The Great Outdoors: Florist Tenley Erin Young's Boho-Glam Backyard Wedding
Because she operates her own floral and event-planning firm, Tenley Erin Young has seen it all, and she wanted to make sure her wedding was personal. “We love to entertain and wanted [the wedding] outdoors, so we thought, ‘Why don’t we just have it in our backyard?’” With their Santa Ynez Valley home selected as the location, Young and her soon-to-be-husband, Parker, began planning their spring backyard wedding.
“I knew flowers needed to be everywhere, not only because it’s expected of me, but because I expect it of myself,” she explains. To represent her vibrant and quirky personality, Young selected peonies—her favorite flower—in rare shades of salmon and dark burgundy for her bouquet. “I don’t know why more people don’t get married in May; it’s when the best flowers are in stock!”
To comfortably accommodate all 120 of their guests, the couple had to use all areas inside and around the house. Lawn games were in the front yard, easels and painting supplies were set up in the side yard, and the food and dancing were in the back. The décor was a reflection of the couple, with sweet touches like light up love lights, vintage mismatched silverware and cut-glass decanters with a subtle kick of quirk from funky additions like the lanterns strung overhead.
Having always wanted an RV, Young rented one for her big day. Bedecked as the getaway vehicle, complete with cans, streamers and a “Just Married” sign, the RV doubled as a playhouse for younger guests.
Tips of the Trade
1. Tweak Traditions: “I took every idea I’ve loved from a wedding and made it my own. Case in point, the sparkler sendoff. Heart-shaped sparklers in honor my new last name, Hardt, gave our sendoff its own, unique spin.”
2. Break the Mold: “If you’ve seen it before, try to do it different. For example, instead of renting a photo booth with predictable props, try a freestanding tripod and vintage-inspired facemasks.”
3. Bring Your Interiors Outdoors: “Form intimate sitting areas using area rugs topped with sumptuous seating. Group together different dining chairs for an eclectic, carefree feel. Tall cocktail tables encourage grazing and supplement a serve-yourself buffet.”
4. Focus on the Flowers: “People don’t realize how big of a role flowers play. Go big, bright and bold.”
5. Don’t Be Afraid to DIY: “I made the metallic lantern canopy by myself using wire cables, bistro string lights, tassel garland and lots of Chinese lanterns.”
6. Up the Glamour: “Incorporate sparkle with sequin tablecloths and light-up marquee letters that spell out ‘LOVE.’ At the cake table, antique cake plates, servers and silver flatware layer on glitz.”
7. Mix and Match: “Whether it’s mixing gold and silver or old with new, add interest with unexpected pairings. At the Champagne bar, I updated vintage glass decanters with embossed labels.”