Photography courtesy of Nine Photography

Four years ago, Julie Mandrell married her husband, Patrick, in an intimate backyard wedding at their 100-year-old airplane bungalow in Lakewood Heights.

“We wanted something that was intimate, and we wanted to use our own home and be surrounded by our things,” she says. “The idea of being in a venue didn’t seem very personable.

The DIY wedding was decorated primarily with the couple’s meaningful items — photographs from when they first met, a decorative plate, a ship painting by Patrick’s grandfather and antique bottles from his grandmother’s farm in Greenville.

Other decorations, such as three antique doors, were salvaged from bulky trash and repurposed as the bar or an entry table topped with party favors.

Casa View neighbor Jayme Ditto drew the invitations, which included elements representing Mandrell’s dad, brother and other loved ones who had died.

For the ceremony, the bride was escorted by her uncle as she walked through the gate to the backyard. The couple married in front of their shed adorned with ivy and flowers.

“I ordered my dress online. It was the first one I looked at,” Mandrell says. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt as beautiful in my entire life as I did that day.”

The crowd of 50 close family and friends celebrated into the night with food provided by the Easy Slider food truck and coconut sour cream cake that Mandrell made herself using her grandmother’s recipe.

The newlyweds, who met in 1992 at the University of North Texas, left the reception under a tunnel of sparklers. They peeled out in their 1972 Pontiac Firebird, drove around the block and came back to party some more.

“It was the best day of my life,” Mandrell says. “It was so much fun. Everyone who came said it was the best wedding they’d ever been to.”

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