"Backyard" Wedding Details

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Natalie116kim Posts : 8 Registered: 8/1/09
"Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 4, 2009 2:56 PM

I want to have my ceremony and reception at my parents' house in their backyard. They have a beautiful back patio and staircase where I want to actually say the vows. Afterwards I want the reception to be in a rented tent on another part of their property. I don't want a backyard bbq type event. I want everything to be really nice and elegant with beautiful decorations, delicious food and a fun band. My parents just have such a beautiful piece of property in Southeast Denver and I think it would be the perfect backdrop for my wedding.

I'm wondering if it is more difficult to plan a wedding at home, having to coordinate all the separate venders, than having a wedding at a hotel or country club where everything is taken care of by the location. Would all of the separate venders be better coordinated with the help of a planner? Also, does the price of the separate venders end up being more or less expensive than a hotel or country club?

If anyone has held their wedding at home and would like to share ideas/headaches/inspiration please let me know.



auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 4, 2009 6:36 PM Go to message in response to: Natalie116kim

Dear Natalie,

I did pretty much what you are planning, minus the tent.

My mother and father loved to give parties. They usually gave two or three parties a year, typically one at Christmas and at least one during the summer. My mother already knew of good vendors, caterers, etc.

Thus, when it came time for my wedding, we just ramped up one of their "typical" summer parties. The wedding was in the backyard, and the reception was right there in the same place.

Was it more or less hassle? I'd say "different" hassle.

For example, there was no need for a limo because we were already at the wedding venue. No need to worry about a prior wedding getting out ahead of use, nor a following wedding waiting for us to leave. The venue itself was the right price: Free.

On the other hand, my dear old dad really worked hard to get the yard and garden in tip-top shape for the wedding. He was really happy he did that, because it looked superb the rest of the summer and he really appreciated being able to sit in a gorgeous garden, rather than one that "needs some work".

My MOH and I got dressed in "my" room upstairs, the same bedroom I occupied as a teenager. My husband and his brother were in my brother's bedroom. No need to find some private place in a church or hotel; no need to cart a bunch of stuff in and out.

I have the satisfaction of knowing that no one else has ever gotten married there, at least to my knowledge. It's not like my wedding was one of a couple dozen in the same venue the same year.

It was different. It was nice. It worked for us. It was totally worth any extra trouble, and came in way less expensive than a wedding in a paid-for venue.

It was good I had a mother who did not work at a paying job and could devote herself to wedding planning for four months, and a mother who had previous experience with party vendors at her house.


myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 4, 2009 7:08 PM Go to message in response to: Natalie116kim

A home wedding can be gorgeous, but there's a lot involved, including things that you might not think about at first--like checking your insurance, making sure that guests will be safe (will the deck hold all that weight? Does the path have a few cracks that might trip people? Can a toddler fall in the pool?), having enough bathrooms, parking, electrical power, kitchen facilities. Is there space for a backup bad weather plan? How much will rentals cost (not just the tent, but tables, chairs, linens, dance floor, etc.) Is there enough lighting, especially if the event is at night. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that a planner probably would be a great idea for this type of event.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com


HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 4, 2009 7:31 PM Go to message in response to: myra

A planner like Myra says, plus having your parents be fully on board and supportive I think would be absolutely necessary.

Planning a wedding can be stressful enough with everything you have to coordinate even if you're having it at a venue that comes with a day-of coordinator. Among the things I know my coordinator did behind the scenes were:

Manage set-up of the chairs for the ceremony & tables and chairs for reception
Managed set-up of table linens, silverware & centerpieces
Set up microphones, test them
Made sure officiant knew where to be
Made sure officiant, bride and groom had mics clipped on
Made sure DJ/musicians were in place and they had whatever power and mics they needed
Managed catering/serving (but your caterer would do that just as well)

And that's just what I know about. So you would have to worry about coordinating vendors for all of that on top of:

Buying & sending invitations
Getting photographer (and maybe videographer)
Coordinating centerpieces/bouquets/boutonnieres

Not trying to discourage you in any way, but just make really certain your parents are enthusiastic about the idea and make sure you have a lot of time to plan. If you're working full-time and trying to plan this in 6 months, I don't think you can do it (sorry, didn't check your wedding date before replying).

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Sharkgirllovesc... Posts : 39 Registered: 12/5/08
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 5, 2009 12:53 AM Go to message in response to: HappyGirl13

Wow, that sounds like a lot of work just for a backyard wedding!

I myself, am having a backyard wedding this Friday. I've been working on this by myself, with a little help from friends and family, since January. Yes, it's been stressful. But trust me, it's worth it to save as much money as I did.

I am using an Ipod for the music (both ceremony and reception) and have a good friend manning it with my fiance's sound system. I have labeled everything into playlists (pre ceremony, ceremony, intros, first dance, reception, cake cutting, garter toss, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, bouquet toss, etc) so that there is no confusion whatsoever.

I found an excellent photographer and I've been emailing him at least once a week since January.

We found an inexpensive florist since my future MIL is into landscaping herself so that saved on money.

We rented tables, chairs, arch, from a nearby rental company. We have a few friends and family members who have large trucks so we don't have to pay for delivery of said items. We are using the tables at both rehearsal dinner and reception. Chairs at rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception.

We are having guests park in a nearby public parking lot (skating rink/church) and we are driving them in the two very short blocks.

The reception is at another location that we rented as well.

We have two bathrooms but considering we only have a complete total of 40 people we are going to be fine.

Other than that, I cannot think of anything else but I found it rather easy and helpful to do things there.


Natalie116kim Posts : 8 Registered: 8/1/09
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 5, 2009 6:21 PM Go to message in response to: Sharkgirllovesc...

Thanks for everyone's input!

My parents are supportive. When I first mentioned having a wedding at a venue my Dad was a little sad because when they first bought their house I said I would get married there. They have the most beautiful hour glass staircase in the back which I can envision myself walking down after our "I dos". I'm trying to find pics to give you all a better idea.

I'm planning on a 10-10-10 wedding so I still have more than a year to pull everything together. Another snag is that I live in Miami, FL and my parents house is in Colorado. I foresee planning from afar a bit of a challenge. On the up side my mom and sister-in-law (who lives at my parents house) are both stay at home moms. I might just have to commission them as my planners, if they're willing which they have been so far.

Is it typical that the caterers will provide all the tables, linens and decorations? Some of the ones I've looked at on the internet say they provide all of this stuff. Please keep the ideas and suggestions coming. I greatly appreciate all of it.


NessaRae615 Posts : 675 Registered: 9/23/08
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 5, 2009 7:28 PM Go to message in response to: Natalie116kim

Natalie~ I just got married in Denver in May. So I may be a little help. I did notice some caterors said chairs tables ect were included, but those caterors were ones that worked with certain venues that have all that stuff there on site. I can maybe help point you in the direction of some great vendors to check out if you wouldl like. I think the biggest thing you have to worry about is, does the catorer need a kitchen to work in? Will the kitchen at the house work? Is there enough bathrooms, that are easily accesible for the guests through out the night? And finally its Colorado in October, it gets very chilly, and can snow, is there a last minute back up plan? Let me know if I could be of any more help!!



NessaRae615 Posts : 675 Registered: 9/23/08
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 5, 2009 7:30 PM Go to message in response to: NessaRae615

I thought of another question. How close are the neighbors, and are there any noise ordances that would hamper your music?



auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 5, 2009 10:11 PM Go to message in response to: Natalie116kim

Dear Natalie,

"Is it typical that the caterers will provide all the tables, linens and decorations? "

It is not a matter of what they typically do. It's a matter of what you need.

You, your mom, Sis or a wedding planner makes a list of ten caterers in town. Go down the list and say something like:

"We are planning a home wedding. We are looking to hire a caterer, and would prefer to deal with only one vendor for the food, prep, linens, tables, etc. Is your company prepared for something like that?"

So what if four of the ten say "Sorry, we only do food." Six other will say "Yes, we can handle that."

Then you go on to provide the six with more details and get quotes.

Party vendors are out to please you. If they cannot accomodate your situation (date conflict, no linens, whatever) they will likely refer you to someone who can.


Natalie116kim Posts : 8 Registered: 8/1/09
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 5, 2009 10:24 PM Go to message in response to: NessaRae615

Great input.

I'll have to ask the caterers about where/if they travel. Food is a big deal to me and my fiance so the caterer will be an important detail. My mom has a great professional style kitchen so need be the caterers will have access to that.

My parents live on 3 acres in rural Parker so the neighbors should not be an issue except for parking. I'm looking into busses to and from the house. I know that it can be chilly during October in Colorado so I'm hoping a tent will be suffient even if I have to rent heaters. Other venues I've considered are the Natural History Museum and Red Rocks. I'm still trying to decide. I want a place that is unique and special to me.

<a href="http://www.weddingcountdown.com">
<img border="0" src="http://img.weddingcountdown.com/ticker/thwgjcih.png" alt="wedding web site" />


NessaRae615 Posts : 675 Registered: 9/23/08
Re: "Backyard" Wedding Details
Posted: Aug 5, 2009 11:16 PM Go to message in response to: Natalie116kim

Parker is a great town! Another venue you may want to look into that is REALLY close to Red Rocks, is Willow Ridge Manor. They provide almost all the things you need, they are very inexpensive, and their cateror (I don't know if I ever spell that right sorry) is to die for. My wedding was 2.5 months ago, and I am still getting compliments on the food. They have an amazing fireplace that you can have your ceremony take place in front of, or a red rock formation or deck outside. You can check out their website www.willowridgemanor.com
However your parents yard sounds amazing too!

I hope it doesn't sound like I work for Willow Ridge, because I don't I was just very impressed with the service and how amazingly my wedding went off there.



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