8 Unique Details We Love About This Outdoor Summer Wedding

With many years to dream up how the perfect wedding would look and feel, this Washington couple carefully planned the day they would say “I do.” Surrounded by their closest family and friends, they celebrated their marriage with an intimate outdoor summer wedding. The couple took a cue from the environment […]


With many years to dream up how the perfect wedding would look and feel, this Washington couple carefully planned the day they would say “I do.” Surrounded by their closest family and friends, they celebrated their marriage with an intimate outdoor summer wedding. The couple took a cue from the environment in Waitsburg and focused on slowing down to enjoy the conversations and treasure each moment. As you scroll through the moments captured by Mark VanDonge, you’ll sense the relaxed energy that permeated throughout their special day.

Vineyard Wedding | Mark VanDonge Photography

1. A Casual Coordinating Bridal Party

Blue jeans never looked so sophisticated! This laid back look works so well for this wedding, and everyone’s outfits coordinate so nicely. The guys sported matching shirts, wooden boutonnieres and bow ties in a variety of bright colors, while the women donned navy dresses and beautiful handmade earrings. The couple exchanged gorgeous matching Tiffany & Co. wedding bands on this special occasion.

Casual Navy Bridal Party Attire | Mark VanDonge Photography

Wooden Boutonnieres | Mark VanDonge Photography

Groom's Casual Wedding Attire | Mark VanDonge Photography

Tiffany Wedding Bands | Mark VanDonge Photography2. The Surreal Setting

A small town called Waitsburg, just outside of Walla Walla, Washington, provided a painterly backdrop for this outdoor summer wedding. Doesn’t the landscape look like a painting?

Casual Outdoor Washington Wedding | Mark VanDonge Photography

3. An Intimate Outdoor Ceremony

A clear summer day is ideal for an outdoor wedding! An intimate patio served as a quiet ceremony space with a naturally beautiful backdrop.

Planning Tip: Personalized hand fans keep guests cool and serve a second purpose when printed with a program!

Outdoor Summer Wedding Ceremony | Mark VanDonge Photography

Summer Wedding Program Fan | Mark VanDonge Photography

4. A Meaningful Restaurant Venue

Choosing a meaningful venue makes your wedding day all the more memorable. A favorite bar or restaurant can serve as a unique location for your big day! Jimgermanbar is one of the couple’s favorite spots, and the owners agreed to host the reception in the magical space. This beautiful building from the late 1800s has amazing rustic wood floors, 20-foot ceilings, incredible architectural details, a combination of one-of-a-kind artwork and quirky antiques, and an energy that makes you feel comfortable, relaxed, and inspired all at the same time.

Jimgermanbar Wedding | Mark VanDonge Photography

Casual wedding at Jimgermanbar | Mark VanDonge Photography

5. Simple Rustic Décor

The wedding décor enhanced the existing décor in the space and complemented the design aesthetic. It was truly a reflection of the couple. Guests shared words of wisdom penned in bright colors on kraft paper on a keepsake cork board. The flowers were hand-gathered and minimal, displayed in vintage blue mason jars sourced at a local antiques store. Table numbers were custom-made on recycled barn wood to complement the farmhouse feel. Finally, they utilized the kraft paper rolls, used for menus in the restaurant, to display a favorite quote about love!

Cork Board Wedding Guestbook | Mark VanDonge Photography

Simple organic centerpiece | Mark VanDonge Photography

Wooden Table Numbers | Mark VanDonge Photography

Wedding Quotes | Mark VanDonge Photography

6. Unique Signature Drinks

An added benefit of a bar venue is the endless options for unique drinks. Delicious signature drinks are always raved about at weddings, and this bar did not disappoint! Even the non-alcoholic option sounds delicious!

Weddign Drink Menu | Mark VanDonge Photography

Signature Wedding Cocktails | Mark VanDonge Photography

Signature Summer Wedding Drink | Mark VanDonge Photography

7. A Bright Fresh-Cooked Menu

From crostini to paella, this menu is a sight to see! The colorful buffet offered options packed with spice and flavor.

Wedding Crostini Appetizers | Mark VanDonge Photography

Wedding Menu Paella | Mark VanDonge Photography

8. A Colorful Coconut Wedding Cake

This rustic coconut cake adorned in colorful flowers was a fitting finish to this bright menu. Mini cupcake versions could be easily passed so everyone could sample the delicious dessert.

Planning Tip: For an intimate wedding, you can swap a grandiose cake for something more sensible for the crowd. Even a homemade dessert can be so special!

Coconut Wedding Cake | Mark VanDonge Photography

Coconut Cupcakes | Mark VanDonge Photography

9. Evening Fire Pit

A fire pit provided warmth and string lights cast light as guests mingled with the newlyweds until the sun set.

Wedding fire pit | Mark VanDonge Photography

Photographer: Mark VanDonge Photography | Transportation:Imbibe Wine Tours | Restaurant: Jimgermanbar | Groomsman Attire: Nordstrom | Ring Designer: Tiffany & Co | Grape Hill: Getting Ready and Pre-Wedding Photos | Wedding shoes: J.D. Fisk | Wooden Boutonnieres: The Two Guys Bowtie

Are you planning a laid-back wedding? Share your special plans in the comments!

Happy Planning!