Want to know a secret? I LOVE a backyard wedding. There, I said it. Yes, fancy wedding venues are beautiful, but the intimate feel of a backyard celebration gets me every time.
Often, when we think of a “backyard wedding,” we don’t think of a chic party. We might envision a barbeque, with the bride’s father in an apron grilling hamburgers. I’m not talking about that kind of backyard wedding (although, who doesn’t love a good burger?).
The history of a venue or the stories about growing up at the same house where you’re starting a new chapter of your life can be pure magic.
Pure magic is exactly how I would describe Alyssa and Shane’s backyard celebration. Alyssa (and I) are sharing some of our best tips for elevating a simple wedding venue like your childhood home or lakehouse cabin into an unforgettable spot to say I do.
– Hire a coordinator to help make sure things run smoothly. There’s more to DIY when you are not having it at a venue, and it’s nice to have someone who can handle the logistics.
– Splurge a little on rentals. The right rentals can take your wedding to a whole new level. Rent a tent, some vintage lanterns, and fancy tablescape decor. It’ll feel like a whole new world.
– Check with neighbors/Airbnb hosts to make sure you can have loud music (you don’t want your event to get shut down).
– Have fun with it! Rent the taco truck, hire the bartenders with the fun drinks, and get a band to play. Just because it’s a backyard wedding doesn’t mean it has to be completely DIY and casual– get a little fancy.
The initial inspiration for a backyard wedding was financial after the sticker shock we experienced looking at similar waterfront venues. We were also, of course, lucky to have a family with such a beautiful space. It wasn’t without challenges, though- it’s not a big flat, wide-open space, so we had to get a little creative. Getting married in a setting that’s so meaningful to us (I played on that same beach as a kid, Shane proposed to me there, we spend most holidays there, etc.) ended up being the best thing that wasn’t originally part of the plan. It allowed us to splurge in other places (like having a live band) without compromising on decor and scenery. Having it at home meant we had more creative freedom, but also, I think it was a lot more work, but so worth it. In the end, we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I think taking advantage of having access to the space and stockpiling decor, planning, and organizing in the space as much as you can beforehand was key. I feel like having unlimited access to the space really allowed us to focus on all the little details that made it special and very “us.”
For instance, we could hang lights and lanterns weeks in advance, so it was one less thing to worry about last minute. We also really leaned into the whole “intentionally mismatched vintage” aesthetic, which I think is super pretty, but as a bonus, it allowed us to use family heirlooms, furniture, dishes, etc., that were already around the home, which was unique and meaningful (and thrifty to boot!). Also, we were initially on the fence about hiring a coordinator, but ours was so amazing and absolutely key in us and our family being able to enjoy the day and not play host, even though it was at our home.
The best part of the day (beyond the whole marrying my best friend thing) was probably the live band. It was our one non-negotiable since we both play multiple instruments ourselves and love going to concerts. It was just SO fun having a private concert with our favorite people. I feel like we just danced all night long. Our mantra throughout planning when we were getting bogged down with all the details was, “Well, we’ve already got a live band, tacos, and pie – what more could you want?”
Sound like you? Learn more about my wedding photography services right here. It’ll make the backyard magic last forever if this intimate “venue” is for you.
Venue: Private Residence
Wedding Dress: BHLDN
Shoes: Loeffler Randall
Hair Accessories: CCbridaldesign
Bride: Victoria Jewelers
Groom: Joseph Jewelry
Furniture Rentals: Olympic Farm Style Events
Food Truck: Taqueria Los Chilangos
Pies: A La Mode Pies
Doughnuts: Top Pot Doughnuts
Wedding Coordinator: K&L Events