If you are looking for an informal wedding the backyard is number 1 on the list for me.
Location – the sucess of the backyard wedding obviously depends on the house, if your house isnt up to scratch or size, consider your extended family. You may be able to borrow a house if you can assure its owners that they wont have to lift a finger other than to drink their champagne.
A great space for a reception may not have the ideal ceremony location. If you don’t want to hold the ceremony elswhere then you can make a backdrop of the ceremony. Streamers, baloons, bunting, candles…the possibilities are endless. A quick search of pintrest for wedding backdrops will yield a thousand wonderful ideas. I love the idea below to bring some colour to the location.
Having access to the location for at least the day before is a huge advantage. You can mannge the decorations and set up well before the wedding. much less stressful than having only a few hours to set up and having to rely on the venue to do it or pay your florist extra.
Below friends and family install an amazing branch chandelier in a marquee set on the driveway.
Time – you will have full controll over the time, no need to start later or finish earlier than you would like. Make sure you do consider the neighbours, better yet, invite them.
Children – In most cases a backyard wedding is ideal if you will have children attending. There may even be a few spare rooms where the little ones can be put down for a sleep. The bigger ones can be set up in another room with a perpetual loop of Frozen.
Drinks – Alcohol can be a large expense. If you purchase it yourself it can save you a lot of money. Using a venue with a liquor liscence you wont be able to do this. I spent a weekend scouring hunter valley cellar doors for a mix of great wines at a much better price than retail (and Dan Murphys is hard to beat).
Beers and ciders can be served in the bottle (with cute straws where appropriate) Most bottle shops and supermarkets can get you a few cases of little mineral waters or ginger beers if you want. Set the tables with some ice buckets and allow the guests to get their own bottle from the bar to share at the table. This avoiuds the need for anyone to serve drinks.
Flowers – When working with a florist consider asking them to order you what you will need for the table decorations. They can apply their skills to the technical bouquets and you can collect the flowers the day before and make simple bunched in vases for tables the day before the wedding. The florist wil be able to advise you on the flowers who will still look amazing the next day.
The flowers below a mix of florist supplied and garden collected made the day before, proving that Australian natives are a great choice.
Relaxing – Finally the most lovely thing about being at home is the ability to relax. You and your guests can take off their shoes at the end of the night, chairs can be shifted and cars can be left to be picked up tomorrow.
Finally one of the most lovely parts of the backyear weddings I have attended has been the guests who are able coming over the next day to help clean. It is a great time to catch up and polish off the last wine and cheese. Delegate someone to cook the egg and bacon rolls on the bbq while the others rinse and stack glasses. This is the perfect antidote to waking up the next day and feeling sad because it is all over.