Bella Figura Real Wedding: Candice & Sean’s DIY, backyard barbecue

We’re bundling up for the cold winter weather that’s starting to make its way to Central New York, but this wedding has us dreaming of warm summer days and fun celebrations. Candice & Sean included tons of festive design elements for their summertime wedding that made for amazing, cheerful photos filled with love and warmth. Candice gave us the scoop on what went into planning this colorful backyard bash (complete with intricate Papel Picado for decor!) and we’re in love with every last detail.

Candice & Sean's wedding ceremony

Can you share with us a bit about your wedding and your inspiration for the event?
We chose a church wedding in acknowledgement of our Catholic and Episcopal traditions and in accordance with our personal faith. We asked guests to come and celebrate our lives, our commitments, and our love. Our invitations requested that guests arrive in colorful attire, and all of the women were invited to walk Candice to the church. We had many people do small readings, and since everyone present was an old best friend or family member, we did not have attendants. Instead, all of the women who walked Candice to the church carried small roses. Our bible verse for the day, “This is my beloved and this is my friend” was a verse that framed all of our celebrations and much of our wedding planning.

Candice & Sean weaved in many DIY details throughout their day that reflected their love and faith

Guests returned from the church to the sounds of a steel drum band and bright Papel Picado hung from the fence. Tables were decorated with water-colored signs, each named for one of the fruits of the spirit — patience, love, joy, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, goodness, and peace. As the sun went down, Sean’s nephew Keanu handed out lightup bracelets and led the way on breaking open the homemade and colorful pinata crafted by Candice’s teacher friend, Laura.

The wedding pinata from Candice & Sean's colorful, backyard wedding was a huge hit!

How did you choose your invitation design & ink colors?
I love red, orange, and yellow, and so most decisions stemmed from that. Bright warm colors filled the day. Also, the particular invitation we decided on (our Nouveau design by Amy Graham Stigler, pictured below) resembled the paper cut out Papel Picado.

The walk to and from Candice & Sean's wedding ceremony, along with their festive letterpress invitations from Bella Figura

What advice do you have for couples currently planning a wedding?
I advise couples to remember to include the personal touches. We had pictures of us from throughout our relationship on a table at the reception and we had the food set up in our backyard near the garden we built. Also, remember that you may need help and that DIY will require some time. I water-colored the numbers for the tables and made various decorations. Make sure you do as many of the incidentals a couple weeks or more beforehand. And use spreadsheets!

Candice & Sean's backyard wedding celebration



What surprised you most about your wedding?
I was surprised to see how much people love to help out. Setting out flowers and putting together the tables required a lot of help, but our friends said that being able to do the labor and build the event led them to really feel apart of things. Some even stayed to break down afterwards. It was in those quiet moments that we felt loved and others truly felt like they were part of our day.

Candice & Sean's backyard wedding celebration, complete with handmade day-of paper goods, pretty flowers & band, Steelin' Jazz

Candice & Sean, thank you for sharing your day with us! From everyone at Bella Figura, congratulations & best wishes for a lifetime of happiness to you both!

Photography: Bella Pictures
Food: Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue
Flowers: Whole foods and Eliza Dangler
Music: Steelin Jazz


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