Kyle and Whitney wanted to have an outdoor wedding but failed to find a venue that was perfect for them. ”Kyle and I both enjoy nature and really connect with God through His creation,” says bride Whitney. ”Thus, my immediate ideal wedding venue was worship in the woods. Simple. Yet, not as easy as I had hoped.” They lucked out and found the perfect venue and with the help of family and friends, turned the completely rustic spot into their dream wedding venue.
I really love how Kyle and Whitney included God in their wedding day, everything from tables named after hymns to washing each other’s feet during the ceremony. And aside from their completely DIY ceremony venue, their decor consisted of glass bottle vases and burlap table runners that the couple got for free from friends!
We asked Kyle and Whitney to give us more information about their wedding celebration, and I was ecstatic to see they both responded and really put a lot of thought and effort into their answers. Keep reading to learn more about this beautiful wedding.
Regarding their venue:
[Whitney] “As a little girl, I never dreamed about the details of my future wedding; nor did I create my fantasy wedding through Pinterest as a young woman. But soon after Kyle had proposed, I had an image of our wedding being outside somewhere in the woods. Kyle and I both enjoy nature and really connect with God through His creation. One of our favorite things to do is worship Jesus under the stars or before a mountainside with just our voices and a guitar. Thus, my immediate ideal wedding venue was worship in the woods. Simple. Yet, not as easy as I had hoped. We struggled from the time we were engaged until three months before we were married to find a location.”
[Kyle] “With Whitney away at school, my job was to check out the potential wedding venues. We went through 7 or 8 different potential venues that all didn’t work–from the bayside to a farm to parks, all of them were either too expensive, not what we had in mind, or unavailable. One of the coolest things about the spot in the woods that we ended up with was the way God provided it for us. We were tired of searching and about to plan an indoor wedding when a friend of mine told me about a land plot in the woods that a local church had just bought. I called the pastor to run the thought by him of using the plot as our wedding venue, and amazingly, his enthusiastic response was, “Sure, that sounds great!” I met with him three months before our big day and recorded video of the site for Whitney to see. It was breathtaking, and I knew that she was going to love it. Closer to wedding day, about four weeks out, the church provided a working team of about 20 people to help clear weeds, chop, chainsaw, and mulch the area where the ceremony would be. God amazed us with how He made it all come together. Within the last couple days (and hours) before the ceremony started, family and friends sweated to help us get the decorations, bride’s tent, and generator running to power the PA system.”
Regarding the DIY details:
[Whitney] “As far as details, we really wanted to keep everything as naturally beautiful as possible. I wanted to keep waste down and used as many materials as I could think of that would be low-cost and recycleable. The bottles we used along the walkway came from a local bar that serves a large variety of unique beverages (this means cool bottles). All the signs came from old wood found in Kyle’s family’s barn. I also love lace! Kyle’s mom found a neat dead branch with vines wrapped around it that we chose to hang lace on for a curtain.”
Regarding washing each other’s feet:
[Kyle] “In the book of John from the Bible, Jesus washes the feet of His disciples. Many would say that Christ was showing a moral example of servanthood for us to follow, but Whitney and I believe that this is truly God in the form of man, humbling Himself to the lowest of the low. In those times, the feet were the dirtiest part of the body–no one touched another person’s feet. But Jesus demonstrates His desire to enter into the dirtiest, ugliest parts of our lives and cleanse us. After washing their feet, He would go to the cross and lay down His life to make us whole, new, and clean.
[Whitney] “God’s call on our marriage is that we would love each other the way He has loved us. We wanted to wash each other’s feet during our ceremony to demonstrate to each other and our loved ones that we were committing to serving each other and laying down our rights, just as Jesus Christ did for us.”
Regarding their centerpieces:
[Whitney] “We again wanted to be resourceful and creative, including personal elements here and there. During high school and college, I worked as a barista and developed a love for coffee. I thought it would be really neat to use burlap coffee bags as the table runners, and my boss sent me several in the mail. Our marriage counselor cut them, lined them with lace, and ironed them–amazing blessing! To add to the coffee sacks, we sprinkled coffee beans around the centerpieces.
“Kyle and I really enjoy hymns. Many of them have such depth and linguistic beauty. Because of this we decided to look for old hymnals at a free book warehouse called The Book Thing in Baltimore, MD. We were only able to find two hymnals but grabbed more than twenty colorful, neat-looking, antique books. We really liked the idea of having hymns for centerpieces, so we picked a different hymnal for each table and had the sheet music printed on cardstock. We also seated our guests based on each hymn.
“A lot of our decorations, such as the antique bottles, came from Kyle’s parents home. It was such a blessing to pick out these treasures. We got bunches of wildflowers from a place called Willow Oak Herb Farm.”
Regarding the aisle runner:
[Whitney] “Funny story actually–we didn’t plan on having it at all! This was actually the design of our marriage counselor. The morning of our outdoor wedding, it POURED down rain! Our friends and family who were helping set up were asking us to think about having it inside. Our marriage counselor ran to a local coffee roaster and collected more burlap sacks to use as an aisle runner, so that we would have decorations for a last minute indoor ceremony. We decided to trust God and have our ceremony outdoors, like we had planned, and they used the runner as a ‘red carpet’ for the wedding party to enter the reception. As far as we know, our marriage counselor just cut the burlap bags and sewed them together end-to-end. She was a huge help!”
Congrats Kyle and Whitney!
Photographer: Petruzzo Photography
Ceremony Venue: Private area, Maryland
Reception Venue: Private Church, Maryland
Hair and Makeup: Family Friend
Floral: Willow Oak Herb Farm
Submitted via Two Bright Lights