coastal living, DIY & more

Lindsey’s sweet & simple beach wedding

So last week I gave you a little one-photo teaser, but now that our big kids and grands have all left town, I’ve got time to properly tell all about Lindsey’s beach wedding. Consider yourself warned: photo-heavy post. NOT SORRY! 😉

Yes, we photographed the wedding. I took the getting-ready photos, and stepped in when Ken needed to do fatherly things like walk her down the aisle or dance with her, but Ken did the majority of the photography.

Lindsey and Quan have been together quite a while, and already have a little family started. Getting married is a big commitment, of course, but for them it was mostly a matter of making it official. They wanted a special day, but didn’t need an extravagant affair. When Lindsey’s wedding planning stalled because LIFE, I offered to put together a little beach wedding for them and they loved the idea.

Planning an intimate DIY beach wedding.

Lindsey had a few specifics on what she wanted: shades of coral with gold accents and a bit of burlap for wedding colors, Ken walking her down the aisle, and the guys wearing khaki pants with bow ties. She wanted Kathryn as maid of honor and Brandon as best man. She wanted to use my vintage-look pin from my wedding on her bouquet like Diane did. And of course it needed to be low-key because we’d have 4 kids under the age of three involved. Beyond that, she gave me free reign. I’d text her with photos or questions as I came up with ideas.

One of the most fun DIY projects for the wedding was Lindsey’s headpiece. Kathryn showed me mermaid crowns on Pinterest and Lindsey loved the idea, so I set about figuring out how to make one. I was thrilled with how it came out, and so was Lindsey.

getting ready bride and sister

Lindsey got ready here at our house, and Kathryn helped do her hair and anchor the crown in her ‘do. She found her dress at a little boutique; Quan had not seen it and knew nothing about the mermaid crown. We arranged a “first look” at a neighbor’s house because our yard was not as photogenic. Quan’s facial expression was wonderful when he first saw Lindsey, and it was a sweet moment for them both.

bride and groom first look

After their first look, Ken took them to one of the nearby marsh walkovers for photos while I got myself and the kids ready in a hurry. The whole crew met up at the beach for the ceremony.

Low-key wedding ceremony on the beach.

bride and groom outdoor photos

We asked one of the assistant pastors at church to do the ceremony, but since this would be his first wedding, he was a bit hesitant; we assured him this was the PERFECT first wedding because we’d be about as low-key as it comes. He did a wonderful job, put up with all our crazy, and had a great sense of humor about it all. Then again, he’s the father of twin girls so I’d imagine he has a bit of his own crazy at home!

best man and maid of honor

Kathryn helped me with all the DIY projects involved. We opted to do artificial flowers because it was easier to have it done ahead of time. We had a hard time finding the right colors so I ended up ordering assorted flowers online. I made the bouquets and wrapped them in burlap; Kathryn added twine and dangling shells. The boutonnieres were a simpler version of the bouquets, with a coral-colored rose, succulents, and burlap wrapped with twine.

father of the bride

The ceremony was beautiful and sweet, and had moments of hilarity, too. Ken snapped a selfie before escorting Lindsey since they’d joked years ago about how he’d do double-duty as Father of the Bride and Wedding Photographer. There was a whole lot of baby-wrangling involved, and Lindsey and Quan got tickled in the middle of the ring exchange.

wedding vows and ring exchange

They included a sand ceremony because of the symbolism of joining their lives together and because it was a beach wedding! You can purchase craft sand in just about any color but that seemed silly since we’re surrounded by sand, so Kathryn and a friend gathered and sifted the sand, then colored it with ground up sidewalk chalk to match the wedding colors. I painted a mason jar lid gold and Kathryn added twine and shells.

beach wedding sand ceremony

People and dogs strolled by and smiled, and folks in nearby beach homes came out on their porches to watch the ceremony. Everyone on the beach applauded when the couple was pronounced Mr. and Mrs...

newly Mr & Mrs

While the rest of us headed to the house, Ken took the newly married couple for a few more photos and to let them have a few minutes of kid-free time to let it sink in that they were now married.

wedding couple by the water

Sweet & simple front porch reception.

We held the reception here on our front porch, with cake, simple food, and dancing. Our porch cleaned up quite nicely, and I’ve decided mini-lights make everything 500% more festive. (I’m leaving them there forever!)

wedding cake

I ordered a simple two-layer square wedding cake from a local bakery and added fresh flowers. Food was simple, too: an assortment of sandwiches, pasta salad, and fruit. Kathryn made sand-dollar cookies that turned out super-cute.

front porch wedding reception

We did the traditional things like cake-cutting, a toast, the first dance, and the father-daughter dance. We ate and laughed and chased tired, wired children. It was somehow simultaneously utterly chaotic and completely perfect.

father daughter dance

My longtime readers know our story with Lindsey and know we’ve all faced challenges, but this time with them was a blessing for us all. Coincidentally, the wedding was exactly nine years after the very day we met her, a 14 year old girl putting on a confident face there in the office of the caseworker. (We didn’t realize this ’til my facebook memories told me that morning!) None of us knew then what we’d be getting ourselves into — but all our lives have been enriched by the family we’ve become.

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Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!


Congratulations to Lindsey & Quan!
What a beautiful day; so unique and simple, full of memories and laughter.
I was married on a beach almost 16 years ago 🙂 It’s a fabulous place to begin the Mr&Mrs part of life together.
Mazel tov!


What a beautiful day. Gives me hope to share memories like this with my own daughter. You did a great job putting it together


Thanks for sharing this. I am happy that you and Ken got to be such an integral part of Lindsey’s wedding. It looks like it was great fun and a special time. I am encouraged by it. My daughter and I have been estranged for a year. Your family’s story gives me hope.

Brandi Woody

Simply Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Nicole M.

Sweet, beautiful beach wedding! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been following your family’s adventures for a long time. I’m so happy for all of you. Praying God’s blessings over the newly married couple! We’re a homeschooling family in the Bay Area, Northern California.


Absolutely beautiful! I wish them the best and I’m so glad that you have each other to celebrate these special moments!

Renee Tougas

This is a beautiful story. Loved all the photos.


Jamie, what a beautiful wedding and story–God’s love was all over it! Seems like yesterday that she and Ariel were twirling flags together at King’s. My very best to them!

Susan Box Mann

I became teary-eyed with happiness for you and your wonderful family. Thank you for sharing. Weddings do not have to be big, extravagant affairs to be memorable. Mine wasn’t, but I remember it well after forty-one years of marriage.


Wow Jamie!
Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and memorable event!
I just love the beauty and the simplicity of it all.
I am so thrilled at how God has grown your family throughout the years. You now have “in-loves” as well as grandbabies, and you all look so happy and adjusting well to your new home.
Many blessings to you and your family!

Donna Appel

Congratulations to Lindsey and Quan. Wishing them a lifetime of happiness and making a lifetime of memories. A beautiful couple and wedding. Great job Jamie and Ken!

<3 Love <3