Bryan & Jenny – For The Love of Trees

As a midweek treat we bring you Bryan and Jenny’s wedding all the way from Idyllwild in the US. The two got married on a perfect summer’s day in an intimate forest ceremony. We really love how they have personalised their wedding by including the one thing that they are both passionate about. Both Bryan and Jenny are botanists, so it was not surprising that they included their love for plants on their wedding day.Jenny says, “We met while both getting Master’s degrees in Botany, so needless to say our mutual love of plants led to us loving each other! There were so many subtle ways to bring this in beautifully; our guestbook was a large print of a bare tree that guests stamped fingerprints onto as leaves, my hairpiece was a flower and we used seeds at confetti.
There are also some very old wedding traditions involving plants that we used, like live herbs in the bridal bouquet and giving potted herbs as favours. All these little bits came together so elegantly that some of our guests maybe didn’t even realise there was a “plant theme,” but those details made it really personal for us.”Caleb Johnhill was behind the lens.

Tell us your love story.

We met as co-teachers at a college biology lab when we were in grad school. Since we had an audience, we kept our crushes to ourselves for that whole semester, but the day final grades were submitted we made adorably awkward confessions of how we felt about each other – and it was mutual! We started dating that day. We both love travel and spending time outdoors, and the next three years flew by doing everything together whenever we could. When Bryan proposed, it was worth waiting. We were on a hike this past winter, on top of a mountain at sunset in the middle of the Mojave Desert. I’d never seen him so nervous to make sure I was having the perfect time! And I was so excited and distracted by the ring afterwards, I probably almost fell off the trail 100 times hiking down in the dark!

What were the highlights of your wedding day?

Maybe it’s just us, but we never fully understood the best part of weddings until we were IN our own: every single guest was someone we really love, from across our lifetimes, and some now from great distances away, all there for our party. It made every minute of planning worth it to see them there enjoying it. For me, there was also a huge, fantastic emotional rush with saying the vows, and that was definitely one of the clearest, happiest moments of my life.

Any advice for brides-to-be?

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

We truly loved the day as it was, but if we had to change anything, with hindsight, it would be shifting the whole event a tad earlier. We mostly considered things like lighting and logical meal times to set our schedule, and so picked evening.

Did anything unexpected happen?

Of course! The craziest: we planned our outdoor ceremony to have this hillside with a huge, gorgeous rock the trademark of the mountain town, as our backdrop. It just so happened that on the same day, a rock climber got stuck on that rock, and her helicopter rescue started at exactly the same time as our ceremony! Luckily for us it finished just as we had all made it down the aisle. The only real complication was the helicopter noise drowning out the harpist during the procession, but everyone managed to walk down the aisle just fine anyway. Since we later learned that the climber was okay, it only made that particular moment all the more memorable and funny!

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome while organising your dream wedding?

Planning an event from afar without a professional coordinator. We wanted to stick with the tradition of having the wedding where the bride is from, but we now live several states away. We also decided we could handle the arrangements ourselves since we only wanted an intimate wedding of around 50 guests. All that said as our “obstacle,” modern technology honestly let us overcome it with flying colours!

Where did you get most of your ideas and inspiration from?

The internet, blogs (like this one – thanks for the help you provide!), Pinterest, The Knot, Etsy and Martha Stewart Wedding magazines and website.

What song did you choose for your opening dance and why?

Sorry Signs On Cash Machines by Mason Jennings. The title sounds odd for a wedding, but it’s such an honest and touching love song. The melody and lyrics are very pure and pretty, and it just seemed to match the laidback/intimate/beautiful effect we were going for with the whole day.

Did your wedding preparations include any DIY projects?

Tons! A lot of what’s on Pinterest and Etsy is handmade by someone else anyway, so I browsed for things I liked and then tried to find ways I could make them. In the end, we made all of the decorations except the guestbook, the candleholders and the cake stand and servers! We even made all of the centerpieces (tissue-flower topiaries) and favours (live potted herbs). I’m probably on the overly-ambitious side here, but it was fun for me and I had a few awesome crafting nights with girlfriends to make it more manageable. I also put a big emphasis on any projects that could have a second life after the wedding, since I knew how much effort went into each little piece. For instance, I made monogram napkin rings that go with our dishes into decorations for each table’s bottle of toasting champagne, and the live potted herb favours I thought people could cook with or plant later.