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The Boho-Cool Backyard Wedding of a Philadelphia Musician

All of the decor was vintage, thrifted, repurposed or taken from the couple’s home.


Montgomery County backyard wedding

Kaitlyn Riess and Joshua Howard’s vintage-filled Montgomery County backyard wedding took place a month after son Bravery’s birthday. Photography by Carly Landolt Photography

There’s something endearing about incorporating vintage decor into your wedding. Elements like repurposed furnishings or antique vases and other accessories add a nostalgic, personal touch — not to mention that they serve a sustainable purpose, bringing new life to items from yesteryear. This couple’s Montgomery County backyard wedding, held on a beautiful fall day, is a perfectly sweet example. Carly Landolt Photography captured the sentimental moments, which you can see below.

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You might say it was love at first sight for Philly natives Kaitlyn Riess, a graphic designer and social media manager, and Joshua Howard, a musician (of The Voice fame). The two crossed paths during a meeting at their church. “He caught my eye when I saw him singing, not only for his looks but for his beautiful voice,” says the bride. “There was something about him that intrigued me and made me want to know the heart behind it all.”

As for Josh, he joked to a friend that he’d marry Kait: “I remember not being able to keep my eyes off of her.” They dated for a year before learning they were expecting a baby boy. “We decided then that we wanted to be a family,” says Kait. 

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They didn’t have a traditional engagement (Josh didn’t actually propose until after the wedding) and chose to get married in Kait’s father’s backyard in Norristown. Despite the November 9th wedding date, the weather was perfect, and the couple held their celebration outdoors, with 50 guests in attendance.

The vintage-chic, boho-cool Big Day was carefully curated, with touches that were thrifted, repurposed, or taken from their home, all put together by the bride’s stepmother, along with event creative director Carrie Mason.

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The two collaborated on aspects such as outdoor lounge areas to achieve the couple’s vision. Both the bride and groom loved the vintage, homespun aesthetic, which included empty picture frames hanging on the trees around the ceremony site. A vanity filled with vases, a clock and candles directed guests to the celebration. 

The bride and her bridesmaids carried artificial pink and white bouquets; they also wore leather jackets, because Kait knows how much Josh loves her in that style. And she bought her snakeskin shoes the night before the wedding. “I knew I wanted to wear a bootie, because that’s just my style,” she says. “I saw them and knew they’d be perfect.”

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A special touch: The groom’s father presided over the celebration. “Having my father marry us was so important to me,” says Josh. “My dad’s my best friend and the greatest man I know.” 

A few sweet details completed the day. A simple vanilla cake from Whole Foods was decorated with faux flowers. And an alfresco lounge was outfitted with reupholstered and upcycled furnishings.

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Before COVID, Kait and Josh planned to honeymoon this past summer; they hope eventually to go to Paris. Oh, and about that proposal? The couple had decided not to write their own vows for their Big Day — though Josh secretly did. He finally shared them, and an engagement ring, with his new wife seven months later, on Mother’s Day. “As I was reading them aloud,” says Kait, “Josh got down on one knee and proposed.”

THE DETAILS
Photographer: Carly Landolt Photography | Venue: Private home | Event Creative Direction: Carrie Mason of REimagined Empire | Florals: Faux flowers made by Kathy O’Brian McHugh | Catering: Stir It Up | Bride’s Gown: Lulus | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Forever 21 & Windsor | Hair, Makeup & Invitations: The bride | Cake: Whole Foods

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