candles

orchid flower arrangement

blue, purple and pink wedding flower arrangements

green and purple wedding decor

purple flower arrangements on reception tables

purple fabric draped in wedding tent

purple wedding cake

 

purple wedding flower arrangement

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding? 

Doing this in my home proved to be more challenging than anticipated. Accommodating the guests, making people comfortable, yet creating a wedding atmosphere proved to be a challenge! Lots of furniture was moved out, rentals moved in, yard changed, lighting changed, etc. to create the atmosphere we desired. A wedding planner was a must! And she saved our life. In the end, it was worth every hassle and we are both so pleased with the experience.

bride an groom portrait in the woods

bride and groom kissing

laughing bride

laughing bride and groom

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? 

No, as we only invited our closest relatives and friends. The guest list did expand quite a bit. We started at only 20, but so many people were so excited about the two of us finding each other, the guest list just grew … and we accommodated.

wedding guests gathered in living room

bride getting her hair done

purple wedding dress hanging outside

purple wedding dress ruching detail

silver wedding shoes with purple dress

groom tying his tie

bride putting on her shoes

bride putting on bracelets

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them? 

A bit of “after the fact” rumbling has occurred (mostly with family) on who was on/off the list. And I have just managed it through expressing surprise that they wanted to be invited and how sorry I was I missed them. I ignored questions that arose before the wedding and had coached my parents/friends/family that the guest list was limited, keep things quiet about the event and to NOT let me know if others complained.

wedding tent set up in backyard

house number on tree

tree with orange leaves outside house

plants outside house

purple flowers in garden

caterpillars on planter

purple and white flowers on cylindrical cement planters

purple flowers on deck

view of chandelier from below

footbridge over creek

bride from behind

What were the highlights of the ceremony? 

The ceremony was so casual and intimate. It reflected exactly who we are and the nature of our relationship. It was light, yet extremely sincere and included a bit of humor, which got the guests interacting with the ceremony. It lasted only 10 minutes and everyone was given a glass of champagne before the ceremony so that they could toast at our kiss. Each glass had an adorable tag, “a clink at the kiss.”

backyard wedding at sunset

bride pinning purple anemone boutonniere on groom

purple candles at wedding

I'll remember you sheet music on piano

wedding guest at at-home wedding

bride and groom holding hands

wedding ceremony in living room

bride laughing during ceremony

officiant leading ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception? 

So many!! The food, the band, the guests, the dancing, the cake, the toasts! Most important, we made the event about the two of us and we spent lots of time dancing together, holding hands, sharing intimate moments. And dancing with just about every guest and being able to spend time with every guest because it was small, was wonderful.

wedding tent set up in backyard

backyard wedding reception

fruit platter

melting candles

bartender pouring red wine

guests mingling in house

purple light in wedding tent

band performing at wedding

groom dancing with his daughter

toasting the bride and groom

purple and green hanging wedding decor

bride dancing at wedding reception

bride dancing

wedding guests dancing

wedding dance party

purple lit wedding tent at night

purple lit wedding tent

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding? 

It was a complete reflection of me (my style, who I am, etc.) and of our relationship (how much joy and happiness we have with finding each other).

wedding guest book

floating candles and purple flowers

wedding monogram

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding? 

Go for it! It had so much more meaning than the big, grand event with hundreds of guests … where the people, meaning and relationships get lost in the big affair.

bride tenderly touching groom's face

bride and groom holding hands

black and white bride and groom portrait

bride smiling at her groom

bride's hand on groom's cheek

Vendors:

Wedding Photography: Hawes Photography

Event Planner: Bomb Events

Florist: Festive Atmosphere

Caterer: Patty Long

Cake: Cakery Bakery

 

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Comments

  1. Posted by Patricia on July 30th, 2012 at 10:28am

    When you have a beautiful home, a home wedding can be intimate and cozy. I love their color scheme and that they allowed guest to be in the home and in the tent. The cake had more personality then I expected. All in all, it looks like it was a beautiful event.
  2. Posted by Shannon on August 1st, 2012 at 11:44am

    What a lovely purple gown! The whole event was so classy and beautiful! Congratulations to this beautiful couple!
  3. Posted by alison on August 3rd, 2012 at 9:04am

    Oh wow, I just LOVE this.
  4. Posted by Jon on August 3rd, 2012 at 12:10pm

    Is it just me or do the cake decorations look like they're from Star Wars? Seriously, that's the Rebel Alliance symbol. That's so awesome!
  5. Posted by Rachel on September 5th, 2012 at 1:26am

    Michele & Bill look so happy and in love, and the decorations are amazing!
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