The search for the perfect business school roommate brought Elizabeth Goodrich and Kurt Sheline together. "We were both attending UC Berkeley and had been looking for other people to sign a lease with in August of 2013. We found two other roommates and the four of us signed the same lease without meeting," Elizabeth says. "Kurt and I met when his dad drove up from San Diego to move him into our house. We lived down the hall from each other and were housemates first, but pretty quickly after school started we began dating." Two years later, the duo headed to Patagonia for their winter break. After a horseback ride throughout a ranch in Mendoza (and a few glasses of wine!), Kurt proposed. And with a romantic backdrop like that, is it any surprise Elizabeth accepted?
With a venue already locked in (Elizabeth and Kurt knew they wanted to tie the knot at the bride's childhood home in Mercer Island, Washington), the couple was able to fast track the planning and exchange vows just seven months later on July 18, 2015. "This is the house I grew up in for most of my life," the bride says. "It's right on Lake Washington and has a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier. It also has a beautiful large tree and my dad takes great care of the gardens that are filled with flowers." With the help of Married with Michelle, the bride and groom pulled together a backyard celebration with a romantic twist. Read on to see every detail from this beautiful Pacific Northwest wedding, as photographed by Matthew Land Studios.
Although the couple initially wanted to invite around 120 friends and family to their celebration, Elizabeth's family's home couldn't accommodate such a large guest list. In the end, the bride and groom hosted 66 loved ones on the day of — the perfect number for an intimate outdoor gathering. Watercolor invitations from Carolyn Kach informed everyone about the party, including the pre-and-post-wedding celebrations.
The bride and her 'maids got ready in adorable monogrammed pajama shorts, before trading the comfy attire for formalwear.
"I knew I wanted a lace wedding dress and loved the idea of wearing something that was striking from the back," Elizabeth says. Her Rue de Seine gown was exactly what she had envisioned — the delicate slip was topped with a romantic lace overlay that featured just the type of dramatic back the bride was looking for.
Her blush and white bouquet of garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, dahlias, roses, and foliage looked as if it could have been handpicked from the pristine property.
Kurt charmed in his blue suit from Bonobos, which he paired with a chambray bow tie and a succulent boutonniere.
This couple decided to expand their little family before the wedding — with an adorable four-legged friend! Their brand new puppy looked dapper in his blue bow tie, which he wore for portraits and on his walk down the aisle.
Elizabeth kept things easy for her bridesmaids, asking each to wear any floor-length light pink dress they loved. Kurt's groomsmen wore dark blue suits and bowties. "I wanted something simple and classic that wouldn't look silly in 20 years," the bride says.
The women all carried smaller version on the bride's bouquet, although each was slightly different in composition. The mixes of garden roses, geraniums, scabiosa, and stock looked great against their pale-hued gowns.
The ceremony was held on the edge of the family property, where guests were treated to an up-close view of Lake Washington. Wrought iron lanterns and bushels of baby's breath lined the aisle.
The bride walked down the aisle with her father while a string trio performed a classic rendition of Pachelbel's Canon in D. Elizabeth's brother and Kurt's sister performed the ceremony, and the duo exchanged vows they wrote themselves.
"Because the wedding was hosted at my parent's house, it felt very much like having friends over for dinner, which made the whole day very personal," says Elizabeth. "We signed our marriage license on my parent's balcony with our siblings as witnesses."
Cocktail hour was all about great food and drinks. Guests enjoy the couple's two signature drinks and creative appetizers as they found their seats on a watercolor seating chart.
Long tables were set in the family's yard for Elizabeth and Kurt's reception. "We chose rustic farm tables without tablecloths," the bride says. A mix of different centerpieces were arranged down the length of each table, including footed bowls filled with pink roses and wooden planters packed with dahlias, succulents, and blackberries. Tall candelabras were lit at sunset, casting a romantic glow across dinner tables.
At each place setting, guests found a mini potted succulent that served as both a place card and favor.
"We designed our dinner menu because we're both big foodies," Elizabeth says. "We had a salad course, a choice of three different types of pasta, and then a main course." At the end of the meal, the couple treated their loved ones to a special Port wine from Portugal, where they had vacationed just before the wedding.
Instead of one large cake, the newlyweds offered several one-tiered options in a variety of different flavors, including chocolate, carrot cake, and peanut butter chocolate pie.
Elizabeth and Kurt waited until dusk to share their first dance, and then the party really got started. Guests closed out the night with glow sticks and sparklers.
Although the official party ended on Saturday night, the newlyweds invited their friends and family back for another celebration the following morning. Everyone spent the day in the lake before seeing the bride and groom off for their honeymoon to Portugal and Norway.
Venue: Private Residence || Wedding Planner: Married with Michelle || Bride's Wedding Dress: Rue de Seine, purchased at The Dress Theory || Engagement Ring, Wedding Bands & Bride's Jewelry: Zwikker & Zacher || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August; Monique Lhuillier; Amsale || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Bonobos || Florist: Melanie Benson Floral Design || Invitations: Carolyn Kach || Music: Puget Sound Strings; Kris McCoskery || Catering & Cakes: Lisa Dupar Catering || Photographer: Matthew Land Studios
Looking for more ideas for your own backyard celebration? Then check out another couple's beautiful at-home wedding in the video below.