One month before our perfect outdoor wedding, the pandemic closed everything down. We were devastated. Reaching out to each vendor and guest felt like another defeat. It took months of processing, but eventually we were kind of glad it happened that way. Planning our original wedding was stressful, frankly. Ultimately this led us to reevaluate what we really wanted from our big day. We both agreed it should be intimate, and somewhat minimalist with just our close family and friends. Our backyard felt like the perfect space for just that. Having been married for several months now, I can proudly say that it was. Here are some things I learned in the process of pulling off our own wedding at home. 

This one is important. We had to really use our best estimations to configure everything. A typical suburban backyard has a limit to the number of tables, chairs, and guests it can comfortably fit. 

Consider your space

  • Measure, measure, and remeasure. Part of our planning process included making graph paper mock-ups of our backyard, with all of the space-taking components accounted for. This included the altar space, ceremony chairs, dinner tables, beverage stations, and the dance floor. 
  • Be frugal with your guest list. Limited space means limited guests. Feeling like you have to exclude people is a tough one. But my next tip is a great solution to this issue!

Live stream your wedding

Not being able to invite everyone you know and love to your wedding can be disappointing. This could be due to current travel restrictions, or space limitations. But luckily there’s a solution for that! The era of Zoom meetings has made this an obvious solution. Live streaming your wedding means you can invite any and everyone to attend from home! That one college roommate, those family members in other countries, even those coworkers you feel obligated to invite. There are a few approaches to this idea. We personally opted to have the professionals handle this one. But if you’ve got a tech savvy friend, this could be an opportunity to call in a favor. Which leads me to my next piece of advice…

Ask for help

Let’s be honest, you can’t do it all. Your wedding will likely have some components that you just won’t be able to manage yourself on the big day. A wedding coordinator is certainly the best resource for wedding help you can get. Since that’s not an option for everyone, let me offer an alternative. If you’ve got wedding guests, you’ve got a small army of people with all kinds of skills at your disposal. Tasks like keeping the beverage station stocked, asking guests to their seats at the right time, and opening your french doors simultaneously for a dramatic entrance are all things you can delegate. I’m willing to bet you’ve got some family and friends who would be more then happy to help make your day flow easily.

Utilize the home-field advantage

Booking a venue for your wedding means you’ve got a limited time window to set up the space. Luckily having your wedding at home gives you the freedom to prepare as early as you like! You can definitely use this to your advantage. I was able to make and store the wedding decorations yards from where they would be set up. You can even utilize your wedding party after the rehearsal to help you decorate the space! This is such a huge time and stress saver. No worrying about who’s bringing what to the venue, or forgetting that one thing at home. It’s all on hand, with plenty of time to prepare. 

Soak it all in

“Allow yourself to be fully present and enjoy your wedding day” is the biggest piece of advice I can give to any Bride or Groom. What people say is true, it does go by quickly. The most important parts of your wedding will be the ones where you were really enjoying yourself. The best ways to achieve this will look different for everyone. Across the board, however, preparation is key. I liken it to studying before a test. If you prepare and have all bases covered, you can relax test day.

Tips for an Intimate Backyard Wedding

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