A Garden Party Wedding with DIY Details in the Hamptons

Two Californians-turned-New Yorkers threw a Hamptons garden party starring lavender sprigs, scene-stealing kids, and tons of DIY details

Updated 08/05/13

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This content originally appeared as "Splendor in the Grass" in Brides magazine.

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On July 14, 2012, Erica Perth married Michael Jaconi at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton, New York.

Mike, 30, an Internet entrepreneur, and Erica, 26, a teacher, met in college at the University of Southern California. "We knew we wanted to get married after just a few months of dating," she says.

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Erica drew the illustration of Long Island on the save-the-dates; the invites were created by Paper Source.

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The hand-drawn save-the-dates set the casual, DIY-inspired tone for the Hamptons bash.

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Erica wore wedges by J.Crew so her heels wouldn't sink into the grass. "I wanted something relaxed but dressy," she says. "These were perfect!"

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Erica's sister and sister-in-law made the bridesmaids' head wreaths out of heath myrtle.

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"The matrons of honor were my sisters, and the bridesmaids were my best friends," says the bride. "I had everyone wear a different dress in a nude palette."

"Our six nieces and nephews were all flower girls and ring bearers," Erica added. "They stole the show."

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Michael's rustic boutonniere matched the vibrant, earthy surroundings.

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A welcome table with paper fans, parasols, and wedding programs designed by Erica greeted guests at the ceremony.

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Carrying a simple bouquet of white peonies, Erica walked down the aisle on the arm of her father.

"Our surroundings were so beautiful, we didn't need much décor," says Erica. "No point in competing with nature!" She heightened their bucolic setting with an added aromatic treat: guests would get a whiff of the fresh scent whenever anyone stepped on the lavender sprinkled on the aisle.

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The couple had live music provided by Synchronicity Strings during the wedding ceremony.

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Flower girls scattered lavender during the processional. "Our garden-party theme was inspired by the lushness of our site," Erica says. "There are lavender beds everywhere, so we used it on everything from the menus to the place settings."

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Erica loved her dress but didn t like the back, so she had a tailor rework it. "There's always a way to make a gown perfect," she says.

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The name of the couple 's signature cocktail—a riff on a Pimm's Cup—was inspired by the groom's infamous inability to settle on a drink.

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Seating cards were displayed in potted plants purchased at a near­by nursery.

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"My mom found these amazing vintage botanical books. I cut them up and used the prints on our table numbers," the bride says.

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Lavender sprigs were tucked inside bistro napkins with the dinner menu. "Our caterer served the most incredible farm-to-table food, like Montauk lobster rolls at the cocktail hour," Erica says. "And Hamptons rocker Nancy Atlas led a killer dance party. She was having such a blast, she ended up playing an extra set!"

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"We didn't hire a planner, so our caterer did a lot of the day-of coordinating. Our day was seamless, thanks to his help," Erica says. A planner-free wedding also meant she had to figure out permits, which are common with outdoor weddings. "For us, many were required. We really had to stay organized!"

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"We had the caterer use Mike's late mother's mud-pie recipe for the wedding cake," says Erica, of the tower of coffee and vanilla ice creams covered in chocolate fudge.

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"Mike proposed in the pouring rain in the front yard of our house in Sag Harbor. So even though we live and work in New York City, we knew we wanted to get married on the East End of Long Island," says Erica.

"I was looking for a wedding gown that was feminine and timeless yet still modern," Erica adds. "The moment I tried on my Priscilla of Boston dress, I knew it was the one. I love that it has pockets!"

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