Luxurious, Intimate Backyard Ceremony & Tent Reception in Virginia

Photographed by: Theo Milo PhotographyLocation: Great Falls, Virginia, United States

When planning an elegant soirée to celebrate their nuptials, this couple looked to the team at Evoke Design & Creative to organize their dream celebration. Though they originally planned for a downtown hotel wedding in Washington, DC, the couple's plans – like many others – were immensely affected by the pandemic and restructured to ensure everyone's safety. 

"The biggest challenge in the planning process was moving the wedding from a downtown Washington, DC hotel to the bride's parents' home," shares planner Stephanie Economides of Evoke Design & Creative. However, "This ended up being incredibly special and what the father of the bride wanted all along." 

Staying in line with event restrictions, the couple welcomed a small group of their friends and family to celebrate with them outdoors for each of the events. "We were incredibly meticulous and careful throughout the planning process to ensure we were still following CDC guidelines while planning a reception during a pandemic," Stephanie confirms. As the nuptials took place outside, the design scheme provided a lush, garden-like feel.

Initially hoping for a traditional ceremony in the church, the couple instead exchanged vows in front of their home. In fact, the ceremony was designed to embrace the style of the private residence. "We wanted the front steps of the home – which served as the 'altar' – to have a bit more of a wow factor since the couple could not get married at their church," notes their planner. Thus, the stone exterior was embellished with ivory roses, dahlias, spray roses, and seasonal greenery by Amaryllis Floral & Event Design.

Once the couple was pronounced husband and wife, guests enjoyed an alfresco cocktail hour and mingled around tall tables strewn with blue-and-white linens and adorned with bud vases filled with seasonal blooms and ferns. While enjoying live music, friends and family found their table assignments, as well as hand sanitizer and masks, on a beautiful escort card wall accented with greenery. 

The reception was held inside a clear tent in the backyard near the pool. "The theme of the reception look was simple and romantic, with nothing too over the top," explains Stephanie. Reception tables showcased a low, lush floral arrangement illuminated with specialty votive candles to provide a romantic setting. Since the bride desired tones of blues and greys to be incorporated into the design, pops of color were added by way of glassware, napkins, and other small décor details.

"My favorite part of the wedding was creating the perfect day for our bride and groom during such an uncertain time," shares Stephanie. "What mattered most to our couple was being surrounded by their closest friends and family to celebrate their special day. It was very rewarding as a planner to see the event come together for them."

Pairs who want to create a similar look for their own intimate backyard weddings should take the advice of Stephanie, who created such a beautiful setting for the couple and their guests. "Don't overcomplicate. Less is always more!" she suggests. "When planning an at-home wedding, utilize your backdrop as the main focal point and accent with florals and personal touches to make the celebration complete." 

Take a look at the images in the slideshow above to see more from this wedding featuring an elegant, luxurious feel with a blue-and-white color palette. Happy planning!