Backyard Bliss

The long weekend definitely came by too quickly. And because we’ve been gone for a while, it’s only fair to start the week with a bang! For those couples dreaming of a laid-back, garden barkyard-ish feel kind of wedding, this super cute wedding will blow your mind. What I totally love about this wedding is that the prettiest details were actually done by family and friends, making their wedding as personal as possible! Cheers to creative DIYs and gorgeous photos that did justice to Stephen and Cinelle’s big day.

This wedding has one of the most touching and inspiring background stories I ever read. The bride Cinelle (who is an ammaaazzing and very talented Filipina), shares her success story on family, career, and love!

To the DIY couples out there, be inspired!

We did the traditional candle, coin, veil and cord wedding tradition, and of course had lechon! We had lumpiang sariwa as an appetizer and ube cake as our wedding cake. People were so thrilled to see us cut the cake because they’ve never seen a purple cake before! I also stuck with lace overlay detailing for my dress (which Jenni, my friend and business partner, and I made) because my grandma Isabel used to have an embroidery shop in Butuan City, Visayas. The coins we used for the ceremony were passed on from my aunts and cousins. My dad also put up tiki torches to get that sort-of island-outdoor feel. We wanted to have something similar to the traditional Filipino doves, but wanted to change it up a bit. So we borrowed this enormous birdcage from this old black lady in Queens and filled it with 8 parakeets.

My dad painted our entire back fence, and helped me with all the cutting, glueing, shredding and painting involved.  My sister-in-law, a florist, did all our flowers.

From the bride:

I was born and raised in Manila, educated in a good school, and was captain of our soccer team. Sadly and quite sudden at that, my family decided to migrate to the US  at the end of my junior year in high school. It was a very hard time for me. As a very bitter teenager, I spent my last year of highschool isolated from the world, only ever focusing on my studies and my being part of my new highschool’s art honors program.

I always always gravitated toward the arts and fashion (trivia, I even designed my prom dress!). After moving to New York, I graduated with a forte in Fashion Design, and through it was recruited to the Fashion Institute of Technology.  It took me a whole year to decide to accept this grand opportunity, and finally in 2005, I braved the big city of Manhattan and became a full-time slave to conceptualizing, creating and selling everything pretty.

In 2007, I decided to give my other love–writing–a shot. I then left FIT, taking with me all that I needed to know to sustain a life immersed in fashion, and dove into a two-year program in Journalism and Art History. Upon graduating in 2009, my long-time, long-distance boyfriend and now-husband, Stephen, and I decided it was time for us to live in the same place. It was a difficult decision, but I knew that God was calling us to the small yet surprisingly creative town of Athens, GA. In this classic, Southern city we found such great balance between our artistic passions and our academic pursuits. Stephen got a job teaching Spanish at UGA and also got accepted into gradschool, and I started a small business with my friend and former roommate, Jenni.

Jenni and I started BACON Handmade Neckwear in our condominium kitchen in October 2009, after having realized that the skinny neckties we made for Stephen for our second anniversary were gonna be a big sell.  A year after, our business has expanded from selling on Etsy, to selling at five different stores in Athens and Philadelphia, and growing into a custom neckwear bridal vendor.  In January 2011, we will be hosting the first ever art- and style-focused bridal show in the Southeastern USA, ATELIER Bridal.

So all this is what I do full-time… I’m a wife, friend and dance partner to Stephen, a prayer group leader to my friends, design and creative director for BACON and ATELIER, ghost-blogger for a local store-owner, and yes, a part-time contractual sewer and beadworker for Anthropologie. God has definitely filled my daily life with great ways to express myself and to experience Him.

My wedding philosophy was simple: stick to what you like.  We did not want our wedding to be a  regurgitation of somebody else’s thoughts.  We wanted it to be “us,” we wanted it to be simple but beautiful, we wanted our hands and hearts to leave positive imprints on all our guests. We wanted to bless people with our vows, our ceremony, our food, our atmosphere, even our decor and fashion.

Reception: Backyard of bride’s family’s house in Long Island / Styling: Bride, her bestfriends and sister-in-law / Bride’s Gown: Bride and her business partner and good friend, Jennifer Craig / Groom’s Suit: Ralph Lauren, BACON Handmade Neckwear bowtie made of Liberty of London fabric / Invitations: Bride and Groom’s friend, Chris Williams, talented graphic and installation artist / Florist: Boots of Oberle’s / Cake: Krystal’s Bakery in Queens, decorated with fresh flowers by the bride’s sister-in-law (Boots of Oberle’s Florist) / Photography: Jennifer Sosa / Videography: Groom’s sister’s husband, Jason Putnam / Make-up: Bride, make-up from Sephora, Clinique and MAC; hair braided by the bride’s bestfriend Erin Conroy, fresh gardenia flower piece from bride’s sister-in-law

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  1. Uhm I just want to say that Butuan City is in Mindanao. Love the wedding and how hands-on the whole family were. 🙂

  2. I super love this wedding because it reminds me so much of my own special day. We had our reception in my dad’s house, which had a yard about 600 sq. m, big enough for the reception of 150 which we had. It was super intimate, very “shabby chic,” and completely DIY. I even started a blog about it at here

    I’m a new follower of your blog, and I love it!

  3. this is such a late remark but i cant help say how I am deeply moved by the love you have for your husband, your fam, your friends, and Him as seen in your dedication through works and words. kudos!! <3

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