A Timeless Backyard Wedding at the Bride's Childhood Home in Kansas

The celebration was planned by Sarah-Allen Preston Designs.

at home wedding

Photo by Cassandra Castaneda

Meaningful locations have played a large role in Margaret "Maggie" Newell and Griffin "Tucker" Hawkinson's relationship.The couple first met at an iconic University of Kansas bar, the Wagon Wheel Café, as students (and neighbors!) at KU. After nearly six years of dating, Griffin selected another special spot—Maggie's favorite place in Vail, Colorado—to propose to his college sweetheart. "I thought we were on the way to dinner but he popped the question at my favorite spot along Gore Creek, right next to the picturesque covered bridge," she recalls.

Maggie, on the other hand, had the venues covered for their October 6, 2018, wedding. "We wanted an outdoor wedding in Kansas City, and wanted to get married in a meaningful place," she explains. "My parents' house was perfect for the ceremony! " The couple used the home's existing design as inspiration, ultimately creating a Tuscan-inspired setting around the Newell family pool for the al fresco ceremony. After, the newlyweds and their 245 guests headed to the Kansas City Country Club, yet another location that held special meaning for the bride. "I've had so many amazing memories there," she says. "When I was a little girl at the father-daughter dance, I used to dream of having my wedding in the same spot. It was special to get to do that!" The couple worked with Sarah-Allen Preston to transform the familiar space into a unique place inspired by Tuscan architecture and the gardens at Maggie's Kansas home.

Keep reading to see Maggie and Tucker's backyard ceremony that featured florals on every surface from the pool to the balcony to the altar itself. Cassandra Castaneda was on hand to capture it all, below!

welcome gifts
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda

The couple's watercolor paper suite included illustrations of the Newell home alongside lemon trees, butterflies, and lush botanicals. The soft design was featured on the invitation suite and carried through on the day's itinerary, which was tucked into each welcome bag.

bridal party
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda

Maggie and her bridesmaids got ready at the house, donning matching green plaid pajamas and sipping champagne out of monogrammed cups as they did. When it was time to get ready, the bride slipped into a slim Reem Acra gown with an Alençon lace neckline and detachable train. "I was pretty open-minded about dress shopping but had one requirement: a statement train!" she says. While dress shopping, Maggie says she first fell for the gown's plunging neckline and modern silhouette, but decided it was the one once her stylist added the train. Her two sisters served as her maids of honor, wearing white high-neck dresses from Theia.

backyard wedding ceremony
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda
lemon tree
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda

The ceremony took place in the backyard where chairs were arranged around the pool itself. "My mom spent a year getting the yard into pristine condition and even planted lemon trees in her planters to match the invitation suite," says the bride. Guests were seated on either side of the pool, turning the brick patio into a runway around which the wedding party made their entrance.

bride and father
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda
bride's processional
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda

Maggie and her dad made their grand entrance down the stone staircase and around the pool, giving the bride a chance to see every guest as she walked down the aisle. "Our aisle wasn't traditional, but I loved it," she says. "I felt such an appreciation for all of the people who were there to support Tucker and my commitment to one another."

backyard ceremony
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda

Instead of writing their own vows, Tucker and Maggie chose two special readings, then invited Tucker's sister and the friend who introduced the pair back in college to share them. "The priest who married us also married my parents," adds the bride. "He stepped in at the last minute when our original plan fell through, and we loved the extra significance."

floral arch
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda

It began to rain after the ceremony, so guests gathered inside Maggie's parents' house before heading to the country club for the reception. Says Maggie, "My father decided to give his speech then. It was really cozy, and I loved that he shared those words in such a meaningful place!"

country club wedding reception
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda
place setting
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda

To give the classic country club some Italian flare, tables were topped with ornate lace linens, sage green runners, and colored taper candles. Each centerpiece combined orchids, roses, hydrangeas, peonies, and scabiosa with lush greenery. "We set out bottles of wine to give the formal setting a more friendly and welcoming feel," says Maggie. As a final touch, printed menus featured a lemon motif to match the invitation suite, and the bride and groom's napkins were embroidered with their wedding date.

father daughter dance
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda
kansas wedding dancing
Photo by Cassandra Castaneda

"Our first date was to a concert, so having a fantastic band was a priority for us," says Maggie. The couple hired Ground Control from Élan Artists and added a horn section for extra impact. Late night, the couple took their guests back to where it all started by serving Wagon Wheel pizza—the same pizza Tucker and Maggie ate the night they first met. "We even had the servers change into Wagon Wheel t-shirts," the bride says.

Wedding Team

Wedding Planner: Sarah-Allen Preston Designs

Ceremony Venue: Private Home

Reception Venue: Kansas City Country Club

Bride's Dress: Reem Acra, from Warren Barron

Bride's Veil & Earrings: Paris by Debra Moreland

Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Makeup: Within Apothecary

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Theia, from Bella Bridesmaids

Groom's Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna, from Stanley Korshak

Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux

Engagement Ring: Kwiat

Wedding Bands: Kwiat, de Boulle

Floral Design: Trapp and Company

Pool Floral Design: Lily Floral Designs

Paper Products: Joellen Bax

Calligraphy: Crossroad Calligraphy

Catering: Kansas City Country Club

Cake: Dolce Bakery

Ceremony Music: Brookside Strings

Reception Music: Élan Artists

Rentals: Ultrapom, La Tavola Fine Linens, The ARK

Embroidery: Erin Turner Embroidery

Transportation: Overland

Videography: Mullinix Weddings

Photography: Cassandra Castaneda

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