Backyard Wedding

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Hannah2112 Posts : 3 Registered: 2/8/10
Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 23, 2010 9:13 PM

DF and I were just going to go to a courthouse to get married then have a bigger wedding in a few years. Then I thought about having a small informal wedding in my parent's backyard because it is pretty nice and big. Have any of you ladies ever done this before? I want it to be small with only our closest family/friends. Any tips/advice!?

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 23, 2010 10:29 PM Go to message in response to: Hannah2112

Dear Hannah,

" Then I thought about having a small informal wedding in my parent's backyard because it is pretty nice and big. Have any of you ladies ever done this before?"

Yes, I did exactly that. I got married in my parents' backyard. It was wonderful.

No venue costs; the backyard was free to us. No worries about reserving space or being out by some certain time. Decorating was minimal. My father had a nice garden, anyway. We didn't have to do a lot to improve on Mother Nature. We were surrounded by trees and flowers as they grew out of the ground.

We avoided a lot of other costs, as well. No need for a limo, since we all got dressed in the house, then just walked outside for the wedding. My MOH and I got ready in my childhood bedroom. The photos have my parents' real house (indoors and outdoors) in the background, not a bunch of studio props.

There are lots of other things you can eliminate and save a lot of money. I saw no reason for professional hair styling, since I do my own hair every morning of my life. Shower - blowdry - done. I never wear makeup, not then, not now, so no need for a professional makeup artist. We each had just one attendant, maid of honor and best man, so no giant costs for gifts to a lineup of attendants.

I urge you to abandon the idea of a courthouse wedding now and a "fake wedding" later. I find that to be distasteful. You can have a lovely wedding, within your budget, in your parents' backyard now and then in (?) five or ten years have a beautiful anniversary party.

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BWFrancie Posts : 70 Registered: 11/11/09
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 23, 2010 10:31 PM Go to message in response to: Hannah2112

I like the idea of having a small intimate wedding now rather than planning a big event in the future. I had a very small wedding and the reception was at my sister's home. It was lovely. We had about 25 people, just close family and friends. We were actually married at our church with our Priest, and then had a luncheon reception at my sisters. The whole thing cost less than $5,000.

One thing my Priest told me that stood out in my mind (and I will continue to pass on to brides) is that simple weddings can be the most meaningful, because you don't get caught up in all the details and stress of a huge event and you can concentrate on what's important... your marriage. Good luck!

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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 24, 2010 8:17 AM Go to message in response to: Hannah2112

Go for it! You will save a lot of money and it will be small and intimate. I wish I could have done something like that but I don't know anyone with a nice backyard.

 

                           
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NicoleN1101 Posts : 44 Registered: 3/19/10
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 24, 2010 8:37 AM Go to message in response to: CheetahAngel

I so would do that, rather than planning a big event in the future. Save the money and go on a nice vacation. It will be less stress and more fun. You can still have a nice wedding with your friends and family, and won't be missing out on a thing. I got married on the beach, no backyards available to me , and was glad I skipped the huge production. Be sure to still have a dedicated photographer, even if it's a family friend. Photos are one thing you will want in the future, everything else is up to you.
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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 24, 2010 8:45 AM Go to message in response to: Hannah2112

We didn't have a backyard wedding, but we did have a small-ish wedding (only close family and friends) and don't ever intend to have a 'big wedding' later on. There's no reason for it. Why not plan a modest wedding as your one-and-only wedding?

As for backyard weddings, I think they're fun - but they can be a lot of work and a big expense. While the venue is free, remember that you have to bring in EVERYTHING: food and drink, tables and chairs, plates, linens, portable toilets (unless you have a really small group and an easy-to-find bathroom in the house). The costs can add up, so be sure to do your research. In addition, there are some other things you need to take into account that might not immediately come to mind: parking (are there parking restrictions in the neighborhood? Do you have space for cars to park on the lawn somewhere?), noise restrictions (definitely don't want the cops breaking up your wedding!), and insurance issues (does the owner's insurance cover large parties on the premises, or is additional insurance needed? What if someone trips and breaks their leg on the property during the event? If you're serving alcohol, what are the homeowner's liability issues?). Consider the overall expense and compare to a small party at a private room in a restaurant, for instance, before making a decision.


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Marryingmytruel... Posts : 135 Registered: 2/11/10
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 24, 2010 10:06 AM Go to message in response to: Hannah2112

Here is an example of a small but amazing wedding, http://offbeatbride.com/2010/01/ohio-cave-wedding. I fell in love with this wedding! My FH and I are now seriously considering doing something similiar for our wedding.

I would plan a small wedding that you can afford now and skip the plans for having another wedding in a few years. In a few years you can throw a big anniversary party. I think that a small informal wedding in your parent's backyard sounds like a lovely idea. My only concern would be that it might cost more than doing it a restaurant because of all the items you might need to rent.

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bosoxgirl Posts : 231 Registered: 2/3/10
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 24, 2010 11:50 AM Go to message in response to: Marryingmytruel...

Can not picture myself getting married in a cave! oiy!

 

  

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jmd22 Posts : 125 Registered: 7/17/08
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 24, 2010 12:35 PM Go to message in response to: Hannah2112

We are having our ceremony and reception at my fiance's parent's house- it's not a super small wedding- about 75 people (they have a big backyard, haha) but it will still be nice and intimate. We are having a caterer bring in the food, and a florist, etc, but it is still a lot of work, making sure that you get everything else handled as far as your "venue" is concerned. Here are a few of the questions we have encountered:

Will you need a sound system? Extra bathrooms? Tents? Chair/table/linen rentals? Will you provide your own alcohol? Will you need a bartender? Extra lighting? Is there enough room in the space for tables to seat everyone, plus tables for food, drinks, cake, etc? Do you have a back-up plan in case of rain? Will you want and/or is there room for a dance floor? Just a few things to think about- the costs can add up quickly when you are providing everything yourself! But, I am still glad that we planned our wedding the way we did- I think it will be amazing and I can't wait!! :)

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Marryingmytruel... Posts : 135 Registered: 2/11/10
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 24, 2010 12:44 PM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

I posted the wedding from www.offbeatbride.com just to give an example of how a very simple wedding can still be beautiful. You don't have to wear an expensive "wedding dress" or have tons of flowers, etc. You just need to think outside the box.

Cave wedding?? Not exactly my cup of tea either Bosox.

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Marryingmytruel... Posts : 135 Registered: 2/11/10
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 24, 2010 12:49 PM Go to message in response to: Marryingmytruel...

And to clarify, I fell in love with the simplicity of this wedding, not the idea of getting married in a cave. I would love to have a very simple wedding like that one.

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TRACYJOHNSONBRA... Posts : 42 Registered: 2/8/09
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 25, 2010 5:42 AM Go to message in response to: Hannah2112

We went with a small wedding at the church and a bbq reception at my parents. It was fun. For a small wedding considering borrowing decorations from another bride and asking or letting friends help. It takes lots of pressure off of you and your parents so they both can enjoy it.


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Beyondhappy Posts : 1 Registered: 3/25/10
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 25, 2010 1:26 PM Go to message in response to: CheetahAngel

Hi. Im new here and I am getting married April 2011. Congrats to you. I went to a backyard wedding in 2007 that was the best wedding I have ever been to. It was super original and waaaay more fun and interesting than your run of the mill wedding. Are you considering having one?

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MrsPatty Posts : 1 Registered: 2/24/10
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 27, 2010 6:43 PM Go to message in response to: Beyondhappy

I'm here in Florida and My FH and I bought our first house in August of 2009. We recently got engaged in February and after searching through dozens of venues, I've decided to use my huge backyard for our ceremony and reception. We are hiring a caterer and renting tent/tables/chairs. Linens and servingware come with the caterer. I think I figured everything out except for just after the ceremony. I'm having a hard time finding a non-awkward transition from ceremony to reception. After we run back down the aisle...do we turn around and wave our family and friends over "c'mon y'all lets party!"? or do we wait at the "alter" and start a receiving line? I'm stuck!
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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Backyard Wedding
Posted: Mar 27, 2010 8:31 PM Go to message in response to: MrsPatty

Dear Patty,

I can tell you what we did after our backyard wedding.

At the end of the ceremony, we both hugged our parents, then the in-laws, then grandparents, then the entire thing just sort of morphed into a party. We did not walk back down the aisle.

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